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General gmining issues on my rig

Last response: in Video Games
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March 22, 2009 9:53:02 PM

Hi all,

After using this forum a few times for some other problems I have encountered, I think its time to make my very own topic :) 
Usually the troubleshooting in here helps me out, so why not this time?

The problem I am encountering with different games is a lock up of the whole system,
both in FEAR2 and games like the last remnant demo my system locks up.
I can play for a while, but after a certain amount of time the following happens;

The game displays artifacts (red dots over the whole screen), wich made me believe it was my gpu temperatures, but using 4 different programs to read out the temp values I made sure that is NOT the problem. After that my LCD monitor turns off, telling me there is no signal, wich again made me believe there is something wrong with my 8800GT. After various driver reinstalls (multiple versions, including those omega thingies) the problem persist.

Then again, I thought it might be a good idea to clean out my case - dust `n stuff arent that good for temp trouble. My CPU was totally dusted in, after cleaning it and getting asus probe and mb monitor 5 those temps were fine too.

Now, my question; What can I try to get rid of these problems?
Games like Total War Empire and Counter Strike source, DOWII etc. all at high res and fsaa at max run great without any problems.

My system:
Windows Vista Ultimate 32bit SP1
DualCore Intel Core 2 Duo E6300, 1866 MHz (7 x 267)
Asus P5B, Intel Broadwater P965
2 * 1Gig OCZ XTC Platinum Rev.2 DDR2-800
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT (512 MB)
Iiyama ProLite E2201W [22" LCD]
Realtek RTL8168B/8111B Family PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet NIC
Analog Devices AD1988A @ Intel 82801HB ICH8 - High Definition Audio Controller [B-0]


dxdiag etc. can all be supplied if needed.



March 23, 2009 1:26:54 AM

What power supply do you have?

I'd also recommend overclocking the CPU. 1.8 is very low for cpu demanding games . Fear 2 shows 2.8 min req and 3.2 single core for vista. So I'd start with the OC guides and look at a good aftermarket cooler too.
March 23, 2009 4:44:44 AM

Double the amount of RAM you have too, 2gb is enough to keep XP happy but for Vista you really need to go 4 or more, even though 32-bit vista won't be able to address all of it, it'll still run a hell of a lot better than just having 2gb.

Agree with skora about the CPU, 1.8 isn't enough for games, so either look at replacing it or overclocking it (make sure you get an aftermarket cooler and thermal paste for that, there's guides on these forums that walk you through the basics, you just need a LOT of patience, and an easily accessible 'Reset CMOS' switch, I normally hook up the connector for my case's Reset switch to the pins to reset the CMOS)

Props for the monitor, I have it's 24" big brother (b2403ws) and love it.

If you don't want to go upgrading your CPU, buy yourself a separate sound card and network card, nothing massively expensive and fancy, just something that'll take the work of sound and networking away from your CPU. It won't make a huge difference, but at those lower speeds it will make some difference.
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March 23, 2009 6:42:04 AM

Thanks for the replies guys :) 

The CPU is a dual core, wich makes it 2x 1.8gig resulting in a 3.6ghz (or did I misunderstand that?). The issue isnt that it doesnt run games well (it does), but the games keep locking up my system resulting in a hard reset.
March 23, 2009 7:38:35 AM

skora said:
What power supply do you have?

I'd also recommend overclocking the CPU. 1.8 is very low for cpu demanding games . Fear 2 shows 2.8 min req and 3.2 single core for vista. So I'd start with the OC guides and look at a good aftermarket cooler too.



So does that rule out i7 920? :kaola: 
March 23, 2009 11:33:56 AM

Bloody modular crap. You got 2x12v 15a+16a and a 8800gt needs 26a. Looks like you got trapped power on one of the rails.
I can never be bothered fiddling about with modular tbh and always suggest a big fat single rail like the Corsair TX series has.
March 23, 2009 11:37:19 AM

What about PSUs that have 2 fat rails like the corsair hx1000? 80A on 2 12v rails? Yes please. ;) 
March 23, 2009 11:38:44 AM

bit overkill...
March 23, 2009 11:41:30 AM

True, I was planning on getting a 2nd 4870X2 but the funds never materialised.
March 23, 2009 12:58:36 PM

pr2thej said:
Bloody modular crap. You got 2x12v 15a+16a and a 8800gt needs 26a. Looks like you got trapped power on one of the rails.
I can never be bothered fiddling about with modular tbh and always suggest a big fat single rail like the Corsair TX series has.


Thanks again for the replies, ontopic at least ;) 

Does this mean I need to switch PSU's and all my trouble will be gone? The pc runs games like farcry 2 on high res without any hic ups :??: 
March 23, 2009 1:44:42 PM

I find FEAR2 much more demanding that FC2 tbh.
Would recommend an upgrade to single rail good brand PSU even if you werent having issues, and just had money to burn. PSU does seem to be the weak link here though.
March 23, 2009 2:42:15 PM

No one thinks his issue may be due to his card overheating, my old 8800GT used to artifact like a mofo after awhile until I started manually controlling the fan, since for some apparent reason it would never go over 20% fan speed.
March 23, 2009 3:21:54 PM

rivatuner lets you control the fanspeed, as do other programs. The auto fan control is bugged on most 8800GT's.
As I stated in the first post; it couldnt be the temps :( 

Back on track;
How would one explain a fully functional computer in other games, but failing in those mentioned above? Now I think of it, assasins creed had the same problem, and since then I think I have replaced most parts except the motherboard and CPU. Could one of those be faulty?
I can`t imagine a PSU tripping currents on one game, but then again not on the other. Though i`m no psu expert :) 
March 23, 2009 3:33:02 PM

tsd16 said:
No one thinks his issue may be due to his card overheating, my old 8800GT used to artifact like a mofo after awhile until I started manually controlling the fan, since for some apparent reason it would never go over 20% fan speed.


Well if you read the initial post he has ruled that out in all cases save for a temp probe failure, or multiple monitoring software failures.
Spose OP could test to the touch after a session to be doubly sure but i do not believe its neccesary. GPU fan speeds are slow for a reason - they sound like jet engines at 100%
March 23, 2009 3:36:47 PM

.
March 23, 2009 9:16:36 PM

It's a sound I've learned to appriciate :) 

Does anyone has a suggestion what else I can test without physically replacing stuff? This system is stable now, and - at least in my case - screwing around with it usually does`nt help make it more stable.
March 24, 2009 2:51:20 AM

vin73 said:
So does that rule out i7 920? :kaola: 


Yep, you're out of luck :cry:  NO GAMES FOR YOU ON i7

Back on topic,

Zdeev, if you think its a hardware problem, OC the CPU and see if the issues go away. The E6300 should get near 3 ghz without an issue. I'd try for a minumim around 2.5 though and that should be safe on the stock heatsink if you're not bumping voltages too high.

The other option could be a setting in the game. If you don't want to OC, turn all the settings all the way down in the games and test. You can also check the games tech forums and see if others have the same problem. I had locking on a 3.6ghz E5200 on UT3 and it was a v-sync and frame lag setting. Nothing but peaches and cream once those were disabled.

Listen to Kraynor and get another 2 gigs ram. You'll see a general improvement especially in multitasking. If you have open slots, you'll only be looking around $12-15 or if you need all new, after rebate, 4 gig kits are around $25. Wait till after an OC test to go buying a sound and NIC.
March 24, 2009 7:31:54 AM

Thanks for the reply skora, are there any decent guides around for OC-ing? I never did that before, neither do I have any knowledge of the voltages etc.
March 24, 2009 9:25:22 AM

zdeev said:
Thanks for the reply skora, are there any decent guides around for OC-ing? I never did that before, neither do I have any knowledge of the voltages etc.


The trusty THG starting point is here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/240001-29-howto-overc...

Its what I learned on. I by no means am an expert, but it really is pretty simple. The quick rundown, you'll need a program to measure temps. As said earlier, avoid the asus software and download CPUIDs Hardware monitor or REALtemps. While you're at it, download Prime95 and CPU-Z. Set you're target speed. If its 2.5 ghz, then you'll want to see if you can boot at 358 mhz FSB. If you want 3.0, then 429. I'm sure that will need extra voltage though. If it boots and you don't want to push it further, try testing the games and see if you have improvements. If so, then do some stabilty testing with Prime95. Search for overclocking the E6300 and you'll get an idea of what voltages and temps are safe for that chip. The luck part is how much performance you'll get out of those voltages. Also, you'll get loads of help if after you read up by posting OC questions in that forum instead of continuing this side of the discussion here.

Clear as mud? :pt1cable: 
March 24, 2009 3:57:00 PM

Crystal :) 

Last question remains; how can this be a CPU problem when it only occurs in some games, while other hardware eating games run fine?
(GTA IV no problems, the last remnant total lock up)
March 24, 2009 7:28:53 PM

Don't use Last Remnant as a marker for game speed, it's a really badly optimised game. The console versions run terribly. The PC version runs terribly (on my PC it does, 3.2ghz quad core, ati 4870X2, 8gb ram... no real reason for it to run so badly), so don't worry about it.

As for other games, some games put more pressure on the GPU than CPU so you wouldn't notice your CPU's shortcomings. Other games stress your CPU as much as, or more than your GPU.
March 25, 2009 12:33:54 AM

well, OC time it is ;) 
!