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Brand New Rig Freezing During Anything GPU Intensive

Last response: in Video Games
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March 21, 2011 3:25:28 AM

So I purchased a custom PC from magicmicro.com and they did a pretty standup job. The inside is nice and tidy and all in all I'm pleased. On the other hand... the PC does not play well on any game. I have my specs from CPU-Z in my sig but I'll pop it right here as well. Let it be known that I do not OC and everything listed below is at stock settings.

Mobo: ASRock 870 Extreme3
CPU: 3.5Ghz Phenom X4 970 (V6 Coolermaster dual fan with several heatsinks keeping my CPU frosty)
GPU: HD Radeon 6970
RAM: 8 Gigs DDR3 1333 (2x4)
PSU: 750w Thermaltake
Cooling: 5 case fans (120mm front, 200mm side, 80mm bottom intake) (120mm rear, 200mm top exhaust)
OS: Win 7 64 bit
HDD: 1 TB Western Digital Black

So to start the first system I received I had to end up returning for an exact copy. I was having the problem of course on the original system but I could at least play for 4-6 hours sometimes before I froze up. I tried a few things before I sent it back, I replaced both sticks of RAM in the original system and the problem stuck around. I tried different RAM ports (All of them in fact) and the problem would not dissappear. At that point I didn't want to experiment anymore and sent it back for a replacement.

So the new one gets here yesterday and to my surprise the problem is not only present in the new PC but I can't even get a game to run for 5 minutes. Of course I'm rather upset at the circumstances but I'm holding my head high and turning to the community to maybe offer suggestions of where to turn next. Everything else on my system runs fluid, I can surf, download, stream music and video with no problems. My PC will withstand Furmark for roughly 3-4 minutes before it decides to freeze up as well so it isn't the games I am playing. Memtest86 runs for 24+ hours with no issues as well.

Lastly, I have checked several times on the heat in my PC because it scared me at first (Idling around 40-45c and max load around 75-85c.) AMD shed some light on the situation by letting me know that they didn't consider the card hot until around 125c so learning that was both relieving and troubling (125c?!?!) :ouch: 

Anywho, here are my hunches so far:

1: Mobo compatability (Though I haven't found any conflicts based on ASRock's specs on their site for my mobo.)
2: GPU needs RMA'd (Also skeptical of this one because this is the second GPU I have had with the issue.)
3: Not enough power? (I was assured 750w was more than enough for a single 6970 and all the components I have.)
4: Ninja RAM (Like I said Memtest86 says my RAM rocks but I have heard stories of bad RAM that ninjas testing.)
5: RAM timings? (I have no clue how to do this myself but maybe the 1333 RAM isn't meshing?)

Anyone have any thoughts on the above? Or possibly something I haven't thought of because I am nowhere near an expert. I would appreciate any thing you guys and gals have to offer.
March 21, 2011 4:36:22 AM

Ok, when you say your pc freezes, can you be a little bit more discriptive, on the system hang part. Have you tried other games?. Another thing, are all those 5 fans plugged directly on your motherboard, i've heard that having too much fans plugged on your motherboard can actually be really bad and stressful on your mobo, and let's be honest you don't need 5 fans plus your heatsink. But personnaly I think it's a RAM issue.
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March 21, 2011 4:53:55 AM

v1zzle said:
Ok, when you say your pc freezes, can you be a little bit more discriptive, on the system hang part. Have you tried other games?. Another thing, are all those 5 fans plugged directly on your motherboard, i've heard that having too much fans plugged on your motherboard can actually be really bad and stressful on your mobo, and let's be honest you don't need 5 fans plus your heatsink. But personnaly I think it's a RAM issue.


Yea sure thing v1zzle.

I have tried 2 games so far, RIFT and StarCraft 2. With RIFT I can get to character selection with no problems and even watch the intro video multiple times. But when I try to log into the game world I get to about 80% load and then I get a complete system freeze. By that I mean I get frozen picture, and my sound ceases. I cannot Task Manager out or do anything else I am forced to hardboot my PC and once it loads back up its like nothing happened, my PC forgets its heart stopped. Occasionally (This is potentially an important bit of info) my icons are jumbled around on my desktop and I have to reorganize them.

With StarCraft 2 I am able to access the menus and surf around a little but it will eventually freeze up before I even have the chance to do anything. Another bit of potentially helpful information it does give me an error inside of StarCraft 2 stating that it could not determine my video settings and that I need to adjust it manually.

I also ran Furmark on my system like I said above so that it couldn't be blamed on the above games and Furmark also froze me up after about 3-4 minutes.

I hope these descriptions help. Sorry to have left these out.
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March 21, 2011 2:20:54 PM

It could be a few things .... I bought a system from a retailer and the same thing happened. Turned out it was the video card, however where my problem was different was that when the computer would freeze really badly and wouldnt let me use the task manager I could still hear sounds for a few minutes and then it would loop. My guess is sweep your drivers and install the new ones and try again. This is the problem I had when I switched from my ati HD 5970 to my 580. I had to completely reinstall windows. so my guess would be its a video driver issue or .....a PSU issue :( 

Also can you update your motherboard bios? Your motherboard bios might not be that compatable with the 6900 series cards due to old bios and new video cards. This is actually is what my video card problem was ....not the video card. After I update motherboard bios the card ran awesome. Hope this helps :( 
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March 21, 2011 2:42:50 PM

envymert said:
It could be a few things .... I bought a system from a retailer and the same thing happened. Turned out it was the video card, however where my problem was different was that when the computer would freeze really badly and wouldnt let me use the task manager I could still hear sounds for a few minutes and then it would loop. My guess is sweep your drivers and install the new ones and try again. This is the problem I had when I switched from my ati HD 5970 to my 580. I had to completely reinstall windows. so my guess would be its a video driver issue or .....a PSU issue :( 

Also can you update your motherboard bios? Your motherboard bios might not be that compatable with the 6900 series cards due to old bios and new video cards. This is actually is what my video card problem was ....not the video card. After I update motherboard bios the card ran awesome. Hope this helps :( 


I have tried a few of these things as well but I really like the direction you are going envymert. I have wiped my drivers and freshed installed them multiple times, I have even gotten to the point of reformatting with a fresh Win 7 install and no fix there either. I have a hard time blaming my hardware because all of it is fresh, but I know it could still be the issue. The only reason I say this is because the original system had this problem and now magically the new one does too.

One thing I have not looked at yet is updating my motherboard BIOS. I have looked into them and I know I am running Rev 1.60 which is as far as I can tell the latest version. I'm actually not sure where to check what the latest version is.
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March 21, 2011 5:15:59 PM

I am trying to find the current version of bios on the website. , check
http://www.asrock.com/mb/download.asp?Model=870 Extreme3&o=Win764
I assumed you were running windows 7 64bit. Could be it I will post back if i can find the newest driver.

Any chance you have another ATI card you can swap out?
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March 22, 2011 2:50:49 AM

envymert said:
I am trying to find the current version of bios on the website. , check
http://www.asrock.com/mb/download.asp?Model=870 Extreme3&o=Win764
I assumed you were running windows 7 64bit. Could be it I will post back if i can find the newest driver.

Any chance you have another ATI card you can swap out?


Appreciate the help envymert. I have a 6870 coming Wednesday so I can try swapping them to see if that is a problem. I am running Win 7 64 bit and I have done all the homework I know to do on my mobo, anything you find would be deeply appreciated.
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March 22, 2011 12:58:37 PM

Hopefully it is just a bad card, I know I had a bad 5970 just a few months ago. But it all depends, I still cannot find the current bios version on the asrock site. Do you use any aftermarket software to mod the card? MSI afterburner? See the temps and maybe downclock it just to see if it runs stable until the new card comes? Also make sure all the power connections are good, I know a 2pin wasnt plugged in completely and my card wouldnt launch all the way.
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