AMD Athlon XP 2500+ (1.8Ghz)
MSI KT4V-L Motherboard
1GB DDR333 PC2700 RAM
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB (AGP)
Windows XP Pro
While playing games on my PC (namely Half-Life 2 and F.E.A.R.), my computer seems to lock up every 20 seconds or so. The image will freeze, the sound that's playing will loop 5 or 6 times, then it will return to normal. You can imagine how annoying this is being that it happens every 20 seconds. The problem persists (though is less frequent / less obvious) even when the graphics options are turned all the way down. What in the hell has gone wrong? :? I have a feeling that my processor / motherboard / RAM combination is probably the most likely contributor to this problem, however being that my 9800 Pro is AGP, there aren't very many options for me to upgrade my motherboard / processor. I can get an ASUS P5P800 motherboard (which supports AGP 8x) w/ a Pentium 4 650 processor (3.4 Ghz) and 1GB of DDR400 for around $480 (before tax, yadayada). So...am I way off base here? Any other suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Sounds like a heat or power issue. Open the side of the case, remove all of the dust from the HSF and intake/exhaust ports and direct a house fan into the case. Try to recreate the freeze up. If it doesn't freeze, then it is a heat issue. Also log your voltages while your running the game - you're looking for up/down spikes on the 3.3V, 5V and 12V lines or any readings that are greater than 5% out of spec.
Well I just recently replaced the power supply (used to be 300W powering all this crap, didn't work out well as I'm sure u can guess ) now it's a 400W power supply. I have two hard drives, two disc drives, the video card, a sound blaster audigy LS, then a firewire card. I'm thinking it's not a power or heat issue cuz things would shut off with the old power supply, indicating the power / heat issue or whatever. And when I replaced the power supply I did all the dusting and whatnot. And I have no idea how to log voltage lol.
Okay I just took the side cover completely off of the computer, put it next to an open window (it's about 60 degrees outside) and had the ceiling fan on high, AND turned the graphics settings all the way down in Half-Life 2, and it did the same thing, however I noticed something this time, it seems to be doing it when something active is happening, like when i ram the boat into some poles to knock guys down or when i take a jump in it, or when i fire after not having fired for a few minutes, that sort of thing. Processor?
So, I did the voltage thingie, these charts are during gameplay (give or take a minute or two on each end maybe)
As far as temps, there weren't any spikes really, however in that program, I'm getting 37C for temp1, then 54C for temp2 (which is supposed to be the 2nd fan I'm assuming, but I don't have a second fan, only a fan directly attached to the heatsink of the cpu, and then the fan that's built into the vid card, no regular case fan really (however the side cover is off =P), then the harddisks are like 32 and 35.
It really does sound like a heat issue for the video card. I would also try and even put an extra case fan under the video card and see if the vid card is overheating. CPU temps are a little high but wouldnt cause the locking up.
Also try to get the latest catalyst video driver and see if that helps
Have you checked all of the power connections to make sure they are properly seated? A loose connection could cause you some stability issues. Have you tried running Memtest86 on the RAM? Ttry with only one stick, switch sticks and then run it with both.