Irritating Graphics Card Problem

I have a particularly infuriating problem with my graphics card. During gameplay (Half Life 2, Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow, Silent Storm and even google earth!) my machine locks up temporarily (usually for about 15 secs) and the sound becomes corrupted. Sometimes it even happens consecutively.

I have a Geforce 7600GT OC from bfgtech. Their support people initially told me the problem was related to an insufficient power supply. I have since upgraded the system to a 600W unit which has two 12v rails, each supplying 19A. The problem has persisted. Any thoughts?

The rest of my system is as follows:

AMD Athlon 64 3200+

Gigabyte GA-K8NF-9 Socket 939 Motherboard

Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm, SATA 150 120Gb Harddrive

DVD Drive

1GB (2x 512mb Corasir PC3200) RAM

USB driven wirelss dongle and mouse.

Two case fans.
24 answers Last reply
More about irritating graphics card problem
  1. Do you have a sound card?

    Sometimes when I played half-life 2, the sound and graphics locked up. Very annoying. I read on creative forums and steam forums that it could be a problem with soundcard drivers. I have a creative x-fi xtreme music.
  2. Try using just 512 ram and see if problems persist.
  3. I don't have a soundcard, I am currently using the motherboard on board sound. I was planning on upgrading at a later stage.

    I will try removing one of my RAM chips and see what happens.
  4. I tried removing one RAM chip and the problem has continued.

    Any other ideas?
  5. hmmm... maybe disable sound on bios and run your applications without sound.

    This is a new PC? or you just upgraded your video card recently?
    when u saw this problems for the first time? (windows reinstall? drivers update? component update? from nowhere?)
  6. Sorry, yeah this a new PC I built myself. I have not had any problesms like this myself. I have been having this problem since I first started using it.

    Would the addition of a soundcard potentially resolve the issue? I think I might have a old one knocking around somewhere.
  7. load bios default.

    disable the sound card (from bios). Run those applications again and see what's happend. Run 3dmark'05 or '06 too if u have it.

    Also... be sure to have latest drivers for both motherboard and videocard.
    DirectX too.
  8. Quote:
    I tried removing one RAM chip and the problem has continued.

    Any other ideas?

    Did you try both RAM chips on their own? It may (is unlikely admittedly) be a faulty ram chip. Can you run memtest (google it!) and see what it show you?
  9. Ok,

    I have tried alternating the RAM chips and the problem has continued. I have now put them both back in.

    I have purchased a sound card (Sound Blaster Audigy) and installed it. I have removed the previous motherboard sound drivers and disabled the onboard sound in the BIOS.

    The lockups are still happening but the corrupted sound doesn't happen anymore.

    I am running memtest while I go out for dinner!
  10. I have a Jeantech 'Arctic' 600w power supply JN120F-600 (only two days old).

    I will try the HD things.
  11. is your cpu or graphics card overclocked?
  12. My CPU is not overclocked. My graphics card is sold as 'overclocked' if that makes any sense. I have not done anything to it myself. See

    for the details.

    I am in the UK too and I did admittedly buy the PSU from PC world after a bout of frustration with the two others that I tried. Would this really be the difference? Any suggestions be looking to get instead?
  13. Get a Hiper PSU , very good quality PSU for the money

  14. try your grfx card on a mates PC and for that matter try a different grfx card. also ensure that all your drivers are up to date. i'd say that BFG are yanking your chain and it is a grfx card issue
  15. BFG finally came back to me (after a number of emails regarding my uprated PSU) and said that the problem might be related to the IRQ assignment of my graphics card.

    My Graphics card is currently assigned to IRQ PCI 18 as is a ' Texas instruments OHCI compliant IEEE 1394 Host controller'. Could this be causing a conflict and the problem?
  16. just a thought - would temporatily "underclocking" the graphics card be a worthwhile experiment, just in case the card was clocked too-optimistically? This is easy enough to try with Nvidia control panel (and appropriate patch to enable clocking changes).....
  17. yeah give underclocking a go, my gainward 6800GT is meant to be able to run 400mhz stable but it locks up after an hour or two of gaming and i have to reset.

    what are the temps of the room your pc is in? the overclock on your gfx card maybe stable in the airconditioned test labs back at BFG but your room might be a different story. :roll:
  18. i'm by no means an expert so...when i say
    what tha f*** is an IRQ?!?
    IEEE 1394 is also known as firewire. which accordingly means that either you have the wrong info, or your grfx card is considered a firewire controller similar to a USB host controller.
    i *think* that your mobo has an onboard firewire controller though i cant be bothered to find out...

    on the underclocking thing, your card is suppose to use better components, the hand picked ones that are more durable then standard 7600s with better cooling as it uses a non standard heatsink.
  19. I have tried disabling the 1394 controller from the BIOS which did not solve the problem.

    How do I go about underclocking my GPU?
  20. If you are not using any firewire devices then you may as well disable it in BIOS, by the way what graphic drivers are you using I have found the 84.21 seem to work best for me, Oh and stop having a dig at PC World, their incompetence and over charging is keeping me in business. :lol:
  21. That it maybe but this one is cheaper and has given me no problems whatsoever

  22. Quote:

    How do I go about underclocking my GPU?

    to underclock ur Gpu have a look at this tutoral

    of course you might want to get more info first and of course its at your own risk etc. etc.
    just because it says overclock doesnt mean u cant underclock just thought i'd mention that.
    but since it's so unstable, and messing around with the Nvidia BIOS might viod the worrenty, id mention this to them ask them if it will.
    and also furter risk is that since your card seems to be really unstable, there is a chance that it might brick it when you are changing settings...
  23. Is there a yellow question mark when you goto the Devices listing in Hardware tab? Usually if there is an IRQ problem you'll see that question mark there and it does need to be fixed.
  24. I suggest trying to run one of your games that locks up in a reduced window and run the task managerat the same time, if you can see what process is hogging your resources enough to cause you system to stall then you should be able to track down the problem driver or hardware.

    Or you can start underclocking or removing things or buying new hardware....or using your fancy new CPU as a lawn dart.
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