System freezes with 1GB OCZ RAM & GeForce 6600 GT

My system freezes (no error message, blue screen or re-boot, just a frozen screen) every time I boot into windows. Start up is ok and Windows login is ok. After approx. 2 minutes the screen will freeze and nothing responds. I manually power off and power on and usually this fixes the problem - Windows will run happily.

I have been living with this annoying problem for a year or so but have noticed a change just recently. I have been playing Medieval Total War 2 since Xmas and the freezing problem comes back with a vengence, and more frequently when I play it. Sometimes I can play for hours with no problem but most times I can only play for a few minutes before it freezes. This could be graphics card related but maybe there is something I could change with the RAM settings?

Does anyone have any ideas or similar experiences?

My system spec is as follows: Abit IC7-G motherboard, P4 3GHz Northwood CPU, 1GB OCZ RAM (2x512MB, dual channel), Sapphire GeForce 6600GT 128MB, Windows XP SP2, all latest drivers etc.
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  1. Did you perhaps modify/upgrade your system without reinstalling Windows? Especially for a MB upgrade, you need to reinstall Windows to let it update its Hardware Abstraction Layer, describing the chipset and other key hardware.
    Also, what model number power supply are you using?
  2. Thanks for your suggestions. I did build the PC myself but I then installed Windows on a freshly formatted HD. I considered the power supply so upgraded it soon after installing Windows from 300W to 550W. I'm not sure of the model number but can check and let you know...
  3. The key numbers are the +12V amperage numbers, usually +12V1 (supplies system, including graphics card) and +12V2 (supplies CPU). Older designs have been marketed as "500w" or better PSs, even though they have mostly +5V and +3.3V amps, not +12V amps.
  4. I had the same problem with my 6600 GT.... turns out all it needed was a driver update. I'm not sure what happened, but I had the same drivers for about a year, and a few weeks ago I'd have the same lock up. Updated it, and bam, good as new.
  5. Since the last post I've been making some more investigations.... I found some hardware monitoring software and logged my CPU temperature when Windows was idle and then when I was intensively running a game. At idle the temperature was stable at 36 deg. C but it went up to about 50 deg. C when running the game. I don't think this is too high but gave the case a good clean and removed a lot of the dust. Unfortunately, the freezing problem still carried on the same.

    I also removed one of my 512MB memory modules to see if this had any effect - no change.

    I've installed all the latest drivers and checked that the BIOS settings match my hardware (e.g. CAS latency, FSB etc...)

    Two components that I'm still struggling with is the PSU and the graphics card itself. The PSU is Q-Tec 550W Gold Dual Fan ( I have no idea whether this is a good make or not - it was just something I bought from my local Maplin around 2 years ago.

    The graphics card is a mystery to me - are there any settings I can change there?

    Unfortunately I do not have a spare PSU or graphics card to try out.
  6. Latest update:

    I borrowed a friend's ATI Radeon 9700Pro graphics card and installed it. The system is now completely stable and I have no freezing or crashing of any kind! So it looks as though there was some sort of incompatability with the graphics card. I have no idea why so if anyone could shed some light, I'd be interested to know!

    The other question I have is if I replace the 9700Pro (it's getting on a bit now) with something new (I was thinking about the X1950 Pro), do you think I'll have similar problems?
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