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Power Supply or Motherboard problem?

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Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
a b V Motherboard
March 9, 2007 5:51:38 PM

Hi,

I happen to buy a motherboard around two months ago (Gigabyte M55plus-S3G/2.1) and a 500W power supply that came with this case (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...).

Nowadays, when I do calculatively heavy tasks like simply playing Warcraft III or upgrading a database (mostly computer games, though), the computer just stops and shows a blue screen (not blue screen of death, just blue screen), and screws up. Happens on both XP and Vista, no matter what I do.

I don't know if this is due to an unstable power supply or another crappy motherboard. I tested my power supply, and it reads fine (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1689...).

Anyone have an idea? This has been ticking me off for the past month...
March 9, 2007 6:01:41 PM

post the rest of your components, like cpu, RAM (brand, type, size), vid card, psu brand (and power on the 12v. rails), etc. In the meantime, you might run memtest on it. If you're overclocking, you should set it back to regular settings for memtest. If you get any errors with std. clock settings, you have a memory chip prob.
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
a b V Motherboard
March 9, 2007 7:19:15 PM

http://www.shockcannon.com/journal/?p=18

Those are the rest of my components minus the motherboard, which i replaced a while ago.

And the mobo sucks for overclocking, so I still have all the default configs. Should I try something (the RAM works fine, I've tested it already).
Related resources
March 9, 2007 10:42:56 PM

Read some review for another, similar MB on NewE$$, and 20% of the peeps had probs with this board. Complaints similar to yours, ie instabilitiy, random reboots, freezing, etc. Were you having similar probs on the one you replaced? Is it the same cpu? My $$'s on the mb.
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
a b V Motherboard
March 10, 2007 12:07:25 AM

I couldn't find reviews on this mobo. All parts on my list is the same except for the mobo, which broke 5 months after usage... And I guess I have those symptoms (freeze ups, blue screens, reboots, etc...). I just want to make sure my PSU is still in good condition before I replace another mobo and think it's my mobo again...
March 10, 2007 12:09:31 PM

I agree with mpilchfamily on the quality of Apevia psu's but I don't think you should go right out and buy a new one until you've isolated your problem. That's' why I suggested you post the 12v rail amps, so we at least have an idea what your psu is pumping out. Do you have the psu from the previous system, or one you can borrow? Have you tried that cpu in another board? If the other board was defective, it could have damaged some of the components you transferred over, depending on how it died. I wouldn't rule out the psu, but I think there are some other things you can try before you go out and spend money, only to find you still have the same problem.

edit: In researching your issue a little further I found that your psu has 34amps, combined on the 12v rail, which should be plenty for the current setup, but I also came across the reviews for your video card:

Quote:
This video card is a total waste of money. You probably my read the information about this video and yes I must admit that for such a low price it is pretty impressive. However, if you like to play games on your pc this card is not for you. It crashes in almost every game. And drivers are not the case. I build systems myself and I think that the problem is only if this card. I was trying different methods but I couldn’t solve this problem. One more thing when I tested it in 3d mark this card gave me almost the same result I had with regular x 800, moreover mine was even chipper and I have never had any problems with it. One more time DO NOT BUY THIS VIDEO CARD
Many other gamers reported similar.

With that psu, you'll also be limited in video card solutions because it doesn't have a pci-x connector.

Don't mean to rain on your parade, but you have a set of mediocre parts that you are trying to get "gaming" performance from, and it's just not going to happen. There are too many issues. If you were just going to do a little internet surfing, word proc, and e-mail, this system would probabley perform adequately. You should do a little better research, based on what your desired system use is going to be, before committing to a purchase. A lot of folks on this forum could have steered you in the right direction before you wasted your time and money on these components.
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
a b V Motherboard
March 10, 2007 4:32:15 PM

Sounds reasonable. But I have to add that it blue screens simply when I use tools like iTLU (an iTunes library generator) to recreate my library of music (because the traditional method doesn't work).

Right now I'm suspecting that the mobo could have been screwed around with when i purchased it because it came from CompUSA and there wasn't really a seal to protect it (never again will I trust retail stores for computer parts). However, I want to learn how to isolate these problems better because this is the second time my computer is going haywire, and I am spending too much money on diagnosis.

Warcraft III, in theory, does not take as much CPU usage and memory as most other games. I've played Oblivion at one point, but haven't played it for several weeks (lost interest), but it never crapped out on me.

From my research, I haven't seen anyone complain about the case's built in PSU too much (mostly preassumptions, but no actual cases. I can reboot and check the BIOS if that may give a lead to the problem). The video card (thanks for the heads up) had several reports of bad drivers (may look into that).

And according to a few website pretty much say that the mobo does not support high end gaming technology due to a few setbacks.
March 10, 2007 9:44:27 PM

A little hint on those video cards and their drivers. Sometimes you can get better stability and performance from an older driver, instead of the updated new ones. You might check with the video forum and see if anyone has experience with that particular card and the best drivers for it. It is often a case of downloading several and trying each one until you find which one gives the most stable performance.

Make sure you check the m/b website, and that you have the latest bios installed on that m/b, esp if it came from CompUSA -- it could have been sitting around through a few updates.

Good luck.
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
a b V Motherboard
March 11, 2007 6:17:03 AM

I tried installing a verified video card driver. Didn't do anything. Still freezes when im just about to get to a good part of the game, and it simply blue screens.
March 12, 2007 3:58:49 AM

Quote:
It is often a case of downloading several and trying each one until you find which one gives the most stable performance.
What TwoFoot is saying is, it's not just a case of a verified driver, you might have to use an older driver. If it is a driver issue, it takes trial and error to find one that will give you the needed stability, although as others have pointed out, it could just be a buggy card. Try borrowing some buddy's card and see if it works any better.
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
a b V Motherboard
March 12, 2007 4:11:18 AM

I've actually browsed around some sites about some of the Catalyst drivers Ati released, and I am using the one recommended.

Could the fact that the motherboard with a built-on video card contribute to the problem too.
March 12, 2007 4:35:36 AM

You might check your bios to see if there is an option to disable it -- could be in "Advanced Setup", "Peripherals" or I/O (Onboard) Devices. Many newer boards are configured to automatically disable the onboard video port as soon as something is plugged into the video card slot. You'll have to check.
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
a b V Motherboard
March 12, 2007 4:43:52 AM

I just rebooted my system and checkout the configurations for the onboard video. Only has "Enable" or "Use connected video card if present". I currently have it on the second one.

Right now, if I don't run any intense tasks, the computer can last for days (this is on vista ultimate). However, crack a game of War3, and it freezes after 15 minutes and blue screens. That's the update as of now. I can watch videos and stuff fine (I'm actually surprised that I blazed through three hours of stuff and still didn't experience anything happen).
March 12, 2007 4:59:19 AM

I see from a ^^^post you ran memtest without error, so my $$ on the video card. See if you can borrow another one from a buddy or your local repair shop to compare.
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
a b V Motherboard
March 12, 2007 5:13:22 AM

Lack of information doesn't mean that we deject the power supply altogether.

I've looked at a few other ones keeping in mind the fact that 1) There were some instances of unsteady power output and even power damage 2) This was a built-in PSU. I've chosen this one as my cheap alternative:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

I also have one really stupid question (possibly). Do CPU failures cause BSOD or instant CPU shutdowns?
March 12, 2007 1:38:12 PM

Quote:
Many things will cause a BSOD.
Exactly. So, if you look at his other components, they are all rife with stability issues, compounded by the fact he's transferred some of those over from another system that failed. I'm not sure this can be isolated to a single issue. Even though I agree the Apevias leave a lot to be desired, it would be helpful if he could test out some other components before going and throwing good money after bad.
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
a b V Motherboard
March 12, 2007 1:55:15 PM

Would monitoring the system using some program like SpeedFan help diagnose the problem (my friend suggested it to me).
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
a b V Motherboard
March 12, 2007 6:20:24 PM

I'll give those programs a try. According to SpeedFan, though, I've noticed something odd about the core and another temperature (probably the second part to my dual core CPU). The temps were 55C nearing 60C. I maybe suspecting an overheating problem, but I dunno. Should I reapply the thermal grease and see if that makes any difference?
March 12, 2007 8:21:12 PM

Those seem a little high, esp if they're idle temps, but I'm not familiar with the normal operating limits for XP cpu's, so you should check with the CPU forum and see what the normal op temps are for that specific one. Most the AMD stuff I've had in the past runs at about 38-40 deg. C at idle.

Definitely clean the cpu and fan surfaces and re-install the fan. If that doesn't change things you might be starting to get to the bottom of your problem, because these base-level temps will obviously climb during cpu intensive operations like your games and database upgrades, and that would def. lead to a bsod.
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
a b V Motherboard
March 13, 2007 12:22:12 AM

I think you're right. I reapplied the thermal grease, and the CPU works much better (at least I got more done). Sometimes, thought, the temp goes up to 68C, but when I press down on it, it gets cooler.

Thanks fot your thoughts and predictions everyone. I appreciated it. I think I'll play around with my current heatsink or else find a new one.
March 13, 2007 12:38:02 PM

Something is not correct in your mounting or use of thermal paste if pressing down lowers the temp. Are you using a good thermal paste, like Arctic Silver 5 or AS Ceramique? Make certain to clean both surfaces completely, before applying. You might also get yourself some fine wet-or-dry sandpaper and put the sandpaper on a piece of glass or really flat, solid surface, and "lap" the heatsink surface -- hold it down firmly on the sandpaper and swirl it around, to make sure the surface is smooth and flat.

Or, as you also wrote, you could get a new HSF, esp if you're using the stock one. This one's not too expensive, and well rated:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1683...
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
a b V Motherboard
March 13, 2007 12:43:36 PM

I apologize for leaving one piece of info out. I replaced my heatsink a couple months ago. But, hat is the exact same heatsink fan I am using (awesome guess!).

I used the grease cleaners from arctic to both surfaces, and applied arctic silver 5 to the CPU, rotated it a little bit to ensure contact, and clamped it down. Even when I do that, sometimes the temperature rises at idle, but pushing it down does the trick.

Now the temperature is stable at 30C. But it nears 50C when i play a game, but that doesn't bother me (it used to be at 60C+). I may save some bucks and observe the situation a little bit more. If I can't fix it, then I'll simply get a new heatsink (in the future). I'd rather spend cash on upgrades rather than replacements, and this is definitely not a good way to throw my paypal info around...
March 13, 2007 1:49:11 PM

Like madmurph said, it sure sounds like there's something wrong with your mount. Some of the newegg reviewers for that cooler reported problems getting proper compression. If you see improvements when you push down on the cooler, it sounds like your situation is similar. You might want to see what some of the reviewers said about their problems and how they resolved them.

edit: Have you checked the mounting screws for the cooler bracket to make sure they're tight? Don't mean to insinuate that you have a screw loose here :lol: 

I have a side question and don't mean to jack your thread but the question is related: If your CPU shuts down because of high temp, is there anything to verify exactly what happened? A person could monitor temps and possible see what the temp was when it happened but will something like Speedfan actually give a history of shutdown and the reason?
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
a b V Motherboard
March 13, 2007 1:59:01 PM

In my case, my temp went beyond 60C, and it freezes for 3 seconds and blue screens, stopping all processes. I think my BIOs configurations is set to restart the computer everytime there is a system error. My friend had a similar case where his computer simply shuts down without warning (although it took him a while to figure out it was an overheating problem).

And the clutch on the heatsink was a pain in the ass to put on. Not only was my heatsink huge, the clamps were almost hard to put on. Once I put them on, though, it gave no sign of looseness. I move the entire motherboard trying to move it around after mount.
March 13, 2007 6:50:26 PM

Check out TwoFoot's post on the previous page, there are some links to monitoring programs. Not sure if they give a history, and I don't think any of them give a reason for the failure. Sometimes the mb manufacturer bundles a utility on the installation CD, or on their web under utility downloads. Some of those provide a histogram. Unless it's an ECS m/b, in which case they almost never provide a system utility.
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