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Need a hardware genius! GPU, CPU or powersupply problem?

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  • CPUs
  • GPUs
Last response: in CPUs
April 16, 2007 4:21:08 PM

Hi all,

First thanks in advance for any advice.

Heres my setup:
CPU: Pentium 805d 2600mhz OC'd to 3800mhz
RAM: PQI 2 1 gig sticks PC5400 ddr2 memory
Hard Drive: 2 Hitachi 7200 RPM drives as RAID
MB: Asus-p5nd2 SLI
CDR: 1 multi DV-everything
Power: 550w power supply
Cooling: Kingwin Water cooling
Video: Radeon x1800xt 256
Sound: Soundblaster Audigy 2
Fans: 2 80mm Fans

I'm a hardware guy--I generally know my stuff, but I'm truly stumped with this issue. This involves gaming and my girlfriend, so you can see the gravity of the situation. :) 

The problem is this: When I play very intensive GPU 3d games, I get visual artifacting and crashing shortly thereafter. I am certain the GPU is crashing because it will play for a minute, GPU crashes, screen freezes, the "GPU recovery" screen comes up and says "we recovered your GPU crash".

Ok easy enough right? well, let me complicate things. I'm running a pentium 805d(2600mhz) @ 3800mhz. I am water cooled on my CPU and GPU. CPU temp is really great, the computer crashes about 70C on the button, it runs under load at about 50, currently 37. No CPU problems, to further that, I dropped the CPU to stock speed.

So the GPU when I put the water block on removed the heat sinks from the memory modules and I was able to run most intensive games like that for a long time (7 months or so), it concerned me that they had no heat dissipation, but games seemed to be fine with very minor visual artifacts. I eventually got RAM Sinks, and even those ram sinks were too hot to touch when they got going.

Enter Neverwinter Nights 2, the ONLY game my girlfriend will play with me, so you understand the critical importance of this! I basically get visual artifacting GALORE, then crash, usually within 5 minutes or so. The problem is that this has been an issue that has been getting progressively worse, now it is only a minute before the GPU crashes.

Heres a big sticking point though. I did a program called SpeedFan to see how much wattage my computer is consuming, sure its a hog. It calculated me to need an 880 watt power supply. Whoa! I have a nice 550. Could it be that during heavy load I do not have enough power going to the system? There are some indicators that this might be the case--once in a while my HD will lose power, a fan will not start up, and just recently, even though connected, my video card on boot said "You haven't connected your video card power supply!!". Maybe all loose wires, but..hmm, could a bigger or secondary power supply fix all this?

So my problem: why are my games crashing? My video card should NOT be effected by my CPU overclocking! Never ever crashes any other time. This visual artifacting happens in all GPU intensive games. Why would my GPU overheat at all--especially with water cooling! The core temp on the GPU is pretty cool according to ATI's own program, doesn't get much above 60, with water cooling stays below 60. Is it possible the RAM modules have degraded?

Basically: Why in gods name is a stock-speed video card crashing constantly--even when I make SURE things are cool!

Here is what I did to test things out:

1. Reinstalled the game many times, same results
2. Tried various drivers old and new
3. Stock-speed CPU to eliminate CPU possiblity
4. I removed the water cooling on the video card, put back on the brand new normal VGA cooling unit (fixed nothing)
5. Adjusted in game settings to test longevity before crash: higher settings, faster crash. Lower GPU settings, lasts a longer.

I'd appreciate ANY ideas here, and thanks for reading all this!

E

More about : hardware genius gpu cpu powersupply problem

April 16, 2007 4:32:49 PM

Did you use a silver thermal compound on the gpu?
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
April 16, 2007 4:46:45 PM

I would download and run memtest http://www.download.com/3001-2086_4-10524192.html?idl=n first thing.

If memory is fine i would then reset everything to defaults in bios. Next i would see if theres a video card i could get my hands on just for a day to test with NWN and if that video card works fine send in your card for warranty.
Related resources
April 16, 2007 4:48:55 PM

Have you considered a bad video card? They do break occasionally......
April 16, 2007 4:51:38 PM

It sounds like you have two problems here:

1. You say you have a "Nice 550 watt PSU". Nice is in the eye of the beholder but 550 watts should be plenty of power if it is a good PSU with plenty of amps on the 12v rail. What PSU do you have and how many amps on the 12v rail(s)?

2. Your statement about heat dissipation on the Vieo card RAM is aa litle confusing but I take it you mean the fllowing: You removed the air cooler and installed a waterblock on the GPU. You didn't put anything in the GDDR chips to dissipate heat. After 7 months you were allarmed at the heat these RAM chips were putting off and installed some RAM sinks. Even these are too hot to the touch.

If #2 is all correct I would say that you have insufficient cooling in your case to dissipate heat from passive GDDR cooler sinks. They should not be so hot that you can't touch them. In other words they should get hot, as that is their function, to draw heat up and out for dissipation, but you should have sufficient air flowing across them to carry that waste heat away. Your case doesn't seem o have good flow in that area.

Regardless, after having run your card without adequate cooling on the GDDR chips for 7 months I would guess that you have severely damaged these chips and they can no longer function under load. Soon they won't function at all. Remember, the thing that damages these electronic parts most is heat. Excessive heat, like you are talking about, on those GDDR chips has probably cut their life expectancy significantly and you are looking at a dying card.
April 16, 2007 4:54:32 PM

From what you've said its acting like its overheating or had at some point overheated and toasted something. If its limited to this game then it DOES sound a bit suspicious, but I've heard the game has heavy requirements because of sloppy coding. You shouldn't be getting artifacting at all if everything is running as it should. You could get an overclocking utility and try underclocking the graphics card. Since you have a waterblock and the core temperature was reported as 60C my bet is that if something is bad it'll be the memory, so try underclocking that first.

-mcg
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
April 16, 2007 5:11:31 PM

i can 100% guarantee it is not your powersupply btw. i love how noone else says anything else about the memory, NWN2 uses large amounts of memory for textures, if your memory does have a fault getting all that loaded into your memory might take a few minutes in game but once it hits that bad part = crash. especially since you were overclocking memtest would for sure be my first thing to do.
April 16, 2007 5:43:38 PM

I'm just impressed you got your woman to play a D&D game with you. Definitely a keeper!
April 16, 2007 6:04:46 PM

try resetting the BIOS to stock speeds and see if this cures your instability issues

go from there...
April 16, 2007 6:31:27 PM

Sounds like a case of the Video Card overheating.

Try lowering your GPU & mem clock speeds below stock speeds and try it like that.

This doesn't sound like a PSU issue.
April 16, 2007 6:59:31 PM

Try reinstall the watercooling on the graphics card making sure both the VPU and all RAM is touching the block. You might also think at cooling the mosfets on the card like the EK FCX 1900 does if you are not doing so allready.
a c 137 à CPUs
April 16, 2007 7:37:53 PM

Does the water cooler have its own power supply, or are you using the PSU from your computer? If it gets its power from the computer PSU, then I don't think 550W is enough. What water cooling rig is it? Some aren't that good. Worse if your trying to cool an overclocked 805 AND an x1800XT.

Speaking of which, I have one of these cards. Last time I was in my case I noticed the memory cooling. If you ran your memory chips for seven months with no cooling, this is bad. I chuckled a bit when you said,
Quote:
it concerned me that they had no heat dissipation, but games seemed to be fine with very minor visual artifacts.

There is no such thing as minor visual artifacts. If you have them, something is overheating and dying.

My guess is you fried your GPU. Not the chip, but the memory. You might also need a bigger PSU if something said 850W and you have only a 550W.
April 16, 2007 7:58:59 PM

merc14 is right. You say 550w PSU?!? On ebay you have 550w PSU for 15$, and you have 550w PSU for 150$? How many Ampers have your PSU on 12+?
Download Hirens boot cd-there are all kind of tests.
P.S. If you cant solve the problem find another girlfriend - and she must be tetris lover. Ha, ha - just kidding - no affense
April 16, 2007 9:00:42 PM

Quote:
Hi all,

First thanks in advance for any advice.

Heres my setup:
CPU: Pentium 805d 2600mhz OC'd to 3800mhz
RAM: PQI 2 1 gig sticks PC5400 ddr2 memory
Hard Drive: 2 Hitachi 7200 RPM drives as RAID
MB: Asus-p5nd2 SLI
CDR: 1 multi DV-everything
Power: 550w power supply
Cooling: Kingwin Water cooling
Video: Radeon x1800xt 256
Sound: Soundblaster Audigy 2
Fans: 2 80mm Fans

I'm a hardware guy--I generally know my stuff, but I'm truly stumped with this issue. This involves gaming and my girlfriend, so you can see the gravity of the situation. :) 

The problem is this: When I play very intensive GPU 3d games, I get visual artifacting and crashing shortly thereafter. I am certain the GPU is crashing because it will play for a minute, GPU crashes, screen freezes, the "GPU recovery" screen comes up and says "we recovered your GPU crash".

Ok easy enough right? well, let me complicate things. I'm running a pentium 805d(2600mhz) @ 3800mhz. I am water cooled on my CPU and GPU. CPU temp is really great, the computer crashes about 70C on the button, it runs under load at about 50, currently 37. No CPU problems, to further that, I dropped the CPU to stock speed.

So the GPU when I put the water block on removed the heat sinks from the memory modules and I was able to run most intensive games like that for a long time (7 months or so), it concerned me that they had no heat dissipation, but games seemed to be fine with very minor visual artifacts. I eventually got RAM Sinks, and even those ram sinks were too hot to touch when they got going.

Enter Neverwinter Nights 2, the ONLY game my girlfriend will play with me, so you understand the critical importance of this! I basically get visual artifacting GALORE, then crash, usually within 5 minutes or so. The problem is that this has been an issue that has been getting progressively worse, now it is only a minute before the GPU crashes.

Heres a big sticking point though. I did a program called SpeedFan to see how much wattage my computer is consuming, sure its a hog. It calculated me to need an 880 watt power supply. Whoa! I have a nice 550. Could it be that during heavy load I do not have enough power going to the system? There are some indicators that this might be the case--once in a while my HD will lose power, a fan will not start up, and just recently, even though connected, my video card on boot said "You haven't connected your video card power supply!!". Maybe all loose wires, but..hmm, could a bigger or secondary power supply fix all this?

So my problem: why are my games crashing? My video card should NOT be effected by my CPU overclocking! Never ever crashes any other time. This visual artifacting happens in all GPU intensive games. Why would my GPU overheat at all--especially with water cooling! The core temp on the GPU is pretty cool according to ATI's own program, doesn't get much above 60, with water cooling stays below 60. Is it possible the RAM modules have degraded?

Basically: Why in gods name is a stock-speed video card crashing constantly--even when I make SURE things are cool!

Here is what I did to test things out:

1. Reinstalled the game many times, same results
2. Tried various drivers old and new
3. Stock-speed CPU to eliminate CPU possiblity
4. I removed the water cooling on the video card, put back on the brand new normal VGA cooling unit (fixed nothing)
5. Adjusted in game settings to test longevity before crash: higher settings, faster crash. Lower GPU settings, lasts a longer.

I'd appreciate ANY ideas here, and thanks for reading all this!

E


Bad news is, you've toasted your VRAM. The good news, it doesn't take a x1800 class card to play NWN. You can get by with something cheaper and she probably won't even notice. This time, leave the cooling alone and run it at stock speeds.
April 16, 2007 9:23:44 PM

replace your PSU and GPU

1.) you need more fuel for your fire... your computer's suffocating becaues you don't give it enough electrical breathing room

2.) your GPU, if ramsinks become too hott to touch, is probably damaged (I'm 99% sure of this, as I work in a computer shop and have had to replace MANY of the X1000 series from all manufacturers, especially sapphire for some reason)... replace it with the same card or get an nvidia alternative

3.) you removed the ramsinks initially when installing your waterblock... they were there for heat dissipation... you ran games like that for 7 months...

that's like unplugging your fridge, and leaving it that way for 7 days... still wanna eat the food inside? didn't think so...

whether you expected it or not, you severely cut the life of those ramchips down... people upgrade their cooling solutions so they can achieve better overclocks, but to add a cooling solution in one area at the expense of another is like that hair transplant treatment... sure the top of your head looks better, but now you look more bald in the back >,>