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Please help - I'm pulling my hair out with my new €1500 paperweight

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June 7, 2008 8:42:35 PM

Hi, I'm not too technically minded, so I'm hoping someone will take the time to please please please help me troubleshoot!

I just got a new custom built gaming rig from Komplett. I've spent over €1500 on it and have been at my wit's end the last few days with problems with it. I feel like I've just bought a very expensive paperweight! The system is as follows:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700 2.67GHz Socket LGA775, 8MB
Asus Striker II NSE, nForce-790i SLI, Socket-775, DDR3, 3xPCI-Ex(2.0)16
Corsair TWIN2X 6400 DDR2, 4096MB CL5, Kit w/two matched CM2X2048-6400 Dimm's
XFX GeForce 9600GT 650M 512MB GDDR3, PCI-Express 2.0, 2xDVI, 650/1800Mhz (X2 - SLI)
Thermaltake Toughpower 850W, Modular, 8xSATA, ATX/EPS, 4xPCI-E, 20/24pin
Windows Vista Home Premium 64bit

I've also ensured that I have the latest nVidia drivers. The system will play any game I put in it at the highest settings, with awesome FPS, but with constant hang-ups and crashing. For example:

CRYSIS: Can play for anything from 5 to 15 minutes and I'll then get a black screen, a CTD, and a message telling me "the display driver nvlddmkm encountered a problem but has now recovered." I've searched online for problems with that driver and it seems like it's a b1tch of a problem with no sure cause or cure. But, out of all the games I've played on the system, Crysis is the only one that ends up showing that message.

Any other game (Age of Conan, Supreme Commander, Stalker, Medieval Total War 2): The games will have intermittent brief freezing or texture issues (like the ground or sky disappearing etc), and also hang-ups every 10 minutes or so where the screen will freeze for a long period of time but I can still hear stuff happening (music, gun fire etc). Sometimes I'll get a black frozen screen instead. I can get the game running again usually by bringing up the Task Manager and Alt-Tabbing a couple of times between windows, but then the problem will only occur again 10 minutes later.

So as you can see, there's something very wrong when even an old game like Medieval 2, which ran fine on my old system, is messed up on this one.

Could someone suggest (in simple language!) a course of action here? Shortly after getting the machine there was a problem with Vista and it wouldn't boot, so I had to reinstall the OS. Is maybe a complete re-format of the HDD in order? When you do that, do you have to mess around with BIOS settings or can you leave them alone? I ask that because I'm really not confident in BIOS issues. Should I install XP and forget about Vista? Or is the cause something else related to the nVidia cards maybe?

Please help, before I chuck the damn thing from my 2nd storey window!!! Please let me know if you need me to supply any more info.

PS: Really sorry for the long post, just wanted to provide as much background info as I could.
Also, really sorry but I didn't know what section of the Forums would be best to post this in.
June 7, 2008 8:54:28 PM

A few suggestions:
1) Make sure you have the latest nVidia motherboard chipset drivers (for 790i) as well as the latest nVidia video drivers.
2) Use the free memtest86+ program to make sure you don't have any obvious memory system errors.

It sounds like a driver issue to me, but it's hard to tell without being there in person. You may want to hire someone local to come over and fix the system in person.
a b à CPUs
June 7, 2008 8:59:29 PM

Before you 'chuck it out the window' go into BIOS and bump up the voltage to your RAM and NB. PC6400 at least 2.0-2.1v with 4 gigs. NB 1.45-1.5v. This will make your system chuckprevenative.
Related resources
June 7, 2008 9:09:46 PM

You said you just got this computer from Komplett, so I would think there is some type of warranty with it. If so, I'd set it on their desk and tell them to fix it.
I'm guessing that you have an SLI configuration with two 9600GT cards. As Modoman says, this is probably a driver problem, and unfortuantely, Nvidia has had a number of driver problems recently. Some have been bad enough to corrupt the hard drives and necessitate a reformat and installation of the OS and everything else. Again, if this is a purchased machine, I'd tell them to fix it.
a b à CPUs
June 7, 2008 9:11:11 PM

Did you say you bought the rig prebuilt, or you built it with parts you bought?
If prebuilt, your first course of action is contact where you bought it, and explain the problem(s) to them!!!

Try badge's suggestion for sure.
June 7, 2008 9:21:28 PM

you can try a different version of the drivers, even if that means getting older ones
June 7, 2008 11:13:00 PM

Thanks for the replies guys. In answer to some of your points:

1) I'v ensured the 790i drivers are up-to-date.

2) I set the voltage on the memory and NB to the values suggested, and the computer went dead. Well, when I say dead, the video output stopped and the harddrive stopped doing anything, although all the mobo LEDs and case fans etc stayed on. The standard reset and power on buttons wouldn't do anything, so I had to hit the reset switch on the motherboard itself, which brought me back into the BIOS. I promptly set the voltages back on Auto.

3) The rig was bought pre-built with components I chose from the Komplett website. I could return it to Komplett with an RMA but that's really a last resort for me. RMAs can take months with them and this is my only PC. I was without a PC for about 3 weeks waiting for this one to arrive. I do a lot of work from home (not just using it as a gaming rig!) and really don't want to be without a PC.

4) Did some temperature checks. While idle or browsing the web the temp on both 9600 GT gpus was around 46 C. When trying to play Age of Conan the temps were about 57 C. Are these ranges ok? I've got an Antec 900 case with a load of very large fans, so I didn't think overheating would be a problem.

As the PC is only new, it's not like there's a lot of software or files that I've accumulated on it, so I've no problems doing a complete hdd reformat if that'll help rule out a whole load of things? I'd also be thinking of installing XP instead of Vista if I were to do this. Would that be a simple matter of sticking in the XP boot CD instead of the Vista boot CD after the format?
June 7, 2008 11:22:41 PM


Wierd, I tried to edit my above post to add another question, but it wouldn't let me! Anyway, the questions was:

On the issue of an XP install - I've got an OEM version of XP which I got with my old computer whose death prompted the purchase of this new one. Would there be any problems installing that version of XP or is it tied to only one computer or something?
June 8, 2008 1:28:24 AM

yes go to XP over vista :D  I got Vista and hate it and im on a dell system which wont let me in install my old windows XP CD its so gay, vista is just a waste of ram.


All vista is XP with pretty UI and better security features which don't make a BIG diffents from XP's security they both can be physically hacked just as easy.
June 8, 2008 1:34:57 AM

its not fixed right?

the easist solution is to buy an intel mobo - nvidia chipsets require much high level of tuning.


it could be a number things

did you get a clean os install? no ovclocking?

second you did your run orthos and other tests to test memroy and cpu settings? thats where you find you issue.

you change each setting one at a time, nvdia has greatly evolved the mobos from 680i things like pci-e are locked and the nvidia bs memory boosts are disabled.

but nvidia or asus has also disabled the speedstep - turn it back on.

i bet your problem is too low of voltage to the cpu!

ps: do not listen to any specific settings from someone who has only build one nvidia system, nvidia systems require custom tuning. i can set up in intel system in 5-10 mins in my sleep, and 9 out of 10 can be set with out testing.

nvidia systems require custom tuning, sometimes the defult factory settings do not works since the Vdroop is too high for the stock voltage and speed. especially with a q6700 - since its high oc factory set, with low voltage.

again i bet the cpu is the issue and you need more voltage - set the voltage to 1.51v at stock speed

then run orthos

run orthos with both memory and cpu the run it seperate. when your system is properly tuned you be able to run orthos and stablity test (down load - google it - its first one) all day long with all 4 cores maxed.

your system should run 3.3-3.6ghz when tuned right.

ddr3 throws in its own problems - many mobos require the memory to be detuned - set lower since it can only run 1600fsb in oc - not sure on 790i - i have one but i do not recommend it (hint hint)

if your not running 160mhz or higher with the 790i your wasting your money - ...... ok i rambled enough


you can email me: http://www.warpedsystems.com/index.php?option=com_conta...
June 8, 2008 1:44:02 AM

ps 2

if your running 4gb of memory only run 2 sticks and add extra voltage...good luck!

since you had no issues with the os your settings are not far off, vista will not install on unstable systems as xp will.
June 8, 2008 4:47:32 AM

dragonsprayer said:
...
again i bet the cpu is the issue and you need more voltage - set the voltage to 1.51v at stock speed...

Since Intel says the CPU will be permanently damaged at 1.55V, I wouldn't go around randomly boosting the CPU voltage, especially if you're not overclocking.

June 8, 2008 5:10:14 AM

Quote:
I've also ensured that I have the latest nVidia drivers. The system will play any game I put in it at the highest settings, with awesome FPS, but with constant hang-ups and crashing. For example:

Check the Asus sites for new Bios for your motherboard. Since nVidia sent to all 700 series motherboard makers the fix for Graphic glitch (errors) for the nvidia chipset this past week. It might be a week or so until Asus has new bios out to fix your problem, since they have to tweak then to there board, because they are not using the nvidia reference board for that motherboard.

http://support.asus.com/download/download.aspx?SLanguage=en-us&model=Striker%20II%20NSE

Now on your Temps, go and download this small program. Real Temp which works better for Intel cpu's then Core Temp does.
http://www.techpowerup.com/realtemp/
June 8, 2008 6:14:05 AM

Mondoman said:
Since Intel says the CPU will be permanently damaged at 1.55V, I wouldn't go around randomly boosting the CPU voltage, especially if you're not overclocking.


do you work for intel? lol!

ok here i go - do i need to quote THG that u need liquid nitrogen to get to 4.1ghz in 2003 when i was shipping 4.1ghz systems?

ok - what about the well documented dell systems with 1.61v? check THG!


rather then list out all the systems and same all bs i always do, ok a few things, that dell's xps 600 renegade was just a copy of what i built in 2004, i just say - you might need 1.5+ v as shown in the bios to get 1.45v as is need to get a stable oc.

i do not think he has a volt meter on his cpu pins - true voltage is unknow - what is known is what shows. the Vdroop can be so large with nvidia crappy chipsets that the voltage drops over .1v and can cause a non overclocked system at factory settings to crash due too low voltage.


warpedsystems zero failures and 3 year warranty and i ship systems at 1.5v plus depends on the cpu and mobo.

to the thread starter try 1.5+ v and see what happens if your cpu burns up intel will not know and you can get a new one. I HAVE NEVER SENT A CPU TO INTEL FOR WARRANTY OR ANYBODY ELSE - TEMP IS KEY!

silicone migration mombo jumbo
June 8, 2008 6:17:52 AM

Yoosty said:
Quote:
I've also ensured that I have the latest nVidia drivers. The system will play any game I put in it at the highest settings, with awesome FPS, but with constant hang-ups and crashing. For example:

Check the Asus sites for new Bios for your motherboard. Since nVidia sent to all 700 series motherboard makers the fix for Graphic glitch (errors) for the nvidia chipset this past week. It might be a week or so until Asus has new bios out to fix your problem, since they have to tweak then to there board, because they are not using the nvidia reference board for that motherboard.

http://support.asus.com/download/download.aspx?SLanguage=en-us&model=Striker%20II%20NSE

Now on your Temps, go and download this small program. Real Temp which works better for Intel cpu's then Core Temp does.
http://www.techpowerup.com/realtemp/


excellent advice!


old bios can cause the same issues - i assumed that the bios was updated and checked
June 8, 2008 7:10:06 AM

Branoic, I would also go with BIOS/driver/bad VGA trouble.

I would be pissed if I got sold a high end machine like that and they didn't burn it in first.
June 8, 2008 7:18:24 AM

Don't install xp, you have dual 9600's, what a waste to not have DX10.
June 8, 2008 9:56:23 AM

I have the same problem with the display drivers message it works fine now i've taken out one of my graphics cards but it kind of defeats the object of the 790i. Why the ddr2 memory on that motherboard if you don't mind me asking? I thought it's ddr3 only.
June 8, 2008 9:13:05 PM

Thanks for all the replies guys.

Voltages really isn't something I want to get in to or mess around with - I really just don't know enough about it to risk it, wouldn't have a clue what I was doing!

I've tried a couple of things today. First off, I did a complete reformat and clean install of Vista. That didn't do any good. Then, following on from the examples of people finding problems with one of the graphics cards, I took one card out and tried Crysis - crashed with the nvlddmkm display driver within 10 minutes, as per normal. I swapped the cards around and tried again, and really thought I had it fixed! Played Crysis for about half an hour, no problems, left it to go out for a bit. Came back home, played Crysis again for a good 40 minutes, and then bang, CTD with nvlddmkm error again. ****.

I'm pretty sure the BIOS is up to date, but I'll keep an eye on the Asus pages for any new updates this week.

I've run that RealTemp program and my temps on all cores are between 29 C and 31 C.

I've had a look at the webpage for the memtest86+ programme, but not really sure how to go about installing and running this programme. It says there's three versions on the site, and I'm not sure where to start. I'll try take a proper look at it tomorrow.

June 8, 2008 9:18:16 PM

edit: oh, regarding the DDR2 memory, I just checked back on Komplett's site there and all of the 20 or so memory options they give you for customising the build are DDR2, there was no DDR3.
Would this be a possible cause of the problem?
June 8, 2008 10:04:59 PM

DDR2 and DDR3 are keyed differently, they will only fit in the same type slot. I moved this from a recent thread.
Zorg said:
Here is Memtest86+. Download the - Pre-Compiled Bootable ISO (.zip). In order to make the CD bootable, you will need to extract the ISO zip file with Vista and burn the ISO to CD with ISO Recorder v 2 or other ISO burning software.

June 8, 2008 10:08:58 PM

Well it's strange because your mobo appears to be only DDR3, but DDR2 memory doesn't fit in a DDR3 slot...
June 9, 2008 5:28:59 AM

Quote:
dragonsprayer, my Vcore is set to 1.275v in BIOS. Note the VID voltage and Prime 95 load voltage (the idle voltage is the same). Don't tell me that I can OC my Q6600 to 3G and lower my voltage and have it completely stable and his Q6700 at stock needs 1.51v to run stable. He's not trying to fry eggs, just get the machine stable.

In short I call BS.

http://i27.tinypic.com/25g8pde.jpg http://i28.tinypic.com/2hcouxe.jpg



exactly what i said do not listen to guy that builds one pc

listen to someone who builds a few a week

i am telling you again i have seen nvidia chipsets and q6600 (i do not use q6700) require upto 1.5v to be stable a stock speeds and to have the exact issues you have - of coarse its rare.

again you wrong voltage does not fry a cpu, heat damages the cpu the life is related to temps and usage. if your running a server i be more concerned about voltage.

again you guys have said for years the same mobo jumbo about silicone migration and overclocking only to be proven wrong!

the voltage read in the bios may not be correct and the higher fvoltage need may be due to the real votlage is acctuall lower

i should no sleep post! lol! i posted that last night after i woke up in the middle of night bored


ok good luck!


June 9, 2008 5:45:21 AM

ds - your posts would carry more weight if you put more effort into getting your facts right and brushed up on your punctuation, capitalization and spelling. At least we wouldn't think you mean leaky implants when you write about "silicone migration"... ;) 
June 9, 2008 11:03:17 AM

lol

si = the element silicon and silicone is polymer - si migration is for a cpu and silicone is leaky breasts i agree.

it would be too much work and i could not get my 5 posts in 5 mins
June 9, 2008 11:25:55 AM

The vid is high the cpu below at 1.32, the Vdroop for the mobo is high at.1v - in this case the system will not boot at stock settings.

the voltage is 1.57-1.58 on the asus probe but the true voltage as shown by cpu z is 1.456-1.47

in this case the cpu need 1.6v in the bios to get 1.46v

http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h138/4rothrocks/passt...
http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h138/4rothrocks/test2...
http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h138/4rothrocks/test1...
i spent mins converting these docs to paint to pb - i could made 5 crappy posts in that time!






June 9, 2008 11:40:03 AM

cpu voltage is 1.59 bios
probe is 1.55
acual cpuz is 1.47

vid is high at 1.32

this is a rare event - note how low the core temp is in 85f room at 100% load at 3.4ghz

keep in mind i am working on this system and made this post, screen shot while its running the stablity tests - check the times

low temps at load, high voltage - 100% rock solid - enough said on this thread

a b à CPUs
June 9, 2008 12:51:42 PM

dragonsprayer said:
cpu voltage is 1.59 bios
probe is 1.55
acual cpuz is 1.47

vid is high at 1.32

this is a rare event - note how low the core temp is in 85f room at 100% load at 3.4ghz

keep in mind i am working on this system and made this post, screen shot while its running the stablity tests - check the times

low temps at load, high voltage - 100% rock solid - enough said on this thread

http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h138/4rothrocks/highVdroophighvidsystems.jpg


We aren't questioning your prowress as an Overclocker. And it's a good thing, because you can overclocked better than I can. In any other situation, I'd take your advice, but not in this case. The OP does not need to up his voltage, because his system is not OVERCLOCKED at all.

You build a few a week, I work with 5-10 systems a day. In my 13 years working in IT Hardware support, I have never needed to up voltages on any system.
June 9, 2008 3:18:34 PM

I'll ask the same question as others have asked above: How do you have DDR2 ram in that 790i motherboard? I bet they gave you a 780i board instead.

P.S. I would never jack up my Vcore to 1.50V, especially at stock speed.
June 9, 2008 3:30:24 PM

Branoic It would be a problem with your memory settings or just bad memory. You should be running memtest86+ If you don't find any errors on the memory I would say its probably the video card.
June 9, 2008 4:09:31 PM

Ok, so I'll definitely look at trying to get that MemTest86+ programme running when I get home from work.

Regarding the DDR2 versus DDR3 ram on the 790i motherboard, I'm really not sure. The memory is definitely there, and it definitely fits in the correct slots, and I'm almost 100% that it is the 790i. I'll double check when I get home. Where's the best place to verify if it's 790i or 780i?
June 9, 2008 4:16:11 PM

I believe CPU-Z will detect it on its Mainboard tab.
June 9, 2008 6:26:42 PM

Ok, RAM mystery solved. Just ran CPU-Z and it is the 790i, but the memory is DDR3, even though the order was for DDR2.

CPU voltage according to this programme is 1.280 V if that's of any importance.
June 9, 2008 7:42:07 PM

MemTest86+ just run for one complete pass - no errors found!
June 10, 2008 1:53:33 AM

flyin15sec said:
We aren't questioning your prowress as an Overclocker. And it's a good thing, because you can overclocked better than I can. In any other situation, I'd take your advice, but not in this case. The OP does not need to up his voltage, because his system is not OVERCLOCKED at all.

You build a few a week, I work with 5-10 systems a day. In my 13 years working in IT Hardware support, I have never needed to up voltages on any system.



the above system shown in the screen shot will not boot in windows at default settings - non overclocked system it does not boot.

strange as it sounds if the asus oc failes the system will BSoD on boot, you must enable more voltage then defult to get into windows

while the screen shot if of the system oc'df - obviously i can not get a screen shot of BSoD with defult settings on the monitor

again this is a rare event
June 10, 2008 6:21:29 AM

ds - sounds like a defective CPU or MB.
!