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New build freezes - Vista 64-bit + 8800GT - Please help!!

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July 28, 2008 8:57:30 AM

Hi all,

I really hope this is the right place to post this (so sorry if not!!) and also really hope anyone can help with this because this new build is driving me insane (mostly because the first motherboard I got was a dud), so it's taken me over a month to build, and now wish I had got other components (more on that later)!!

So, here's the deal. Completely new build PC with the following specs:-

Vista 64-bit
Asus P5N-D Motherboard + Onboard sound
Intel Q9450 + OCZ Vendetta 2
Sparkle 8800GT 512MB Heat Sink
2 x 2GB Team 800Mhz Team RAM
EZCool Infinity 1050W PSU
Currently using old case (sorry, don't know what it is!!), but upgrading to Antec 900.

Have completely upgraded BIOS, chipset, sounds, graphics drivers (tried with old and new ones, and also Omega drivers).

Have not overclocked at all.

I think the temps are ok (are they?? I don't know much about temps!!).

(Ambient - Around 20)

CPU (using RealTemp):-

Idle - 41/37/36/36
Load (Prime95) - 50/44/44/44
This was with the case open - it goes a bit higher (maybe 3 degs) with it on.

GPU
(Using GPU-z):-

Idle - 54/46.5 (gives me two readings?? don't know why, but oh well!!)
Can't do load because of freezing!!

Motherboard (this seems hot to me??) - 41 (45 with case closed). - Also, optional fan added doesn't help. This was taken with the ASUS PC Probe.

All fans working fine.

Hopefully the temps will come down with the new case anyway, but these don't seem so bad to me. What do you think??

The problem:-

The PC randomly freezes with the screen going a full solid colour - sometimes purple, sometimes grey. Haven't had blue (if that helps?!). Sometimes can hear sound in the background. I then have to restart PC, or sometimes it will restart itself. No extra beeps at startup.

This can happen anywhere from 10 secs in to Windows load, or 3 or 4 hours. But it always happens when loading a 3D application. I have managed to get 3D graphics once when trying to run 3DMark06, but it usually crashes right at the end of loading. It always crashes loading Company of heroes once it gets to the main menu. It does happen randomly when just clicking around on the PC doing 2D apps, but always happens when loading 3D apps.

The Windows error fixer things says:-

"Video Hardware Error

Description
A problem with your video hardware caused Windows to stop working correctly.

Problem signature
Problem Event Name: LiveKernelEvent
OS Version: 6.0.6001.2.1.0.768.3
Locale ID: 2057"


Like I say, I have tried the graphics card with one new one old Nvidia driver (169.35 and 175.19) and Omega 169.25. Also, I should say that when running the PC with no driver installed it did not crash. This was for probably about 3 or 4 hours. BUT, when I had my PC on last night WITH a driver, it took I think 6 hours to crash, so it might have crashed after 6 hours with the no driver option!

I've tried it with and without the optional fan that came with the mobo. No change in temps, and no help.

Have tried with an old old Nvidia card, but that just beeped at me!! (Think it's not compatible with my new hardware).
Went to try it with my old Radeon X1800XT, but the screen just came up with red lines all over it, even though no drivers were installed and I had completely wiped the Nvidia ones with Driver Sweeper. So Ic ouldn't test that as could not install the drivers. I tought an Ati card could work on an Nvidia chipset motherboard, just couldn't crossfire them. Am I wrong??

Any ideas what the problem is/could be?? Hope I've got enough info in there!!


The second question I'd like to ask is your input on where I sould go with this. I bought these components just over a month ago, but due to things going wrong, and suddenly going away, I could not build it until now. Now the Radeon 4870 is out!! If the grahpics card is duff, do you think I should get a replacement 8800GT and guy another when I need it to SLI (this was my original plan and reason for getting mobo), or should I grab a 4870? The problem with this is, would it work on my mobo? But then if I use the current mobo, I could not Crossfire in the future, and that would have made it pointless getting a super PSU (on that note, a certified SLI PSU is equivalent with Crossfire/Ati cards, right??), and also kinda pointless getting a great case. Alternatively, I could get a replacement 8800GT, wait until Nvidia bring an equivalent to the 4870 out, and SLI whatever they bring out. What do you think?? 8800GT Sli or 4870 or 4870 plus new Crossfire board, or 8800GT and wait it out for another great NVidia card??

One thing on SLIing an 8800GT - it really looks as though 2 8800GTs will not fit next to each other on this board!! At least not Sparkle ones. Any options here if I do SLI them??

So sorry about the massive message and multiple questions. I have tried to summarise these below to help!!

In summary:-

1. What could cause the crashes??
2. What do you think it is??
3. Are those temps ok??
4. What to do about hardware?! Keep or change?? (Importantly, would 4870 work on current mobo, as this would be same/better than getting 8800GT x 2).
5. Can you fit 2 GTs on the Asus P5N-D??
July 28, 2008 12:02:13 PM

1.
- Did you connect the power to the video card? It can't run on just the power from the slot.
- Did you load all the latest drivers for your motherboard?
- Have you confirmed your memory and CPU are running at the correct settings in BIOS? Use CPU-Z for this.

2. I think it's either your 8800GT or some problem with the PCI-E slot. But it could be memory or drivers.

3. The temps are OK. Not very OK, but good enough for now.

4. The only reason to use that board is as a cheap SLI solution.... but then there is the problem of the two slots being so close and the poor cooling. So really, it's just a poor SLI choice. Yeah, you can run a single card in it.

5. Not very well, and they will be very hot. With the right case maybe, forcing air in between the cards.

July 28, 2008 6:04:41 PM

Hi there Proximon!!

Thanks so much for the reply!!

1.
- Yes, the power is in all nicely, and the PSU is giving correct voltage.
- Yes, all motherboard drivers and BIOS up-to-date.
- As for CPU, CPU-z says CPU is running fine. Goes to it's 2.66Ghz at load and 2Ghz at idle.
- As for RAM, I'm not sure how this works, but it's meant to be 2x2Gb, 800Mhz RAM, but in CPU-z, both slots have two frequency figues of 266Mhz and 400Mhz, and the Max Bandwidth says 400Mhz. How does that work of it's an 800Mhz stick of RAM?? Or is that because it is dual-sided??

2. If it's the slot, would the card still work at all?? I am getting a display after all :-S .

3. That's good to know :-) . Hopefully new case will help that.

4. + 5. I agree. Damn. Lol. If I were to change to at crossfire compatible board, do you have any recommendations?? A board which is somewhat futureproof would be good, but that does crossfire is best, and PCIe 2.0??

Thanks again!!
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July 29, 2008 3:36:30 AM

I think you are looking at the SPD tab in CPU-Z. That's just a list of settings for your RAM at different FSB frequencies. The Memory tab should list your timings, which is what I'm wondering about.

I think you should find another video card to test, or take that ATI card (It IS a PCI-E card yes?) and confirm that it is working by putting it in another computer.

Solo ATI or nVidia cards work in all boards. It's only when we talk about CF or SLI that the chipset matters.
July 29, 2008 9:17:20 AM

Ok, well, under the memory tab, it says the frequency is 400Mhz. I'm curious about this, as it is meant to be 800Mhz RAM. Is it because it is two-sided RAM, so each side is at 400Mhz, or something??

I am getting my hands on another Nvidia card today, so will let you know how it goes!!

Thanks again!!
July 29, 2008 9:11:36 PM

Yes the 400 gets doubled. If you are still having problems try to post a picture of your CPU-Z, both the CPU tab and the Memory tab. If you can't do that, give me all the figures. :) 
July 30, 2008 12:24:53 AM

1. Maybe memory gets corrupted somehow.
Is there some main memory or video memory diagnostics
that runs in the background while you run your applications?

2. I suspect PCIE slot also because you switch
the graphics card out so frequently you may
have worn out the connections, maybe.
Have you tried a different MB or running your
graphics card on another MB?


July 30, 2008 7:13:39 AM

Try "Memtest" www.memtest.org try this and see if the RAM is the problem. Try running Orthos or Prime 95 to see if the cpu is the problem by running small FFT's. It does sound like a Video error but better to try and isolate the problem first. Good luck
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