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Computer freezes when playing high end games

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July 29, 2008 9:11:00 AM

I am having issues with my computer where it just freezes (generally when under stress from 3D gaming) The temp does rise but to nothing that would be extreme. I notice the case and other hardware (RAM, hard drive, mobo) does get very hot though. When I say freeze, I mean no response from the computer at all, you cannot have any input whatsoever, ctrl+alt+del does nothing. alt+enter does nothing. hitting num lock does not turn the light on or off. Only way out is to soft reboot the computer.

My computer specs are:
Antec 700W PSU
Intel Q9450 Quadcore CPU
Zipang CPU Cooler
ASUS STRIKER II FORMULA 780i
TwinX 4GB TWIN2X4096-6400C5 (2x2GB Dual Channel)
750G SAMSUNG SATA2 HD753LJ 32M Cache
LG GGC-H20L AUAU00B BR&HD READ
1GB GAINW 8800GT GOLDEN SAMPLE
MS Win Vista Ultimate 32Bit

I've tried replacing the RAM with slower 667Mhz (2x1GB Dual Channel) and it still crashes. I've also tried a better, more expensive PSU (modular, 800W with a massive fan at the bottom). I thought maybe that the PSU wasnt powerful enough or the cheaper Antec one was struggling with the grunt of the 8800GT and IntelQ9450. But with a different PSU it still crashes.

Basically, how I recreate the issue is just play Crysis for a while, hear the GPU fan spin up (gets to about 61'C) if it doesnt seem to want to crash, then I come out and run 3D Mark Vantage full test. Then go back into Crysis and have a bit of a play, then it will probably freeze up.

I've noticed when i reboot and go into the bios temp monitor, my CPU will be at around 53'C which you may not think is that hot, but I have a zipang cooler on the CPU and the thing will idle around 30'C. It will stay at around 50'C for some time, and while it is at this temperature, sometimes when I restart Vista, it will just hang straight away and keep hanging on every reboot until the computer has cooled down (i've only noticed this with the Hi-Power Black 800W PSU as it has a downward fan).

I'm not sure if this is a Graphics card, CPU or mobo issue. I expect it is one of them.

I also had problems with logmein freezing the computer when I disconnected (although logmein told me not to use the mirror driver and i think this fixed the issue). because of this I am leaning more to it being a graphics card issue.

Problem is, unless I know what the issue is I cannot send the hardware back (all of it is under warranty only purchased in June).

Can anyone give me any pointers in what the issue could be or anything I can do to test the components (without swapping components out as I dont have replacement components to swap with)
July 29, 2008 9:27:32 AM

If you overclocked your processor, it's probably that-as in- it's unstable. That happens with me when I'm clocked too high. I've noticed Crysis does this the most of any game.
July 29, 2008 9:28:38 AM

Sounds like the graphics card, check the temps on that.
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July 29, 2008 9:29:35 AM

Hi,

This isnt being overclocked

and I've also set the Auto Voltages in the Bios to a low sensible state.

FYI, the computer also freezes when I run the AISuite from ASUS and put the computer into turbo mode.
July 29, 2008 9:33:35 AM

Is your Graphics card factory overclocked? If so, clock it down to stock speeds, then test.
July 29, 2008 9:37:42 AM

F#$K bro, this same exact bs is happening to me... EXACT same freezes but im playin cod4, unOC too. My temps are pretty high but nothing too alarming..
I talked to some dudes at my local comp store (they actually know what they are talking about its not best buy lol), they said increase ram voltage a little and run memtest, it came back no errors after 8 hours..
I ran chkdsk too..
I have a 680i lt and a BFG 8800gts 512 mb, which is factory overclocked but its supposed to be pretested could this be causing my errors???? Its summer now, hotter than usual..
lol instead of creating a new topic i might piggyback on this one it will at least give me ideas..
July 29, 2008 9:38:56 AM

Temps on graphics card are 61'C

I think the clock on the graphics card is 650'C (from what I remember seeing in experttool)

I dont think the Gainward 1GB 8800GT is overclocked at factory and I'm not overclocking.



So do you think this is graphics card related and not mobo/cpu related? I would assume if the CPU was overheating it would just scale back and everything would become choppy, it wouldnt just freeze would it?

July 29, 2008 9:42:49 AM

I had computer instability in games with my factory overclocked 8600gts extreme a while back. Down clocked to a tad below stock settings, and no issues to speak of. I'll never use it again, but my friend has never complained since I tweaked it.

To the OP; does your motherboard have native support for q9450's? If not, you might want to do a BIOS update.
July 29, 2008 9:51:30 AM

Yeah has support for Q9450. I have the latest bios 1401 (actually 1501 seems to be latest dont have that though :p )

I just wonder why the Turbo mode in AI Suite causes the freeze too as this overclocks the CPU i think (the asus striker 2 formula has all this auto overclocking crap on the mobo) I wonder if that has something to do with the freezing?
July 29, 2008 12:01:55 PM

Sounds like a CPU overheat to me, especially if you NEVER get a BSOD, especially since it sounds like the more taxing the game, the worse it gets.

Can you give SPECIFIC CPU temps idle/in-game?
July 29, 2008 12:05:15 PM

How hot is the chipset on the motherboard getting? And do you have enough voltage to the RAM? Especially running 2x2Gb sticks, ss someone else suggested, try increasing your RAM voltage slightly.
None of the temps you listed would be enough to cause CPU or GPU problems.
July 29, 2008 12:11:49 PM

CPU Temp is no more than 56'C when playing Crysis on full whack
GPU gets to about 62'C

Now the NB and SB i'm not sure about. They could be getting up to around 80'C i think (this may be the cause of the problem)

I've tried auto voltage to the ram, also tried 1.90V and also 1.80v. I've tried with 1x2GB and also 2x2GB (800Mhz) and also with 2x1GB (667Mhz)

I think tonight I will try setting all voltages to the lowest setting (except cpu which i will set to 1.20)

I will also be able to get some NB and SB readings. I've noticed the mobo gets very hot and also the RAM chips get very hot too (to the point where they start heating the computer case up)

I'm assuming that the NB or SB overheating could cause the computer to freeze up then?
July 29, 2008 12:16:57 PM

I had a similar problem happen to me. It turned out that on my Evga 780i FTW mobo, the chipset was getting to 90 degrees C! I installed a fan on it, the temp dropped down to about 60 C, and it has been fine ever since.

Also, if you are worried about some of your system components over heating, here are a few things to check.
1. Make sure that you have good air flow around your components that get hot...CPU, RAM, chipset, video card, etc. This also includes a pattern of air flow that leads from an intake area to an output area and should flow across the parts that do generate more heat than others.
2. It never hurts to re-apply more thermal compound to these devices. All it takes is a bad application and you can experience overheating issues.
3. Make sure your computer is fully assembled. Meaning, keep all side panels on your tower and free from obstruction. Most all towers have much better air flow when assembled than when exposed to open air.
4. Check BIOS and your thermal sensors after each crash. That may be the best time to determine if any certain part is getting hotter than it should.

Keep us posted. Hopefully we'll get ya fixed up...especially if gamerk316 is in the forums. He has a good head on his shoulders. :) 
July 29, 2008 9:00:38 PM

Right, I have some more info on this issue.

I've been running numerous tests and trying to monitor temps and volts with a combination of

AI Suite, PCProbe and ExpertTool

I dropped my CPU Multiplier from 8 to 6 to see if it helped.

Load test was a combination of running Crysis at 1280x1024 (Very High setting, playing Awakening level), Running full test on 3d mark vantage and running torture test on Prime95. (usually running 1 test after another e.g. play crysis, run 3d mark, run prime95, play more crysis)

With the side of the case off I was getting:

IDLE
CPU Temp: 32'C
MB Temp: 47'C
NB Temp: 67'C (from bios)
SB Temp: 58'C (from bios)

LOAD
CPU Temp: 43'C
MB Temp: 49'C
NB Temp: 75'C (from bios)
SB Temp: 65'C (from bios)

Now I didnt manage to get the computer to crash with the side off.

So i put the case side back on and got

IDLE
CPU Temp: 34'C
MB Temp: 42'C
NB Temp: 67'C (from bios)
SB Temp: 58'C (from bios)

LOAD
CPU Temp: 42'C
MB Temp: 49'C
NB Temp: 79'C (from bios)
SB Temp: 68'C (from bios)

I managed to get this to hang by playing Crysis and then trying to run full 3D Mark Vantage test.

Went to bios and the temps were

CPU Temp: 41'C (from bios)
MB Temp: 49'C (from bios)
NB Temp: 81'C (from bios)
SB Temp: 71'C (from bios)

GPU temp range is always between 48'C at idle and 62'C at full load. Clock speed is at 650Mhz, memory clock at 950Mhz and shader clock at 1625Mhz.


Im wondering if this is a problem with the Graphics card sitting on top of one of the chipsets (not sure if it sits over the NB or the SB, i can check the manual). And when the graphics card gets hot it heats up the chipset and causes the hang?

Does this info help anyone understand my problem more?
July 29, 2008 9:01:39 PM

Oh one more thing, i plugged my PSU fan speed cable in so I could monitor the PSU fan.

It generally runs at 1800RPM. but at crash time it was running at 2200RPM. Just a bit more info.
July 29, 2008 9:33:09 PM

yo just to let you know.. 600mhz is the stock speed of an 8800gt.. yours is clocked @ 650 (golden sample).
I clocked my factory OC'd card down 35 mhz and i gamed about an hour last night (usually i cant get more than 30 mins).
Im not sure whether it was the nighttime being colder or my underclock but definitely try underclocking ur graphics card and see if it works.
Hope this helps.
July 30, 2008 8:04:15 AM

Right, So I've clocked the GPU down now to

Core 600Mhz
Memory Clock 900Mhz

(left the CPU multiplier at 6 so its running at 2Ghz [8 runs it at the normal 2.8ghz] I may whack this up to 8 again if the system is stable with the lower GPU clock)

Since then I've not been able to crash the computer running Crysis, and then 2 3d mark vantage full tests.

GPU gets to about 58'C now

CPU is getting to around 42'C
MB is 47'C
NB is 77'C (from bios)
SB is 68'C (from bios)

However, I did do this test in the morning when it is cooler in the bedroom. I will try thrashing it a bit tonight when I get home to see if I can get it to hang.


In a completely different note, I upgraded the bios to 1501 and now the bios hangs sometimes, and this cant be due to heat as it hung first thing when i turned it on and the CPU was 28'C and the NB was no more than 40'C. I think this is an issue with the new bios (as once past the bios, I've not been able to hang the computer [yet..]). I will get on to ASUS about this, just in case anyone else has 1501 and has bios hangs, you're not alone!

July 30, 2008 10:08:03 PM

id try it with only one thing underclocked, cuz if it does work you wont know what made it work.
!