Problem description: While playing any game my computer will eventually (sometimes 10 seconds, as long as 16 minutes) freeze up, with no response from the keyboard or mouse and the last half second of audio repeating rapidly. After about 10-15seconds of this the monitor will go to standby.
Attempted fixes: My first instinct was 'aha, heat'. So I checked the heatsink and fans on my motherboard, cpu and graphics card. Everything seemed to check out so I tried again with the case open and a box fan blowing on it. Same thing. Just to make sure I popped open Everest and the Catalyst Control Center (CCC) to check the temps. CPU never registered above 55C and the card never above 67C. Next I tried drivers, including several versions of the manufacturers drivers for the video card (non-ATI supported of course), chipset drivers, bios and directx. Same thing. I then ran memtest for a couple hours while I tried to catch up on Burn Notice...both were a waste of time. I also checked the voltages with Everest and a multimeter (results within .03V of each other) and they are just fine. The only other options are crap drivers, power supply and a faulty card I guess, but that's why I'm asking here.
Recent changes: Yeah, changed from a Athlon 3500+ to a X2 4200+ and a Radeon 9600 pro to a Powercolor HD 3850 (not supported by ATI or Omega drivers, so I'm running Powercolors drivers based off of Catalyst 8.5, I've also tried older versions with the same results. Powercolor does not have great customer service)
Operating system: Windows XP Pro, SP3
System specs: Athlon64 X2 4200+, MSI K8n Platinum, Powercolor HD3850 AGP, 2gb OCZ PC3200, Antec SmartPower 400, 3 Western Digital HDs: 1600SD, 1200JS, 800JD, onboard audio, CD-RW/DVD-rom/floppy/pci wireless card.
Keep in mind everything in this case except cpu, ram, hd's and gpu are now about 4 years old
Try the latest Omega Drivers. Read the documentation. You will have to install the driver manually. It will not pick up automatically, especially with SP3, since they are not WHQL certified. You're going to have to select the driver manually and select Radeon 3850. I use the omega drivers myself on the ol Athlon XP 3000+ with it's X1950GT AGP.
Also, make sure that you check the amps on 12v rail on your power supply. AGP slots do not supply as much juice as PCI-E slots so it will draw more power off the external connector. I had an older 430W power supply originally hooked up to that 1950GT, but it didn't have enough AMPs on the 12v Rail so it would lock up or shutdown when playing a graphic intensive game. That is why I got my Fortron Blue Storm that I carried over to my current build. The ol 1950GT still works fine now tho since I'm using the 420W PSU that came with my current case since that PSU has more Amps on the 12v Rail than my older 430W unit.
Funny, same thing happens to me with my pci-e version... i disabled the onboard audio that had pulled my main audio offline but i didnt reinstall my main audio drivers... u guys think that i just sent the card back to be tested was a waste of time? if i get told the card is fine i will be tryin this out... lol