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Problem - Possibly Crossfire Related

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  • New Build
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
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November 25, 2008 3:58:21 PM

I recently built a new system, and am having an issue. I'm hoping you veterans can give me a hand troubleshooting my issue.

My system is:
P4 E8500 @3.16 (stock speed, no overclocking yet)
Asus Rampage Formula
4gb G.Skill F28500CL5D DDR-1066
2 x HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ4 Turbo 512mb (Crossfire)
X-Fi Titanium Fatality
OS = Vista x64

The BIOS is set at default with the exception of my DRAM voltage being upped to 2.2v so my G.Skill memory can run properly.

Work has kept me really busy this last month (its been that long since I built it) and what I really built this machine for is gaming. But when I play any games, the system inevitable crashes. I don't see a bluescreen, the screen just starts sputtering and flashing a bit, and I can't access task manager, etc. I might be able to play the game for a few minutes, or even 10 minutes the occasional time, but sooner or later, it happens again.

I thought at first it could be my graphics drivers, but with both the latest ATI driver and the latest "approved" driver off of the HIS site, it still happens.
I even tried XP x64 and even Vista x32 but it still happens. So it seems its a hardware setting or issue, or so I would guess.

I have no experience with a multi-graphics card setup, so perhaps I've done something wrong?

Anyway, any suggestions would sure be appreciated. I'm rarin' to play some games and would love to get this new system running properly. Thanks!

More about : problem possibly crossfire related

November 25, 2008 4:07:54 PM

First off, I would set your RAM down to 1:1 with the FSB, in this case 667Mhz for now.

Then I would run memtest for several hours or all night.
http://www.memtest.org/
Download an ISO, burn to disk, etc.

You can also test your video cards individually.

You did not list your power supply.
November 25, 2008 4:20:49 PM

Thanks Proximon, I'll do that and will report back.

Power supply is an Antec Trio 650w.
Related resources
November 25, 2008 4:29:49 PM

I have a very similar system using a P5E Deluxe, E8400, 4 gigs of Corsair, 2 HIS 4850s, 750 watt Corsair PSU.

First of all strip the machine. Pull a video card, drop to 1 stick of RAM, pull the sound card. Make sure your mobo is running its most current BIOS. Then I would test the memory, one stick at a time, for at least 2 hours per stick. Then test the video cards one at a time. At that point I would look at trying a different PSU, 650 watts should be OK, but you never know.
November 25, 2008 4:36:46 PM

bigred072 said:
Thanks Proximon, I'll do that and will report back.

Power supply is an Antec Trio 650w.


You can also suspect the PSU. The Trios are getting a bit of a bad rep, and I can see that one struggling with two 4850s easily... especially if they are overclocked.
November 25, 2008 4:40:21 PM

Ok, I wondered about that after Kaldor mentioned it.

What would you guys recommend as a replacement?
November 25, 2008 4:44:52 PM

Replacement: 750 watt Corsair PSU

Cheap, reliable, single rail, will power up to Xfired 4870s or SLIed 260s or the equivalent with no issues.

Only other brand name for me anymore is a PC Power and Cooling as more and more manufacturers are cutting corners.
November 25, 2008 5:00:49 PM

I need to pick up something today anyway, so I think I'll pick up a replacement PSU. The Corsair 750 isn't in stock, but this PCP&P unit is: PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad 750W ATX V2.2 EPS12V 24PIN SLI Active PFC Power Supply Black

This should do the trick eh?
Anonymous
November 25, 2008 5:04:23 PM

Yeah it will be fine

Go with a single rail and non modular, although modular isn't "bad" its just for nicety, and since most of the time you don't go looking into your case... a couple less wires won't matter... especially if you know how to wield the all powerful zip-tie
November 25, 2008 5:10:31 PM

Yep +2.
November 25, 2008 5:20:57 PM

Ok, I appreciate your input. This is the one I'll pick up then: http://www.pcpower.com/power-supply/silencer-750-quad-b... . Looks like it fits the bill and will do the job.

I'm a zip-tie-aholic, so non-modular suits me just fine.

If you see any issues with this power supply, please mention them. I'm headed out in an hour and will pick it up then.

Thanks for the advice. I'll post some results as soon as I can do some testing. :) 
November 25, 2008 6:05:26 PM

As others have said, the PCP&C 750 is a solid investment, and will possibly serve you thru a couple of builds unless they totally change ATX in the next couple of years.
November 26, 2008 1:22:25 AM

Good news is that I'm a proud owner of a new Corsair 750w PSU (my local dealer had one in stock after all). The bad news is the issue is still happening. I'll get this on the bench and start pulling unnecessary items, testing it as I go. Will report back.
November 28, 2008 2:49:53 AM

Well I am really stumped now. Problem is still happening. Here's what I've done so far:

1 - Tried different OS's. Still blue screens during heavy graphics load.
2 - Tried fresh install with only chipset driver and ati driver. Still happens.
3 - Ran memtest on each stick of ram for at least 4 hours each. Still happens.
4 - Bought a new power supply (Corsair 750w). Still happens.
5 - Run with only one video card (tried both separately). Still happens.
6 - Removed and reattached Crossfire bridge, in case I had it on wrong. Still happens.

Bios is updated to the latest.

I am stumped. The only thing I can think must be wrong is a BIOS setting. It's the only thing left, isn't it? Any suggestions on what I can check for?
November 28, 2008 3:21:59 AM

Download CPU=Z and post a screen shot of each tab.

You should reset the BIOS if you have not tried that yet.

It could be a bad MB.

Could you recap the problem for me? Just games right?

Could you run dxdiag?
November 28, 2008 4:53:45 AM

Thanks for the reply Proximon. I have reset the BIOS to the defaults, changing only the Voltage for my memory, so that it runs properly and within the guidelines set out by G.Skill.

Screenshots from CPU-Z and DXDIag can be found here: Screenshots . The problem only happens when I try to play a game. It can run properly for anwhere from 2 seconds to 3 or 4 minutes, but eventually it crashes. Most times the system is then unusable (black stuttering screen and no access to task manager), but sometimes it goes back to the desktop saying that the display driver has crashed, or the game executable has terminated.

I haven't had the crash happen while I've been doing other things, but I haven't spent a lot of time on the system yet. Because it was built primarily for gaming, and hasn't been working for gaming, I've been on my other system for non-gaming related stuff.

I did some looking in AMD's forums tonight and it does look like there are a lot of people having similar issues. Some are finding relief by going back to the previously released driver (8.10). Because I had just built the system, I've assumed that it was something I had either done wrong, or set wrong, but maybe that's not the case?

Anyway, please let me know if you see anything in the screenshots that should be changed.

Thanks!

***Edit: Tried previously released driver, but it did not solve the problem.***
November 28, 2008 5:42:57 AM

I would set my memory down to 1:1 for the purposes of debugging. There's no real advantage to having it set faster anyway. Just put it down to 333Mhz.

You have the latest BIOS I see.

Does your monitor display correctly in Catalyst Control Center?
Under Digital panel... does it show your monitor model correctly?
That's a reach but I had to ask.

The "black stutter" makes me nervous. I think it most likely at this point that your motherboard is having voltage regulation issues.

Let me PM a couple of the more knowledgeable folks and get second or third opinions on this thread.



November 28, 2008 7:11:36 AM

Looks to me like you've tried everything i'd suggest, by going to different OS, trying each card alone without crossfire enabled, gone with 1 stick of RAM and tried them all, new/old drivers, new/old BIOS, different PSU. It's looking to me like a faulty motherboard. You've taken steps to eliminate specific problems, i'd say to RMA the motherboard.
November 28, 2008 12:56:53 PM

+1. Motherboard problem most likely.

But first let's make sure it's not an overheating issue. What kind of case do you have? What sort of GPU temperatures are you getting? What's the fan setting?
November 28, 2008 3:08:05 PM

I had dropped the memory down before, but when it didn't resolve the issue I bumped it up again. I've dropped it again now though until the issue is either resolved, or the board is rma-ed.

Monitor shows up properly in CCC (Dell 2405fpw) with correct refresh rate.

My case is a Lian-Li V Cool : http://www.lian-li.com/v2/en/product/product06.php?pr_i... .

What's the best way to get you temps from my GPU?
November 28, 2008 4:24:33 PM

Two fans only, with room for a third. Adding that third one might help.

ATI Tool shows the temperatures, for example.

November 29, 2008 5:49:17 PM

I've spent some time trying to get my GPU temps but apparently ATI Tool won't work in Vista x64. There are some workarounds, but if you have a particular hotfix installed, ATI Tool won't run. I've tried a few different ways, with no success. So as of yet, I have no temps for the GPU's. If you have an alternative program for me to use, I would happily do that.

In my case I have a front intake fan, as well as an rear exhaust fan, and I also have a fan overtop of the two 4850's that is dispelling air through the side of the case. I've doublechecked that all fans are pushing air in the right direction. It seems like it must be enough cooling, but I suppose I could open it up on my bench and blast a fan at it to make sure. Think I need to do that?
November 29, 2008 9:32:50 PM

Catalyst control center has temps.

If not there, speedfan will work.
November 29, 2008 10:41:13 PM

Ok, got it. Looks like Temps of the two cards are 57 and 52. I have no idea if that's good or bad, but have uploaded screenshots of the CCC temps and also of Speedfan. Screenshots are here: Temps

Thanks again for taking the time to help. Soooo frustrating to have spent the money on a new system and have it not work like this, but I'm so appreciative that people like you guys will try to help find an answer. Thanks!
November 29, 2008 10:46:54 PM

The temps are fine. I guess that leaves the motherboard as suspect #1.
November 29, 2008 11:05:35 PM

It's hard to say on your cards, as the fan is only at 12% at idle. If the GPU temps stay in that range, or under 70, that's great. They can probably get up to 80 before things get sketchy.

You could just manually set the fans at 80% on both cards as a test.

Speedfan didn't have a good look at your GPUs... that's fine, it's really not an up to date pgm anymore and I should not have suggested it.

Could you check your CPU core temps? Use Real Temp for that. Speedfan suggests they might be too warm.

I have never had my hands on that case, but it really looks to me like a well-cooled case for when systems were much cooler. I just don't see a lot of air flow around the really hot components.

If you do end up being too warm, I would hate to suggest not using such a nice case. Maybe a case mod is in order.
December 3, 2008 1:02:56 AM

Well in the last 3 or 4 days I've done everything I can think of, with no luck.

1 - I took a home fan I had and turned it on full-bore, pointing at my video cards and cpu. The temperatures dropped in the CCC monitor, but the system still crashed as soon as the game started, or very soon afterward.
2 - I manually set the video card fans to run at 80% speed, but still it crashed.
3 - To see if my system would run a less strenuous game, I installed Company of Heroes from a few years back. Still it crashed.
4 - To once again verify that the issue wasn't os-specific, I installed xp pro 32 bit and then installed the games. Still it crashed.

Sometimes it will crash in such a way that the screen sputters, and I can't do anything. Once in a while it will crash to the desktop and say that the graphics driver has quit.

5 - I tried doing a clean Vista x64 install with my old video card, an nVidia 7800GTX, but that crashed too.
6 - I tried doing an XP 32bit install with my 7800GTX, but that crashed too.

Once I've finished restoring the system back to Vista x64, I'll get some temperatures with Real Temp. But at this point, I am sure thinking it must be this motherboard. Do you agree Proximon?
December 3, 2008 4:34:36 AM

Real Temps reports:
Core Temperature: 27 degrees Celsius, or 80.6 degrees Farenheit Minimum
29 degrees Celsius, or 84.2 degrees Farenheit Maximum

Is it just me or does that seem rediculously high? Can that be right?
December 3, 2008 9:28:49 AM

That would be a low idle temp. High idle would be 40 or 45 Celsius.

Seems like we have exhausted all possibilities.

Back to the MB as the answer.
December 3, 2008 12:29:23 PM

Hmm...not sure why I thought that was so high...lol...oh well.

I'll RMA this motherboard and *hopefully* when I pop a new one in, everything works. Will let you know. Thank you soooo much for taking the time to help!
December 13, 2008 4:16:18 PM

Well, an interesting conclusion to this story. I received my replacement motherboard this week, but unfortunately it didn't solve the problem.

On a whim, I swapped the OCZ memory from my older home system PC6400 and put it into my new system to replace my new GSkill memory (PC8500), and voila, no problem any more.

So despite my repeated Memtesting and despite the fact that the issue would only show up during heavy graphics load, the problem seems to be with the memory.

I'm not sure if it's bad memory (I don't think so because the system runs fine the vast majority of the time) or if the problem could be comptability? I do know that this memory isn't listed on the QVL for this board...maybe that was a mistake to do that from the start...

I think today I'll buy some replacement memory, and this time I'll make sure to stick to the qualified vendors list!

Thanks for your time guys...your help was really appreciated, and helped me to narrow things down a lot, eventually leading to an answer.

** Edit: Is there any chance I have a BIOS setting wrong? I upped the DRAM Voltage to 2.2 but have left everything else stock. As you had suggest Proximon, I had run the memory at reduced speed for testing.... Anyway, if you have any ideas, I'm all ears **
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