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System reboots when gaming, blame the motherboard?

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August 6, 2009 2:12:17 AM

So here I am, playing The Sims 2, minding my own business, when it all goes dark! For a second I thought the cat pulled the plug, cats do that you know! It wasn't the plug. It appears I had crashed?. The system automatically reboots, POSTs, loads OS, desktop, all that song-n-dance, no problem. I search event viewer and the only error retrieved was the 'unexpected shutdown' log. Application, security, and system logs are pretty much free of errors within the last 5min or so of my failure. I don't think much of it and relaunch the game. I play for about another hour or so and shutdown for the day, no further problems encountered. When I come back to the game, the next day, about 10min into the game the exact same thing happens. It all goes dark for about 2-3 seconds, system shuts down and restarts. Ok, so maybe Sims 2 isn't Vista friendly. I did have to install a patch to help with compatibility issues during the game installation. I was quick to place the blame on the game, but I had the exact same thing happen when playing spore. Ok, so I suspect EA. EA's games, with my experience, aren't the most reliable in the world and I am not their biggest fan. I, even more so, wanted to point my finger @ EA as I can play EVE Online, Demigod, and World Of Warcraft, all day, and no problems, even with all the grafx etc features turned up all the way. At this point I could dismiss blaming the video card, PSU, and RAM as EVE Online is probably the most graphic-intensive game I own with Demigod in 2nd place. Both games really get those GPU Fans spinning - RPM's increase as the GPU temp rises. The card stays quiet with Sims 2 and Spore. However, I also downloaded a demo to Flight Simulator X and it shutdown on me again. I have an older system that will play every game mentioned previously without any problems aside from some sluggishness due to older hardware. No crashes though. I didn't really give the motherboard much thought until I made a BIOS change to turn off ExpressGate, a feature I do not use and a feature that increases the boot time to OS. The exact same type of reset occurred like when I crashed in Sims 2 and Spore - The system shuts down for 2-3 seconds and powers back on. Hmm. I search tigerdirect (where I purchased the board) along with other forums, sites, etc and discover that others are having very similar issues with this board. Lots of complaints about recognizing RAM and POSTing but most are resolved with an up-to-date BIOS flash.

I do need to add that I was in that group. This thing would not recognize more than 3GB before I flashed, and I do have a bad slot, if a stick is inserted into the slot, it will not POST. A brief conversation with an agent from ASUS confirmed that the memory issue is known with this kind of board and I should RMA. Ok, so I can have a 10GB system instead of a 12GB system. So what. I'll never pull that much. I got the mobo, cpu and ram as a combo and after the MIR from Corsair, the ram was a good deal. I did not want to rip this thing apart again just from a bad RAM slot. This random shutdown crap, though, is for the birds and I am ready for a resolution.

I am in the process of awaiting a response from the RMA team.

I've tested the RAM and video card on another system w/o any problems and I would think if the PSU or vid card was to blame then I would have crashed when playing Eve Online.

I am really floored to think ASUS has a bad product. I, and others have uses ASUS forever and it's flying colors all the way and I understand no company is perfect. Perhaps this was one of ASUS's first, entry-level mobo's w/ the i7 / LGA 1366 chipset and growing pains with any new hardware can be expected. Perhaps a small batch of bad mobo's were released and I happened to be lucky enough to get one. So far those that RMA'd were satisfied.

So what do you think is to blame here?

Thanks guys!

a b V Motherboard
August 6, 2009 3:30:35 AM

np100 said:
So here I am, playing The Sims 2, minding my own business, when it all goes dark! For a second I thought the cat pulled the plug, cats do that you know! It wasn't the plug. It appears I had crashed?. The system automatically reboots, POSTs, loads OS, desktop, all that song-n-dance, no problem. I search event viewer and the only error retrieved was the 'unexpected shutdown' log. Application, security, and system logs are pretty much free of errors within the last 5min or so of my failure. I don't think much of it and relaunch the game. I play for about another hour or so and shutdown for the day, no further problems encountered. When I come back to the game, the next day, about 10min into the game the exact same thing happens. It all goes dark for about 2-3 seconds, system shuts down and restarts. Ok, so maybe Sims 2 isn't Vista friendly. I did have to install a patch to help with compatibility issues during the game installation. I was quick to place the blame on the game, but I had the exact same thing happen when playing spore. Ok, so I suspect EA. EA's games, with my experience, aren't the most reliable in the world and I am not their biggest fan. I, even more so, wanted to point my finger @ EA as I can play EVE Online, Demigod, and World Of Warcraft, all day, and no problems, even with all the grafx etc features turned up all the way. At this point I could dismiss blaming the video card, PSU, and RAM as EVE Online is probably the most graphic-intensive game I own with Demigod in 2nd place. Both games really get those GPU Fans spinning - RPM's increase as the GPU temp rises. The card stays quiet with Sims 2 and Spore. However, I also downloaded a demo to Flight Simulator X and it shutdown on me again. I have an older system that will play every game mentioned previously without any problems aside from some sluggishness due to older hardware. No crashes though. I didn't really give the motherboard much thought until I made a BIOS change to turn off ExpressGate, a feature I do not use and a feature that increases the boot time to OS. The exact same type of reset occurred like when I crashed in Sims 2 and Spore - The system shuts down for 2-3 seconds and powers back on. Hmm. I search tigerdirect (where I purchased the board) along with other forums, sites, etc and discover that others are having very similar issues with this board. Lots of complaints about recognizing RAM and POSTing but most are resolved with an up-to-date BIOS flash.

I do need to add that I was in that group. This thing would not recognize more than 3GB before I flashed, and I do have a bad slot, if a stick is inserted into the slot, it will not POST. A brief conversation with an agent from ASUS confirmed that the memory issue is known with this kind of board and I should RMA. Ok, so I can have a 10GB system instead of a 12GB system. So what. I'll never pull that much. I got the mobo, cpu and ram as a combo and after the MIR from Corsair, the ram was a good deal. I did not want to rip this thing apart again just from a bad RAM slot. This random shutdown crap, though, is for the birds and I am ready for a resolution.

I am in the process of awaiting a response from the RMA team.

I've tested the RAM and video card on another system w/o any problems and I would think if the PSU or vid card was to blame then I would have crashed when playing Eve Online.

I am really floored to think ASUS has a bad product. I, and others have uses ASUS forever and it's flying colors all the way and I understand no company is perfect. Perhaps this was one of ASUS's first, entry-level mobo's w/ the i7 / LGA 1366 chipset and growing pains with any new hardware can be expected. Perhaps a small batch of bad mobo's were released and I happened to be lucky enough to get one. So far those that RMA'd were satisfied.

So what do you think is to blame here?

Thanks guys!


Most likely causes are a GPU overheating (GPU forces system shutdown), a CPU overheating (BIOS forces a shutdown), or power supply overload. All three have heat in common.
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August 6, 2009 3:55:38 AM

+1 to crashman...it sounds like a heat problem. Maybe I just missed it, but did you ever say what specific MB you have...All I got was Asus. Other specifics about the rest of the system sometimes help us as well. Here is an experiment to try. Take the side of the case off, point a large fan at the mb and other hardware, and see if you get the same problems. Make sure all your fans are turning while you have the side off as well.
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August 6, 2009 11:32:22 AM

I would think GPU too but it only crashes when I play Sims 2 and Spore. I can play EVE Online and Demigod all day, which demand much more GPU, and not a single hiccup. ATI Catalyst monitors GPU temp, I'll keep it up next time I launch the problematic games and see if I overheat. My build consists of the following, and is also in my profile:

Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2 4GB
Asus P6T (non-deluxe) w/ Intel X58
Corsair XMS3 Tri Channel 12GB PC10666 DDR3 1333MHz
Core i7 920
Lite-On BDROM, DVD/CD RW
Vista Ultimate X64
WD Caviar Green 1TB 32MB/SATA-3G
Ultra X3 ULT40311 1kw PSU
Thermaltake V9 Black Edition Blk Mid-Tower Case

PS. The fans, built into the card, increase RPM as the temp rises, very audible for Demigod and Eve online and quiet with Sims 2 and Spore. Like I said, I will monitor GPU Temp and see.
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a b V Motherboard
August 6, 2009 11:48:36 AM

np100 said:
I would think GPU too but it only crashes when I play Sims 2 and Spore. I can play EVE Online and Demigod all day, which demand much more GPU, and not a single hiccup. ATI Catalyst monitors GPU temp, I'll keep it up next time I launch the problematic games and see if I overheat. My build consists of the following, and is also in my profile:

Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2 4GB
Asus P6T (non-deluxe) w/ Intel X58
Corsair XMS3 Tri Channel 12GB PC10666 DDR3 1333MHz
Core i7 920
Lite-On BDROM, DVD/CD RW
Vista Ultimate X64
WD Caviar Green 1TB 32MB/SATA-3G
Ultra X3 ULT40311 1kw PSU
Thermaltake V9 Black Edition Blk Mid-Tower Case

PS. The fans, built into the card, increase RPM as the temp rises, very audible for Demigod and Eve online and quiet with Sims 2 and Spore. Like I said, I will monitor GPU Temp and see.


The most likely cause is a power supply overload, and the reason heat is involved is because things draw more power when warm...while the power supply has less capacity when warm.
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August 6, 2009 5:10:17 PM

I will check the PSU for possible overheating, it gets fresh air with a dedicated intake due to the way it sets in the case, I may just take it out of the case completely just to make sure though. I'd think i'd draw more power playing Eve due to the higher graphic demands however - and no problems w/ Eve
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a b V Motherboard
August 6, 2009 8:59:58 PM

np100 said:
I will check the PSU for possible overheating, it gets fresh air with a dedicated intake due to the way it sets in the case, I may just take it out of the case completely just to make sure though. I'd think i'd draw more power playing Eve due to the higher graphic demands however - and no problems w/ Eve


It doesn't have to overheat to click off when temps rise. If it's near the limit cold, it will hit the limit warm.
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August 7, 2009 12:09:26 AM

Dude, I think it's your mobo, lots of complaints about the P6T. I almost bought the P6T but didn't after reading the rants. You said you run 10GB, so... 5 sticks of ram in there and not 6? Maybe take those last two out and see if that helps, you've got a 2nd bank of 2 slots of DDR3, might cause issues there. Try with just that first bank; keeps it optimal. At 1000W, I don't think it's your PSU and I don't think you're overheating either. Otherwise you'd crash when playing EVE, I play it too, very high end game, if you're gonna overheat you'd do it on Eve, lol. RMA that thing and let me know bro!

PS. P6T was Asus's first core i7 board, and it shows, shoulda got a rampage, lol!
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a b V Motherboard
August 7, 2009 12:23:50 AM

pcdoc101 said:
Dude, I think it's your mobo, lots of complaints about the P6T. P6T was Asus's first core i7 board, and it shows, shoulda got a rampage, lol!


Yeh it shows, P6T is better in some ways than Rampage, that's why Tom's Hardware uses it as its Core i7 reference platform. It's almost always true that the later boards are better than the first ones.

As for the complaints you speak of, I've seen a few. Mostly from people who didn't know what the heck they were doing. In fact, the majority of complaints I've seen were from people who forgot to plug in the EPS12V connector or put the RAM in the wrong slots.

You're putting yourself in that class of builder?
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August 7, 2009 1:33:53 AM

Crashman said:
Yeh it shows, P6T is better in some ways than Rampage, that's why Tom's Hardware uses it as its Core i7 reference platform. It's almost always true that the later boards are better than the first ones.

As for the complaints you speak of, I've seen a few. Mostly from people who didn't know what the heck they were doing. In fact, the majority of complaints I've seen were from people who forgot to plug in the EPS12V connector or put the RAM in the wrong slots.

You're putting yourself in that class of builder?



I've built a few systems, so sure.

You seem to be quite the expert so explain why he can play EVE and not crash, but crash when he plays sims. Sims is a lower end game so I don't see how you can pinpoint overheating or PSU. However, if the OP only has 5 DIMM's in the bank that might cause problems too. However he appears to boot ok with that bank configuration so who knows... I still think it's the mobo.

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August 7, 2009 1:44:50 AM

12gb, nice, im just moving to 8gb, wild guess but i think its your mb, had a foxconn am2 board that did the same thing, even on low end stuff.
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August 7, 2009 5:59:07 AM

Yeah, I am definitely going to RMA this mobo, just for fun, tried to add that stick into the bad slot to see if the updated BIOS flash made a difference. Adding the stick actually lowered my RAM count, haha. Only 8GB show up when I fill in the slot, down from 10GB. This mobo qualifies for the express cross-ship program that ASUS offers on select mobo's but they want a credit card number. Forget it. I don't mind waiting 10 days. And as far as heat goes, I don't think that's a problem, I borrowed a friend's 800W PSU and I still crash on those two games. Hope the RMA fixes it!
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August 7, 2009 3:11:46 PM

Have you tried disabling crossfire on your 4850 X2 when running those games?

Not sure if it would make a difference as I don't run crossfire.
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August 7, 2009 6:15:04 PM

That's the 2-cards-in-1, right? Not two separate cards. Would turning xfire off make a difference since it's only, technically, one card?
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August 7, 2009 6:18:45 PM

yes, it is crossfire on a single card, but still uses the crossfire settings.
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a b V Motherboard
August 7, 2009 6:31:33 PM

It could also be a memory issue - a bad stick or bad place on a stick - that does not show up until a certain amount of memory is full and the bad location has to be addressed. I suggest a few test runs then an overnight run of memtest to check. If you find a memory issue, then you can test different sticks and slots to isolate it.

I would definitely test the RAM before RMA the mobo. I sure see a lot of threads from people who RMA a component only to find it was not the problem. I often wonder how much more I and others pay for components to cover the cost of all those good components that were mistakenly sent back.
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Best solution

August 8, 2009 5:02:05 PM

I think it's EA man, you can play their games on even the fastest of systems and they're still slow. EA sometimes can't program their way out of a paper bag, I would just take it with a grain of salt if you crash on a game from EA, lol. Alot of people quit playing spore because it sucked... dunno about sims, not a big sims fan, lol
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August 9, 2009 4:22:21 AM

pcdoc101 said:
I think it's EA man, you can play their games on even the fastest of systems and they're still slow. EA sometimes can't program their way out of a paper bag, I would just take it with a grain of salt if you crash on a game from EA, lol. Alot of people quit playing spore because it sucked... dunno about sims, not a big sims fan, lol



I will second that, Sims 2 is not significantly faster on this new system than it was on my old one, memtest did not find anything, neighter did the Vista Memory Diagnostic tool. Since I will be replacing the mobo with the exact same board, I hope I don't encounter any issues w/ this OEM version of Vista. But if so, that's only a quick phone call to Microsoft.
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