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Freezing in games! Replaced video card and motherboard...

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March 31, 2009 9:39:11 PM

This has been irritating me for the past 4 months or so. Basically, if I play a game like WoW, Left 4 dead, or HAWX at maximum graphics settings the computer will freeze. Sometimes within minutes, sometimes after an hour. In Left4dead, the freeze occurs 75% of the time while loading a new level. The game freezes, and seconds to minutes later the cursor will freeze to. However, if I am playing music in the background, that will continue to play. The PC is completely unresponsive once the cursor is frozen (can't soft shutdown, cant use keyboard or mouse to stop the music, etc). I have tried every graphics driver going back a year but it didn't fix the problem. I even tried removing the TV tuner card to see if that was it, but nope, still freezes. I have replaced the video card twice, this time with a cross shipment so I got a completely new one, and I've RMA'd the motherboard once. The BIOS is the latest. The firmware on my hard drive and BIOS on the video card are the latest. All of my drivers (network, chipset, sata, tv tuner, audio, video, webcam, etc) are up to date. My specs:

Vista x64 SP1 Ultimate
Seagate SATAII 7200RPM 500GB 32MB Cache HDD
8GB (4x2GB) A-Data 800MHZ RAM
Corsair 550watt 80plus PSU
Diamond Multimedia ATI Radeon 3870x2 GPU
Gigabyte P35-DS3L Mobo
Intel Q6600 2.4GHz CPU

Any ideas?? I've also tried disabling all my startup programs but that didn't help either. Since I've replaced the video card and motherboard... I have no idea what else to try... maybe replacing the power supply? I can run Prime95 and Memtest+ for days with no hitches, and all of the temperatures inside my PC are normal.
March 31, 2009 9:46:47 PM

Alot of games can't support dual sli, (im not sure about crossfire) try to disable one of your GPU's and see if you still freeze. The same used to happen to me, especially when gaming in Windowed mode. Full screen wouldn't freeze until I minimized it. Unfortunately until new drivers are released im stuck playing with 1 GPU on my GTX295.
March 31, 2009 10:37:45 PM

Im betting its the seagate drive. Dont get me wrong...i love seagate drives but some of the more recent ones (last 6 months) have had some real problems.

If you have access to a store like Frys, go buy a WD hdd and clone your system. At least if that doesnt solve the problem you can return the drive.

Good Luck
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April 1, 2009 12:35:47 AM

A 3870 isn't the greatest card to be cranking up the goodies on. Kind of idiotic TBH. Sometimes only one of those processors will work depending on the game. I noticed several newer games listed. Old cards + new games = uselessness.

You may have some heat problems. That processor and that dual card will put out a lot of heat.

I'm not familiar with the power supply but that may not be giving you enough juice... ?? Is it bad ? You said you tried other new hardware....

Turn down the settings on your card. Take the side off your case to let more cooler air on the components.

Seagate had a bad run on hard drives. Yours might be one of them.

Go into the bios and set it to run with optimized defaults or what ever it is.

What's the condition of the heat sink. Is it SEATED properly ? Was there enough thermal grease on the processor before doing so ? Did you install it while the mother board was out of the case ? best way to do it. That way you can see if the center pins are set right.
April 1, 2009 9:22:33 AM

Im having the same problems, everything in my pc is new bar the gfx card and PSU. the pc runs fine until games are in the mix. im guessing its at psu problem as im about to get a new one my self to see. i have also been told that some Hardware just don't like other parts and thats that.


April 1, 2009 12:00:25 PM

ANYWAYS, the card is fine, + it isn't an SLI, 3870 can frun farcry2 on mid to high settings and cod4 on all high, <-- from a person that has 2 of them. Check your ram/HDD.

Do ram test's/ Seagate's firmwire went down the drain even with the bios flash fix.


Your PSU is good
CPU's good
P35 Gigabyte is a deactivated item now-a-day's.

Should look into more of today's boards for cheap aswell.
April 2, 2009 2:58:12 AM

Update:

I reformatted my PC and found that my Seagate drive is indeed causing all sorts of problems (fails their own diagnostic SeaTools even). It would make sense that if it has to load up bigger textures the drive is more likely to cause the pc to freeze. I'm replacing it with a Samsung 1TB drive. I'll let you know if this solves the problem.

Those who are unaware, the 3870x2 is a single card with two gpu's on it. There is no disabling the onboard crossfire. It performs about as well as a single 4870 and can indeed handle left4dead with maxed settings just fine at the resolution I play at (1440x900).

RAM is fine, GPU is fine (brand new!), and temps are fine. From what I understand, CPUs usually don't break... so if my new HDD doesn't fix it I'll look into a newer motherboard. Thanks for all the suggestions everyone!
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