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PC Freezes after 1.5 hours gameplay

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May 26, 2009 3:57:03 AM

After about 1.5 hours of gameplay (COD:Waw and GTA IV), my PC locks up solid, looping the same half-second of audio.
On the other hand, my PC runs GPGPU functions (SETI@home) for 10+ hours without a hitch.
The situation: My PC, working stable with the following specs:
E6750 @ 3.4Ghz
2GB Crucial Ballistix DDR2-1066 @ 850Mhz (to match system bus pre-multiplier, seems the board doesn't like DDR2-1066 :-\)
MSI P7N SLI Platinum @ 1700Mhz FSB
WD Caviar SE-16 250GB HD
500 Watt Coolermaster PSU
Radeon HD 4850

Was upgraded to an nVidia GTX 260 (1st gen) that was working fine in my cousin's system with specs as follows:
E8400 @ 3.2 or 3.4 (not sure)
4GB Ballisitx DDR2-1066
Asus P5N-D
2x WD Caviar Blacks in RAID 0 (500GB each, I think?)
550 Watt Thermaltake CPU

Anyways... being as I added a known good part to a known good system, I figured it might be the weakish power supply since I'm overclocking and all. I borrowed my roommate's TruePower Treo 550 to see if a weak power supply was the culprit.
Instead of 1.5 hours to crash, it's now 2.5. I know heat's not an issue. Thermal event logs don't show the GPU getting above the 50s (I have the fan running at 100% in a well-vented case).

My question: Is it possible the PSU is the culprit? If not... what else could it be? I've uninstalled all my ATI drivers prior to even installing the card, then installed the latest nvidia drivers.

Thank you much for your time, I look forward to your response.

More about : freezes hours gameplay

May 26, 2009 4:41:20 AM

Never been a fan of thermaltake PSU's, but I own that same Treo 550 (albeit with a single 8800gt 512, but otherwise similar specs) and it should be able to handle either of those systems without issue. You might try a ~600 watt PSU with good amperage. Take a look at PC Power & Cooling PSU's, they're highly rated in quality and efficiency.

But it's hard to say, especially since you've ruled out heat as an issue. A software conflict, mobo issue, the graphics card, the ram, the cpu, the psu, or a HDD problem. You'll need to start narrowing the scope down by testing things individually. Strip it down to the bare basics - psu, mobo, cpu, ram (one stick), video, hdd (one drive, no raid)... no other internal or external devices. If you still get the same problem then, switch out what you can - namely the ram and hdd. If you don't get that same problem you can be pretty sure it's one of those things not installed that's the problem. So reinstall things one by one til you get there.

I know that's a long tedious process but it's the best way to be sure.

Also, have you tried not playing for a straight 90 minutes? I mean I can game for hours too, but taking a break every hour or so could be just as good for you as it is for your computer. But let's say you stop at 1 hour, shut the game off then open it back up, will it still crash in another 1/2 hour or will it "reset" this time bomb?
May 26, 2009 5:14:25 AM

Seems to reset the timebomb. I work as a tech at a computer place... I'm taking my computer in tomorrow to run a slew of diags on. Thing is, I'm hosting a LAN party Saturday and I need to know ASAP if the PSU is a likely culprit (if it would cause these issues) and if I'm gonna need a new PSU or what.
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a b U Graphics card
May 26, 2009 5:51:41 AM

Sounds like the motherboard Northbridge. Will it lock up on stock settings?
May 26, 2009 6:53:44 AM

Haven't tried. I honestly don't see the point, as it works fine at current settings with another video card.
a b U Graphics card
May 26, 2009 12:17:08 PM

hundredislandsboy said:
Sounds like the motherboard Northbridge. Will it lock up on stock settings?


Cosigned. My 790i, also a nforce (yours is a 750i I believe), ran into the same issue. Linking the NB-CPU, and RAM-FSB gained me 100% stability. Essentially, I linked everything in BIOS, and problems went away. I don't know which of the two fixed my case for sure, and when I start to OC again, I'll hunt down the exact fix.

Just google (without quotes) "nforce lockup" to see my point; something screwey affects a subset of nforce boards, but at least in my case, a small BIOS tweek gained me stability.
May 26, 2009 11:27:38 PM

I uninstalled and reinstalled all my drivers with any semblance to nVidia and left FurMark running overnight. It didn't crash. Tonight I'll play COD:WaW and let you know how it goes.
May 27, 2009 12:39:52 AM

System crashed again, this time after a half hour. I've tried linking my FSB. We'll see what happens.
a b U Graphics card
May 27, 2009 12:58:08 AM

Could be psu heat issues as well. Could be conflicting SW/HW and or it could be ram usage. Check to see how much ram youre using. Check your psus heat, ;isten if the fans adjustable, if its cranking high as well, and check the temps out the back
May 27, 2009 8:01:39 AM

Attempted linking FSB. Only made sense as my system's at: 4x425 and 2x425 for FSB and RAM respectively.
I'm probably an idiot for not linking them before.
Still no dice, though. It crashed after about 3-4 solid hours of GTAIV. This time with artifacts.
The card was rather hot to the touch (I'd estimate about as hot as bathwater that's just a little too hot to bathe in) on the top part.
Upon restart, I found that the nVidia driver lost my settings for the fan to run at 100%. I also found a rule that says "when idle for 30 seconds, load profile 'baseline.'" with no rule for coming out of baseline. Makes sense as this problem is only happening in GTAIV now (I played about 3-4 hours of COD:WaW without incident), which I play on a controller.
I suspect the fan's been kicking down to 30% with no incentive to kick back up without mouse or keyboard movement.
I've set new rules. I'll keep you all posted.
a b U Graphics card
May 27, 2009 12:57:34 PM

Hm, so its not the RAM-FSB. That kinda makes me want to try OC'ing myself again...

The major changed I made (see specs in sig) that fixed my lockups:

Voltages:
CPU: ~1.35 (whatever the first setting below 1.35V was)
CPU FSB: 1.2
Memory: 1.85 (Spec for my DDR3 was 1.7)
nforce SPP: 1.4
nforce NCP: 1.5

CPU Multi: Auto (Resulted in 9.5 multi)
CPU N/2 Ratio: Enabled (Thanks to a 9.5 multi...)
Memory Timing Setting: Optimal (Resulted in underclocked 1333 DDR3 to 1066, with lower timings as a result (7-7-7-? from 9-9-9-24))

These are the changed that fixed my issue; two months stable so far. It sounds like the same exact issue to me too. All I know, is its not the GPU (Hence the ATI card on a nforce mobo :D ), not the sound processing (disabled for testing), and happened on clean XP/Vista 64 installs. BIOS settings fixed it for me, so I'd keep looking there for now.

I guess I kinda am glad that NVIDIA no longer makes mobos for i7. The board itself is great, minus the lockup issue...
a b U Graphics card
May 27, 2009 1:00:05 PM

Oh, one more thing: I NEVER frooze when gaming at 1280x1024; my lockups started the second I brought a new moniter (which I tested; that wasn't the cause) that went beyond that res. I never tested that res much after the fact though, and only started to realise the problem started the exact time I increased resolution, and never occured in any app with that res or lower. Might be worth toying around a bit...

And no, I have no clue what CAUSES the nforce freezes yet; I just know what fixed it for me. I'd love to hear some theorys on this one...
May 27, 2009 2:32:44 PM

My theory: nVidia WANTS me to scrap this board in favor of an intel chipset.
a b U Graphics card
May 27, 2009 4:23:16 PM

Its possible. If I didn't spend all that $$ on a QX9650, I'd just buy an i7 and get it done with.

No one really knows why nforces are so stubborn, or how to fix them, seems to be luck of the draw. At least mine is somewhat stable...
May 27, 2009 9:50:41 PM

Right after your computer freezes try disconnecting the power cable and signal cable (VGA/DVI/HDMI, whichever you have) and connect both wires back in to your monitor and see what happens. I am not blaming it on any hardware, just trying to troubleshoot because your problem can have numerous variables involved through which you have to eliminate 1 by 1.
May 28, 2009 9:58:21 PM

-bump-

Ok. Here's where I'm at:
I replaced the motherboard, games worked fine.
I overclocked it to where it was and games crashed.
Put my old card back in, maintaining the OC and games worked fine.

Any ideas on how the FSB or NB voltage can adversely effect a video card?
June 3, 2009 4:30:41 AM

Hmmmmm.....

Been a while since I've overclocked anything and messed around with these kinds of settings, but I recall something in my BIOS and I was never quite sure what exactly they did. But they seemed to be settings that linked changes in either voltage or bandwidth or both to the NB and PCI-Express slots. Such a thing could cause havoc with a video card under stress, so I always disabled them out of fear of the unknown.

I'm thinking maybe your BIOS has some similar settings enabled somewhere. Go poking around and look for any possible settings that may be linking your settings for your N. bridge with your expansion slots.
a b U Graphics card
June 3, 2009 12:04:44 PM

I'd forget the OC in favor of stability at this point.
June 3, 2009 5:05:19 PM

I defaulted the BIOS and dropped the OC to stock settings. Got the card to crash again. I'm testing it in another system. If it fails there, RMA time.

Which brings me to another point:
Palit's RMA policy sucks...
"FOR END-USERS
If you did not purchase Palit's products directly from us, please contact with your direct vendor for RMA service."

I purchased this card second-hand from my cousin, who purchased it less than a year ago from newegg. Something tells me they wash their hands of a failed graphics adapter after like 30 or 90 days.
a b U Graphics card
June 3, 2009 8:00:58 PM

Don't think its the vid card. I blamed my old 9800GX2, until my 4980 showed the same symptoms...worth a shot though.
June 4, 2009 5:31:48 AM

I'm still running strong with my 4850, even got the system OCed again as well as the card.
I have my room mate running the GTX 260 for now to see if he can reproduce the problems.
So far, he told me he fell asleep watching hulu and woke up in the morning to find that his computer had apparently restarted,
a symptom he hadn't experienced with his video card (an 8800GT) and I have with an identical motherboard to his (P5N-D, the board I attempted to replace my P7N-SLI with that didn't seem to fix things.)

I can only assume the card is shot. Wish me luck in my dealings with palit.
!