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Experts ppppleasse - Games freezing, crashing, etc...need help

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August 27, 2009 4:13:10 PM

Gents,
Wierd issue and it's going to drive me to drink....
Never had an issue I can't solve. Always a 1st right?
Recently put together an HTPC running Windows 7 with these specs:
ASUS Crosshair II
AMD Phenom Quad Core 955
4 GB OCZ 1066
ATI 4870 x 2
Bear in mind this is water cooled however as it's an HTPC the radiator is a double 80mm guy and althought the idle temps on the CPU are around 50 degrees celcius they can shoot up to 70 when gaming.
Saying that the 2 x 4870 cores max out around 45 degrees. I do need to add another rad though but I do not believe this is not the cause of the current issue.
Here's why:
I can play Team Fortress 2, Half life, Fear 2 and a couple other games with no issues. Even when temps are high. I have run 3dMark06 serveral times - no freezing crashing, etc.
Logic would dictate that the CPU, MB, Graphics card and mem are ruled out. MemTest has already been run which confirms that mem is okay.
Also take into account I have reinstalled the OS several times
Heres where the issue crops up - When I play dawn of war ii and red alert 3 either between 5 - 10 mins the games freeze. no blue screen altough I have had them in the past but the games just freezes and make an odd noise then stops altogether.
As soon as I lower the sound quality of Dawn of War II - no crashing/freezing. Yet to test it on Red Alert.
I was using onboard sound after reaslising this I replaced it with a Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium.
..but alas the same happens with this card as well. I have cleaned up the drivers using driver sweeper. Even disabled onboard Sound in the BIOS.
I still get a crash which leads me to believe that it's either the OS (Windows 7) or the PSU. Sound card ruled out - too much of a coincidence of both cards not working.
I'm going to reinstall the Vista x64 to see if this fixes the issue however if this doesn't work then I'm back to the drawing board.
Any help greatly appreciated...

More about : experts ppppleasse games freezing crashing

August 27, 2009 9:28:26 PM

RD 3 is quite a heavyweight. I aim for the PSU, however try to check your temps with hardware_monitor during rd 3 n dow, maybe they tost the cpu a lot.

btw nice hardware, why put in htpc ?
August 27, 2009 9:48:34 PM

what PSu do you have pushing that hardware? sometimes when you have a particularly taxing game it may show signs of weakness but not in lighter games.. esp when dual gpu and cpu are 100% loaded.. however what you mentioned makes me thing it is a sound issue.. I would alos try removing the sound blaster card from the pc.. maybe those 2 games are requesting somethign from the sound blaster creating a conflict with graphics? sound blaster is know to have irq conflicts with video cards.. my 2 cents. please let us know what happens
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August 27, 2009 9:52:41 PM

I have that CPU and first off I think that your temps are way too high. The specs on the CPU state 61C high temp (there is some safety zone I would think) 70C is way too high. With the average case and the stock HSF I think you would get better CPU temps not overclocked v the water system you have at the moment. My oced (3700MHZ) temp this second is 33C on air. Latest BIOS on the MB? All correct and updated drivers? The GPUS are 45C and are water cooled also? If that is true that your high temps for your xfire GPU steup is only 45c that is very good. Pull the sound card for the moment. What is the wattage rating of the PSU? I do have some other ideas, answer back we'll go from there.
August 27, 2009 10:15:26 PM

First thought would be a heat problem for me too. Don't know what psu you have so can't comment on that. Did you find the latest DX updates and install them ?
August 27, 2009 11:40:17 PM

Temps to hot or PSU agreed.

If your running the card and CPU on the same loop, ya your getting to hotttttttttttt.

If your gonna do water do it right or stick with air. 70C for CPU on water is way to hot.

August 28, 2009 5:59:18 PM

Allllrigghty then. 1 x temp theory destroyed.

Moved the cpu water block to one side. Add 1 x standard AMD cooler. Jack up DoW2.

2 mins - sounds starts going wierd. As I move my cursor around I'm seeing artifacts. Then freeze. Checked Everest - time of freeze - CPU temp at 49 degrees.

As much as I would have liked some of you to be right t'was not to be.

So peeps, this now leaves me with either the PSU or the OS. DX is up to scrath as are all the drivers. I can remove the Sound Blaster but I'm betting 100% its going to happen again.

Saying that I have a 650W PSU. It's a coolermaster and in my humble opinion it's sh!t but hey ho it does the job.

I have Windows Vista x64 ultimate in my bag so I'm going to install it tonight and see if that fixes it.

Somehow I'm getting this really nasty sensation its going to be the PSU. That's £185 just to fix a 2 games that can't run properly. Ouch!
August 28, 2009 6:03:59 PM

Oh yes - about the htpc - I live in a one bed flat so no space for a desk hence the need to save space. I do need to put this in a tower and put it under a desk - that would require a bigger place. This is starting to get expensive...
August 28, 2009 6:08:46 PM

is that one of the power supplys that have like 4 rails on them?

try switching some connectors around..

one of the main reasons i went with a 1 rail 750watt power supply.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

+12V @ 60A (Powerful Single Rail)

is better than 4 15 amp rails.

I got mine for 89$ us..
August 28, 2009 6:33:48 PM

Go into the control panel or the device manager and delete the ATI graphics driver and ATI sound drivers. Uninstall the card.( from device manager ) Reboot. Don't let windows install the drivers. Do a manual install........ from the drivers you downloaded from AMD/ATI site. Do an advanced install. When prompted........ only select to install the graphics driver and DO NOT install the sound portion. Reboot and see if it helped. ..............
August 29, 2009 7:11:49 PM

Just re-installed Win Vista x64 - DX and drivers all in and Steam installed. Jacked up everything single game I have - no freezing, no crashes......yet.

Happy days - cheers for the assist gents.
!