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Nvidia GeForce GTS 250 1GB and system locks up while playing

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
June 16, 2009 8:18:57 AM

Greetings to everyone in this great community of Tom's Hardware, this is my first post so I hope I don't screw up anything.

Just a week ago I got this new computer that was sent to me already assembled by the vendor. I installed a Win7 beta and attempted to use it for gaming, but my screen is so old I needed to buy a DVI to VGA adapter to plug it into the nvidia 250 gts.

I played Gears of Wars, Quake 4 and Kane & Lynch for some days using the integrated Radeon HD 3200, with no incidents at all. Finally I got the DVI to VGA plug last Friday and used the nvidia for the first time with 185.85 drivers.

Then it happened. While playing Gears of Wars on highest and at a resolution of 1280x1024, suddenly the sound went into a loop, the game froze up completely and finally the OS locked up. I had to push restart button, I thought it was a first time error... I'm a bit of a noob on computers, and opened again GoW, from that point on I was able to play four straight hours with no errors or lock ups.

Yesterday the story kinda repeated. While playing Gears, again the sound loop came, and the system locked. This time I googled my issue and found a thread about 185.85 drivers not working properly, so I switched into 182.50 as recommended. Afterward I played Jericho on highest for some hours with no incident.

Finally today while thinking all was fine I launched Quake 4, this time I saw some weird bars traveling horizontally up and down on the screen, I panicked and closed it, then tried Kane & Lynch, it only showed some kind of white vortex and strange lines... my last option Gears of Wars ran fine.

About two hours later I played Quake 4 and the system locked up as usual. Restart, played again and I just finished the game with no further ado.

This system lock up affair seems to happen only once a day and only while playing, it has no previous choppiness or any kind of symptom before just happening.

These are the machine's specs:

Computer Type ACPI x64-based PC
Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate
OS Service Pack [ TRIAL VERSION ]
Internet Explorer 8.0.7127.0
DirectX DirectX 11.0
Computer Name CEFVIL-PC
User Name CefVil
Logon Domain [ TRIAL VERSION ]
Date / Time 2009-06-16 / 03:04

CPU Type TripleCore AMD Phenom II X3 710, 2454 MHz (13 x 189)
Motherboard Name Gigabyte GA-MA78G-UD3H (2 PCI, 3 PCI-E x1, 2 PCI-E x16, 4 DDR2 DIMM, Audio, Video, Gigabit LAN, IEEE-1394)
Motherboard Chipset AMD 780G, AMD K10
System Memory [ TRIAL VERSION ]
DIMM1: Kingston 2 GB DDR2-800 DDR2 SDRAM (6-6-6-18 @ 400 MHz) (5-5-5-15 @ 333 MHz) (4-4-4-12 @ 266 MHz)
BIOS Type Award Modular (12/30/08)
Communication Port Communications Port (COM1)
Communication Port Printer Port (LPT1)

Video Adapter NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 (1024 MB)
Video Adapter NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 (1024 MB)
3D Accelerator nVIDIA GeForce GTS 250
Monitor Dell E176FP [17" LCD] (CC6395BD4VKS)

Audio Adapter Realtek ALC889A @ ATI SB700 - High Definition Audio Controller

IDE Controller Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller
IDE Controller Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller
Storage Controller AC1QW8U0 IDE Controller
Disk Drive WDC WD5000AAVS-00ZTB0 ATA Device (465 GB, IDE)
Optical Drive TSSTcorp CDDVDW SH-S222A ATA Device (DVD+R9:16x, DVD-R9:12x, DVD+RW:22x/8x, DVD-RW:22x/6x, DVD-RAM:12x, DVD-ROM:16x, CD:48x/32x/48x DVD+RW/DVD-RW/DVD-RAM)
Optical Drive VKLONW HM38PIBOX SCSI CdRom Device
SMART Hard Disks Status OK

Total Size [ TRIAL VERSION ]

Keyboard HID Keyboard Device
Mouse HID-compliant mouse

Printer Fax
Printer Microsoft XPS Document Writer
FireWire Controller Texas Instruments TSB43AB23 1394A-2000 OHCI PHY/Link-Layer Controller (PHY: TI TSB43AB23)
USB1 Controller ATI SB700 - OHCI USB Controller
USB1 Controller ATI SB700 - OHCI USB Controller
USB1 Controller ATI SB700 - OHCI USB Controller
USB1 Controller ATI SB700 - OHCI USB Controller
USB1 Controller ATI SB700 - OHCI USB Controller
USB2 Controller ATI SB700 - EHCI USB 2.0 Controller
USB2 Controller ATI SB700 - EHCI USB 2.0 Controller
USB Device USB Input Device
USB Device USB Input Device

DMI BIOS Vendor Award Software International, Inc.
DMI BIOS Version F1
DMI System Manufacturer Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
DMI System Product GA-MA780G-UD3H
DMI System Version
DMI System Serial Number [ TRIAL VERSION ]
DMI Motherboard Manufacturer Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
DMI Motherboard Product GA-MA780G-UD3H
DMI Motherboard Version x.x
DMI Motherboard Serial Number [ TRIAL VERSION ]
DMI Chassis Manufacturer Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
DMI Chassis Version
DMI Chassis Serial Number [ TRIAL VERSION ]
DMI Chassis Asset Tag [ TRIAL VERSION ]
DMI Chassis Type Desktop Case
DMI Total / Free Memory Sockets 4 / 3

All powered by a 600 watt Pixxo Jaguar PW PSU with 2 fans.

Ran OCCT GPU test for about 10 minutes, the approximated time when lock ups occur and it showed no errors.

I really hope you can help me solve the problem, as the rig is new and I really don't want to go through all the nasty process of returning any kind of hardware to the vendor.

Many thanks in advance.

Last Minute Up-Date:

Now I can't play Kane & Lynch, graphics look corrupted by a vortex-like effect. Strange enough I just played Left4Dead on highest with no problem.

June 16, 2009 10:06:28 AM

Run Real Temp in the background and after a crash or playing for hours, check its log for high temps. Your problem sounds like a heat issue. What brand is the videocard?

I have a GTS 250 also and if I overclock it to 800 GPU core, it'll give me artifacts that go away if I lower the clock speed. It'll also get artifacts if the card goes to 78 - 80 C. this happened during my initia testing with the GPU only at 50%.

It doesn't happen anymore because the card never goes above 72 C with the fan set at 80% prior to starting Crysis, FC2, or CoD4.

a b Î Nvidia
June 16, 2009 12:42:43 PM

@ CefVil: I'm a little confused: Is this a single card or SLI? You are showing two 1Gb graphics cards in your post.
If this is a SLI setup, remove one card and retest, because I think the power supply is the culprit here; 36A is plenty for a good unit, but I am not too sure about yours:
Related resources
a c 172 Î Nvidia
June 16, 2009 2:20:23 PM

hundredislandsboy said:
Run Real Temp in the background

On an AMD CPU? :pfff: 
a c 172 Î Nvidia
June 16, 2009 2:23:13 PM

@ OP, your PSU is the main suspect, it's ability to supply a sustained amperage output is what's being questioned.
June 16, 2009 6:16:37 PM

Many thanks for the answers, now:

@HundredIslandsBoy, the card is ECS, it's not overclocked at all.

Here's what Everest says:

Video Adapter nVIDIA GeForce GTS 250
BIOS Version 62.92.6D.00.75
GPU Code Name G92GTS
PCI Device 10DE-0615 / 1019-1A0B (Rev A2)
Transistors 754 million
Process Technology 65 nm
Die Size 315 mm2
Bus Type PCI Express 2.0 x16 @ x16
Memory Size 1 GB
GPU Clock (Geometric Domain) 738 MHz (original: 740 MHz)
GPU Clock (Shader Domain) 1836 MHz (original: 1836 MHz)
RAMDAC Clock 400 MHz
Pixel Pipelines 16
TMU Per Pipeline 1
Unified Shaders 128 (v4.0)
DirectX Hardware Support DirectX v10
Pixel Fillrate 11808 MPixel/s
Texel Fillrate [ TRIAL VERSION ]

Memory Bus Properties:
Bus Type GDDR3
Bus Width 256-bit
Real Clock 999 MHz (DDR) (original: 1000 MHz)
Effective Clock 1998 MHz
Bandwidth [ TRIAL VERSION ]

Fan Speed 41%

nVIDIA ForceWare Clocks:
2D/3D GPU: 740 MHz, Shader: 1836 MHz, Memory: 1000 MHz

How can I set the fan to 80% prior gaming and such? it always shows running at 79% after I close GoW.

@coozie7, it's a single card, I only paid for one as far as I know, SLI is disabled. Is this PSU insufficient or just too crappy?

@mousemonkey, if I can't use Real Temp on my CPU, what could I use to monitor it's temperature? How to know if the PSU is the problem?

By the way, a lock up just happened while I was listening to music, I think this is getting worse. Should I switch back to the HD 3200 IGP?

Thanks again

a c 172 Î Nvidia
June 16, 2009 6:33:07 PM

Either get the full version of Everest or you can try this, Rivatuner may work for your fan speed issues but I don't think it's yet supported by the newest nvidia drivers however the guy who writes it also does the EVGA Precision tool which you can get from the EVGA website once you sign up for an account.
a c 172 Î Nvidia
June 16, 2009 6:35:10 PM

It may also be worthwhile checking that there are no Ati drivers or software on the system. And your PSU is an unknown brand possibly some generic POS.
a b Î Nvidia
June 16, 2009 6:46:17 PM

@ CefVil: Was not certain, if it was SLI then the PSU would, indeed, be a likely suspect but I think it'll be fine, unless it is faulty.
Try Everest; It's a free download and can check motherboard, CPU and graphics card temperatures and, to a degree, PSU voltages, although it gives some strange readings on my GA 965P S3 board.
Either GPUZ or Rivatuner will monitor the graphics card temperatures as well and both can record to a log for further reference.

EDIT: D*&( beaten by the Monkey;)
a c 172 Î Nvidia
June 16, 2009 6:51:16 PM

^Overclock yer keyboard. :lol: 
a b Î Nvidia
June 16, 2009 7:02:50 PM

^^^Tried that, burnt my fingers:) 
a c 172 Î Nvidia
June 16, 2009 7:22:45 PM

June 17, 2009 5:02:26 AM

Hi again guys, I'm now running CPUID, and it threw this:

CPUID Hardware Monitor

Mainboard Vendor Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
Mainboard Model GA-MA780G-UD3H (0x36A - 0x997285F6)

Vendor ITE
Model IT8718
Vendor ID 0x90
Chip ID 0x8718
Revision ID 0x5
Config Mode I/O address 0x2E

Dump config mode register space, LDN = 0x4
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 04 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
10 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
20 87 18 05 00 1A 80 50 00 41 00 00 00 01 00 00 00
30 01 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
40 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
50 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
60 02 28 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
70 00 02 00 00 04 04 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00

Hardware monitor

ITE IT87 hardware monitor

Voltage sensor 0 1.04 Volts [0x41] (CPU VCORE)
Voltage sensor 1 1.98 Volts [0x7C] (VIN1)
Voltage sensor 2 3.31 Volts [0xCF] (+3.3V)
Voltage sensor 3 5.16 Volts [0xC0] (+5V)
Voltage sensor 4 11.97 Volts [0xBB] (+12V)
Voltage sensor 5 -12.80 Volts [0xC8] (-12V)
Voltage sensor 7 3.23 Volts [0x78] (+5V VCCH)
Voltage sensor 8 3.14 Volts [0xC4] (VBAT)
Temperature sensor 0 39°C (102°F) [0x27] (TMPIN0)
Temperature sensor 1 33°C (91°F) [0x21] (TMPIN1)
Temperature sensor 2 40°C (104°F) [0x28] (TMPIN2)
Fan sensor 0 2352 RPM [0x11F] (FANIN0)
Fan sensor 2 1266 RPM [0x215] (FANIN2)

Dump hardware monitor
LPC Register space, base address = 0x0228

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
00 11 10 F0 00 FF FF 00 37 FF 87 54 09 27 1F FF 16
10 FF FF FF 73 D7 81 80 7F 01 FF 02 FF FF FF FF FF
20 41 7C CF C0 BB C8 FF 78 C4 27 21 28 80 23 72 72
30 FF 00 FF 00 FF 00 FF 00 FF 00 FF 00 FF 00 FF 00
40 7F 7F 7F 7F 7F 7F 5F 74 2D 40 90 22 FF FF FF FF
50 FF 2A 7F 7F 7F 50 05 05 90 05 08 12 60 00 00 00
60 00 14 41 27 90 03 FF FF 00 14 41 23 90 03 FF FF
70 00 14 41 20 90 03 FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF
80 00 00 FF FF 00 00 FF FF 00 00 00 00 00 00 02 00
90 FF 00 00 00 FF 00 00 00 FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF
A0 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF

Hardware monitor

AMD Phenom II X3 710 hardware monitor

Temperature sensor 0 29°C (83°F) [0xE6] (Core #0)
Temperature sensor 1 29°C (83°F) [0xE6] (Core #1)
Temperature sensor 2 29°C (83°F) [0xE6] (Core #2)

Dump hardware monitor

Hardware monitor

GeForce GTS 250 hardware monitor

Temperature sensor 0 51°C (123°F) [0x33] (GPU Core)

Dump hardware monitor

Hardware monitor

WDC WD5000AAVS-00ZTB0 hardware monitor

Temperature sensor 0 33°C (91°F) [0x21] (HDD)

Dump hardware monitor

Also I'm using EVGA Precision to increase the GPU fan speed up to 80% as default, some hours ago I made some testing on Kane & Lynch, which worked without artifacts. I saw a peak of temperature of 72 celsius degrees at around 2 pm, after the fan speed up it's working at a stable margin of 51 degrees.

Finally I uninstalled some remaining ATI drivers that I missed. I'll go and run some tests leaving GPUZ working and logging to file while on background, hope that keeps record of the temperature.

Thanks again

Edit: Played for about 10 minutes and artifacts began to appear as well as mini lock-ups of about 1 second. The temp was about 72 celsius maximum as reported by CPUID. Should my despair begin by now??

a c 172 Î Nvidia
June 17, 2009 9:08:42 AM

Increase fan speed to 100% whilst playing, make sure the exhaust fans in the case are doing their job and cool air is coming in.
June 17, 2009 9:29:16 AM

Well, it seems your fan has some room to try and keep your card cooler. For me, 72 C is on the warm side and I prefer below 70. You can always try the fan at 100% to see if the problem goes away. If it does, you can keep lowering the fan until the artifacts come back.

I haven't heard much about ECS videocards. I use an ECS mainboard one one system and it's been reliable for over a year so I guess the lack of bad news or rumors about ECS is a good thing. I'm guessing it has a warranty in case our ideas to fix those annoying artifacts don't work out. The card seems to be working fine as you've indicated the artifacts happen only after a couple of hours of intense gaming.

I'd be interested to know what kind of rigorous torture tests ECS conducts before sending the card in a nice colorful box for the retail shelves. Maybe the guy got lazy on his shift and tested your card for 1 hour and 30 minutes only instead of 2 hours?

June 17, 2009 1:56:14 PM

Mousemonkey said:
Increase fan speed to 100% whilst playing, make sure the exhaust fans in the case are doing their job and cool air is coming in.

Your post wasn't visible yet when I posted for 100% fan. Great minds think alike!
a c 172 Î Nvidia
June 17, 2009 2:11:35 PM

hundredislandsboy said:
Your post wasn't visible yet when I posted for 100% fan. Great minds think alike!

June 17, 2009 5:18:24 PM

Greetings people :D 

As mousemonkey and HundredIslandsBoy suggested, I increased fan speed to 100% while playing, still temp goes up to 75 Celsius, and so far I've had no luck with Kane & Lynch which still gives artifacts after only minutes of gaming and has a very poor overall performance, I don't think a game that asks only for a 128mb card should be causing these problems on my system, because Gears of War still plays smoothly and I think system requirements on both are similar... aren't they?

Last night I played Jericho and some weird noise came out of the case, like a rattling, I'll check if the GPU is well connected and if fans work properly.

In case that the card keeps on with the problems, should it be wise to return it and get a 4850 instead?

a c 172 Î Nvidia
June 17, 2009 7:56:14 PM

Sounds like a cable may be interfering with the fan or it's died, rattles from a PC are rarely good.
June 17, 2009 8:39:03 PM

Well, since you had the system built by a vendor they probably didn't pull out the removeable slot covers that cover the rear part of the case. Did you pull out two of those so that the exhaust openings of the card aren't blocked?
June 17, 2009 8:40:56 PM

The temps that you report here, are they the temps at time of crash or after you exit the game and look at the desktop? You should be looking at a log that says X amount load on the CPU.
June 17, 2009 10:41:42 PM

I'll echo what MouseMonkey and others have said: make sure you turn your system fans up to 100% and make sure the exhausts and intakes aren't blocked or overloaded with dust. This will help eliminate a heat problem. Beyond that, it sounds like a power problem, so you may just not have enough juice to keep stable flow to the video card and all the rest of the system when running that add-in card. Can you get Everest or others to output a log or report of voltages and temps while trying to run a game? That could see if something starts going awry in one of those departments. Also, make sure experimental stuff like Ambient occlusion is turned off, as I have seen that cause issues in some games (especially performance wise, sometimes even causing lock-ups).
June 18, 2009 5:29:18 AM

Hello to everyone and a big thanks for keeping up with the thread. :D 

I just opened the case and checked up the fan, which is not obstructed by anything, the card was in it's place, I pushed it a little to see if it fitted well in the slot and it did.

Then I checked up the power cable... it seemed like well connected but I unplugged it to be sure, to my surprise it was half lose from the card's entry, so I pushed til I heard a nice and clean "click". After cursing the vendor for a while I went to play Kane & Lynch, which ran fine up to half an hour with no artifacts, EVGA Precision states that max temperature was 79 celsius with fan running at 80%, and I've heard no more rattles since reconnection.

I was only reporting temps I saw after crashing, now GPUZ is running now with log activated, but as "today's crash" just happened this morning I don't expect anymore lock ups for tonight.

So far I don't know how to make a log for PSU voltages, only of GPU temps... any ideas on how to do it?

@DataCabbitKS, I'm not sure if Kane & Lynch or GoW use Ambient Occlusion, the only heavy things I see is AAF and AntiAliasing, all set to max.

Will report if another lock up happens.

June 21, 2009 1:53:26 AM


After about two days of working nicely the PC froze up again.

It happened while playing Left4Dead for one hour, here are the temps registered before the lock up:


2009-06-20 20:32:08 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 75.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:09 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 75.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:10 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 75.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:11 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 75.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:12 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 75.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:14 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 75.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:15 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 75.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:16 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 75.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:17 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 76.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:18 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 76.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:19 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 76.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:20 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 76.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:21 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 76.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:22 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 76.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:23 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 76.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:24 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 76.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:25 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 76.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:26 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 73.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:27 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 70.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:28 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 69.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:29 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 68.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:30 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 68.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:31 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 67.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:32 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 67.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:33 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 66.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:34 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 66.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:35 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 66.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:36 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 66.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:37 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 65.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:38 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 65.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:39 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 65.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:40 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 65.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:41 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 65.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:42 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 64.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:43 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 64.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:44 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 64.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:45 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 64.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:46 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 63.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:47 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 63.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:48 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 63.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:49 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 63.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:50 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 63.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:51 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 63.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:52 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 62.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:53 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 62.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:54 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 62.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:55 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 62.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:56 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 62.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:57 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 62.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:58 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 61.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:32:59 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 61.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:33:00 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 61.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:33:01 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 61.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:33:02 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 61.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:33:03 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 61.0 , 80 ,

2009-06-20 20:33:04 , 740.0 , 1000.0 , 61.0 , 80 ,

*Last two values to the right are temp and fan speed

Max was 77 degrees with fan working at 80%, however max temp was registered way before the crash.

I must mention that to benchmark I left the PC working all night yesterday, don't know if that has to do with the crash. But I think it shouldn't since I did that all time with my old Dell and never crashed.

While checking CPUID I saw a power variation of 11.97 volts maximum to 11.52 minimum, does that mean the PSU is the guilty of all this mess?

Or did I just put too much pressure onto the machine by letting it on all night and day and then playing? I'm about to write to those damn vendors...

Well, thanks to everyone again, I await for your advise.

June 21, 2009 2:34:43 AM

Yeah sounds like it my PSU never deviates from 12.12
June 21, 2009 5:42:34 AM

I still say it's heat problem but probably not the videocard. Next time you run a D game for about an hour, pause and check the motherboard temps.

June 21, 2009 7:57:37 AM

@shiftstealth, well if the PSU is just not enough do you think this model whould help?:

It's the best I can get in my country.

@HundredIslandsBoy, could be heat probably, but I always feel cool air coming out from the case's exhausts, gpu temp never goes beyond 80 degrees, and card's fan responds to EVGA Precision's manipulation, plus this annoying lock up happens only once a day and pop's up even if I'm playing old games like Quake 4.

Here's what Hardware Monitor says, it recorded the highest temperature of the system during my last session of GTA IV, I guess this game really puts pressure on the machine:

If so is the case I have a spare CoolerMaster fan I could integrate to the case... if I knew how.

Good night to everyone, will post tomorrow any news. :) 

June 21, 2009 10:12:12 AM

Here's quick test to find out if it's a heat problem from poor airflow within your case:

Leave out the side panel. Blow a desktop fan into your motherboard while you game for an hour. If no crashes, then you'll know that in your case heat builds up after an hour and causes the crash.

BTW, d Does your RAM have heat spreaders?
June 22, 2009 4:51:29 AM

@HundredIslandsBoy, now I pushed the thing to it's limit's, it reached 82 celsius degrees with fan at 100% while on GTA IV, played for about 3 hours, then a two hour rest, and other 3 straight hours with some minor slow downs and then recovering. Also the PC has been on since 11 am... and no crash.

How to know if the RAM has heat spreaders? Is that a motherboard feature or of the sticks themselves, this is the model:

It's actually driving me a little bit neurotic, never knowing when the thing is going to blow... anyway, thanks so much for all the support.

June 23, 2009 3:50:51 PM

Meh, I actually have a GTS 250 Card too, having the same problem.....I was playing COD4 started glitching after 30 mins of gameplay, temps never reacher 70ºC. This is so wrong..........

In my case, my psu doesnt give the 24A requiered......the weird thing is that i borrowed a CoolerMaster PSU with 2 18A rails, and it failed too, so It has nothing to do with the PSU.......There are similar problems with the 9600GT card.

Also, I apparently I can play H.A.W.X without a problem, though I hadnt try for a long long while......Will have to do......


June 25, 2009 1:34:30 AM

Salutes to everyone

I've been using the PC for three days with no lock ups, installed 181.71 nVidia drivers which corrected most gaphics glitches on Kane & Lynch.

I suspect the reason of the lock ups was the GPU's fan not running at 100%, because recently temp has gone up to 80 degrees without problems, and before at 70 degrees it locked up with the fan running only to 80%. Call it manufacturer's incompetence or GPU defect, I'm seriously thinking about returning it for a 4850.

The only game that results problematic now it's GTA IV, which doesn't lock up but lags a bit, this I think it's a RAM related issue but I don't know for sure. Three hour gaming sessions show no major problem than little lags.

@HundredIslandsBoy, no, my RAM sticks have not heatsinks, only now they started selling them down here, I'll upgrade to 6gb's soon when this model is available again:

@pmcnano, you can try out setting the fan at 100% prior gaming with EVGA Precision and see if that helps with glitches.


June 29, 2009 5:39:53 AM

Salutes, the lock up happened again this time while playing DMC 4, fan running at 100% of speed and temps below 70 degrees.

Played GTA IV all afternoon without incidents, then left it to cool down for some hours, and right when I started DMC 4, that damn sound loop and coma came.

I already wrote to the vendors, so any suggestions before I throw this crap right onto their faces will be very welcome.


June 30, 2009 9:23:57 AM

To me it's still a heat issue (CPU or mobo chipset). Play with the side panel out to see of it improves.
July 9, 2009 7:51:11 AM

Ok as far as what you have explained its either 2 things.

The driver that you are using is causing the artifacts / lines on screen


Your video card has bad memory and needs to be replaced. Normally the artifacting is due to a driver issue. At the moment I am using 185.85 released April 30 2009 and I have not had one issue so far. Try this driver to see if it solves your problem..
July 9, 2009 7:56:13 AM

Sorry, didnt realize that you have already tried this driver.

Only thing that comes to my mind is that your card is baked. In this case get any video card you can find and install with current drivers. Then run 3d mark05 (trial if you dont own a copy) then run prime95 (free) if you dont get any artifacts then its the video card. If not I would return the whole comp for a replacement.

BTW download speedfan and look at temps while you run those programs.
July 9, 2009 5:53:05 PM

@OvrClkr thanks for responding bud :D 

Sadly my card is the only one in about six miles around, this is a small town in a small country, I ran 3dMark06 yesterday, gave out 12098 points with no artifact nor lag during the tests.

Also the PC has been on since yesterday 10am with intermittent gaming sessions of Street Fighter IV, Half Life 2 - Episode Two and F.E.A.R. Project Origin, all of them on max settings, res of 1280x1024 and played from 2 to 5 hours, max temp was 81 Celsius with fan running @100% and the major incident was a tiny stuttering that happened only once during F.E.A.R. at 70 degrees.

I'll try prime95 during night... and about returning the PC, I'll do it whenever another lock up happens, the only problem is that I'll have to take the bus and make a bothering interstate trip alongside my CPU.


July 9, 2009 7:27:29 PM

Well if thats the case keep troubleshooting till you find out whats wrong (if you get another lockup) this way it will save you that bus trip and not having a comp for a while.

Btw 81c is too hot, what case are you using at what is the ambient (room) temp?

July 9, 2009 8:45:35 PM

Im wondering if it isnt the psu. It lists 840+ watts for a 600 watt psu, and the pricing is a small percentage of coolermasters etc, like an 1/8 to 1/20 the cost of the well known brands
August 15, 2009 2:06:08 AM

hi all
im from mexico and i have been reading the messages.

i think your problem is the PSU, i understand that you have 2 gts 250
look at this

Maximum GPU Temperature (in C) 105 C
Maximum Graphics Card Power (W) 150 W
Minimum System Power Requirement (W) 450 W

if you are getting temperatures above 80 i think is too high. the hardware can support it but with the time you will reduce the life of your cards.

i have a 9600gt with PSU of 600w. i had played crysis wars for 5 hours with no problems but also my temperatures never get higher then 60 with the stock fan and the temperature from my room is about 25 to 30 C.

i recommend you to remove on video card and play only with one gts250 and see what happen.

if all works good, so the preblem is your psu

August 15, 2009 4:52:28 PM

Hi again, thanks for all the answers and my apologies for not responding lately.

@Rlugoo, hey man nice to see someone else from México in the forums, I'm from Coahuila, almost in the middle of the desert, so the temps of my room are slightly higher, about 27 to 35 by day, and 18 to 23 during the night.

I only have one card running, never had two and my PSU is 600 watts, but it's from quite a crappy brand. Lately the thing hasn't gone beyond 73 celsius, but still it idles at 56 degrees, which doesn't look normal.

The last troubleshooting I did was disabling the onboard IGP from the bios and I haven't had a crash during five days, even while playing Prototype, Legendary and Velvet Assassin at max settings... but last month I had a lapse of more than a week without crashes, and then they came back out of nowhere!

Last crash was past week, and I've gotten to notice a pattern, alongside the weirdness of a single crash per day, it seems that the lock ups only occur during the first five minutes of the game, if I leave a game running for six minutes then come back to it I can play for 5 hours without a single bug. Also I read that Windows 7, particularly Ultimate edition, causes lock ups, very similar to mine, to other nvidia users, guess I'll try a dual boot with XP or Vista and see if lock ups happen.

I'm using a Coolermaster Centurion case, it has two side exhausts, another one in the front and two more on the rear end. All exhausts, except the front one have a fan attached, the PSU has two for itself and the CPU another, the card's fan works, I can hear it roaring and see the degrees go down when I set it to 100%.

So far I've firmly decided to take this thing back to the store, that is when I get the goddamn bill that guarantee requires to be validated, which I have not in my power due to bizarre family circumstances.

Thanks again for all your responses :) 

August 15, 2009 5:00:21 PM

Hi, this same thing happened to my gtx 285 several weeks ago, and yes the new drivers are junk, there is a 2 step solution to this problem

1. download and do a clean install of 182.50 drivers (the drivers you had before still is in the system)
2. download riva tuner and tune the fan speed of the video card all the way up, also adjust the frequencies to make the card stable.
3. optional, test your system with furmark, be careful furmark will get very very very hot, so keep an eye on temps of your video card.

these 2 steps fixed the problem for me, i had yellow and black lines in my games with the new drivers, and some times i would lose texture.
August 16, 2009 8:08:49 PM

And it happened again... I think, last night I left the PC downloading something, when I woke up the monitor was in stand by mode, but when I tried to "wake up" the PC it just remained in stand by, totally froze.

I had to hard reset, nonetheless it failed to boot windows, after a second reboot it came back to normal. But if this is all related to the graphics cards and or PSU, why would it die while doing absolutely nothing??? a time it froze up while using winamp, then while using youtube, and now this... I'm going to install Windows XP and see if it fails there.


August 16, 2009 8:17:44 PM

It could be "operator error" as your system seems to be fine most of the time. How much multi-tasking are you doing while leaving the PC on overnight, such as folding, rendering, batch programs, 3d screensaver, etc, and what are your settings for power saving such as standby after 30 minutes, or hard drives tunr off, etc...?
August 20, 2009 7:13:35 AM

Hey HundredIslandsBoy, nice to read you again, when the PC is left overnight, I have some folders open, about 2-7, no rendering, 3d screensaver or such. Only Jdownloader and/or Firefox are active, power settings are labeled as "High Performance", so the PC never sleeps if I don't turn it off, only the display is set to turn off after 15 minutes of inactivity.

On Sunday I installed a newer Windows 7 build, updated it and then failed to boot again, only once, now it's been running for 9 hours with no incident.

August 20, 2009 7:38:42 PM

Do you still have "only" 2 gigs of RAM? If so, if you do much multitasking, such as a photo edit app running on a huge file, while browsing several screens, gaming, etc. some programs can crash your system if you run out of RAM.
August 21, 2009 4:58:28 AM

hi men again, you said that before, the nvidia you were using the integrated video card right? with no problems so i think your problem must be with the vcard or your psu or maybe yor windows (for drivers),

i also have the same psu then you and windows 7 (7100) with the envidia 9600 and driver 186.18 and i have nerver had a problem

why dont you try another psu with some friend?

i dont know if you tried this driver

Version: 190.38 WHQL
Release Date: 2009.07.21
Operating System: (Windows Vista, Windows 7) i selected 32bit
Language: English (U.S.)
File Size: 95.5 MB
is the newest.
but you cant accelerate the fan with rivatuner in that driver i havent tested it
August 21, 2009 11:10:47 PM

Hi everyone, thanks for your answers, I still have had no crashes since the new Windows 7 build install, probably because I haven't done any gaming, other than Velvet Assassin, as I am busy burning DVD's in order to rescue my stuff before formatting, I currently have two Win7 versions working so the PC is quite messy.

Anyway @Rlugoo, before using this Nvidia I was working with the HD3200 integrated on the mobo, and yeah, it worked perfectly, struggled with GoW but never crashed... I'm going back to XP, to see if that fixes this crap, hope I don't lose too much performance on games or design.

Can't use another PSU, my friends and girlfriend use laptops, also other PC's around only have 400 or less wattage generic units, not really a lot of gaming computers around here, sadly.

I've read user comments on the site I bought my rig and they all say the PSU works very well, even with 2 hard drives, video card and extra PCI hardware that I don't use, so it could be very weird for only mine to fail, yet it's designed, made and imported from China so I don't trust it completely.

I'm currently using that driver, I'll install the newer later and see what happens, and I always set the fan to 100% before playing.

@HundredIslandsBoy still 2gb's of RAM, and I only use Firefox or Winamp while gaming... also Event Viewer shows nothing odd, aside from the message after I hard reboot about Windows being shut down indelicately.

Well, I'll keep on burning and hopefully by tonight I'll have XP installed.

December 16, 2009 2:32:09 PM

you can check to see if the link width of the pcie is x16 @ x16, I also had that problem because of the link width changing to x16 @ x1. on CPUZ click on the mainboard tab. or reinstall the chipset driver and video card driver as this may have been caused by driver installation issue... I think?
February 26, 2010 1:08:04 PM

Hi Everyone, Has there been a solution to this issue posted? I bought a PC yesterday and experience the same problem, but even when the PC is idle. It happened during the installation of Windows 7 64-bit as well.
Generally, the screen will not come out of standby mode and I have to do a hard reset every time that happens. Hopefully there is a fix, if not, I'll just take it back.