Various BSOD's when playing games

My system:
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Proc: AMD Athlon 64 x2 Dual Core 4800+ (2 CPUs), ~2.4GHz
Graphics: Nvidia GeFroce 8600 GT
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-K8N Pro-SLI
4GB RAM on 4 DIMM's

I had a different graphics card when I originally assembled it but nothing else has changed. The graphics card died on me (twice) but during that time I didn't get as many BSOD's and they seemed unrelated to the issues I'm having now. Any time I play a game (and a couple of times just watching videos in a browser or using Windows Media Player) I get a BSOD or the system just restarts within a variable time frame.....usually within the first hour but after it restarts, it holds on usually for over an hour. Normal computing almost never causes a restart and that can go on indefinitely.

Having tried to diagnose this issue, I first thought it was the drivers or a corrupted Windows install. I've reloaded the OS many times and have gone from all manner of versions of XP to now Windows 7 and updated drivers along the way. That ain't it.

I thought it was an issue with the onboard sound and while disabling sound in-game has prolonged the time before a restart/BSOD occurs, it still happens at some point.

I thought it was an issue with having 4GB of RAM and Windows not being able to handle that. That has shown the most success thus far but the issue still occurs. I had more stability when gaming when I went down to 3 DIMMs and about the same when I went down to 2 which I'm at now. I've tried MemTest (no errors) and have mixed and matched all the different DIMM's in a variety of configurations (1&2, 1&3, 2&4, 3&4 is my current).

2 DIMM slots on the Mobo are blue and the other 2 are black and my RAM has a blue "jacket" on 2 of them that I can't remember if I put on or doesn't come off though so I think it came that way. Obviously I matched the jacketed ones with the blue slots and the normal ones with the black slots. Practically any configuration will boot (although having all 4 in will cause the quickest BSOD) but they all cause a restart after a while.

I have seen probably 7 different error messages on the BSOD: IRQ Less than or Equal, Page Fault in non Paged area, nv4disp.dll or something, etc. The BSOD only appears though if I have 3 or 4 DIMM's in...with 2, it just restarts. Also, if have all 4 gigs in, the system only shows 3.25gig of RAM even though they're 1gig sticks each.

I'm puzzled because there was a time when I never got a BSOD so it can't be that the system is just incompatible. I haven't touched anything in the BIOS. The only thing that has changed was that I had a single card (GIGABYTE GV-3D1-68GT GeForce 6800GT Dual Core Video Card) that worked with SLI. It broke (twice) and I've since gotten the card I have now and turned off SLI. I've checked temperatures, nothing is overheating. I haven't overclocked. I think it has to be the RAM but I don't know how else to diagnose what the specific problem is because a restart occurs using any DIMM. Would love some help!
3 answers Last reply
More about various bsod playing games
  1. Mis-matched RAM is always a problem, and often a fatal one (to the board, not you!); get two more identical sticks of whichever pair you can still buy, and it'll likely work fine...
  2. 2 sticks ARE identical and there was a time when all 4 were in and it worked fine.
  3. You should set the voltage manually for the ram. The motherboard default is 1.8v, I suspect your ram manufacturer wants something different- higher. If you have the specs for your ram check what voltage they want. If one set wants 2.0v and the other wants 1.95 use the 2.0v setting. Good luck.
    You can use a free program cpu-z to look at the ram and see the manufacturers specifications listed internally on the ram.
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