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9800GTX+ locking up during gameplay,driver, overheating orPSU [SOLVED]

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 27, 2009 8:10:49 PM

Alright, I recently built a computer with the following specs:

2.8GHz Intel core 2 duo E7400 CPU
XFX 980GTX+ GPU
ASRock P43Twins1600 motherboard
RAIDMAX SMILODON Extreme Black case
Antec earthwatts EA380 380W PSU
SAMSUNG HD502HI 500GB HDD
Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333MHz RAM
HP SATA Model 1160i DVD drive
Running Windows 7 RC

I have Call of duty 4/5 and Mercenaries 2, all of which freeze up after 30-90 minutes of gameplay. Most of the comments about this video point to driver issues, so that’s what I tried first. I had been using 186.18, so then I tried the next newest whql version, 185.15. With no luck there, I realized my GPU's fan was never above 35% and around 145ºF when I was playing games, so I used rivatuner to stabilize it but for some reason the fan would die back down to 35% after about a minute while I'm playing games. Now thinking this was an overheating issue, I went back to the latest driver, and had better luck stabilizing the fan at 75%. This left my GPU at ≈120º while playing games, which according to speedfan is good. However, I still got a freeze up after about 20 minutes of gameplay, and just a minute before the temp had been at 122ºF. So, I went back to the 181.71 driver, but that one leaves my games with a lot of visual glitches so I'm kinda stuck. The only other thing I can think of is that my PSU might be gimping out and somehow causing these issues. My graphics GPU does recommend a 450w PSU, but that is for a version with two PCIe power connectors, and according to eXtreme power supply calculator 380w is more than enough.
Please help me with this issue, this is my first time building a computer so I might sound a bit inexperienced, but any suggestions are appreciated.
June 27, 2009 8:32:18 PM

What are your CPU temps at the time of the game crashes?
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June 27, 2009 8:36:42 PM

This sounds like an issue I've seen before, and the culprit was insufficient power. Try downclocking your GPU ~10% and seeing if that clears the issue up. Also try borrowing a friend's power supply and look for the same results as you have now. Good luck!
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June 27, 2009 8:50:13 PM

CPU temps are about 100-110ºF, never much higher. I'll try the downclocking, but unfortunately I don't know anybody who's willing to lend me a power supply.
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June 27, 2009 11:05:00 PM

looks like that poor eathpower is taking a kicking
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June 28, 2009 5:04:14 AM

Ok I bought a 600W PSU that I was sure I could return to see if that is the issue, but while my case fans now run much faster the problems persist. Any other suggestions?
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June 28, 2009 7:15:05 AM

43 C while gaming (110F) is pretty low - with a stock cooler the 7400 will usually climb through 50 to 52, then drop back below 50 depending on who is controlling the fan lol. Are you using Realtemp? What are you using for cpu temp.

Anyhow, getting back to basics, have you torture tested this build . . . memtest, Prime95, etc? A failure there might help point to the problem.

Is anything overclocked? perhaps accidentally by some Windows software?
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June 28, 2009 4:49:47 PM

I use speedfan for monitoring all my temps. I was very impressed with the heatsnyc that came with my CPU, it runs like 50ºF cooler than my macbook. I just ran several memtests and they all came out fine. And I'm pretty sure nothing is overclocked. Thanks for your concern.
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June 28, 2009 6:39:04 PM

Ok tried installing windows xp and running CoD 4 but still got a freeze up. I think that pretty much makes it certain that it’s a hardware issue. Will try ubuntu with wine later to see if I get any issues there.
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June 28, 2009 8:26:50 PM

run memtest, and get dionostic tools for your HDD and test them, ethoir could cuase a lock up, is that game fully patched btw?
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Best solution

June 28, 2009 9:06:50 PM

We've seen PCs freeze due to memory issues even after running memtest. Some things to try - run with one stick of memory and/or kick up memory votage a bit if you have room. Its possible you've got a memory problem when the mobo is under load, ie, gaming.

Do you have another vid card to swap in to eliminate that as a possible problem?
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June 28, 2009 9:13:40 PM

memtest only see if you got any errors it don't do nothing ...however its not really sensitive enough
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June 28, 2009 11:12:06 PM

Memtest came out fine repetitively, haven't tested the HDD but I will. The game on windows XP wasn't fully patched but it froze the same way as the patched version of the game on windows 7. Will try with one stick of ram in and bumping up the voltage, but since I have 1.5 volt ram I shouldn't go above that right? My BIOS is set to auto and the closest voltage is 1.47V or 1.53V, which one should I choose? Also, I noticed that my motherboard, even though on the newegg page here http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... , does not appear to support 1333MHz ram like mine, but 1066MHz. Could this be an issue? In addition, after enabling "memory flexibility", it recognized all of my ram instead of 3.1 GB. Thanks for the help.
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June 28, 2009 11:41:00 PM

Wait - you're running 2 sticks of DDR3 memory. TBH, I don't know what happens when you do this. Should be OK . . . I know your board supports both DDR2 and 3 memory . . . but you're now outside of my experience.

As for the speed issue, your mobo should just run the memory slower.

As for voltage, at least try whatever the current setting is with one stick, and then go to 1.53V
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June 29, 2009 12:42:30 AM

It looks like the memory flexibility tweak fixed it, not for sure though. will also try the ram voltage if I get another freeze.
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June 30, 2009 5:51:55 AM

Ok it's fixed. Thanks everyone for your help, especially you Twoboxer, your comment set us on the right track.
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!