Problems gaming with recent i7 build

Well i recently built my first computer, and have been experiencing many game crashes and some blue screen errors from time to time as well. I checked the minidump files that windows creates and it says its a hardware problem.

i originally thought it mightve been windows 7, since when i first built the computer, i was running xp 32 bit and everything seemed to work okay for the most part, then i got windows 7 64 bit and installed it and thats where the problems seemed to start but now im not too sure.

im running with:
windows 7 x64
i7 920
asrock x58 extreme
antec 650watt
samsung 1tb
6gb ddr3 ocz
sapphire radeon 5850

everything is running at stock, the processor is running around 30-42 or so degrees, gpu is running at about 39 degrees idle, and around 80 or so at full load, which i thought mightve been a slight problem, so i turned up the fan speed which dipped the temperature down about 10 degrees and games were still crashing. so im basically out of ideas and very desperate.

thanks in advance for any help.
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More about problems gaming recent build
  1. by the way, this is the only problem ive come across so far, there are times when the games will run untill im done playing which i think the longest time i remember would be about 2.5 hours or so, but other times it wont last 10 minutes.

    also, all drivers are up to date.
  2. Best answer
    What are the detailed specs on your RAM? Is it any of these?

    This kind of thing is often caused by the RAM not getting enough voltage. Especially if it's usually happening under load. Most DDR3 motherboards default to provide 1.5V, and I noticed that the OCZ RAM mostly takes 1.65V. So if that's the case, you'll most likely have to go into the BIOS and set the RAM voltage to 1.65 manually.

    Also, a word of caution while you're doing this: With an i7 processor, it is not recommended to set RAM voltage above 1.65V or you can damage the CPU. You should be OK with the RAM you've got ... but if you have one of those boards that only lets you raise or lower voltage in increments of 0.02V, to be on the safe side I'd try 1.64V first, not 1.66V.
  3. yes it was one of those, it was this one actually,

    I'm at work right now, so I'll check this out when I get in, thanks a lot for the suggestion, that might be the problem, because I was originally running a 32 bit OS so it was only able to use 4 of the 6gb I had in the mobo, then I bumped up to the 64 bit and that's when the problems began so... im crossing my fingers haha
  4. Try memtest after doing it then, and maybe prime95 just because.
  5. okay so my ram voltage was sitting at 1.56 so im gonna change that, try it out and check back
  6. i increased the ram voltage to 1.64 and it seems to be working, ill obviously be keeping an eye on it, but i think that did it, thanks a lot capt.
  7. Glad it helped ... RAM voltage seems like something that's going to be an issue with probably half of all homebuilt systems in existence, but they really don't do a whole lot to warn you about beforehand.

    I'm willing to bet most people find out about it exactly the way I first did -- when one of their own machines starts freezing for no apparent reason.
  8. Hopefully as a result of that we might get a communications standard between mobos and RAM to get the absolute right settings the first time. Clearly whatever's being used now doesn't do the job.
  9. Seriously. Even on motherboards supposedly designed with overclocking and high-performance components in mind, most of the time you end up going in there and setting it yourself.

    It also is pretty frustrating when you have a system that is working fine, then you add more RAM so all four slots are filled ... then it starts crashing because the motherboard doesn't know to bump up the voltage to compensate. THAT'S another fun one to figure out the first time it happens to you.

    (also, note to OP: Because of the voltage limitation of the i7 chip, I would not fill all the DIMM slots with RAM. At least not the 1.65V RAM you have. If you do, and the RAM turns out to need more voltage with all slots filled, you're pretty much screwed.)
  10. thanks for the info, but id imagine 6gb is gonna be fine for another few years, and by the time its considered a small amount of ram, im sure ill be looking at building a new rig anyway. but yeah, still very good to know, i wouldnt have known that, thank god for these forums haha
  11. They purposely make you set it yourself as some boards/CPUs cannot run the ram at the rated speeds. And then, despite the advanced manufacturing processes (or because of), each module is a little different. One may need 1.5V, one 1.6V, etc. And finally, the sheer amount of testing to cover all combinations of ram quantities, brands, and mobos is too much to be feasible, and that is the only way to know what works and what doesn't for sure. That said, I have had some mobos auto set the ram correctly.
  12. Yeah, maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part. There are so many variables with each component that they're probably never going to be able to make everything plug-and-play. Still, RAM voltage comes up so often that I wish places like Newegg would at least post some kind of explanation on units that are different from the 1.5V standard. Just a paragraph or a little question mark icon with a pop-up help window would do. Because the current procedure kind of sucks -- you find out about it the first time by way of your new system freezing, and you're totally lost and you drive yourself nuts trying to figure it out. Sigh.


    and one more time to the OP: I agree, you'll probably be perfectly happy with 6GB for the foreseeable future.
  13. I definitely agree with you there. Personally, I think they should stick a little piece of paper in with the ram telling you that you probably have to set the timings manually. It would save them having to answer all the emails/forum posts and would give them better ratings on newegg (as many of these problems are due to improper settings. But even something as simple as that is probably wishful thinking.
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