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[Just Built System] Component Compatibility and Power Questions

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December 30, 2009 12:57:29 AM

This is my Current System Build:

Intel Core i7 920 2.66 Ghz Processor
XFX X58i Motherboard
Ultra X3 1000w ATX Power Supply
6 GB (2 sets of 1GB x 3) OCZ Triple Channel DDR3 1333 mhz Ram
2 x BFG GeForce 9800 GT OC 512mb GDDR3 (SLI attempt that never truly worked)
Cooler Master Case with 6 fans (No over heating problems)
I run Vista Ultimate 64 Bit

This system worked for approximately 3 months, I used it as a rendering machine mostly while i was at school so it was used under graphically intense circumstances. After school the machine was used mostly for gaming, World of Warcraft, and worked. But then i thought my graphics card was failing (only using one of my 2 because i couldn't figure out sli) so i installed the other card and it would result in the same problem of glitching screen with multi-color dot clusters and a frozen monitor. The sound would remain and i could move my mouse every once in awhile before sometimes it would freeze completely, or the screen would turn off and say "No Signal" or i would get a blue screen resulting in a memory dump. This used to only happen in the game but started to occur when i was watching High Def Movies on my system as well, so i assumed it was the graphics card failing. I tested the card in another system and the card worked perfectly under high stress. This makes me think it is a RAM or Power Supply Issue, the RAM not getting correct voltage and failing or the power supply is not producing the proper power, which it should it is intended for hi output for SLI configurations and such.

I was wondering what sort of ideas were floating around out there about possible compatibility issues or power issues with these certain products or anything like that. Possibly ways to alter my voltage settings for my RAM or test the actual outputs of my power supply.

Any help would be greatly appreciated everyone.

Thank you
a b B Homebuilt system
December 30, 2009 1:31:03 AM

1. I have found that changing cards without removing / reinstalling GFX drivers can sometimes cause issues. Remove driver, run reg cleaner to get out all old reg entries, reinstall driver....with a reboot in between each step.

2. Try running the OCCT torture tests for CPU / GPU / PSU and check the graphs at completion for any anomalies.
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December 30, 2009 11:46:03 AM

Thanks, Will give it a try and respond asap
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December 30, 2009 1:27:14 PM

OK so i just ran the CPU test, only a 10 min run (Is that enough time?) And these are the results:

CPU1 TEMP:


CPU2 TEMP:


CPU3 TEMP:


CPU4 TEMP:


GPU TEMP:


VCORE VOLTAGE:


12v VOLTAGE:


3v VOLTAGE:


5v VOLTAGE:


Nothing seems out of the ordinary, to my untrained eyes at least, so I am going to continue on to the PSU test next.
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December 30, 2009 2:07:50 PM

OK, so about 5 minutes into the PSU test my computer rebooted. I am guessing it was a temperature problem because the GPU temp was registering around 80C. So i didnt get any graph info because of the reboot.
The screen did nothing like it does when it freezes, no glitches or colored dot clusters, it just rebooted instantly.
One curious thing is that when it restarted, windows was at the lowest resolution, 800x600. It is still capable of 1920 x 1080 which i am running during these tests. Thought i might mention that.

I will give the GPU Test a try now.
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December 30, 2009 2:20:48 PM

Ran a 10 Pass GPU MEMTEST without any problems, the only thing i notice that looks strange to me is the voltage output on the 12v Rail. It has been this low on all tests so far, in the 5v range... is that too low for my Graphics Card? If so is there a way to adjust the voltage output on that rail alone?



Now running the GPU OCCT Test
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December 30, 2009 2:35:19 PM

OK so I ran the GPU OCCT Test and i got the screen freezing glitch again, with the dot clusters etc. etc. Is there a way to have OCCT document the data as it is running or does it only save it at the end of a successful test? It might be good to know what is going on at the very moment it crashes.
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December 30, 2009 6:55:50 PM

Have you tested your hard drive? It seems like it's either a temp issue or a hard drive issue. Maybe consider Prime95 and RealTemps to monitor what temps you're getting on load.
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December 30, 2009 7:13:50 PM

Yeah, what makes me think it is not a temp problem is when i had an obvious temp problem (up into the 85C range) during one of the tests i ran earlier it auto rebooted as a safety option, when it glitches the temp is at max 55-60C or so. What type of Hard Drive issues do you think it might be? I have a Maxtor SATA II/300 500 GB HD spinning at 7200 RPM if that matters
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December 31, 2009 3:14:35 PM

Ok, Someone I have been talking to mentioned that maybe it is a problem when my computer goes to share memory from the card and the mobo at the same time, causing some kind of conflict in the memory, which makes sense because it only really happens under load which would be when it goes to borrow memory. Does this sound reasonable? I believe my Graphic Card Ram is 1800 mhz and my Mobo ram is only 1333 mhz? Would that be a problem? If so, have you heard of any such case and what can I do?

All help as always is greatly appreciated
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December 31, 2009 4:47:50 PM

MOBO RAM SPEED: 1333 mhz
GRAPHIC CARD RAM SPEED: 1800 mhz

Would this present a problem?
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December 31, 2009 5:27:51 PM

No, that shouldn't present a problem. Most graphics cards' RAM runs at a different speed than the system RAM. I still think you should test your hard drive. It could be failing. I think you can download a free diagnostic test from Maxtor to test the drive. I suggest you back that drive up and then run the diagnostics.
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January 1, 2010 4:05:07 PM

So i downloaded SeaTools from Seagate, who owns Maxtor now, and ran each of its Tests:

S.M.A.R.T. Check
Drive Self Test
Generic Test

It passed all tests. There is an option for advanced tests but it displays a big warning that you probably shouldnt perform these tests heh. So it would seem the hard drive is ok, the one thing SeaTools does say when it starts up is that there may be a firmware update for my hard drive. That also seems like it would be an unnecessary and risky task aswell. So I am not sure what the problem may be.
Another option someone mentioned would be jumper settings on my graphics card, i don't know much about this and would feel uncomfortable doing anything without very descriptive directions. Does you think this could lead me somewhere?
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January 6, 2010 9:40:41 PM

"Jumper settings on a graphics card"? I have no idea what they're talking about, unless it's related to SLIing.

So, after re-reading things and seeing that your hard drive seems okay, I'm wondering if it's your power supply. It may be going bad. Do you have another you could swap in for testing purposes?

I can't remember if you have only one graphics card in there now or the two. I would say to try and solve the issue with just one card in, then install the second if everything else goes back to normal.
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January 7, 2010 2:42:35 AM

I am thinking the same thing, i am going to try to live test it by using a voltage and amp meter on a molex power plug while the machine is running, to see what the psu is actually putting out on the 12v rail. I only have one of the cards installed currently. Do you know of a better, possibly safer way to test the power supply, i have used program tests but you can never be sure they are accurate, and they just make it freeze anyway.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 10, 2010 7:11:08 PM

Looks like you need to get a multi meter on that 12v rail
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January 16, 2010 10:25:46 AM

So it seems that i have fixed the problem by simply getting a new graphics card. I was actually hoping this wouldn't fix it heh. But i got a new XFX GTX 260 896 MB and the computer doesnt glitch and freeze anymore. This has stopped the problem.... for now. Hopefully in a few months I dont need to add any more replies to this thread.

Thanks to everyone for your help.
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January 18, 2010 6:58:25 PM

Glad it's finally fixed. Enjoy the new card!
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!