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Computer Freeze/Overheat

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April 9, 2010 5:41:17 AM

Hi All,

First time poster here, with a really frustrating issue. After removing and cleaning CPU heatsink ( link ), computer freezes when gaming, more specifically gaming with FSX. I was absolutely sure to thoroughly clean both CPU IHS and heatsink with 91% alcohol and let dry before applying OCZ Freeze (it was about 8 months old) using the rice grain sized dollop method. CPU temps are idling around 38-42, but up to 70+ using FSX or Prime95 sensor testing, where it freezes. Freezes can happen muted or with sound looping.

I can get anywhere from 10 minutes to three hours using FSX, and Prime95 usually fails within 5-10 minutes of small FFT testing, and cannot complete one large FFT cycle without freezing. A while back I had the same issue, and removing the side cover from my case and pointing a desk fan into it seemed to work OK, until yesterday. Today I ditched that idea and purchased 4 ea. 34CFM 80mm fans (front and side blowing in, top and back blowing out), but still freezing. Swapping of known good RAM was of no help either.

I noticed that my PSU ( link ) fan is always turning slow, no matter the load, and minimal airflow is coming out of the back. What is coming out is really hot. Im sure this is pretty normal, but Im at the end of my rope here.

My specs can be found here:

http://valid.canardpc.com/show_oc.php?id=1125469

This is on a WinXP 64 system. Same issues with Win7 Ultimate 64. There is no overclocking going on either. Thanks in advance for any help.

Allan Burek
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April 9, 2010 5:55:30 AM

The 1st thing to try for the freezing up is to make sure you set the voltages for your ram correctly. I don't know if you did this or not but you can go to the ram manufacturers website and get the ram voltage settings for your specific ram. My motherboard voltage was default 1.90v but had to be manually changed to 2.10v and it corrected my issues.

As for your temps, what type of cpu cooler are you using? If its stock or an after market cooler with the factory style push pins you will need to triple check and make sure its seated at all 4 points. The best fix for that issue is to get a cooler with a bolt on type adapter plate. The bolt on is MUCH better and will eliminate any doubts about a good installation.

Neither of these may be your problem but its a good start...
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April 9, 2010 5:56:38 AM

You shouldn't post an email address on an open forum.

Your FSB:RAM ratio indicates that you are overclocking your RAM. Your RAM clock should be at 667 MHz when your FSB is at 333 MHz for a ratio of 1:1.
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April 9, 2010 6:11:20 AM

jsc said:
You shouldn't post an email address on an open forum.

Your FSB:RAM ratio indicates that you are overclocking your RAM. Your RAM clock should be at 667 MHz when your FSB is at 333 MHz for a ratio of 1:1.


Hes not overclocking hes on a Nvidia chipset. Nvidia chipsets are the only Intel boards that allow you to unlink the ram so his ratio is probably not the issue.


I would double check your CPU cooler is seat properly if you are on stock Intel heatsink that could be problem too intels heatsinks are known to work all that great and you have a pretty powerful quad there so you need a nice heatsink on it.
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April 9, 2010 6:39:44 AM

Do you have fan speed monitoring for your heat sink? Is it running full bore or choking out?
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April 9, 2010 1:59:23 PM

Hi Again,

Thanks for the replys. My CPU cooler is this one:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It has a remote speed control (knob) and I have it going at 2300 RPM at all times. It is in fact a clip on type with backing plate behind the mobo, and for what I can tell, it is pretty secure.

Everything on this board is not overclocked. All BIOS settings with regard to RAM and whatnot are set to auto.
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April 9, 2010 7:05:04 PM

Quote:
I noticed that my PSU ( link ) fan is always turning slow, no matter the load, and minimal airflow is coming out of the back. What is coming out is really hot. Im sure this is pretty normal, but Im at the end of my rope here.


I don't think that's particularly normal! Maybe you are getting the shutdowns due to the PSU overheating. Have you tried swapping for another PSU for testing, even though that is quite the pain in the ass to do!! My PSU (Antec Earthwatts 500) is always running balls to the wall, and the air coming out is never "hot". That would explain why the fan blowing into the case you had was helping, it was keeping the PSU cool, not the computer components. I may be off base, but if I find something running "hot" in my case, I'm looking at it first...

Cheers!
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April 10, 2010 9:07:25 PM

OK All,

So here is were I am at as of now. First, I took some advice and did a little more research into my RAM. I have 4 each 2GB sticks installed, with a manufacturers recommended timing of 4-4-4-15 @2.2V. So, I went into the BIOS and manually set that. Next I took a piece of reflective tape and a strobe type tach and found my power supply RPMs at around 300-400, never increasing. Im most cases, just a hard blowing (all jokes aside) at the fan with my own breath nearly brought the fan to a halt. So, that too was swapped out.

Now I am getting more stable CPU temperatures (idling 28-30C and under Prime95 Small FFTs sensor test never above 68C). 3 hours of stressing under large FFTs caused no temperature to drift above 64C. There is one temperature showing as "temp1" on speedfan 4.40 as being 75C, but steady. I cant figure out what it is, maybe northbridge?

The only issue I seemed to have is that I kept getting a BSOD after resetting memory timings. Error codes (0x0000...) pointed to two sticks of RAM causing it. Removed them and so far so good. Just dont know if I should knock down the voltage to the RAM now. Thanks for the help again so far, and any suggestions about the RAM greatly appreciated.

Allan
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April 11, 2010 2:05:27 AM

What motherboard do you have? There's an issue with some motherboards with the nvidia chipset that uses ram that needs more than 2.10v. I found the link yesterday and will try to find it again and post here.

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April 11, 2010 4:13:27 AM

I have an Asus P5N-D. The other 2 that are still in the board did OK.
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April 11, 2010 11:19:21 AM

Then its possibly a bad stick of ram. I would try to use memtest and see if it passes. If you are already convinced its bad then it sounds like RMA time...
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April 12, 2010 10:22:06 PM

I'm glad you got your freeze ups fixed with a new PSU. I had the same prob years ago, and as soon as I switched out the PSU, it fixed mine, so sometimes the easy things are the most frustrating and overlooked!! hehe Isn't technology wonderful?

Good luck with the RAM probs. Have you tried going back to Auto in the BIOS for your RAM and see if it solves the BSODs (now that one thing is fixed another broke)? Maybe the BIOS was working the RAM correctly and now that they are statically set, they are having problems, mixing the PSU prob into a RAM prob. Or are you positive they are the EXACT double matched set of RAM, and 2 aren't 4-4-4-15@2.2V and the other 2 are 4-4-4-15@2.1V for example? They were all bought at the exact same time, same lot, same manufact sites, etc etc etc? Maybe with the BIOS adjusting the volts, it will run like it should. I'd still do a memtest after you change them back to Auto (if you haven't already) to be on the safe side. Then RMA those bad boys...

Also, on a side note, what RPMs are your PSU fan turning at now? Never thought about taching them, that's a good idea.

Done rambling, back to your normally scheduled forum after a brief word from our sponsors...
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April 20, 2010 12:29:35 AM

Hi,

Thanks for the reply. Im not sure of the new PSUs RPMs because I saw that the fan was going so much faster than the old PSU I never even bothered. I could clock it again, itll take a day or so for me to do that.

I am sure that the RAM was matched, based on lot numbers and all. I paid more for them from the local MicroCenter as opposed to newegg or the like because I physically wanted to see them before purchase. Honestly, it seems like it could be related to the memory and the mobo. Ive read around that the Asus boards can be picky with 2GB modules, so Ive knocked it down to 4GB and so far so good.
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