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Need Help with Freezing Computer

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April 19, 2010 12:59:18 PM

My Specs:
OCZ OCZ2N800SR4GK 4gb (2 Stick) SLI ready RAM
Apevia X-Jupiter Jr. Case
(Quad-Core)Intel(R) Core(TM) 2 Quad Q9400 @ 2.66GHz 1333FSB 6MB L2 Cache 64-bit
EVGA 750 SLI NVIDIA 750i SLI Chipset LGA775 Supports LGA775 FSB1333 DDR2/800 Mainboard w/GbLAN,USB2.0,&7.1Audio
635 Watts Power Supplies Sigma Shark SP-635W PSU
9800 gtx

Alright so I have had problems with freezing since I purchased my computer in 2008. The computer would freeze mid game but only during gameplay and usually about 10-20 min in. This was when I had 2 9400 gt in SLI. Then I called the company that built my computer and they sent me a new motherboard. I replaced the motherboard but after that I got a ps3 and stopped gaming on my PC.

Recently I got myself a 9800 gtx and upgraded to Windows 7 Ultimate. Now during gameplay the computer will freeze. By freeze I mean I need to hardboot to get the computer to run again. The mouse and keyboard wont work and the game will freeze on the fame its at.

Now I have tried a bunch of things:
- First things pointed to heat issues because my computer runs a little hot (60 c on GPU in game and 50 c on cpu in game) I cleaned out the case and all of the dust and got the temp to drop about 2 c This did not fix the problem
- Second I tested the GPU thinking it was a faulty card using 3d mark. Came back fine so that knocks out the GPU
- Third I tested the RAM first with testing program then by popping one stick out playing until it froze and then trying the other. The computer froze with either one in knocking out the ram.
- I had to replace the motherboard so that knocks out the motherboard

Recently a new problem has arose. When the computer is in sleep mode for an extended period of time I will have to hardboot to get the computer to work. Sometimes it resumes windows and sometimes i need to hardboot twice to get the option to delete the resortation data. I am not sure if these two problems are related.

Any help would be great

More about : freezing computer

April 19, 2010 1:48:52 PM

could be a lot of things, try updating all your drivers to the newest version.

Furthermore, those temps are not hot, they are actually quite good.
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April 19, 2010 2:21:57 PM

I updated the drivers on everything and nothing changed
I am worried its the CPU but why would it only freeze mid game?
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April 19, 2010 2:27:51 PM

Already tested the memory
Any other suggestions?
Have you heard of a problem like this before?
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April 19, 2010 2:28:41 PM

well yes these problems happen all the time... there are just SO many problems that can cause this.....

patch game to latest version?
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April 19, 2010 2:48:00 PM

bhk7594 said:
Already tested the memory
Any other suggestions?
Have you heard of a problem like this before?

You can't call trying each stick of RAM by itself "testing" the memory. Your RAM is rated to run at 800MHz with 5-4-4-15 timings at 2.1v. The RAM warranty also covers up to 2.2v. Have you manually set the RAM speed, timings, and voltage to their rated values in the BIOS? Have you performed an overnight run of Memtest86+? If you can't answer ALL of these questions with a "yes", you have NOT fully tested your RAM or eliminated it as the cause of your problems. Freezing problems are usually RAM related.
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April 19, 2010 3:07:39 PM

I have set the value manually and the timings and voltage
I have run the test but not overnight
Do you think its the RAM not the CPU?
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April 19, 2010 3:25:07 PM

Yes, freezing problems are rarely CPU related unless the CPU is overheating. That doesn't sound like the case here since 50C is not an overly high load temp.

The problem could also be your low quality power supply. A low quality PSU and its related unstable voltages can cause all sorts of stability issues.
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April 19, 2010 3:58:39 PM

With stability issues wouldnt the computer freeze in places other then 20 min into gameplay?
If the RAM tests come up fine tonight what should the next step be?
Also what should have I updated the drivers for?
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April 19, 2010 4:02:34 PM

How about your psu?
that could be an problem too.
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April 19, 2010 4:08:36 PM

Yea as I was saying before if it was my psu and stability was the issue wouldnt it freeze at different times besides just mid game?
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April 19, 2010 4:09:36 PM

Not necessarily. Your cheap PSU may not be able to provide clean power when pushed hard for a little while.
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April 19, 2010 5:09:53 PM

So how would I test the PSU?
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April 19, 2010 5:12:02 PM

There isn't a good way for a home user to test a PSU. The only way is to replace it with a quality unit from a known quality manufacturer like Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, Seasonic, Antec, etc...

The things to look for in a quality unit are active PFC (no little red voltage switch on the back of the PSU), at least 80 Plus certification, and more output on the 12v rail(s) than on the 5v and 3.3v rails.
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April 19, 2010 5:26:59 PM

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

This is my power supply from the picture (not at my desktop right now) it seems there is a little red switch. I was unable to find the certification. Also im not sure where it tells you which has more ouput. shotstuff_mt if you wouldnt mind checking out that link. Thanks
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April 19, 2010 5:32:34 PM

I had actually already looked up the specs on your PSU earlier. It's not a quality unit. You're right, it doesn't have active PFC. It's also not 80+ certified and an old design since it puts out 30A on the 3.3v rail, 38A on the 5v rail, and only 20A on each 12v rail. It may or may not be causing your issues, but a low-quality unit certainly doesn't contribute to a stable system.
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April 19, 2010 5:35:33 PM

Right that makes sense but if it was my PSU when the computer froze would it match up with PSU failure if the case fans and usb stuff is still powered like the lights are on but the computer itself is frozen? Also would this match up with the computer not being able to come out of sleep mode without a hardboot?
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April 19, 2010 5:38:46 PM

Lights and fans hardly use any power at all. The fact that they're running doesn't mean the PSU is functioning properly. Yes, that could also explain the sleep mode problem.

The problem could also be RAM related. I still recommend an overnight run of Memtest86+.
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April 19, 2010 5:45:19 PM

Ok tonight I will run the RAM test overnight and see what comes up then if that comes up clean I will go and grab a PSU and test that. If both of those dont work what do you think it could be from there?
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April 19, 2010 5:46:45 PM

how about see if that works first, then we'll think further.

sorry I disappeared, had dinner. (middle east)

looks like you got good help though!

good luck
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April 19, 2010 5:54:06 PM

I was thinking PSU once I read that config.

Some companies astound me. 9400GT SLI? Crap-O-PSU doesn't surprise me though. :) 

If it isn't ram/psu and your sure it isn't software or non-vital components (CDrom/pci/usb) then i'd look towards the mobo.
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April 19, 2010 5:58:30 PM

Ok I will check back tomorrow with the RAM information and then on Wed a friend is coming over with his WORKING PSU and we will see if that clears up issues. Thanks for your help (9400 gt SLI was me being very uneducated when it comes to picking out computer parts two years ago :)  )
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April 19, 2010 6:36:36 PM

If purchasing a new power supply is necessary does anyone have any recommendations? How much power do I need for my setup (Also have 2 dvd drives, sd card reader, 1 HD)
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April 19, 2010 6:43:05 PM

500 watts or more, with all the 80 plus certifications and stuff.

reccomend going for a few more watts, at around 600 700 to be on the safe end though
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April 19, 2010 6:43:20 PM
April 19, 2010 7:24:52 PM

Ah. :p 

GL! Let us know how it goes.
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April 20, 2010 2:33:15 AM

When using Memtest86 I just made a bootable disk and its going now are there any settings I should change? Will it just keep going until I stop it?
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April 20, 2010 2:59:26 AM

Don't go by watts when buying a power supply. Look at the amperage. Get something with 52-60 amps minimum and make sure it has enough connectors to get the job done.

The evga/xfx...etc. motherboards are known to be heat mongers. Regardless of what temps you are reading I bet in reality they are higher.

The video card/s would be my first thought. Next thing I would do is to pull the heatsink, ( processor + video ) scrape off whatever thermal material is there and reapply paste. Do this with the board out so you can get the heat sink hold downs to seat properly.

Next thing would be to remove the heat pipe system and scrape off that hard crap they use for themal paste and put whatever you're using on the processor heat sink. It'll take time to get this stuff off but it's worth it in the long run. All too often it's not applied right and sometimes it misses the chip underneath and sits off to the side.... doing nothing.
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April 20, 2010 3:08:39 AM

When I replaced my motherboard I got a better CPU cooler and applied Artic Silver so I should be fine there.
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April 20, 2010 3:31:10 AM

Memtest86 will run either until you stop it or the PC freezes from instability. Default settings should be fine. Let it go for a good couple hours to be sure your ram is stable. (usually unstable ram will show it in the first few minutes)
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April 20, 2010 3:37:13 AM

Ok it just finished the first pass at a little over a hour. I will let it continue overnight and post the results tomorrow morning. Thanks for your help.
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April 20, 2010 12:07:00 PM

Alright I ran Memtest86 for 9 hours and had 7 passes
Everything came up with no errors
So now what? I will test the PSU?
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April 20, 2010 1:18:27 PM

I suppose you could, I don't know how to use it but I can't imagine it be too hard.
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April 20, 2010 1:23:37 PM

I read the reviews and it says it will only show you if your PSU is completely dead.
Mine is not so I think I will just test with a different PSU.
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April 20, 2010 1:42:52 PM

try it anyways, who knows...

if it doesn't help, then yeah, test with a different PSU.

good luck
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April 20, 2010 1:52:22 PM

Yea I am building a new computer in Sep. so I will go and buy a power supply that I can use in my new computer.
Probably something around 800 watt. Hopefully that will solve my problems.
I will updated tonight after I hook up new PSU!
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April 20, 2010 1:59:22 PM

alright. If you need help with new rig come right back for help. 800 watts, nice!

Anyways we'll see tonight if a different PSU changes the story!

tennis now :) 
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April 20, 2010 2:29:45 PM

bhk7594 said:
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
I think that is the one im going to get.
Can someone briefly explain the voltages to me in case they dont have this one in stock.
What should I ask/look for in a power supply around 800 watts?

That's a nice PSU. If they don't have that one, be sure to look for one from a known quality manufacturer. I already posted what I think you should look for in a quality PSU. I also posted some known quality manufacturer's.
shortstuff_mt said:
There isn't a good way for a home user to test a PSU. The only way is to replace it with a quality unit from a known quality manufacturer like Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, Seasonic, Antec, etc...

The things to look for in a quality unit are active PFC (no little red voltage switch on the back of the PSU), at least 80 Plus certification, and more output on the 12v rail(s) than on the 5v and 3.3v rails.

The OCZ unit satisfies all these conditions. It has active PFC, is 80 Plus Gold certified (the best efficiency you can currently get), and puts out 71A on the 12v rail. It also has a 5-year warranty.
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April 20, 2010 5:05:02 PM

Ok perfect and does 160 seem like an appropriate price?
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April 20, 2010 5:15:54 PM

$160 is pretty high for a PSU, but that is one of the best PSU's available. I linked to some quality PSU's that are considerably cheaper higher up in the thread. Those would work great for your system too if the price tag of that OCZ unit is giving you a little heartburn.
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April 20, 2010 5:20:20 PM

No just wanted to make sure it was not overpriced I am getting this one so I can use it with my new build in a few months. Should be fine. Thanks for your help will update tonight.
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April 20, 2010 5:20:34 PM

may I be honest:

Yes, a very high end PSU is a good thing, but you don't really need it.

from what you had, "It's not hard to improve on garbage"

anything from cheaper companies is plenty good. As long as it's 80 plus certified it should do the job just fine. just make sure it's a well known manufacturer, and that it has enough watts.
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April 20, 2010 5:22:48 PM

I just quoted COD 4, modern warfare :p 
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April 20, 2010 5:23:51 PM

There's a whole lot more to a quality PSU than being 80 Plus certified and a wattage rating. What's most important is active PFC and the Amp output on the 12v rail. The wattage rating on cheap PSU's doesn't mean anything because they output most of their power on the 3.3v and 5v rails.
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April 20, 2010 5:27:31 PM

Just compared the new one to the old one and the old one had 2 12v rails at 20A and the new one has 1 12v rail at 71A not sure what that means but its a large numerical improvement
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April 20, 2010 5:28:15 PM

true... maybe I should just stay out of this one..
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!