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Having problem with customized desktop...

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February 24, 2010 8:27:52 PM

Okay so bare with me here, I'm having some issues and I consider myself usually pretty good at solving computer problems but even this is above my level of skills.

About 6 months ago or so I decided that it was time for me to create, for once, my own customized desktop so that I could actually play PC games on it. So to start off I bought and installed the following items:

Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I7860 - Retail
SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100269VXLE Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model 996657 - Retail
Hard Drive: WDC WD5000AKS-00V1A0 ATA Device (that's what it says in my Device Manager, I don't know much about the hard drive really)
PSU: Power Supply that came with the tower case
Mobo: We decided upon the P7P55 LX Motherboard by ASUS because my other motherboard (by GIGABYTE, more on that later, was not working)

So I got it up and running and it seemed like that the PSU was not enough to handle all the USB devices I have (External Hard Drive, Keyboard, Mouse, Linksys wireless USB adapter, and iPod) so I was usually only able to have so many USB devices attached to the computer at any given time. This was annoying so I decided to get a new PSU but was told that the motherboard I had (the ASUS) sucked and that I'd need a better motherboard if I was going to set up a better PSU. As a result I decided to send in my GIGABYTE motherboard to get it fixed.

Then last week I had them replace the PSU and Mobo. The new items added were:

GIGABYTE GA-P55-UD3R LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
and
Antec Earthwatts 650Watt ATX12V v.2.2
*I should mention that I don't know how much work the computer store guy who installed this stuff really did. It was a small computer store so I question the guy's abilities. He may have just physically put the stuff in and that's it.

So just started things up and they seemed to be fine at first BUT once I started doing stuff on the computer it would freeze (including audio loop). At first it seemed to come from the game I was playing but recently it seems that the freezing has been caused by things done inside of Windows. For instance recently I have been playing Dirt 2, which is a driving game, and it can last for 30+ minutes before freezing whereas if I were to start browsing or installing files it would almost definitely freeze up within minutes.

So I personally have a feeling that the issue either has to do with temperature, memory, or, more likely, voltage issues. The problem though is that I just don't even know where to start on these issues. How do I check these variables and if I know what the issue is then I still wouldn't know where to start to fix it. For instance the idea of messing with the voltage is something I don't want to do unless I really know what I'm doing, right?

Also, I should mention that as of right now it is not freezing as often while playing games. But *every time* when I try installing something from a mounted image disk drive it freezes half-way through the installation process. It does this specifically when it seems to be installing the program files.

Can anyone help me here a bit? Thanks a ton!
a b B Homebuilt system
February 24, 2010 8:37:04 PM

I believe this is your RAM.

http://www.mushkin.com/Memory/Blackline/996657.aspx

If so, I see one obvious problem right off the bat. The Intel i5 and i7 chips have a RAM voltage limit of 1.65v. That RAM is rated to run at 1.85v - 1.95v. If you don't replace the RAM with a kit that runs at or below 1.65v, you're going to need to underclock your RAM and loosen the timings until you get it stable at 1.65v. That's not a problem for a computer enthusiast, but a little daunting for somebody who doesn't really know what they're doing. I'm not quite sure what to tell you, but this certainly screams "RAM problem" IMO.
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February 24, 2010 8:42:47 PM

Okay, thanks for the help. Can you recommend to me some good RAM that would be okay for the i7?
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February 24, 2010 8:54:09 PM

Thanks, also I was wondering if I were to reduce the voltage on the original RAM sticks how much of a performance would it make with respect to memory in general?
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February 24, 2010 8:54:33 PM

WAIT!!!! I had the same problem and it was a bad core on my processor!!! run a stability checker first and find out whether it is you ram or processor before spending your money!!!
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February 24, 2010 8:55:58 PM

a good one to use is occt or prime 95
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February 24, 2010 9:27:34 PM

Tried it and these are the pics it gave me.








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February 24, 2010 9:28:06 PM

Also it ended by saying the CPU was too hot.
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February 24, 2010 9:31:22 PM

try re-seating your processor and re-moving and re-aplying the thermal paste you need a good connection. Your lucky you ran that or you could have eventually fried out your cpu!!!
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February 24, 2010 9:33:16 PM

if that doesnt help reduce temps then back off the voltage a bit and buy a better heat sink and make sure you have enough air flow in your case!!
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February 24, 2010 9:37:10 PM

Where can I buy some more of that pasty stuff?
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February 24, 2010 9:42:36 PM

Okay cool. So the problem with the memory probably still stands, right?

Also I've underclocked the CPU so would that make any difference or no?
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February 24, 2010 9:48:52 PM

umm an underclock would not usually make a difference unless you lowered the speed but not the voltage...

I would fix the temperature issue first and then run occt again and memtest86 and find out if you really do have a problem with you ram
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February 24, 2010 9:53:07 PM

but im thinking the overheating cpu was your problem!!
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February 25, 2010 3:25:02 AM

Yeah so I opened up the case and was surprised with how much hot air was coming out of the computer. Plus I checked the gummy stuff around the CPU and CPU fun and it was in liquid form (ie very melted).

Can someone recommend a good heat-sync for me?

Edit: Can someone also tell me what the appropriate way is to set up the gum between the fan and CPU? And whether under-clocking could help keep it cooler?
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