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4890 Constant Game Crashes

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March 8, 2010 8:06:50 PM

I recently built a whole new system.

Specs : http://www.xfire.com/profile/raedwulfrum/#game_rig

PSU is a Gigabyte Odin 470.

All drivers were updated to the latest.

In all games I have tried since I have a variety of different kinds of crashes. Some are immediate, others intermittent. Sometimes its just a straight black screen, sometimes it freezes dead. Sometimes it black screens, then comes back, black screens again, and then finally comes back to normal. Temperatures are fine. Nothing is oc.

A few quick searches showed me that this is not that uncommon, though reasons seem to be all over the place.

What am I missing?
March 9, 2010 9:00:32 AM

I'm also having problems with my asus 4890, and I've come to the conclusion my psu isn't powerful enough. According to the box it requires a minimum of 550w and 40a on 12volt rails. My psu (corsair ht520w) is slightly under that threshold, so I'm in the market for a new one. Btw my temps are low ca 55c.

So you might want to check your psu. I'm not really familiar with it, but according to gigabyte's website it has only 29a (14+15) on 2 rails.
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March 9, 2010 10:14:04 AM

I hear ya, but I am not convinced. I have been under power on a card before, and it tends to slow itself down, and moan about it alot, not just crash. My feeling is that this is a software or driver conflict that I don't understand.
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March 9, 2010 10:41:35 AM

If you can try the 4890 in someone else's PC and see if it still crashes, that will help to determine the problem
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March 9, 2010 10:45:06 AM

Yeah unfortunately I live in the middle of nowhere, and all my other pcs are laptops or too old to run any of the hardware in this comp. I have no way to any swap testing.
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March 9, 2010 10:50:10 AM

I think its your Powersupply, you need a quality 500W for a 4890, and your below that requirement.
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March 9, 2010 11:07:26 AM

Yes but only by 30 watts, and that with the only other devices that draw power other than the mb and cpu being two tiny old ide hdds. I honestly don't think there is a power shortage on here.
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March 9, 2010 11:27:18 AM

Well what I would do is buy a quality 500W PSU, try it out and if it still doesn't work then you have 7 days to return the item if you simply don't want it anymore.

Other than that I dont know what to suggest, I take it you've already tried older drivers ?
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March 9, 2010 11:48:26 AM

I haven't no. I have a bit of a problem with the optical drive on here. No slot, so ran it through a external hdd case, which for some reason didn't run very well. I got it far enough to get the internet working though, and then just downloaded all the drivers.

I just bought this psu, and its a damn pain to get any hardware delivered out here, also I am loathe to spend anymore cash after just buying this whole rig. But if I can't find any other cause I will try that.

The only other issue I can think of is that I did not do a fresh install when I built the new system. I am busy waiting on some software atm, should have it all within the next 3 or 4 days, after that I will try a full format reinstall and see if that has any effect.
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March 9, 2010 12:30:56 PM

Well I have contacted XFX and my psu supplier, will see if I can get make headway along this route.
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March 9, 2010 1:32:12 PM

raedwulf said:
Well I have contacted XFX and my psu supplier, will see if I can get make headway along this route.


What is the model number of card that you are using?

check this out:

http://www.overclock.net/ati/634248-xfx-4890-bad-batch-...

I have this card, and have had some problems. Do you have any pcmark vantage benchmarks?

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June 28, 2011 9:00:59 PM

raedwulf said:
Well I have contacted XFX and my psu supplier, will see if I can get make headway along this route.


Hi, did you ever manage to resolve this? I've just started experiencing a similar thing...
Cheers.
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June 28, 2011 9:59:27 PM

I did, turned out it was my psu, it didnt have enough amperage on the 12 volt rails. After that I got a Antec TP-650, and now I have a Antec HCG-750. No problems of that kind since.

I did later have slightly different crash issues, particularly when copying in windows. Changing out my 2 gig kingston ram for 2x2 gig mushkin silverline, or changing my 160 gig IDE OS drive for a set of 1TB sata drives in raid0, solved that, not sure which, did it at same time.

Finally I had one more type of crash issue, which was related to overheating on the cpu, I got a thermalright archon with push-pull ty-140's to replace the stock cooler, and a arctic accelero xtreme to replace the stock cooler on the gpu, and now nothing ever really goes over 35 degrees. To be honest simply replacing the thermal paste would have probably fixed the heat issue, but it was more fun this way.

Hope this serves as a good starting point for you.
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June 28, 2011 11:27:44 PM

Thanks for the very prompt reply.

I've been keeping a log (yesterday game play wasn't lasting 20 mins before crashing) Today I tried some of the cheaper options (ie free) and removed my wife's Citrix programme (she doesn't need it any more). Was able to last an hour and forty mins before exiting myself. So, good news no crashes today - bad news, I still don't think that's truly resolved the issue. Citrix has been running for over a year - bad crashes only started happening in the last few weeks.

However, I have noticed that my CPU, HDD & Sys temps have gone down from 18 deg to 14 deg (Celsius).

I'll monitor and see how it goes. Will let you know if anything changes.

Cheers, in any event!
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June 29, 2011 12:00:15 AM

Well a temporary fix is a damn good start. If the crashes stay away it also gives you some clues as to what was causing them. If the issue is not software, then the question is what hardware is citrix interacting with that is causing a crash. I don't know citrix, so I have no ideas there, but tell me your full system specs and I might be able to tell you if anything seems poorly matched. With all the various mysterious crashes I've had, I have become quite knowledgeable in that area.
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June 29, 2011 11:18:03 AM

Hi again,

Perhaps I spoke too soon. Tonight while gaming (Battlefield: Bad Company 2), it crashed a little after one hour and then again after 19 minutes and then again after one minute (although the last crash, I believe, was due to a torture test - Prime95 - auto-starting). The longest it has survived torture tests is about 4 mins... something I realise doesn't bode well.

It only crashes, however, when I play BFBC2.

My system is as follows:
Intel Core 2 Quad q9550 - 2.8GHz
XFX MB-N790-IUL9 Motherboard
Leadtek WinFast GTX 260 EXTREME+ Limited Edition Video Card (x2)
Corsair XMS3, TW3X4G1333C9DHX, 2x2GB RAM (x2)
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS Hard Disk Drive, 500GB (x2)
Silverstone Element ST85EF, 850W ATX PSU (replaced one fan about 6 months ago)
NZXT Lexa Blackline ATX Full Tower Case
Bog-standard DVD writer & floppy drive
32" Samsung LCD TV

I've had it all about 20 months. Always pretty reliable except for the past several weeks.

I use Widows XP Pro x64.

Thanks again for any insights you might be able to share. Unfortunately, I'm not that technically minded - just enough knowledge to be dangerous!

Cheers,
Rich
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June 29, 2011 12:03:11 PM

Well in terms of psu, it sounds fine, that psu delivers a total of 65 amps on its two 12v rails, and while those nvidia cards are quite power hungry as far as I know, that should cover them. Psu wattage at 850 is obviously more than enough, and its 80plus certified, so its a quality unit.

I had a quick look around the forums, there is mention of the 260 needing as much as 36 amps each, but its said to be unlikely. The cards you have appear to be factory overclocked models though, so maybe not that unlikely.

A shortage of amps however is a less likely culprit either way though I would say. You've had it for 20 months, it's not going to decide to be short on power suddenly, not unless the psu has deteriorated, or you've just stepped up to playing much more graphically taxing games.

Temp issues however sound possible. What kind of temps are you getting on each card and on the cpu? Idle, when gaming, and under prime95? Also what are the ambient temperatures there like, and what kind of cooling does your pc have? If it is the hot part of the year now, might explain why you haven't seen issues up until these last few weeks.
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June 29, 2011 12:44:05 PM

Hey, thanks again for the lightning reply.

As far as gaming goes, I have stepped up my game time over the last 9 or so months, but I used to be able to play for 8+ hours without any trouble, apart from the occasional screen-freeze. If anything, for the last month or so, I've played a lot less.

However, the last time it had a good clean was when I changed one of the fans about 6 months ago. Perhaps I may have damaged something then? (I used air-can and really gave it a good blast out.)

Temperature has crossed my mind. When it was summer, the CPU, HDD & Sys temps were around 25 deg cels and generally ran well. However, it's much colder now (to the point I usually have to wrap up in a blanket in my office!) and all of the above temps idle around 17 deg cels. This morning, all temps were only 14 deg.

To be honest, during game play, I don't notice temps rising above 18 normally. I will check again with Prime95.

It has 4 fans for cooling. It is kept in a well-ventilated area.

We moved house about two weeks ago, but this issue had already presented for at least a week or so before moving. Maybe it was knocked during the move (although carefully transported in original box, etc) and is really starting to show up now...

In any case, I will have another lash of BFBC2, check temp and after (when) it crashes will run it through Prime 95 again. Then will call it a night.

Thanks again for your help.

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June 29, 2011 1:31:24 PM

No problem, get a email when you respond, so see it immediately!

With ambient temps that low, I would expect your cooling solution to be quite adequate. It still doesn't rule out temps though. Its quite possible that one component is no longer cooler properly and as such is crashing the whole system.

What are you using to monitor temps? HWMonitor - http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html - is my personal favourite, it gives all temps in one window.

Easiest way to rule out temps completely is to run prime95 side by side with hwmonitor. You say it crashes after 4 mins, so what you want is the exact temps just when that happens. Anything over 70 degrees on any component would be a worry, ideally with ambients as low as yours though, you shouldn't expect anything to go much over 50 degrees celsius. You could also run a gpu bench program to check peak temps on those.

If all temps really are fine, and none spike under load, things get a bit more complicated. The most reliable way to identify the culprit is to start swapping out hardware. Before that you can however try the same principle with the software - reformat pc, try different sets of drivers, etc.

The easiest tests you can run for a start is try the system with only one gpu, try one then the other, and the same with the ram chips. After that, if possible, try and find a psu with higher amperage on the 12v rails, its not impossible that your psu may have deteriorated, and as a result of being close to its threshold in terms of amps needed, it is causing your problem.

A gpu less will need less power, so if the problem goes away, particularly if you try each card separately and it still works, then it may be an indicator of psu trouble. Another similar trick which wont require you to take out hardware, is to underclock the cards, thereby lowering their power reqs.

One final thing to check, in your bios, in the hardware monitoring section, there may be some settings regarding temp limits etc, which will cause the system to crash at a certain limit to prevent it going beyond and taking damage. If by chance any of these are set too low, they could cause a perfectly healthy system to crash itself. Unlikely, but you may as well take a look.

Well that's all I can think of, keep me posted with feedback and I'd be happy to help in any way I can.
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June 29, 2011 10:29:08 PM

raedwulf said:
I recently built a whole new system.

Specs : http://www.xfire.com/profile/raedwulfrum/#game_rig

PSU is a Gigabyte Odin 470.

All drivers were updated to the latest.

In all games I have tried since I have a variety of different kinds of crashes. Some are immediate, others intermittent. Sometimes its just a straight black screen, sometimes it freezes dead. Sometimes it black screens, then comes back, black screens again, and then finally comes back to normal. Temperatures are fine. Nothing is oc.

A few quick searches showed me that this is not that uncommon, though reasons seem to be all over the place.

What am I missing?



it could be a DX promlem... i have also faced such kind of problems at start with my xfx ati HD5830. its only dx or driver problem... nothing else... coz when i installed compatible & supported DX versions and gpu drivers so my games were just asum..
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June 30, 2011 1:52:29 PM

Hi again,

Thanks for putting me onto CPUID. I've been monitoring temps all day. The following are all in deg Celsius:

CPU and all cores average around 55 when idling. When I get a few things going, they get up to 70 and while I'm playing BFBC2, they get up to 98. The good news is I haven't had one crash today and I've probably hammered 5 or 6 hours on the battlefield.

Maybe it just needed some attention? lol I will continue monitoring for a few more days before I start doing some of the more drastic things you mentioned. So , if you don't hear from me for a couple of days. that's why.

Cheers again.
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June 30, 2011 5:35:38 PM

98 celsius is very very bad! If that's not what's causing your crashes... well I am very confident that is what is causing your crashes.

The solution is relatively simple. Your pc has been around a while, I am guessing its on a intel stock cooler. If that is the case, the cooler's heatsink is very dusty by now, and the thermal paste has become less effective. So take off the heatsink, clean it out (some canned air will do well), and get some decent quality thermal paste to replace the intel crap.

I've had a more or less identical situation, my solution however as I said before was to put aftermarket coolers on everything. If you want to have a bit of thermal headroom, or if replacing the thermal paste doesn't do enough, you can't go wrong with a proper cooler. They aren't particularly expensive either.

Do check gpu temps as well however. They're probably going to be ok, but with two cards you're always going to have more of a heat issue. You said you have 4 fans on the case, might also do well to see if you can improve on that. See if any of them can be replaced by bigger fans, or if any of them can be upgraded for a higher performance fan. Also make sure the direction of airflow is correct. You want intakes at the front and bottom, and exhausts at the top and back normally, with hot air rising and all that. If possible also try and see if you can do anything about dust filters for your intakes, so you won't need to clean the pc so often. Finally, try to make sure that no fan exhausts hot air onto another component, like for example the cpu fan exhausting onto the gpu, etc.

If you've never replaced thermal paste or are unsure about anything else regarding upgrading your cooling, just google a few things, there are tons of youtube videos on this sort of thing.

Let me know how it works out. Good luck!
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July 1, 2011 12:54:38 AM

I will never trust the temp gauges on the front of my tower ever again! (15 degrees...... yeah, right!)

Thanks for all your help in tracking down the cause of these crashes. Probably the only reason it hasn't crashed much these last couple of days is because it's been so cold here this week.

I will follow your instructions and get back to you, hopefully soon.

Thanks again. I'll buy you a beer if ever you come to New Zealand.

Rich
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November 14, 2012 5:53:54 PM

Got same problems here but don't think overheating is the issue. 2 R4890 in crossfire and freeze on game like sniper 2 and mechwarrior on line. Seem lasting longer with wold of tank but will crash anyway. temp of card about 70 C and fan at 70 % . Now, running on 1 card and still crashing. Catalys reinstalled, computer clean up. Will try msi driver and see.

spec FX 4000 serie CPU
Asus motherboar
PS 750

Run FS 9no problems. Thought about dx, card use dx 10 but wot use dx 9C. Need Help.
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November 14, 2012 6:40:49 PM

Hi Pokio,

Can you post your full specs including power supply please. Also, if you don't already have it, I recommend getting HW Monitor and checking through all of your temps while in game. Since you've removed one of the cards but still have the same issue, I'm inclined to think its not a gpu issue.
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November 14, 2012 9:58:19 PM

Hey Raedwulf,

I thought I had gotten back to you to say thanks for helping me out with my computer problems a while back. However, with this thread reopening, I see that I didn't. My sincere apologies for that and my sincere thanks for helping me out. Once I changed the paste on the heat sink, I had no further problems.

So there's still a beer with your name on it waiting if you ever make it down to New Zealand.

Take it easy,
redcatcher06
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November 22, 2012 10:19:22 AM

@redcatcher06, lol don't worry about it. Glad your problem was solved. If every I do wind up in NZ, I'll definitely do that!
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