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New system crashes when playing games

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April 25, 2010 3:17:49 AM

Two weeks ago I put together my first homebuilt system and loaded up Crysis and got almost all the way through it on max settings until it started crashing at seemingly random times. First just the screen goes black and then a couple seconds later the sound repeats a second over and over and then goes off and I have to restart. I don't get a BSOD or anything. And I think the settings I had it on were okay because the framerate was good. But after restarting a bunch of times I finally finished the game. Now I've been playing Spore and it's been having the same problem, albeit less frequently. The large majority of the times it crashes are right at the main screen when I start the game. Usually once I'm in it's okay, but occasionally it will crash during the game. Is there anything I can do to fix this? Does anybody know what component it is that's messing up so I can send it back? Here are the parts:

ASUS M4A78T-E Mobo
Samsung Spinpoint F4 HD
GIGABYTE Radeon HD 5770 1GB
G.SKILL Ripjaws 4GB Memory
AMD Phenom X4 955
OCZ 600W PSU

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
a b B Homebuilt system
April 25, 2010 3:20:06 AM

Did you manually set the memory voltages and timings in BIOS? If not try that, many crashes are memory related. If that doesnt fix your issue you may want to run memtest overnight to make sure that you dont have a bad memory module.
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April 25, 2010 4:58:03 AM

No I haven't messed with the BIOS at all. What settings would you recommend?
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 25, 2010 5:02:15 AM

Ah, thats probably your problem then. Can you post a link to the ripjaws kit you have?

You will need to go into bios, and there should be an AI Tweaker tab or something similar. You are going to need to go in and change the DRAM voltage from 1.5V to whatever its specs recommend. If you got it off of newegg, they generally list the timings and voltages on the product page.
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April 25, 2010 5:46:34 AM

First, I would check that everything is plugged in and seated correctly, such as the 6 pin power connector on the gfx card. It may be that something has worked its way loose.

Also check to see if anything is overheating. You can use realtemp and GPU-Z for the cpu and gfx. Running memtest on the memory is a good idea.

Make sure sure that you have the latest drivers installed.
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April 25, 2010 6:05:27 AM

If it's only crashing in games, but not on the desktop, internet, Office, or anything else you do, I'd guarantee that you either have the timings/voltage incorrect on the memory or you have a faulty memory stick. Generally, whenever I've seen this, it's turned out to be a memory stick that's went bad (or was bad when you got it). I just sold a PC a month ago that the guy has had nothing but issues trying to play WoW (of all the games that you wouldn't think would cause an issue). This is after I stress tested the heck out of it, ran 3dMark Vantage, PCMark Vantage, Prime95 for 8 hours...everything you can think of...before selling it. He has no issues with the PC doing anything else, but his games will cause a blue screen - sometimes in 20 minutes, sometimes in 3 hours, but ALWAYS at some point. I had him remove a stick of memory and he's had no issues. I had him swap with the other stick - blue screen. I bought him a new stick of memory and he hasn't had any issues since. Stupid, really, that WoW caused that but nothing else did.
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April 25, 2010 3:17:16 PM

Thanks for the help everyone. I opened up the case and everything is plugged in so I think it's okay in that area. This is the RAM I have. I went into the BIOS and the voltage was already on 1.5 but I'm confused on how to change the timings. There's an option that says something like "Memory Timings" but there are a bunch of options that I don't really know what mean. If anyone could help with this I'd really appreciate it.
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a c 122 B Homebuilt system
April 25, 2010 6:01:05 PM

dkapke said:
If it's only crashing in games, but not on the desktop, internet, Office, or anything else you do, I'd guarantee that you either have the timings/voltage incorrect on the memory or you have a faulty memory stick.

Or you have bad power.
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April 25, 2010 9:36:20 PM

Very possible, but generally a bad PSU will show itself by locking the desktop. Your mouse won't move and the keyboard doesn't do anything. The game would shut down the PC or the game would lock up. You generally don't see blue screen's with PSU issues. Not that I wouldn't rule it out, but I'd start with the memory first.
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April 26, 2010 9:38:24 PM

Thanks again for the replies everyone. The bad news is I just found out that full screen flash and even playing avi files in WMP give the same black screen and then looping sound crash as the games did, even after I changed the BIOS. These pictures show how I set the BIOS up. Can somebody tell me if I did it right? This is my memory.




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a b B Homebuilt system
April 26, 2010 9:47:52 PM

Sadly your timings are correct so that's not the problem. Did you run a memtest with each individual stick?
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April 26, 2010 9:54:59 PM

fastx21 said:
Sadly your timings are correct so that's not the problem. Did you run a memtest with each individual stick?


No I'll get to doing that though. How long should I do it for with each one?
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April 27, 2010 12:35:28 AM

Memtest has been running on one of the sticks for two hours now without an error, but I've seen some places recommend 24+ hours. If we know it's the RAM would it make more sense to just send it back now without waiting two days for memtest?
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September 15, 2010 6:50:13 PM

hello

i'm having almost same problem here.
but in my case everything was working fine until one day it started to crash on games (i believe it was last week on Wednesday)
here's what happens:
- i'm running a game and after some random time the screen goes blank (no BSOD at all)
- the sound repeats for second or two and then mutes
- cpu cooler starts to speed up

i have to manually restart the computer.
this only happens on games.
btw all temperatures are in normal.

my configuration
- phenom II x6 2.8GHz
- radeon HD 5830 1GB
- PSU corsair 450W
- 2x2 GB RAM DDRIII 1600MHZ
- win XP x64 SP 2

thanks in advance!
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September 16, 2010 12:03:47 AM

If your system works fine in the desktop, browsers, non full screen stress tests etc but when you fullscreen a video or game and does that black screen --> disorted image + sound, its usually a RAM or video card and not a PSU issue. If your RAM is fine I'd suggest going about investigating your video card drivers and profile configurations. ATI's powerplay function is widely known to cause issues similar to yours (especially on the 5770s). Also check your audio drivers as sometimes having multiple audio drivers conflicting can cause this too.

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September 21, 2010 6:53:05 PM

well the problem has reappeared again.
i have find out that when screen goes blank (monitor goes to standby) GPU cooler starts to speed up, and not CPU.
so i believe that there might be a problem with graphic card.
i have installed new drivers but same thing.
maybe i'll try to switch the OS.
i'll try the windows 7.
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September 23, 2010 12:26:23 AM

Hey there, for me the problem was with the video card, when I switched to the onboard graphics I stopped having the problem.
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