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Computer shutting down during game play

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April 28, 2010 1:23:53 AM

I recently built my own computer and have now been having issues with crashes while playing 2 particular games. After playing for several minutes the screen goes black and says there is no signal. This occurs within a few minutes of playing Assassin's Creed 2 and usually much longer 30minutes to an hour, while playing Modern Warfare 2 Multiplayer.
Specs:
Asus P7P55D-E PRO motherboard
Diamond Radeon HD5850
4GB G.Skillz Ram
Corsair TX750 PSU
Intel i5 750
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Heatsink
Windows 7 64 bit Home
Cooler master 690II Advanced Case

The case has 5 fans. 1 front pulling in, 1 side pulling in, 1 back blowing out, and 2 top blowing out.
I believe the airflow is working pretty well, but this is also my first build and I'm learning. It doesn't seem like heat is an issue. GPU heat is usually around 53 C and 63 C at the highest. CPU temps have been in the low 40s C from what I have seen.

I have not been able to tell what is causing the crashes. Both games are played through the Steam client. I know AC 2 has issues, but I have tried all the fixes with no results. I am looking for any kind of help or tests that I can try to see what might be the issue. I feel that temps are good and that my computer should have no problem running these games with graphics settings maxxed. I also play World of Warcraft with no issues, though i do know this isn't quite as strenuous of a game for graphics.
a b B Homebuilt system
April 28, 2010 1:42:22 AM

Initially I thought PSU, but you have a good PSU. Then I thought heat, but as you posted your temps, those are fine.

You rarely see a complete system shut down from something like the steam client.

Freezing, stuttering, program shutdown etc I can see.

Suggestions: Reinstall video drivers, and also check the steam forums for any user reporting similar symptoms.
a b B Homebuilt system
April 28, 2010 1:56:36 AM

Could be a RAM voltage/timing issue. Try to manually set the values.
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
April 28, 2010 1:58:21 AM

I personally would expect the RAM timings to come into play during WoW as well. But it doesn't hurt to check, especially if it's such a quick and simple fix!
April 28, 2010 2:01:03 AM

are you sure everything is stable? like the cpu prime 95 12 hours+ stable and ram memtest86 stable? You never said if you overclocked so you could of make ur core i5 at 5 ghz with 1.2v, bootable into windows but gets bsod/freeze/restart.
Edit: Also check if you have all the connections snugly fitted
April 28, 2010 2:29:01 AM

False_Dmitry_II said:
Could be a RAM voltage/timing issue. Try to manually set the values.


I am new to this. What would be appropriate ram voltage/timings? I can figure out how to do it, but not sure how to figure out what is the appropriate settings.

Also, I am not overclocking, though I suppose I could.
a b B Homebuilt system
April 28, 2010 2:44:10 AM

Go to your RAM Manufacturer's website, search for your RAM and get the voltage and timings.
a b B Homebuilt system
April 28, 2010 5:30:41 AM

Basically, for DDR3, if your RAM is rated at anything other than 1.5V, you probably have to set it yourself in the BIOS.

In my experience, most Asus boards are pretty good about getting the timings right if you're not trying to overclock or anything. So don't worry about that yet. Most of the time it's just a matter of the RAM needing 1.65V or something and the board only providing 1.5V by default.

Although with the symptoms you described (screen suddenly going black but rest of the system apparently staying on -- is that right?) my first guess would have to be something GPU-related. So I'd recommend what was mentioned earlier and try reinstalling all the drivers -- you may also want to make sure all the motherboard drivers are up-to-date (e.g. have new ones been released that didn't come on the installation CD). Windows 7 is still recent enough that they may still be coming out with updates for both the video card and mobo drivers to iron out the quirks.

By the way, if I was mistaken about the symptoms and your system is shutting down entirely, not just losing video, then I'd look at the PSU since you've already ruled out heat. For the common in-game problems, good issues to look for tend to be:

Random freezing and/or BSOD, system stays powered on = RAM voltage or software conflict, occasionally failing RAM
Freezing or BSOD at exact same place every time = failing RAM
Suddenly lose video but system stays powered on = GPU issue or software conflict
System suddenly restarts in middle of game = PSU or occasionally RAM
System suddenly powers off in middle of game, stays off = heat or PSU
April 28, 2010 12:00:06 PM

I have updated the BIOS and drivers for the motherboard as well as reinstalling the GPU drivers. It did pass Prime95 tests. Still need to run memtest tests and check my voltages. How would I know if it is a PSU problem? or a faulty PSU? Let's say it is a GPU issue... Would that just mean lowering graphics quality?

The problem is that the screen goes blank. I have an ASUS 242H 24" monitor running at 1920x1080. When the problem occurs it says "no dvi signal" and stays black. I'm not sure what's going on with the computer. I have it set to not automatically restart for a recovery. I do know that for the first 2-3 seconds I can lock/unlock the number lock or caps lock, but after that nothing. Ctrl-alt-del also does not work. The computer remains on and I have to either shut it down manually or hit the reset button. On bootup it asks me if i want to enter safe mode.

I had thought that this might be a GPU issue because of how the computer stays on, however, I don't know how to test this, or what I would do if I found out it is a GPU problem. I will continue to check the memory and see what else I can figure out in the mean time.
April 28, 2010 2:58:45 PM

Memtest passed. I changed the voltage and timing settings to match; apparently they were off. I also ran a quick 25 minute GPU test with OCCT that passed. I'll have to run some longer tests later on tonight.
a b B Homebuilt system
April 28, 2010 11:39:52 PM

Do you have integrated video in the motherboard? If so try to use that, could isolate the problem.
April 29, 2010 12:48:48 PM

Had a similar problem. Pc was fine doing fine when working on the windows desktop but when playing games, it crashed constantly. Replacing the video card solved my problems.

Try lowering the acceleration on your video card to isolate the problem.
April 29, 2010 2:09:20 PM

dutch_delight said:
Had a similar problem. Pc was fine doing fine when working on the windows desktop but when playing games, it crashed constantly. Replacing the video card solved my problems.

Try lowering the acceleration on your video card to isolate the problem.


I would like to do this, but have not found out where to even do so. I have an ATI Radeon HD 5850 with the ATI Catalyst Control Center. I haven't found any settings for acceleration.
April 29, 2010 10:27:15 PM

On my pc (windows xp), if you right-click the desktop -> properties -> settings.
At the bottom right there should be a button saying "advanced"
Then in the new window click on the "Troubleshoot" tab and there should be a Hardware acceleration slider.

For windows 7 (borrowed from the internet):
1. Choose Start > Control Panel.
2. Double click Personalization and select Display Settings.
3. Click Advanced Settings.
4. Click Change Settings on the Troubleshooting tab.
5. Move the Hardware Acceleration slider to None.
6. Click Apply and then click OK to accept the new setting and close the dialog box.
7. Click OK to close the Display Properties dialog box.
8. Restart Windows.

What you could try as well is:
start menu -> run -> dxdiag
there should be some tests you can run from there.
April 30, 2010 2:15:08 AM

Yeah, i tried doing that, but the option for settings in the troubleshooting tab is greyed out.

I completely forgot about dxdiag.

I ran all kinds of tests with OCCT without any problems. ATI just released new drivers yesterday that I installed, so maybe that will solve some issues. Thanks for the help.
April 30, 2010 11:13:34 AM

I am ready to give up. I'm completely at a loss. Every test I have run has passed, every setting I've changed has done nothing to fix the problem. I still am getting the crashes. Assassin's Creed 2 always crashes, MW2 will only sometimes crash and is extremely random, sometimes it will and sometimes it won't. WoW runs fine for hours at a time with no issues at all. Leaving the computer on all day also runs fine.
a b B Homebuilt system
April 30, 2010 11:39:27 AM

Did you ever run 3dMark?
April 30, 2010 12:32:15 PM

I did. CPU score: 12987 GPU score: 14400
However, I was not able to run it in my native 1920x1080 resolution, only in 1280x1024
April 30, 2010 12:40:26 PM

It seems strange that the tab is greyed out. A bit of research tells me that it might be because of an outdated driver. In dxdiag, did it say it uses the right/latest drivers?

another thing we can try is to launch one of these games and take all the graphics settings right down. if it is more stable at these settings than running at the highest settings, it will be because of the graphics card being broken.

April 30, 2010 12:57:01 PM

I know I have the latest drivers. They were just released on the 28th and I installed them yesterday.
I could try running at lower graphics. I guess I should contact my graphics card manufacturer about a replacement, and hope that is an option.
April 30, 2010 1:27:21 PM

I've had these sort of problems before, I'm pretty sure it's something to do with the RAM. I took out my RAM, letting running in single, it works perfect ;) 
What I would recommend, is get your RAM replaced, your other hardware should fine :) 
April 30, 2010 4:10:34 PM

I didn't try removing the ram at all. It did pass tests.
I did lower the resolution for Assassin's Creed 2 from 1920x1080 down to 1280x1024. With this setting, and all graphics reduced, I was able to play the game without crashing (at least for 10 minutes, enough to get passed the point that it always consistently crashed). I don't know what this means, maybe I need more ram to help support the video card?

Edit: I should say that I haven't tried removing the ram yet. I will probably try that at some point. It looks like the one game that gave me a lot of problems will work if i reduce the graphics settings.
a b B Homebuilt system
April 30, 2010 8:31:06 PM

If lowering the resolution prevents crash, I still think this is a GPU issue.
a b B Homebuilt system
April 30, 2010 8:39:27 PM

You should not need more RAM -- 4GB is plenty for any game. And the 5850 should be fine running that game at either resolution unless you have anti-aliasing turned way way way way up or something.

I still suspect it was a driver issue of some sort. Which one is the "most recent" one that you downloaded?

At this point, I'd say it's not a bad idea to at least see if the manufacturer can help you out. Assassin's Creed 2 has somewhat of a known history with these kinds of issues, so maybe they know a trick or two.
April 30, 2010 9:57:05 PM

capt_taco said:
You should not need more RAM -- 4GB is plenty for any game. And the 5850 should be fine running that game at either resolution unless you have anti-aliasing turned way way way way up or something.

I still suspect it was a driver issue of some sort. Which one is the "most recent" one that you downloaded?

At this point, I'd say it's not a bad idea to at least see if the manufacturer can help you out. Assassin's Creed 2 has somewhat of a known history with these kinds of issues, so maybe they know a trick or two.


The most recent is 10.4 which came out on the 28th. I'm going to try reinstalling it to see if there's a difference.
May 1, 2010 12:45:08 PM

Are there any other tests I can run to test if it is a bad gpu? or possibly psu? I've run OCCT GPU tests that pass, I ran prime 95 blend tests that passed, and I'm planning to run Prime95 tests all day while I'm out, I just ran memtest again overnight for 8 hours and no errors, and I've run furmark for 25 minutes. The furmark had some weird jittering at around the 11 minute mark, but it cleared up when I took a screenshot. It did this again around the 24 minute mark and cleared up when I pushed a button. The temp was at 75-76C for most of the test. It would drop when I turned off the fur rendering, but it never went above 76C. I was thinking of trying to run it for longer than 25 minutes, just haven't had the time to do so.
I had another crash last night while playing MW2. The computer had been on for most of the afternoon/evening and I had been playing wow for about 2-3 hours. It crashed after about 30-40 minutes of game play with MW2.

Edit: I kept the MW2 settings maxxed with resolution set at 1920x1080. I still feel that this system SHOULD be able to run games at max settings without problems. I have a feeling that if i lowered the resolution (like I did with AC2) that I wouldn't have the same crashing problems.
May 2, 2010 1:50:50 AM

I've been running Prime95 all day without any errors.
I ran Furmark for over an hour with normal settings. Temp was around 85C. I ran it with Post FX, MSSA Sampling at x2 and in Extreme Burning Mode and temp was at 85C, 30fps.
Both tests were run after the computer has been on all day. Core temps ranged from 69-73C
The only time I get crashes comes during actual game play. I just cannot replicate the crashing at all.

I am at a loss for what the issue might be. I can play the game with graphics settings reduced (significantly) and not get crashes. I guess I'll contact my graphics card manufacturer about an rma.
!