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(SOLVED) Some games crashing - please help!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 26, 2010 12:45:42 PM

Hello, I hope this is the right forum for this issue.
I have been having this problem with Left 4 Dead 1 and 2 for as long as I can remember, and now it's starting to happen in some other games as well.

Sometimes while playing, my computer will lock up with a looping sound coming from the speakers (it's a very fast and grating loop, I might add). It seems to happen at random times, anywhere from 10 minutes into L4D2, or several hours into Dragon Age. This crash causes my computer to become completely unresponsive, and I have to hold the power button and turn it off manually to get out of it. The last frame of the game stays on the screen the whole time, I do not get any error messages.
Here are my specs:

Gigabyte N650SLI-DS4 (latest BIOS)
Intel Q6600 (not overclocked, stable temps at full load)
4GB Patriot DDR2 800 RAM (not overclocked, passes memtest/windows memory diagnostics)
EVGA Geforce GTX 275 (not overclocked, happens on every driver version)
OCZ Gamestream 600 Watt PSU
Windows 7 64-bit

This problem occurred on Windows Vista 64-bit as well. My computer has been through several wipes and reinstalls, so I'm guessing it's a hardware issue. It also happened on my old Geforce 8800 GTX which kicked the bucket a few months ago.

This problem has occurred on the following games:
Left 4 Dead
Left 4 Dead 2
GTA 4 (latest patch made it consistent within 10 minutes almost each time)
Dragon Age (less common in this game, so far)

So far I can still play other games like WoW and Bad Company 2 without any problems.

I contacted EVGA about the issue, and they suggested the PSU might be responsible. I can only check the voltage on the 12V rail with software right now, specifically the software provided from Gigabyte for my motherboard, and it is showing 12.360 volts occasionally while the system is idle, and 12.11 or so when the GPU is running Furmark. EVGA said that 12.360 volts is too much, it's supposed to be at or below 12.300 (I forgot the minimum limit, but I wasn't hitting it). EDIT: While idle, it appears to fluctuate between 12.300 and 12.360 volts.
But again, it's not all games.

Thoughts? I need help, this is getting frustrating!

EDIT: My motherboard needed to be replaced. I bought an ASUS P5QL/EPU LGA 775 Intel P43 motherboard from Newegg and installed it, and everything booted up and gamed just fine. So far so good.

More about : solved games crashing

a c 147 U Graphics card
April 26, 2010 4:01:16 PM

I can see why you are fristrated. You already did everything I would have thought to do. If any of those games were going to crash a game, I would have picked Bad company 2 as it eats hardware for dinner. I can't imagine it would be your PSU because BC2 really puts a load on your CPU and GPU. L4D and L4D2 really are not that demanding.

I would have said try to run a memtest, but you already have. As far as the voltages go you are reading them from software, so it may not be exactly what is stated. A voltmeter would be more accurate. And come on Gigabyte .06V is not that much of a deviation when you are talking about 12V. If it is getting to much voltage you would think it would fail more consistently and with ALL games. But maybe there is some type of power flucuation or somethign strange.

Maybe try to rearrange the PCI-e power plugs. Maybe switch them, I know that sounds stupid, but you would be surprised. Even if it still fails but changes the know facts you could weed out the issue. If it fails more frequently or not as much after switching them, you know its a power issue. Do you have a spare PSU or a buddy that you could try his/hers?

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April 27, 2010 3:15:56 PM

Thanks for the response!
I don't have any power supplies to switch out for now, but I will give a shot at switching power plugs and see what happens.
I don't mind replacing anything if I find out that I have to, but I really want to know which part is giving me the problem first. I suspect my motherboard above all else, just a hunch, and the power supply a little less. I've built three other computers within the past year and none of them have this problem at all; thus, I am jealous of the friends/family who received these machines! I think I'll order a PSU tester the next time I make a purchase on Newegg.

Also, I've updated my original post with a little bit more detail on the crashes I experience.

Please keep more answers coming guys, it's been driving me crazy on different levels for over a year now!
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April 29, 2010 10:43:08 PM

I finally got a chance to play again today after switching the plugs on my video card. Unfortunately, the crashes still happen. =(
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May 3, 2010 6:58:25 PM

I have ordered a power supply tester from Newegg to try and figure out what's going on.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If anybody has any input on this issue, please let me know!
Also, when I use a PSU tester, do I turn off the power supply every time I switch plugs? I've never used one before.
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May 10, 2010 12:37:45 AM

Just keeping this thread updated. I took the computer to Best Buy and had them do a complete hardware diagnosis. They did it for $70, which wasn't too bad considering I'd have to order/send back several parts to find out what was wrong myself. The computer stopped posting before I took it up there, even after using two different power supplies, and they said the motherboard was dead, but all the other parts checked out fine. I've ordered a replacement and I'll post my results when I get it installed this week.
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May 11, 2010 11:12:23 PM

The issue appears to be fixed. My motherboard needed to be replaced, and now my system is 100% stable. Thanks for the suggestions!
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