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What is the most likely culprit of video freezes on my new rig?

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July 30, 2010 12:29:14 AM

Built this rig about a month ago, and it's not until recently that I noticed I get 1 second lnog "freezes" every 15-20 mins.
I wouldn't have noticed this, except I get it in WoW which ran flawlessly on my far worse PC.
When the freeze happens, the sound does NOT loop, and I continue to run in whatever direction I was holding. My RAM passed 9 hours of memtest86+, and my HDD SMART status is good + no bad sectors.

I've tried updating drivers on everything from southbridge to NIC and nothing has worked.

Specs are
Phenom 2 x6 1055T @ stock clocks
Corsair 650-TX (first was DoA)
4gb of Kingston DDR3 1333mhz
Gigabyte Ga-ma790GPT-ud3h
HD 5770
WD Caviar Green 500gb (7200rpm according to the drive sticker)

The motherboard has a realtek 8111C NIC, which I have the most recently released drivers for, and Realtek ALC889A 8 chan as its onboard soundcard(which I also have most recent drivers for)

Now the strange thing is - I don't get this in every game. I get it in WoW, AoC, CoX, and that's all I've noticed it in.
in WoW it happens within 15 mins, but in CoX I've gone up to 5hr without it happening, but it's also happened within 20m in CoX. AoC is usually 15-20min after logging in as well.
And I don't get it in benchmarks. Nothing spikes in performance monitor during the 1 sec long freezes either, so I am hopelessly confused.


a b B Homebuilt system
a b Ý World of Warcraft
July 30, 2010 12:45:02 AM

I would start by checking to see if the system has a heat problem. Look at airflow and verify that all of your fans are actually turning. Your PSU is capable enough, but that is the second area I would check out. Swap with a known good PSU if possible to isolate it as a cause or not.

You should also update all of your drivers. ATI just released 10.7. Definitely won't hurt anything. Good luck!
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July 30, 2010 1:11:18 AM

COLGeek said:
I would start by checking to see if the system has a heat problem. Look at airflow and verify that all of your fans are actually turning. Your PSU is capable enough, but that is the second area I would check out. Swap with a known good PSU if possible to isolate it as a cause or not.

You should also update all of your drivers. ATI just released 10.7. Definitely won't hurt anything. Good luck!


I popped in my old Olympia 650w psu, and the issue remains.
There are also no heat problems, CPU stays at around 45c while gaming, and GPU hits 60x max, HDD around 33c.

And as I said, running newest drivers on everything, that includes Catalyst 10.7.
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July 30, 2010 1:43:59 AM

A quick solution is to DL and run something like CrunchBang or Unbuntu, and run it "live" from the CD. If it works no problems, try running one of the tools on it to add some load to the rig. If that locks it up, it's a hardware issue, 100%. If it's fine, it's a windows/driver issue =reinstall (usually the fastest if you didn't make a ghost).
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July 30, 2010 2:05:07 AM

it sounds like lag to me. i would investigate your network settings and configuration.
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July 30, 2010 2:11:34 AM

asven1 said:
it sounds like lag to me. i would investigate your network settings and configuration.


No, it doesn't sound like lag.
Do you even know what lag is? I appreciate the help, but really man.. come on.
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July 30, 2010 2:13:27 AM

TangoGrandma said:
A quick solution is to DL and run something like CrunchBang or Unbuntu, and run it "live" from the CD. If it works no problems, try running one of the tools on it to add some load to the rig. If that locks it up, it's a hardware issue, 100%. If it's fine, it's a windows/driver issue =reinstall (usually the fastest if you didn't make a ghost).


I've already reformatted and repartitioned/reinstalled Win7, so I highly doubt a windows issue.
I'm 99% certain that it's a hardware issue. Perhaps not faulty hardware, but hardware nonetheless.
Just need to know possible culprits so I'm not troubleshooting the totally wrong parts.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 30, 2010 2:23:11 AM

If you don't get this symptom with any graphics game besides WoW . . . you *do* realize this is the symptom you get just before you DC in WoW, don't you?
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July 30, 2010 2:23:49 AM

Turn off your hard drive's Advanced Power Management in in Win7 AND also in it's firmware (you can use HDDSCAN or Crystal Disk Info to do this)

http://www.hddscan.com
http://crystalmark.info/software/CrystalDiskInfo/index-...

That WD green drive is a bit overzealous for being "green" and my guess is that it's spinning down during game play and when WoW needs to access it, the lag or delay you experience is from your system having to wait for it to spin up and retrieve that data.

This is a major issue right now with the new Seagate Momentus XT hybrid drives. Crappy firmware in this case.

Note: You may have to disable the APM features every time you powercycle your PC because the drive's firmware will reset to defaults when shut off.
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July 30, 2010 2:58:54 AM

I would agree with WoW accessing the HD creates a delay.
How LONG is the delay usually- like 10-20 seconds? That would mean for sure it's the HD,retrieving the files for the maps in WoW. As a 3d mapper, but out of touch, this used to be a development issue for us. I'll bet those other games do the same kind of accessing (big chunks in lesser increments, vs. smaller ones more frequently, which will keep the HD spinning.
Just another $0.02
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July 30, 2010 6:48:28 AM

TangoGrandma said:
I would agree with WoW accessing the HD creates a delay.
How LONG is the delay usually- like 10-20 seconds? That would mean for sure it's the HD,retrieving the files for the maps in WoW. As a 3d mapper, but out of touch, this used to be a development issue for us. I'll bet those other games do the same kind of accessing (big chunks in lesser increments, vs. smaller ones more frequently, which will keep the HD spinning.
Just another $0.02


It's a 1 second pause, and I think I figured out what was causing it.
I disabled the intellipower function which caused the HD heads to park after 8 seconds of inactivity, and I've played for almost 2hr without a freeze yet.
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July 30, 2010 6:54:30 AM

spongeguar said:
It's a 1 second pause, and I think I figured out what was causing it.
I disabled the intellipower function which caused the HD heads to park after 8 seconds of inactivity, and I've played for almost 2hr without a freeze yet.



How exactly did you accomplish this?
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July 30, 2010 7:48:04 PM

mccarlson said:
How exactly did you accomplish this?


I added the wdidle3 app to my ultimate boot disk and booted into DOS and used the wdidle3 /d command to disable it.
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July 30, 2010 11:56:39 PM

spongeguar said:
I added the wdidle3 app to my ultimate boot disk and booted into DOS and used the wdidle3 /d command to disable it.


Does it remain disabled even after a power cycle? If so I'm going to try that. (I've been having the EXACT same problem as you in wow). I just used HDDSCAN to disable all the drives APM features from within windows, but they are re-enabled after a powercycle.
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July 31, 2010 12:14:52 AM

mccarlson said:
Does it remain disabled even after a power cycle? If so I'm going to try that. (I've been having the EXACT same problem as you in wow). I just used HDDSCAN to disable all the drives APM features from within windows, but they are re-enabled after a powercycle.


By exact same problem, you mean between every 8min-2hr you'd get a 1 second long "freeze" ?

And yes, it's a firmware tweak, so I hope it remains active for the entire life of the drive.
It doesn't reset for me, anyway.
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July 31, 2010 1:32:19 AM

spongeguar said:
By exact same problem, you mean between every 8min-2hr you'd get a 1 second long "freeze" ?

And yes, it's a firmware tweak, so I hope it remains active for the entire life of the drive.
It doesn't reset for me, anyway.


No, my problem is much more frequent... several times a minute. The freeze lasts 1-4 seconds randomly. All I know is that if I disable my drive's APM completely using HDDSCAN or CRYSTAL DISK INFO, the problem goes away. Problem is that it resets itself to enabled after a power cycle.
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July 31, 2010 1:50:32 AM

mccarlson said:
No, my problem is much more frequent... several times a minute. The freeze lasts 1-4 seconds randomly. All I know is that if I disable my drive's APM completely using HDDSCAN or CRYSTAL DISK INFO, the problem goes away. Problem is that it resets itself to enabled after a power cycle.



Very bizarre.
All I know is that my freeze has a very distinctive feel to it.
I can stutter and skip all I want, but the second this freeze happens, I can 'feel' that it's the specific freeze.
Either way, hasn't happened since I did the tweak. Which server are you on, btw?
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July 31, 2010 5:08:12 AM

Drenden server. Just transfered form Kel'Thuzad. Also have toons on Garona. Armory Xanthock he's my main.
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September 4, 2010 2:48:54 PM

Video playback & timeshifting TV playback (in Media Portal) would freeze whilst hard disks would be heard spinning up. Play would resume after around 20 seconds. Sound would sometimes carry on. This would occur perhaps twice an hour. Video tearing was alo a problem during this time.

At the time I had Windows Aero disabled (in the belief that I was freeing up system resources). However, I read somewhere that disabling Aero could actually cause problems with video.

In hindsight, I should have just turned Aero back on to test, but I did a wider ranging cleanout operation instead. On other words, having Aero disabled is prime suspect, it was never proved.

Anyway, the problem WAS fixed after the following;

CLEANUP;

all spurious apps uninstalled
MediaPortal complete uninstall
SAF codec pack uninstalled
ATI drivers unsinstalled
ATI drivers clenaed up with Driversweep utility

REINSTALL;
latest ATI drivers resinstalled (Catalyst 10.8)
Windows Aero enabled
SAF4 installed
MP 1.1 final installed


Relevant gear;

OS - Windows 7 64 bit
Motherboard - GIGA byte GA-MA78GM-S2H Rev 1.0(AMD 780G chipset, with HD 3200 integrated graphics)
CPU - AMD 4850e
RAM - 2GB PC6400, 512MB assigned to integretaed graphics
1 system HDD and 2 data HDDs installed
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