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Frustrating problems

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 12, 2010 12:41:13 AM

Sequence- add memory and upgrade video card. Soon after, I discover a dying power supply (excess heat, burnt smell). I replace the power supply. Also discovered wrong memory sent by Amazon.
So far I have lost- onboard Gigabit LAN port, onboard sound, SLI although both card are "seen" when I put them in, ability to play any game for more than 15 minutes due to system lock up.
Original config- ASUS P5NSLI board, e6300 processor, 2gb PC5300 RAM, Seagate 320gb hd, 2 XFX Nvidia 7600gs cards in SLI. Deceased Orion 400 watt PSU. Not bad for 5ish years ago. Added 1tb Samsung HD not long ago.
Upgrades and replacements: Netgear NIC card when on board LAN went out, Soundblaster Audigy II sound card when on board audio departed, NVidia BGF 9800GT video card since SLI won't work any more (1 7600 gs is really slow.) 500 watt Rocketfish PSU. 2x1gb sticks of PNY RAM wasted since they won't work on my board.
System passes all PC Diag tests, runs 3DMark03, and runs through VideoCard Stress Test with no problems. Yet gives a "blink" about 15 minutes into any game and black screens and freezes or freezes with image on the screen. Either way it locks solid with no memory dump. So- why can it pass diagnostic tests, yet lock up in any and all games but not any other time?

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a c 156 Î Nvidia
a c 700 ) Power supply
July 12, 2010 3:27:03 AM

Lots of problems. I have never experienced problems like that but then again I have always bought quality PSU's and clean my systems internally every 3-6months.
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a b Î Nvidia
a c 85 ) Power supply
July 12, 2010 3:40:56 AM

Do you run the test programs for 15min? Sounds a bit like a heat build up. From memory 3DMark runs for around 7 or 8 min, so if you can start games but they stop after 15-20 then that might be your problem. That or your PSU after awhile starts output bad values. Rocketfish doesn't make good PSUs, so you might have the problem there.

Last, if your mobo has lost its LAN and sound, it might simply be dying. Replacing it is probably a good idea.
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July 13, 2010 4:09:01 AM

I shall attempt to run 3Dmark for a longer time later tonight. I also dust out my system once a month, so dust build-up is not a problem.

An update, after a reformat/reinstall of Vista Home Premium, I was able to recover my Marvell LAN port. Also, my onboard sound is showing up now and working, but I have decided to keep the Audigy II since it has recording capabilities. So, I tunred the onboard HD audio back off in the BIOS. I removed the Netgear card and added a 120mm fan to the front of my case to supplement the 80mm fan blowing on the hard drives. The additional fan is mounted up near the top front of the case to blow air in the direction of the CPU and chipset. Its a Cooler Master Centurion case that had pretty good airflow to begin with. It is a bit louder now, though. I also neglected to mention the slot fan I have under the 9800gt blowing up on the card.

My last step if this fails will be to remove, regrease, and reseat the cpu cooler. After that, I may have to admit defeat and either get a new board, processor and RAM + Windows 7 to the tune of about $430 usd or start looking for a new system.
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July 13, 2010 5:42:51 AM

Ran a game- Dungeon Siege 2- and it exhibited the same behavior. Locked after 15 minutes or so. After reboot ran 3dmark and it didn't even get through the first section. Northbridge has a big heat sink and it was REALLY hot when I reopened the case. The front fan had grabbed the foam filters on the mesh case front. I removed them. Less noise now.

Looks like a CPU reset tomorrow, but the blazing hot northbridge does not give me much hope. Nothing else in the case was anywhere close to that temp. Could touch the PSU, CPU cooler, Southbridge, 9800gt card, but not the Northbridge.
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a b Î Nvidia
a c 85 ) Power supply
July 13, 2010 6:03:12 AM

Ok, so a heat problem. Anything you can do to drop the temps? Sometimes you can strap a fan to the northbridge...
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July 16, 2010 1:46:55 PM

Well- the system is fairly stable right now unless I stress the video card. I can do anything I usually do except play a game. So- back to digitizing my old tape collection, web surfing, etc.. I can find inexpensive replacement boards, but the shipping elevates the cost up into the 3 figure range. I do have a birthday coming up next month, so I will be checking into a new system. An HPE310t is intriguing me right now.
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July 23, 2010 4:23:19 PM

Well, I went with an HPE 210y instead. Got one from Best Buy with a defective Blu Ray combo drive. Took it back the next day. Exchanged it for the same and this one is chugging along nicely. Was able to play a bit in KOTOR 2 last night on its best settings with no lag in spite of the crappy ati 5450 graphics card. (My games are all pretty old.) Blu Ray looks amazing! Hate the HP media player software, though.
I have my 9800gt in reserve and the new PSU from the old computer- also a newish Samsung Spinpoint 1tb drive. Right now, aside from Win 7 64 bit incompatibilities with some programs, several games, and my Canon scanner (fixed, but took a while- long story), I am no where near filling the 1tb drive in the thing, it plays nice with my Windows Home Server, and its FAST compared to my old rig. So, I am going to do my best not to tinker with it for a few months so I can settle out any kinks or defects and see what really needs to be improved on. The case will be a pain to work in, btw.
Thanks for listening and for all the input.
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a b Î Nvidia
a c 85 ) Power supply
July 23, 2010 7:19:07 PM

So to fix a heat problem you bought a whole new computer? :o 
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August 2, 2010 5:28:13 AM

Best answer selected by wbenson.
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August 2, 2010 5:33:41 AM

You could look at it that way. IMHO, the heat might be mitigated somewhat, but shouldn't be that high in the first place. I did add extra fans, but didn't strap one directly to the Northbridge.
So far I'm pleased with the new purchase. I added the Samsung drive to it today. The HP case is a pain to work in, but the addition went without incident.
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