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What is primary cause of hard lock + sound loop

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 21, 2010 9:22:52 AM

My system hard locks rarely and randomly while playing 3D games. What happens is that it suddenly freezes on a frame and a sound loop can be heard. I cannot recover control of my system. I cannot Al-Tab, I cannot Ctrl-Alt-Del. It is completely and utterly unresponsive and requires a hard reset.

I receive not BSOD screen and even though Automatically Restart is unchecked, nothing is written to the Event Viewer. No minidumps.

These symptoms have never occurred while playing 2D games, surfing the interwebs, or doing any O.S-related tasks.

I have a HD5770 GPU, Core 2 Duo CPU, 2 gigs ram, and 1 terra HDD.
All my components are brand new and my O.S is a clean install. Drivers and BIOS are up-to-date (I touched wood before flashing it).

I have torture-tested my CPU, memory, and GPU using the various programs recommended. No errors.
My PSU is high end, well above what I need. My case is high end, well above what I need (intake and exhaust fans, the whole ventilation deal).

It can hard lock at any time playing a 3D game and it doesn't need to be a highly intense battle.

So I guess I have a few questions and would be grateful for a response or two:

1.) What is the primary cause of hard lock + sound loop in a 3D game? Duh. Seriously, what is the FIRST thing that comes to your mind.
2.) Is is true that some ATI graphics card chipsets have "sweet spot" Catalyst drivers (i.e., "don't use 10.x on HDxxxx?").
3.) My 5770 shares the same IRQ as my Wireless PCI card, and other crap. Is it possible they are conflicting, even if Windows itself reports no conflicts?
4.) Why am I receiving no BSOD, just the last frame read and the last sound on an infinite loop? Is this is clue?
5.) Is it possible that a brand new ASUS motherboard that claims to support PCI-e cannot supply a 5770 with enough power from the PCI-e slot?

Thank you for reading.
July 21, 2010 7:42:23 PM

The most likely cause is bad/weak PSU.
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July 21, 2010 8:14:34 PM

Your point 5 has me concerned. You do have the required second power cable connected to the card don't you ? You should have a single PCIE 6 pin adapter plugged into the card.

Mactronix
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July 21, 2010 11:31:31 PM

daship said:
The most likely cause is bad/weak PSU.


Thanks for responding.
My PSU is a brand new HX850w. This is a single 12v rail design providing up to 70A. It is the most expensive component in my system by far and has a 7 year warranty. I cannot even imagine it being bad, or weak.
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July 21, 2010 11:38:32 PM

mactronix said:
Your point 5 has me concerned. You do have the required second power cable connected to the card don't you ? You should have a single PCIE 6 pin adapter plugged into the card.

Mactronix


Thanks for the response.
Yes, the molex connector is plugged into the card, firmly. My question was about whether or not it is possible that my brand new ASUS mobo (which claims to supports PCI-e) could perhaps not be supplying the card enough power through that slot. This is probably a long-shot...

Does anybody else have any ideas?
I'm convinced my problem is not PSU-related, but it still could be power related (power from mobo), I suppose?
Anything else?
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