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Un-Solvable Tech Nightmare v.2

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December 2, 2010 7:53:18 AM

Hey, i am new to the forums, But i am a fan of tomshardware. I am posting a very specific problem, I dont expect any immediate answers, but it will be a challenge. if anyone will know, you will. You people are some of the most knowledgeable groups of public techs out there, educated or not. - Here is the Dilema,

Gigabyte MA785GM - US2H Board.
Phenom II 9850 (2.5Ghz)
4GB DDR2, G.Skill.
x1950 Pro Radeon, And 470 Twin frozr ( read on, you 'll see)
550 Watt Fatality PSU
500Gig Seagate 7200rpm
A/C Aftermarket cpu cooler with AS5 compound. (heat is not an issue) max 50C idle 30C

Computer Posts, Boots Fine, and runs 3D applications with the x1950Pro, Though in 3d gaming i (after any extended time of running 3d Apps or games, detect artifacts in shading, models- ect. and one time froze.

When i install the 470, computer posts, boots, and runs on basic functions. as soon as there is demand, it is likely to freeze. Freezing symptoms are mouse frozen in place, and studdering audio( Sometimes audio will continue for 1-5 seconds, and then freeze .)

I installed the 470 into another computer and it runs perfect, the card is brand new.
If I remove 2 gigs of ram, the computer will run off of the 470 twice as long, and i might be able to get an hour of gaming in before it crashes. It doesnt matter what piece of ram i remove.

I RMAd The motherboard, thinking it was the boards issue.
Gigabyte was fast and helpful, after re-installing cpu ect, the computer froze upon startup.

Ok so its the CPU; i purchased an Athlon 940 3Ghz Quad core, and it worked for 30 mins or so, and then the problem re-occurred. unsure if the cpu was actually fried or not, (The comptuer would still work fine, as long as i didnt give it any stress) I Went into DOS and ran a utility called PC check. The cpu passes all of the daignostic tests, but when i run a stress test it instantly reports a fail on the CPU.

I RMAd that CPU. and got an Phenom II 3x 740, unlocked the 4th core and away i was, for 30 minutes, then the identical symptoms returned.
For the fun of it, I put the 2.5ghz 9850 back in (with The x1950Pro Radeon GPU), and did a PC check on it. This time, the stress test fails on the Hard Drive, and yet will pass all of the diagnostics, on the CPU and the HDD. Alright, things are getting confusing. Hard drive? where did that come from.

I'm at a loss now, I just RMA'd the Phenom 3x. It was only a day old. poor guy. :na: 

Most of you are pointing at my PSU. well, i tried a 600W fatality and it did the same thing. even quicker than before, Not ruling that out though. my system with the 470GTX only demands 435 -465 watts(i dont have fans, one HDD, and i've even tried with no DVD.

Recap:

Stress test fails on CPU with: 470 GTX twin frozr video card and Phenom 4x 9850 (Diagnostics pass, 3dnow, MMX, ect.)
Stress test fails on CPU with: 470 GTX twin frozr video card and Phenom 3x 740BE or unlocked, Phenom 4x 940
Stress test fails on CPU with: 470 GTX twin frozr video card and Athlon x4 940
Stress test fails on HDD with: x1950Pro Radeon video card and Phenom 4x 9850 (Diagnostics all pass, including Non-Destructive Write tests, SMART and read checks, really doubt there is anytthing wrong with my HDD. not ruling it out though.

im mostly leaning on a new PSU, But do NOT let that affect what you think it might be.
Thanks a lot for reading, cheers from B.C Canada
a b à CPUs
December 2, 2010 9:18:59 AM

I have a system with the same GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM-US2H AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard.It currently has a OEM AM2+ Phenom II X4 940 BE CPU in it.I've had no problems whatsoever with it however I am just using the Integrated Graphics on board (ATI Radeon HD 4200) just for light gaming/older titles.

First of all have you tried using a different computer mouse?
I've had a Microsoft IntelliMouse that gave me some problems (caused lockups before on other systems).I threw that piece of defective junk away.
Another Microsoft IntelliMouse gave me no problems though.

Next try just running on the Integrated Graphics initially rather than using those discrete cards.First of all that x1950 Pro Radeon is definitely an older card by quite a few years.If a graphics card overheats it will artifact especially on a older used card.
Also nVidia cards like the 470 GTX twin frozr graphics cards tend to run much hotter than AMD/ATI graphics cards.It could be a defective card (I've rarely had much luck myself with nVidia cards as 3 times that I've tried them I could not even get a screen-perhaps 3 defective cards in a row).I do however have a working TNT2 card (old).I am not intending this to insult nVidia or nVidia users rather that I personally have had bad luck with their graphics cards personally.

Have you updated all your drivers?

Apparently Seagate was producing a lot of defective Hard Drives a while ago and they tend not to last as long as other brands.There were some firmware updates on some of their models.

What do you mean by "(i dont have fans, one HDD, and i've even tried with no DVD)"?
I sure hope that your case has multiple fans to exhaust the heat from your system.
Without an exhaust fan,intake fans you would have heat buildup problems (system would lockup and/or shut down).
A DVD drive uses very little power almost negligible.

You should also specify your operating system too.

Just trying to give you some hints perhaps.
a c 106 à CPUs
December 2, 2010 2:45:47 PM

It sounds like your PSU is not able to hold up its end of the log. It should be able to handle a GTX470, but is not. Do you notice the exhaust air from the PSU getting progressively warmer? Do you feel a decent volume of air moving through your PSU? If your case has too many exhaust fans and not enough intake, the PSU fan may not be able to pull enough air through it, so if that is the case, re-balance your fans. Generally rear (including PSU) and top (if present) are exhaust, and front and side (if present) are intake.

Edit: after another re-read, I see you have no fans??? Heat build-up is a very likely culprit, possibly in the PSU, or on the chipset or RAM.
What case do you have?
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a b à CPUs
December 2, 2010 4:49:35 PM
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Something like this isn't driver related. Its hardware related.
Either:

A faulty PSU to begin with, thas caused the mobo to be faulty, even after an rma(with Fatal1ty PSU)
A faulty ram caused by a short, that happened with the Fatal1ty PSU

You haven't ruled out your rams? Run memtest on the modules.

I've read a few good articles about the fatal1ty PSU, the rest of them cussed its innards... OCZ are a good brand but they made better PSu's from the 750W~+ PSU's
a c 81 à CPUs
December 2, 2010 5:21:31 PM

If you seriously mean no fans, then its the heat which is causing the problems.. Meanwhile, have you tried doing a fresh OS install??
a b à CPUs
December 2, 2010 5:33:47 PM

Quote:
A/C Aftermarket cpu cooler with AS5 compound. (heat is not an issue) max 50C idle 30C
December 2, 2010 6:04:45 PM

cheers.. Yes i'm sure its not my mouse or any other peripherals. unplugged all usb / un-needed additions.

I've tried installing a different operating system (XP 64bit) on a partition of the same hard drive. It faults out the same way.
I ran Memtest+ and my ram checks out fine, for shits i replaced it anyway- with the same result
I have also tried Installing windows 7 on an IDE hard drive- and for everyone who is pointing towards my fan issue, thats totally not it. i most of the time have this computer on its side with case off, and do have one exhaust fan (beside the CPU) none of the internals are really get hotter than 50C under load, an exception is the GPU- which gets around 70C, but as a rule hovers around 65C. But as one of you said, those cards run hot, and 65C is cool for this card. (twin frozr has 5 heatpipes / 2 fans.

December 2, 2010 6:05:12 PM

Emperus said:
If you seriously mean no fans, then its the heat which is causing the problems.. Meanwhile, have you tried doing a fresh OS install??

Yes
December 2, 2010 6:08:48 PM

Driver issue.
December 2, 2010 6:13:29 PM

I just have a cheap little logisys case / thanks to jj46 for pointing out that those older cards are prone to heat and artifacts(can get up to 80C) / and aritfacts makes more sense that way / and to answer : Yes the air coming from the PSU gets pretty darn warm as well
December 2, 2010 6:16:07 PM

Lutfij said:
Something like this isn't driver related. Its hardware related.
Either:

A faulty PSU to begin with, thas caused the mobo to be faulty, even after an rma(with Fatal1ty PSU)
A faulty ram caused by a short, that happened with the Fatal1ty PSU

You haven't ruled out your rams? Run memtest on the modules.

I've read a few good articles about the fatal1ty PSU, the rest of them cussed its innards... OCZ are a good brand but they made better PSu's from the 750W~+ PSU's

Basically i think you are right, i dont want to believe that but i think you are right - im going to test some ideas(replace standoffs, make sure everything is grounding) with it a but i might have to get new mobo and psu- i would hate to believe its the 470
December 2, 2010 6:17:25 PM

jj463rd said:
I have a system with the same GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM-US2H AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard.It currently has a OEM AM2+ Phenom II X4 940 BE CPU in it.I've had no problems whatsoever with it however I am just using the Integrated Graphics on board (ATI Radeon HD 4200) just for light gaming/older titles.

First of all have you tried using a different computer mouse?
I've had a Microsoft IntelliMouse that gave me some problems (caused lockups before on other systems).I threw that piece of defective junk away.
Another Microsoft IntelliMouse gave me no problems though.

Next try just running on the Integrated Graphics initially rather than using those discrete cards.First of all that x1950 Pro Radeon is definitely an older card by quite a few years.If a graphics card overheats it will artifact especially on a older used card.
Also nVidia cards like the 470 GTX twin frozr graphics cards tend to run much hotter than AMD/ATI graphics cards.It could be a defective card (I've rarely had much luck myself with nVidia cards as 3 times that I've tried them I could not even get a screen-perhaps 3 defective cards in a row).I do however have a working TNT2 card (old).I am not intending this to insult nVidia or nVidia users rather that I personally have had bad luck with their graphics cards personally.

Have you updated all your drivers?

Apparently Seagate was producing a lot of defective Hard Drives a while ago and they tend not to last as long as other brands.There were some firmware updates on some of their models.

What do you mean by "(i dont have fans, one HDD, and i've even tried with no DVD)"?
I sure hope that your case has multiple fans to exhaust the heat from your system.
Without an exhaust fan,intake fans you would have heat buildup problems (system would lockup and/or shut down).
A DVD drive uses very little power almost negligible.

You should also specify your operating system too.

Just trying to give you some hints perhaps.


OH yes, and the computer will run fine using the onboard video like you suggested. No issues at all, will run 3D, everything no problem.
a b à CPUs
December 2, 2010 6:25:57 PM

Quote:
Basically i think you are right, i dont want to believe that but i think you are right - im going to test some ideas(replace standoffs, make sure everything is grounding) with it a but i might have to get new mobo and psu- i would hate to believe its the 470


breadboard your innards...keep only what is needed. HDD, mobo-cpu-ram. Use the onbard GPU first then move onto the 470. Once you get a freeze with the setup take your PSU and test it out to your pals rig (provided he has near equivalent specs as yours) and then use the the PSU and 470 GPU on his machine, keep everything the same...

hopefully you've come closer to find what works stable
December 2, 2010 6:38:55 PM

Lutfij said:
Quote:
Basically i think you are right, i dont want to believe that but i think you are right - im going to test some ideas(replace standoffs, make sure everything is grounding) with it a but i might have to get new mobo and psu- i would hate to believe its the 470


breadboard your innards...keep only what is needed. HDD, mobo-cpu-ram. Use the onbard GPU first then move onto the 470. Once you get a freeze with the setup take your PSU and test it out to your pals rig (provided he has near equivalent specs as yours) and then use the the PSU and 470 GPU on his machine, keep everything the same...

hopefully you've come closer to find what works stable


K, thanks i'll do exactly that
a c 79 à CPUs
December 2, 2010 6:40:36 PM

what stress test are you using that it is failing on?? also, your trying to fix a problem, and you have unlcked a core on the cpu potentially making the system unstable.......
a b à CPUs
December 2, 2010 6:42:34 PM

Quote:
On your average system the card requires you to have a 550 Watt power supply unit.
at least 35 Amps in total available on the +12 volts rails (accumulated)

http://www.plugloadsolutions.com/8 [...] plies.aspx
^ manufacturers overstate the wattage needed, they keep this in mind cos most people buy the low quality PSU's. Punch the OP's specs into a PSU calculator and you'll see what the answer is 417W recommended, minimum is 367W
December 2, 2010 8:25:59 PM

Alright so i Breadbord'd the system, ran PC Check, and it fails on the CPU(2.5ghz 9850) (using onboard vid.). I boot into windows, and run prime 95 for 30 mins, and the computer powers off. I turn it back on, it got as far as windows desktop, then turned off. i waited a while, powered it back on, and it started to run prime95, and it powered off. now it wont turn on, or it will start to turn on(Fans spin up) then immediately powers off.
Is this my cpu / psu or motherboard? any ideas lutfij
December 2, 2010 11:18:28 PM

Best answer selected by lolskyar.
December 2, 2010 11:20:41 PM

It was Fatal1ty piece of crap PSU. Thanks everyone for your insight. hats of Lutfij- you were right, but i think most of my components have been spared,

thanks again everyone. Best of luck to you all
a b à CPUs
December 3, 2010 4:49:56 AM

Unsolvable mystery no more :p  Thank you for the vote! Hope the rest of the components ARE ok :) 

I lost:
socket 478 - P4-2.8Ghz
GA-PE865 mobo
1GB DDR 400MHz ram
Ati 9550 128MB
Audigy 2 ZS platinum
200GB seagate Barracuda 7200RPM

^ all that cos of a bad PSU :(  look around for a SEASONIC 600W PSU or a corsair AX modular PSU

ofcourse, you could post another thread :) 
a b à CPUs
December 3, 2010 8:19:07 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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