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New system intermittently freezes

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September 28, 2010 7:21:35 AM

So basically, I built a new computer a couple of months ago, and it has been one of the worst thing's to have to deal with so far.

Here is the current configuration:

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3
CPU: AMD Athlon II x4 635
RAM: 2 x 2GB Corsair Dominator GT 1600MHz (CMD4GX3M2A1600C8)
Hard Drives: G-Skill 64GB SSD, 1.5TB Seagate 7200.11 HDD
DVD Drive: Lite-On 24x DVD-RW
Graphics Card: MSI Nvidia 1GB GTX 280 (Factory Overclocked)
Sound Card: Creative SoundBlaster 5.1 VX
Power Supply: 550W Thermaltake EVO Blue (75% Efficiency)
CPU Cooler: Thermaltake Max Orb
Case: Antec Six-Hundred w/ all fan slots full.
Keyboard: Razer Lycosa
Mouse: Razer Deathadder v2
OS: Windows 7 x64

No matter what I do to it, it doesn’t seem to work perfectly. The system will randomly freeze in Windows. By randomly, I mean whenever.. While booting into the OS, while the system is idling, sometimes in-game, sometimes when converting video, sometimes when I open a program, whatever, whenever. I haven’t attempted to overclock it at all yet, as it would be pointless on an already unstable system. I feel like I have eliminated all issues other than the CPU, or power supply.. I was wondering if you guys had any idea what might be the case. Here is what I have done so far:

• Removed Sound Card
• Installed on the HDD rather than the SSD, also installed on 2 other HDD’s (Maxtor DiamondMax 21, and another 1.5TB Seagate 7200.11)
• Tried installing Windows XP SP2, Windows 7 x86, and Ubuntu 10.04 rather than Windows 7 x64
• Tried using my old Radeon x700 Pro, instead of the GTX 280 (Thus testing the extra graphics card power cabling from the PSU)
• Tried using different RAM configurations (1 x 2GB of the Corsair, 1 and 2 x 2GB OCZ Reaper 1600GHz (OCZ3RPR1600GK))
• Tried the ram in all different RAM slots
• Tried using different keyboards and a mouse (Razer Arctosa, and a generic PS/2 keyboard and mouse)
• Tried the stock CPU heatsink (CPU has never gone above 40-50C degrees, averages 25C degrees with Thermaltake cooler)
• Replaced the motherboard with an ASUS M4A87TD EVO, still no luck.
• Disconnected the DVD Drive and installed off a USB

One other thing I should mention, is that with the Gigabyte motherboard, sometimes the system would just crash and reboot before I even got to the stage of booting off the Windows disk.
So as you can see, I’ve been through a lot of avenues to try and sort this out. It has worked with an OS installed for a while, but still, I would get that annoying intermittent system freeze.

Please let me know if you have any solutions

MUCH Appreciated :) ,
Niv
September 28, 2010 8:52:20 AM

I built a computer using a Gigabyte motherboard and Corsair RAM too, and I had the same problem until I went into the cmos overclock settings and changed the RAM voltage from "Auto" which is 1.5 volts to the 1.65 volts setting. It hasn't froze since.
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September 28, 2010 9:03:56 AM

Oh really? Cool, sounds good. Im not home till tomorrow, but I'll try it when I'm back and let you know how it goes! Cheers!
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 28, 2010 6:08:27 PM

One of the best ways to test memory is actually running Prime95 with "Detect rounding errors" checked for an hour or more. It will fail if memory is the issue. It will also allow you to monitor heat buildup, using CPUID's Hardware Monitor. You can also repeat the same test to prove you've fixed it.

Of course, the problem could be that psu, too. I can't find a qualified review of the Evo line, and I don't see it on any recommended list. Doesn't mean its good or bad, just not one that would be recommended here given the lack of review. Either way, it might be the problem - if you have another psu, try swapping it in.
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September 29, 2010 8:39:05 AM

So I tried to boot it then, and it crashed and restarted before I could get into Windows.

Then I took 1 stick out, and the computer froze before I could start the test. -_-

So I upped the voltage to 1.65v as triplej suggested and tried it again, checked the Rounding Error option in Advanced, and ran the Blend Torture test for an hour, no troubles... The temperature didnt go above 28C, but it was definitely running, because task manager said that the CPU was running at full..

Now I'm running the Small FFT test as we speak.. Ill see how it goes (I'm on a different computer)
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September 29, 2010 10:35:37 AM

UPDATE:

I've run Prime95 those two modes for 2 hours, and I had no problems. Temperature didn't go over 30C.. I then closed it and opened Prime95 again and the system froze before I ran a test or anything.

I restarted the PC and tried the FurMark and LinX tests (someone else suggested I should). They just finished. The LinX ran 20 times over, no issues, and FurMark ran. No issues, but the GPU was getting pretty hot at 87C, not sure if thats normal though.

Hasn't frozen under stress at all yet... so I don't have a clue whats going on! Haha
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 30, 2010 7:38:27 PM

Well, something's wrong. Running Prime95 and having a 30C max temp is like running a marathon having a max heart rate of 40. It's not possible.

What are you measuring temps with? Please use CPUID Hardware Monitor, if not already.

Do Task Manager graphs show all 4 cores running at 100%? Even one should get you over 30C.

The temps we want to know about are the CORE temps, so you should have four numbers. Maybe you simplified by reporting one number, maybe you are looking at the wrong data.

I'm not familiar enough with AMD cpus to know if a bad temp reading is common, or a sign something else could be wrong inside it. Maybe someone else will chime in.

If we can't pin the random failure on heat or memory, IMO the candidates are psu, software installation, cpu/mobo. The next step I'd suggest is a psu swap.
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