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Random Crashes

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Last response: in Systems
November 1, 2010 5:26:21 PM

Hey Guys

I need some ideas here, first my Spec

Core 2 Quad Q8400 2.66, running stock.
4gigs DDR2-800 Transcend Ram, 2 x 2Gig Chips
Gigabyte GA-G31m-ES2C
ATI Sapphire 4770 512mb GPU
470watt PSU,
2 x 500Gig HDD
1 x 1.5Tb HDD
1 x DVD-Writer

Ok here is my problem, in most cases, when im playing a game, my pc will freeze at random spots. Eg: New Medal of Honour, sometimes 2 mins in, sometimes 15 mins in etc. Completely random, but i dont get BSOD's, or errors, or anything, eventually the monitor just goes on standby. Here is where I am confused, if i run a more intense game such as Metro 2033 in DX10, i dont get any freezing up. Run Hawx in DX9 and i can play a bit. If i run it under DX10, random freezing.

I have run memtest, no problem on ram,
Ran Hard Drive testers, nothing wrong
Run 3Dmark Vantage, and on the CPU test it freezes, but it cant be CPU
run SISoft Sandra, and it freezes out on the GPGPU tests!!!
Tried re-installing O/S and still the same thing happens.
Flashed the BIOS, still didnt help.
But as soon as i leave the PC on idle, its fine, or do basic work on it.
Could it be the motherboard, or PSU, thinking of changing the Mobo.

I have teste basically everything and am at a loss of what more to do?? Please help everyone. Im losing out on the gaming, and it is annoying.

Thanks Guys

More about : random crashes

a b B Homebuilt system
November 1, 2010 6:11:21 PM

First, are all of your drivers up to date? I assume the answer is yes, but wanted to ask.

Try this to rule out heat. Take your case cover off and run the system exposed. If it runs fine, you have a heat issue in which case you should clean out (canned air) and make sure your airflow is as optimal as you can make it. Also, make sure all of your fans are actually working!

Next, I would look at the PSU. What make/model are you using? A hot, stressed PSU is less efficient than one less stressed and cooler. A PSU that is failing will often do similar things to what you are describing. A good way to troubleshoot is to swap a known, good PSU to see if the system stabilizes.

Check these before going further with the GPU. Good luck!

November 2, 2010 5:50:48 AM

Hey Colgeek

I was thinking more for mobo, but will try the PSU first. Heat, no problem in the chassis, CPu - peaks at 55', GPU - peaks at 50', and inside temps are about 20-30'.

Luckily for me, my chassis sounds like an airoplane trying to take off. it is so noisy from fans, hehehehe. Thermaltake chassis.

Definalely gonna try a new PSU, will update and let you guys know what happens.

Thanks a Million. :pt1cable: 
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 2, 2010 6:07:28 AM

Sorry, but I have to question those temps. What gave you the numbers?

Please use CPUID's Hardware Monitor - those numbers seem far too low, unless your ambient temperature is about that of an igloo.

November 2, 2010 6:31:15 AM

I have CPU-ID, and CPUZ, GPUZ and i use Speccy, and also have the widget for Win 7 with temp monitor on it, also check in the BIOS. My ambient temp is low, like i say 20-30'. My chassis stays pretty cold.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 2, 2010 6:40:27 AM

Ambient temperature is room temperature. It would be hard for the temp in your case to be the same. Having a 4770 in gaming mode peak at 55C would be hard to comprehend. It *is* possible for your 95W quad to peak at 55C, but it would be odd since most mobos would allow it to go to 60C before spinning up the fan.

But if you're happy with your temp measurements, carry on.
November 2, 2010 7:13:19 AM

hey sorry, every time i think GPU temp i get myself confused as i see to many numbers during the day as well. Ok, GPU Temp is at 66-69' on load.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 2, 2010 9:29:24 PM

Honestly, that's the only reason I'm pressing you on this topic. Remember, we're doing remote diagnosis and part of that task is figuring out whether we're getting good info through you, our eyes-ears-hands.

Freezes like this are mostly related to gpu heat, cpu heat (although more likely it would shut down), memory heat/timing-stress, memory failure (gpu or mobo memory), psu (bad/insufficent power when needed most), or software.

Many of these can be eliminated easily and quickly with the standard stress tests, (Prime95, Furmark, measured heat by CPUID Hardware Monitor). We would either know the problem, or have it 95% restricted to the gpu or psu . . . or even software.

We ask for CPUID Hardware Monitor because we know it works - we know nothing about the accuracy of some of the other tools. And finally, HWM actually keeps track of the peak automatically - we don't need to rely on the user's eye.

You can find links to download these utilities here:
November 3, 2010 8:02:45 AM

I will run benchmarks on the items on that link, and post the results, I will run benches on Prime 95, Memtest, Furmark and also screen shot of CPUID, and Screen on GPU-Z. Will let you guys know how it goes.

I have now taken my memory out, and putting that in another PC, asking the guys to check it for me, and bench it on SISoft, as my PC froze on that as well. If it is memory then will change them. Tried a new power supply, and same thing happens..
a b B Homebuilt system
November 3, 2010 4:55:00 PM

Good idea re: memory. If it fails (or succeeds) keep in mind your mobo just may need slightly different settings to run it well.

Also nice swap on the psu.

Good luck with the tests.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 3, 2010 5:00:34 PM

Twoboxer said:
Good idea re: memory. If it fails (or succeeds) keep in mind your mobo just may need slightly different settings to run it well.

Also nice swap on the psu.

Good luck with the tests.

I would further add to Twoboxer's comment by saying that you should set the mobo to its default settings while trying to stabilize your config. You aren't looking for performance while troubleshooting. You can tweak more aggressive timings/settings after you get things settled down. Good luck!
a b B Homebuilt system
November 3, 2010 5:05:29 PM

November 18, 2010 7:12:43 AM

Hey Guys

Im back, ok, my tech guy and myself decided to run pretty much everything imaginable on benchmarks and tests.

We ran everything as piece by piece, we eventually got to the GFX card, and that faulted out. We put in a different card, ran the game on the same settings, and ran no problem.

So fault has been found and now getting a replacement card for the one I had. I am now getting the 4870 1gb GFX card as they cant get 4770's anymore. Waiting for the arrival of the card so we can test it out.

I was surprised, as the guys here were starting to point to the MOBO, and we changed that and it did the same thing.

Will update when everything is running.
November 18, 2010 4:28:51 PM

COLGeek said:
Glad you ran down the problem. Verify your PSU's ability to power the 4870. See below:

The bottom line is that you may need to upgrade your PSU as well in order to use the 4870.

Good luck!

Hi There

Ok, ran benchmarks, and all is stable as anything now.

So it definately was the 4770, I think it might have been the DX10 Controller.

PSU is now a 700watt, with 2 dedicated 6 pin rails. So all is good.

Im pretty impresses with the 4870 and performance. It really does run great.

Im now downloading the latest drivers from ATI - AMD,

Thanks guys for the tips and help as this was stumping me out.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 18, 2010 5:22:17 PM

The 4870 will run circles around the 4770 so I sure you are getting MUCH performance from it. Glad you are good to go now. HOOAH!!!