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New Computer Locking Up in Gaming Situations

Last response: in Systems
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July 28, 2011 10:59:58 PM

Alright, with some help from the community last week, I picked the parts and built a brand new PC. Assembly was straight forward, OS install went smooth, and it seems to run well. Until you start playing games. Whether it's Football Manager 2011, Bad Company 2, or the Witcher Directors Cut, I can get about 5 minutes of game time before the PC hardlocks. I've tried reading some forums and see the typical answers (temperature, drivers, etc), which I've looked at. Here is what I have below

OS - Win7 64 bit
PSU - Corsair 600W
Mobo - Gigabyte Z68X UD4 B3
Proc - i5 2500k
RAM - 8 GB G.Skill RipJaws 12800
GPU - HIS IceQ Radeon HD 6950 2GB
Cooling - two extra three inch case fans, currently set to high to address any possible temp situations
HD - Maxtor 500GB 7500rpm (boot and game drive), WD 2 TB Caviar Green (nothing on it yet)

My first guess was temperature, as that seems to be the most common answer. Temperatures right now (all in Celsius and pulled from PC Wizard 2010)

Processor
Core 1 - 36
Core 2 - 39
Core 3 - 38
Core 4 - 40

GPU - 44. I've been able to see it as high as 50 before Bad Company 2 locked up

Those all seem to be in line with what's to be expected

So I moved on to drivers. I did an uninstall of both Radeon and Realtek Audio drivers using their Add/Remove tools, as well as DriverSweeper. Then did a fresh install of Catalyst 11.7 and Realtek R263. The problem still exists. GPUZ confirms the drivers are installed.

So now I am at a loss. My next step is perhaps a MemTest to confirm if the RAM is crap.

Any other suggestions for what to address? Is it a driver problem?
July 28, 2011 11:59:26 PM

Have you updated your motherboard bios? Are you overclocked? Run memtest, run intel burnin or prime blend. Run unigine heaven and 3d mark vantage. Reinstall catalyst drivers. You need to isolate the problem it my be a faulty psu!
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August 5, 2011 1:49:23 AM

Mobo Bios is updated to F8. Thought that had fixed it as I'd been able to play a fair bit of both Witcher and BC2, until it hardlocked again today playing Football Manager of all games.

I think Memtest is the next thing to run. Ugggggggghhhhh

What am I looking for with 3D Mark? Freezing while running?
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August 5, 2011 9:17:49 AM

If the problem only happens in games, it might be the PSU.
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August 5, 2011 9:22:56 AM

Just to confirm, your temps are very good/low.

i5-2500k under load is good for anything up to the 70s/80's
GPU is good for anything up to the same. Sometimes even higher.

Temperature certainly isn't the issue here.
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August 5, 2011 7:58:03 PM

After locking up in Football Manager 2011, I rebooted and tried to run 3D Mark 2011. It again locked up during that. It consistently does it during 3D applications, as I listened to music and watched a couple videos for 3-4 hours before starting gaming. Once the gaming began, the lockup happened.

So, from what I can gather here, that suggests it is either the GPU or the PSU. If I have time, I am going to try and hook up my old GeForce 8800 GTS that I have lying around. If things run smoothly on that, am I safe to say that it's the GPU?

Or is it possible that since the 8800 takes less power, it may not be causing the Corsair 650 PSU the same problems the 6950 are, and thus PSU is still a possible answer?

MemTest is still on the docket, I've just never run it before so am making sure I have all the instructions right

I love building computers. I hate troubleshooting them.
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August 5, 2011 9:33:13 PM

Yea it might be your PSU isn't good enough. When I crunch the numbers I am coming up with a rough estimate of 550 watts with your current setup and if you figure at 80%effieciency So you should have approximately 650 or preferably 750 watts for aging for that setup
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August 5, 2011 10:08:04 PM

600w is MORE THAN ENOUGH for a single 6950. The recommendation is only 500w so 600w is overkill. This shouldn't be a PSU problem at all.
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August 5, 2011 11:01:16 PM

AdrianPerry said:
600w is MORE THAN ENOUGH for a single 6950. The recommendation is only 500w so 600w is overkill. This shouldn't be a PSU problem at all.

With a small overclock even if you go onto corsair's website and put into their calculator on psu estimates it still comes up with 650 watts recommended.
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August 15, 2011 5:20:27 PM

Thanks for the feedback everyone.

The shop I bought the parts from has a pretty liberal exchange policy, so I've taken the HIS IceQ 6950 2GB in for them to test and see if they can replicate the problems I've been having. Hopefully, they are able to do that and I can simply get a new, (hopefully) working card.

However, I will also not be surprised if they are not able to replicate. If that's the case, I am still within my 30 day exchange window and will have to take the Corsair 600W PSU back in and swap if for a 700-800 W PSU. I'd like to avoid that, as I'm not in the mood to pull everything out

As an aside, I ran the system through a gamut of tests with my old 8800 GTS slotted in (BC2, Witcher, 3D Mark Vantage), and have not experienced a lock up. I don't know if that helps the case for the GPU being the problem (and the ATI drivers), or hurts it (because the 8800 GTS is drawing far less power, thus not causing the lockup)

Regardless, I guess I'll find out tomorrow or Wednesday for sure.

Frustrating, needless to say
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August 16, 2011 7:15:01 PM

Well, Memory Express has advised they can't replicate the errors. 10 hrs of CoD, benchmarking, etc and nothing. Circles us back to the PSU. My Corsair is still under exchange warranty, so I am going to swap it for an Antec EarthWatts 750w. NewEgg reviews seem quite positive, and it won't be much of a hit over and above the purchase price for the 600W. Will report back and select an answer, hopefully tonight
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