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System freezing, could someone double check me please?

Last response: in Systems
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October 19, 2011 6:21:15 PM

Howdy, first post and hope it's in the right section.

Sorry for the long post too, anyways:

First off some info:

Built a PC last year consisting of the following:

CPU - G6950
MB - Asus P7H55-M SI
GPU - EVGA GTX 460 (768 Mb)
RAM - 4 Gb Corsair XMS3 (CM3X2048-1333C9DHX x2)
PSU - EZCool 650 watt
Win7 x64 home

Ok, the above ran fine, no major problems (please note the RAM would have been running at 1066 due to CPU)

Last week, i bought an i5 760, and another 2 Gb of RAM (corsair as above but for capacity - CM3X1024-1333C9DHX x 2), installed and ran ok for a couple of days (though that was just OS and maybe streaming video).

First time i put a game on (Alien breed 2 through steam) it locked up within a couple of minutes (with looped sound stutter). Restarted, and locked up again after about half an hour. Same thing with BFBC2 (lockups and looped sound), each time requiring forced reboot (sometimes after 5 mins, sometimes 1.5 hours), and no crash dump etc (only errors are power kernels detected after restart).

Swapped CPU back to G6950, removed new ram, all fine, several stress tests (prime95) all passed, memory tests through windows tester all fine (i havent been able to get memtest+ working, but thats my uselessness). Checked up on BIOS, and updated (had been on very old BIOS). Stress test CPU temps were around 55 degrees, with core temps around 65 each core.

Next, swapped CPU for the i5, leaving the 4 Gb RAM, no boot (RAM slots used for over 12 months were A2+B2), swapped those over to A1+B1, booted, ran fine, stress tests again and memory tests, no issues (stress tests have all been min half an hour, max 1.5 hours), temps rising to a stable 60 degrees for CPU, and for cores climbing to around 77 degrees before falling back and hovering in the 72-75 range. Games run fine for a few hours too. GPU has never been above 70 degrees, CPU temps in game around 65 core temp, 55-60 CPU temp.

Re-inserted new ram (in A2+B2), booted, stress test for 30 min all well, mem test lockup (mouse and keyboard lose power, never noticed in earlier lockups but didnt look either).

Removed DIMM from B2, booted (BIOS now only detecting 3.5 Gb RAm with 5 Gb installed), memtest again crashed. reseated in slot, right amount detected, mem test locked up again.

Swapped DIMM from A2 to B2, completed tests as before all fine.

Removed the 1 Gb DIMM from B2 and replaced with the other 1 Gb DIMM (still B2 slot), test as above, all fine.

Swapped B2 into A2, booted, stress test fine, mem test fine, so inserted the first 1 Gb DIMM into B2 (to see if it was just being 'wierd', and now back to the full 6 Gb), stress test lockup within 5 min. Reboot, and lockup on loading screen. Removed DIMM from B2, and had a looong stress test, all passed.

Since i noticed the power off on mouse and KB mentioned above, i've noticed that at least one loses power on a freeze, sometimes both.

I have tried other combinations with the memory, it has only crashed with a DIMM in slot A2 with the i5 installed. (ps i didn't try the full 6 Gb with the G6950, only individual matched pairs in either A1+B1 or A2+B2)

I'm thinking it's the MB (maybe something to do with the 1333 speed obviously with A2 occupied), or maybe PSU, however i'm not overly great at troubleshooting hence i need advice of you more knowledgable folk.

My main concern is the CPU, have i ruled that out as a problem? (the i5 i mean).

The RAM used is listed in my MB manual as compatible.

As i say, my conclusion is MB or PSU, any further advice would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance and sorry for the novel.
October 19, 2011 6:40:54 PM

I will guess you psu might be going bad possibly. Most of the time when systems lock up it has to do with a faulty psu. I might be wrong on this but if you have another psu I would give it a try and see if the same problems occur. Good luck.
October 19, 2011 7:24:02 PM

Thanks for the reply :)  i'll get a new (and better) PSU when i can and swap out (from some of the reviews i've recently read about the EZCool i wish i hadn't got that one), i'm just overly paranoid about the CPU at the moment.

BTW i'm running 5 Gb RAM at the mo and still testing it for stability, everything in the first post has been done since sat night as and when i could. Fingers crossed! :) 
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
October 19, 2011 10:08:42 PM

If I followed your tests correctly, you've isolated A2 as a bad slot only when the 760 is installed. This can be either a physical or electrical issue with the slot. The fact that slots A2-B2 still work when the 6950 is installed indicates electrical issues.

Could be PSU, or that the mobo cannot hold memory voltage firm in slot A2 when the 750 is installed.

You could try to increase memory voltage a step or two and see if that overcomes the problem.

While you've isolated the issue to a single slot, I suppose its still possible that your PSU doesn't provide clean enough power to allow the mobo to hold memory in that slot (with a 760). So a psu swap wouldn't be a bad thing to test.

I don't know anything about the quality of EZcool PSUs, but what I quickly scanned after a google search didn't give me confidence. If you do buy a new psu, *please* stick with Corsair, Seasonic, or Antec . . . unless you can find a specific review from a qualified reviewer who gives your choice a passing grade. PSUs are the cause of most hardware failures; they also cause other hardware to fail; they also (as you can see) can be the cause of strange, hard-to-diagnose problems.

There are LOTS of reasons to use ONLY a known high-quality psu.
October 19, 2011 10:48:26 PM

Twoboxer said:
If you do buy a new psu, *please* stick with Corsair, Seasonic, or Antec . . . unless you can find a specific review from a qualified reviewer who gives your choice a passing grade.

There are LOTS of reasons to use ONLY a known high-quality psu.


Will do, and thanks for the recommendations :) , i was wondering if it could be a menory voltage thing (i was more guessing based on my psu/mb assumption), but i can't twaek anything with the mobo (it's a locked BIOS).

I'll be ordering a new PSU within the next couple of weeks, and will update this thread and let you know if it gets the full 4 slots working or not.

Again many thanks for the replies and insight!
a b B Homebuilt system
October 19, 2011 10:55:34 PM

NP. Good luck to you!
October 21, 2011 6:07:38 PM

Howdy, just to update:

Replaced PSU (20 mins ago) with an Antec true power 750W PSU, and fitted a DIMM in that last slot, still crashes, so i can only think it's the motherboard...

If i've missed anything please let me know, and thanks :)  (it has stayed stable with 5 gig, so i'm running with that until i upgrade)
a b B Homebuilt system
October 21, 2011 7:04:23 PM

Set the voltage and timings for your memory manually in BIOS. After doing that, kick the memory voltage up one notch (then 2) and try again.
October 21, 2011 7:08:24 PM

Twoboxer said:
Set the voltage and timings for your memory manually in BIOS. After doing that, kick the memory voltage up one notch (then 2) and try again.


Afraid i can't, locked BIOS (though i may try clocking memory speed to 1066 later on).

Am i right in thinking it'll be the motherboard? If so, i'll put up with it for the mo, i'm kinda looking to replace it in the next 6-12 months anyways so i can SLI (it only has 1 PCIE slot), and i can still use this one with the pentium to update a family members computer when i do replace it.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 21, 2011 7:20:14 PM

SORRY! Forgot you already mentioned that - lost track of the threads here lol.

Well, there is one other possibility . . . although your BIOS is "locked".

http://support.asus.com/Cpusupport/List.aspx?SLanguage=...

This shows that the G6950 has been supported on your mobo since BIOS V0214 (2/4/10); the 760 is supported beginning V0802 (7/21/10). Could this be the problem? Or do I have the wrong mobo model number (there are several variants)? Anyhow, its something else you can look at, but maybe not do much about . . . if your BIOS is locked.

Who made your system? Do they have BIOS updates available?
October 21, 2011 7:29:38 PM

Hey, no problem hehe

My BIOS is kinda locked, i can update it (i did the other day to a 2011 version), but voltages and most other options aren't catered for :( 

The ASUS website no longer has a CPU compatability list in the support section of their site, but they do for the other variants (and yes, there are lots of variants, all seemingly having different BIOS versions on different dates). I have found, while trawling for problems, my MOBO and the i5 760 sold together in bundles, and a few forums where people have posted pretty much the same combination i now have (though they usually only had 4 Gb RAM, and the ones i found were dated late 2010/early 2011).

If the general consensus is it'll be the MOBO, as i say i'll just run 5Gb until i get a new one (which will be when i want to SLI), the new PSU i got today stops me being paranoid about the cheaper old one (the reviews i've read this last week didn't comfort me at all), and it'll be more appropriate for the SLI than the old one was anyways :) 
October 21, 2011 7:38:43 PM

To add (i can't edit the above post), the only 2 constants are the i5, and that one DIMM slot being occupied...
a b B Homebuilt system
October 21, 2011 8:51:42 PM

This kind of troubleshooting is always about the odds. From what you've done, you've virtually eliminated the memory sticks as an issue, and you would need to have two different PSUs failing in odd but matching ways. Or there is something wrong with your cpu which is statistically at least as unlikely as the other two components.

So if it were my own PC, at this point I'd be replacing the mobo . . . whenever or in whatever way suits your needs.
October 21, 2011 8:59:07 PM

Sorted :)  Many thanks for your time (and to everyone else who looked, and gave advice), i'm trying to find out if one of a couple of friends has the same skt mobo just to try the cpu, but i'm doubting thats the problem (i'd imagine both slots on that channel would glitch if it were the cpu, and it is only the one).

At least it's given me some troubleshooting experience, i know i can work through problems and eliminate things, it's drawing a real conclusion with a real reason i struggle with (i'm a spark, so can troubleshoot, but the inner workings of a comp are very vague to me atm).

Anyhoo thanks all :) 
a b B Homebuilt system
October 21, 2011 9:10:03 PM

NP. If you resolve this issue soon, it would be helpful to others to post the answer here.

Good luck!
October 21, 2011 10:07:36 PM

Twoboxer said:
NP. If you resolve this issue soon, it would be helpful to others to post the answer here.

Good luck!


Will do :) 
October 24, 2011 6:01:01 PM

Howdy! Just a little update.


Ran fine with 5 Gb as i posted above for a couple of days (the slot i thought dodgy left empty) then i had another hang. Replaced the 1 Gb DIMM with the other, same result after a few hours.

Took all memory out and put the 2x 1Gb DIMMs in A1 + B1, ran a memory test, and it stopped at 21% of the first pass (i could ESC out of it). Before i could try again windows explorer slopped responding and had to restart itself.

Same thing happened again on a retry (windows explorer restarted, then mem test stops at 21% of first pass).

Suspecting both 1 Gb DIMMS are at fault, although i only bought them around 10 days ago, they are actually 3 months older than the memory i installed sept 2010 (so maybe a problem with how they were stored?).

Anyway, will be returning them later this week, wondering if it would be better to get a refund or replacement in your opinions? (i'm tempted to try replacement as it might just be bad luck)
October 27, 2011 8:08:22 PM

Quick update (again)

It was definately the 2x 1Gb DIMMs, exchanged them at the shop, and all is now well :)  must have missed something when swapping them out... They didn't always force a crash anyways, bit wierd but now solved. Thanks for everyones suggestions :) 
a b B Homebuilt system
October 27, 2011 8:34:48 PM

NP, glad you are up and running!
!