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Displays Freezing

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 8, 2011 2:27:26 AM

Hello,

There's a lot here, but this is a troubling problem as there have been a few blue screens recently...

I'm using two video cards in my system, an Nvidia FX5800 and an older FX4500. I'm running 4 monitors - all Dell, one U3011 2560x1600 res and three U2311H, 1920x1080 res. I know the FX5800 is supposed to handle up to 4 monitors, but in the interest of not taxing the larger card ($$$$!) I've installed both cards and I'm running two of the smaller monitors off the FX4500.

This is the problem: roughly once a day all my displays freeze for two or three minutes and then restore themselves with the message that my video failed and automatically restored itself. This usually happens when I'm doing something display-intense (I'm running up to eight 3D programs at once - all for large construction and architecture projects - no gaming - I need a life!) which is generally the worst possible time.

I have Nvidia's latest driver for the FX5800 installed, but it's not clear how I can update the driver for the FX4500 (or if I need to - I only see the option for the FX5800 driver to be installed, but maybe I'm not seeing something.)

Could this be caused by my using the two mismatched cards? Should I plug all my monitors into the FX5800 and let it do its job? I have a pair of DVI splitters I can use - is this the proper way to connect 4 monitors to the FX5800? It has only two DVI ports.

OK - that was earlier. I had trouble logging onto the forum so I tried the single card with splitters. Here's a follow-up: I plugged all the monitors into the FX5800 using the two splitters. No dice, though there might be more I can try, but I couldn't even get it to boot up to the operating system. It just hung at the memory check and wouldn't move onto the IDE detection. I tried it first without removing the FX4500 and then I removed it - same result. I couldn't even call up the BIOS setup. Once I restored everything it went back to normal (such as it is...)

Another question: I'm starting to wonder if the problem really is the FX4500 driver (or lack of it - I don't think I installed the FX4500 driver, since it's been working for the most part, except for this minor problem...) - if I install the latest driver for the FX4500 now, is there a chance it could muck up the works of the FX5800 driver?

The system: self-built 16 months ago; MB: Gigabyte X58A-UD7; CPU: Intel 980X; Memory: 24GB Mushkin Ridgeback 6x4GB; OS: W7 Ultimate; 2 SSDs for OS and all programs; 7 HDDs totaling 9TB. Other than this, the system is solid as a brick.

Like I said, it was a lot. I appreciate the effort of anybody who's read this far.

So, any ideas? Thanks in advance!

More about : displays freezing

September 8, 2011 3:52:39 PM

Another follow-up: the FX5800 driver IS the driver for the FX4500, so that's not the fix. Any ideas yet? Please help!
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a b U Graphics card
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September 8, 2011 4:12:35 PM

What sort of power supply are you using. Given that you run so many intensive programs at the same time, you need to figure the max load for each device. There are many tools on various sites to help with this. As I remember Antec has a sizing tool. Also have you monitored the heat loads on the system? A program like Real Temps can show cpu and gpu temps. Also CUPID has a hardware monitor utility for free. It will show temps and voltages. What you describe can certainly be caused by a PS that is not up to the task. What version Win 7? To use that much memory it needs to be Win7/64. Which leads to have you made sure all the system drivers and software are able to run under 64 bit environment?
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September 8, 2011 4:22:00 PM

Hi DogSnake,

Thanks for the reply. I'm using a modular Corsair 1000W PS and I do have temp monitoring, but not for the GPUs - the CPU temp (12 cores) occasionally hits 50C, but I haven't seen them go higher. Like you I'm leaning toward a heat issue, but I'm not sure where to focus attention. The FX5800 was quite hot to the touch yesterday, so maybe that's one place to aim for. I have a corsair 800 case. It has room for 7 fans and I've got them installed. I don't think there's a problem with removing hot air, but there may be one with generating it. Just had another freeze - it still points to the video driver when it restores itself. No useful specifics are offered.
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a b U Graphics card
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September 8, 2011 4:31:12 PM

Please do the PS load calculations. Bet you got an HX1000? It is a good ps but if you are exceeding it's capabilities you will have problems.
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September 8, 2011 5:10:09 PM

Thanks - I'll do that. A couple of other questions you asked: the OS is W7 Ultimate 64-bit and all programs that can be are 64-bit. I built this system as a 64-bit from the beginning and I've used 64-bit versions of all the software whenever they were available. And yes - it's an HX1000.
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September 8, 2011 5:20:50 PM

I went through the Antec calculator and it looks like I'm ok - after I added as many optional components as I could think of it came back with 10 PS's ranging from 380W to 650W. These are Antec PS's, not Corsair, but based on these results the Corsair 1000W should have plenty of capacity for my system. I'll check for other calculators and see if I get different results...
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September 8, 2011 5:53:16 PM

Other calculators give results in the same range - up to 800W.
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a b U Graphics card
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September 9, 2011 5:31:20 AM

If I am correct the video cards you are using are circa 2003 and 2006. I suspect they are not able to process the information presented by multiple 3d programs. Does the freeze always happen (with 1-2 programs running)? It is not the number of displays you are running but the programs, I bet. The GPU's have just so many pipe lines and are being overloaded. Your solution my be to buy new video cards.
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September 9, 2011 5:49:22 AM

Display freezing is the one of the problem with graphics card. Thanks for sharing this information. It's really use full.
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September 9, 2011 7:14:09 AM

Dogsnake said:
If I am correct the video cards you are using are circa 2003 and 2006. I suspect they are not able to process the information presented by multiple 3d programs. Does the freeze always happen (with 1-2 programs running)? It is not the number of displays you are running but the programs, I bet. The GPU's have just so many pipe lines and are being overloaded. Your solution my be to buy new video cards.


No - they're both a lot newer than that. The FX4500 is from 2006 and the FX5800 is from 2010. The FX4500 was state-of-the-art in 2006 but it has 500MB of RAM and maybe it's a bottleneck. I'm sure the FX5800 is not getting overwhelmed (though that doesn't mean it's not faulty) as it's got 4GB of onboard RAM and 240 CUDA cores. Nvidia still lists it right near the top of their charts. Since it was $4k plus, I'm trying to get the most out of it (in other words, I'm not looking to replace it unless I have no other choice), which was why I installed the older card to hopefully take some of the burden away. That could have been wrong logic, but I'm still not sure how I can get 4 displays to run on the FX5800, though it's supposed to handle 4 displays just fine. This issue has really only been happening for the past few months - for over a year the whole system worked beautifully. What changed a few months ago is that I upgraded the displays - I went from one 24" plus one 19" to one 30" plus three 23" displays. I think the answer is somewhere in there...
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a b U Graphics card
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September 9, 2011 6:12:16 PM

Take a look at this. This or something similar may be your solution. Just for a check, try just 2 displays and 1 card. If the problem goes away you have a direction to look at.
http://www.startech.com/AV/Splitters/HDMI-Splitters/4-P.... Also be sure that the cards are in PCI slots 1 and 2. 3 and 4 share bandwidth with other onboard devices.
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