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CPU or Mobo problem?

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May 4, 2012 11:45:35 AM

Hi everyone, recently (6 months ago) I bought a new rig hoping to use Bulldozer.(I know. Big mistake, right?)

As we all know, the CPU was a big let down and now Im stuck with a 2007-performance computer.

However, I didn't even get to buy the Bulldozer CPU, I bought an Athlon II X2 260 just as a temporary thing but some money problems have surfaced and I couldn't change the CPU yet.

The rig is as follows:

OCZ Modstream 750W PSU
MSI 990FXA-GD65
Athlon II X2 260 CPU
16GB(4x4) DDR3 2133mhz Corsair Vengeance
AMD Radeon HD 6870 1GB

"Ok new guy, so what's your problem?"

Well, here's the thing. As of some weeks ago, I started to notice that my computer was struggling slow and that every game I tried to run on fullscreen, the computer just "blocked away". The screen says "input not recognized" and went black, however the machine keeps running even though it doesn't respond to any of my commands.

I have to power it down FROM THE PSU (yes, nothing works except for that).

I tried updating the BIOS version to the newest one, I've updated the videocard driver.

First I thought of a PSU problem. The PSU is not fine.

But then after re-installing Windows 7(64-bit) And the new installation still runs flawed. Slow, and full screen games just locks up the computer.

So I started to look on the BIOS and to configure it again. I downloaded some applications like CPU-Z and GPU-Z so that I could know what was going on from the OS.

And here's the weirdest part. My CPU boots with multiplier from 4 to 16, and FSB from 200(normal) to 230. RANDOMLY.

I know about the power-saving features. I DISABLED THEM.

Also, if the CPU boots normally (200x16) wich never happens(yes, NEVER) the clock doesn't come down, even at idle state and with power-saving features on.

The CPU basically overclocks itself to 3500mhz most of the time (220x16) or if my computer boots with 220x4(this is a regular case scenario) everything is slow as hell and if I start an application like Prime95 to stress test or any benchmark, the multiplier doesn't change. It dont go up.

So here's the facts that I have until now :

1) Everything is updated accordingly.

2) Fullscreen gaming and windowed-screen gaming locks up my computer.

3) Locked up it doesn't answer to anything except to the complete lost of power.

4) FSB changes randomly and never obeys to what's in the BIOS, also always is higher than what it's set-up to be.

5) Multiplier changes only randomly, even if I change it into the BIOS or in Windows, the command does not work, and it does not change.

6) I'm guessing this is not a GPU problem or a PSU problem as I first thought. Now I'm guessing the CPU or the Mobo.

Can someone please help me? Or at least try to...

Thanks in advance, any help is really appreciated.

More about : cpu mobo problem

a b à CPUs
May 4, 2012 12:15:41 PM

It sounds like you tryed running the automatic overclocking utility.
Enter the bios ans loat setup defaults.
Or you can turn the computer off and use the "Clear CMOS" jumper.
Another option is OC genie button on the motherboard .make sure this is not on or pushed in and lit.
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a c 109 à CPUs
May 4, 2012 12:16:04 PM

It might be a RAM problem. I know that those Athlons can only support up to 1333mhz (or was it 1600?). Do you have any spare memory lying around to test this?

I highly doubt it's a CPU or a Motherboard problem :sweat:  but I may be wrong.
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a c 109 à CPUs
May 4, 2012 12:17:02 PM

Unolocogringo said:
It sounds like you tryed running the automatic overclocking utility.
Enter the bios ans loat setup defaults.
Or you can turn the computer off and use the "Clear CMOS" jumper.
Another option is OC genie button on the motherboard .make sure this is not on or pushed in and lit.



This totally slipped my mind...good call, Rick.
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May 4, 2012 12:26:41 PM

mocchan said:
It might be a RAM problem. I know that those Athlons can only support up to 1333mhz (or was it 1600?). Do you have any spare memory lying around to test this?

I highly doubt it's a CPU or a Motherboard problem :sweat:  but I may be wrong.


Oh I know, but the RAM is set up to 1333mhz, the Motherboard itself configures that when on "auto". So that the RAM is slowed down to match the CPU.





Quote:
It sounds like you tryed running the automatic overclocking utility.
Enter the bios ans loat setup defaults.
Or you can turn the computer off and use the "Clear CMOS" jumper.
Another option is OC genie button on the motherboard .make sure this is not on or pushed in and lit.



I'll try loading the default settings, although as I remember, using the "Clear CMOS" jumper didn't help.
I'll give it a go.



Thank you people!
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a b à CPUs
May 4, 2012 12:30:10 PM

If the overclock Genie button is on clearing the CMOS will not help. Make sure the OC Genie button is off.
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May 4, 2012 1:16:53 PM

Unolocogringo said:
If the overclock Genie button is on clearing the CMOS will not help. Make sure the OC Genie button is off.



So, OC Genie is off, I loaded the Default Settings.

CPU keeps starting with 4x multiplier @ 200mhz making it 800mhz of "raw power"-LOL- and well... I opened two games at once, both window-screened and started google chrome with 10 tabs to see if in some load it would change.

Guess what, it didn't. I was stuck with a near-pentiumII performance.

Also, I don't get it. It was working fine until beggining of march. Then it just started to get slower and slower and now I can't even see a youtube clip using Adobe Flash Player, 'cause Flash Player runs slow as hell.

I can't watch a movie or listen to music, 'cause it keeps stop playing and then coming back again.

This is a nightmare. :( 
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May 4, 2012 1:35:27 PM

I've got a dumb question, but I'll ask:

It sounds like your clearing cmos via jumper, are you sure you got the right jumper (and that it got put back to the non-clearing position when done).

If you cleared it once and it never got put back, I could see funky behavior like that ensuing because your always clearing cmos.

If you change a setting (something arbitrary like boot order) does it stay?
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a b à CPUs
May 4, 2012 1:42:11 PM

Go into the power options and set it to perfornance in windows.
You do have the AMD CPU driver installed?
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May 4, 2012 2:30:57 PM

djscribbles said:
I've got a dumb question, but I'll ask:

It sounds like your clearing cmos via jumper, are you sure you got the right jumper (and that it got put back to the non-clearing position when done).

If you cleared it once and it never got put back, I could see funky behavior like that ensuing because your always clearing cmos.

If you change a setting (something arbitrary like boot order) does it stay?



Yes, I'm sure the jumper is in the right position, I only used it once and my computer was fine after using it. I cleared the CMOS just after christmas. My problems started by the first week of March.

The boot order remains unchanged, I only change it when I need to perform an installation from the CD, I did that last week but once the process is finished, I change it back.


Quote:
Go into the power options and set it to perfornance in windows.
You do have the AMD CPU driver installed?


I changed it to performance. Still the same. CPU working at 200 x 4, not changing when system is under load, and OS struggling to start and to load things.

I don't have the AMD CPU driver installed. I don't even know where to find it. I searched the AMD site but nothing. Only a "dual-core compatible driver" but it's dated 2008.

Also, if the problem is this driver.. I never had it. Why it's not working only now, 6 months after working flawlessly?






EDIT : I noticed something. Every change that I made to the BIOS, even loading Default Settings, the computer has to restart after, right?

So, restarting gets it locked up. Every single time. Well, since a month now. I figured that it would be only because I was changing everything and it was in manual. But at default settings it stills the same. The computer locks up and I have to power it down by turning the PSU off and then On again so that the Power Button can work.

Despite of this, the changes take effect. Wich is... really weird.
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May 5, 2012 9:55:55 AM

Perhaps this info may help you to help me.

Since two updates ago, the BIOS have become this GUI, wich I find very attractive, but still very strange.

And the BIOS always have been "fast" well, at the normal speed.

Since some weeks ago I begun to experience some little freezes while in the BIOS.
Like a quarter second freeze, every 2 seconds.

The mouse is moving, it stops for a little time, very short indeed, and then moves again. The mouse does not move smooth however.

I don't know you guys, but this sounds like a .... well I don't know. Could be the Motherboard or the CPU.

I can't figure it out.

Thanks again for helping me and please keep helping!
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a b à CPUs
May 5, 2012 10:31:57 AM

Ah new info.
It could be a bad flash.
Make sure the Clear CMOS jumper is in position 1-2 pins covered.
Load bios or setup defaults.
Reboot.Reflash bios.
Load setup or bios defaults.
Reboot into windows.
Install AMD processor driver for Cool and Quiet to work properly.
http://support.amd.com/us/Pages/dynamicDetails.aspx?Lis...

Hope this solves your problem.
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May 6, 2012 4:14:54 PM

Unolocogringo said:
Ah new info.
It could be a bad flash.
Make sure the Clear CMOS jumper is in position 1-2 pins covered.
Load bios or setup defaults.
Reboot.Reflash bios.
Load setup or bios defaults.
Reboot into windows.
Install AMD processor driver for Cool and Quiet to work properly.
http://support.amd.com/us/Pages/dynamicDetails.aspx?Lis...

Hope this solves your problem.



Ok so, CPU problem solved. The multiplier changes correctly, everything is in default, the clear CMOS was a big help.

The webpage you just linked, is not working for me, it shows nothing :(  ..

Anyway, everything seems to be working properly. Now I'll test some graphical intense applications, window-screened and full-screened, and I'll see if the "locking up" problem is solved.

I really hope so, 'cause with the CPU running fine, I really got no other answers for this stuff...
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May 6, 2012 4:33:26 PM

Ok so... I tried to start FIFA 12(clean install) and the computer locked up as always. Screen went black, no button seems to work, computer is responseless all the way.

So, I turned the PSU off, On again, started again the computer.
And I don't know how this is possible, but all my CPU problems are back again.

Multiplier does not change, Windows 7 running slow as hell, everything freezing...

Dear God! How is this possible?? This is by far my worst PC, and this is only 6 months old.

I can't figure out what the problem is, and now that everything is ruined again... I have no other options...

And the worst part is, if I buy another Mobo and CPU (of course I'm going back to Intel) and the problem is solved... How should I know how to solve this, if it happens again? Or to someone else?

So I guess this is not a CPU problem, 'cause when I loaded defaults everywhere, the CPU was working properly, and also the Motherboard.

The Bios was still slow and tiny-freezes but every information was good and computer performance was fine.

No graphical application can be started though, as it locks everything up. But how is it changing the Mobo BIOS? Is this even possible?

Or it's now clear that the problem is the Mobo?

I'm really starting to be desperate right now...
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a b à CPUs
May 6, 2012 5:01:43 PM

You would have probably addressed the following. It may be even silly.

Does the system beep when you turn it on? Usually, a beeping system is not an indication of a problem in mother board. If it does not beep, check if you have not turned it off.

May be there is a loose setting. Try resetting the hardware.
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May 6, 2012 5:16:50 PM

SSri said:
You would have probably addressed the following. It may be even silly.

Does the system beep when you turn it on? Usually, a beeping system is not an indication of a problem in mother board. If it does not beep, check if you have not turned it off.

May be there is a loose setting. Try resetting the hardware.


Yes, the system beeps.

I cleared the CMOS, loaded bios default after.

CPU was working perfect, the multiplier was changing the Mhz too, and it was working properly, no system slowdown.

I decided to install any graphical application, I installed FIFA 12... As soon as the game started(after credits and entrance movie) the computed locked up.

I have the 12.4 catalyst driver, but I have this problem since 12.1. No update seems to work, and also, everytime the computer Locks up, it seems to me that it damages the CMOS so that all my configurations are corrupted again.

And this scares me!

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a b à CPUs
May 6, 2012 5:39:18 PM

Please see if this helps:

PSU failure symptoms

http://www.squidoo.com/power-supply-failure-symptoms

Does this happen only in the case of games? what are the core, RAM and GPU temperatures? When you run Prime95, do you experience freeze/locking up problems? If it is games related, I wonder if this is video card (corrupt?) related. One way of isolating the problem is removing everything, giving a complete refit and checking by throwing-in one at a time (including one stick of RAM) at a time.

On a different note, as a crazy thought, it might be even malware/virus related issues.
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May 6, 2012 6:05:32 PM

SSri said:
Please see if this helps:

PSU failure symptoms

http://www.squidoo.com/power-supply-failure-symptoms

Does this happen only in the case of games? what are the core, RAM and GPU temperatures? When you run Prime95, do you experience freeze/locking up problems? If it is games related, I wonder if this is video card (corrupt?) related. One way of isolating the problem is removing everything, giving a complete refit and checking by throwing-in one at a time (including one stick of RAM) at a time.

On a different note, as a crazy thought, it might be even malware/virus related issues.



Well, I thought it was the PSU at first. But.. temps are great! I live in a super-hot city (Rio de Janeiro) but my CPU and GPU temps are around 40ºC.

I've reinstalled Legends of Grimrock and putted it on window-screen mode so that I could monitor temps.

GPU goes as High as 72ºC and CPU goes as High as 60ºC. Are this so bad?

The problem is, I started the game, cliked on load game and when the game started (after loading screen) like... 4 seconds after, the computed locked up.

The same goes to any other game. EVERY game. The only variable is time, it usually locks up pretty fast like.. 2-4 seconds after the graphical part of the game begins. However some times it locks up after 15-20 seconds.

And.. I don't know. Prime95 runs stable, no freezing.

And BTW crossed my mind the possibility of being a malware, that's why I made a clean installation of windows this past week.

Oh and FYI my 6870 is a XFX model with 2 coolers. I keep my system very very clean, every two weeks I clean everything inside from case to coolers.

I'm guessing this is video-card related but how can this affect CMOS and BIOS?? This doesn't make any sense to me.
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a b à CPUs
May 6, 2012 7:10:02 PM

Given your detailed your and system running stable at Prime95, the problem is more likely to be caused by GPU. If it is a desktop, 60 deg C for CPU under load is fine. Please check the acceptable voltage range and temp for the CPU and GPU. The 72 C may be a little high for the GPU but should not cause a freeze or a blackout. A corrupt GPU is a possibility unless the voltage range is outside the prescribed limit. Did you overclock the GPU? (1) Try a small change (0.01 either way) or to a level where you think it is not risky in the GPU volatage to check if it addresses the problem. (2) If you a dual GPU, try running with one of them. (3) If you have a spare GPU or borrow a GPU from some one, please try that. (4) Try removing and reapplying Thermal Paste. (5) I hope you do not remove and reapply thermal every two weeks :-) I cannot explain the correlation between a corrupt GPU, CMOS and BIOS. May be an unstable or a corrupt CPU makes the system unstable to cause affect CMOS and BIOS.
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a b à CPUs
May 6, 2012 7:17:27 PM

Sorry...it does not allow me to edit the messages

Given your detailed reply and the system running stable in the case of Prime95, the problem is more likely to be caused by GPU. If it is a desktop, 60 deg C for CPU under load is fine. Please check the acceptable voltage range and temp for the CPU and GPU. The 72 C may be a little high for the desktop GPU but should not cause a freeze or a blackout. A corrupt GPU is a possibility and more so if the voltage range is outside the prescribed limit. Did you overclock the GPU? (1) Try a small change (0.01 either way) or to a level where you think it is not risky in the GPU volatage to check if it addresses the problem. Please do not attempt if you are comfortable making changes. (2) If you have a dual GPU, try running with one of them. (3) If you have a spare GPU or if you can borrow a GPU from some one, please try that. (4) Try removing and reapplying Thermal Paste. (5) I hope you do not remove and reapply the thermal paste every two weeks :-) I cannot explain the correlation between a corrupt GPU, CMOS and BIOS. May be an unstable or a corrupt CPU makes the system unstable to cause affect CMOS and BIOS.

What are the core temperatures of the CPU? Did you run a memtest?

thx
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May 6, 2012 7:51:01 PM

SSri said:
Sorry...it does not allow me to edit the messages

Given your detailed reply and the system running stable in the case of Prime95, the problem is more likely to be caused by GPU. If it is a desktop, 60 deg C for CPU under load is fine. Please check the acceptable voltage range and temp for the CPU and GPU. The 72 C may be a little high for the desktop GPU but should not cause a freeze or a blackout. A corrupt GPU is a possibility and more so if the voltage range is outside the prescribed limit. Did you overclock the GPU? (1) Try a small change (0.01 either way) or to a level where you think it is not risky in the GPU volatage to check if it addresses the problem. Please do not attempt if you are comfortable making changes. (2) If you have a dual GPU, try running with one of them. (3) If you have a spare GPU or if you can borrow a GPU from some one, please try that. (4) Try removing and reapplying Thermal Paste. (5) I hope you do not remove and reapply the thermal paste every two weeks :-) I cannot explain the correlation between a corrupt GPU, CMOS and BIOS. May be an unstable or a corrupt CPU makes the system unstable to cause affect CMOS and BIOS.

What are the core temperatures of the CPU? Did you run a memtest?

thx



Hahahaha, no, I don't move the CPU every two weeks. I just take the PSU off, the GPU off the board so that I can clean the case, then I put everything back.

I clean the coolers with an air-compressor. So no harm to the hardware whatsoever. I've been doing this for the past 10 years.

I don't take off the CPU at any moment.

Well, I've read some reviews on the XFX 6870 and the temperatures are fine. CPU temp is fine. CPU voltage is fine, GPU voltage I don't know, I'll check it.

I have no spare parts as I was living in London than I changed to Madrid and now I'm living in Rio. So I don't travel with my computer parts, I just buy new ones.

Yes, I ran memtest couple of times already and its fine.

If the GPU problems were of high temperature, before the system cranking up, it would show me some artifacts on the screen or something. Even with the coolers at 100%, GPU don't go up to 70ºc, but it still locks up the PC when running a game.

I'll try some benchmarking software to see if it's any different...

But now I'm on step 0 again. Not sure if it's PSU, GPU, Mobo or CPU. :( 
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a b à CPUs
May 6, 2012 8:59:54 PM

taikamya said:

If the GPU problems were of high temperature, before the system cranking up, it would show me some artifacts on the screen or something :( 


Not necessarily.

Try removing the heat sinks and reapply thermal paste in CPU and GPU; it will address if that's the problem

I am fairly certain it is your GPU. Do you have another PC so that you can try that GPU on that computer or take the GPU from that PC to this. Or, can you take this GPU and try and run it with one of your friends? You think you can borrow one from some one? If all these fails, you have one of the three choices (1) reconstruct the PC from scratch, (2) remove all parts, add one at a time, stress test it/them and rule out and (3) pay a pro to diagnose the problem.

But I would try out all the above before taking the pro route.

What are the temperatures of your core. Run realtemp.
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a b à CPUs
May 6, 2012 11:57:40 PM

When you reinstalled the OS did you install the motherboard chipset drivers?
Did you install the motherboard Overclocking utility Overclock Genie 2?
Did you turn on the OC Genie button on the motherboard?
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a b à CPUs
May 7, 2012 12:16:52 AM

After a little more searching I understand you are running a PCIE 2.1 card in a 1.0 slot.
Did your video problems start after updating the bios?
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May 7, 2012 1:05:18 AM

SSri said:
Not necessarily.

Try removing the heat sinks and reapply thermal paste in CPU and GPU; it will address if that's the problem

I am fairly certain it is your GPU. Do you have another PC so that you can try that GPU on that computer or take the GPU from that PC to this. Or, can you take this GPU and try and run it with one of your friends? You think you can borrow one from some one? If all these fails, you have one of the three choices (1) reconstruct the PC from scratch, (2) remove all parts, add one at a time, stress test it/them and rule out and (3) pay a pro to diagnose the problem.

But I would try out all the above before taking the pro route.

What are the temperatures of your core. Run realtemp.



I reapplied the thermal paste on the CPU and the GPU... Now the system was able to don't lock up on the first 10 seconds. I had to wait at least a minute. However, problem still do exist.

Temps now are lower. CPU at 30ºC and GPU at 40ºC on Idle. CPU @ 50ºC on Load and GPU @ 65ºC on Load. However it's night here. 10PM.

Quote:
When you reinstalled the OS did you install the motherboard chipset drivers?
Did you install the motherboard Overclocking utility Overclock Genie 2?
Did you turn on the OC Genie button on the motherboard?


The problems started like a month ago, but I didn't notice as I only though that the computer was running slow because... I don't know. Maybe heat or I don't know, I just though that it was normal.
Like 2 weeks ago things just went crazy. Graphical games locking up my PC. For an example, if I play Football Manager in text mode, the game runs fine. If I play with the 3D, it locks up and I have to turn PSU off and then on again.

Then last week I thought it could be a virus, so I formatted everything and made a clean install. Updated every driver, made the system perfectly shine and new. But.. the problem didn't go away. That's when I decided to ask for help.
I ran out of ideas.

I never overclocked, I don't like it. I never installed the BIOS unlocked technology or the OC Genie software. Also the OC Genie part in BIOS always have been disabled.

Quote:
After a little more searching I understand you are running a PCIE 2.1 card in a 1.0 slot.
Did your video problems start after updating the bios?


AFAIK the MSI990FXA-GD65 have 2 PCI-E 2.0.

And.. I don't know. I remember that I updated the BIOS from the 19.0 to the 19.6 on March, by the time that the computer started to slow down. I can't say if it was after updating it, because as I already said, I thought that the PC being slow was just a bad-day thing. I didn't realise that it wasn't until 2/3 weeks ago. After basically 2/3 weeks of experiencing slow-downs and lock-ups.

Also, past week I updated the BIOS to the 19.7(wich is the newest one) just after making the clean installation of Win7. But it didn't do the trick.
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a b à CPUs
May 7, 2012 9:05:47 AM

taikamya said:

Temps now are lower. CPU at 30ºC and GPU at 40ºC on Idle. CPU @ 50ºC on Load and GPU @ 65ºC on Load. However it's night here. 10PM.



The temps look fine.


Some more thoughts

(1) Do the games use direct x? Did you install direct-x that came with it? May be, you need to install separate instances of it for the games to work
(2) try maximising the fan speed
(3) May be the GPU is attempting to restart the card and getting stuck
(4) defrag the HDD
(5) Prime 95 runs stable as it stresses the CPU only.
(6) How old are your PC and PSU? The latter would lose efficiency as the year passes by. Perhaps, the wattage is not sufficient when the GPU loads the full power for playing games. Please check this.
(7) see if you can run a benchmark that would stress the GPU.
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May 7, 2012 11:21:29 AM

SSri said:
The temps look fine.


Some more thoughts

(1) Do the games use direct x? Did you install direct-x that came with it? May be, you need to install separate instances of it for the games to work
(2) try maximising the fan speed
(3) May be the GPU is attempting to restart the card and getting stuck
(4) defrag the HDD
(5) Prime 95 runs stable as it stresses the CPU only.
(6) How old are your PC and PSU? The latter would lose efficiency as the year passes by. Perhaps, the wattage is not sufficient when the GPU loads the full power for playing games. Please check this.
(7) see if you can run a benchmark that would stress the GPU.


1) Yes, new games only. Yes I installed the one that it came with, and then Windows updated it.

2) I tried it, lowers temps, still locks up.

3) I didn't even knew that it could do that.

4) defragged a couple of times already.

5) -

6) 6 months old. The PSU is a OCZ ModXstream 750W.

7) I downloaded the PCMark 7 basic edition to run the benchmark in every part of the system. Whenever it started that Taxi's video scene, the computer locked up after a few seconds.
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a b à CPUs
May 7, 2012 12:06:07 PM

taikamya said:
I downloaded the PCMark 7 basic edition to run the benchmark in every part of the system. Whenever it started that Taxi's video scene, the computer locked up after a few seconds.


I think it is fairly clear that it is your GPU. The only way to test it is running the GPU on a different PC or try with a borrowed card.

If your PC is 6 months old and you purchased the GPU for the new build, the GPU would still be under manufacturer's warranty. Contact your manufacturer for trouble shooting and replement.
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a b à CPUs
May 7, 2012 12:10:46 PM

If your PSU is as new as your PC, it is unlikely to be a source of the problem. I am unable to find a review at Johnnyguru, who is a reputed PSU reviewer. So, I am unable to comment if that is a good PSU.
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