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BSOD upon starting games

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December 31, 2011 3:01:13 AM

So I just got a new SSD and Windows 7 in the mail. I was able to install everything just fine. Formatted my old hard drive and am using it for storage. I am having non stop issues with BSOD. I read some different articles and it looks like it could be several issues. I will list my system specs and any info will help. Even though common sense says it should have something to do with the new SSD I really feel like it has something to do with my CPU or GPU. But any advice will help. I also may need a larger PSU as well, but didn't have problems this severe before this.

M4A87TD Evo Asus Mobo
AMD Phenom X6 1100T
ATI Radeon 4870x2
8gb ddr3 1600 Gskill Ram
650W Corsair PSU
120GB Corsair SATA 3, 6GB/s
500GB WD Hard Drive 7200 RPM
HTOMEGA CLARO sound card
I am including some other information as well, mainly so you can see what is all hooked up to my PSU.
USB Keyboard, Game Pad, MX580 mouse. Logitech Z500 speakers, Creative Sigma Headset. External HDD
1x240mm fan
2x120mm fan
Aftermarket CPU Fan(Not sure of brand off the top of my head)
If other information is needed please let me know. Its been a very frustrating process for me. I have not had a BSOD outside of loading a graphic intensive game. So far I have had a BSOD when loading Left 4 Dead 2, League of Legends, and trying to load a stress test on Half Life 2 Lost Coast.

More about : bsod starting games

a b U Graphics card
December 31, 2011 3:58:44 AM

Just doing some rough calcs. you are at about the min. size for a PSU. I figured no over clocking and come up with a 590w-635w range. Now that is for a new out of the box PSU. The AMD cards have a feature that lets them use less power when utilization is low. When graphic intensive situations arise they ramp up to full power. The 4870X2 idles at about 180w and at full (no oc) power a bit over 420w. So my first thoughts are you need a larger good quality PSU.
December 31, 2011 10:57:22 AM

my wife has a 850 watt power supply, I will try hooking that up when I get off work and see if that alleviates the problem. Any other suggestions besides psu?
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a b U Graphics card
December 31, 2011 2:32:40 PM

The fact that it happens only during high GPU load would have us thinking: PSU or heat issues. Taking the side panel off and running the games is a quick test for the heat/ventilation issue(?). Memory failure is the most common cause of BSOD in general system crashes. What you describe is not so general but more specific. If you have over clocked any components try setting them to default values. As an aside, the capacitors in all PSU age. When there is little headroom in the demands on the PSU, it can be pushed beyond it's ability during heavy use. The best reason (in my way of thinking) to buy a slightly larger PSU is to give the cushion of performance to offset the aging decrease.
December 31, 2011 2:46:05 PM

The more I was thinking I had these issues in the past and they were solved by me actually underclocking my CPU. I will try the other PSU when I get home, hopefully that fixes it. I thought at first maybe it was heat too. I did try with the side panel off, and my temps stayed low, cpu never had a chance to even get above 45c. But from what you are saying I should buy a larger PSU than what I actually need. So would you estimate that if I bought my own 850w for what I have that would be sufficient? or do I need more than that. I want to buy a sufficient power supply, but I also don't want to buy too much more than what I need.

Thanks for any help.
January 1, 2012 1:07:06 PM

Just tried out the 850. Unfortunately it did the exact same thing. I did notice on the BSOD screen it had atikmpag.sys as one of the errors. So I completely uninstalled all drivers, reinstalled them. But still no luck. At this point I am desperate and am having no luck. I am just posting information on a few different forums to see what I should attempt to do next.
January 1, 2012 11:01:23 PM

Video card is in correct slot. I removed the drivers with Driver sweeper. Installed the driver you provided in the link. Also during that time I completely re-installed Windows and the games themself. Still had a BSOD, could the problem be my new SSD? The BSOD's started after I installed it, I am just unsure how that would cause a BSOD> Also not sure why everything else would work besides graphic instensive applications.

Thanks,
January 1, 2012 11:26:03 PM

I was able to see the stop code on the last BSOD, it ended in 116. When I did some research it looks like that is directly related to the drivers. Something about how windows will automatically restart if the hardware and software are not communicating after so long. Just still unsure of what to try next.
a b U Graphics card
January 2, 2012 2:33:50 AM

Have you checked to see if there is a firmware update for the SSD? Also a MB bios update. Might check to see if you can get the latest chip set drivers also.
January 2, 2012 12:38:33 PM

Checked on the SSD looks like it did come with the latest firmware. I did update the MB Bios and it was very old. Still no fix on it. I do see on ASUS website that there is an updated driver for AHCI for Windows 7. I am just trying to figure out how to actually install that. Not sure if I just flash the bios like I did to update the bios drivers. I am looking into the chipset drivers right now too.
January 2, 2012 2:37:01 PM

Just did something interesting. Went into Device Manager, uninstalled and disabled one of the cores of the GPU so now it is only running on 1 core. And I was able to load games and play for the first time. Obviously quality isn't near the same and it was struggling even to run HL2 Lost coast stress test. But its enough to get me by for now. The question is, is the other core bad? Is it still a Driver issue? Is it just ATI in general. I have seen several driver problems with ATI recently, and this is my first ATI card since I had a 9600gt back when I played everquest 1.
January 2, 2012 8:06:47 PM

Downloaded the AMD Profile, still having issues. I just downloaded GPU-Z and the 2nd core is so much hotter than the 1st core. 1st core is around 40c idle, 2nd core is 77c idle. I took out the Video card and cleaned it all out, unfortunately no real success from that though. Is it safe to take the heatsink off and try and clean it that way? I also have some artic silver I could apply as well if that will help.

Thanks
January 2, 2012 8:13:21 PM

More Info: WHen I checked in the AMD Catalyst, one core was at 507Mhz Core Clock 500Mhz Mem Clock, the other was like 775Mhz core, 900Mhz mem clock. Obviously the ones with higher settings were running hotter. Just lowered those and testing again.
January 2, 2012 8:26:24 PM

It did work. But I am taking setting way below factory default, both GPUS should be running at 750Mhz Core, 900Mhz mem.
a b U Graphics card
January 3, 2012 2:30:52 AM

Are you saying that with both set to default you think you are having heat issues to cause the BSOD? The heat sink may have thermal pads that can be ruined by it's removal. The heat sink is for the gpu and other components on the board. As to the speed difference you see at idle, it is normal. The software that performs the xfire solution does not evenly distribute at idle use. In fact even under full load you will see marked differences in the cores. Also the card(s) dump a portion of their hot air inside the case. Just for a test. set them to default and run it with the case open or even with a small house type fan blowing into it. You may need better ventilation. Here is a link to a great article that explains how multi gpu work. It is technical but understandable. (http://techreport.com/articles.x/21516)
January 3, 2012 10:37:12 AM

I will check that article out for sure. But yes even with them at the default settings and not overclocked I believe they are overheating. The one core on the 4870x2 is nearly 80c before the game even finishes loading. The other core is much lower because of the lower Mhz speeds on it. I didn't realize this was normal though. The only way I got it to work was by underclocking the core that naturally runs warmer. I have a HAF 932 and have been running it with the side off with a fan blowing on it. The one side of the card is extremely hot. Even to the touch you can tell a difference between one side of the card and the other. I will check out the article. But from what you are saying I SHOULD NOT take off the heatsink and try and clean anything or put on another type of paste, is that correct?
a b U Graphics card
January 3, 2012 2:01:28 PM

Right don't remove it is my suggestion. Take a look at this (http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/254188-33-4870x2-high...). Seems like your temps. are normal. Whats not normal is the BSOD'\s. Try using manual fan adjust in ccc to as high as you can tolerate for noise. I have never been a fan (lol) of multi gpu solutions because of the problems introduced by the software control and hardware configurations. You might think about checking out the new 7000 series AMD cards and sell yours on ebay. The new single card solutions are very fast and capable.
January 3, 2012 4:17:50 PM

It seems that is going to be the best option is to try and get some cash from this one and buy a new item. Wasn't sure if I should go with like the 560 Ti 448 core or something ATI. This was my first ATI card in quite some time. So it is leaving a bad taste in my mouth. Price range is $300 tops. I did read that link you sent, very very very interesting and intriguing it makes me not want to spend the extra cash on SLI or multi GPU, at least at the moment. Seems like money is better spent on a good quality single gpu card. Thanks for all your help. I'll check back again to see your opinion on the cards. Thanks.
a b U Graphics card
January 4, 2012 2:24:30 AM

Happy New Year and you are most welcome. This site has some preview review of the new AMD stuff take a look. I am using a 6950 2g which I was lucky to be able to unlock the additional shaders on. I have been pleased with the performance. I play things like Skyrim, World of Tanks, Guild Wars, Aion, WoW, etc.
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