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Persistant Freezing Issue With Current Rig, Need Help

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March 29, 2012 7:53:39 PM

Hello,

Last September I built a new rig, and since I've been having a reoccuring issue where my computer will freeze up, this only happens when I am playing videogames and it has frozen twice while watching youtube videos. Before I get any further into this let me give you my specs.

Mobo: MSI 880GM e43
CPU: Phenom X4 @ 3.4GhZ
RAM: 2 x 4GB Ripjaw DDR3
GPU: GTX560Ti
PSU: Ultra 750w

Running Win7 Ultimate 64

So this issue occurs completely at random, and I have been unable to find the source of the problem.
Temps for the GPU and CPU remain moderate, with no real spikes in temp. I am forced to hard reset. The system log only gives me the error for an unexpected shutdown, but nothing more.

When the Computer freezes the screen locks up, I am unable to move the mouse or use command keys to get out of the freeze up. And the last half second of sound is repeated very loudly from my speakers. It is my understanding that this is a common issue within this series of nvidia cards.

Here's the thing. Because typically my PC will freeze anywhere between 10 minutes and 2 hours into gameplay, I am unable and now unwilling to play many games. When I removed my GTX560Ti and placed in my old 8800GTS512, I have been able to play the games for much longer without freezing, usually at least 2 hours, but the same style freeze ultimately occurs.

I am completely clueless. Is it my RAM? Is it the card? Does the PSU have anything to do with this? (I have heard that Ultra makes shoddy PSU's). I have done 2 clean installs of Win7 so I dont think its a software issue...

Any feedback would be very much appreciated,
Thanks
a b B Homebuilt system
March 29, 2012 8:14:35 PM

adamgrippo said:
Hello,

Last September I built a new rig, and since I've been having a reoccuring issue where my computer will freeze up, this only happens when I am playing videogames and it has frozen twice while watching youtube videos. Before I get any further into this let me give you my specs.

Mobo: MSI 880GM e43
CPU: Phenom X4 @ 3.4GhZ
RAM: 2 x 4GB Ripjaw DDR3
GPU: GTX560Ti
PSU: Ultra 750w

Running Win7 Ultimate 64

So this issue occurs completely at random, and I have been unable to find the source of the problem.
Temps for the GPU and CPU remain moderate, with no real spikes in temp. I am forced to hard reset. The system log only gives me the error for an unexpected shutdown, but nothing more.

When the Computer freezes the screen locks up, I am unable to move the mouse or use command keys to get out of the freeze up. And the last half second of sound is repeated very loudly from my speakers. It is my understanding that this is a common issue within this series of nvidia cards.

Here's the thing. Because typically my PC will freeze anywhere between 10 minutes and 2 hours into gameplay, I am unable and now unwilling to play many games. When I removed my GTX560Ti and placed in my old 8800GTS512, I have been able to play the games for much longer without freezing, usually at least 2 hours, but the same style freeze ultimately occurs.

I am completely clueless. Is it my RAM? Is it the card? Does the PSU have anything to do with this? (I have heard that Ultra makes shoddy PSU's). I have done 2 clean installs of Win7 so I dont think its a software issue...

Any feedback would be very much appreciated,
Thanks

If it occurs after moving your GPU to another computer, no matter how long it takes, then the issue is with your GPU.
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March 29, 2012 8:20:37 PM

Chaz21 said:
If it occurs after moving your GPU to another computer, no matter how long it takes, then the issue is with your GPU.


I don't really have another computer I can transplant my GTX560Ti into, but since the problem is still occuring with the 8800GTS512 in my Rig, wouldnt that kind of rule out it being the graphics card?
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 29, 2012 8:32:40 PM

adamgrippo said:
I don't really have another computer I can transplant my GTX560Ti into, but since the problem is still occuring with the 8800GTS512 in my Rig, wouldnt that kind of rule out it being the graphics card?

Yes. I've had this problem when a HDD that was failing, when a PSU was faulty and when the RAM was on the way out. Assuming it's not your PCIe socket, and thus the Mobo, you've eliminated the GPU as the problem. Now the others need to be tested. Start with the RAM, unless you've got another PSU handy.
Here are some good tests to start with:
http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/tp/memory...
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 29, 2012 8:36:44 PM

Yes Ultra psu's are complete garbage. I would replace it regardless of whether it's your problem or not before it melts down and takes out your other components with it.

Your problem sounds like memory or power supply.

You can rule out memory by using memtest86.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 29, 2012 8:37:34 PM

Run memtest on each RAM stick by itself. Does your Ultra PSU have a little voltage switch on it? It may be an older, obsolete design that caused many enthusiasts to curse the Ultra name.
Have you checked your mobo/chipset/sound drivers to make sure they are current?
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 29, 2012 8:53:05 PM

I agree with geekapproved. Get a good "brand name " PSU regardless.
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March 29, 2012 8:56:41 PM

Thanks you guys, I'm burning memtest onto a dvd right now, is there a particular PSU brand you all recommend?
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 29, 2012 8:59:00 PM

A quality modern PSU has full range active PFC (no little voltage switch) and some level of 80+ certification for efficiency. Seasonic, Antec, Corsair, XFX, and Enermax/LEPA are among the better brands. NZXT, FSP, and PC Power & Cooling have some good ones too.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 29, 2012 9:02:20 PM

Onus said:
A quality modern PSU has full range active PFC (no little voltage switch) and some level of 80+ certification for efficiency. Seasonic, Antec, Corsair, XFX, and Enermax/LEPA are among the better brands. NZXT, FSP, and PC Power & Cooling have some good ones too.

Yeah. What ^ said.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 29, 2012 9:05:25 PM

yes Ultras as not that great/I personally have issues with ripjaws ram.......neat name junk memory....

anyways, doesn't take long for one component to get very hot very fast. all fans/heatsinks are clean.... new schmootz on processor ?

is the on board video disabled or pointing to pci-e slot or on auto ?

disable HD HDMI sound...... from device manager. I uninstall mine and leave it that way. disable auto updates so windows won't reinstall it on updates.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 30, 2012 2:03:18 PM

By the way Gskill is the highest rated and best selling ram on Newegg.

Most issues are user error because people don't know how to manually set it up.
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
March 31, 2012 5:40:52 PM

More like a user having to know how to do special things to setup RAM is a flaw of the RAM. Especially when the user gains pretty much nothing from the more difficult than just plugging it in setup process.

The arms race to improve Winzip performance does little to help regular consumers or gamers.

Crucial and Kingston are better because they have less problems when people plug them into the motherboard.

All G.Skill has is gimmicky "looks" and "speed". I would recommend G.Skill RAM if someone really needs 1866+ speed RAM, like if they had a Llano processor, but otherwise not.

Also, for the record, the OP's problem seems 95% likely to be a bad PSU. I would say he should get an XFX 550w or 650w regardless if it even fixes the problem. The Ultra PSU can't be trusted to power the system correctly. You might as well not even bother doing any tests for any other parts until you can get a solid PSU into the system, since the only test results are the ones that are backed by a stable power subsystem.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 31, 2012 6:17:34 PM

I definitely agree about the PSU. If that's dicey, it really doesn't matter what any other part is, you may still have stability problems.

As to G.Skill, it has become my first choice for RAM, because all I've ever had to do is plug it in, and it works. I've never had a DOA (cannot say that even about Mushkin) or had any fail.
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
March 31, 2012 6:33:50 PM

A major online parts retailer selling 100+ of each model of thing showed data that said G.Skill had an average RMA rate of 1.5% and both Crucial and Kingston had averages of 0.4 - 0.5% (3x less).

For that reason, I suggest them and only use those myself.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 31, 2012 8:19:41 PM

Raiddinn said:
A major online parts retailer selling 100+ of each model of thing showed data that said G.Skill had an average RMA rate of 1.5% and both Crucial and Kingston had averages of 0.4 - 0.5% (3x less).

For that reason, I suggest them and only use those myself.

They're the only brands I ever used. Never had any problems (he says while knocking on wood).
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 31, 2012 8:34:40 PM

I haven't used Kingston that I remember. I had some trouble with some Crucial Ballistix DDR2-1066 that I got years ago, but not with some recent DDR3-1333 (that's my spare 8GB; chips are Micron). I'd buy more Crucial.
I can't help but think that a lot of memory errors are due to user error, including not confirming compatibility, or having something else faulty in the system (like a bad PSU). RAM from anyone is one of the last things I'd expect to go bad. It's an easy thing to test early in a troubleshooting process, but I've rarely seen it actually turn out to be the problem.
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
March 31, 2012 9:03:05 PM

Plenty of times I have seen bad RAM regardless of people knowing what to do or not.

Usually it is the faster RAM, even if the board doesn't have (O.C.) written next to that speed OR just with 8GB sticks in general regardless if the board says it supports that or not.

Anyway, I have never heard of anyone having RAM with part number CT2KIT51264BA1339 fail on them, even though I have worked through plenty of fails of G.Skill and Corsair RAM on these boards.

The failure rate difference for major brands is still pretty small (~7% is the highest I have heard of for any particular model line) and the averages even smaller (~2% difference), but a 2 - 7% difference in fail rate for just one part adds up to quite a bit of fail rate when added to the fail rate of all the other parts in a new build.

I usually try to minimize the fail rate of every individual component, so there is no reason to come back in here after people buy hardware and receive it. A difference of 2 - 7% per part matters more than just about anything to me when I suggest parts for people.

Anyway, that is my take on things.

Yes, people sometimes don't install their RAM correctly or whatever, but if people don't absolutely need to configure things for performance reasons they shouldn't have to. Thus I stick with conservative parts most of the time.

The more user configuration taken out of the process, the less likely users are to end up in here later.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 31, 2012 9:30:18 PM

I agree. I was one of the loudest voices around here for sticking to JEDEC standard 1.8v on DDR2.
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