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Games causing computer to freeze

Last response: in Systems
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June 2, 2012 8:40:19 AM

I hope this is the right area to be asking this question.
I've recently built (with the advice of the person at the computer store) an i7-3820 system, specifically:

Coolermaster CM690 II
i7-3820 w/ Corsair H60
Gigabyte x79-ud3
Ripjaws 8 GB
2x Gigabyte 560GTX
intel 330 SSD (120gb)

The first thing I did was crank up battlefield 3 to see how it performed, and it's exactly what i'd hoped for for a system like this. I played it for an hour or two without an issue, but then I tried NFS Shift 2 and found that after a few seconds of gameplay, the computer freezes ie. not crashing to the desktop - the computer completely stops and power/reset is the only solution.

The first thing I did after the restart was download and crank up prime95 and furmark individually to start with, then at once. With both running at the same time - the CPU eventually got to around 60degrees, and the GPUs were 75 and 100 (eventually throttling) but no freezing or lockups.

I opened the case and checked all I could - I did find that (after a bit of google searching) that the H60 does better with the fan drawing air externally, so I swapped it's direction but it doesn't seem to have made any difference.

The guy at the shop also warned me to ensure the 'fan speed' that powers the water pump on the H60 should be set to 100% (ie. because its a water pump it needs all the power it can get)

I'm running the latest nvidia drivers, win7 x64 and haven't tried overclocking anything. I'm just not sure where else to go given the circumstances.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 2, 2012 9:12:56 AM

First, never listen to the guy at the computer store. I can't imagine what he was thinking with SLI 560s. And the H60 and closed loop water coolers are generally terrible since air outperforms them, is cheaper, and they always see to want to mount them dumping heat in the case

2nd 100°C is way way to hot for that GPU. You need to get it some air. a side fan or something
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June 2, 2012 9:34:56 AM

I'm unhappy to say that playing BF3 on ultra settings also caused the comptuer to lock up.
In regards to SLI the 560GTX's - it was my idea to add the second one.

Do you think this is the issue though? It only reaches 100 on a furmark test after about 20mins.

Should I try removing one of the cards as a way to isolate the issue?

In regards to the water cooling - I'm not so sure about it either - but the temp for the CPU is within spec right? Again it does hit 60 but after about 15mins or so at full load...
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 2, 2012 9:45:27 AM

The CPU temp is fine. The closed loop liquid coolers are just kinda meh compared to air but its working well enough.

SLI can have all sorts of finicky issues. Its best to avoid doing it with 2 lower cards when you can get a single higher end card. plus you can always SLI the higher end one later.

My thoughts at the moment are the games might not be taking the throttling well when it kicks in. maybe pull the case side and point a fan at it. You could swap the cards around to see if one does better on top temp wise. The same exact cards can have better temp/power performance due to small differences in the die

Trying them one at a time is a good idea to make sure neither one or the system is faulty.

You can Google "game name" SLI problems and you will always find someone with SLI issues
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June 2, 2012 11:02:02 AM

unksol said:
The CPU temp is fine. The closed loop liquid coolers are just kinda meh compared to air but its working well enough.

SLI can have all sorts of finicky issues. Its best to avoid doing it with 2 lower cards when you can get a single higher end card. plus you can always SLI the higher end one later.

My thoughts at the moment are the games might not be taking the throttling well when it kicks in. maybe pull the case side and point a fan at it. You could swap the cards around to see if one does better on top temp wise. The same exact cards can have better temp/power performance due to small differences in the die

Trying them one at a time is a good idea to make sure neither one or the system is faulty.

You can Google "game name" SLI problems and you will always find someone with SLI issues


Okay I remembered I had a surprlus fan from the H60 installation (it was the stock fan that was replaced with the H60's accompanying allegedly more powerful one) so I installed it on the case cover to try to extract more air from around where the GPUs are. Furmark tests are still getting card 2 up to 100c causing the trottling. BF3 played for 'longer than last time' but eventually locked up... I had GPU-Z running in the background and caught the temps... it appears the temps dont come close to where it would throttle...

I've given the last few results for brevity. If I'm reading this right it appears the GPUs are hitting 59 degrees...

Date , GPU Core Clock [MHz] , GPU Memory Clock [MHz] , GPU Shader Clock [MHz] , GPU Temperature [°C] , Fan Speed (%) [%] , Fan Speed (RPM) [RPM] , Memory Used [MB] , GPU Load [%] , Memory Controller Load [%] , Video Engine Load [%] , VDDC [V] ,
2012-06-02 20:14:11 , 830.3 , 1002.0 , 1660.0 , 59.0 , 65 , 1740 , 1005 , 94 , 26 , 0 , 0.9870 ,

2012-06-02 20:14:12 , 830.3 , 1002.0 , 1660.0 , 59.0 , 65 , 1740 , 1005 , 91 , 25 , 0 , 0.9870 ,

2012-06-02 20:14:13 , 830.3 , 1002.0 , 1660.0 , 59.0 , 65 , 1740 , 1003 , 94 , 26 , 0 , 0.9870 ,



To add to this, when testing on SHIFT 2, the system crashed within 10-20 seconds. The part that seems odd here is the fact that it's a system freeze rather than just a game crash, and the temps, though I believe they should be better seem to be a seperate issue...
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June 2, 2012 12:51:39 PM

I'm reading around that PSUs are also a potential culprit. I have a thermaltake toughpower xt 775Watt. Is there any way I'd be able to test this? Had there been any issue with it I would have thought that would show up when running Furmark and Prime95 at the same time... Any further assistance would be greatly appreciated (it's doing my head in!!!)
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June 3, 2012 11:51:38 AM

So after the rest of the weekend spent troubleshooting this issue and several drivers - the issue appears to be related to using the SLI feature between the cards. The only way I know this for sure is that I can play BF3 with just the one card without locking up (at least so far) but as soon as I enable SLI it seems to lock up. It also seems to happen 'faster' on Ultra mode compared to High mode. Core temps are around 60-70 when it happens so I'm at a complete loss as to why this is happening. Again any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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June 6, 2012 11:06:47 AM

Although it's only been about an hour, it appears that my Bios was running version F4, and since updating to the latest F10, I don't seem to be experiencing system lockups any more.

I will update this thread further if required (ie. if I have any bad news!) but at this stage I think this has solved the problem!
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!