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Comprehensive Troubleshooting on my First Homebrew

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June 26, 2012 3:37:38 AM

I decided to set out and build my own system as a starter using tech advice around the web. Everything is working out fine for general use but, I'm not quite getting the gameplay I desired out of this system. I can play Company of Heroes & Battlefield 3 from 5 minutes to 45 minutes and then my display freezes, no sound, and my HIDs are unresponsive. I usually have to hard shut-down.

These problems made me look closer at my build and I learned that I kinda rushed through my research and got a MOBO/GPU combination that is less than ideal. I rushed through my Amazon purchase and bought a 550w PSU when I intended on a 750w PSU. Also, my thermal paste application is probably a newbjob.

So, what I'm really looking for is some nudges towards some comprehensive troubleshooting guides (external links welcome) regarding my setup, voltages, memory, core temps. I've mostly and haphazardly troubleshot everything I am technically capable of troubleshooting. I'd like this little project to be a success so that I can move on to bigger projects (water-cooled, hip LEDs, HTPC).

Regarding my gaming problem though, I've disabled the audio devices, init graphics in bios, tried a few drivers on my GPU, reduced the demand on my GPU, man-handled the fan curve, upgraded my bios, stress tested my cores (GPU overheats quickly). I really just need some moral support and suggestions at this point. Here's my setup now:



Case
BitFenix Outlaw ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

CPU
Intel Core i5 3570K Processor 3.4 4 BX80637I53570K

MOBO
GA-Z77M-D3H Z77 DP Intel Max-32GBGbe

RAM
Crucial 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1600MHz Destop Memory Kit

3D Card
EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB Graphics Card (1024 MB, GDDR5, PCI-E 2.0 16x, DVI-I x 2, Mini-HDMI, SLI-Capable)

HD
Western Digital WD Caviar Black 1 TB SATA II 32 MB Cache 3.5-Inch Desktop Drive Retail Kit WDBAAZ0010HNC-NRSN

DVD/BluRay
Samsung Blu-Ray Combo Internal 12XReadable and DVD-Writable Drive

Power Supply
OCZ ZS Series 550W 80PLUS Bronze High Performance Power Supply

Keyboard
Logitech Wireless Illuminated Keyboard K800

Soundcard
ASUS PCI 5.1 Channel Sound Card XONAR_DG

Processor Cooler
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler (RR-212E-20PK-R2)
June 26, 2012 6:20:14 AM

I think i can solve your problem.

You are using the outlaw case, great for cooling but it only ships with 1 fan.

I am guessing you did not buy any supplemental fans for your case.

With that setup, buy 7 fans that fit your case (look at documentation)

install them so that you have two front ones blowing in

the two side ones blowing in

the two top ones blowing out

the bottom blowing in.

the rear blowing out

this will solve all of your problems and your computer will be ICE cold.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 26, 2012 7:18:56 AM

i have an i5-3450 and a 550ti..on 550ps and i can game fine..my ps is a no name cheap junker. you can use open hardware monitor to watch your temps and ps voltages and make log files. i would start by seeing if it was a case heat issue..take the side off the case and see if the gpu runs cooler. i would download cpu-z and gpu-z cpu-z going to show your ram speed and see if your mb read your ram speed right. you may need to set the mb to you xmp profile to get the max speed of the ram. gpu-z going to show you that the card and mb are working right. you should see that the bus speed is 16x by 2.0 mode in gpu-z if the card and mb are fine. also see the bios info of the video card..check to see if there a new one online. i would use msi after burner and see if the gpu fan is working. by default bios on the card the fans default to 20-40 percent of max speed to keep the noise down. with msi you be able to turn the fan up..you should hear it and see the speed change in msi. if not then the card fan or fan control is bad. the game that locked up make a profile for it or change the temp profile of your gpu fan so that it ramps sooner.
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June 26, 2012 10:59:59 PM

lourendo said:
I think i can solve your problem.

You are using the outlaw case, great for cooling but it only ships with 1 fan.

I am guessing you did not buy any supplemental fans for your case.

With that setup, buy 7 fans that fit your case (look at documentation)

install them so that you have two front ones blowing in

the two side ones blowing in

the two top ones blowing out

the bottom blowing in.

the rear blowing out

this will solve all of your problems and your computer will be ICE cold.


I will definitely test for case heat and air circulation issues first.
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June 26, 2012 11:01:40 PM

smorizio said:
i have an i5-3450 and a 550ti..on 550ps and i can game fine..my ps is a no name cheap junker. you can use open hardware monitor to watch your temps and ps voltages and make log files. i would start by seeing if it was a case heat issue..take the side off the case and see if the gpu runs cooler. i would download cpu-z and gpu-z cpu-z going to show your ram speed and see if your mb read your ram speed right. you may need to set the mb to you xmp profile to get the max speed of the ram. gpu-z going to show you that the card and mb are working right. you should see that the bus speed is 16x by 2.0 mode in gpu-z if the card and mb are fine. also see the bios info of the video card..check to see if there a new one online. i would use msi after burner and see if the gpu fan is working. by default bios on the card the fans default to 20-40 percent of max speed to keep the noise down. with msi you be able to turn the fan up..you should hear it and see the speed change in msi. if not then the card fan or fan control is bad. the game that locked up make a profile for it or change the temp profile of your gpu fan so that it ramps sooner.


I have been using Precision X to control my fan speeds. I will look into the memory speeds as well. This is an area I haven't delved.
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