New GTS 450 freezing PC

I know I have posted a similar thread before but to be honest that was a mess and probably got a lot of TL;DRs, so I decided to write it out clearer and shorter.

First of all, here are my specs:

PC: HP Minitower DC7800
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
PSU: Antec 520w Eco Continuous Power
Card: eVGA nVidia GTS 450 1GB

I am trying to put together a budget semi-gaming computer and saw the minitower for £130, pretty nice deal. So I bought that and the card and also a cheap £17 Alpine 700w power supply. I

started to have the problems after installing it so following advice I decided to buy a new power supply, the one I have now. It was certified so I hoped it would solve the problem, but it didn't. But

buying the certified one was a good idea anyway - I'm pretty sure the card couldn't live on the crappy PSU.

The actual problem:
Essentially, the computer freezes. Everything stops moving, any sound that happens to be playing will be looped annoyingly and the computer would require a hard reset (Holding the case power

button down)

Essential info:
- The card is attached to the PCI-E slot through a flexible riser because it wouldn't fit directly in the slot because of a bolt in the heat sink which I cannot remove is in the way.
- The card is plugged in with a single six-pin connector rather than a molex splitter.
- My computer is a 2007 computer so it fairly old but the card is brand new - arrived a couple of weeks ago.

Theories I have on why it is being caused:
- GPU has not got enough power - SEMI-RULED OUT
This is why I replaced the PSU because the freezing appeared to be a symptom of underpowering. But the new PSU supplies enough watts (I think, I added the CPU and GPU use at peak to

around 300w, most other devices are unplugged for debugging) as it spits out 520 watts. It also has one 12+ rail that claims to deliver 40a which should suffice for the GTS 450. I have almost

outruled the card being underpowered but I have another idea as listed below.

- GPU is not compatiable with the mobo in the tower - POSSIBLE
I really hope this isn't the case, because I can not afford to buy another tower and I can't return it because of all the hacking up I had to do to the case just to fit in the PSU.

- GPU is being interrupted by another device - RULED OUT
I gave the GPU an IRQ of itself (5) in the BIOS. No dice.

- GPU is overheating - RULED OUT
I am monitoring the temps through eVGA precision and they never rise over 54 C, and I've used it plenty of times with the case open and the room cool from opened windows. The CPU also

remains cool. So I don't think this is a problem.

- RAM is overheating or bad - POSSIBLE
I will do a memory test when I get home.

Patterns I noticed about the freezing:

- Opening more than one application at the same time raises the chance of it freezing. I have been fine playing Minecraft and voice chatting to a friend on Steam for ages. But opening Google

Chrome while copying files over from a hard drive will instantly freeze it. Maybe this is a coincidence but it seems that putting more stress on either the CPU or GPU will make it freeze more.
It has though, frozen on the desktop with only Task Manager open and also during BIOS.
It also froze when using the VGA drivers, but that might have been before I carried out some of the solutions.

Right, let's get to what I have tried:
- Reseated the card and the RAM
- Blown out the dust with a pressure blower
- Reinstalled and tried several different drivers
- Installing a new PSU
- Underclocking the GPU
- Unplugging everything but the essentials (DVD drive etc)
- Disabling audio drivers
- Assigning the GPU its own IRQ
- Disabling the onboard graphics card

And things I haven't tried (reasons why explained):
- Buying a new riser (I want to be absolutely sure that the riser is the problem before I do that)
- RMAing the card (I'd rather not wait a few weeks for a new card if it won't work anyway)
- Trying it on another computer (None at disposal)
- Increasing voltage through MSI afterburner (Not sure about this, opinions?)
- Buying a new computer (Can't afford or return)
- Run a memory test (Will do when I get home)
- Update my BIOS (scared of bricking)

Other problems:
- Sometimes when the computer is switched on there will be no video display and the fans on the GPU will start running at 100%
- When doing anything mildy GPU stressfull I get the famous "Display stopped responding and successfully recovered" error.
This has happened when running Furmark and also attempting to record Minecraft using Fraps for too long.
As the GTS 450 is a mid-end card, I really don't think it should be crashing out so easily.

I have been having this problem for quite a while and it's frustrating me. I just want it to work!
I want to exaust every other option before I send anything back or spend any more money (sorry if I sound cheap). So please list any ideas you have!

If you need any more info please do not hesitate to ask! I just want it fixed.
I'll probably add to this thread as I remember/try other solutions.
Thanks so much in advance,
10 answers Last reply
More about freezing
  1. First download Driver Sweeper.
    Uninsstall the original video card drivers reboot in safe mode and use driver sweeper to finish removing old graphics drivers. reboot and do a fresh install of the new drivers.
    Run a harddrive check. Corrupted system files can cause the symptoms you have.
  2. it may not be the video card that the issue no but your hard drive may be failing or you have a ram chip with a bad bit.
    if you have a friend or another pc burn a memtest cd and run it overnight to see if any of the ram sticks come up with errors. is the wd or seagate drive tools to read the smart data info on your hard drive. if a friend has a spare drive ask to use it and drop a clean image of windows on it and see if the errors still happen. (if you dont have an extra copy of windows 7 you can download a free copy of windows 8 from ms).
  3. Rick,
    I have already done the steps you listed - no dice.
    smorizio, hi again,
    I will run a memtest tongight, and also run a hard drie check.
    ATM I can't reinstall Windows but it is a new installation, it's recently installed - the PC came with no OS.
    thanks, jishaxe
  4. UPDATE:
    I found an old key for Windows XP Professional and I'm installing it now on another partition. Let's see if this makes a difference.
  5. ^ +1
    best to clean out everything to resolve any driver/software issues.
  6. Well, apparently it wasn't a software conflict. Installed a completely fresh copy of XP and only installed nVidia drivers. Still freezing just as much.

    Just a question, could such a problem be caused by a faulty riser or maybe just the latency the riser adds to the connection? I'd like to identify the problem so I can actually fix it. I have run quick memory tests and hard disk checks and they came out clean. I've kinda ruled everything out which just leaves a problem with the riser, the card or an incompatibility.
  7. what is this "riser" you speak of?
    (it is strictly to help me understand thanks for your time)
  8. It's a flexible PCI-E X16 riser from xcase. I can't get the link to you right now but a google for "xcase flexible riser pcie" should be okay. It's the one connected by two tape wires.
  9. -bump-
  10. I am pretty sure it's memory. Go into BIOS and make sure the memory is not overclocked and got correct timings. If that's okay, run memtest ( I had the same issue with two PCs already, and both times it turned out to be RAM. First time it was two bad sticks (out of 4), and another time - unstable overclock.
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