Weird Games Problem...

Ok, so I was playing Sims 3.
I was feeling happy as pie. All was good in the world and I was gonna micro my sim like some kind of korean god.

And then it crashed. No problem I thought, always going to be some kind of random error at some point.

But, it then took around 5minutes to go from pressing the power button to the pc loading to desktop. It took a very long time on the initial boot logo, finding the RAID array and then at the Windows loading screen before the username/password entering part.
This is a big difference from my 21second-ish loadup (I do love my SSD! :) )

Then when it finally entered windows, the pc works perfectly normal. Not slow at all. It would seem normal.

However, whenever I play games, the whole pc will randomly crash. It may be 20mins in, it may be 40 mins in. Its sometimes been 1 and a half hours in.... but there is ALWAYS the risk of random crashing. ( when it crashes the sound is repeated).
When I restart the pc, it returns to the super slow load up after every crash. Which is irritating as hell.

The pc is not overheating as the pc averages 50C.

I reinstalled the driver and the issues remained. Although I did suspect a driver issue due to the Nvidia driver uninstaller actually freeze on the "removing drivers" section. But the uninstall worked the second time, and the clean install over the top worked too.

There has been no messing around with the hardware (clock rates etc)

I can enable UCC on the motherboard to unlock 6mb of L3 cache for the processor, but I haven't actually done that yet.

The SSD is the newest piece of hardware, but thats had 2 months of pure use without any issues being brought up. So I doubt it is a problem there. Seems to be a graphics card/driver issue somehow...

The Spects are :-

Nvidia GTX260
4GB Ram
AMD X3 435 2.9ghz
120GB Corsair Force 3 SSD
2x500gb HD's in RAID array

So... Any ideas/help? :)
6 answers Last reply
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  1. Random crashes during gaming usually leads to one of two things. Bad graphics card- which can include, bad drivers, bad hardware. The second could be a faulty PSU, if you can, try to replace those parts and test.
  2. what is your PSU, make and model please.
  3. Does it crash in safe mode or only playing SIMS?
    Your motherboard seems a little new for Capacitor issues.
    try running benchmark software - 3Dmark
    what do the windows error logs say was happening when it crashed? (not always helpful but worth a look)
    mem86 is great at finding issues with motherboards and ram.
    What's the Firmware level of your new SSD drive? i hear they are very firmware dependant and can have loads of really odd issues. the SSD Post that has been sticked is worth a read.
  4. Well I guess I've had this graphics card for a relatively short amount of time.
    I got it off someone who had barely used it and was upgrading to a super high-spec mac. But I've had 2 months of use without any issues so I'm not really sure...

    I re-installed the drivers, and they'v also been the same drivers for the last 3months so I don't think it could be them really.

    I'll state the PSU make/model later. Don't know it off by heart, just that its a very decent 750W. I doubt its the PSU though, I stress-tested my pc for 2 hours last night with Prime95. The temperatures got to :-
    GPU - 47C
    CPU - 61C
    Core - 50C

    That temperature is a bit high for my liking. But I know that this PC does not actually reach 70C, as it cuts off the pc totally at that point (had a problem with a dodgy fan near christmas time).

    It crashes whenever I play a game for an extended amount of time. It will probably last 10 minutes, but once it reaches 20ish minutes of gametime then there is a likelihood that it may just randomly crash at any point. However I have played a few long games of CoH and LoL (like 40ish minutes) so it truly is random. Its still crashed in those games, but it jsut shows it truly is random.

    Well the MB is an ASRock N68C-S UCC. I got it as it can unlock an extra 6mb of L3 cache for my processor, shame the other core is defunct :/

    Well the event view shows that this pc has crashed 9 times in the last week, but thats considering I've played less games due to having more work to do.

    I believe I have memtest here, I'll give that a try. I was under the impression it could be some kind of mem-leak somewhere in the drivers. I guess RAM may be an issue...

    Literally no idea. Probably stock firmware. I remember looking at the firmware update software. But because it state that its recommended not to update unless you've got errors, and that I didn't have any errors at the time+didn't want to mess around with that kind of firmware, I've not looked at it again.

    I did have a weird situation though. I was playing SC2+had Prime95 going off to really test the PC(I wanted to force a crash as I was monitering the temperature of the system)

    The PC crashed, but I was a little annoyed so just spammed the Ctrl+alt+delete and the Windows key. Then the pc actually just got to desktop. It even allowed me to jump BACK INTO SC2! And SC2 worked without an issue, I have no doubt that the game would crash later on in the future, but the servers went down and it was too late for me to actually function properly.

    The temperatures did get to :
    GPU - 54C
    System - 50C
    CPU - 62C
    Core - 52C
    When Prime95+SC2 were going. I think I do need to get some new thermal paste and clear the old stuff away. When I was applying the thermal paste to the CPU when I was fitting the new MB, I noticed I only had a little paste left.

    Thanks for the help though! :)
  5. I think if the CPU gets to 62 degrees it should be ok? I may be wrong on that though. I know generally GPU can get up to 85-90 degrees generally before they pack up.

    It may be worth applying a bit more thermal paste to your CPU just to rule it out.

    You may also want to check voltage going to your GPU.
  6. Hmm, I believe I have sorted the issue out.

    I under-clocked my GPU, as when I opened my case directly after a crash.

    My stock GPU settings were :-
    Core - 576MHz
    Shader - 1242MHz
    Memory -1000MHz

    My current clockrates are now :-
    Core - 499MHz
    Shader - 1075MHz
    Memory -900MHz

    Rivatuner decide to stop detecting my drivers so had to resort to EVGA Precision.

    The card must have become unable to support its stock speeds over time... somehow... I saw a lot of posts about Zotac's GTX 260/280 cards being unrealiable, so even this under-used card seems to have been affected.

    Thanks for the help in diagnosing/fixing my issue :)
    Kudos :)

    *This thread can now be locked :)
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