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Computer locks for a a little while when playing games. A PSU issue?

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November 13, 2012 9:37:21 AM

Hi!

I've got a problem that I experience when playing computer games. After a few minutes of playing, the screen will freeze, while the sound still can be heard in the background. This will last 15-60 secs, and then suddenly everything will be back to normal for a few minutes. I've seen this happen on several different games, for instance Tribes: Ascend, Arma II, Mechwarrior Online.

My system:

Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+
Motherboard: ASUS M2n68 plus
4 GB 800mhz DDR2
VTX3D HD7750 1GB DDR5
SSD: 60 GB OCZ Vertex Plus+
HDD: 60 GB
PSU: 450W
OS: Windows 8 64bit

This happens on a fresh install of windows 8, I've also tried Memtest86, and apparently the ram is fine. The temperature of my CPU and GPU is also fine, so I doubt this is an overheating issue. According to the following article, the recommended PSU wattage for my HD7750 is only 350 watts, so my PSU should be up to the task.
http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page362.htm

On the other hand, when I use the ASUS Recommended Power Supply Wattage Calculator, the recommandation for my system is 400-450 watts (depending on whether or not I select one or two HDDS. In fact my system is 1 HDD and 1 SSD.) http://support.asus.com/powersupply.aspx

So the question is whether or not my problems are caused by a too weak PSU, or if there is another thing causing problems for me... I'd rather not spend money on a new PSU if it is sufficient for my setup, that's why I'm asking you guys for your opinion about this...
a b B Homebuilt system
November 13, 2012 12:34:52 PM

What brand and model number is your power supply?
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November 13, 2012 12:49:00 PM

It can be a gltich in the video driver, sometimes it may crash then reload.
But as you said it can be the power supply to blame, if you can lend one of a friend for a few hours it will confirm your suspicions, one thing you should never do is skimp on your power supply for your system. Try to get a good quality one and a good brand name recommended.
It never hurts have a bit of over wattage and amps on your 12v rails. Plus you get peace of mind knowing all the safety circuits are there, unlike cheap PSu`s that may take the rest of the Pc with it when it decides to give up the Ghost on you.
Brand name is important, quality built.
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November 13, 2012 12:51:59 PM

your system would be ok. this is completely unrelated but i think upgrading your cpu and mobo would be much better
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November 13, 2012 4:11:17 PM

Hi everyone, thanks for your input! :) 

I'm sorry that I forgot to mention it, but my PSU is a SWEEX BA000070 (450W). Upon further inspection I found that it only has 20 + 4 pin power plugs, while my mobo has slots for 24 + 4 plugs . I checked in the manual, and you apparently can use 20+4 plugs, if the PSU can supply 15 A on 12V... (In case you wonder, I got this computer for free a couple of years ago, so I haven't built it myself).

There is also another thing that I found out a little while ago. I tried playing a game with HWmonitor running in the background. The temp of the GPU was fine, and the temp of the CPU was roughly 50C while playing. As usual the computer froze after a few minutes, and I pressed ALT + TAB as soon as possible in order to check the temperature. It turned out that it was under 45C, which makes me think that perhaps the fan has been drawing a lot of excess power in order to lower the temperature, and that perhaps this is why the game locks up...

As weaselman says it never hurts to have a bit of over wattage, so I'm looking at PSU's, which I'm afraid that I don't know much about... What's for instance the difference between a PSU that supplies 600W, and a PSU with 600W *peak*?
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 13, 2012 4:21:52 PM

Check the weight and 12v rail rating in amps. You want at least 24 amps on a single 12v rail if possible, and a weight of over 3 lbs. Some of those lightweight units are pure junk.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 13, 2012 4:30:44 PM

add/remove-uninstall the amd drivers. reboot. do a custom or advanced install. don't install the HDMI sound driver.
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November 13, 2012 6:17:38 PM

o1die said:
Check the weight and 12v rail rating in amps. You want at least 24 amps on a single 12v rail if possible, and a weight of over 3 lbs. Some of those lightweight units are pure junk.


Apparently my current PSU has 15 amp on one 12v rail... That's probably not enough, or what?


I'm sad to say that I'm on a tight budget, so I had a little look around, and found two PSU's that I could afford:


OCZ CoreXStream 500 W is a well known brand and has two 12V rails with these specifications... +12V1 - 25 A
+12V2 - 20 A The downside of this PSU, is that it only supplies 500W... Would that be enough for my system?
http://www.pixmania.co.uk/uk/uk/11982304/art/ocz/corexs...


The other PSU I found was a Advance TX-750W with these specifications on the 12 rails: +12V: 20A +12V2: 20A
750W ought to be enough, but the brand isn't exactly well known.
http://www.pixmania.co.uk/uk/uk/12376354/art/advance/tx...

Which one of these would you guys recommend?
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November 13, 2012 6:38:59 PM

Forget the PSU, your system is way too slow for 2012. I though I'd never say this, but consoles have more grunt than you system overall. I'm not surprised you got that for free, it belongs in the tip. I'd get a Pentium and B75 board and a Seasonic M12II 520w.
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November 13, 2012 7:26:27 PM

swifty_morgan said:
add/remove-uninstall the amd drivers. reboot. do a custom or advanced install. don't install the HDMI sound driver.


I removed the HDMI sound drivers, and the issue certainly didn't disappear. Perhaps it freezes less often than before, though... What is the rationale behind removing the HDMI sound drivers, btw?
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November 13, 2012 7:38:41 PM

NV88 said:
Forget the PSU, your system is way too slow for 2012. I though I'd never say this, but consoles have more grunt than you system overall. I'm not surprised you got that for free, it belongs in the tip. I'd get a Pentium and B75 board and a Seasonic M12II 520w.


I get what you're saying; it's certainly not capable of running the most demanding games around, so yes, the processor and the mobo is a bit old. On the other hand I've got a brand new HD7750 card installed which makes it possible to run those few games that I do play with decent settings. I'm not looking to set up some kind of gaming monster, because I mostly play free to play games anyway.

The Seasonic PSU that you mentioned is surely nice, but I was hoping to get something a tad cheaper.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 13, 2012 8:38:01 PM

AmishRasta said:
I removed the HDMI sound drivers, and the issue certainly didn't disappear. Perhaps it freezes less often than before, though... What is the rationale behind removing the HDMI sound drivers, btw?


driver conflicts. and if you don't turn off windows updates and automatic driver updates it will keep coming back. what are you using for sound ?
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November 14, 2012 5:34:31 PM

swifty_morgan said:
driver conflicts. and if you don't turn off windows updates and automatic driver updates it will keep coming back. what are you using for sound ?


I'm not sure what you're thinking about, but I don't have a PCI sound card, if that's what you mean.
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November 14, 2012 5:52:22 PM

AmishRasta said:
I get what you're saying; it's certainly not capable of running the most demanding games around, so yes, the processor and the mobo is a bit old. On the other hand I've got a brand new HD7750 card installed which makes it possible to run those few games that I do play with decent settings. I'm not looking to set up some kind of gaming monster, because I mostly play free to play games anyway.

The Seasonic PSU that you mentioned is surely nice, but I was hoping to get something a tad cheaper.


Its not a bit old, its over 5 yrs old and is holding you back. The CPU cannot support that GPU. Its a massive bottleneck. Games do need some CPU grunt, which you simply do not have.
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November 14, 2012 6:03:36 PM

NV88 said:
Its not a bit old, its over 5 yrs old and is holding you back. The CPU cannot support that GPU. Its a massive bottleneck. Games do need some CPU grunt, which you simply do not have.


Ok, perhaps I'll buy a Phenom X6 or X4 over Christmas then... But the games I do play run alright. Example: World of Tanks 1680x1050 on medium settings. I don't necceserily need games to run on the highest settings as log as I get a decent framerate...
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 14, 2012 7:16:52 PM

true the system is old and outdated...............

how long has this been a problem ? how much room do you have on your drives ?

windows8 can be a problem..... yet to be determined.

the sound driver thing............. installing to many of the same kind of drivers can cause conflicts. you use on board sound but also have the HDMI sound driver installed. just something for you to think about.

what are your virtual ram settings ?.......... google it if need be.
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November 14, 2012 9:19:24 PM

My hard drives have plenty of spare space, as I installed windows 8 this sunday. (Before that I was running win 8 release preview).

Virtual settings: 3,5 GB (default)

This happens with a few games, but not all. It is all relatively graphically demanding games that freeze like this.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 14, 2012 9:58:44 PM

NV88 said:
Phenom is old and outclassed by Intel. I'd get this Penitum and this motherboard:

- Intel G850:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- Gigabyte B75M-D3H:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Both are easily faster or match the Phenom II x4, and both give access to USB3 and SATA 3. Note, B75 does not support RAID. If you need that, get the H77M-D3H.

and the phenom is not outdated? :/ 

get the
http://www.amazon.com/AMD-4-Core-Processor-Socket-FD410...

and the
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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a b B Homebuilt system
November 14, 2012 10:00:44 PM

also have you updated all your drivers for windows 8?
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 14, 2012 10:40:52 PM

not really, the pentium is older than the phenom so why does he not just get a phenom?
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 14, 2012 11:26:48 PM

AmishRasta said:
My hard drives have plenty of spare space, as I installed windows 8 this sunday. (Before that I was running win 8 release preview).

Virtual settings: 3,5 GB (default)

This happens with a few games, but not all. It is all relatively graphically demanding games that freeze like this.


you're going to have to turn settings back in those games. no way around it.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 15, 2012 12:05:32 AM

sorry but this system will not freeze if it is too powerful for the system... I would have to say that it has to be an issue with drivers and them not being compatible with windows 8 64bit... so if it says win 7 64 bit not the same as win 8 64bit
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November 15, 2012 2:42:14 AM

PanicMaster85 said:
not really, the pentium is older than the phenom so why does he not just get a phenom?


How is Sandy Bridge older than Phenom II? You've got it backwards.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 15, 2012 2:57:19 AM

pentium... no i dont well it depends on which gen of pentium
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November 15, 2012 9:25:13 AM

PanicMaster85 said:
sorry but this system will not freeze if it is too powerful for the system... I would have to say that it has to be an issue with drivers and them not being compatible with windows 8 64bit... so if it says win 7 64 bit not the same as win 8 64bit


I haven't installed any other drivers than the latest ATI ones, which do support windows 8. I'm 100% sure that I've installed the correct drivers.
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November 15, 2012 9:49:42 AM

@NV88 & Panicmaster85: Thanks for your suggestions for a new gaming rig, but unfortunately I'm on a tight budget. If money wasn't an issue I would definitively have bought a new mobo/cpu/ram, etc, but at the moment I cannot spare enough €€€ for a completely new setup.

But I get your point, though, and I agree that my computer is a bit oldish. However, if I bought a PSU and CPU, then I think my system would be okayish for a year or two.

I had a look at the Gaming CPU Hierarchy Chart, and according to this chart the Phenom II X4 965 is rated as one tier above the Intel G850 as well as the FX 4100, while it is still quite affordable.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...

However, if I buy a new CPU, I will probably have to wait until after Chrismas. I'm considering getting a new PSU straight away, though, as I still think it is likely that my system is boarderline underpowered.
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November 17, 2012 2:02:11 PM

PanicMaster85 said:
OK, first off update your motherboard drivers with win 8
http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_AM2Plus/M2N68AM_PL...

unfortuanetely there is no driver for "windows 8 64bit" but i think that win7 should work as well(i know im contradicting myself)


I tried to install the utility drivers, but that made no difference. I'm a bit more reluctant to install sound and networks drivers, as the drivers that comes with windows 8 works out of the box, so I'm not sure if installing the old drivers would be such a good idea. I also asked someone who are really knowledgable about ASUS boards, and he doubted that installing drivers for windows 7 was a good idea.

However, I've noticed that the CPU get's a bit hotter than I originally thought when playing. (55-59C) But as I wrote above, after the system freezes, the temperature has dropped to way under 50, so my theory is that the fan is drawing lots of power to lower the temperature, and this makes the processor temporarily underpowered... In other words, a PSU issue.

I think I'm going to order a new PSU + processor over Christmas, and I definitively will report back to this thread unless it has been locked in the meantime...
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 17, 2012 5:34:06 PM

ok cool keep us posted! :D 
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