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My games keep freezing and crashing. How can I fix it?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 4, 2013 8:54:44 PM

I recently (for christmas) got a Gigabyte GTX 560 ti. When I first installed it I played mainly on old games (CoD 1, GTA 3 etc.), and all was well. However as soon as I started playing on anything more advanced, it began to freeze and crash. After about five minutes the screen will go black for a few seconds before then coming back on again. It would then do it again 20 seconds later. This doesn't sound too bad, but it is extremely annoying, and sometimes instead of coming back on the game will crash. I am fairly new to, and therefore not very good at, computer hardware in general, so I could do with some help and advice.

At the moment I think it could be my card overheating, as I have a micro case, however whilst taking the side of the case off and turning the fans up to 100% seems to make CoD 2 freeze less often, it does still freeze, and a game like Far Cry 3 is unplayable. So my questions are twofold:

1) What is causing this to happen? Is it being caused by my GPU overheating or something else?

2)How can I (permanently) fix it?

PC specs:
Intel i3-2120 @ 3.30 GHz
Gigabyte GTX 560 ti
8GB RAM
1TB Hard Drive
550w OCZ PSU

Whilst playing Far Cry 3, the gpu usage is listed as 99% consistantly, and the temperature is generally in the low 80s or high 70s. I don't know whether or not this is normal.
January 4, 2013 9:17:20 PM

microcases usually have underpowered power supplies as hey weren't meant to have gaming cards installed. What power supply do you have?
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January 4, 2013 9:28:57 PM

Hi 16,
I suspect your settings are much too ambitious for your rig.
You should run medium settings / noVSync / no AA = high framerate.
Try that out, we're looking for minimums in the 60 FPS range here, and see if your rig functions okay.
If it does - there you go.
If it does not, then it doesn't like your PSU, or something else!
FarCry 3 is the gnarliest game out there right now.
In testing, full settings would barely run on a GTX 670...
Your 560Ti is a great vidcard, but it's still only upper middle-class, y'know?
Two things:
Firstly (important) go into nVidia Control Panel and set your Global Settings properly.
They should all, without exception, be set to Highest Performance (or Application Controlled).
Secondly (tip) get yerself the free S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat benchmark.
Run it, and see what you need to do to get 60 FPS minimums (not average) on your rig.
It's quite eye-opening...
nVidia, on their webpage (recommended settings) are happy with 30 FPS average.
I am not happy with even 30 FPS minimums!
I require 60 FPS and you do too. Then you can run VSync.
Hope your 560Ti is okay and nothing wrong with it.
They all run hot, 80-90 C is 'normal' but cooler is better, if you don't mind the noise from the vidcard fan spinning faster...
The vidcards could be manufactured to run cooler but it seems more important to them that they are quiet (so they run hot).
Anyway good luck to you, and do check out the CoP benchmark.
(Remember, 60 FPS minimum!)
Regards
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January 4, 2013 10:13:05 PM

on what resolution are you playing far cry 3 and how much of the eye candy settings are turned on high/ultra etc

what nvidia driver version do you have? example 310.70



i have a relatively more powerful system and whilst far cry 3 runs flawlessly on maximum all settings (1920x1080) i can certainly tell you it pushes the cpu and graphics card hotter than BF3 and Skyrim (i play bf3 with all settings maxxed out and skyrim I have tons of high texture mods and ENB, some of the textures are 8K)

my system is

i5-2500K @ 4.8GHz
8GB RAM DDR3 @ 1866MHz
Skyrim and BF3 are installed on the OS drive which is Intel 520 SSD (Far Cry 3 is on a separate traditional 1TB mechanical hard drive)
Gainward Phantom GTX 670 2GB +/-1100MHz on the core

I came across another Far Cry 3 user the other day on another forum who was getting lots of crashes, he/she had GTX 670 or 680 (I can't remember) and had to lower the voltage and underclock the card by 50/100 mhz, see these posts;

http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=372994
https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/526880/geforce...

it seemed to depend upon which driver version/game, but we do need to know what game resolution and settings you're using Id guess

if you can post back with more info im sure the community can help get this fixed for you

cps

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January 5, 2013 11:46:22 AM

popatim said:
microcases usually have underpowered power supplies as hey weren't meant to have gaming cards installed. What power supply do you have?

Please read my original post! It is also quite new.
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January 5, 2013 11:48:39 AM

The_OGS said:
Hi 16,
I suspect your settings are much too ambitious for your rig.
You should run medium settings / noVSync / no AA = high framerate.
Try that out, we're looking for minimums in the 60 FPS range here, and see if your rig functions okay.
If it does - there you go.
If it does not, then it doesn't like your PSU, or something else!
FarCry 3 is the gnarliest game out there right now.
In testing, full settings would barely run on a GTX 670...
Your 560Ti is a great vidcard, but it's still only upper middle-class, y'know?
Two things:
Firstly (important) go into nVidia Control Panel and set your Global Settings properly.
They should all, without exception, be set to Highest Performance (or Application Controlled).
Secondly (tip) get yerself the free S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat benchmark.
Run it, and see what you need to do to get 60 FPS minimums (not average) on your rig.
It's quite eye-opening...
nVidia, on their webpage (recommended settings) are happy with 30 FPS average.
I am not happy with even 30 FPS minimums!
I require 60 FPS and you do too. Then you can run VSync.
Hope your 560Ti is okay and nothing wrong with it.
They all run hot, 80-90 C is 'normal' but cooler is better, if you don't mind the noise from the vidcard fan spinning faster...
The vidcards could be manufactured to run cooler but it seems more important to them that they are quiet (so they run hot).
Anyway good luck to you, and do check out the CoP benchmark.
(Remember, 60 FPS minimum!)
Regards


Thank you! I will try this. I know my gpu isn't the world's best, but surely it should still be able to play CoD 2 on max settings?
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January 5, 2013 11:51:58 AM

cps1974 said:
on what resolution are you playing far cry 3 and how much of the eye candy settings are turned on high/ultra etc

what nvidia driver version do you have? example 310.70



i have a relatively more powerful system and whilst far cry 3 runs flawlessly on maximum all settings (1920x1080) i can certainly tell you it pushes the cpu and graphics card hotter than BF3 and Skyrim (i play bf3 with all settings maxxed out and skyrim I have tons of high texture mods and ENB, some of the textures are 8K)

my system is

i5-2500K @ 4.8GHz
8GB RAM DDR3 @ 1866MHz
Skyrim and BF3 are installed on the OS drive which is Intel 520 SSD (Far Cry 3 is on a separate traditional 1TB mechanical hard drive)
Gainward Phantom GTX 670 2GB +/-1100MHz on the core

I came across another Far Cry 3 user the other day on another forum who was getting lots of crashes, he/she had GTX 670 or 680 (I can't remember) and had to lower the voltage and underclock the card by 50/100 mhz, see these posts;

http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=372994
https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/526880/geforce...

it seemed to depend upon which driver version/game, but we do need to know what game resolution and settings you're using Id guess

if you can post back with more info im sure the community can help get this fixed for you

cps


I am playing (or at least attempting to play) in 1080p with all settings on medium or low. My card should be able to cope with this right? Also I am using the latest drivers, 310.70 I think.
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a b Î Nvidia
January 5, 2013 11:57:45 AM

Even if your card doesn't cope with it, it shouldn't crash. You should be able to max most games. If the graphics card cannot do that, you will just get low frames per second.

Could you describe the crashes in a more detailed way?
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January 5, 2013 12:04:05 PM

It differs. On CoD 2, the screen goes black for a few seconds before coming back on again. On far cry 3, the screen freezes, goes white, and then windows says it has stopped responding and closes it. I just tried far cry again and when i exited it it says something to the effect of 'Nvidia driver 310.70 has stopped responding and has successfully recovered'. Is this the problem? I am starting to doubt it is from overheating as the temp when it crashed was only 74C.
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Best solution

a b Î Nvidia
January 5, 2013 12:26:28 PM

Definitely not overheating. At this point it's either faulty card or drivers. To cross out drivers fault, I'd suggest reinstalling windows. That's the most effective and the fastest way to do it.

Do you know where your santa got the card from? If windows reinstallation doesn't help, returning the card (or contacting the warranty) may be an option.
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January 5, 2013 12:43:06 PM

Amazon.com, but i live in the uk so it was imported. Not sure if this affects the warranty. I had just ruled out overheating myself, as it crashed again at the start of far cry (i've now watched the intro sequence about 7 times!) and the temp was only 67C. This is quite possibly the most stupid question you have ever heard but as i said i don't really know what i'm doing, so how exactly do i go about reinstalling windows without losing everything? Is that even possible?
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a b Î Nvidia
January 5, 2013 1:06:05 PM

Does your hard drive have two partitions (like C: and D:) ? If so, transfer all the valuable info to D: drive (just documents, no programs/games and definitely no drives). You can backup save games, etc. As well as steam apps folder.

Then, reboot PC, insert windows DVD/USB, and when asked to which drive to install windows to, press on C: drive and select to format it. Then, proceed with windows installation.
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January 5, 2013 1:13:42 PM

Thank you for all of your help, but is this really neccesary? How likely is it that this will solve the problem, as I am somewhat reluctant to do it for several reasons. Is there a way other than a re-install to establish what is causing the problem?

If not, I'm assuming an external hard drive would do the trick as well? Also, does it have to be a new copy of windows or can i use the old disk?
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January 5, 2013 3:09:18 PM

I would really like to make sure of what is the problem before i go either reinstalling windows or sending the card back to the US. Does anyone know how I can do this?
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a b Î Nvidia
January 5, 2013 3:56:31 PM

You can use your old disc. External hard drive would work wonders for backup.

Unfortunately, there's no other way of confirming whether it's hardware or software problem. Driver reinstallation may help, but it may not. And if it doesn't, you will be still unsure where the problem lies.
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January 5, 2013 4:21:40 PM

OK, thanks for all your help.
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January 5, 2013 4:29:37 PM

One last thing before i reinstall: what about paid programs? Will i have to buy a new copy of Office, or just use the old disk?
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a b Î Nvidia
January 5, 2013 5:04:25 PM

You can use your old disks. You aren't changing the hardware, that's why old licenses are valid.
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January 5, 2013 6:02:47 PM

oh, ok thanks
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January 6, 2013 8:47:20 AM

1080p at low settings should not be a problem for that card



this was the general conclusion as regards to the latest drivers and the far cry 3 crashes that were occurring (see the guru3d forum link above in my post above) was checking card voltage and/or slightly underclocking the card;


"always install latest driver and up your min voltage to test, it works.

Because last drivers and games are really sensitive to slight changes in speed and voltage so iy may crash at low voltages or higher speeds of GPU.

Just test it, increase your voltage. I got mine to 1125 to minimum and it solves it."


gl and post back with any probs/success




cps
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a b Î Nvidia
January 6, 2013 9:02:20 AM

Well, increasing voltage may lead to GPU damage, which I wouldn't advice doing to anyone.
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January 6, 2013 10:42:15 AM

Have reinstalled windows - and it hasn't done anything. Does this mean it is definitely a faulty card? If so why does it only crash on more advanced games? is it some kind of stress thing?
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January 6, 2013 10:49:53 AM

cps1974 said:
1080p at low settings should not be a problem for that card



this was the general conclusion as regards to the latest drivers and the far cry 3 crashes that were occurring (see the guru3d forum link above in my post above) was checking card voltage and/or slightly underclocking the card;


"always install latest driver and up your min voltage to test, it works.

Because last drivers and games are really sensitive to slight changes in speed and voltage so iy may crash at low voltages or higher speeds of GPU.

Just test it, increase your voltage. I got mine to 1125 to minimum and it solves it."


gl and post back with any probs/success




cps


I would really rather not mess with the voltages as i have absolutely no idea what I'm doing and would most likely just break the card (if it isn't already) or start a fire. Maybe as a last resort but I'd rather try other avenues first. I do have the latest drivers though!
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a b Î Nvidia
January 6, 2013 10:53:26 AM

Looks like a faulty card indeed.

Anyway, there is one last thing you could do. Try the card in another PC: be it your brothers, friends or neighbors, just to see whether it crashes there as well.
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January 6, 2013 10:57:22 AM

Hmm. Don't know if I know anyone who actually has a desktop graphics card, but I'll try!
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a b Î Nvidia
January 6, 2013 11:08:15 AM

If it did, Windows reinstallation would have fixed it.
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January 6, 2013 11:11:10 AM

Oh yeah, i suppose it would.
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January 6, 2013 11:34:46 AM

I know I keep asking, but is there anything else it could possibly be? If I got a new card and it still kept happening, what would you say then?
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a b Î Nvidia
January 6, 2013 12:52:34 PM

Faulty power supply or motherboard. That's why I suggested trying the card in another PC.
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January 6, 2013 3:14:12 PM

The_OGS said:
Hi 16,
I suspect your settings are much too ambitious for your rig.
You should run medium settings / noVSync / no AA = high framerate.
Try that out, we're looking for minimums in the 60 FPS range here, and see if your rig functions okay.
If it does - there you go.
If it does not, then it doesn't like your PSU, or something else!
FarCry 3 is the gnarliest game out there right now.
In testing, full settings would barely run on a GTX 670...
Your 560Ti is a great vidcard, but it's still only upper middle-class, y'know?
Two things:
Firstly (important) go into nVidia Control Panel and set your Global Settings properly.
They should all, without exception, be set to Highest Performance (or Application Controlled).
Secondly (tip) get yerself the free S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat benchmark.
Run it, and see what you need to do to get 60 FPS minimums (not average) on your rig.
It's quite eye-opening...
nVidia, on their webpage (recommended settings) are happy with 30 FPS average.
I am not happy with even 30 FPS minimums!
I require 60 FPS and you do too. Then you can run VSync.
Hope your 560Ti is okay and nothing wrong with it.
They all run hot, 80-90 C is 'normal' but cooler is better, if you don't mind the noise from the vidcard fan spinning faster...
The vidcards could be manufactured to run cooler but it seems more important to them that they are quiet (so they run hot).
Anyway good luck to you, and do check out the CoP benchmark.
(Remember, 60 FPS minimum!)
Regards


I have tried CoP... and it crashed. So much for that plan!
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January 16, 2013 7:54:29 PM

I have returned it for a replacement which is working perfectly. Thank you to everybody for your help!
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January 16, 2013 7:55:11 PM

Best answer selected by Thenumber16.
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