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Computer freezing while gaming

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 10, 2013 4:13:41 PM

For the past month, occasionally my computer instantly freezes, and goes to a plain screen, normally white, but more recently black, yellow and pink.

The real problem is with Farcry 3, crashes in other games are very rare, but in FC3, I haven't lasted more than 15 minutes without the freeze. There is spluttered sound and the coloured screen but otherwise nothing else and the whole system is unresponsive, so I'm forced to reboot.

Any ideas on causes / fixes?

GPU - GTX 550Ti - Stock speed
4 GB DDR3 1600MHz
AMD Phenom II black - OC'd to 3.82 GHz
800W PSU
5400 RPM 1TB HDD
Fan Cooled

Temperatures haven't reached >70 on either the GPU or CPU.
I have done a system restore.
I have done a registry cleanup.
Undid OC on GPU.
Lowered settings to medium with low shadows and FX.

Completely stumped.
a c 91 U Graphics card
January 10, 2013 4:25:24 PM

what drivers from Nvidia are you running, this sounds like something that could be fixed with a driver update if you're not running the latest version
January 10, 2013 4:34:23 PM

Downloaded the latest drivers yesterday.
Related resources
January 10, 2013 4:37:00 PM

Version 310.90
a b U Graphics card
January 10, 2013 4:40:17 PM

Make sure your all your previous drivers have been properly uninstalled. You could run driver sweeper to remove all nvidia drivers, and then reinstall them. However you should also try running memtest to make sure that your RAM is not causing the lockups. If the RAM is faulty it could potentially cause lockups. However lockups due to memory issues usually look a bit different, if your computer only locks up during gaming then it is likely something related with the GPU.

Hope this helps!
a c 91 U Graphics card
January 10, 2013 4:44:52 PM

fil1p said:
Make sure your all your previous drivers have been properly uninstalled. You could run driver sweeper to remove all nvidia drivers, and then reinstall them. However you should also try running memtest to make sure that your RAM is not causing the lockups. If the RAM is faulty it could potentially cause lockups. However lockups due to memory issues usually look a bit different, if your computer only locks up during gaming then it is likely something with your GPU.

Hope this helps!


I'll 2nd running driver sweeper

As for memtest, it's useful, but I would imagine a memory lockup issue would be more or less even across the board and not be game specific
a b U Graphics card
January 10, 2013 5:08:08 PM

This may not be important..but you didn't mention the brand name of the power supply..
But I'll agree with those that are saying a problem with the graphics somewhere...
January 10, 2013 5:21:22 PM

It's corsair, sorry, and I'm currently reinstalling drivers after running driver cleaner
January 10, 2013 6:07:14 PM

Ok, I've completed all of the above steps, and I managed 30 mins of playtime, but then it crashed.

One interesting thing is, it crashed at the moment I crashed into a tree in a car, so could it be something to do with the physics?
a b U Graphics card
January 10, 2013 6:15:57 PM

piekilla said:
Ok, I've completed all of the above steps, and I managed 30 mins of playtime, but then it crashed.

One interesting thing is, it crashed at the moment I crashed into a tree in a car, so could it be something to do with the physics?


I don't think it has to do with physics. What do you have as a heatsink and what are the CPU voltages? That could be an issue because sometimes you don't get to see the CPU proper reading while gaming and it could be overheating. So try and go back to default settings for your CPU and try the game again and report back.
January 10, 2013 7:06:36 PM

Forgot to note down the CPU voltage, but I've taken it back down to 3.20GHz, Fingers crossed
a b U Graphics card
January 10, 2013 7:18:34 PM

piekilla said:
Ok, I've completed all of the above steps, and I managed 30 mins of playtime, but then it crashed.

One interesting thing is, it crashed at the moment I crashed into a tree in a car, so could it be something to do with the physics?

Wow, Physx really does add realism to games =)

Just kidding! I will second (or third) what others have suggested: run MemTest and check temps on CPU and GPU while in the game. I'll also add to run Prime95 to ensure you don't have a bad core that is getting stressed by the game but not in everyday use.
January 10, 2013 9:54:09 PM

Cheers for all the responses, it appears to be working now, so I assume it was CPU temp, so it looks like it's time to replace the thermal compound...
a b U Graphics card
January 11, 2013 1:56:24 AM

piekilla said:
Cheers for all the responses, it appears to be working now, so I assume it was CPU temp, so it looks like it's time to replace the thermal compound...


I'm glad we were able to help. Get a better compound and heatsink if you don't have one yet. Take care.
a b U Graphics card
January 11, 2013 12:59:46 PM

If you need a new heatsink and are on a budget, for $30 you could get a Coolermaster hyper212. Its a very good cooler for the price.
a c 91 U Graphics card
January 11, 2013 1:36:10 PM

huh, wow, interesting. I didn't think AMD chips crashed that way when overheating. Out of curiosity, what thermal compound and heatsink might you be using?
January 11, 2013 5:13:38 PM

The company I got the components installed the CPU, heatsink and RAM, so I have no clue what compound it is.

And i'm using the freezer 13, from Arctic Cooling
January 11, 2013 5:52:09 PM

May have spoken too soon, its just crashed after <10 mins of play, nothing has changed since I had a 2-3 hour session last night.
January 11, 2013 6:07:50 PM

Yeah, it's crashed again, 2 times in a row, interestingly both occurred just after I used fast travel...
a c 91 U Graphics card
January 11, 2013 6:23:36 PM

piekilla said:
Yeah, it's crashed again, 2 times in a row, interestingly both occurred just after I used fast travel...


so this crashing only happens with FC3? out of curiosity, do you have any other CPU intensive games just to test things out? Skyrim, or BF3 on a large multiplayer map would be good tests.

Otherwise run the physics test on the 3Dmark suite or run prime95, stress the CPU and see if it crashs. if neither of these things crash, it could actually be a issue with FC3 itself
January 11, 2013 6:47:25 PM

Skyrim, BF3 are both fine, BF3 on medium/high and skyrim on ultra. Running the tests now.
a b U Graphics card
January 11, 2013 6:49:27 PM

its most likely the driver causing probelms the only ones i can find that are stable with my sli setup is the 310.70 beta all the newer ones causes bf3 to freeze for me
January 11, 2013 6:52:55 PM

06yfz450ridr said:
its most likely the driver causing probelms the only ones i can find that are stable with my sli setup is the 310.70 beta all the newer ones causes bf3 to freeze for me


What is the freeze like?
a c 91 U Graphics card
January 11, 2013 6:53:51 PM

piekilla said:
Skyrim, BF3 are both fine, BF3 on medium/high and skyrim on ultra. Running the tests now.


Yeah, it's starting to sound like a unique problem between your exact set up and FC3. given that FC3 is a fairly new game, this will hopefully be fixed with the next version of drivers. in the meantime you can try the beta? or maybe roll back? I'm honestly not that familiar with FC3 related issues
!