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System locks-up while gaming

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March 1, 2013 9:50:00 AM

Hey guys, was hoping to get some advice on a problem that's driving me nuts. I recently bought a custom CyberPower PC with the following specs:

AMD FX-8150 Eight-Core @3.6
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 (Power Edition)
ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0
2x8 GB DDR3 @ 1333
SolidGear 800w PSU
500GB HD
Windows 7 64x

Everything runs flawlessly with no suspect behavior during most activities (web, movies, photoshop, etc), but as soon as I try to do something GPU intensive (game/benchmark) something goes horribly wrong. My PC will suffer a hard lock (screen freezes, sound completely cuts out, keyboard num/caps lock light stops responding) and I have to power down or reboot. Lights, fans and monitor all keep running during the lock-up. The freeze generally happens within 5-10 seconds after my card has kicked in. In the time before it freezes, everything runs totally normally at high FPS and with no artifacting or stutters.

After a week of troubleshooting and online research, these are the solutions I've tried with no success:
- Double checked all connections/seatings inside PC.
- Updated all drivers (graphics card, motherboard, processor, audio, USB).
- Switched GPU to second PCI slot.
- Checked for overheating hardware (GPU, CPU, and MOBO temps don't exceed reasonable levels).
- Checked for bad memory (ran memtest86 on both of my sticks, one at a time)
- Stress tested graphics card and processor.
- Adjusted RAM timing/voltage.
- Adjusted CPU voltage both up and down.
- Flashed motherboard BIOS.
- Did a fresh install of Windows.
- Did a dual boot install of Windows 8.
- Underclocked the GPU and CPU.

The only thing that had any effect was the underclocking. Underclocking my card and/or shutting off cores on my CPU holds the freeze off for 5-20 minutes (the lower I underclock the longer it lasts).

The problem seems to be linked to the stress I put on the GPU. I've tried a range of games (Farcry 3, Planetside 2, TERA, Dishonored) and benchmarks (Heaven, 3DMark, PassMark) and they all exhibit the same problem. But running the settings at max causes the freeze to happen much more quickly than running at minimum.

When I stress test my card directly with FurMark, there appears no be no problems. It can run indefinitely and temps peak at about 60c. I've tested my CPU in Prime95, and that also turns up no errors. The only odd behavior is that my CPU appears to throttle when it gets to around 45c (dropping from ~3.6mhz to ~1.4mhz and ~1.35v to ~.8v) every few minutes, but I think that's an unrelated issue.

So at this point, pretty much all I can do is start replacing hardware to see what's defective/non-compatible. But I'm not sure what the most likely culprit is. I'm sort of suspicious of my PSU, as the brand seems unknown, and I literally can't find any record of the model I have on their product page. On the other hand, my problem doesn't sound typical of a faulty power supply.

Can anyone offer any insight before I waste a bunch of time and/or money trying to fix this thing?

Thanks!

More about : system locks gaming

March 1, 2013 11:27:04 AM

"...The problem seems to be linked to the stress I put on the GPU. ....they all exhibit the same problem..... "

It do sound like bad card or PSU...
but to pinpoint the problem will need u to borrow another card/PSU or try the card/PSU in another system (friends/work)

I think u had done what u can do alone...
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March 1, 2013 12:29:04 PM

GPU cooler or PSU are prime suspect in my opinion - given that the power draw will step up is related to increasing draw, it makes sense that there is a slight lag between hard work and dying as the temp and fans crawl up.
Try touching the GPU heatsink and ensure it is getting warm...
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March 1, 2013 1:41:53 PM

make sure your running msi or another fan control program. a lot of the new bios/drivers for these high end cards dont speed the fans up when they get under load. try setting a fan profile and see if the lock up take longer and you hear the gpu fan spin up. if you have a small case try opening the side to see if it a heat issue.
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Best solution

March 1, 2013 7:43:31 PM

Hi KaiserCVR,

It is very difficult to pinpoint your issue without having another video card or power supply to test. It does sound more of like a possible power supply issue as the problem seems to only occur at maximum power draw. At this time, it would be best to let us provide you service and address the problem for you. Please contact our technical support at 888/900-5180 for further assistance. We would be more than happy to help you with this issue.





KaiserCVR said:
Hey guys, was hoping to get some advice on a problem that's driving me nuts. I recently bought a custom CyberPower PC with the following specs:

AMD FX-8150 Eight-Core @3.6
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 (Power Edition)
ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0
2x8 GB DDR3 @ 1333
SolidGear 800w PSU
500GB HD
Windows 7 64x

Everything runs flawlessly with no suspect behavior during most activities (web, movies, photoshop, etc), but as soon as I try to do something GPU intensive (game/benchmark) something goes horribly wrong. My PC will suffer a hard lock (screen freezes, sound completely cuts out, keyboard num/caps lock light stops responding) and I have to power down or reboot. Lights, fans and monitor all keep running during the lock-up. The freeze generally happens within 5-10 seconds after my card has kicked in. In the time before it freezes, everything runs totally normally at high FPS and with no artifacting or stutters.

After a week of troubleshooting and online research, these are the solutions I've tried with no success:
- Double checked all connections/seatings inside PC.
- Updated all drivers (graphics card, motherboard, processor, audio, USB).
- Switched GPU to second PCI slot.
- Checked for overheating hardware (GPU, CPU, and MOBO temps don't exceed reasonable levels).
- Checked for bad memory (ran memtest86 on both of my sticks, one at a time)
- Stress tested graphics card and processor.
- Adjusted RAM timing/voltage.
- Adjusted CPU voltage both up and down.
- Flashed motherboard BIOS.
- Did a fresh install of Windows.
- Did a dual boot install of Windows 8.
- Underclocked the GPU and CPU.

The only thing that had any effect was the underclocking. Underclocking my card and/or shutting off cores on my CPU holds the freeze off for 5-20 minutes (the lower I underclock the longer it lasts).

The problem seems to be linked to the stress I put on the GPU. I've tried a range of games (Farcry 3, Planetside 2, TERA, Dishonored) and benchmarks (Heaven, 3DMark, PassMark) and they all exhibit the same problem. But running the settings at max causes the freeze to happen much more quickly than running at minimum.

When I stress test my card directly with FurMark, there appears no be no problems. It can run indefinitely and temps peak at about 60c. I've tested my CPU in Prime95, and that also turns up no errors. The only odd behavior is that my CPU appears to throttle when it gets to around 45c (dropping from ~3.6mhz to ~1.4mhz and ~1.35v to ~.8v) every few minutes, but I think that's an unrelated issue.

So at this point, pretty much all I can do is start replacing hardware to see what's defective/non-compatible. But I'm not sure what the most likely culprit is. I'm sort of suspicious of my PSU, as the brand seems unknown, and I literally can't find any record of the model I have on their product page. On the other hand, my problem doesn't sound typical of a faulty power supply.

Can anyone offer any insight before I waste a bunch of time and/or money trying to fix this thing?

Thanks!

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March 8, 2013 12:40:42 AM

Best answer selected by KaiserCVR.
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