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System Lockups

Last response: in Components
October 13, 2002 12:36:28 AM

I've been running a 1.33ghz AMD on the Epox 8k7a board for about a year now. A while after I put the system together I started getting full lockups (3-fingered salute not working) while playing 3d intensive games. I'm talking UT, RTCW, and Half-Life. I was running win98 in the beginning. I've moved on to win2k and the lockups continue. I've tried so many things trying to resolve the problem but it continues. My vid card is a Radeon 7200 LE 32MB, my power is a Premier 300W. I use one stick of 256MB ECC 2100 ram.

After reading this board I'm noticing how when I boot up my 5v rail is at 4.7 volts. So I installed MBM and recorded the voltages during use. Sometimes it gets down to 4.6 volts. The 12v boots at 12.1 and the 3.3 is at 3.3. Am I in need of a new power supply? If so I'd like to buy one that I don't have to mod (it seems Enermax needs that often). Any tips to improve my stability would be much appreciated.

More about : system lockups

October 13, 2002 1:19:19 AM

Your problem could be a number of different things, M/B drivers not installed, other hardware drives, BIOS settings, bad DRAM, high temperatures, possible bad power supply. If you are using the catalyst v.2.2 drivers, try switching back to the v.2.1 drivers for your ATI card. BTW, why are you using ECC SDR? That is usually for RAID & servers. I don't think the problem is your PSU, that volt shift isn't that bad.

<font color=purple><b>Listen twice as much as you Speak. Better yet, Think twice. :wink: </font color=purple></b>
<A HREF="" target="_new">MY RIGS</A>
October 13, 2002 2:19:30 AM

I've been checking the Epox site regularly for new bios and drivers. I've set my bios settings down from high performance (no AGP fast writes, 1x/2x instead of 4x, system performance= normal, the rest I went with the setup defaults mostly). I've tried adjusting PCI latency with no effect. I don't think temperatures are the answer because I get lockups with the case off, not to mention I can get them right after I turn the system on not giving it much to to heat up. I've used many different drivers under 98 and win2k, including the MS approved windows update ones, catalyst 2.1 and 2.2, and omega drivers I found somewhere.

I've probably redone my system on win98 and 2k about 6 times. SP2 and SP3 haven't helped. Pulling my radeon out and installing my old matrox G220 8meg fixed the problem, but try playing games on that, hehe. I'm not sure why I have the ECC ram, I must have chosen it arbitrarily at the time of purchase. It seems only 3d accelerated games crash the system, and occasionally in IE lately. I can play Diablo forever with no problems like many other 2d games.

So lately I've been logging my voltages with MBM5 and my 5v had dipped to 4.6 when it crashed playing UT. Some people seem to think if you go below 4.8 you are asking for trouble. Does this shed any new light on my ongoing situation?
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October 13, 2002 4:12:02 AM

It wouldn't hurt to get a higher wattage PSU, because if you upgrade later you may need the power. I really don't think your problem is power related. As far as temps go, it take only about 2-5 minutes for a CPU to heat up. Check your temps just to know where they are.

My hunch is that it is your graphic card. I had a Radeon 64 DDR VIVO, which is basically the same as the R7200 and I had the same problems you are having now. Although I am still sporting an ATI card (R9700), I personally think Nvidia has the best drivers. Maybe you should go to the Rage3D forum and post over there <A HREF="" target="_new">Rage3D</A> or just see some of the post there regarding your card. I can say now without a doubt the my next upgrade will not be ATI. But for sure my friend monitor your temps either in BIOS or with the probe software that came with your M/B.

<font color=purple><b>Listen twice as much as you Speak. Better yet, Think twice. :wink: </font color=purple></b>
<A HREF="" target="_new">MY RIGS</A>
October 13, 2002 6:08:17 AM

I took some temperature readings from my BIOS right after my crashes playing UT. It was crashing at 46 degrees CPU temp and 24 degrees system temp. That doesn't seem too high. I have noticed it hit 52 degrees CPU temp before during summer.

It very well could be my graphics card, the 7200 was supposed to be great for overclocking. Not so in my case, I'm not boosting it at all and it dies. I was considering getting another graphics card like the 9700 pro, but I'm concerned that my system won't handle it. If I have power problems that card will drain even more. I agree with you on the nvidia drivers being better, I just enjoy the graphics quality better than the FPS rate. The old matrox G200 I have in my older system has awesome colors, but not enough speed. Too bad the parhelia was an expensive disappointment. Thanks for your help, I'll start surfing pricewatch now.
October 13, 2002 11:25:22 AM

I still would get a better PSU just to be on the safe side, but if you have never used <A HREF="" target="_new"></A> do some comparison shopping there as well. They provide good prices and great service. Good luck! :wink:

<font color=purple><b>Listen twice as much as you Speak. Better yet, Think twice. :wink: </font color=purple></b>
<A HREF="" target="_new">MY RIGS</A>
October 14, 2002 10:46:29 PM

I decided to order an Antec PP412X 400W power supply. I should have that installed in a week, I'll post the results.
October 15, 2002 1:06:05 AM

Cool! Then if things don't get better you will know it is the video card.

<font color=purple><b>Listen twice as much as you Speak. Better yet, Think twice. :wink: </font color=purple></b>
<A HREF="" target="_new">MY RIGS</A>
October 20, 2002 5:38:19 AM

Have you tested your RAM? If not run Memtest86. <A HREF="" target="_new">;/A> you'll end up making a bootable floppy and it'll test your ram.

<b><font color=blue>The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits. :lol:  :wink:
October 27, 2002 2:54:24 AM

I downloaded it and tested my RAM for about 50 minutes. No errors detected, I think it's ok. I didn't get my new power supply yet because the company I ordered it from forgot to mention they didn't have any in stock, despite the fact their inventory system had 13 listed. Oh well, I ordered from another store and expect it in this week sometime.
October 27, 2002 11:15:36 PM

Im sorry but 4.6 or 4.7v on the 5v line is way too low. This is a very conclusive indicator that your PSU is not supplying the power your computer needs.
As its a cheap model PSU, the unit has probably been slowly failing over the past months and its only now that problem are begging to occur.

Get a new PSU, 350W or greater, preferably from a reliable company such as Antec, Enermax or Toptower.

<b>Cogposto tomsa, ergo sum - <i>Descartes</i>
</b>Translation:<b> I post at Toms Hardware, Therefor I am. :smile: </b>