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Will new ram solve my 'total freeze ups' issues?

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April 26, 2005 2:45:58 PM

Hello everyone, im new here and was wondering if any of you hardened computer experts could help.

My computer currently has these bits inside it;

300 Watt Power Supply
A Biostar M7NCD Motherboard (Version 3)
Sapphire Radeon 9800 Pro 128mb
Sound Blaster Vibra 128mb
Athlon XP 1900+ 266
Ram of dubious history - supposedly 512 mb DDR266 unbranded

Everything installed fine (after a while) and all Drivers are very much up to date.

Problem is my FSB is underclocked to 100 MHZ so that my computer remains stable (it should ideally be 133 MHZ), however having my fsb at 100 mhz means that my Athlon XP 1900+ is only running at 1.19 Ghz and generally is rather slow.

If I set my FSB at 133 mhz then when playing computer games such as Half Life 2 or Brothers in Arms after 5 minutes my computer dies. it freeze's up, sound freezes, graphic freezes and it requires a reboot.

My friend believes that my RAM is dodgy / unsupported by my motherboard, Im inclined to think the same.

So i might buy some Crucial DDR PC2100 • CL=2.5 • UNBUFFERED • NON-ECC • DDR266 • 2.5V • 64Meg x 64 ram

From here;

http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/MPartspecs.Asp?mtbpoid=...

But before I do that what do you guys think?

Thank you very much!

Jim
April 26, 2005 4:23:14 PM

The first thing I would do is check the voltages (3.3V, 5V and 12V) using <A HREF="http://www.majorgeeks.com/download.php?det=311" target="_new">MBM5</A>. If I couldn't get the proper voltage listings, then I would monitor/record the voltages in the BIOS for about 5-10 mins. Any voltage variation greater than 5% is suspect and could be causing your instability.

Then I would run <A HREF="http://www.majorgeeks.com/download4226.html" target="_new">Memtest86+</A> for a few hours to see if you get an inordinate amount of errors on the RAM. You can pull serial numbers, memory chip labeling and Google for more info on the RAM, too.

Few questions for you:
1. How many amps are on your 12V line (there should be a sticker on the side of the PSU)?
2. How long have you had the 9800Pro?
3. Does it lock up in all games?
4. Lockup in Benchmarks like <A HREF="http://www.majorgeeks.com/download1712.html" target="_new">3DMark03</A>?
5. Did you make any changes to the system right before it started locking up?
6. Did you connect the extra power to the 9800Pro?

__________________________________________________
<font color=red>You're a boil on the arse of progress - don't make me squeeze you!</font color=red>
April 26, 2005 5:34:48 PM

Hello thanks alot for replying,

I had a look in the bios of my PC for voltage variations and nothing great was found.

Will Try the memtest when I figure out how to use it!

1. On the sticker on the side it says that its 12 amp max on the +12V line. On the -12V line it says that it is 0.5A max.

2.) I have had the Radeon 9800 for about 5 days from ebuyer.com

3.) It locks up on all games but takes longer on half life 2 than Brothers in Arms.

4.) Just downloading 3dbenchmark now

5.) I had installed the M7NCD motherboard and Radeon 9800 Pro and problems started straight away (so I dropped the FSB down to 100 MHZ)

6.) and Yes there is extra power to the Radeon 9800 Pro

Hope this helps and thanks again
Related resources
April 26, 2005 6:21:28 PM

Get MBM5 and log your voltages while doing the benchmark. I'd be willing to be tthat your 12V line is getting crushed under full load.

__________________________________________________
<font color=red>You're a boil on the arse of progress - don't make me squeeze you!</font color=red>
April 26, 2005 6:41:50 PM

Just posted this and I think people need to comment on this further about memtest86..

You'll need burning software capable of writing .iso files as images to CD. Keep in mind windowsXP cannot do this.

If you don't have NERO or some other program capable of writing .iso files to cd, there is a free (with limited usabilty) program that is capable of doing it.. it works rather well: <A HREF="http://www.padus.com/" target="_new">Padus Disc Juggler</A>

<font color=green>*****
"Memory with lifetime warranty? So, whose lifetime is that?"
<A HREF="http://www.brentcrowley.com/" target="_new">homepage</A>
<font color=red>AIM BrentUnitedMem
April 26, 2005 6:52:39 PM

Another thing...
I have been helping a friend troubleshoot his PC with the same mobo, VGA card, 300 watt supply, Athlon XP 2800 CPU.

First symptoms: Crashing and freezing frequently in all games and various applications.

steps:
-make sure CPU fan is seated properly and working. Make sure CPU is not overheating.
-make sure graphics card fan is running, and card is not getting too hot
-check the memory.

Sure enough found some OEM brand in his PC. Memtest86 was quick to find 2 errors too many! I insisted he replace his memory with a better brand that passed Memtest86.

Sure enough this fixed his immediate problem. The computer was able to sucessfully run the games, but continued to crash every so often.

After following the following steps for cleaning the 9800 RADEON drivers all symptoms dissappeared completely:
<A HREF="http://www.rage3d.com/board/showthread.php?s=&threadid=..." target="_new">Foolproof Uninstall/install method</A>





<font color=green>*****
"Memory with lifetime warranty? So, whose lifetime is that?"
<A HREF="http://www.brentcrowley.com/" target="_new">homepage</A>
<font color=red>AIM BrentUnitedMem
April 26, 2005 7:46:14 PM

Just to keep you updated on my progress while downloading 3d benchmark.

Im running Half Life 2 windowed with my FSB set at 100 MHZ and the +12V is running consistantly at 11.49 to 11.55 V

When running Half Life 2 windowed with FSB set to 133 MHZ the game doesnt even get to the Menu. Before the lock up My Voltage was at 11.55 down to 11.37 and then 11.49 and my CPU reached 53 degrees. Is this Good or bad or inconclusive?

Im going to have a search around my halls of residence and see if anyone has a blank CD for me to burn mem test on.

Thanks alot everyone
April 26, 2005 8:26:29 PM

Keep in mind the difference between changing the base FSB from 100 to 133 is not such a small change.

The frequency you are changing is a core FSB frequency. The effective FSB (bus speed) for many systems is quad-pumped (x4). The bus speed can also be synchronous with this value or double.

The effective FSB (bus speed) rating detemines the relationship to your memory.
-133MHz synchronous bus is on par with PC-133 memory.
-133MHz double-pumped bus is on par with DDR266
-133MHz QPB is on par with DDR533

On a processor with a multiplier of 15, going from a base frequency of 100 to 133 equals about 500 MHZ of processing frequency, and 66 MHz increase in DDR frequency.

100MHz x 15 = 1.5GHz
133MHz x 15 = ~2GHz

By making this change, either:
A) your CPU is the weakest link
B) your memory is the weakest link

In anycase, you can use <A HREF="http://www.cpuid.org/download/cpu-z-128.zip" target="_new"> CPU-Z </A> to read these values.

Note:
1. You can change your processor frequency by changing the multiplier value or core FSB frequency.
2. You can change the memory frequency by changing the core FSB frequency.
3. Memory performance can be increased by lowering the latency values. This may also decrease system stability.

<font color=green>*****
"Memory with lifetime warranty? So, whose lifetime is that?"
<A HREF="http://www.brentcrowley.com/" target="_new">homepage</A>
<font color=red>AIM BrentUnitedMem
April 26, 2005 9:54:54 PM

His CPU should be running at 133Mhz FSB - Athlon XP 1900+ "266" (probably Palomino core). Although I'm not sure why he's got it in a board that can do 333/400Mhz - it seems a waste of the mobos capabilities. As long as the mob supports 133Mhx FSB, the chip should run at those speeds.

What was interesting was the dip to 11.37 when the game was opened and then instability/crash. What were the 5V and 3.3V rails doing?

__________________________________________________
<font color=red>You're a boil on the arse of progress - don't make me squeeze you!</font color=red>
April 26, 2005 10:17:36 PM

I agree that the board is definitely not the limiting factor.

And since AMD processors are usually pretty good at running as rated..

And since running both CPU and memory at FSB 133 seems to cause problems, it's reasonable to assume the memory is the weakest link.

running Memtest86 should clear this matter up.

<font color=green>*****
"Memory with lifetime warranty? So, whose lifetime is that?"
<A HREF="http://www.brentcrowley.com/" target="_new">homepage</A>
<font color=red>AIM BrentUnitedMem
April 27, 2005 2:48:25 AM

Agreed. I think we both suggested that at one point...

Another option inside windows is to run the Sandra memory burn-in and see if it completes successfully.

__________________________________________________
<font color=red>You're a boil on the arse of progress - don't make me squeeze you!</font color=red>
a b } Memory
April 27, 2005 8:48:23 AM

Running the CPU faster also makes it eat more power, it could be a power problem. Games turn on the 3D accelerator of the video chip, so it also draws more power in games, so that crashing in games can be the fault of the power supply.

Of course games also have a lot of RAM hits. So it could also be a RAM issue.

Furthermore, weak power can be the CAUSE of RAM problems!

MBM5 and Memtest86 are good recommendations as stated several posts ago.

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<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
April 27, 2005 3:53:13 PM

Test results!

I ran memtest for four hours and it passed 9 and no errors came up.

I then put my FSB up to 133Mhz.

I used 3D benchmark and loggged my power

These were the log results for every 5 seconds;

+12.00

11.67 V
11.73 V
11.73 V
11.73 V
11.73 V
11.67 V
11.67 V
11.67 V
11.67 V
11.43 V

About here MBM gave a warning prompt and started beeping.

So I switched off the computer, unplugged my DVD drive, CDR drive and sound card, leaving just my RAM, CPU and Graphics Card.

It ran through 3D benchmark fine and these were the log results;

+12.00

11.73 V
11.67 V
11.67 V
11.67 V
11.67 V
11.73 V
11.73 V
11.73 V
11.73 V
11.67 V

Should I get a new power supply?
April 27, 2005 8:30:22 PM

It's the PSU - no doubt in my mind.

__________________________________________________
<font color=red>You're a boil on the arse of progress - don't make me squeeze you!</font color=red>
April 30, 2005 1:28:16 PM

Hi, BrentUnitedMem has been helping me troubleshoot my system. When I play any games, the system crashes or freezes randomly. I ran MBM5, and found that my +5V sensor is running 4.92 on average, and 4.44V while gaming. The +3.3V is running at 3.07V and 2.83 during games. The +12V line is above 12V all the time.

I have replaced and tested the memory with memtest, so that's not the problem.

When I changed my bus speed to 166Mhz from 133, it booted fine, but a few minutes later Windows crashed (no blue screen). I had to set it back to 133 to reboot.

It looks like this is bad power supply, but I would appreciate any feedback. The power supply is built in with the case. It is 400 Watts Max, Hercules brand.

My processor is AMD XP 2800+.
9800 pro radeon graphics card, Excalibur brand. catalyst 5.4

The system crashes when I am playing Warhammer 40,000, or Doom 3.
Biostar m7ncd pro

2x512MB Infineon tested no errors on memtest86 24hour test period.

WINXP service pack 1
DX9
WMP8
no sound card, using integrated sound card (Legacy Audio drivers)
a b } Memory
April 30, 2005 11:05:46 PM

It sounds like the PSU is the problem, yes. Increasing your bus speed also increases the power draw of the CPU on the rest of the system, as well as decreasing the ability of several parts to deal with voltage deficiency. Or to put it this way, parts are capable of running at lower voltages when clocked down.

The voltages you show are terrible. Even if MBM was misreading the base voltage, the sag under load would still be proportional, and that proportion would still be terrible.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
!