ASUS A7N8X-E Deluxe mobo, BIOS 1008
Barton 2500+ @ 3200+ (11x200)
512 MB PC3200 Kingston RAM
Sapphire Radeon 9800 Pro
Windows XP Pro w/ all Critical Updates
Anytime I play a game, after a couple minutes I'm thrown to the desktop, and the game crashes. There are no error messages, it's like I exited the game normally. My processor is overclocked, but my temps are fine, and the temp inside the case is pretty low. The Radeon is running at stock speeds. I can run 3dMark03 as long as I want, and get pretty good scores.
Is there a program that can check the graphics card's temperature, or that I can use to try lowering its speed to see what the issue is? I have the newest nForce drivers, and the 4.2 Catalyst drivers. Disabling sound doesn't seem to help at all, and I've already tried disabling fast write and changing the aperture size.
That said, what memory is it? ValueRam or HyperX? I'd try boosting the DDR voltage a little bit 2.6-2.65 and see if you have stability. Alot of memory seems to need a little boost in voltage to remain stable.
You can also turn back your mem timings if you manually set them a little too aggresive.
And if it is 2 sticks of 256MB in dual channel, try removing one. Valueram isn't recommended for dual channel, and sometimes has dual channel issues, but it has worked fine when i have tried it.
ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Pauldh on 02/20/04 07:23 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
The latest rendition of ATI OVERDRIVE™ now provides the user with more information on the temperature and frequency of their graphics processor. This feature is supported under the Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Windows 98/98SE and Millennium operating systems, and is supported on the following ATI RADEON™ products:
ATI RADEON™ 9800 XT
ATI RADEON™ 9600 XT
The problem lies in the way Windows interprets the commands. Windows, or ATI's code, apparently doesn't "properly" distinguish between the 9800 PRO / 9600 PRO & 9800XT / 9600XT, and thereby tries to "maximize" the performance level of the GPU, essentialy overclocking it, on the 9800 PRO & 9600 PRO, just as it would on the XT series cards. Unfortunately, the 9800 PRO & 9600 PRO are unlike the 9800XT & 9600XT, in that they do not have "...an onboard thermal sensor to monitor the ambient air temperature in the immediate vicinity of the board's main processor.", and therefore the system will not realize the card is overheating, and therefore will not lower the GPU speed to compensate for this, as the XT series of cards will. So, in conclusion, you (as I was), are overclocking/overheating your GPU, by using the Catalyst 4.1 & 4.2 drivers.
Anyway, he suggests you uninstall 4.1 or 4.2 drivers and reinstall 3.10, if you don't have an XT card. He's not sure if the problem affects non-Sapphire users (but I see you have the same card he has, and the same one I'm ordering).
Hope this helps...
Has this issue been posted on this forum before?
My system's too embarrassed to tell you about itself.
Again, since this is a new system and you haven't tested and confirmed system stability, do not assume it is video card related. For instance, most of the time with fsb overclocks, when a system isn't stable in Win XP, it just boots you out of a game or benchmark and back to the desktop. Even if you aren't overclocking, this can still happen. I haven't looked into your motherboard, but IF you are running 2 sticks of valueram in dual channel, or even hyper X, it makes sense to remove one stick. If it is still unstable with one stick, check your memory timings. Did you tweak them? If so revert back to by SPD. Then if still unstable, try boosting the voltage to your ram one step at a time. 2.6, 2.65, even 2.7 is not going to hurt anything. I have built alot of systems, and RAM happens to be as cause of instability as often as anything else. Sometimes it just needs a little voltage boost and you can be golden. Other times some ram just has issues on certain mobos, but that is less frequent. Try these steps and see if your problems dissappear, before assuming it is video related. If it becomes stable, then try popping in the second stick of ram again. You may find that you can run dual channel with advanced timings, after boosting the DDR voltage.
EDIT: don't try advanced memory timings with Valueram though
If however you had said that it was not a new build and you were running another video card just fine, then the story changes and you look toward driver conflicts or the video card itself.
ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Pauldh on 02/21/04 05:07 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
If you've tried and tested everything, drivers, O/C and no O/C then have a look at your power supply. A M8 of mine has just had an issue with a 400 watt PS that worked fine on his old board, but when he changed boards it wouldn't work. Even went as far as RTM'ing the board, thinking it was dead but in the end it turned out to be the PSU. It still works, but my theory is the power it is supplying just wasn't regulated properly..one (old) board could handle it, but a a brand new one was just a bit fussier.
As for the 4.10 and 4.20 drivers O/Clocking your card...I don't think so. Any set of drivers would check the board first of all to see what it was prior to applying the changes. Possibly sapphire XT boards are made without the thermal diode ( like power color as I found out) and as such don't identify the board as well as it should.
OK, I changed most of the stuff back to what I originally had - 166 FSB, 2.6 VDimm, 1.675 Vcore, 7-3-3-3 timings and 64 MB Aperture. Just ran the Painkiller demo flawlessly for a couple hours, with 4xAA and 16xAF. Apparently it was something in my memory timings or voltage. What voltage can I safely take Kingston ValueRAM up to? The RAM is rated for PC3200, so I'm wondering if Dual Channel is causing problems. Does losing dual channel mode cause a large performance hit?
Ram issues are very commonly the cause of instability, especially in NF2/dual channel. The steps you just took are the starting place for testing stability on a new system. If it isn't stable then, bump the DDR voltage up a notch at a time.
Kingston Valueram is only rated for 2.6V. I would say keep it there and enjoy your stable system. Lower might not be stable, higher may smoke the Ram. You only boost it if it isn't stable, and you try that going up just one setting at a time. Some brands of Ram need to be run at 2.7 just to be stable, without even OC'in. But they are rated to handle that voltage.
ValueRam says right on the package, not intended for dual channel. That basically is what kingston will tell you if you call them for support. But many people use Valueram in dual channel. You can pull a stick and do your own experiment to see how it effects performance. Your performance will go down, but not as bad as in a P4 800 bus system. If dual channel isn't stable, better to set them up in single or buy new ram.
Basically Kingston Valueram is good Ram and can be run in dual channel. But it is not Great Ram for Overclocking and pushing voltage/fsb limits. Be happy it works and enjoy your games.
If you really want to overclock and tweak performance, you have the wrong ram. Some nice Corsair, Geil, Mushkin, OCZ, HyperX, etc. would be much better. Many times you need to boost cpu voltage and DDR voltage to get stable overclocks. And although I doubt going 2.65 or even 2.7 would KILL the Valueram, is it something you really want to do as it may shorten it's lifespan? That said, myself, I'd give it a shot at up to 2.7 to try OC'in, I just might not keep it there for long. The voltage may not even help anyway, but you don't know without trying. As far as memory timings, keep the ones that work, don't try lower than Cas 3 on PC3200 Valueram, not worth it. Also you can experiment with "turbo" settings in your bios, but those are always Ram dependent and may hurt stability or cause your system not to boot.
Glad it works; enjoy. I haven't had a chance to try painkiller demo yet, but enjoyed FarCry big time.