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Video freezes while using 3D apps/games

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 31, 2004 7:32:38 PM

I’ve had this problem for quite awhile, but I just recently got fed up with it when it prevented me from playing Farcry. Anyway, the problem is that after I play a game that’s 3D intensive for a period of time anywhere from 5 minutes to 2 hours my monitor stops receiving a video signal. The monitor cuts out into power save mode or whatever it is when the little green light turns amber and begins flashing. Sometimes if I wait a few minutes the graphics will blink back on for a split second, as if the video card somehow recovered. If that happens it may or may not let me move around for a few seconds before it either locks up and freezes that screen or stops sending a signal again. Regardless, every single time this happens I have to completely shut off my computer as there’s no way to recover back to windows. As you can imagine, this makes playing games really tricky.

Here’s my specs:
ASUS A7N8X-E Deluxe Motherboard BIOS Revision 1008 (Latest)
AMD Athlon XP 2400+
512MB DDR 3200 Kingston RAM
ATI Radeon 9700 Pro 128MB
RaidMax LP-6100E 500W Power Supply

Running Windows 2000

I’ve got all the latest drivers installed, I just went through and got the latest ATI drivers for the Radeon, nForce drivers, motherboard drivers, and everything I can think of. This is sort of a last resort. I’ve done a bit of research but haven’t been able to find an answer that works. I’ve checked the power chains that feed the Radeon, and the only other things that string feeds are two CD-ROMs, which are both empty whenever my computer has locked up. My CPU and RAM definitely aren’t overheating, as I’ve got a peltier on my CPU and my ram has a heatsink and it’s own fan. I’m not sure if the Radeon is overheating or not, I haven’t seen any programs that show the temperature, and doubt that it even has a sensor. But if there is, please prove me wrong. Just to get a rough estimate I’ve felt the air it’s putting out and it doesn’t seem any warmer right after a crash than during normal windows operation. I’ve also never overclocked anything in my system, because it’s never been stable running at normal levels.

That’s about all the information I can think of off the top of my head so if anything else is needed just ask and I’ll try to find it. This is really bugging me, so any suggestions at all are welcome. Thanks ahead of time.
May 31, 2004 8:01:21 PM

You have a nice PSU, so I'd guess it's a heat issue... the card will generate more heat when under load like in an intense 3d app... perhaps it's crashing and then recovering after a few minutes if the temp drops a couple degrees.

You sound like you know what you're doing when it comes to cooling, but out of curiosity what are your case temps? CPU temps also?

________________
<b>Radeon <font color=red>9700 PRO</b></font color=red> <i>(o/c 329/337)</i>
<b>AthlonXP <font color=red>~2750+</b></font color=red> <i>(2400+ @ 2208 Mhz)</i>
<b>3dMark03: <font color=red>4,876</b>
a b U Graphics card
May 31, 2004 8:04:48 PM

I'd just suggest checking fastwrites. Turn it off if you can.

Also some cards experience instability with small aperture size (didn't know this until I read about it with the FX5950).

Just two things you could troubleshoot and see if that helps.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
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May 31, 2004 8:34:15 PM

The Radeon has stock cooling, so it's just a trashy little fan and all. It very well may be overheating. Here's my other temps:
CPU: 48C/118F
Motherboard: 32C/91F
Case is room temp, or very close. (65 - 70F)

But I don't understand why a stock card would overheat under normal stress, without being overclocked at all.

I haven't messed with fastwrite yet, I guess that's an option. I'll turn it off and play for a bit and see what the results are. I've tried to change my aperture size from 64 to 128MB but when I do the system locks at the BIOS splash screen, and the last time I did it I had to reset my BIOS configuration to get the system to boot again. Still don't know why it would do that. Oh, on that note I only have one stick of RAM so I'm not using dual channel yet, which blows.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Mittens on 05/31/04 04:36 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
May 31, 2004 9:02:28 PM

Stock cards can overheat when case temps are too high - which doesn't look like the case in your system (32 degrees is pretty good for your mobo)

As far as dual channel goes, you'll be running MORE stably without it, so I wouldn't worry about it right now.

Like grape says, try disbaling fastwrites, if that doesn't work... try the card on another system. If it does the same thing on someone else's kit, maybe it's just a bad GPU, might want to consider RMAing it...



________________
<b>Radeon <font color=red>9700 PRO</b></font color=red> <i>(o/c 329/337)</i>
<b>AthlonXP <font color=red>~2750+</b></font color=red> <i>(2400+ @ 2208 Mhz)</i>
<b>3dMark03: <font color=red>4,876</b>
May 31, 2004 9:20:59 PM

Well, disabling fastwrite didn't fix it. I don't have any old boxes lying around that would be able to run any of the apps that crash the card, so I'll have to wait until a weekend one of my friends isn't busy. Any idea why setting the aperture size causes the system to halt at the BIOS splash screen? Someone on another board said I should test my RAM with Memtest and it passed all of that, so that's not a problem. Well, whatever. If anyone else has any suggestions until I get a chance to swap it out I'd be grateful.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Mittens on 05/31/04 05:22 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
May 31, 2004 11:03:37 PM

Maybe try a bios flush or update your bios?

You might want to reisntall the ati drivers but before ya do uninstal the one ya have and use drivercleaner.


Also isn't there a connection between the amount of system ram to aperture size for open gl.

ATi's driver limits the AGP aperture to 64 MB unless you have more than 1 GB of RAM?

Also turn on triple buffering that might help in most ogl apps with ATI cards they need that
June 1, 2004 2:28:54 AM

Perhaps the fan is not spinning quite as quickly as it should?

You've tried and failed. The lesson here is, never try again. -- Homer Simpson.
June 1, 2004 3:27:52 AM

The ole tried and true test is to take the side panel off of your case, then have a house fan blowing into the case while you try the same thing. If this fixes it then you are up against a heat problem.

He that but looketh on a plate of ham and eggs to lust after it, hath already committed breakfast with it in his heart. -C.S. Lewis
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