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games recently just crash to desktop

Last response: in Video Games
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April 16, 2006 3:18:47 PM

Recently, when playing any game, (mostly oblivion and fear), the game just randomly crashes to the desktop without any error message.

My ram clocks are at stock so there cant be any problem with tight timings.
I just bought a cooler for the cpu (thermaltake typhoon) and put down my clock speeds back to stock ( had it overclocked to 2.4ghz before) so i dont think the cpu overheating is the problem.
my card heats up quite a bit, but its always been hot and i doubt that thats the problem.

please, any help in solving my problem would be much appreciated!
April 16, 2006 7:30:44 PM

Sound's like a video card problem to me. Is your card getting enough power? Check the temps, although you usually get artifacting before a crash if it's temperatures.
Give system specs for more help.
April 17, 2006 11:53:39 AM

Quote:
Sound's like a video card problem to me. Is your card getting enough power? Check the temps, although you usually get artifacting before a crash if it's temperatures.
Give system specs for more help.


my specs are in my signature.
i have a 600w power supply dont thing power is a problem.
Related resources
April 17, 2006 11:55:52 AM

Quote:
any new background programs? they can sometimes use a bit too much resources. it could be hardware failing due to overclocking but first check for spyware and change all unneccesary services to low priority.


my gpu clock is standard at 490/1300. (XFX7800GTX)
it could be a apyware problem, do you recommend any program for their removal?
How do i change unneccesary services to a low priority?
April 17, 2006 12:37:40 PM

Good point, stranger. This being a recent development does point to a software problem, though hardware can degrade over time, too.
For the spyware, use the spybot, but also lavasoft's ad-aware. Both are free and both catch things the other doesn't. Hope this fixes things.
April 17, 2006 1:58:10 PM

im gonna suggest checking your RAM using memtest... ive seen things like this happen with not bad ram but full ram, normally due to background proccess...but a check never hurts.
April 17, 2006 4:40:41 PM

thanks guys for all your suggestions, ill try them out as soon as i can and ill be sure to tell you how it goes after tomorrow, cause i got a major exam tomorow and the day after and i gotta revise pretty hard.
I really appreciate your help! THANKS AGAIN!
See you in two days!
April 19, 2006 8:39:32 PM

ok everyone i finally found out the cause. By the way, i ran memtest and everything was fine. I think the problem is due to overheating of the graphics card. I found this out cause whenever i was playing, just before it crashed i used to get artifacts, or if i didnt get artifacts, i immediately check my temps and they are in the upper 90's.
THanks for all the suggestions guys,
lucky for me, im getting an arctic accelero X1 tomorrow.
Do you guys think that it will be able to cool my cards load temps down to normal (say about 65-70) ?
April 20, 2006 4:47:13 PM

Glad you find the cause of your problems!

I'm surprised your card couldn't cool itself properly though - maybe the fan is faulty? Also, does it expel air out the back of the case via a PCI slot, or recirculate it round the case? If the latter, that might explain it - especially if you have a lot of obstructions (cables etc) to the airflow.

Your new cooler should sort the problems out - it will probably be quieter too!
April 20, 2006 8:02:57 PM

Quote:
Glad you find the cause of your problems!

I'm surprised your card couldn't cool itself properly though - maybe the fan is faulty? Also, does it expel air out the back of the case via a PCI slot, or recirculate it round the case? If the latter, that might explain it - especially if you have a lot of obstructions (cables etc) to the airflow.

Your new cooler should sort the problems out - it will probably be quieter too!


My stock cooler expels the air and it recirulates round the case, i also have alot of cable obstruction which i also think contributes to extra heating.
unfortunately the cooler is not coming, since i was expecting to recieve it from a friend but there were a couple of problems along the way.
I have found a short term solution of leaving the side of the case open and turing on the air conditioner. I also down clocked the card to 430/1200 and decreased some of my settings.
Im thinking of a better short term solution such as getting a case fan that will increase circulation and blow the hot air away from my card.
thanks for the help and suggestions Llama_Man!
April 21, 2006 7:00:15 AM

Quote:
don't suppose you geet a side panel with a fan for the shark like you do the armour. i can't find one here in the U.K but i'd get one if i could.


my shark has grills in the side , so maby i could just 'hook' a fan on?
April 21, 2006 11:48:00 AM

If there are mounting holes, go for it!

I'd also recommend you tidy up the inside of you case. Get some cable ties and try to tuck away the cables as much as you can. Rounded cables help quite a bit.

It seems a shame to not utilise the full power of your uber-GFX card. Personally, I think the designers made a boob not putting an external vent on a card like that - it's bound to produce a load of heat.
Check the fan on it is working properly - is it making a lot of noise? Fans tends to get noisier just before they die. If it's still under warranty you could send it back.

Otherwise, you may like to install an after-market cooler. These generally do a better job of cooling, and produce less noise too. You could just replace the fan on the card, but to be honest, with a card like that you may as well spend a few extra pounds and get a really good cooler, such as the artic cooling type. Expelling the hot air straight out the back will prevent the card trying to cool itself with it's own hot air, which will help stop the overheating. It'll also help prevent your other components getting too warm.
April 21, 2006 7:15:44 PM

Quote:
If there are mounting holes, go for it!

I'd also recommend you tidy up the inside of you case. Get some cable ties and try to tuck away the cables as much as you can. Rounded cables help quite a bit.

It seems a shame to not utilise the full power of your uber-GFX card. Personally, I think the designers made a boob not putting an external vent on a card like that - it's bound to produce a load of heat.
Check the fan on it is working properly - is it making a lot of noise? Fans tends to get noisier just before they die. If it's still under warranty you could send it back.

Otherwise, you may like to install an after-market cooler. These generally do a better job of cooling, and produce less noise too. You could just replace the fan on the card, but to be honest, with a card like that you may as well spend a few extra pounds and get a really good cooler, such as the artic cooling type. Expelling the hot air straight out the back will prevent the card trying to cool itself with it's own hot air, which will help stop the overheating. It'll also help prevent your other components getting too warm.


i can try tidying up the cables a little, could lower my temps a couple of degrees.
i was supposed to get the arctic accelero x1 today, but there was a problem and the person bringing it form oversees wass stopped at the airport and the part returned back.
Moreover, im trying to look for ANY gpu cooler in this place and i cant find anything...i hate this country (camel land)
well it does make a lot of noise, but only when i put it on 100%, see this is what i dont get, when i first bought this computer last november, my fan was on 25% and i was playing games all normal with my load temps just under 80. Now, even with the fan at 100%, load temps are just under 100...whats up with that?
can a stock cooler degrade over time? this little time?
April 24, 2006 12:57:27 PM

Stock coolers can easily die in a short time. The northbridge fan on my motherboard only lasted a year.
April 25, 2006 6:45:06 PM

Quote:
Stock coolers can easily die in a short time. The northbridge fan on my motherboard only lasted a year.


Totally true...if you wanna read all about it, this is what happened to me, a nightmare i still remember...

http://forumz.tomshardware.com/modules.php?name=Forums&...

enjoy!
April 26, 2006 11:10:14 AM

I was luckier than you - my mobo doesn't really need a northbidge fan, so I just unplugged the 2 pin plug from the mobo. The little heatink does a good enough job at cooling the n/b it seems.

I'm slightly annoyed with Asus for fitting it with a fan in the first place - even when it was working it was the noisiest thing in my PC. A decent heatsink would have been more than sufficient. But they learnt from their mistake and the new models of my mobo are fan-free.
April 26, 2006 11:24:40 AM

Quote:
I was luckier than you - my mobo doesn't really need a northbidge fan, so I just unplugged the 2 pin plug from the mobo. The little heatink does a good enough job at cooling the n/b it seems.

I'm slightly annoyed with Asus for fitting it with a fan in the first place - even when it was working it was the noisiest thing in my PC. A decent heatsink would have been more than sufficient. But they learnt from their mistake and the new models of my mobo are fan-free.


Totally true
April 27, 2006 11:30:14 AM

That is very odd though. A graphics card shouldn't be allowed to overheat unless you have very poor cooling in your case, and by very poor I mean close to none. I remember when I didn't know that much about hardware, I had an old case with NO fans in it whatsoever, and it was sealed shut except for the back meaning no air got in, and I was still able to play Doom 3 with my Radeon 9800 Pro, but I did get the artifacts though. That's when I bought an 80mm fan for the front, as it was the biggest size I could fit, and then my cpu temp was at 67 instead of at 75 lol. And that's Celsius by the way :p 
April 27, 2006 11:44:35 AM

Might be worth him checking that his existing cooling is configured correctly. I've heard of people installing their fans so that they're all intakes, etc. Fans can also get very badly clogged with dust if you don't use filters or clean them.

But I think the most likely contender here is a faulty GFX card fan.
April 27, 2006 7:01:43 PM

Quote:
Might be worth him checking that his existing cooling is configured correctly. I've heard of people installing their fans so that they're all intakes, etc. Fans can also get very badly clogged with dust if you don't use filters or clean them.

But I think the most likely contender here is a faulty GFX card fan.


My fans are fine, they came premounted with the thermaltake shark case. Just cleaned them yesterday, so they cant be the problem. Cable management is not that good, but that hsouldnt make that much of a differrence. So yeah, the culprit must be the graphics card fan.
April 28, 2006 1:49:55 AM

Don't assume that the pre-installed fans are configured correctly. Guys in factories do make mistakes sometimes... :wink: It's unlikely, but DO check :D 
April 28, 2006 2:31:17 PM

ok ill try to dismantle the stock cooler on the GFX card, but then what, what do i check for apart from cleaning the dust out and mabye applying a new layer of thermal paste?
April 28, 2006 3:02:25 PM

Quote:
ok ill try to dismantle the stock cooler on the GFX card, but then what, what do i check for apart from cleaning the dust out and mabye applying a new layer of thermal paste?


well if your gonna check that the fan is mounted the right way there should be arrows on the side to show which way it blows air. look for any bulging caps, burnt out areas, anything that just doesnt look right(is a good way to summarize it lol)

putting some AS5 or other silver based thermal compound should help your temps on the card by a few degrees and the cleanout should help even more.
April 28, 2006 5:36:56 PM

The first thing I'd do is try running your PC with the side of the case off. If the crashing becomes less frequent, then that proves that it was a heat problem. If you card has a temp probe on it, also check that to see if there is a correlation between the crashes and periods of high temperature.

From what you've described, it seems VERY likely that your problem is gfx overheating, but you should be sure before you start dismantling an expensive piece of electronics!

Then, we need to work out what is going wrong. Chances are your fan is faulty. If this is the case, it will probably be making a lot of noise or spinning erratically. If it's still under warranty, send it back and let someone else fix it for you.
If not, just replace the stock cooler with an arctic cooler or similar. Stock coolers tend to be noisier than aftermarket coolers. I'm also a fanboy of seeing the hot air vented out the back of the PC rather than recirculated. I've never tested what difference it makes, but it just seems to make sense to me thermodynamically - the hotter the air you use for cooling, the less effective it will be. An after market cooler might cost you £20, but on a £200 card it's not a huge amount extra.
!