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Crashing during gameplay

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Mother Ik, Nov 14, 2004.

  1. Mother Ik New Member

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    First, the specs:
    Mobo: Gigabyte GA-K8NSNXP-939
    CPU: Athlon64 3500+
    Sink/fan: Thermaltake Venus 12
    Video: ATI Radeon 9800Pro
    RAM: 2x Corsair ValueSelect 512MB DDR400 set for dual channel
    PSU: Echo Star (generic?) 450W
    OS: Win2k SP4
    Drivers: DirectX 9.0c, Catalyst 4.10

    As for temperatures (degrees F):
    Idle: 37-41
    Gaming: up to 59
    (reported via Motherboard Monitor interval logging)

    core voltage: 1.57-1.63


    The problem:
    When trying to play games at a quality level that this system should be able to handle (highest possible for UT 2k4, next-to-highest for Doom3), I experience systemwide crashing. In the case of UT, when it crashes everything it blanks the screen but the system stays on (though I cannot switch to anything as it seems to have locked entirely). With Doom, it will instantly turn of the machine when I try to load a savegame.
     
  2. ReconCX New Member

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    First of all, is your video card overclocked?

    Second, those temperatures have to be in C, not F, or else you have a very chilled PC.
    Athlons are known to run hot so check your software, it may not be detecting right (i know for a fact that mine is actually 15 more degrees hotter than what the software is saying it is). Check your temperature in the BIOS and see how that runs after a little while.

    Third, check your fans and heatsinks and make sure they are properly placed.

    Finally, check your PSU, crashes and freezes can result from a failing PSU.
     
  3. Mother Ik New Member

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    Nope, nothing is overclocked.

    Yes, those temps are in F. But I bet you are right about the software misreporting. BIOS says 12 C at most. Is there any other way to get accurate measurements via software, or do I have to get in there with some hardware?

    My sinks/fans: I admit that I haven't gone to great lengths to really cool this off... Other than the Venus, I've got 2 80cm case fans @ 34 CFM and a bay fan @ 25. Also, this behavior is with the case completely open if that helps any. Everything seems to be placed Ok.

    As for the supply: I have no simple way of testing this as I have no comparable replacement to swap with. Is there a way to check with a voltmeter beyond the basic functionality?

    Thanks
     
  4. nightelf84 Guest

    Some gigabyte boards have BIOS updates that corrects the temperature readings. Please go to the manufacturer's website and update to the latest BIOS if you haven't done so already. Another way to see if your heatsink is working is to touch the heatsink and feel whether its hot or not (after a fair amount of load - you can do this with prime95.) If it is, then its a sign its doing wat its suppose to do.

    How many hardware monitoring programmes are you running at a time? You should always stick to only one programme as running multiple monitoring programme will throw the readings off. Does your mobo support EasyTune? If it does, run that and check out the temps from there. Do not load mbm5 together with EasyTune.

    As for the PSU, check with either EasyTune or MBM or BIOS (if its supported) your rails. They should be within +/- 5%. I am not familiar with your PSU. How many amps does the 12+V rail have? A64 systems requires quite a bit from the 12V rail, so maybe an upgrade might be needed here.
     
  5. Mother Ik New Member

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    Ok. Updated the BIOS and indeed those measurements were way off (by 50 deg F!). So now I seem to idle at 87 and underload at 102. Yes I know this is bad, but how bad is it? And how am I gonna cool this thing?

    While it seems like the problem is definitely heat, I'll say that the PSU's +12V is rated 14 amps.

    Thanks for your help so far!
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2004
  6. C&C Freak 2K New Member

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    The highest you should go AT ABSOLUTE MAXIMUM with the CPU is 60°C (140°F). 40°C (104°F) is a good temperature to have when under load (my GPU peaks at 45°C (113°F)).
     
  7. nightelf84 Guest

    Those temperatures are excellent (assuming the readings are correct). As a general rule, load temps should not exceed 55c.

    14 amps on +12v rail is too low which is probably why your experiencing instability. You should aim for at least 20A on the +12V rail. Get an Antec TruePower 430W. It might be pricier, but you get what you pay for.
     
  8. Mother Ik New Member

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    Obviously, I'm new to this sort of thing. Thanks to everyone for your input!

    As it happens, the mobo seems to be the problem. I've got two identical sticks (they came as a dual pack) of 512, but no matter what combination I use them in (dual or single channel), I get memory errors. I've been getting these results with memtest86+ since my last post. Either stick on its own tests fine, but together I immediately get many failures on most of the tests. Some people on the memtest86+ forum over at x86-secret have been saying that timings (and some mobos' inability to detect the correct ones) may have something to do with the failures... but since Corsair doesn't seem to publish timings for my ValueSelect's, I've had to guess (all I know is that CAS==2.5) which is probably not a good idea. In any case, I didnt damage the memory with this unsavory approach.

    After having success with testing only one at a time and verifying that two will not function, I decided to tackle the original problem of game-playing with only one stick. I'm happy to say that we are finally getting normal behavior.

    My next and probably final question is this: would it be incorrect to assume the problem is the mobo? As the sticks seem to be fine independently and they are supposedly identical, wouldnt the board now be suspect?

    I'll understand if nobody replies to this. In any case, thanks again!
     
  9. nightelf84 Guest

    That might be the case. RMA it. If the new one acts up again, RMA the RAM :)
     
  10. Mother Ik New Member

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    Will do. Thanks again.
     
  11. shade633 New Member

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    id like to add something here, on the first issue, i had that problem with 2 diff abit boards ive had, both times the NB fan had stopped working. for whatever reason abit makes a very crappy NB fan that flops after about a yr or so of usage, after replacing them i had no problems.
    as far as memory errors, i think that is more a problem with corsair, the new abit i have im runnig 2x 512 stix of xms mem both 3202 400, except it wont boot even to bios with both stix in only with one at a time in. ive been told i could try and change the cas settins, but i know nothing about changing those, so for now im just running the one. but thats what ive dealt with in similar situations
     
  12. LiQuiDiCe 9 New Member

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    i still think its your psu, you will draw more amps with more memory useage and psu takes a big hit on post that 512 might be the last straw. ill bet if you replace psu with somthing around 24amps or more you'll be able to put that mem stick back in and run the crap out of it. i'd suggest an antec 450w or 500w smart power 2.0. 500w has 12v1 17amp and 12v2 19amp rails. more than enough to keep you stable and for only about $65.00
    you should be able to check in bios under health for your volt readings. if they move alot and dip under 12v often you may have a lazy psu and lazy can ones generate alot of heat and blue screens.

    about the memory if each stick works alone then you sould be able to run them together. you can try timeing them more relaxed like 3-3-3-6 or 3-3-3-8 or move the voltage up to 2.6-2.8 one tick at a time. memory should beable to take up to 3v before being damaged key word SHOULD not ALWAYS. <if you don't feel comfortable doing it DON"T DO IT!> but FIRST check your manual make sure you are putting them in the right slots. some newer boards you place them every other one depending if they are single or dual channel ram. they may not be syncing up. but thats value ram.

    if you ever upgrade that gfx card you'll need a new psu before you do it anyway so i'd start there.

    all else fails take it to a reputable shop. dish out $50 and at least get an answer.
     
  13. trog100 New Member

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    slow your memory timings down to 3-3-3-8 and it will probably work.. cas 3 is the standard ddr 400 setting.. and value ram is value ram whatever name it has on it..

    if ram is on the edge working with one stick but not two is not unusual..

    if it dosnt run at cas 3 u will have to look further but i think it will..

    trog
     
  14. shade633 New Member

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    not value ram

    its not value ram, its straight corsair, xms 512 ddr, the only thing different is the versions. and could u explain how to change my cas settings, im not familiar with how to do this. thanks for ur response
     
  15. trog100 New Member

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    in the bios.. advanced chipset.. memory timings.. there is whole bunch of settings.. u need to go for the first most obvious one set it on 3 leave the rest alone.. another option would be to simply set the 1T to 2T or just use a divider and slow it down..

    this is just a test to see if it is a memory problem.. they do seem rather common with the amd onchip dual channel memory controler..

    if slowing things down stops the game crashing u need to kinda find out the best setting the memory will run at.. the main thing at first thow is just to slow it down to see if things improve..

    u also need to make sure the ram is getting enough voltage.. some faster ram needs 2.8 or even 3.0 to run properly.. the average is about 2.65..

    trog
     

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