new system giving me some trouble...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Arcfire, Jul 13, 2008.

new system giving me some trouble...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Arcfire, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. Arcfire

    Arcfire Guild Admin Staff Member

    so here is my new system:

    Gigabyte mobo with a Intel E8400 core duo 2 x 3.0 GHz
    2 x 2 gigs of G.Skill DDR2 ram
    geforce 8800 GT factory overclocked to 700MHz
    also a somewhat older Antec 380 watt power supply: if that matters

    The problem I keep having is: after about 15 minutes of playing a game ,the system freezes and I am forced to do a hard restart. I've been watching the temperature on the video card, so I'm pretty sure it isn't overheating, nor do I think the CPU is overheating either. I worry that the power supply isn't big enough but the specs on the hardware seem well within range of power requirements... updated the mobo bios to newest version (steered clear of super new alpha version) and I've got the newest nvidia drivers that cover all the newer nvidia cards, something like 6600 through the new 200s. Out of everything in the case I'd say the ram feels the hottest, but it does have heat casing so maybe that's just the metal doing it's job. I also tried turning off Anti aliasing and whatnot, but no difference. Of most interest is that I played Exteel for about an hour and a half with no issues, while other more graphics intensive games all crash the exact same way. This leads me to believe it is some sort of software issue, but I cant think of what to do.

    I am at a loss, any ideas?
  2. sonaran

    sonaran Veteran Member

    Well, besides for some kind of hardware problem, I would guess that there is not enough power for your system. You should go to futureshop, or something similar, buy a 600+ watt power supply. Try it for a few days to see if there is any difference, if not then bring it back. But it sounds as if your power supply is coming in just under the bar.
  3. escrotoloco

    escrotoloco Veteran Member

    Have you tried kicking it?
  4. Arcfire

    Arcfire Guild Admin Staff Member

    I'd hate to buy a new power supply after buying all this other stuff... I've still got a few ideas though, so Ill leave that as a last resort.
  5. sonaran

    sonaran Veteran Member

    Try what you will, but a 380 watt power supply sounds pretty low for what you are running.
  6. glow

    glow AoA Emeritus

    Do they even make 380 watt power supplies anymore? Just kidding! :)

    That does sound a bit like a power supply issue to me.
    Heat would tend to give you more of a slow down before you saw any really adverse reactions, ram tends to make it self known more so in blue screens or programs crashing, video problems are pretty obvious as well. These kind of issues from what I have seen in the past tend towards power supply issues. Not saying that 380 won't power it, even though I think for this day and age it is a bit small for a gamer's machine, but a defective power supply could be doing the same thing.
  7. Ender

    Ender Veteran Member

    I would bet almost everything that the PSU is playing a big role in that.
    Stock 8800GT cards use about: 128 watt idle, 220 watt load & 245 peakload.
    That is a stock card using aprox 600 mhz clocks. A card with a 700mhz wouldnt be unheard of to have a peak of 260ish, easy.

    The CPU even though it IS the newer 45nm still used aprox:
    This is an overclocked E8400 chip but it is safe to say it is drawin 120 watts not overclocked at full load.

    Throwing those numbers around and adding in a LITTLE overhead for mb, ram, optic drive and hard drive (50watt, load), you're looking at a peak watt use of AROUND 400-450.

    This makes 100% sense as well. Here is why. When playing games that don't cause your hardware to hit peak the power draw is MUCH less... Usually around 1/3-1/2 of total possible peak. When playing new 3d acceleration apps you will hit that peak. The power supply does try to keep up but after a while the internal heat sinks in the psu cannot handle the heat anymore and your computer begins to recieve voltage swings.

    This CAN and WILL damage hardware in your PC. When the PSU is working RIGHT at load or over it can cause voltage spikes that are pretty severe. Typically this will just end with a lockup or a system reboot. Over time or with one unlucky overheat and a peice of hardware could go poof and the manufacturers will not replace hardware that breaks this way.....

    I have a 550watt of my fiance's PC running an 8800GT (675 mhz) and an E88400. You need to bump that psu asap or you may lose some or all of the money you put into that box. Id go with a 500watt minimum so there is less stress on the PSU.

    Take the advise or leave it.
  8. Overmind

    Overmind Veteran Member

    check the ram.. there are a dozen or so free ramtest progs out there.. The software will fill every sector memory and identifiy bad sectors. It's possible when your playing a game that the game tries to write to one of these bad sectors and just crashes.
  9. Arcfire

    Arcfire Guild Admin Staff Member

    I'll try testing the ram, but if that doesn't work I'll probably be getting a new power supply, Thanks for the info.
  10. sonaran

    sonaran Veteran Member

    Good luck Arcfire .. I truly understand how frustrating it is when your system just doesn't work .. it's definitely not fun. Be sure to let us know if you need anymore help.
  11. Arcfire

    Arcfire Guild Admin Staff Member

    Hey I think I finally beat it.. and it wasn't the PSU at all... I was looking at easytune6, the program that came with my mother board, looking at voltages and temperatures and whatnot, talking with my older bro who has a similar system setup, and he asks what my ram voltage is. I tell him 1.8 and he says try turning it up to 2.0 in the bios. Appearently the bios defaults DDR to 1.8 but on the box mine specifies 2.0-2.1. Changed it and it's been going about 3 hours now playing the same games and no freezing so far. Yay.
  12. Arcfire

    Arcfire Guild Admin Staff Member

    nope nvm froze again, argggg
  13. Allomein

    Allomein AoA Emeritus

    Nvidia recommend a minimum 400 kw PSU for a machine with an 8800 GT. Since you are overclocked and also have a decent processor, you likely need a bit more. My machine has a 1000 kw psu for 2 8800 GTX's and a quad core.

    Can't guarantee the problem is the PSU - but it is definitely on the hairy edge if it is not the issue.
  14. Overmind

    Overmind Veteran Member

    Yeah that is a low power supply for that build.. I have an Enermax Galaxy 1000 Watt Power supply in mine to assist in heavy gaming. You mention your PC crashes when under heavy processing load. That would draw more power and if it isn't enough bam.. crash.

    One thing you can check is to make sure your video card has a DEDICATED power connector.. not a daisy chained one that suplies things like your DVD, HD's ect.
  15. Ender

    Ender Veteran Member

    What can happen with an over stressed and/or crappy PSU.....

    Video Link
    http://corsair.com/cinema/movie.aspx?id=622747


  16. Arcfire

    Arcfire Guild Admin Staff Member

    well my power supply certainly hasnt done anything like that lol. right now im running with a single stick, to see if it still crashes. So far no crash, which means either the other stick is bad, or it just isn't pulling as much power... going to switch sticks... if it crashes with the other one, i think i will have my answer.
  17. Slip

    Slip Veteran Member

    I'm having an even weirder problem - my computer will crash to a BSOD within a few minutes of a cold start, EVERY TIME. But after it reboots it will be fine. I get different error messages on each Blue Screen. BAD_POOL_HEADER and IRQ_NOT_LESS_THAN_EQUAL are the two most common ones. It has done this pretty much from the moment I got the machine, but I've never bothered to try and fix it since after a reboot it can run for hours and hours, sometimes I leave it on for days and no problems. But any time I boot up from a shut down state (it could just be 10 minutes after being shut down) it will give me the BSOD within a couple of minutes of just sitting idle. It's gotten to the point where I just hit "restart" every time I start my computer. Any ideas on that one? I've checked multiple forums and have never seen it before.
  18. Arcfire

    Arcfire Guild Admin Staff Member

    sounds like you need to make a list of differences between a full start and reset. Nothing immediately comes to mind, but I bet there's probably a few things retained in a reset that aren't usually there in a cold start. As for my own problems, I've worked it down to either having a bad stick of ram or just needing a bigger power supply. Going to run some more complete tests tomorrow to hopefully single it out for sure. Just wish I had more spare parts to swap out. Things are so much easier to fix when you can play the process of elimination game with spare parts lol.

    Also a question: while swapping out ram with my uncle's computer (doing more tests to see if it would crash on his) I noticed his ram was in differently than mine. there are four slots on our mobos.

    mine:
    -----yellow-----X
    ------red-------X

    -----yellow-----
    ------red-------

    his:
    -----yellow-----X
    ------red-------

    -----yellow-----X
    ------red-------

    X denotes where ram sticks were seated... which is the right config? And could this be the source of my problems? Now that I think about it putting them in the same color would probably make more sense...
  19. Ender

    Ender Veteran Member

    You want both of your sticks in the yellow. Yellow is one memory channel and red is the other. So each pair gets its own color.
  20. sonaran

    sonaran Veteran Member

    Your uncle is using dual channel ram, meaning he probably bought the two sticks as a dual channel combo. This is why they are in the same color slots. By doing this it activates Dual Channel mode. You need the exact same ram sticks to make this run correctly. If both sticks of ram are not the same specs and placed in the same color slots, then dual channel mode will not be activated. I have not run into problems with non matched sticks of ram in the same color slots, or vice versa, so I would not think this is your problem.

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