ATI X850XT PE locking up just after starting game.

By tepabajo
Dec 1, 2005
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  1. After installing this new card tonight my pc is locking up just after 5 minutes or so of FarCry. It will run the demo fine but not actual play, then I have to reboot the pc. I have installed Fraps and during the demo loop and/or the first 3 to 5 minutes of game play the FPS is around 150 FPS, then when it crashed it locked at 404FPS, what does this tell you guys? I remember seeing something about disabling the Fast Write in the bios, what do you think? What else should I do, how can I diagnose this type of problem? The temp at idle is 40c, don't know under load.
    A64 / Asus K8N-E mobo with original PSU (I know I'm gonna get some remarks here!)
    2gig of Corsair ram
  2. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso Newcomer, in training Posts: 25,948   +17

    Deffinitely disable fastwrites.

    What psu do you have?

    Is it putting out enough power for your new videocard?

    Checkout this psu wattage calculator HERE

    Regards Howard :)
  3. tepabajo

    tepabajo Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 18

    My case has the original 500watt psu that comes with the Aspire X-Navigator case. And I do have it hooked up correctly. I read somewhere else where some dude didn't follow the instructions on connecting power to it.
  4. peterdiva

    peterdiva TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,202

  5. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,846

    aspire...eh

    Just a word of warning....Aspire PSUs are very touchy. Some will perform very nice, and then the one sitting next to it will perform terrible.
  6. tepabajo

    tepabajo Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Ran the Prime95 Stress Test for 11 hours with no errors and the CPU temp is holding at 47c. I also did some further checking this morning with my multimeter. While playing Battlefield 1942 I ran a voltage check on the +12v rail for the video card and got a steady 11.98-12.02 readings. I think I have eliminated the possibility of a power problem, would you guys agree? What I think might be an issue is heat. The card gets pretty toasty during play and then that's about when the PC locks up. I am trying to get ATI Tool Tray working to read my VPU temps but am having trouble because those options for reading the temps are greyed out. I am waiting for the developer to get back to me on how to fix this. Do you guys have any other suggestions as to another application that I can run to monitor this onscreen during game play?
  7. tepabajo

    tepabajo Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 18

    I finally figured out how to get the OSD to show up on the screen during game play for Far Cry and my GPU temp started at 79c and then began climbing, I shut it off before it locked up again. I am running the stock fan at 100% but I guess I need to invest in an another cooling fan. What temps should I be shooting for? I don't think I have enough room for the Zalman but the Artic Silencer might fit.
  8. tepabajo

    tepabajo Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 18

    After struggling for quite awhile with heat problems I finally decided to take the heatsink off and investigate. After reading many posts about low temps using the stock fan I realized that it wasn't a fan problem, and that the stock fan would work just fine. That could only mean that the connection between the heatsink and the processer was bad. The fan was cooling the heatsink but the chilling affect was not making it to the processer.

    After removing the heatsink I didn't see anything out of the ordinary. I cleaned the two surfaces like Artic Silver suggested and applied a new coating of thermal compound thin and smooth as recommended and put everything back together. Reinstalled the card, booted up the PC and right away I'm seeing temps starting at 50c and then climb to 104c playing Battlefield 1942 and then it locks up. I took the card out again and removed the heatsink and this is when I found the problem. Only about 10% of the heatsink was making contact with the processer! The thermal compound told me everything I needed to know in a heartbeat. Man was I pissed and releaved at the same time, and that ain't easy to do!

    So, all this time when we thought that ATI was putting too much TC on these boards it was intentional, they were actually doing it to cover up a bad design. Is "cover up" too strong a language? How about "work around", does that sound better? Well anyway, I recleaned the surface and applied a liberal amount of TC, enough that would fill in the gap. Reinstalled the heatsink and card and fired up the PC. Unbelievable results!!!!!!! My idle temps as I write this today at 4:30am is 32c and max load temp is 59c playing FarCry on VeryHigh settings and before I could barely get FC started before it locked up.
    Conclusion: For all of you guys/gals having heat issues with your Radeon X850XT PE if you do what I did you will be amazed. With temps like this I doubt I even need to consider replacing the heatsink with a Artic Cooler, leave well enough alone.

    Happy gaming.
    Tepabajo
  9. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,279   +181

    Congratulations on your fine detective work. Persistence pays off.
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