TechSpot

Computer freezes during games

By Eisenh0wer
Sep 6, 2009
  1. Hello. I've been having an issue with a computer for some time now. It's a custom built PC, not something I've bought from Dell or so forth. Basically, I'll be playing a game and the computer will just stop without warning - frozen completely. The only thing the computer does is emit a loud screeching sound from the speakers - lowering the speakers turns it off.

    I've already run memtest to see if it could possibly be my memory. Came back fine. I have been speculating that it could have something to do with my processor or just the processor/system temperature in general. A while back I had installed a program called SpeedFan which I was using to test my computer's temperature. It had given me ridiculous results - basically it said my computer and processor were past the boiling point. Really, really high temperatures. Once I had SpeedFan installed, my rear fan stopped working - it would no longer spin unless I restarted. So I figured SpeedFan was busted and was screwing with my fans, so I uninstalled it. However, the problems with my PC freezing occurred far before I had SpeedFan installed at all. But I am beginning to wonder if there was some merit to SpeedFan, as I am reading that the computer overheating could have something to do with the PC freezing during games.

    But my concern is that I have 3 fans plus a heatsink for the processor. I have one fan in the back that's blowing air out, one in the front blowing air in, and another on the side situated below the CPU blowing air in (not on the CPU directly, as it wouldn't fit due to the heatsink). I touch the computer and open the case and check inside and it does not feel hot at all - quite the contrary, even. When SpeedFan was saying my PC was at the boiling point, the computer was not hot at all. So I don't know anymore. One thing I do notice with my fans is that the side-mounted fan collects an unusual amount of dust. I have to use dust-off every few days to get rid of the dust collection on the outside of the fan. It's usually quite a lot. I do not think it's normal to collect that much dust in such a short period of time. I've been wondering if perhaps I've set up my fans wrong and I need to re-arrange the way they take in and blow out air.

    The only other thing I can mention is that the PC does not freeze all the time during games. It's not a constant problem but it happens. It usually happens more so during games that take up a lot of processing power - for instance, it -might- happen in World of Warcraft when I alt-tab to check something on Firefox at the same time, and it usually happens while I'm playing a game called Hearts of Iron II, which is a grand strategy game on a massive scale, with tons of calculations going on at once. I have never had a problem during, say, Call of Duty 4 or Left 4 Dead.

    These are my system specs:

    Windows Vista 64-bit Home Premium
    4GB RAM (Patriot Viper DDR3 - PC3 10666, model PVS34G1333LLK)
    Intel Core 2 Quad processor Q9450 2.66 Ghz
    EVGA NVIDIA nForce 790i Ultra SLI motherboard
    NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX+
    Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Pro soundcard
    Logitech Z-5500 5.1 surround sound speakers

    Thank you all for any help in advance. Also, note that nothing on my PC is overclocked - I haven't the slightest idea how to overclock and I don't want to destroy anything. Plus, all drivers are regularly updated - this problem has been on-going for a long time now, and I make sure to keep my drivers updated.
     
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,911   +167

    If you can't remove the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Pro soundcard and use on board sound, try installing another sound card. I had to remove mine for the "freezing in games" issue" and revert to my Abit IP35 Pro on-board HD audio. Game play and sound are perfect now
     
  3. Eisenh0wer

    Eisenh0wer TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Creative soundcards are known to cause freezing? Hm. Well, I would remove it and test, but getting a good test is rather hard because the freezing is not a constant. I can go for days or weeks without freezing. It's very random. So I could remove my soundcard and two weeks later it could freeze or maybe it wouldn't.. hate to have wasted a soundcard ;(
     
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,911   +167

    It's the Creative Drivers for Vista and Windows 7 that cause this. I tried everything to save the card, but in the end I sold it to an XP user. My on-board HD sound is much better... to my surprize
     
  5. Coddan

    Coddan TS Rookie

    Did you find a solution for this? The exact same thing is happening to me! Only thing that differs is that speedfan doesn't show abnormally high temperatures, but the crashing thing is pretty much the same, only it happens much more frequently when I play games that are more demanding.

    It has only crashed once when I'm not playing.
     
  6. AntiMoronic

    AntiMoronic TS Rookie Posts: 29

    Have exactly the same issues. Happens with only select games. One is even demanding in the slightest so I have no idea.
     
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