TechSpot

Computer freezes up only in all my games

By Dutch2005
Sep 19, 2005
  1. Hey new to the forum, but thought somebody could help me out with some suggestions i just built a new pc a few weeks ago here are the specs:

    AMP SEMPRON 2800 +
    1 GIG KINGSTON VALUE RAM (2 sticks of 512) ddr 3200
    MSI K7N2 DELTA ILSR (Nvidia Nforce 2 MOBO)- onbaord video IGP(not being used), onboard audio -5.1(being used), onboard raid controller(not in use), onboard ethernet(in use for dsl).
    Samsung Sync Master 17 incg monitor
    DVD-RW 8x AND DVD ROM
    AXEL Geforce 5500 128 mbs RAM
    maxtor 120 gig - hardrive
    Western Digital - 40gig-hardrive :D

    Heres the thing- System worked sweet for about a month or more, hardware wise it works great, but about two weeks ago i started having a problem when i loaded up any game ( im a gamer and besides internet that what i bought darn computer for).

    The game would boot properly then work for a short while, like 5 minutes and then freeze up totally :eek: ( I cant move mouse and even ctrl-alt-delete takes a few mins to work) But once i get to task manager, the game has not hung and no unusual processes are running in the background.

    If your wondering, this was most pronounced in ROME TOTAL WAR and SID MEIRS PIRATES. But it happend to some extent in all my installed 3d games, sometimes in SILENT HUNTER 3, I could play for about an hour and then problem would start

    The graphics card is supposed to be pretty good for the money, I live in caribbean, island called trinidad and the price was good when i bought it. I'm worried because warranty of 3 months is up and in the damnnn #@#$ third month i think the card is giving problems. :mad:

    Any ideas would be helpful??? :confused:

    Heres what i have tried and observed to date:

    1. I took out the fx500 GPU and put in my old GPU, a geforce 4 mx 440 64mb and ROME WORKS sweet.... but ROME is a non direct-x 9 game so go figure( i dont know if this is a factor).

    2. When i had the FX 5500 still in system tonight, i shutdown all non essential serives , started a game and samething happened. :eek: freezing!!!!!!

    3. I thought it might be antivirus or Zone alarm so i uninstalled them and disconnected my DSL router, no luck freezing still happens.

    4. I dont know if this is a factor- the card is 4x and my agp port is 8x ???

    5. The MOBO has onboard video but this has always been disabled in the BIos when i first built system.

    6. Brand new case and 500 WATT PSU, and everything else hardware wise seems to be humming.

    7. Cant be heating - the CPU FAN is an enormous fan, not stock crap, i got with the cpu and memory is running stable.

    8. System works fine for everything execpt games? go figure.

    9. System is not overclocked- not even software wise, everything except fan is bone stock....in terms of settings.

    10. I didnt try any new drivers, nor did i tweak any seetings for graphics card.

    But as is said the good old geforce 4 is working great for all non direct x nine games. which will mean im stuck in the dark ages once again

    As I said any help would be helpful, this is driving me nuts......
     
  2. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195

    I suppose it could be one of about three things. Underpowered psu, bad ram, or a dud video card.

    So, the easiest to check would be the ram, all you do is test it for errors.
    http://hcidesign.com/memtest/

    To check the psu, check it's brand name, and the specs listed on it. A cheapo 500w psu might really only be capable of 250-300w, since it's the max power(only for a few seconds), and many cheap mfgs "cheat" on the ratings by testing the psu at temps below freezing, since power supplies put out more power at lower temps.
    Here's a thread that lists the cheap brands.
    http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=792566
    and some better replacement psus.

    I'm not sure if there's any way to test the video card, besides to try it in a friends computer, and if the friend's computer then hangs in games, then the card must be the problem.(That's assuming the friends computer doesn't hang normally).

    You also try installing newer nvidia drivers for your card.
    http://nvidia.com/content/drivers/drivers.asp
     
  3. Dutch2005

    Dutch2005 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for advice but no go

    Thanks for all preivous advice, i tried the following lastnight, step by step:

    One correction, my psu is 400 watts not 500 like i thought, only discoverd after cracking open case lastnight.

    1. disabled onboard sound and removed sound drivers, installed a old S Blive 5.1 with drivers.- No fix games still freezing. I also downloaded lastest nvidia drivers 7.8.1 and installed them - no fix, puter still freezing in games- but even faster.

    2. unplugged all power connectors from componentsin case, except master hardrive (fans and ide drives were unplugged) - still freezing.

    3. un-installed norton antirvirus, disconnected internet, disabled firewall, removed zone alarm - still freezing. Used startup contorl panel feature to disabled everything at startup- no go, still freezing.

    4. system restored system to the day after i loaded the pc with windows xp pro, namely only progams on the system now are the operating system, system drivers, sp1 , alcochol 120%, rome total war(lowest possible video and sound settings), and tuneup utilities - an it is still freezing, runnning jerky in the games. When it freezes and i check task manager, my CPU usage is not 100% and there doesn't seem to be any offending background services, hogging memory.

    So as of this morning- my system works great, but no games work with this fx 5500 video card in. After it all i put back in my old reliable geforce 4 mx 440 and rome total war was flying.

    NOTE: I touched nothing in the BIOS.

    So im left here fuming, wondering if the darn money i spent on this vidoe card is lost.

    I plan to try memory tests tonight, i'll run system with one stick of 512 pc 3200 kingston value ram, while taking out other stick and ill try each in turn to see if im getting same results.

    As for if it is a PSU problem, i forgot to mention one thing, before i built this sytem, i bought this card and installed it on my old system, heres the specs -

    - a AMD 1800+ ATHLON,
    on an MSI KT7 mobo
    with 512 sdram,
    two hardrives and
    two dvd drives,
    with a 350 WATT generic power supply.

    The old system with the new video card ran everything game wise i threw at it, (that is everything non direct-x 9 oriented, including rome total war at medium settings).

    Now you see why im so baffled, because im left wondering- how can a card work for two (2) months with less memory, lower power PSU, and lower end system, and --> then work fine for one month in my brand spanking new system (with all bells and whistles - i can afford) and THEN KAPUT- no go.

    I love nvidia products, but darn this is making me lose confidence and hair. Can ANYONE THROW A HELPING LIFELINE????????????????????????????????.
     
  4. Dutch2005

    Dutch2005 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Some Further Tests No Results

    As recommended i used memtest to test my memory for about three hours lastnight. It run about 7 passes in normal and burn in test and no errors were found. So i guess the memory is good???

    Also i used the recommended PSU calculator, but it didnt have sempron cpu or so i estimated nearest cpu to it from the athlons.... final verdict, with all my components my system needed a 330 psu and i presntly have a 400.

    I have been reading up about PSU's and the problems a bad one can cause, do any of you know a brand of PSU made by a Japanese or Chinese Manufacturer called CODEGEN or JETSHOP? i got it with my games case. Maybe this is the problem and i need a more reliable or more expensive psu, rather than this generic one.

    ONE QUESTION THOUGH, DOES THE FACT THAT MY VIDEO CARD DOESNT NEED AN EXTRA POWER CONNECTOR(MOLEX) MEAN THAT IT DOESNT PULL AS MUCH CURRENT AS SAY A ATI 9600XT?????

    In my BIOS my system monitor feature shows that the 12+vol area sometimes fluctuates between 12.5 and 11.0, is this bad, i dont know if that could be the problem.

    Hope to hear from you guys soon with any recommendations????

    I am trying to have positive state of mind toward fixing this problem but im running out of options!!!!
     
  5. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195

    Ok, I guess you have good memory.

    Codegen is listed here as an "unscrupulous" make.
    http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=792566
    That doesn't mean that they don't work, but it might be of questionable quality, and/or the max power may be exaggerated.

    You're correct, the cards without power supply connectors use less power than the ones with connectors.

    Your psu fluctuation isn't good, but I don't think that it's "unacceptable", I think as long as the psu is within 10% it's ok, but I'm not 100% sure.

    I think it could be a bad card, sometimes cards are "messed up" from the factory. It could possibly be overheating too.
    Or you may not have a stable enough power supply.
    While I doubt the psu is the greatest, I'd lean more towards the graphics card as a guess.

    The fact that your old card works fine makes me think this. The other possiblity is that the new card might (probably) needs more power than the old one, and thereby might be overloading the psu, but I think you said you tried using only the bare essential hardware, which should make less of a load on the psu and clear up the problem if that was the case.

    Hope you get it sorted out.

    Can you try the 5500 in another pc to see if it works then? If it doesn't work in another pc as well, it must be a bad card.
     
  6. Dutch2005

    Dutch2005 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Tried it out in another pc

    I took your advice bro and hooked the card into another pc, my old pc that i gave my dad. Its a sdram system with a 350-w psu, msi kt72 ultra mobo 512 ram, and i swaped out my old trusty geforce 2 for the fx 5500.

    The system doesnt have dvd players so i couldnt load up Rome Total War as it is on iso form on dvd. So i loaded up my good old warcraft 3 and you guessed it, it worked.

    So it seems that the fx 5500 is working on the system with lesser specs overall( lesser power). But note this old system has no case fans and a generic cpu fan, one ide cd-rom, one 40gig seagate hardive and a lan card for adsl network and thats it. So i dont know if lesser power played a factor.

    Any ideas????????????????????????????? :suspiciou
     
  7. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195

    So you now know the 5500 is a working card. That would make me suspect your psu then.

    Enermax, seasonic, ocz, antec, etc make good psus, look for about a 400w or more version.
     
  8. antork

    antork TS Rookie

    If it help you

    I had the same problem with a new Amd Semprom 2800 +, and the problem wasn´t the graphic card it was the processor.
     
  9. emuloser123

    emuloser123 TS Rookie

    Dude, I had the exact same problem as you. What fixed this was simply updating my system bios. I was using the very earliest model (1.10) and they'd already gotten to v2.0 2.0 saved my computer and it hasn't crashed during any game yet. And MY problem was actually WORSE than yours. That memory tester program actually froze my computer twice and restarted it after about 5 minutes of activity the other times I ran it. If updating the system bios can fix MY computer, I'm sure it'll solve your problem too. Do you know how to update your BIOS? If not, send me an email and I'll help you out.
    ~~~Emu Loser~~~
     
  10. ladylonewolf

    ladylonewolf TS Rookie

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