TechSpot

Freezes after 10 - 40 minutes gameplay

By skeptisk
Apr 3, 2006
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Just as the title says, my computer FREEZE up after 10-40 minuts of gameplay, now, some games however seem to work better than others.

    For examlpe Splinter cell chaos theory and king kong worked allright.

    Bmfe 1, Bfme 2, counter strike, need for speed most wanted and f.e.a.r freeze up.

    Things i have tried:
    Check temperatures.
    Try different drivers. (Gfx and audio)
    Reinstall windows.
    Check for dust.
    Knock three times on chassi and say "Aaabracadabra".
    Checked RAM. Removed one RAM-stick.
    Even bought myself a brand new Power suply today. Q-tec 500W.
    My last Power suply was a 300W so i though "More power should fix this".
    But ..... no.

    Help me!

    My specs:

    Intel pentium P4 socket 478
    Asus P4S800D-X
    1GB RAM
    Nvidia Geoforce 6600 GT
    Q-tec 500W Big Fan.
    Windows Xp


    Thank you!!
  2. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,598

    The symptoms you described are classic for an overheating CPU or RAM. How did you measure your temps? Can you post your voltages, temps and fan rpms here please? Everest is a good program for this.

    Thanks.
  3. skeptisk

    skeptisk TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Right now, (idle)
    Temp:
    Motherboard 28 °C (82 °F)
    CPU 36 °C (97 °F)
    Aux 3 °C (37 °F)
    Maxtor 6Y080L0 34 °C (93 °F)
    Maxtor 6L160P0 33 °C (91 °F)
    Maxtor 7L300R0 35 °C (95 °F)

    CoolingFan:
    CPU 2464 RPM

    Power Values:
    CPU Core 1.37 V
    Aux 3.20 V
    +3.3 V 3.41 V
    +5 V 5.21 V
    +5 V Idle 5.14 V
    Debug Info F FF 89 FF
    Debug Info T 28 36 03
    Debug Info V 8B C8 D5 C2 FF 00 80 (03)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
  4. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,598

    OK your temps do look ok at idle, but so does a poorly cooled CPU. It's when you add load that the weakness of a bad thermal contact between the CPU and heatsink will show up. So you know if you have a thermal pad or thermal paste between the CPU and heatsink?
    The 3 HDD's are definately putting a strain on your PSU, I'm amazed it ran at all on 300W! And they add heat to your case. Do you have case fans? Side and back? Go here: http://www.extreme.outervision.com/

    Can you download a program called Prime95 and run it? This will stress the CPU and RAM and produce maximum load. It's just calculating a regression algorithm to calculate the largest Prime number, but it gives the system a good workout. Let's see how long your PC can go before an error is detected by the program or you have a freeze up. If it runs 15 min error free, stop it and quickly measure your temps again and post them here.

    Cheers.
  5. skeptisk

    skeptisk TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    I'll try Prime95 now. But to answer your questions first.
    I have thermal paste betwwen cpu and heatsink.
    And I have 2 case fans. And a Antec p180 chassi. Which is , as I heard, really good for cooling and airflow. (PSU is in the bottom of chassi. And i replaced the original Intel Cpu fan. And bought a Zalman something something. Now......its prime time.
  6. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,598

    Well then it's looking more and more like it's NOT a heating issue, but let's find out what Prime does (it can expose faulty RAM) and your temps underload. This will be the next avenue of thought. RAM, memtest84, minidumps, Howard's assessment of them.


    Cheers
  7. skeptisk

    skeptisk TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Sensor Properties:
    Sensor Type Winbond W83627THF (ISA 290h)
    Motherboard Name Asus P4S800D Series

    Temperatures:
    Motherboard 28 °C (82 °F)
    CPU 47 °C (117 °F)
    Aux 2 °C (36 °F)
    Maxtor 6Y080L0 34 °C (93 °F)
    Maxtor 6L160P0 32 °C (90 °F)
    Maxtor 7L300R0 35 °C (95 °F)

    Cooling Fans:
    CPU 2446 RPM

    Voltage Values:
    CPU Core 1.36 V
    Aux 3.22 V
    +3.3 V 3.39 V
    +5 V 5.27 V
    +5 V Standby 5.14 V
    Debug Info F FF 8A FF
    Debug Info T 28 44 02
    Debug Info V 89 C9 D4 C4 FF 00 80 (03)
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    That is 15 minutes in to the test. And what goes for minidumps. I find those in the Windows\minidump dir right? Well its empty.
    I ran memtest a few days ago, not for THAT long, i wasnt clear about the fact that it takes 2 lifetimes to complete. =) I'll run it over night.

    Ps. A bit background. I just built this computer. Its not the first one, so i know i didnt do anyring wrong. I didnt rum a baloon on my head while fiddling with my ram-sticks. ;)
    But the problems was there since day 1. And i ran a game earlier. It crashed. Ran it again a bit later and alt+tabbed to everest, but temp wasnt over 44.
  8. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,598

    That doesn't surprise me one bit given the 300W PSU you had in there, what surprises me is that it ran anything more then Windows browsing. I wish I could see your 12V rail voltages. Did you check out that PSU power calculator website? I'm starting think you may still have a power issue. One easy way to test this theory is disconnect the 2 spare HDD and run just the OS HDD.

    Because your temps underload do look good unless the video card is going nuts. Do you have it or the CPU OCd? It is interesting the CPU and RAM took the beating of the P95 test like pros, but add a little video in there and you've got crash. So I'm starting to think you may still be pushing the PSU a little too hard once the video card has to kick in and draw power it's overheating and dropping voltage. This will cause the system to hang too.
    We can't see the voltages drop because as soon as the game or P95 stops all is back to normal.

    EDIT: Twice now your Vcore has shown up as 1.36 and 1.37, I hope this is a Prescott core. Can you confirm that please. CPU-Z is a good little program for that. Even then the Prescott is 1.4V and you might try upping it a little.
  9. skeptisk

    skeptisk TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Ran memtest over night. Didnt show any errors. Prime 95 ran for 2-3 hours. Nothing detected. And the vcore, its prescott yes. I calculated my PSU requirement on the website. And even 400W should do it. And I have 500W, that has to be enough?

    Im going crazy here!! Could it be a compatible issue? The combo with Mobo,RAM,CPU,GFX-card?

    S.o.s !!
  10. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,598

    Q-tec 500W Big Fan. I can not find any real specs about this unit which makes me very suspicious. Can you read the side label off the unit and fill in the following: 12V@XXAMPS; 5V@XXAmps; 3.3V@XXAmps?

    Q-tec is not known for being a great PSU, as you saw your system needs 400W of continuous power. If Q-tec is not a very good manufacture it's unit will be 70% of the rated for continuous power. 500X.7=350W. The 500W is peak output!

    Try disconnecting your 2 spare HDD and any DVD/CD you don't need to play CS:S. Play the game and see what happens.
  11. skeptisk

    skeptisk TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    A few questions. How can i troubleshoot my PSU? Can i log the Volt values in anyway? And I'll try to disconnect my other drives and run the games, to see if that helps. But i still think its weird that my 350W messed everything up just as much as my 500W.

    But you dont think its a bad combination of hardware?
     
  12. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,598

    No. I've been going on your description of the rig crashing only on CERTAIN games, not all games or "almost anything I do with the PC". So certain games are just "harder" on a PC and can expose weaknesses in cooling or PSU or video card cooling that other games just won't stress that much.

    We have yet to talk about video card cooling. And maybe it is time for that diagnosis to begin. http://www.tweakguides.com/ATICAT_10.html

    I asked you to discnt the extra stuff to reduce power draw on the PSU. This can tell us if you ARE drawing too much power, especially during a hard game.
    Also taking the side off and putting a huge honking fan blowing on it to keep everything cool will tell us if there's an overheating issue of the VIDEO card.

    Troubleshooting is a process on elimination and often can only be done by replacement and/or substitution. So far we are just ruling out CPU overheating. Still need to have good hard look at that Q-tek PSU and determine if the vid card is overheating.

    Cheers.
  13. Wizardpirate

    Wizardpirate TS Rookie

    Hope you guys figure this out. I have the EXACT same problem with my computer :(
  14. skeptisk

    skeptisk TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Ok, now. I have tried to unplug EVERYTHING that draws power, that im not using. Nothing changes.
    However, I can add something to this problem. And it seems, when im playing CS, that the most common place it freeze up in is, well fist it loads the game, and the graphics, and meanwhile the game is running in the background, there is a menu above, and as soon as i press ok, to start play, it hangs. Now, that made me think that it cant be that im overloading my gfx-card. Maybe.....and I base this on previous experiences with BFME 2, its the sound? Its seems to freeze whenever I "do something". For example:
    BFME2: When I select a troop, and I click on a target to attack or go to, it would normaly say something like "Lets attack!" or "Yes sir". But right after i click on target, it freezes. It doesnt seem to crash if I just let the game run with out doing anything.

    H.E.L.P ME !!!
  15. skeptisk

    skeptisk TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Update: Its even worse now. I used to be able to play Counter Strike Source without TO MUCH problems. But now, as soon as i get in, it stops. It didnt do that before, i used to be able to play for at least 10-20 minutes. And further more, after trying to start CSS for six times, i finaly got in for about 1 minute, and something i noticed was this. It acts all jerky, its as if i didnt have enough cpu/gfx/RAM, as I was using a slow computer. We are talking 1 pr maybe 2 fps.
  16. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,598

    Ok, now I'm just covering the bases. Check in BIOS that your AGP speed is set to X8. Then try X4. Turn off AGP fast writes. Set your AGP apature to 64Mb and then try 128Mb.

    Have you updated or check for updates for your motherboard drivers? Go to the ASUS website under dwnloads.

    Do you have the latest DirectX9.0c installed. Have you run DXDiag? Have you used some canned air to blow out the HSF on the 6o00GT? I just did mine the other day and was quite surprised how much dust was up in there.

    Note: we have yet to rule out gpx card gpu overheating. There is a thread on TS in which the solution with a brand new ATI high end card was to remove the HSF and apply new paste and reinstall HSF. All probs were corrected.

    cheers
  17. skeptisk

    skeptisk TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Ok, checklist.

    DirectX 9.0c is installed. Just ran Dxdiag. Not sure what to do with it other than check version.

    I installed all the newest drivers for my motherboard as well as for onboard audio.

    1 hour ago i opend up my computer and removed all the dust, EVERYWHERE. So there is NO dust anywhere.

    Now Ill try to check my AGP speed. Ill check back later.

    Ps. Still concerned about the fact that CS is running like I have a 486.....
  18. skeptisk

    skeptisk TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Ok, reinstalled bios. I got a error message at startup. It said something about "Overclocking failed" , and I never overclocked anything. So I chose "Resume with default settings".

    I cant seem to find the AGP speed/apature/fast write settings, where are they?
  19. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,598

    Well it's hard to say each BIOs menu is different but it should be under video setting or VGA settings something to that effect. you might have to just check thru all the menus.


    Remember to save before exiting when you do find the AGP settings.

    Cheers
  20. skeptisk

    skeptisk TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    All I found, and I looked everywhere, was the apature size. It was 64, then I tried 128, no difference. Now its 64 again. And one more thing, my CSS takes about 4-5 times longer to load today.



    Ps. Ran CSS and quickly jumped out to SPeedFan. noticed one thing, my 3,3Volt is at 3,23 is that ok?
  21. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,598

    3.23 is ok, that's 98% of what it should be. If it falls to 90% then you have a problem. Do you have PC Health section in your BIOS it should be near the bottom on the first menu. Check your CPU temps there. Again your symptom sounds like an overheating CPU, which is clocking itself down. Maybe the BIOS is reading it different then Everest. It might be a problem with the motherboard too. Maybe it's time to take it into the shop.

    Cheers
  22. skeptisk

    skeptisk TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Yea, well I gave up. Since it worked perfect in windows aplications, I have it at the company now instead of buying a new cpu for work. Bought a new system for myself, where im typing from as we speak. I havent tried a game yet, but its all new, so i dont expect any problems. But.........lets see.....
  23. Wizardpirate

    Wizardpirate TS Rookie

    i would still try returning your motherboard like kirock said. I have the exact same problem, and after a little searching for other people with the same problem, i noticed that an asus motherboard was the common part. Im thinking that asus either has alot of buggy motherboards (unlikely), its a compatability issue, or asus requires some special driver for whatever reason. Im not saying this is for sure, but looking as everything else was ruled out give it a try.
  24. Danascus

    Danascus TS Rookie Posts: 24

    Ive been having the same issue with my pc, I have the Asus P4S800D-X
    also, and I have narrowed down the culprit- buggy SiS chipset. I am in the process of getting a mobo with the VIA chipset, hopefully it works out.
  25. bigpun123

    bigpun123 TS Rookie

    i am having the exact same problem!!:dead:
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