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New PC crashes when playing games

By Sharkcrazie1206
May 15, 2010
  1. We just had our new computer built and now we're having some issues. We have a 500g (C) and a 250g (D) harddrive, Asus M4A78-EM motherboard, 2g Ram, Modxstream-Pro power supply (700W), and a GeForce GTS 250 video card (PCI express 2.0 512MB GDDR3). With Windows 7 Pro 64-bit OS.

    When we play games like Sims 3 and Warhammer Online the system crashes between 5 mins to an hour or so. The screen goes black and acts like the computer has shut down but the fans go full speed and the power light is still on. We took it back to our builder and he ran tests and stressed it with it never happening at his store. He told us it was not an overheating issue but we're not sure and he's not exactly helping. There are 2 fans (1 on the processor itself) and those we can feel are still blowing cool air and there is no warning when it happens the screen just goes black. It is clean of dust and debris, has at least 6 inches above and beside the case and since we live in the South the A/C is on just about 24/7). We have not had this problem when just browsing the internet or when it's idle (turned on but no one is using it). Both of these games worked properly on our old XP PC but since we've brought this computer home we can't use it for what we bought it for.

    We did install Steam for one of my husband's games but we have not had an issue with that game crashing, I had heard rumors that Steam caused system crashes. There is very little installed on this computer and it is only 1-2 months old. No overclocking or anything is done. It is strictly a internet browsing and gaming computer. We have tried lowering our resolutions and still had the issue.

    Any help is greatly appreciated! We spent a lot of money on this machine and we want it to work properly.
     
  2. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    What are the idle temps on your system?

    I assume you have all the latest drivers installed for the GTS 250. It does look like a heat issue. Have you actually seen the PC working properly at your builder's? Also, since you've had the machine for 2 months, did the issues occur earlier or just recently?
     
  3. Sharkcrazie1206

    Sharkcrazie1206 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I don't know the idle temps, I wasn't sure how to do that since it didn't come with a thermometer.

    We do have all current drivers for all components. When we took it to our builder's store he plugged it in for us and we played the games known to crash it for about 20-30 minutes with no issues. And usually when we take it to him (twice now) and bring it back home it's fine for about a week or so and then acts up again. The issues started about a month after we got it and started to actually use it. No viruses or corrupt memory or anything and the builder said he didn't know what the issue was and we have brought up overheating (other sites commented that this issue was usually linked to overheating and overclocking -which we do not do) but he is adamant that it is not the problem.
     
  4. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,379   +16

    This does sound like an overheating problem as you've already been made aware of. But I'm gonna guess that when your builder tested the system for overheating he had it in a well cooled open area and when you run your system at home under stress you have it in one of those computer desks with the PC on the floor in the designated cubby. If that is the case move your PC somewhere else like on top of a desk and give it a try with better ventilation. The location of your PC can greatly change the temperatures, not just the fans inside.

    You should also download and install HWMonitor 1.16, it's a simple tool that will tell you your min/max and current temperatures of your components. Their are better ones out there but this is rather straight forward. Once installed just let it run and check out your idle temps, then stress your system with gaming and report the max CPU & GPU values.

    By the way Steam should not be causing any crashes or issues, so no need to worry.
     
  5. Flannelwarrior

    Flannelwarrior TS Rookie Posts: 131

    Could it be a problem with the monitor? Have you tested using a different monitor and different cable? If your TV has the correct inputs, you could test it using your HDTV. That would account for why it's not happening in the store. The Sims 3 isn't too intense, and I can't imagine WAR is, either. You didn't mention what kind of processor you have, but a build like that should be able to handle both those games just fine.
     
  6. Sharkcrazie1206

    Sharkcrazie1206 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you guys for all the help! I downloaded and installed the monitor so we'll see what it says. I assume it will alert me if it becomes overheated, or what is the ideal temp for the computer?

    The computer is actually on top of our desk. It has at least 6 inches at the back and top (where the 2 fans are) and then the open side of the case (the left side has an opening on it) has nothing near it. We were afraid putting it under the desk would not only muck it up with carpet and pet hair but it would get hot...oh the irony. And our builder has a very open shop and kept very cool (I did mention this to him but apparently it made no difference according to him) and the computer seems to do fine in the morning (and I don't think it's just coincidence that the house is 10 degrees cooler as well). We do have a CPU and RAM usage widget that came with Windows 7 and it never goes over 7% unless we run WAR and then it tops at 37%. And we have more than the recommended build both Sims and War suggest (though as I mentioned before changing the resolution does nothing).

    The monitor is an ASUS 24 inch widescreen LCD/HD. It's brand new (came with the computer) and is the same monitor our builder uses though his a few inches bigger. So we didn't think the monitor was the problem.
     
  7. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    That is something it won't do. Ensure that your CPU stays under 65C on load to be safe. When idle, I would say, 45C.
     
  8. Sharkcrazie1206

    Sharkcrazie1206 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Okay I've had it running all day (of course the temp in the house hasn't gone above 72) and the temps have only varied 10-20 degrees Celsius. The quadcore temps settle around 30 and when running Warhammer it jumped to 55. The video card settled at 44 but jumped to 63 when the game was running.

    The temperature outside is supposed to rise tomorrow so I'm going to wait and see what the program reads when the house temp gets around 75-76 (which is what we normally keep it at).

    One question though...if and when the computer decides to cut itself off will the program record what the temperature was prior to it crashing? I know it shows a Min/Max but I don't know if it'll save that in the event that it does crash.
     
  9. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    30c for CPU and 44c for GPU are good idle temps. One question though, is the 30c your core temps or the TMPIN0 reading?

    Whatever it is, the temperatures look fine.

    I don't think that the data is saved. That's the problem.
     
  10. Sharkcrazie1206

    Sharkcrazie1206 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The Core (0-3) all idle at around 30c, the TMPIN0 sits around 31-32c, TMPIN1 sits around 30-31c and TMPIN2 sits around 128c.

    We're moving the computer to a more open area and further away from the monitor as it puts off a lot of heat as well. So hopefully we've narrowed the problem and can resolve it.
     
  11. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,379   +16

    If your house is staying in the 70's F you should be good. I also live in Texas but west Texas and my indoor temperatures do climb into the mid 90's F ( 35 C ) during the afternoon, and if I don't run my refrigerated A/C my PC runs hotter then I'd like. This doesn't seem to be an issue for your household, and you said you keep your PC on the desk which should help keep it well ventilated. Your idle & load temps show your system is about average too. So, this might not be an overheating issue after all. Nevertheless you should still keep an eye on the temps.
     
  12. Cletis989

    Cletis989 TS Rookie

    Hello

    Yes I may know the issue..The motherboard may be bad. I have the same asus em motherboard and im having an issue where computer will go into sleep mode or hibernate mode out of nowhere. And then when screen is black computer will not respond like it blue screens without the screen tho. I have to flip the switch in back because the 20 second hold the power button doesnt work. Im looking at the event viewer and see critcal problems but have no idea what they are.

    When i try to power back on the pc after this mysterious black screen happens the system will run but the beep wont occur so i have a black screen with a running pc again. I have to take mother board battery out.
     
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