Not sure if hardware problem causing games to freeze

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
    AXEL Geforce 5500 128 mbs RAM
    maxtor 120 gig - hardrive
    Western Digital - 40gig-hardrive

    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 ( 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. :confused:

    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 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 puke:

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

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Hello and welcome to Techspot.

    First thing to try is upgrading to the latest drivers for you videocard.

    If that doesn`t help, then maybe it`s a psu problem.

    Even though you`ve got a 500watt psu, if it`s a no name brand, it wont put out anywhere near it`s rated power output. Even a good quality psu only achieves around 70% efficiency.

    Checkout this psu wattage claculator HERE. Remember to add at least another 30% to whatever figure it says you need.

    Also check your temps using either, the free Everest programme(see my sig), or the Speedfan programme from HERE

    Regards Howard :wave: :wave:
  3. Dutch2005

    Dutch2005 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks ill tryrecomendations this evening

    Thanks for advice, after i posted last night i did some research on net for other persons who might have had problems with this vidoecard.

    I by chance found one site which had a posting by a guy( i think on nv forums) who was having problems, freezing and blue screens, he had comparable system to mine but different mobo( his is via mine is nvidia), but same gpu by different manufacturer.

    He also used onboard audio, and his fix was to disable the onbaord audio and use seperate sound card. He says he has read other posts of persons who have found that this GPU gives problems when using onboard sound. Go figure. :mad:

    I havent tried his recommendation yet, but i have an old sound card ill try.

    Thanks again for you advice, but one thing i thought id give you following info, my temps for cpu and system are as follows:

    no load(startup) CPU- 33 degrees celcius ( I have Thermaltake volcano 2 on the CPU)
    SYSTEM - 38 degrees celcius


    (I used motherboard monitor freeware)

    AS for PSU it is generic brand, by jetshop, so that may be a concern.( As i am using two dvd drives, and two hardrives, with three case fans and massive cpu fan)

    I Have three case fans- one to top pulling in air, one to back - pulling out air and one to side on clear case pulling in air.

    Any further recommendations would be helpful. Thanks and have a good day bro.
  4. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Please let us know how it goes.

    Regards Howard :)
  5. Dutch2005

    Dutch2005 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Nothing i tried worked

    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. :dead:

    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. :monkey:

    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. puke:

    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????????????????????????????????.

  6. Dutch2005

    Dutch2005 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Tested memory and used psu calculator

    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.


    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!!!! :dead:
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