TechSpot

NVidia 6800 Ultra - Intermittent Freezing

By adybaby
Jul 21, 2005
  1. Hi,

    I've recently bought an NVidia 6800 Ultra which intermitently freezes during 3DMark05. The freezing causes everything, including mouse activity, to halt for a few seconds at a time.

    I have monitored my system temperatures and note that they idle as follows:

    NVidia 6800U GPU: 53degC
    System temperature: 34degC
    Athlon 64 6300+ temperature 45degC

    And at peak (throught freezing spells):

    NVidia 6800U GPU: 72degC
    System temperature: 35degC
    Athlon 64 6300+ temperature 57degC

    If I run Prime95, then I can get the CPU up to 62degC, but no higher.

    I believe the danger temperatures for the CPU to be 70degC+. However, I could not find anywhere what the max temp is for the GPU. though I note that the NVidia Tool offers a default threshold of 115degC.

    I have swapped out the videocard for a Radeon 9800 Pro, and whilst the performance is obviously slower, it doesn't freeze.

    I have aso experienced intermittent freezing whilst playing World Of Warcraft on full settings.

    I have swapped out both Crucial memory sticks with no difference.

    The motherboard is an ASUS K8N-E Deluxe.

    My next courses of action is to lend the video card to a friend for him to test on his machine.

    Anyway, you'd think this is a cut-and-dry case of videocard problems. Well, so did I. I sent the card back to Scan Computers International, whom I bought the card from, and who claimed to run the card through a half hour test on doom, far-cry, ,and 3dMark05 with no problems (and they charged me for the pleasure....).

    I also note that NVidia monitor shows the GPU Memory Bus speed permanently over the redline at 1100, whether idling or at load. I don't know what this reading is, but suspect it is misleading to the cause of this problem.

    Anyone have any ideas where else I could look???
     
  2. adybaby

    adybaby TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Further symptoms:

    The credits towards the end of 3DMark05 most repeatably demonstrate what is otherwise a very intermittent problem.

    Turning AGP speed to 4x does not fix the problem.

    Turning Fast Writes off DOES fix the problem (or rather works around it).

    I'm not satisfied with this workaround as it degrades performance, but it does help to narrow down the possibilities of where the real fault could be.

    Perhaps with incompatibilities on my K8N-E mboard and fast writes?

    All help most appreciated!
     
  3. chief barker

    chief barker TS Rookie Posts: 34

    What driver version are you running ?


    Current version is 77.72.

    Maybe you have installed the driver from the cd that you got with your graphics card?. If so...I recommend uninstalling the driver you are running (from add and remove programs in control panel) and install the latest driver.
     
  4. adybaby

    adybaby TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm running the latest drivers from NVidia's web site
     
  5. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,382

    Hello! Welcome to TechSpot

    Try uninstalling the 77.72 driver (known troubles)
    and use the 71.89.
    Atleast we can compare the results.
    also go HERE for
    good info.
    G'Luck
     
  6. adybaby

    adybaby TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Just had a go with the 71.9 drivers. First pass of 3DMark05 went cleanly (just enough to raise my hopes..!) but then it froze on the second pass of 3DMark05.

    Incidentally, I'm using the demo on 3DMark05, rather than the benchmark (it bizarrely manages to get through the benchmark much more regulalry).
     
  7. adybaby

    adybaby TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sorry - typo in above message - that should of read 71.89 driver.
     
  8. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,198

    Howdy Ady,

    Temperatures all look good, so that's definately not it. I've seen 6800GT OC's peak in the high 80's/90C without any damages albeit that's a bit too hot. Most run in the 70C-80C range under load, so 72C is nice and cool for a peak. Your CPU and amb temps are also fantastic for that system if those are truly your peaks surrounding the problems and not mis-reported by any tools used. If we can assume your tools are making accurate readings, your temps look stellar.

    On the freeze/lockup, if disabling fastwrites fixes it- go this route. And no, it's not really a performance issue as fastwrites are not even a 1%-2% improvement any more. FastWrites are an AGP 2.0 specification that MANY chipset/mainboard makers have a tendency to botch with various 3rd party cards. It may simply be an incompatibility between your specific card revision and your mainboard.. and perhaps a mainboard BIOS flash might cure it, but if it doesn't, I wouldn't be too concerned. Try the latest BIOS for your mainboard in hopes, but I'd just keep fastwrites disabled as this is the cure for a larger number of specific combinations due to mis-match spec/compatibility. Worse case, maybe RMA the card in hopes of a new revision videocard or exchange it for another maker.

    Lastly, you might try fooling with the PCI Latency setting if your BIOS has one. Try 32, 64, 96 and 128. Sometimes this can fix freezes/intermittent freezes with 6800GT's. It basically pulls the bus away from devices sooner/later based on the number of PCI clocks each device gets. More equally adjusting this can solve pauses/freezes if you have a pair of devices causing bus locks/freezes similar to what you're describing.

    Good luck!
     
  9. adybaby

    adybaby TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Many thanks everyone for your posts.

    For the time being, I intend to stick to disabling fast writes as this has completely eliminated the problem, with little performance loss reported by 3DMark05.

    Thanks also for the BIOS revisions/modifications advice. I think for the time being, until I really feel I need to squeeze more performance out of my system, I'll probably leave those alone - Not so long ago I flashed the most recent version and was welcomed with POST failures... So now it scares me!!

    So, my suggestion for anyone with similar problems - turn off fast writes.
     
  10. surfsand

    surfsand TS Rookie

    ok here is the fix. your card is probably over clocked. so you need to get a tweek program to turn down the settings.

    i used Riva Tuner. get it here
    http://downloads.guru3d.com/download.php?id=13

    after you install the program go to \main\driver settings(forceware detected)\customize\system settings

    bring the Core clock down to 400 and the memory clock down to 1100.

    i havent had a freeze up since.
    |
     
  11. adybaby

    adybaby TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi,

    Just to keep the thread informed - I do have RivaTuner (it's what I use to turn fastwrites off). My card isn't overclocked and is running at 400/1100. I've tested it fairly thoroughly and it is fast-writes which cause the problem, not clock or ram speeds.

    Thanks for the advice though. I think in many circurmstances this could be the culprit - but in my case it is poorly implemented fastwrites on my card.
     
     
  12. surfsand

    surfsand TS Rookie

    i though my problem was a heat issue all along. i put on an artic cooler and still i was freezing. i even took the side off my computer and had a large fan blow directly on the video card. nothing seemed to work for me until i unclocked my card. remember i have a Geforce 6800ultra OC. so your problems might not be the same. Another solution is to use Riva tuner to turn off "fast writes"
    Im not an expert at all. just trying to pass on what helped me.

    good luck

    surfsand
     
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