TechSpot

Random freezing

By CMH
Mar 12, 2006
  1. I am a novice overclocker, and I did it because I have spent a whole 6 months understanding the risks and all (helps when your dad is an electrical engineer, who has spent his whole life testing ICs).

    Anyway, I just overclocked for the first time in my life, and my comp has been running fine for about 3 weeks now.

    Unfortunately its been hanging once in a while, and all the time when running certain programs at certain times.

    I have only been playing one game these days (X3: Reunion) and it seems like there is random crashing once in a while, usually after a few hours of play. It can be at any time in the game, not restricted to jumpgate use (which there are known bugs). I can't figure out whats the problem here.

    I also notice that running ATItools immediately after starting up causes the computer to hang. Only immediately after starting up, before and around when the soundblaster splash screen comes up. I'm not sure if its because of the splash screen, but I know it hasn't done this before the overclock.

    Doesn't happen with MSN/Firefox. Will try with normal office programs.

    It runs fine if I just leave the computer for 5 mins. But a 5 min startup time is not something I'm happy to live with.


    Anyway, here's my computer spec:
    P4 2.4C @ 3.3
    GA8IPE1000
    Corsair TwinX1024 4400C25
    Sapphire X800XT (500/500 @ 567/567)
    Seagate 120GB Sata (master)
    Maxtor 200gb Sata (slave)
    430W Enlight.

    Cooling:
    Tt golf 325
    Tt Ufo
    Tt Spirit (using original heatsink, just used the fan. Heatsink removed, and reinstalled using AS5.)
    Zalman VF700-Cu
    2x80mm, 2x120mm

    Everything is installed using AS5, as per AS5 application instructions to the detail. Fans running at max speeds.

    Temperatures:
    CPU: 60s
    GPU: 61 max
    GC RAM: 57 max
    Chipset: unknown.


    Anyone with experience can tell me how to troubleshoot? Other than the long way of increasing speeds by 5mhz at a go of course.... Makes it worse since the problem can crop up after hours of play (sometime it can do 6 hour sessions no problem, sometimes it hangs after an hour).

    And of course, the ATItools problem. Probably unconnected to the OC, and due to the Soundblaster splash. Need to find out how to turn it off.
     
  2. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 590

    have you tried upping your Vcore?

    at your current settings, run prime95 for atleast a day and see if it passes
     
  3. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,573   +9

    Vcore has been upped. CPU is up to recommended max (which is 2.5V for my socket 478), RAM is +0.1V from normal (not sure whats that, probably 2.6V), GPU core +0.1V. Corsair advises me to increase RAM voltage a little more, but I'm not prepared to take the risk of frying my RAM (didn't help neither when I did it).

    Will run Prime95.
     
  4. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 590

    CHM.

    I forgot to ask what these 'certain programs and certain times' are that your PC decides to hang. and by hang, you mean the mouse pointer on ur screen doesnt work right? or your keyboard doesnt respond when u press caps lock (the light should go on n off if u have it)

    Also, how long are these hangs. and when your PC reboots, does it give you any error? or it just restarts out of nowhere and boots to desktop?

    the temps you posted, are those MAX temps or idle?
     
  5. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,573   +9

    Sorry I didn't make it clear.

    The programs and times my computer plays up was written in the original article (X3: Reunion, ATItools at startup).

    And the temps are max. I'd have wasted alot of money if those were idle temps :D


    Update: Prime 95 failed (I think) in an overnight test. Will have to run it again.

    Any idea how safe it is to up GPU core another 0.1V?
     
  6. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,573   +9

    I'm re-running the Prime95 test tonight, at a slightly higher CPU Vcore (just checked that the heat didn't jump too high, don't want my CPU to fry while I sleep).

    Anyway, I just realised that I did overclock my FSB, and I'm not sure if my Audigy2Platinum can handle the increased FSB. It could be due to the soundcard, as I hear weird static noises (repeated) whenever it hangs/freezes.

    If it is the problem, is there a way to overcome it without lowering the FSB speed? My m/b is GA8IPE1000.


    And also, I didn't answer one of the last questions: I didn't really check the keyboard. I know Alt-F4, Ctrl-Alt-Del and more or less all other keys don't work whenever it freezes. Didn't specifically look for the Capslock light.
     
  7. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 590

    ive never upped my GPU, most of the time upping by .1v doesnt seem to be much risk.. im not big at upping voltages (i jus recently and finally upped my ram to 2.75v)

    maybe someone else can answer this for u.

    when u OC put ur FSB to 800mhz. never 1ghz or auto.

    if u failed prime95, its a good idea to run memtest86 and see if its ur memory.

    about the soundcard, oh man, ive never even had a soundcard lol so im not sure if that affects ur OC. sorry man im still quite limited in knowledge about these things
     
  8. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,573   +9

    Ran memtest before at these speeds.

    Prime 95 failed after 1.5 hours or so.

    Memtest went through 50 passes (or is it 500?) and found 2 errors. Not sure if mem is really okay, thats alot of runs!

    Anyway, I scaled back to NO overclock, and 'X3: reunion" now restarts, not freeze. Definately not a problem with CPU cooling/GPU cooling.

    Probably chipset if anything, I'm suspecting chipset is giving problems.

    I'm going to clock GPU ALOT, and see if it freezes (no CPU OC).


    If anyone got ideas, I'd love to hear them.
     
  9. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 590

    50 passes.. not 500.. if u meant in percentage thats 50 000% >=P
    do you know if memtest found the errors right awa? maybe u sat n wathed it go thru the first pass

    if prime95 failed that fast then the systems quite unstable. please try reverting back to DEFAULT settings. no oc anywhere. just factory settings. then i recommend running prime95 and memtest again. just to make sure its still stable in stock. then at least that way you know u have room to OC something.

    I also think that it might be your PSU causing the problem. Correct me if im wrong but I believe your PSU (Enlight) is made by the same people (ATNG) that makes Coolmax, known to be an undependable source of power.

    This limited power supply could mean that when your PC is OC'ed it cannot supply enough wattage to run your system in a stable manner. Did the PSU come with your case or you bought it separately?
     
  10. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,573   +9

    I set the computer back at stock, and found that Prime95 failed about the same time too.

    And yes, I ran memtest overnight, and I got either 5000% or 50000%. Either way, thats alot of passes for 2 errors. I sat through the first 200% without problems. Not sure when during the night the 2 problems came through.

    PSU came with case, and I also suspect the PSU. Will be getting an Antec TP2 430W. Maybe something a little bigger depending on my mood.

    Either way, this overclocking thing has taken up 200 bux easily on my cooling system. Not to mention another 100 bux for the new PSU. Not that I'm complaining, the experience is pretty good, now I'm at lvl 2 OC skill :p


    Anyway, this doesn't really explain why I managed to OC my PC2700 very well. Computer was stable at 3.3ghz. Now I can't even do 3ghz. I'm thinking NB problem or RAM problem...
     
  11. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 590

    most times PSU's fail in a way that they cannot give out enuf power to work all the parts in harmony thus failing prime95. it seems ur memory sticks are fine. 2 errors. hmm usually the error would happen once every pass (if its the same error) and would have appeared 50 times (50 passes) in the report.

    the new PSU will be better for your system especially at OC'ed levels. You can look for the fortron PSU's if you wanna save some $$ theyre the value line but theyre awesome PSU's so far (according to reviews and personal experience)

    How far did you OC your Ram to? DDR400? can you detect ur chipset temps? Im still thinking its the PSU. after 3 weeks of stress (cuz of ur OC) she decided to give up and not put out as much. keep in mind: OC'ed comp = stressed PSU which means its warm/hotter which means not as much wattage to put out ;)

    Anyway, let me know how the new PSU handles ur system. and sorry you've spent so mcuh money on the OC =D , ur right, its fun but I dont htink i would have gone to spend another 300$ =P
     
     
  12. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,573   +9

    I'm starting to really doubt the NB.

    I scaled down the overclock, and its now somewhat fine. Instead of setting RAM at DDR400, I set it to DDR333, and OCed from there (meaning at 3.3ghz my FSB is about 850mhz instead of 1.1ghz). It ran Prime 95 for 6.5 hours before getting an error (compared to 1.5hours the other time).

    Another reason for doubting the NB, Corsair has ran tests for this m/b and RAM, and found that the m/b won't support anything higher than 230mhz (Which means DDR460).

    My ram is a Corsair PC4400CL25, which means it should be able to run at 550mhz without a problem.
     
  13. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 590

    its a rare occasion that the NB causes problems like these. Its funny cuz I was loading up a map for CS:Source today and the PC froze for like 3 seconds and then resumed. =S i dono why it did that. but it never happened before haha.. oh well i dnot mind as much

    what kind of motherboard do u have?
     
  14. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,573   +9

    Talking about resume, I just realised it might have just continued, but I doubt it. It has continued before, but it was just for about 2 seconds.... get annoyed after waiting 5 seconds.... Talk about having alot of patience :D

    But tis definately unstable at 550mhz. Its not just the game, but other factors as well.

    My m/b is Gigabyte GA8IPE1000. Got it in my pre-overclocking days, so any m/b with dual channel did well enough for me. Its pretty decent I must say, till this episode of course. I wouldn't have thought of blaming the m/b if its not for the RAM/CPU combo.
     
  15. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 590

    uhm im too lazee to dig up the old replies. sorry i had to ask for the mobo info again. and again i'll ask for other things. how are your ram timings? did you tighten them? maybe you can try loosening it.

    also for me, well only 2 occasion so far.. freezing has only happened with CS:S the game instantly eats up to 688MB of my ram lol and for some reason, it really stresses my PC but with Prime95, it cant be tickled.. which sux lol

    BTW>> did u get that new PSU yet? give it a try n see how it handles ur PC
     
  16. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,573   +9

    Nope, haven't got the PSU, will get it when I get my new LCD monitor. Probably in a week max.

    RAM timings haven't changed. m/b doesn't allow me to change it.
     
  17. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 590

    Hows ur PC doin?
     
  18. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,573   +9

    Not PSU problem. haven't got the enw one yet fortunately (tried it on someone else's 550W. Dodgy brand tho, but compared to my 420W should have at least helped I reckon.)

    LCD monitor delayed.

    Trying to get my hands on a P4P800E-Deluxe. That should fix my problem.
     
  19. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,573   +9

    Forgot to mention that it still hasn't locked up or anything since the reduction on FSB. Can't raise it a single mhz higher though. Its an invisible ceiling I can't seem to break through. It'll load, but won't run stably, thats all. With luck, it might run long enough to run 3DMark2k5 at 3xrepeats and spit out a score, but thats about it. (the score's a considerable amount higher :( )
     
  20. CRXninja

    CRXninja TS Rookie

    i don't know much about overclocking pentiums but does your board have agp/pci frequency locks on it or allow you to manually set the frequency? i dunno if intel motherboards work different to where they don't need them or something, but i know that for amd mobo's its practically a must if you plan on overclocking. Also, your friend's cheapo 550W psu might be overrated on the actual wattage it can supply continuously. cheap manufacturers do that sometimes. your electrical engineer dad could tell you that.

    The whole thing with not even being able to go 1mhz over sounds kind of symtomatic of the SATA drives messing up since the pci bus is being overclocked. The SATA controller is part of the PCI bus and is very sensitive to overclocking. So if you dont have frequency locks or the ability to set them indepently of your fsb, then the pci/agp bus frequencies will also go up as you raise your fsb. Trust me, im a senior in computer engineering :)
     
  21. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,573   +9

    I dunno, I've got my AGP/PCI/SRC clocks locked at 66/33/100. Is that what you're referring to?

    Also, I know about the reduced efficacy of cheap PSUs. Mine is a relatively cheap one, and should be of about the same standard of my friend's. I just thought that a higher rated voltage will still perform better than mine, even though it doesn't perform to the full rated wattage.

    And besides, if there were a problem with the SATA drives due to the frequencies, I wouldn't be able to boot, which I was able to. Its just unstable, not being able to run the stress programs.
     
  22. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,573   +9

    I got a nice Asus P4P800 Deluxe to plug my stuff to.

    That handled the freezing problem, although at high OC, Windows might take a couple of restarts to boot, but when it does, its pretty stable. Will need to run Prime95 to actually test it, but as for the game, it runs without a problem.

    I might start a new thread, but AtiTool doesn't seem to work with this motherboard, and crashes everytime I start it, so I can't OC my GC.
     
  23. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 590

    hmm u got thru a problem to get into another problem.. u can never OC enuf eh :p unfortunately, im not an ATi guy so I might not be able to help much here.

    as for ATi Tool crashing, maybe you can try different drivers. try the ones at Tweaks R Us. I use the drivers for both nV and ATi from there and they've been like sweet candy.. very good. no stomach aches either :p
     
  24. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,573   +9

    Unfortunately the net to that comp is stuffed, and I want to fix that before I continue OCing. You can read up the thread in the networking section.

    Whoever says OCing is simple is not doing it right....

    Either that or I'm not doing it right.
     
  25. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 590

    It's simple to a certain extent. My OC is very simple. Underclock my CHEAP ram to a reasonable divider n work my way up on my CPU HTT till it fails prime. I lower it down 5mhz on the HTT and I find an OC i'm happy with.

    As for the video card. its even easier =P i simple open up the nV control panel (coolbits) and 'detect optimal' settings. 1 min later I get a base OC and I work myself up from there.

    REALLY simple in my opinion. If you start tweaking your RAM and pushing every single muscle out of your computer before it pulls a muscle, then it gets complicated.

    Link me to your thread from the networking section if you don't mind =] Thanks
     
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