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Games freezing after ten minutes of smooth gameplay

By mr.chowder ยท 22 replies
Jan 17, 2005
  1. About 3 months ago, I replaced my old mobo with an Asus A7N8X. Since then, I've been having trouble running games. I've installed 3 games; EVE, Need for Speed Underground 2, and Call of Duty. I haven't checked for EVE, but for the other two, I meet or exceed the recommended specs. My graphics card is a Geforce4 Ti 4200.

    The problem I'm having is that the games all run very smoothly with no chugging or anything, but not forever. Usually after about 10 minutes (less with Need for Speed) the game will either completly freeze up my computer, requiring a reboot, or will crash my system altogether. What I don't understand is that if my computer can't handle the game, why does it run it incredibly smoothly for 10 minutes then all of a sudden, it can't handle it? I was able to fix the problem with Need for Speed by setting all the graphics to the absolute minimum, but that didn't solve the problem with the otehr two.

    Something else that struck me as odd is that I never had any problems playing games prior to the mobo switch, I had lots of games, like Planetside, Medal of Honour, Battlefeild 1942, and Rainbow Six 3. I also had COD installed prior to the switch, and I never had any trouble with it while it was set on the default display settings, but now it freezes. Anyone have any tips for me?

    I should also mention that Warcraft 3 and Civilization 3 run with no problems right now.
  2. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 21,238   +17

    It sounds like a heat problem with your graphics card or cpu.

    Check your cpu temps with Motherboard monitor 5 (MBM5) you can get it Here

    Regards Howard :grinthumb
  3. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,049   +11

    Try changing AGP settings lower and slower in BIOS.

    Was there a particular reason for changing the mainboard?
  4. slavster

    slavster TS Rookie

    i have to agree with howard, it does sound like an overheating issue. check your hdd and memory for errors since they could be the problem to all...or if all fails: power supply check and component swaps
  5. Micster0311

    Micster0311 TS Rookie

    May also need to update your drivers. I had a similar prob and had to update video card driver to play Half Life 2.
  6. goodson

    goodson TS Rookie

    I also think its a heat problem. Go to the asus web site and download their pcprobe utility so you can monitor your temps. Also get the latest nvidia drivers, although I don't think a 4200 has gpu temp monitoring ability like the 6800's. there is also a program called speedfan 4.20 which will help diagnose temps. I am not an AMD guy so I have no idea what normal temps are for them but if you are running above 60 centegrade on your vid card you might want to invest in some more cooling, or better yet chuck it out and get a 6800gt. My 3.4 Prescott, which are notorious for heat, runs anywhere from 33 to 49 celsius depending on how high I crank up my fans on my coolermaster aquagate and which games I run. COD barely breaks a sweat and usually runs at 41-43 and the card (also water cooled) usually stays at 45-50 celsius. I hope these numbers help give you an idea of where you should be at after you get those temp monitoring utilities I mentioned. Right now as I type this I am showing 33 for the cpu and 44 for the gpu. All fans are on full tilt though since I just got out of MOHAA-PA.
  7. mr.chowder

    mr.chowder TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I had Need for Speed going at the highest settings with no problem today, for about 20 minutes with no trouble. It never crashed. I haven't done anything besides update the drivers. I installed Half LIfe 2, which ran relitivly smoothly for 45 seconds before crashing. My CPU temps are pretty normal, I think, at about 49 degrees normally and as high as 54 during gameplay. Does anyone know any tools to measure my video card's temp?
  8. goodson

    goodson TS Rookie

    well as i mentioned before, the nvidia display drivers have a temp monitoring section in them, but i don't know if it activates ona 4200 card as it does on the 6800 series because of course it needs a thermal monitoring chip on the card. If your system craps out how long does it take before you can get it going again? do you just reboot and everything is fine or do you have to wait a while? 54 is not too hot in my opinion, but your vid card might be hotter, although the nvidia software default warning temp is 120 celsius. Hasve you tried all the usual diagnostic tests like defrag and norton utilities and antispyware utilities? Have you tried new bios for your motherboard? I don't know I am just throwing out ideas. good luck and keep us posted. :grinthumb
  9. Ayasha

    Ayasha TS Rookie Posts: 37


    I'll toss my hat behind updating the motherboard and video card bios' on this one. Unless the temp. in the surrounding environment is super high I can't imagine having heat problems in your system setup. Unless a fan is failing\struggling on the GPU or CPU.

  10. mr.chowder

    mr.chowder TS Rookie Topic Starter

    After I reduced the resolution to 800x600, I was able to run half life 2 for 15 minutes. After this, it froze up and i got a message saying it had entered into an infinite loop, and it started dumping all my physical memory! :eek: But I just rebooted and everything was fine, but now my computer will reboot as soon as HL2 is finished loading my saved game. Very confusing.

    I have Norton, Adaware and Spybot running frequently on here, and I defraged last week. I haven't tried updating the BIOS, but I have a busy day today, and won't have time for getting games to work. I'll try to do something about this tommorow maybe. Thanks for your help everyone, I won't quit till I fix this! :unch:
  11. goodson

    goodson TS Rookie

    man that sounds bad. does your computer work ok outside of game applications? incidently, i think you mentioned you have an asus board. asus just releases a new version of its asusupdate bios flashing utility- I think its 6.3.01 or something like that. Anyway, if you are saying you can run your system ok outside of games, I would hazard a guess that you have some video card related problem, that, if the rest of your system functions, is OS software/driver related, or if your whole system is funky, then hardware related. However, usually if its a hardware problem you get the black screen o' death from the gitgo. It could also be a RAM problem that is related to voltage issues wherein you aren't getting enough volts to your memory and it craps out after being overtaxed for a period of time. Or even a bad chip that only acts up when pushed to a certain peak flow. I am free thinking here, but these are all things you could diagnose without too much difficulty by popping out the ram one at a time or checking your bios for the voltage settings. I think you will want at least 2.5 volts to your ram. I have 3.0 volts going to mine because I overclocked the FSB.
  12. kpc1280

    kpc1280 TS Rookie

    bad ram

    I`m with Goodson here. I think there`s a memory problem. Either the chips are bad or they are not recieving enough power form the power supply. Or you simply don`t have enough.

    You also could be very low on hard drive space.
  13. mr.chowder

    mr.chowder TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I noticed today that the +3.3V power supply frequently drops below the threshold of 2.9V, and usually hovers around 3.04V. Could this be the problem?

    Having said that, I booted my computer up this morning after having it off for about 12 hours, and played HL2 for about an hour, completly smoothly. It got a little choppy for about a minute, then froze completly. The game hasn't worked since. That leads me to beleive that since it was still really cool when i started the game, it took longer to heat up and finally got to the point of overheating, but i don't understand GPU heating times very well, so i might be wrong.

    As far as the RAM goes, it could be related to the voltage issue mentioned above. What would you recommend I do to test this problem? I have 2 sticks of 256MB DDR.

    Also, I should mention that I tried to update the BIOS, but with the last 3 updates and both of the different versions (2.0 or 1.2,1.3 and 1.6) it tells me that that BIOS update is for the Nforce version only. But my mobo IS the nforce version...

    I'm getting very very frustrated here, I'm a busy university student, all I want to do is play some friggin video games in between studying thermochem or genetics. I really don't have any money to take this thing in, and even if I did, I don't have a car to get the comp there anyway... ugh... :dead:
  14. mr.chowder

    mr.chowder TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Turns out all I had to do was upgrade my 250W power supply to a 430W and everything works like a dream. Go figure.
  15. Leandro13

    Leandro13 TS Rookie

    The Same Problem

    I've an ASUS K8S-MX and i've the exactly same problem!!!!! Do u works fine now? What u did exactly???
    Please tellme!!!!
    Thanks a lot
  16. steelem

    steelem TS Rookie


    I read this post a few days ago as my games were freezing my fps was going from 1 extreme to another & my Nvidia 6800 ultra just wasnt doing what the box said . I downloaded mbm5 my cpu temp was 40oc & i thought no this isnt due to overheating - never the less ~I decided to get a zalman fan for the graphics card - I took off the artic cooler fan & installed this zalman fan & played the games again where i was having problems - too my amazement fps was 50 plus & hey its stays at 50plus - I have just put another 2 cas fans on & cpu temp is 32oc - this has to be the best 40-00 i have ever spent..
  17. vector9

    vector9 TS Rookie

    what do I do?

    Hi evry 1 Im new here and I was wondering if you guys could help me.
    I seem to be having similar problems as mr.chowder. my drivers are up to date I got direct x 9.0c and almost everything

    My problem is, every time I play a game (any game) it freezes after about 10 minutes of game play. Also my computer shuts off at random times when i'm not even playing a game.
    In my bios menu it reads my vcore is set too high, put on automatic. problem is it's already on automatic

    I have a radeon 9700pro with updated drivers
    768 mb of memory
    p4 2.53 processor
    windows xp home edition service pack2

    model- dr-300atx power supply by deer.
    im not sure but im thinkin its 300w cause of the model type. also on the supply it reads EXACTLY " total power 160W"

    plz help
  18. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,831   +8

    Hi and Welcome to Techspot!! :)

    Maybe your PSU is causing the problem. But first, we need to know about your system temperatures. Download Speedfan from here first:


    If Speedfan doesn't work correctly, try Everest Ultimate (not free :( ) from here:


    If your 9700 card has a temp sensor, download ATI Tool from here:


    Now open Ati Tool, click on "Settings", select "Temperature Monitoring", and check the box "Measure card Temperature", and click "Back". If your card has a sensor, you should see a graph, and the video card's temperature.

    Regards :wave:

    BTW, Maybe you can get more help, if you start your own thread, this one is a little old :)
  19. vector9

    vector9 TS Rookie

    umm? how do I create a new thread?

    BTW I got the speed fan download -n- the ati tool. THX
    i also downloaed the everest home edition.

    in ati tool I cant find the temperature monitoring in setting. im suppose to scroll down where it says overclocking but there is no temp monitor.

    im running a radeon 9700pro
    do u think it doesnt have a sensor
  20. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,094

    post us the results (from speedfan or everest) of your temperature reads and your voltage reads two times: one when you're doing nothing [idle] and again when you open an intensive program for a minute or two (eg a game)
  21. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,831   +8

    Ok, first start a new thread. We'll help you there. Go to the Audio & Video section (if this isn't the correct forum, someone tell me :) ). Then select the button "New thread, and if you want, copy & paste your first post there. ;)

    I'm sure you'll get better help there :)
  22. vector9

    vector9 TS Rookie


    srry for being so helpless but..... all my fan speeds read 0rpm
    I opened my case and they are running fine. or I have to configure it?
    Im also totally clueless on the voltage.

    My temp read outs are kinda weird


    the 126c, and the 96c have flames before it reads temp1,2,or3

    I also started my own thread, thanks
  23. Artemistic

    Artemistic TS Rookie

    I'm having a similar problem with games including sims 2, civilisation 4, dawn of war and WOW. When I run them they'll usually run fine for a while but then will start freezing. First the video will freeze then the sound then it'll come back on and it gets more and more frequent occasionally crashing the system. I thought it might be a memory issue at first and upgraded my RAM to 2GB but still does it. My graphics card is a geforce 7600 GT. Is it an overheat problem or something else i'm really not sure anymore. please help...
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