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Help with a new build problem!

By zero ยท 36 replies
May 8, 2006
  1. Could someone please help me with this. I recently built a computer and when I run a program with any sort of graphics more advanced then the desktop or the internet the computer will reboot. Here's a run down of what I've got.

    Intel Celeron D 340 2.93Ghz / 256K Cache / 533 FSB / Socket 478
    Mach Speed Matrix P4M800 Via Socket 478 MicroATX Motherboard
    Ultra / Intel Pentium 4 up to 3.06GHz / Ball Bearing / CPU Cooling Fan
    Ultra / V-Series / 350-Watt / 120mm Fan / Power Supply
    2 Ultra 80mm fans. 1 sucking air in, 1 blowing out.
    160 GB HD
    16x DL DVD
    ATI Radeon 9200 256
    1 gb pc2100
    256 pc2700

    I've ran Everest and Warpspeed which came with my MOBO and both say that my temps are fairly low. Nothing over 50c. Could there be something wrong with my video card. I know it is old. Please help. This is frustrating me to no end!

    Also the FSB is showing as 133 in everest is there something wrong there?
  2. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,495

    Nope thats normal. 133 x 4 = 532. And that is what the Celeron should be at.

    As for your graphics problem, my first guess would be drivers. Do you have the most up to date?

    Is the card seated properly?

    And is there another PC that you can test the card in?

    And BTW
    Welcome to Techspot.

  3. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    I'd say your problem is likely in your ram pairing. You have not only two different sizes of ram, but two different speeds (and possibly different CAS latencies and on and on).

    Ram likes to be in indentical pairs of size and speed. You may want to consider a ram upgrade for yourself. Your motherboard would love to have some PC3200 ram in it.

    Currently your stick of 2100 is forcing your board to underclock your 2700 to match it. I'd bet this is the cause of your headaches.

    Also, your FSB @ 133 Mhz is correct
  4. zero

    zero TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for both of your help. To answer some questions, I have used the GPU on my older system and the ram setup with out problem so what is why I was confused about this problem. I have installed the latest driver. I am thinking of reverting back to and older version like the one that worked on my older system. I will take out my 256 stick and see how it works with just the gig. Thanks for the welcome!
  5. zero

    zero TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well i've tried removing the 256 ram and everything works better but not right. I've used the video card in an older system, AMD XP 2200, with the same ram as the new one and everything worked fine. I have even installed old games (Halo, BF Vietnam) that ran fine on the old system but I am getting the same problems as stated above. I can be in the middle of an intense moment of a game or even just the menu and it will reboot. I've reseated the card and tried older drivers. Is this a card problem or am I missing something? My BIOS is up to date. When I check temps they appear to be well under exceptable levels.
  6. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    Every motherboard is different. Motherboard "A" may run fine with your memory, but that doesn't mean it will run smoothly on Motherboard "B".

    I am not guaranteeing that ram is your problem, but from what is written above, I'd still say it is the prime suspect.

    Your PSU is anothter major possibility. Ultra PSUs do not have a very good reputation, and it is possible that while you are gaming (which happens to be when your system is put to it's limits) your PSU is not putting out even power, and your system is reacting to this.

    Do you have another PSU you can test in your system to rule this out as a possibility?

    You could also run www.memtest.org on your ram (one stick at a time is best) to see how it is doing. Let the test run for 6 or 7 passes (takes a few hours).
  7. zero

    zero TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Unfortunatly the only PSU I have is a 250W in my old Emachine. Not sure if that would help me or not. I tried the test but could only let it run just over 2 times with no problem. I can let it do more later today. So basically for the most part you don't think it's the GPU? Most likely ram and or PSU? Any other suggestions before I shell out money?
  8. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    Well, let's try this.

    Software readings of PSU voltages are not very accurate, but still worth a look.

    Download and run speedfan and see what it is reporting for the voltages on your 3.3V, 5v and 12v rails.

  9. zero

    zero TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok here are my readings:

    3.3v - 3.28
    5v - 5.13
    12v - 10.43
  10. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    Yikes. We may have found the problem, but let's get a second opinion first to be sure.

    Reboot into your bios, and find what it is reporting for your voltages there as well. Same as above, we want to see the readings for the 3.3v, 5v and 12v rails. It various from bios to bios, but typically it is under something like "power" and "hardware monitor".

    Usually about a 5% variance is acceptable, which means anything less than about 11.4v on the 12v rail is low. Your PSU doesn't appear to be very healthy at all according to that reading above.

    Good chance that this is what is causing your headaches. When you go to play games, that is when the PSU is really put to the test, and would explain why that is pretty much the only time you are having troubles.

    The good news is, PSUs are cheap, especially as it doesn't look like your system is too demanding. 350w should be plenty for your system, but you'll want some more power on the 12v rails. Something like this would be great in your system:


    It has 34amps on the (dual) 12v rails. Very nice 350w psu for ONLY $30!!!!

    P.S. Go here: http://www.extreme.outervision.com/psucalculator.jsp
    and calculate how many watts you need, just to be sure that 350w is enough.
  11. zero

    zero TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Great! When I get home i'll check out what the bios says. I really do appreciate all the help you've been giving me. Thank you.

    I tried the calculator and it seems I need just under 300w so that PSU you found looks like it should certainly do the trick. That brings me to another question. Is a dual rain PSU better than a single or does that matter? I have read pro's and con's for both sides but to me it seems the dual would be better.
  12. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    When the dual rail PSUs first came out, there was a lot of question as to whether or not they were a good idea, but that debate has pretty much been silenced as far as I can tell. Dual rail is pretty much the standard. Antec's newest lineup of PSUs actually have triple 12v rails.

    But it really isn't the most important thing to be concerned about. A low end PSU maker with dual rail 12v lines is still a low end PSU. First and foremost you have to pick a quality maker, then make sure there are enough amps on the 12v (single or double). As long as you have those two covered, you are in good shape.
  13. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

    DonNagual, you deserve a star on this thread. You nailed the 2 issues right down, the ps and the unmatched ram.

    With the ram, i would still go into the bios and check the timing and latency.
    I definitely agree with his statement about not using 2 different speeds of ram. Again, it may work in one mobo and not another.

    You can also google and download memtest and test your ram, one stick at a time though.
    Also, if you want a thorough check of the 12 volt rails (lines), you might want to invest in a digital or analog multimeter. These meters allow you to test all your power supply lines accurately once and for all. We should all have one of these as they work very well and power to certain rails is very important, and they are cheap to buy as well.
    There are tutorials all over the net for the multimeters. The best one i know of is at techrepublic.com. You have to sign up but its a great site and they dont bug you, lol.
  14. zero

    zero TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well i've took your earlier advice and tried another PSU before I shelled out money for a new one and to my disgust I am getting the same 10.43 reading on my +12v rail! What on earth does this mean!? I looked in my BIOS and unless I missed it completely, didn't see anything that looked like +12v. Is there something I can do for this? Both Everest and Speedfan give me the same readings.
  15. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    To tell the truth, I really don't like recommending to people to use software for checking their PSU readings. If you use a voltmeter and check, 9 times out of 10 the software readings are so far off from reality it isn't worth even checking.

    Yet, most don't have a voltmeter so there is no choice.

    The software readings should be taken as a "guess". That said, my PSUs typically show good readings in the software readings, as I tend to buy high quality PSUs. I have never had a PSU reading of 10.4v on my 12v like you are getting.

    If you want to be CERTAIN, then go to radio shack and buy a voltmeter. Otherwise, I'd still say a PSU replacement would be a good idea. Regardless of whether or not it is causing your problems, Ultra brand PSUs are not really known for their quality. You don't want a low quality PSU powering your system. It just leads to headaches.
  16. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

    I also pointed out that you can get a great tutorial on how to use that meter by going to techrepublic. If you have probs with that just email me and i will send you a ton of tutorials that i have for this purpose, including the one from techrepublic.
    That reading of 10.4 or so is too low for sure and will cause problems such are you are talking about.
    The power supply is the engine of the car and the 12 volt line is one of the most important or even the most important. You can get good quality power supplies as low as the early $30 dollar US price range at newegg.com and their shipping is fairly priced and their reputation is excellent.
    Make sure you get the right atx power supply for your system, you can email or call them and tell them what mobo and cpu you have and they will give your your options. You do want a unit with 20 pin connector as opposed to the newer 24 pin connector. But again, a good unit doesnt have to cost a lot and they often have sales at newegg.com as well. But a phone call with a tech there will save you headaches of having to return hardware as these guys are very fair and honest and they know their stuff too!
  17. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

    Another thing, you can google a list of good and bad power supplies. I also have a number of lists of good and bad power supplies that i would email you.

    Funny, but you can often judge good quality power supplies even by its weight, and there is an article at directron.com about that. Essentially, better power supplies will have a larger heatsink, more electronics and more connectors and that all adds up to another pound or 2 over the cheap units.

    And directron.com is a good place to get a power supply as well.

    Beware those that have flashing, lighting, buzzing, saying that they are 680 watts and such. Plain lies is what they are and cheap power supplies they are too! I have a good quality 250 watt enermax or similar in a machine of mine, and a 5 yr old 350 watt Enermax in my P4 unit that has 2 ide drives, dvd burner, dvd rom, 64 mb vid card, 6 usb2 external boxes and a firewire external box, tv, a gig of ram, 2 usb hubs, 22 in crt monitor and more, and my power supply has room to spare.

    So its not just wattage that spells a good power supply from a cheap one!
    High wattage and a low price are a sign of a loser.
  18. zero

    zero TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well thankyou everyone for all of your help. I took DonNagual's advice and purchased a FSP Group (Fortron Source) PSU. I opted for the 400w for $7 more. It has a little higher amperage on all the rails too. Hopefully this takes care of my headaches. I'll let you all know in about 3 days! Thanks again!

  19. zero

    zero TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I just want to scream! I finally got my new PSU today. I installed it and to my disappointment it still reads at 10.43!! So I figured i'd give it a shot and fired up FEAR. It played fine for a while so I assumed the problem was fixed then per usual...reboot. What on earth can I do? Why is it still reading 10.43. That'a in several programs. Please HELP!
  20. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    That sucks.

    As I said above, regardless of whether or not the PSU is the cause of your problems, it was still a good idea to get a new one. You now have a very high quality power supply which was very cheap.

    So..... back to the drawign board! Don't worry, we'll find the problem just hang in there.

    Here's what I would do next (in this order):

    1. Let www.memtest.org run for 6 or 7 passes (you mentioned above you only let it pass twice).
    2. Right click on "my computer" then "manage" then "event viewer" and click around in there to see what kind of errors are being reported. Look for the red symbols, and when it says "click here for more information", do it. Let us know what it says.
    3. Update your graphics drivers here: https://support.ati.com/ics/support/default.asp?deptID=894&task=knowledge&folderID=293 (assuming you are using XP)
    4. Update your chipset drivers here: http://www.machspeed.com/specs/matrix/mp4m800.htm#drivers
    5. Update your bios on the same page.

    And just to confirm, you are ONLY using the 1Gb stick of ram right? The ram you are using is actually pretty slow for your system by the way. From the very beginning, your ram has been suspect. Let's see what memtest has to say. This is another one that I would say you'd be best to upgrade regardless of whether or not it is your problem, but as memory is more expensive than a PSU, I'll leave that to you.

    Try the above and get back to us.
  21. zero

    zero TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well I ran memtest overnight and no errors reported. 12 passes in all. And yes, I'm only running the 1gig stick.

    As far as the drivers, I checked those sites and I am up to date. For good measure I reinstalled the video driver.

    What worried me was when I went into the event viewer. Errors, errors everywhere. Long lists of errors. Unfortunatly I can't tell you what exactly there are since I am at work and didn't write them down yesterday but there where many!
  22. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

    All of us who build new pc's or repair existing should have a multimeter, so can i suggest you get yourself one. $10 isnt a biggie to repair your pc, heck lots of us would trade our wives, lol.
    Look for a good deal at an auto store. While there get yourself a $2 tube of graphite powder, which silences and repairs all pc fans much longer and better than oil and does all the noisy hinges,locks, handles in the home as well.
    You can go to techrepublic.com and get the tutorial on how to check your 12 volt and other rails and be certain because if its really true that you are running at 10.4 then the mobo may be faulty. I say mobo as you have a new, good quality ps, right? If you have a second ps but its a cheapie, well, maybe the reading is correct. Still, as DonNagual says, cant rely on software readings.
    My main rig, P4 2.4 running on same win xp pro install for 4 years. One software, sisoft sandra, says my cpu is too hot and is about to fail. The other software says its fine. You cant trust software readings at this point in time.
  23. zero

    zero TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I fortunatly do have a multimeter. I signed up at techrepublic.com but can't seem to find that tutorial you're talking about. Do you know where I can look. I tried several searches but came up empty handed.
  24. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    Good news then! Chances are the secrets to your headaches lie hiden in your event viewer. They can sometimes be hard to decifer what is causing the errors. Typically what I do is go through them all one at a time, clicking on the "click here for more information links" and read them. They can be quite obscure and techy, but just make notes of what piece of hardware or software each one is referring to. Don't worry so much about the details, just pay attention for now to identifying WHAT is having problems (which piece of hardware or what software).

    After you narrow that down, we are getting somewhere!
  25. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

    Actually,DonNagual, there is a better answer, you can go to eventid.com and there is tons of info there on each event.

    As for the multimeter at techrepublic.com, there it is, and it says you can print it. But if not then just use a "printscreen" type of program, or windows built in screen capture to copy it.
    This is the first page of the tutorial for multimeter, but if you have any problems, i have a copy i can email to you. I have a copy of bad and good power supplies as well if you want it, i can place it here for you.

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