PSU or Vid Card Problem

By stanger1982 ยท 19 replies
Mar 22, 2004
  1. I just built a system (specs below) and have been having horrible problems with it. i get random freezes and lock ups and it is making the system unusable. I cannot determine if I have a faulty video card or I am not supplying enough power. I read through the PSU guide at the top of this forum and that was a big help, but like I said, I still don't know. As for the video card, the reason I consider it: my system was crashing left and right but once I turned hardware acceleration off, I was stable for about a week... until today. Like I said, I don't know what the problem is but I think it might be one of the two. Any help would be great. Thank you. (By the way, I joined this forum because that PSU guide was extreamly informative :))
    AMD 2400+
    ABit NF7 MoBo
    512MB Kingston ValueRam DDR226
    Seagate 120GB HD @ 7200RPM
    Albatron 64MB nVidia GForce 4 MX480 8x AGP
    Forton FSP300-60ATV PSU @ 300W with +3.3v: 28A, +5V: 30A, +12V: 18A
  2. negroplasty

    negroplasty TS Guru Posts: 516   +12

    It sounds to me like you have a video card problem. I have never heard of a GF4 MX to use more power than a 300w PSU can supply. What other devices are you running? CDROM drives etc...

    I do not have the greatest knowledge on PSU's, but if everything else works fine and your video card is the only thing you are having problems with... then that pretty much gives it away.

    Do you get lock ups when you have your hardware acceleration set to anything above none?
  3. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    This may not be the problem but, in my experience, Fortron are not very good quality PSU's(contrary to many people's opinion) As far as the specs on the PSU, it should be able to handle your system, though I'd recommend a bit more for future expansion. I'd also recommend a better brand than Fortron, such as Enermax(my personal first choice)
  4. stanger1982

    stanger1982 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 34

    I've got an MSI DVD/CDRW drive, generic floppy, 3 80mm case fans, 6 usb ports that I have a keyboard, mouse, digicam, and printer hooked up to.

    As for lock ups, I've gotten them on every acceleration setting possible from none to full.

    And yeah, I gathered that Enermax is the PSU of choice from reading that PSU guide... Wish I would have found this site 2 weeks ago when I was picking parts.
  5. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    I should have asked this before, did you try different driver versions for the card?
  6. stanger1982

    stanger1982 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 34

    Yeah, I started with the nVidia 53.03 that came with the card, and then on Monday uped it to the nVidia 56.06 that was released. I also uped the mobo drivers to nVidia's NForce3 to avoid any conflicts... and still the same problems.
  7. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    try something in the 43.xx range, GF4 cards seem to like those best, at least for me.
  8. negroplasty

    negroplasty TS Guru Posts: 516   +12

    If you can't find any in the 43.xx range, PM me and we will sort something out. I have pretty much every NVIDIA driver from the 30.xx onwards.
  9. stanger1982

    stanger1982 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 34

    i installed 43.45 from nVidia's website and turned hardware acceleration back on to full. i'll see what happens. thank you.
  10. stanger1982

    stanger1982 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 34

    after about seven hours of uptime, i've had four freezes over the last hour and a half. three were while the hardware acceleration was set to full, the most recient while it was set to none. would you say that this is deff a vid card problem?
  11. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    Sounds more like a cooling problem than a problem with the card itself
  12. stanger1982

    stanger1982 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 34

    you think the gpu is getting too hot and causing the lock ups? if so, can i somehow mount a fan to the gpu?
  13. snowman

    snowman TS Rookie Posts: 183

    when you installed the new drivers did you uninstall the old drivers and reboot first?
  14. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    I would suggest that you open the side of the case and run it open like that for a while and see if it still locks up.

    Also, if you didn't remove the previous drivers before installing the current ones as snowman mentioned, I'd suggest you do that first.
  15. stanger1982

    stanger1982 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 34

    yeah, i uninstalled and had to cancel windows auto install thing. but they were gone before installing the old drivers. as of right now, the case is open and is 25*C in the case, 26*C on the CPU. i'll let you know what happens.
  16. stanger1982

    stanger1982 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 34

    i never thought of this, but it makes sense. it would explain why the system will have seven hours of uptime and then frezee left and right. i had the case open for an hour and a half. there was no load on the cpu other then the abit mobo temp display and the screensaver. i had no freezes. so i took an 80mm fan and placed it on the back of the vid card blowing down onto the card (the card has no fan, only a heatsink). not 5 minutes after doing so and closing the case, i had a freeze. restarted the system and the temp guide and the temp on the system and cup were almost 10*C higher then before. the case is again open and the temps have droped back down to the 26/36 range they were before.

    ok, this is a long post and for that i'm sorry, it just feels like this could be a possibly solution. if the card is in fact freezing due to heat, should i RMA it to NewEgg or are there some other things, other then keeping the case open all the time, to reduce the temp on the gpu. the link below is a picture of my current system, note the fan on top of the gpu is originally from the rear of the case.
  17. stanger1982

    stanger1982 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 34


    I think this is proof the vid card is at fault. I also believe it to be heat related as mentioned earlier and will be getting a PCI slot fan to blow up onto the card. My question is why would overheating cause a driver falure?

  18. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    Ok, first off, I still think this is caused by heat, the card is not being adequately cooled. Excessive heat can cause the card to become unstable, cause all kind of problems, just like you are having, and can eventually damage the card. You have two options, A) try to RMA the card, B) Buy a better cooler. Personally, I'd try to RMA the card, then buy a better cooler for the replacement card.
  19. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,978   +15

    Ya looks like its your card =\

    Overheating will cause the card to crash, ie-then your system.. the card crashing while the drivers are in use can/may corrupt some of the driver files, and thats why overheating may cause driver failure. There may be another, better, reason why but that would be my guess^^

    You could RMA it, if newegg will let you. I'd try that before spending $50 on a newcard, unless just spending the $50 would be easier.
  20. MattG

    MattG TS Rookie Posts: 140

    From my experience in the past ( 3 weeks ago ) it wasnt either. We would get freezes in games, etc. and we thought it was a heat issue on the proc itself. So we checked and it was running high. Weird, with 4 fans (1 being a 120 MM ) youd think cooling wouldnt be an issue right? Right. So, we sat and thought, and have heard in the past that PSU's have caused in proper volatages to the CPU, causing more heat.

    Solution: Changed the PSU, hasnt froze since - and is running alot cooler.

    So my suggestion is to try a different PSU in your computer, to see if that helps any.

    Good Luck.

    PS_ i always hated RMAing, so i would try everything to fix the problem before doing that.
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