System hangs w/nForce2 chipset and ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 256/256

By darkenedsoul ยท 26 replies
Feb 16, 2005
  1. Hi,

    I recently installed an ATI Radeon Pro 256/256 into my homegrown system (specs below) and have been hitting system lockups when playing 3D style games (FarCry, Diablo II - LOD, etc...) and it happens fairly quickly (minutes) into playing a game.

    System specs:
    MSI K7N2 Delta mobo w/nForce2 chipset (updated mainboard drivers and BIOS to latest with MSI Live 3 yesterday as well)
    Athlon XP2700+
    512Mb PC2700 memory (pulled from my new eMachine 3200+ as I upgraded that to 1Gb dual Corsair PC2700 mem. BIOS set to Auto and mem settings are 7, 3, 3, 2.5 (CAS))
    NEC 8x DVD-/+R/RW burner
    160Gb HDD HDD
    80Gb Maxtor HDD
    ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 256/256 w/4.12 drivers (now at 5.2 Catalyst)
    Antec Case w/4 fans (2 front, 2 rear) and either 300w or 350w PSU in there and ATI card on its own Molex connector.

    Nothing else on mobo w/regards to cards. System previously have Kingston Valueram 1Gb (2x512) and I was suspecting one of them to be the culprit, then both...they are still on-hand and I was thinking of putting one in and trying them again tonight to see if it still locks up. Problem also occurred while doing DVD burning via Power Producer 2 (converting MPeg to DVD and burning to DVD) but at various times in the process (once while burning, a few times prior to reaching that point, that's when I pulled the first Kingston DIMM).

    What I have tried:
    Disabled onboard sound last night - still locked up
    Turned off Fast Write and dropped to 4x AGP speed - still locked up
    Updated BIOS and mainboard drivers - still locked up
    Updated ATI from 4.12 to 5.2 drivers (Catalyst one here)

    Previous video card was MSI TI4800SE 128Mb GeForce 4 and from my hazy recollection I never hit this problem playing Diablo II, Doom 3, FarCry.....

    What I am planning:
    New MSI K7N2 Delta-2 Platinum mobo w/Athlon XP3000+ and if this hangs I am returning the board to the guy I purchased it from (he got it and tried to overclock it but said the memory wasn't stable enough that way but was solid with original BIOS in-place) and have to figure out what card to get that's close to specs of this card and not $300+ in cost....

    Any ideas? Thanks folks! This has been driving me nuts since I a) put the card in and b) moved system back to where it originally was. The system used to be damn solid till I put this card in. Could the card be flaky????

  2. vegasgmc

    vegasgmc TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,377

    I have the same problem but it only happens when I first start a game. Once I restart the game it doesnt happen again. Try running the RAM at 5-3-3 and 6-3-3. Also the 9800's can run VERY hot. Mine would get so hot it would lock up. I had to put on a VGA Silencer in place of the stock heatsink and fan.
  3. darkenedsoul

    darkenedsoul TS Rookie Topic Starter


    I pulled my eMachines 512mb PC2700 stick, and set latency for VGA to 255 again. A friend told me about a utility to adjust latency. I had set it down to 32. There are two entries though, display adapter and VGA something. The display adapter shows 32 255 but VGA shows 255 255 settings. I tried with those reset prior to pulling the memory. I reinstalled 1 Kinston valueram 512Mb PC2700 and was able to move around Diablo II LOD for easily 10+ mins whereas previously it would lock in 2-3 mins. I checked BIOS and same memory values (7,3,3, 2.5). I then swapped it with the other Kingston and got same results so I put the other back into the system for 1Gb total and was playing for about an hour and was ready to head to town to sell items/save and the damn thing locked up....I also switched to High Performance mode just to see how things went. I may reset that back and try running the game again.

    As for cooling the ATI the guy I bought it from had already put on a better cooler as he wanted to overclock it up to a 9800 XT via BIOS flash. It wasn't stable but was previously. He reset the BIOS prior to giving me the board (selling). My new Delta 2 Platinum MSI K7N2 arrived yesterday w/XP 3000+ CPU so that's my next step, replace mobo/CPU/heatsink (I got the retail CPU to get the heatsink in case of CPU issues for return reasons) and see if it runs any better. I am still not 100% sure the Kingston sticks are both good. I think 1 may be flaky....but again, prior to putting in the ATI 9800 Pro card I had (still do, but it's in eMachine 3200+ system which is my DAW now and didn't want to put games onto it....) MSI TI4800SE 128Mb video card and things worked fine (Doom 3, FarCry, Diablo II, Morrowind, etc...) so it still could be the card is flaky. Worse comes to worse I could spend the time swapping the card into the other system (remove drivers/software, switch to VGA mode, boot to safemode and run drivercleaner, halt and swap cards, boot and install latest driver, play game) but this would entail time that I may not have over the entire weekend (a gig tonight, may go to see Suffocation, Behemoth friday night, gig on sunday evening).

    We'll see. All I did last night was reset the latency, swap out memory, turn on high performance. And on reboot after lock last night it hung during login....sys tray was messed up, i.e. no icons were showing.... so one of the memory sticks still may be flaky and I don't want to blow $$$ for memory when it may not be the case....and case temp/cpu temp was 41c/50c respectively at the warmest. Typically from a cold start it's more like 29c/32c for case/cpu. Using MBM5 to monitor this. In BIOS is was showing slightly cooler with panel off. Worse comes to worse if it is the card I'll get an nVidia board (6600GT or whatever the high end is...I want a 256mb/256bit card but don't want to blow $385+ for one....).

  4. tbrunt3

    tbrunt3 TS Rookie Posts: 313

    Personally you have better luck with a Nivida card with the nforce chipset this is what i usually suggest..

    But since you have a ATI have you tried to set AGP apagure size in your BIOS???
  5. darkenedsoul

    darkenedsoul TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I set the aperture size up to 128 seeing this is a 256Mb card. I can back it back down to 64 if needed. I am still leaning towards it being a card issue. I also don't see the need to deinstall SP2 as I also have that installed. I also put the latest Catalyst 5.2 drivers on the other night....And I was figuring the nVidia would work better with the nForce chipsets....

    Any other suggestions? Do you think I've done just about everything but replace the card (I don't have one handy at the moment....).

  6. PreservedSwine

    PreservedSwine TS Rookie Posts: 325

    N-force chipset and ATI graphics=gaming goodness :slurp:

    Sounds indictive of a heat issue.

    Have you tried removing the cover of your case?
  7. darkenedsoul

    darkenedsoul TS Rookie Topic Starter

    But if I am not playing any games the system usually behaves for hours and hours on end (surfing web, forums, playing audio, etc...). I know this isn't cranking on the CPU/GPU but the system has been up for days prior to this. Heat issue? Antec case w/4 fans, 2 bottom front, 2 top rear and case temp/cpu temp runs in the 29c to 51c range for both case/cpu (case being 5+ degrees cooler than cpu). Heat off video card is not extreme, it also has a better than stock cooler on it (the guy bought a bigger/better cooling fan for it after buying the card and put it on, he ran it no problems on an Intel platform P4 3.2E). And were you being humorous with respect to comment about nVidia chipset + ATI Video card = game goodness? I see a lot of people complaining about the ATI 9800 Pro cards in this forum about similar and non-similar problems. But most of them are running Via/SiS chipsets and maybe P4's as well vs AMD Athlon XP's....

  8. PreservedSwine

    PreservedSwine TS Rookie Posts: 325

    Absolutely, the nVidia chipsets and ATI graphics are a great combo. The issues you may have read about here that have issues with the combination are never due to a "incompatability" issue, because none exists.

    Since your rig is stable when not gaming, and only crashes after a few minutes in virtually every game, it's logical to think heat as a culprit.

    Try either removing the case cover, underclocking your CPU or GPU.

    The heat generated by your GPU will efeect other things in your case. Perhaps the heat from you gpu is being redirected into the cpu fan, and you're just blowing hot air on it, or vice-versa?
    I inderstand you have several fans, but for troubleshootings sake, you can't simply cross heat off your list.
    If you really wish to pinpoint your problems, I'd start there.

    There are many directions to go, but this seems a logical and easy place to start, and doesn't require more than a few minutes.

    Good luck
  9. darkenedsoul

    darkenedsoul TS Rookie Topic Starter


    The CPU fan is behind the Video card (above AGP slot orientation-wise) with Radeon cooler (replacement/better one put into place) below the card. I am running with the cover off and it's running at the usual temp. I am still not convinced this is heat related due to CPU running typically in the 30's(c) range to maybe 41c but no higher than 51c at the hottest point the other day. Case remains running (with cover off 29c) in the upper 20's to 30's normal operation (case cover off it was 29c this morning) and no higher than 42c so far with cover on and after running game/lockup/reboot. I have new mobo and CPU to work with in the next day or so. I am also going to swap in a Corsair PC2700 (currently running with 1 512Mb DIMM) from the other system and that memory is basically brand new (not too many hours on it) an dgive it a whirl while case is open, then with cover on before I start swapping out the mobo/CPU even though it's going in there anyways now that I have it.

  10. chanman

    chanman TS Rookie

    :unch: turn off the 3D
  11. tbrunt3

    tbrunt3 TS Rookie Posts: 313

    Well in general experience AMD with Nivida / Intel with ATI Just my personal preference . Yes ATI will work with AMD and so forth but it is what ever you want. But did you try to turn off the GPU crash control in the catlyst control panel . This Just a thought

    Have you updated the nforce drivers for the motherboard chipset it self ? This sounds to me most of your problem are caused when you are under a graphics load. Try a few of the suggestions and we will go from there.
  12. darkenedsoul

    darkenedsoul TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I am working on setting up a new MSI mobo w/XP3000+ CPU. I had BIOS finally show up/display on it on power up (strange but since it's new I won't hold that against it). I also had updated mobo drivers on other MSI board previously. All was up-to-date while this was still going on. Not sure how picky this card is with respect to single molex connector....I changed it to a different one as there was something else on the same power line/molex cable. I will see about getting the new mobo up first and get it settled with the OS and see what happens after that. More to come if I still have issues,or I'll give it back to the guy I bought it from and go nVidia based card....

  13. chanman

    chanman TS Rookie


    :bounce: that is not it. it gave you a two boxs. one siad some thing about 3D did you chose that one.
  14. darkenedsoul

    darkenedsoul TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Huh? Can you explain this in english/clearer? You didn't make any sense here. I am working on it as time permits (band practice tonight precludes me from spending much/if any time tonight and I am in the process of setting up a new mobo/cpu in the case).
  15. BloodbatH

    BloodbatH TS Rookie

    Hi, i got the same problem too with ATI Radeon 9700 PRO card and NVIDIA nForce2 chipset, i've been talled that a guy with the same problem downgraded the nForce driver from version 5.10(latest) to version 4.27 and that solved the problem.
    I tried that, and it didn't help, but its worth to try, it takes only a few minites, maby it'll help you.

    * That guy have an ATI Radeon 9800 card.
  16. chanman

    chanman TS Rookie


    :monkey: when you first started it a windo popt up and it gave you two thing to pic from what one did you pic :bounce:
  17. MrGrubby

    MrGrubby TS Rookie

    I had the same issues as the rest of you.
    I've finally got my problem solved.

    The issue with me was that when I formatted and reinstalled windows, windows used their own drivers for the mobo. Then I installed the video drivers. The win mobo drivers werent any good, and my vid card and mobo werent working together very well.

    I uninstalled the vid drivers and mobo drivers, then installed the latest mobo drivers from nvidia and vid drivers from ATI.
    Everything has been working great since then!
  18. PreservedSwine

    PreservedSwine TS Rookie Posts: 325

    A clean install is always a great idea, but it's can be quite time consuming- I use it as a last resort :slurp:
  19. vegasgmc

    vegasgmc TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,377

    After a clean install of Windows the FIRST thing you should do is install the motherboard drivers and then the video drivers.
  20. satchmo

    satchmo TS Rookie Posts: 83

  21. SoLiDSeMTeX

    SoLiDSeMTeX TS Rookie

    Same issues, same specs... my computer still restarts after a while, downloading the lastest nforce drivers atm hope that helps out.

    Athlon XP 3200+, ATI 9800 Pro 128Mb, Audigy MP3+, 1 Gb RAM Corsair, MSI nforce2 ultra mobo.

    tried out different games, seems to survive longer if AA is off.
  22. SoLiDSeMTeX

    SoLiDSeMTeX TS Rookie

    solved the issue, installed last nForce2 drivers, underclocked my GPU and i still crashed. and i was running my GPU at 300 Mhz while default is around 378Mhz. nothing seemed to work so i got my old drivers (name of the file: wxp-w2k-catalyst-8-111-050222a-021277c.exe) and im running it at the default speed again, with no problems. My ATI card still overheats as usual, already ordered a new fan system. Also turned off the VPU recover since i heard it crashes more ppl than it helps.

    hope this helps.
  23. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Be sure to add a tube of Arctic Silver 5 for the new fan/heatsink.

    Using this stuff alone usually cures any temp problems, and it's like $6-$10 for a tube of it.
  24. SoLiDSeMTeX

    SoLiDSeMTeX TS Rookie

    found an alt solution. turn off the dual channel thing, that solved every overheat issue i had with this mainboard... everything runs perfect... no more crashes nor restarts and still with the stock fans.
    to change the setup to dual channel disabled just move the memory banks to the 1st and 2nd slot on the mainboard (the 2 that are grouped togheter) instead of having one on the 3rd slot and one on the other side. dont as me why, or whos fault is... but the dual channel, at least on my PC was causing a lot more crashes and overheating than increasing perfomance.

    try it, if u still read this.
  25. Chrysalis

    Chrysalis TS Rookie

    I have the same motherboard but with a 9600 pro card, I have also experienced lockups in some 3d apps/games and in 2d the system is stable. I found different solutions at different times. Last summer it was the case of blowing a fan at the card and leaving the side of case off so I assumed overheating. Then after it was a case of underclocking the card gpu, then after a system format aquamark was causing lockups but underclocking gpu alone didnt work but underclocking the video ram does, ironically underclocking the video ram has little affect on performance so that didnt bother me much. Then I found enabling fastwrites allowed me to have the clocks at stock, all this I found a bit crazy. Now I read this thread and it strikes me I have my ram in dual channel mode, but I am using all 3 slots so refusing to use slot 3 isnt an option for me, is there a way to force single channel when using 3 sticks of ram?

    This shaky feeling I get when playing games I would like to go away I prefer a rock solid stable system.
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