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Dreaded crashes... IN EVERY GAME I HAVE!

Discussion in 'Games' started by dan302a, Sep 20, 2005.

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  1. dan302a

    dan302a Thread Starter

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    Thanks for clicking this post, hope you can help me!

    I've done a search on this problem, but I think the answer may be obvious to someone with experience of these issues. My spec is:

    - WinXP SP2
    - AMD XP 3200+ Barton
    - Crucial 1024Mb PC3200
    - Asus A7N8X Deluxe Rev2.0
    - Gainward NVidia GeForce 5700 Ultra 128Mb
    - WD80Gb Caviar, Seagate 160Gb Barracuda
    - Antec Lanboy case w/2x 80mm fans
    - Antec Smartblue 350W PSU
    - Directx 9.0c, Nvidia 78.01 drivers (latest)

    My problem is simple, every game I play, after an undefined period of time (but not normally more than 20mins) the game crashes/freezes and the computer locks up completely. I have to use the power button to restart, Ctrl+ALt+Del etc. doesn't work.
    Games include Half life 2, MOHAA, Far Cry, Football Manager 2005 (not even a 3D game!! Uses a lot of processing tho) and all are legit. Actually in Football Manager 2005 the PC reboots rather than crashing.

    The most interesting thing is that I never had this problem before upgrading the RAM & CPU. Previously I had an AMD XP 2200+ with 512Mb PC2200(?) and Win2K, but everything else was the same. The games (although on lower settings) ran without a hitch. Obviously now I am running the motherboard at full pace 400MHz FSB etc, and I bought an Arctic Cooling copper heatsink/fan with thermal paste as I thought this would be better than the stock one.

    So, does this mean my CPU/RAM is at fault? Windows and everything else runs without a hitch. Could the CPU be overheating and shut down? When I reboot I go into the BIOS and check the temps, but they don't ever seem to be over about 48 degrees Celsius.

    I considered getting a new case (e.g. Antec P180) as I am a firm believer that my current case is crap at cooling, and thought it might be a simple overheating issue of either m/board, CPU or graphics card. However I have now tried taking the side panel off, and putting a desk fan blowing directly into the case to increase airflow, but this doesn't help. Temps are a few degrees lower tho.
    I have also tried using REALLY LOW settings in Medal of Honour Allied Assault, which should be a walk in the park for the PC, but it still crashes.

    Can anyone help, what could it be???? Thanks in advance,

    Dan
     
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  3. Couriant

    Couriant Trusted Advisor

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    Did you do Load Optimal Settings in the BIOS when you upgraded the CPU and RAM? And also did you set the jumpers correctly for the CPU?
     
  4. dan302a

    dan302a Thread Starter

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    I've just checked my BIOS settings, and the ones I think are the most important are:

    (Advanced Chipset Management section)
    System Performance - "Optimal"
    CPU External Freq - "200MHz"
    Memory Freq - "Auto".

    Is this what you mean? I can't find an actual 'Load Optimal Settings' option.

    I've checked the mobo manual and there is only one jumper setting that is appropriate, this lets you choose FSB and this is set correctly at 400.

    Hope this helps with your question.
     
  5. Couriant

    Couriant Trusted Advisor

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    The Load Optimal Settings are on a select few mobos I think. It's usually with Load Default Settings.

    Well, I would have guessed heat too... Only thing that could be causing is the RAM or CPU... try memtest to test your memory
     
  6. dan302a

    dan302a Thread Starter

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    Thanks for your advice so far Tidus4Yuna. Tried memtest86+ today, left it running for a good few hours, and it did a total of 8 passes and came up with zero errors. I would imagine this is a fairly good indicator that it's probably not the RAM!

    So, could it be the CPU? I'm stuck! Generally you don't tend to hear about processor issues, or am I wrong? Maybe it could be the thermal paste or something?

    I will now try reinstalling motherboard drivers and then directx drivers to see if that helps.
     
  7. Couriant

    Couriant Trusted Advisor

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    Is it just games?

    also are you sure that your motherboard can handle the CPU and PC3200. Which reminds me, I had to have it on a specific setting for my PC3200
     
  8. dan302a

    dan302a Thread Starter

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    Yeah the mobo can handle PC3200 memory and the processor, the settings for these speeds are in the BIOS. Admittedly they are the best components the mobo will allow, but that shoudn't mean it doesn't work!

    I have now uninstalled both motherboard and display drivers completely, and reinstalled with the latest versions, which I had before anyway. No difference.


    I think I may now rule out overheating, because my latest crash happened after playing the game for about 10 secs! surely processor/graphics card can't overheat that quickly! (On Asus probe prior to starting the game CPU temp was showing at 43oC and mobo 28oC. Does this sound ok?)

    I also looked at a couple of other threads regarding leaky capacitors, but I can't see anything wrong on mine.
    Any other ideas? :confused:
     
  9. Couriant

    Couriant Trusted Advisor

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    Is it only in games, or in normal applications too?
     
  10. dan302a

    dan302a Thread Starter

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    It's only in games, everything else runs sweet as a nut.
     
  11. Couriant

    Couriant Trusted Advisor

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    Then I would suspect the graphics card or maybe a failed CPU. Check to see if you can get a replacement for your AMD, that way you can rule out the CPU.
     
  12. dan302a

    dan302a Thread Starter

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    Thanks for your support Tidus. Wish me luck! :rolleyes:
     
  13. Couriant

    Couriant Trusted Advisor

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    (y) anytime. I'm assuming the CPU is in warranty with AMD so give them a call.
     
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