Solved Help diagnosing why PC is crashing

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ForNextI

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My PC is crashing when under heavy graphics stress - i.e. gaming.

Benchmark tests {Furmark, Valley, EVGA] were crashing the software for the test - BUT - that problem has been fixed - it seems. All Benchmark tests are currently running at full HD with no problems.

I built the system myself approx 4 years ago - so vaguely competent, but feeling overwhelmed by this current set of problems --

Going into my game last night still caused a full system crash immediate shutdown, the third time that has ever happened while in game - in the past though it happened under extreme conditions - i.e the middle of a boss fight with LOTS going on. (before increasing TDR). Last night it was simply logging on and moving my character around in the environment. Crashed within 5 minutes. But this is actually an improvement. This whole process started approx a week ago, when simply trying to log into the game caused the game to lock before even getting into the game.

I need help tying to figure out the problem. Updating pretty much all drivers everywhere and increasing my TDR time stopped the system from crashing during GPU benchmarks and Stress tests.

Not sure if it is GPU, CPU or PSU or even software or driver related - need help knowing how to diagnose - Maybe through Event Viewer or Reliability History?

Neither the CPU or GPU are overheating EVER- under long burn stress the GPU only reached 65c

GPU is now set at defaults, and has been barely overclocked for the rest of it's history - CPU slightly overclocked and been running at that for years:

Motherboard: MSI 760GMA-P34 (FX) [MS 7641]
Processor: AMD FX-6300 6-Core
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 750Ti [driver 466.27]
OS: Win X 64 - build 19042
Game: ESO online

I need help knowing how to proceed in a logical manner to diagnose what the real problem is - if there is a set of step by step instructions somewhere - happy to be redirected

Looking forward to your input - And be gentle with the noob!! =)

- Brett
 
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First thing to do is turn off all overclocks cpu and gpu and do testing. After 4 years of overclock, it may need to be stepped down.
 

ForNextI

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I did that for the GPU already - And I reset everything in my Bios back to defaults, so that should have reset CPU overclock.

What do you men by testing? I've done GPU and CPU Benchmarks - but they don't really mean anything to me - how do I test in a way that tells me the components are working as they should??

When I first ran them - GPU benchmark testing programs wrere always crashing - at this point, after everything I've already done - they run fine Furmark 3100 @ 60fps or so on 720 -- and 1600 @ 24fps or so on 1080 -- those scores are from memory
 
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Ok test for stability. Go download Prime95 and run in test mode overnight. That should prove to you that the system is stable. Then try playing your games using the best possible display and see if they crash still. If not, then we are good.
 

ForNextI

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Here is a new symptom - PC crashes while IN the BIOS!!! Getting into the BIOS from a cold boot to look around, and system shuts down seemingly randomly as I navigate around the screens!!

Is that motherboard damage? Flashed bios to latest version recently - should I try to revert to old bios? Can I? Or reinstall bios update??

Ideas?
 
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Could be motherboard problem, could be RAM problem. To test the RAM, go download memtest86 . Right click on iso file and choose Burn ISO Image to disc. Boot the disc, and let it run overnight. Any errors and we know RAM is bad.
 

ForNextI

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I already ran the Win 10 Mem Diagnostic - no errors. I'll try memtest86 as well.

MORE INFO - system crash while in BIOS just happens - do not need to be navigating or pressing any buttons
 

ForNextI

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Cleared CMOS -- and BIOS seems fine now after 30 minutes of TRYING to get it to crash.

RAM seems fine. Passed test at 400% with no errors.

Tried to go into game, system froze after about 5 min - but I feel changing video modes on the game as much as I have is also stressing the game out as it tries to apply the changes - from ultra to medium and then back to ultra.

Was running Valley Unengine benchmark on it's lowest basic mode and system crashed. =( So it seems it is NOT specific to running ESO. So I am NOT going to try to uninstall and re-install the game

I have a feeling that all of this started two video card driver updates ago - I am going to try to roll back the driver to an earlier version and see if that helps... the GeForce 710 is a bit old at this point.
 

ForNextI

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Latest - rolled back driver - everything is better - but game still crashed.

SOOO -- I think I messed up by reading some info about newer cpu's and temps - so I thought mine was high, but in safe range - I was wrong and it is running hot.

It is an AMD(FX) 6300 and when I am running a high graphics program temperature is staying above 80c - sits around 84c for ESO - and runs fine at that temp - it must be spiking at points that are hitting my failsafe temp cap and causing the crashes. It hit 86 at one point during a GPU Benchmark and didn't shut down.

I started by thinking this was a GPU problem and was focused on it. GPU temps barely ever go over 60 under the highest stress and tend to run around 52 under heavy load.

I will look into better after market fans and refreshing thermal paste, but feel this might just be a band-aid on a broken bone --

What causes the CPU temp to run hot like that? Age? Wear and tear? Anything I can do??

Temps are probably not accurate as it says my CPU is at 12c right now when the room temp is 25c.

Going to download HW temp or whatever it is called...
 

ForNextI

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The GPU used to be, but isn't currently. Almost certain the CPU never was, and definitely isn't currently.

In your opinion, will a higher end CPU cooler cool things down 10-15 degrees? I wouldn't mind getting another year out of this system for 50$

Or maybe it's time to build a new system...
 

ForNextI

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This is my current CPU cooler - https://www.ebay.com/itm/303834453144
AMD DK 8

So almost any newer CPU cooler will be an improvement - plus, I'm considering laying my case vertical to aid as much as possible the heat transfer away from the CPU.

Of course - it is still not necessarily proven that heat is what is causes the crashes - just inferred.
 
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Is your case a small form factor? Why did you get a low profile cpu cooler? Get one with heat pipes.
 

ForNextI

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Nope - I have plenty of room - that was the heat sink that came with my cpu/motherboard - so I'm going to put a mid-range cpu cooler with heat pipes...
 
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