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Computer crashes while gaming.


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#1 k0ni0ph0bia

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 09:08 PM

Hey, everyone. I'm new to the forum.

Well alright, here's the deal. Post might get a little long so be prepared. Recently, I've been experiencing a large amount of crashes while I'm in a game. Usually games that don't require much to run don't crash at all, but those that require a bit more resources for better performance like to crash, leading me to believe that this is a hardware problem.

First off, let me give you my specs.

Motherboard: Gigabyte M68M-S2
CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 250 Dual-Core Processor, 3.0 GHz
GPU: EVGA Nvidia Geforce GTS 450, 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 memory
RAM: 4 gigs, DDR2
PSU: 600W Coolmaster (unsure of model, will check if requested)
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium

Now since I'm almost sure that these crashes are due to problems with my hardware, I've run a few tests.
When I was gaming and I would experience a crash, I would check my computer to see if it was hot. To me, it did seem fairly warmer than usual, so I got concerned. I immediately thought it was my graphics card. So after I made sure this wasn't a one time deal with the crashing and that it would be recurring, I ran Furmark to isolate and test my graphics card. Surprisingly, it didn't seem to be the problem. I ran the test at it's highest and temperature got a little high, but never enough to cause any alarm, and this ran for maybe just under 1 hour, whereas with a game, I can only run it for maybe 15-30 minutes, even when the load was very small.
So then I run a test on my CPU and RAM. Prime95, I'm fairly sure. I ran that test at the setting that tests the CPU and most of the RAM. I monitored the test for about 10 minutes, then had to go do something for about another 15 minutes. I came back to my monitor saying "No signal" so, obviously, my computer had crashed. I first thought that it was my RAM instead of my CPU since the test also made use of memory. So I ran Memtest86+ for a few hours. It performed 3 passes with no errors whatsoever. So now I'm lead to believe it is my CPU that is causing this whole ordeal. I'm not sure what exactly is causing this though. I don't want to take any unnecessary risks to solve this problem, so I decided I need help. After a little research into it, I thought I might need to apply some new thermal paste to the heatsink, but I'm not quite sure I'd like to do that yet. I do have a tube of Arctic Silver 5 if it's needed though.
I'm no novice when it comes to hardware since I built most of this computer myself. But when it comes to repairs or finding the answer to a problem like this, I usually screw something up unless I have instructions. :/
I'm really hoping for some good suggestions and help on this. I'd like to not mess this up by doing it on my own. ^_^

Thanks, everyone.

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#2 s1lents0ul

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 08:25 AM

Your GPU uses 106 watts idle, up to 400 maxed. your cpu uses 95watts. You have a 100 watts spare for your PSU for the rest of your system.. just a FYI

What temp does your CPU idle at, and what temp under load in Prime95?

Applying new thermal paste is not a bad idea, considering you already have some.
==]--s1lents0ul-->

#3 Cactus John

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 10:24 AM

i had the same issues, have you cleaned out your system latly? lots of dust can cause nasty overheating issues.

Also sounds like to me .............

can you turn your machine right back on after if crashes or is there a down period? same answer, if there is ANY down period to restarting your machine is a a bios/motherboard based shutdown to stop damage from overheating. if not, then its something else!

#4 dpunisher

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 10:42 AM

Your GPU uses 106 watts idle, up to 400 maxed. your cpu uses 95watts. You have a 100 watts spare for your PSU for the rest of your system.. just a FYI


Not quite. GPU uses <20watts at idle, maybe 110 watts loaded. You are looking at total system load for those GPU specs. That being said, eventhough the power consumption is a lot less than 500 watts loaded, Coolermaster PSUs run from really good, to pathetic depending upon the model. Nothing wrong with taking a DVOM to a spare molex and measuring the 12V/5V with the system loaded to see if voltage is within spec.

I have lost confidence in Memtest and related programs over the last decade. Sometimes it works, sometimes it lets problems slip by. I have seen memory cause problems and Memtest has passed it with flying colors. Bump your memory voltage up a tad (.1V or so), see if that makes a difference. Same for the CPU, tweek voltage a tad, see if symptoms change. If you have something borderline, often the extra voltage will cover it for a time to help your diag. I have an old HP in now with SDR (its that old) that has a bad stick that crashes it. Memtest once again found no faults, yet when I replace one of the sticks with another good one, symptoms disappear. Pull one stick of RAM, see if anything changes, swap the sticks, any changes?

I have run into 3 main causes for hardware crashes, bad RAM, bad motherboards, marginal power supplies.

Do the easy stuff first. I wish you luck on your diag, it is a learning experience.

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

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#5 s1lents0ul

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 12:51 PM

Oh, well yea I mis-read that for sure. My bad.
==]--s1lents0ul-->

#6 k0ni0ph0bia

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 05:42 PM

Sorry guys. I've been busy these past couple days. Never really had time to check back here.

What temp does your CPU idle at, and what temp under load in Prime95?


I never really had time to check the temperatures while my CPU was under load since, as I said, I went had to go do a few things for a while, came back, found my system had crashed. However, I'll run another test soon and make sure to look at temps.

i had the same issues, have you cleaned out your system latly? lots of dust can cause nasty overheating issues.

Also sounds like to me .............

can you turn your machine right back on after if crashes or is there a down period? same answer, if there is ANY down period to restarting your machine is a a bios/motherboard based shutdown to stop damage from overheating. if not, then its something else!


I actually just got a can of compressed air a few days ago, blew out as much dust as I could from the inside of my computer. One of my friends asked if I'd like to play a little Left 4 Dead 2 with him. I told him my problem but decided this may be a good test. It ran the whole time, maybe about and hour and a half to two hours. However I'm not necessarily convinced, even if this is a good sign. Also regarding being able to turn on the computer immediately once it's crashed, yes, I am able to do so. I honestly don't suspect my motherboard is responsible. If someone proves otherwise then alright, I'll listen. But for now I don't believe it's the problem.

I have lost confidence in Memtest and related programs over the last decade. Sometimes it works, sometimes it lets problems slip by. I have seen memory cause problems and Memtest has passed it with flying colors. Bump your memory voltage up a tad (.1V or so), see if that makes a difference. Same for the CPU, tweek voltage a tad, see if symptoms change. If you have something borderline, often the extra voltage will cover it for a time to help your diag. I have an old HP in now with SDR (its that old) that has a bad stick that crashes it. Memtest once again found no faults, yet when I replace one of the sticks with another good one, symptoms disappear. Pull one stick of RAM, see if anything changes, swap the sticks, any changes?

I have run into 3 main causes for hardware crashes, bad RAM, bad motherboards, marginal power supplies.


I guess I see what you mean about Memtest. I didn't really think it would make much of a difference in the first place but thought, "Hey, someones probably going to tell me to run some tests like this so I'm going to run it now." However I'm confused about how you'd like me to proceed. You're telling me that Memtest passes faulty sticks, but you'd like me to run it once again anyway? I mean if you'd like me to, of course I will. I know that isolating the sticks and swapping them out usually helps anyway since it will rule out other variables. But I just wasn't really sure about how you want me to do this if you think the program isn't always accurate. I will, however, run other diagnostic tests.

I'm hoping that the simple removal of dust solved this problem, but I still don't believe so. I'm waiting for another crash to come upon me unexpectedly after I feel the problem is solved. I'll probably run a few more tests. If anything comes up, I'll check back here again. Thanks guys.




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