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BSOD/Prime95 Blend errors (stock)

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#1 Underside


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Posted 24 January 2018 - 11:19 PM

Hello everyone,


This is a follow-up to this topic (about BSODs), which has lots of detailed info about the steps I went through troubleshooting this issue. 


A few links:



PSU (maybe 2 years old, didn't work it that hard at all)

Cooler (there are no temp issues though that I can see through sensors, max. 63C/core with Blend, 73-75 spikes with stuff that's more aggressive on the CPU, drops back to 65-ish)


Quick specs (see Speccy for details):


i7 8700K

16 GB A-Data XPG Dazzle DDR4 3000 MHz (XMP)

MSI Z370 Gaming Plus

Gigabyte GTX 1070Ti Gaming 8G

HDD WD Blue 1 GB

Windows 10 x64 PRO FCU (reinstalled anew 10 Jan)

All patched, latest BIOS (some BSODs occurred on older BIOS too)

Pretty much barebones Windows so I can troubleshoot. Only drivers loaded are latest from Intel/Nvidia besides Microsoft's.

Everything got reaseated at least once and cleaned :\


The mobo/RAM/cooler/CPU were purchased in Dec 2017. I replaced an old FX 8350/GTX 970 build, kept some parts to save money. The new build was never fully stable, there's always some sort of issue appearing. BSODs were very infrequent, yet they led me to further testing. Some Windows 10 apps are also sometimes crashing. I've noticed Task Manager crashing, or earlier today when I dragged Opera to the screen edge got it with a dwm.exe crash which manifested in Opera windows blanking on me, only to return to normal a few seconds later. Most BSODs occurred in Assassin's Creed: Origins, but even then there were days I could play without issues, only to get hit with a few crash to desktop from the app without any Event Viewer entry or even a BSOD later on.


Gaming for hours under Driver Verifier (for all drivers but Microsoft) didn't produce any BSODs.


Anyway, this led me to run all kinds of stress tests. I've ran memtest from boot, 4 times now, one time for 8 passes. Seagate's Long Generic Test. Chkdsk with surface scan for all partitions. Intel Burn Test, OCCT, Aida64, Smalll FFT Prime95 for 6-8 hours. These all came fine. 


Then I was suggested by usasma to run Blend, which I didn't consider since memtest came fine after 8 passes and 4 tries. And first time, one worker failed after 5 hrs. I was not that worried as I knew I decreased the default SA/IO voltages that got inflated like nuts by applying the XMP, so I just allowed the motherboard to set the high voltages and let Blend run over night again. This time, after about 9 hours, 5-6 workers failed in short succession.


Prime95 failing with XMP/default motherboard voltages:




One interesting thing about the above screenshot: 


- one worker fails @9:00 hrs, another 3 after 7 minutes, and another one after 7 more minutes. Unsure if it means anything.


This is where I am now as I am writing this. I've applied the RAM timings now manually and will attempt Blend over night again. I am not even 100% sure I did everything right, but the timings look similar in Windows. I've tried running with the default Intel voltages on SA/IO, but it won't even boot with the 3000 MHz XMP without raising them some. For this run of Prime I've let the mobo with the stupid high voltages.


"Sadly", the PC seems consistently stable for the first hours of Prime so there's no option but to run a test/night while asleep. 


If anyone is curious, SA is 1.32 and IO is 1.264 with XMP. Without XMP they would be set much lower, but still higher than Intel's default. The RAM would be 2400 Mhz without XMP, which is a difference I'm not really prepared to run at, as it's visibly slower in benchmarks and even some games like Assassin' Creed. 


Imgur album with voltages at Load Optimized from BIOS, the default Intel and XMP.


As one can probably tell by now, this new PC brought me more trouble than satisfaction, as the old FX 8350 platform was more stable and pretty much the same performance in day to day usage. Sadly the 8350 works with DDR3 so I cannot test with that.


I would welcome any advice towards a potential fix of this issue. A RMA would mean that I have to take everything apart and package it up, then reinstall my FX 8350 and borrow another GPU from somewhere. I'd avoid that. It also means that if the store cannot replicate the issue they gonna charge me for their troubleshooting procedures AND send stuff back to me - and charge me again for that too. I'd love to avoid that as well. But if stuff is clearly defective, I'll obviously send it back, but I gotta be able to know they can replicate 100%. Obviously I'd have to wait weeks until they troubleshoot, and then put it all back together, which is not even that bad, the annoying part is not being 100% sure they will accept the RMA, and what exactly to send back? The CPU? The motherboard? The RAM? The video card?


Again, any help/advice is welcomed. Thank you!

Edited by Underside, 24 January 2018 - 11:25 PM.

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#2 Underside

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 09:16 AM

With manual RAM timings corresponding to the XMP timings and SA/IO voltages left on auto in BIOS Blend runs for 11+ hrs now, no workers stopped.


The auto SA/IO voltages seem insanely high however compared to what Intel deems appropriate, and they are even slightly above running the XMP (1.32V vs 1.30V for SA and 1.264V vs 1.250V for IO). Again, I didn't set manually these voltages, the motherboard did. I only set the DRAM voltage to 1.35V as that was specified on the kit. Even at 2400 MHz the motherboard will set the voltages above Intel's.


I can understand some boost being needed to run stable at higher RAM frequencies, but these seems excessive. I am unsure if I should run this 24/7 or just fall back to 2400 MHz.


If anyone here understands exactly how these things are supposed to work and what is safe or nor for the Z370 platform, please share. 

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