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System Locks Up Under Load. BLARRRG!

Joined
Aug 3, 2011
Messages
7
Time for some help.

Recently purchased parts to put together a new system after a motherboard failure. Got all the parts except for hard drives, and a video card.

Was having some stability issues ever since, but towards the end of the last systems life I was getting crashes. I'd just assumed the video card was on its way out aswell. Well, recently it died, and was replaced with an XFX HD6870. Stability issues persisted. Shit.

I swapped the the GPU's power supply rail on the PSU and thought the problem was solved. That lasted 2 days before it went back to normal. Recently I think its getting worse actually.

It crashes usually a few minutes into an intensive game like Dirt 3, or Bad Company 2. Other things Like Portal 2, and counter strike are usually fine, at least significantly more stable. When it crashes it locks up and needs to be reset. When web surfing and low system usage it almost never has any trouble.

So I thought memory. Ran memtest 86 twice, not a single fault. Future mark doesn't crash it, but it says my score is lower than it should be (only a little). So I tried Prime 95. That kills it pretty fast.

There are a few different tests for torture testing it. The blended one kills it fast. After about 3-4 minutes the system locks up and needs to be reset. the Small FFT test runs alright for at least half an hour, I haven't done any longer tests yet. Small FFT is light on ram, and heavy on CPU i belive. The Large FFT test also locks the system after a few minutes. That stresses heat, power consumption and some ram.

During these tests I kept an eye on heat, which was well within acceptable levels (58 cpu), and power consumption which I think was within tolerance. (12-11.904v, 3.3-3.267v, 5-4.960v)

I really don't know what else to try. Yes i have checked all drivers several times. Hardware is listed in my profile, but I'll put it here for convenience.
<dl class="list_no_decoration profilefield_list"><dt class="shade" id="profilefield_title_10">Motherboard</dt><dd id="profilefield_value_10"> Asus P8P67rev 3.0
</dd><dt class="shade" id="profilefield_title_11">Processor</dt><dd id="profilefield_value_11"> Intel i5 2500k </dd><dt class="shade" id="profilefield_title_12">Memory</dt><dd id="profilefield_value_12"> 4 sticks, 2 gb G.SKILL Ripjaws X F3-12800CL9D </dd><dt class="shade" id="profilefield_title_13">Video Card(s)</dt><dd id="profilefield_value_13"> XFX HD 6870 </dd><dt class="shade" id="profilefield_title_14">Hard Drive(s)</dt><dd id="profilefield_value_14"> Several. Not important. </dd><dt class="shade" id="profilefield_title_22">Optical Drive(s)</dt><dd id="profilefield_value_22"> N/A </dd><dt class="shade" id="profilefield_title_24">Case</dt><dd id="profilefield_value_24"> Graphite 600t </dd><dt class="shade" id="profilefield_title_25">Power Supply</dt><dd id="profilefield_value_25"> Cougar Cmx Series 700CMX </dd><dt class="shade" id="profilefield_title_26">Sound Card</dt><dd id="profilefield_value_26"> Asus Xonar DX </dd><dt class="shade" id="profilefield_title_27">Monitor</dt><dd id="profilefield_value_27"> N/A </dd><dt class="shade" id="profilefield_title_28">Operating System</dt><dd id="profilefield_value_28"> Windows 7 </dd></dl>
 
Last edited:

Galcobar

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 18, 2009
Messages
430
Location
Richmond, B.C.
Motherboard fails, video card fails, and system locks up when you put it under stress -- sounds like a PSU issue. Dirty power kills components (harmonics shorten the life of electrolytic capacitors, which is why manufacturers like to promote solid capacitors as more reliable) and higher draw will stress the PSU, which is when noise or ripples tend to crop up.

If I'm reading your statement correctly, the +12V never gets above 12V which is somewhat surprising, but within the 11.40V - 12.60V ATX specifications. Same goes for the +5V rail. However, the 3.3V rail hitting 4V is definitely outside the 3.465V upper ATX specification.

Final clue pointing me towards the PSU is the graphics card swap improving the situation temporarily.
 

odis172

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
672
Location
Ottawa, ON
Am I understanding correctly that your old system was having crashes, then you built a new system with all new parts, except used the video card and hard drive from your old system? Now the new system and a new video card, with the old hard drive is experiencing the same sort of crashing?
 
Joined
Aug 3, 2011
Messages
7
Sorry that was a typo. 3.3v rail goes down to 3.267. But possibly below that when it crashes, i just cant see that.

and yes Odis. Was having trouble towards the end of its life, then the motherboard died. The video card I had at the time was decent enough to carry over and save some money. The hard drives are the same, but I didn't suspect they were a problem. System locks up under load, regardless of HD usage.

The Prime 95 test is very odd to me. The cpu works fine by itself. As soon as you use any other of the stress tests which use ram, and probibly more power it locks. So still possibly ram, despite the memtest?

The actual graphics card swap didn't really fix it. It was when I switched which rail on the PSU was feeding the new GPU that fixed it. Would it really deteriorate over just 3 days though? could have just been luck.

quite frustrating...
 
Joined
Aug 3, 2011
Messages
7
Alright. I put in a friends tried and true powersupply, of sufficent wattage (620w) and stability problems persist with the same approximate regularity.

Anyway to test the motherboard?
 

KaptCrunch

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 23, 2008
Messages
4,030
Location
Ontario
Question was boot HDD formatted and fresh install of 32 or 64 bit OS with current drivers to your new hardware via of F6 option
 
Joined
Aug 3, 2011
Messages
7
Drivers, bios, and windows all up to date.

This is already a fresh install. Previous computer was XP. Problem has persisted since the begining.

I think its a motherboard stabiity problem. Other users seem to be having troubles aswell.
 
Joined
Aug 3, 2011
Messages
7
Ok, so here is my update

Memtest after Memtest passed just fine. Prime95 on the memory heavy setting (blend) crashes it very quickly.

So I tested every piece of ram in every slot, and it all worked flawlessly. Turns out If i use any 2 sticks of ram it runs perfectly. 4 sticks and it crashes.

Is this a faulty motherboard? what bios settings should I check or change?
 

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