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Old 01-02-2008, 12:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Help Me FINALLY Narrow This Problem Down, Please!

System:

-Asus Striker Extreme MOBO
-Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 Kentsfield 3.0GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80562QX6850 - Retail
-EVGA 768-P2-N885-AR GeForce 8800Ultra KO 768MB 384-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
-Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM
-GeIL Black Dragon 4GB(4 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Quad Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model GB24GB6400C4QC - Retail *NOTE* Only using 2 Sticks which equals 2 Gigs, as recommended by many tech forums claiming that 4GB or ram is more trouble than helpful.


I am close to narrowing this down to its pinpoint, and you can finally help me figure out what to do.

The system mentioned above crashes, from time to time, but with enough consistency to be a tremendous nuisance. Crashes most usually occur within games, namely Team Fortress 2, Call of Duty 4, etc. It takes it a while to crash, sometimes several hours, and it happens pretty randomly, without any specific patterns that I've noticed.

For a while, I thought it was the RAM, that's why I took out 2 sticks to be left with 2GB. Though my memory isn't so perfect, I believe there was a small improvement being that the computer crashed less often.

I tried various BIOS settings, voltage settings for the RAM, different RAM slots, different fan settings, drivers, etc. No avail.

However, now I seemed to have tumbled on a good test for different scenarios, converting Curb Your Enthusiasm episodes into iPhone formate using the Videora iPhone Video Converter.

Every time I ran this, it would crash within 25% of the progress.
I opened up my PC, cleaned out some dust. and moved the 2 sticks of ram to the 3rd and fourth slots. Right, kind of useless, but somehow it helped a bit.

I now managed to get one video done from a list, but the computer would freeze and shutdown soon after the first video.I also noticed that while converting videos, my CPU is running at about 95-99% of its capacity.

Now, I just figured in my head, though I might be mistaken, that the problem should lie either with the CPU overheating or with the power supply (650 Watts).

Based on this hypothesis, I went into my BIOS, and using the overclocking feature of "CPU Multiplier" (with the default at 9), I underclocked it to 6. Bringing me down from 3Ghz, to 2Ghz. I know, extremely LAME.

However, I just finished converting about 4 videos in a row, without any problems so far.

So, from what I THINK I know, it's either the power supply, which btw is:
Bjorn3d.com -Antec TruePower Trio 650 Watt Power Supply Unit, Satisfying Your Daily Tech Cravings Since 1996

Or the CPU overheating, for which the solution is either checking the heatsink and/or thermal grease, getting an after market fan, or getting a water cooling system.

I am not sure if this rules out the RAM, but it would be good to asses.

Thanks to anyone who took a gander and can offer some tips.
Hope to hear from you guys soon.
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Old 01-02-2008, 12:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Help Me FINALLY Narrow This Problem Down, Please!

You should check your RAM to eliminate that as a problem. Here is a program to test it. MEMTEST86
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Old 01-02-2008, 12:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help Me FINALLY Narrow This Problem Down, Please!

Your system probably doesn't have enough power. 650w isn't alot considering you have an 8800ultra and that Intel Extreme. If it's a heat problem, then I would suggest finding a temperature monitoring program, load up some games or w/e makes your system crash, and see if your cpu overheats.
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Old 01-02-2008, 12:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help Me FINALLY Narrow This Problem Down, Please!

Considering that its a striker which is a 680i board, its completely possible that the memory controller is going out. My 680i board died a few weeks ago and it started out doing the same thing. I would get random crashes that i couldnt chase down, until eventually it wouldnt post.
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Old 01-02-2008, 01:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help Me FINALLY Narrow This Problem Down, Please!

i dunno 650 watts should be more then enough to run that ultra dont think it would be a problem, though ive always been an ATI fan and they use less power then nvidia so i may be off on that but doubt it. could be your processor overheating, you should look in your bios and see if theres a temp gauge in your bios to see how hot it gets. could still be the memory, but my money is either on overheat, or like what veed said, memory controller.
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Old 01-02-2008, 01:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help Me FINALLY Narrow This Problem Down, Please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by prvrt View Post
You should check your RAM to eliminate that as a problem. Here is a program to test it. MEMTEST86


Quote:
Originally Posted by veedubfreak View Post
Considering that its a striker which is a 680i board, its completely possible that the memory controller is going out. My 680i board died a few weeks ago and it started out doing the same thing. I would get random crashes that i couldnt chase down, until eventually it wouldnt post.
I thought it was the memory for a very long time.
But I ran memtest overnight, and it didn't crash at all, woke up and it was still running tests.

I don't know why I thought it was the memory, it still might be, but now that I lowered the cpu clock, things seem a lot stabler. Ofcourse, I didn't build an awesome computer to underclock it. So I am now trying to decipher whether it's a heat problem or a power problem.

Obviously, I should hope it IS the power supply, as it would be an easy buy and less hassle.

However, can anyone recommend a good temp measuring/testing application that can run some tests and measure the temperatures inside the computer that correspond? Or should I just use the nTune meter or something?

Thanks again for all the help.


****UPDATE****

I snapped a photo of CPUID's Hardware Monitor during a video conversion:


Hope that can help some.
How are those temps looking?
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Old 01-02-2008, 01:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help Me FINALLY Narrow This Problem Down, Please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by veedubfreak View Post
Considering that its a striker which is a 680i board, its completely possible that the memory controller is going out. My 680i board died a few weeks ago and it started out doing the same thing. I would get random crashes that i couldnt chase down, until eventually it wouldnt post.
i <3 x38 lol anyway what u say is very true, alltho the 680i is a very good over clocking chipset, it isnt very stable, i kno many people who have had one problem or another with the 680i boards, which was one thing that pushed me to x38, but anywya, you shouldnt have to pay for anything if a part is deffective, have it replaced for free, if it puts you out of a system for a bit, buy a new mother board thatl last for a bit or, buy a better mobo like the maximus formula lol, and sell your old one when u get it back from rma.

for temp readings download core temp, just google it, and if it is your psu, just get a new one, but it should be fine, ive seen people running systems with more components then you have on a lower wattage psu.
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Old 01-02-2008, 11:07 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help Me FINALLY Narrow This Problem Down, Please!

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Originally Posted by Amd gt player View Post
i <3 x38 lol anyway what u say is very true, alltho the 680i is a very good over clocking chipset, it isnt very stable, i kno many people who have had one problem or another with the 680i boards, which was one thing that pushed me to x38, but anywya, you shouldnt have to pay for anything if a part is deffective, have it replaced for free, if it puts you out of a system for a bit, buy a new mother board thatl last for a bit or, buy a better mobo like the maximus formula lol, and sell your old one when u get it back from rma.

for temp readings download core temp, just google it, and if it is your psu, just get a new one, but it should be fine, ive seen people running systems with more components then you have on a lower wattage psu.
Thing is, I used to have an MSI MOBO, but it wasn't very stable with the stuff I had, so I bought the asus striker, which seemed to work on the fly. Until these crashes, but I don't think it's the mobo.

Maybe someone can tell me how my temps are looking from the picture above?
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Old 01-02-2008, 11:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help Me FINALLY Narrow This Problem Down, Please!

This is exactly what happened with my 680i board. Out of the box it was flawless and then it slowly degraded. When i mentioned the memory controller that doesnt have anything to do with the memory itself. Its just a flaw in the design of the nvidia chipsets.
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Old 01-02-2008, 11:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help Me FINALLY Narrow This Problem Down, Please!

am i the only one who looked at his temps? the cpu says 81 C isnt that a little LAVA MELTING WTF..? or is it all the cores added up or wrogn readings
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