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Old 07-02-2012, 10:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default First computer build ever - seems unstable, any suggestions?

Hi, I just recently built my first computer and I think I need some help. I built it a week and a half ago and it runs (I'm on it right now), but it seems to have a few problems:
  1. A few times (3 so far), the computer freezes and the screen looks like it gets squished vertically and repeats, but it's very jagged horizontally, so you can't make anything out. Except for the mouse pointer, which stays where it was and isn't messed up, other than being frozen. I can reset the computer and it starts up fine. This description is probably terrible, but it hasn't happened in a few days or I'd have taken a picture that I'd be able to show.
  2. I have it connected to a small HDTV as a monitor temporarily. If the computer is on and I turn the monitor off, when I turn it back on, the HDMI is not recognized as plugged in as an audio option. Unplugging and plugging the HDMI cable back in fixes this, but it happens every time. I've reinstalled audio drivers for the motherboard and the graphics card, but nothing helps. I'm hoping it won't be an issue when I get a DVI monitor and speakers.
  3. Twice, the last time being about 20 minutes ago, the computer screen goes black, then I get a blue screen with some info about a garbage dump or something, it goes away quickly so I wasn't able to note any details. Afterwards it just restarts.
  4. Earlier today I put the computer in sleep mode. It wouldn't turn back on when pressing the power button or the keyboard or mouse. I had to unplug it and plug it back in to get it to turn on.

So those are my problems so far. My build is as follows:

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-970A-D3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX

Video Card: XFX HD-677X-ZNFC Radeon HD 6770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9D-8GBXL

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARX 2TB 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Case: Rosewill BLACKHAWK Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, come with Five Fans, window side panel, top HDD dock

I also have a card reader that connects to a USB header, and it's all running on a 550W PSU. It's running Windows 7 Professional 64-bit. I got a product key from my school's MSDN deal thing, but the download was behaving weird, so I found a torrent of the OS. The torrent description said it was an unaltered OEM disc image of Windows 7 Professional 64-bit, and I used my legit product key with it. Is it possible that that could be my issue, and I need to get a 100% guaranteed legit copy or retail disc of Windows 7? I've tried installing and reinstalling drivers for the motherboard and the video card, but I seem to just keep having problems, and I have no idea what's going wrong. And help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: First computer build ever - seems unstable, any suggestions?

Double check that your DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) memory is compatible with your AMD Phenom II x4 965 CPU. I don't believe it is.

Types of Memory Supported: Unregistered DIMMs up to PC2-8500 (DDR2-1066) and PC3-10600 (DDR3-1333)
http://hothardware.com/Reviews/AMD-Phenom-II-980-Black-Edition-Review/

I had a similar problem with my new system, due to incompatible memory (I bought memory too fast for my Gigabyte UD5 board).
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: First computer build ever - seems unstable, any suggestions?

Um, the board says: DDR3 2000(O.C.) / 1866 / 1600 / 1333 / 1066

If the board supports it, the CPU will. It's designed to.
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: First computer build ever - seems unstable, any suggestions?

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Originally Posted by MindoverMaster View Post
Um, the board says: DDR3 2000(O.C.) / 1866 / 1600 / 1333 / 1066

If the board supports it, the CPU will. It's designed to.
I'm afraid I'm going have to disagree with your interesting assertion. I am certain that Gigabyte (and other vendors) can and do make boards that support modes that some CPUs that fit on their boards will not support.
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: First computer build ever - seems unstable, any suggestions?

How "new" was the system? I'm quite sure a Phenom II would support that. Unless you go with a low-grade CPU.
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: First computer build ever - seems unstable, any suggestions?

According to AMD, the Phenom II 965 provides,

"Support for unregistered DIMMs up to PC2 8500(DDR2-1066MHz) and PC3 10600 (DDR3-1333MHz)"

AMD Phenom

From my own experience, the system may (or may not) boot with faster RAM, but it isn't supported and probably won't be stable.
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Old 07-04-2012, 03:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: First computer build ever - seems unstable, any suggestions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Opcode View Post
According to AMD, the Phenom II 965 provides,

"Support for unregistered DIMMs up to PC2 8500(DDR2-1066MHz) and PC3 10600 (DDR3-1333MHz)"

AMD Phenom

From my own experience, the system may (or may not) boot with faster RAM, but it isn't supported and probably won't be stable.
You are correct opcode, Mind, there are some past AM3 Athlon/Phenom II's that were not meant for that speed.
A great example is the phenom ii 965 black edition.
I tried to do that last year in xmas, but the system could not handle that memory speed and quickly reset itself to prevent oc damages.
Current AM3+/FM sockets easily support it, even in some old AM3 boards with bios chip upgrade does it work out perfectly.
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Old 07-04-2012, 12:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: First computer build ever - seems unstable, any suggestions?

Huh. Well how about that, I didn't even know to check for the CPU's compatibility with my memory. I guess I'll lower the clock speed on my memory and see if that helps things, though I don't think that would relate to the sleep mode issue or the HDMI audio issue. Thanks for your help guys, I really appreciate it. If I have any more problems, I'll be sure to post here again.
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Old 07-04-2012, 12:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: First computer build ever - seems unstable, any suggestions?

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Originally Posted by Godoftheblackflame View Post
Huh. Well how about that, I didn't even know to check for the CPU's compatibility with my memory. I guess I'll lower the clock speed on my memory and see if that helps things, though I don't think that would relate to the sleep mode issue or the HDMI audio issue. Thanks for your help guys, I really appreciate it. If I have any more problems, I'll be sure to post here again.
Lowering the memory speed might work; I don't know if it will. It isn't just speed that is the problem, though, if I recall correctly. You also have to deal with the timing used for memory access. Also, memory is designed for certain speeds, and might not work if you slow it below that speed. So, if slowing down the memory doesn't work, you should swap out the memory for something in the specs I posted (PC3 10600 (DDR3-1333MHz) or lower numbers).
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Old 07-04-2012, 12:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: First computer build ever - seems unstable, any suggestions?

Disable automatic system restart and get us the BSOD info next time it happens (text in all caps at the top, STOP code with parameters, and if a driver (.sys) file is mentioned below the STOP code). Do this by:
Start > right click Computer > Properties > Advanced system settings on the left panel > Advanced tab > under "Startup and recovery" click Settings > uncheck "automatically restart" > Hit OK on all open windows.

Also, wouldn't hurt to upload your Minidumps for us to analyze.

Browse to C:\Windows\Minidumps, and zip the contents of that folder. Upload that zip so we can check them out.
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