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Old 01-05-2007, 06:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Computer lockups, three theories.

Hey 'yall, I once again have a problem I could do with you wonderous techies helping me with (flattery works in 'rl', so its bound to work here).

A friend of mine recently upgraded his PC from an old P4, with an ancinet motherboard, 256mb of RAM, and an FX5700LE. His new system is quite a step up being that its an AMD 3500 (AM2), 1gb of PC2-5300 RAM (running in dual channel), and a Nvidia 7950GT.

The thing is, we've recently started playing the game Medieval Total War 2 together and during MOST (but not all) of the 20 - 30 minute matches we play he will completely lock up and be forced to restart his machine - this must have happened about 8 or 9 times over the past four days. Now, I didnt put this machine together for him (thinking about it, I probably should have!) but I did inspect it to check everything was as it should be. Apart from a few misinstalled cables everything was fine, although his Graphics card did seem to 'wobble' a lot in his PCI-E slot, because the case is one of those stupid things that doesn't allow you to screw things down, instead choosing to use its own locking mechanism - which of course only partly works due to its shoddy construction. This is my first theory for the computer locking up. Maybe he's vibrating the floor to much and the graphics card is getting nocked slightly out of contact with the slot (he is 6"4 and at least 14 stone), thus causing the freeze. I know this is quite a strange guess, but I've seen wierder things.

My second theory is that his power supply may not be upto the task of supplying enough power for the 7950. I would ask him to open his case up and look at the Wattage but he'd not doubt reply with "What the **** is that and where do I find it? On the side? Nah, theres only a sticker with writing on there, no mention of wattage"

My third theory is that his RAM may be a bit 'funky', as according to CPU-Z he has two sticks of 512 DDR2 PC2-5300 ram, running in Dual Channel. That sounds fair enough to me, EXCEPT for the fact that the running frequency is 244.4mhz (CPU/9) instead of the 333mhz which I thought 5300 was meant to run at.

All drivers have been installed and are the latest version (the game is not the fault either). Any light you could shed on the matter would be grand.

As usual, thanks in advance.
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Old 01-05-2007, 06:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have an HTML dump file of his CPU-Z here and my lord, there are some strange things going on. The HT link speed below for example.

Technology = 90 nm
Core Speed = 2199.3 MHz
Multiplier x Bus speed 11.0 x 199.9 MHz
HT Link speed = 799.7 MHz
Stock frequency = 2200 MHz
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AMD 64 X2 4200+ @ 2.2ghz
2048mb Corsair PC3200 RAM (2x1gb)
WinFast NF4SK8AA Motherboard
660GB HDD Capacity (3xHDD)
600w Enermax PSU
eVga 8800 GTS 320mb
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Old 01-05-2007, 07:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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To rule out the graphics card being loose tell him to put the pc on the ground sideways and then try playing the game. Reset the BIOS to default settings too might help.

Check the temperature in the BIOS of the CPU and its fan speed.
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