PC video & temperature problems

  DwayneDibbley 10:35 12 Mar 2005

When playing games or any demanding graphics application, my system crashes (locks up or shuts down).

After this, I cannot get my display to work. As the PC boots up I get 8 beeps from the mobo, indicating some kind of video memory error.

The PC then carries on and boots up windows (you can hear windows starting up even though the display is not working).

I can then shut the machine down by ctrl-alt-del, then pressing the power button on the PC. I keep repeating this cycle of booting the machine up, but have the same problem – only very occasionally will the display come on and boot up normally things then seem to be OK, until I play a game again and the machine crashes.

I have tried the following with no effect;
- Letting the PC cool down and rebooting
- Swapping the graphics card
- Giving graphics card dedicated power cable
- Removing and reseating the graphics card

I am running out of ideas – could this be a faulty mobo?

As an aside, I do seem to have a temperature problem with the processor. When playing games, the core temp will get up to 70 degC sometimes, tripping the temp alarms. This seems high compared to normal operating conditions. The heatpipes on the cooler seem to be quite hot though ( I have thermal past applied between processor & heatsink).

Could these two problems be linked – could I have blown something on my mobo?

System details as follows;

Processor – Intel P4 3.4 Ghz
Cooler – Coolermaster Hyper 48 Heatpipe
Motherboard – Intel DS875PBZ Bonanza 875P Canterwood
Graphics – Asus AX800XT / 256 Mb Memory
Memory – Corsair XMS3200XL Pro / 1Gb DDR

Many thanks

  ade.h 19:33 12 Mar 2005

70 deg C sounds very high, though it may still be within Pentium 4 tolerances. To check, you'll need to know exactly version of P4 you have and click here for more info.

  DwayneDibbley 09:04 13 Mar 2005

Thanks ade.h - any other ideas, specifically about the graphics/mobo problem?

  ade.h 19:26 13 Mar 2005

Well, taking into account your higher than average CPU temp, I would estimate that your case temp may also be high. If the graphics GPU and memory are not getting enough airflow, then the whole thing is liekly to crash when heavy demands are made by 3D games. I think DDR2 and 3 runs hotter than DDR1. Check your case temp and the airflow over the graphics card.

  DwayneDibbley 09:22 14 Mar 2005

Any advice on the mobo/BIOS beeps though? this seems to be temperature independant (e.g. starting PC from cold)

  [email protected] 09:51 14 Mar 2005

if u have put too mutch thermal paste on the cpu it can have the opposite effect. make sure u havent overdone it.. and 2nd like mentioned above check the airflow. u got a standard heat synch? remember the cooler your pc is the better it performs.

  DwayneDibbley 10:39 14 Mar 2005

Just put a small-ish blob of paste in the middle of the cpu, as per instructions with heatsink (Coolermaster Hyper 48 with heatpipes, so should really be doing the job)

As for airflow, I have a Coolermaster Wavemaster case, with standard fans at rear and two at the front. Space within case is fairly open, as I have tied back many of the cables so as not to impede air flow. Does this sound like I need more/bigger fans for PC spec?

I am still a bit foxed as to why my PC will boot up, but with no video (see above description of mobo beep code error)

  ade.h 22:17 14 Mar 2005

Tying your cables back neatly is a good move; it sounds like your case (which is a very good one) is well vented. Just make sure the fans are pushing in the right direction. Rear fans should blow outwards in the same direction as the PSU fan. That way, a lot of air is sucked thru' the case front to back, rather than being pushed around inside. With a well-vented spacious case, you may not need any front fans (though a dust filter is sensible).

If the boot error beeps only occur after a graphics freeze, then it's logical to assume that the graphics card is to blame, and that it is an issue with either overheating or hardware instability. Maybe it would benefit from a new heatsink and fan designed for overclocking. Is the standard HSF a bit weedy compared to other X800 cards?

  ade.h 22:21 14 Mar 2005

Could you borrow another high-end graphics card (Radeon or Ge-Force, doesn't really matter) to see if it copes better with your games? There are only two reason that I can think of for why a Radeon X800XT would struggle: either it's overheating for some reason or it's faulty. Try a process of elimination by swapping to another card.

  DwayneDibbley 22:29 14 Mar 2005

I've tried swapping the card over with another (NVidia GeForce 4200Ti) - but still have the same problem. Hence why I assumed it may be something to do with the motherboard.

The beeps actually occur as the PC boots up; as the POST runs, the first thing that happens is the 8 beeps. Thi sis normally after a freeze and I have had to reboot

  ade.h 22:37 14 Mar 2005

Does you mobo manual give beep codes? Some do, some don't. If not, check the manufacturer's website; it would be really useful if we knew what those beeps meant.

That NVidia is less potent than your card, so a heating issue might still be involved. I'm not sure. Maybe one of your case fans isn't working; a visual check might be in order. I guess you need to check everything until something shows up. For example, have a look at the BIOS settings for AGP.

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