Stability issues

I’m now running a slick little Athlon Xp 2100+, and it’s blazing fast (to me). Unfortunately, I’m having issues with stability – or lack thereof. It’s not a problem when I’m not running a game, but what’s the fun of having a really fast CPU if you can’t play games? Stuff seems to freeze periodically. (Morrowind, which I just bought, is only playable ten minutes at a time, but I think that’s the game’s fault, not the computer’s.)

It’s not really bad, but it’s a bit tedius. Any suggestions would be great. My CPU is running at about 57 degrees Celsius, which I hear is perfectly acceptable, unless I’ve been misinformed. Who’s had this problem, and conquered it?

My first suggestion would be to go get “Motherboard Monitor” at http://mbm.livewiredev.com/ and go through the (mostly easy) setup and see if you have a cooling problem.

[EDIT: Added below]

You don’t mention what graphics card you’ve got, but if it’s an NVidia card, you might also try going to the old drivers (30.82) which are apparently more stable than the newest 40.xx drivers.

Yup, it’s a GeForce 2 Ti. Before I loaded the 40.xx drivers, I was having more problems – though I don’t know what drivers I was using. Where do I get the 30.82 drivers? I’ll give them a try.

Whew! With the holidays, the job market, and the ‘how happy are you with your wife’ thread, I thought maybe this was a mental stability problem from this thread’s title, Murph. :wink: Although, usually the stability of my computer and my mental state often go hand-in-hand.

Assuming you’re using Windows 2k or XP, they can be found here.

I found this by going to the main drivers page then clicking on the Archives link on the left.

For some reason I assume he is using 98 or ME. Lack of stability is a feature in Windows 9x.

You first need to rule out the heat problem before you do anything else.

This is easy enough to do. Open your case, grab a large house fan (whatever you have available), and place it blowing full-blast on the open case.

Now play games. If you still have lockups, it is NOT a heat related problem.

Heh – easy enough. My case is already open. I’ll go grab a fan in a bit, and try again. Thanks, Wumpus.

Yes, I’m using 98SE, and I’ve never had this much trouble with it before. If you guys can convince me that it’s an OS problem, I’ll go out and buy XP tomorrow. :-)

How many watts is the power supply, Murph? That could very well be the problem.

Yup, Power supplies are always a prime suspect with hard to pin down stability issues.

Whilst Athlon’s are rated to 85 degrees with a never exceed of 95 degrees I wouldn’t be happy if my CPU was running constantly at 57 degrees.

Mine averages 45 degrees with an ambient room temperature of 24 degrees. What sort of cooling fan are you using on it ? What is your ambient room temperature ?

Room temperature is slightly cooler than most rooms, and I’ve got a Thermaltake cooling fan on it. But, it turns out that Wumpus’s suggestion was a good one…I just played a couple of hours of Morrowind, which I hadn’t been able to do previously, with a fan blowing directly into the case. Certainly not a permanent solution, but a decent one until I pick up a case fan, which it looks like I’ll have to do.

I also have a Thermaltake (Volcano), but I have an XP1800+ and a case fan as well. The temperature is ok but I’m still thinking about getting a second fan to blow air into the box and replacing the IDE-cable with a round one. A friend of mine had to use a house fan, but I think he used it for too long because his CPU or motherboard stopped working after only two years.

And when you have the fan installed I think the cooling will be worse with an open case. That’s what I’ve heard at least.

I won’t leave the case open – I just put the thing together, and hadn’t closed it up yet. Thanks for the tip, though – I hadn’t thought about that, but it makes sense.