Total Hard Lock When Gaming

Hi again all,

My current situation is that I get seemingly random hard locks when playing ( so far ) certain games. I just got the new Total War which locks my computer 30 seconds into the tutorial ( same spot every time ). The lock ups also happen somewhat randomly during FSX.

I was able to extend the amount of time in Total War by lowering the graphics but I still get the lock ups, however, I can play UT3 with everything up high and it doesn’t even flinch ( so far). I can also put over 12 million polys into a single viewport in 3d studio and eventually I just run out of RAM and it closes. And that’s why I’m so confused.

I’m thinking either my PSU ( 550w Antec Basiq ) can’t push enough power into the system when running these games or the 8800gt is fucking toast… or there’s some other problem that I can’t think of.

Here’s a bunch of other stats that might help that I just copied and pasted from Everest.

  CPU Type                                          DualCore AMD Athlon 64 X2, 3000 MHz (15 x 200) 6000+
  Motherboard Name                                  Foxconn A78AX-K/S  (3 PCI, 2 PCI-E x1, 1 PCI-E x16, 2 DDR2 DIMM, Audio, Video, Gigabit LAN)
  Motherboard Chipset                               AMD 770, AMD Hammer
  System Memory                                     2048 MB  (DDR2-667 DDR2 SDRAM)
  DIMM1: Corsair Value Select VS2GB667D2            2 GB DDR2-667 DDR2 SDRAM

Audio Adapter Realtek ALC662 @ ATI SB700 - High Definition Audio

Motherboard 36 °C (97 °F)
CPU 23 °C (73 °F)
CPU #1 / Core #1 28 °C (82 °F)
CPU #1 / Core #2 28 °C (82 °F)
Aux 23 °C (73 °F)
GPU 46 °C (115 °F)
GPU Memory 38 °C (100 °F)
GPU Ambient 36 °C (97 °F)
SAMSUNG SP2504C 28 °C (82 °F)
Seagate ST3250620AS 35 °C (95 °F)
WDC WD2500AAKS-00VSA0 38 °C (100 °F)

Cooling Fans:
  CPU                                               1642 RPM
  Chassis                                           1675 RPM
  GPU                                               728 RPM  (55%)

Voltage Values:
  CPU Core                                          1.86 V
  +2.5 V                                            1.09 V
  +3.3 V                                            3.30 V
  +5 V                                              5.00 V
  +12 V                                             11.90 V
  VBAT Battery                                      3.15 V
  GPU Vcc                                           3.26 V

Wow, did I read that topic wrong…

That’s really odd - I can’t really offer a solution, but I might be able to anecdotally rule out the PSU. I have an 8800GT being powered with a 500W PSU (the one that comes with the Sonata III case, so presumably a similar Rail Voltage to your Antec one) and a similar number of fans (one case, one chassis, one on the GPU) and I have never had an issue with power consumption. So it might be worth looking elsewhere. I’d have said temperature - what’s the cooling/dust situation like? Apologies if I’m misreading, but are those figures for the GPU under load? It seems very cold, 8800GTs run pretty hot if memory serves.

Have you blown out the entire inside of the case? Get all the dust out of there. Look for caked up fans and whatnot.

I just had a problem yesterday where a fan wouldn’t spin up on the processor thus causing the system to refuse to POST. I blew out the dust and everything was fine.

In my experience, hard locks are almost always due to bad RAM.

When I’ve had power supplies die, they’d power down the system, not lock it up. And failing videocards typically show visual artifacts.

Lowering system detail can lower RAM requirements, so I’d run some Prime95 or Memtest tests.

I’m with steve: try Memtest first.

I had this happen with an earlier total war game, rolling back the graphics drivers solved my problem.

Am I blind or did you not mention the video card?

To second what Wildpokerman said, I’m seeing lots of complaints with the ATI Catalyst 9.x drivers in some games, and players rolling back to 8.1 or 8.2 and being fine. And also some problems with the latest Nvidia drivers.

I had a similar problem once with a OpenGL vs. Direct3D games and an MSI motherboard. It was undervolted on the second 1G stick of RAM and D3D games would crash and reboot my system but OpenGL games were fine (or it might have been the other way around). They fixed it with a BIOS upgrade eventually, but then the board crapped out on me anyway, so MSI is on my do not buy list for a while.

There’s also a memory tester on the boot DVD for Vista or Win 7.

I just discovered that Vista’s built-in memory tester utility is even accessible from the Start menu (requires a reboot, though).