Windows 7 PC keeps crashing when playing 3D video games

February 7, 2012 at 16:59:55
Specs: Windows 7 64, 2.661 GHz / 6142 MB

Empire total war, napoleon total war and MW3 on spec ops (but not on multilayer or campaign) keeps crashing. It not a normal crash or blue screen either, I will be playing and then suddenly the screen goes to strips, they are a kind of green/yellow colour. Sound continues for a few seconds but then get stuck. Only way to sort is to restart the pc.

What's wrong?

System specs:
Windows 7 ultimate x64
Core i7 920
Corsair 1866 dominator ram 6GB
AMD HD 6970
Corsair 950w power unit.


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#1
February 7, 2012 at 19:44:34

The combination of freezing and color 'strips' (stripes?) would lead me to look carefully into the video card and its driver.
Is it getting enough power? The power supply appears to be strong enough (though you did not supply the model), but what about the PCIe connectors. The one I looked up had one 6pin and one 8 pin PCIe connector, are the connectors an integral part of your power supply, or are they connected through adapters/'Y' connectors? If the connectors are not included, you should have 2 molex connectors into a 'Y' plug into each of the PCIe plugs and the 2 molex connectors should be from different wire bundles so the wire/load is distributed evenly to the power supply through the harness.

Are you using the correct and latest driver? Download ATI driver for your card and operating system and update it.

Finally, heat is the other probability, especially if these first ones do not help. Install Speedfan or other temperature monitoring program and video card monitor program if available. Monitor your internal temperatures at idle, under various loads, and finally during gaming to see if any of your temperatures are rising into the serious danger area and causing the freezing.
Post back results.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#2
February 8, 2012 at 11:49:39

Hi, my power supply is a tx950 and I am not using any adapters, the first thing I looked at was the temps and found something very interesting.

I played 3 games:
MW3
Crysis 2
Napoleon total war

The only crash I got was Napoleon total war.

peak temp on crysis 2 was 66C (almost max settings) no problems,
peak on MW3 was 69C (Max settings) no problems,
but Napoleon total war it got interesting, from the moment I launched the game the temps flew up, at the MENU screen it was at 76C I started a game and there was no change in temps but after a few seconds is crashed still at 76C.
I thought it might be the graphics as it was set to high (but not ultra) so set everything to medium but same thing, shot up to 76C and a few seconds later is crashed.

Also forgot my motherboard is a GA-X58-UD7.

where do I go from here and thank you for the help.

Thanks again
James


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#3
February 8, 2012 at 13:01:10

"...I will be playing and then suddenly the screen goes to strips, they are a kind of green/yellow colour. "

If that only happens whe you play a high end game, that's a lot more likely to be caused by overheating of the video chipset than it's a video drivers problem.

" played 3 games:
MW3
Crysis 2
Napoleon total war

The only crash I got was Napoleon total war.

peak temp on crysis 2 was 66C (almost max settings) no problems,
peak on MW3 was 69C (Max settings) no problems,
but Napoleon total war it got interesting, from the moment I launched the game the temps flew up, at the MENU screen it was at 76C I started a game and there was no change in temps but after a few seconds is crashed still at 76C.
I thought it might be the graphics as it was set to high (but not ultra) so set everything to medium but same thing, shot up to 76C and a few seconds later is crashed "

It appears your video chipset gets too hot when you play Napoleon total war, to the point that it is malfunctioning.
It's also gettig too hot for the other games, but apparently not enough to cause it to malfunction.

High end games use leading software that often has more bugs in it than most software does. A game may NOT work properly with your particular mboard / main chipset or with your particular video chipset despite the fact your system meets or exceeds the minimum requirements for the game. You could try the following, but sometimes you can't get a particular game to work properly with you system no matter what you try.
- check the maker of the game's web site, especially Napoleon total war, to see if there is a patch or an updated version of the game that will help regarding your problem that you can load. Look for mentions of the HD 6970.

- check the AMD web site for mentions of your problem with Napoleon total war - sometimes they have alternate display drivers you can load that cure problems with certain games.
.....

Some video cards have (an) indequate fan(s).
You could try cranking up the rpm of the fan(s) in the card's software (if that's available it's probably in the Calayst settings if that's been installed - if you didn't install Catalyst you may not have that option).
If you CAN increase the fan's rpm(s), if that doesn't help enough, or if it does but the fan(s) is (are) too noisy at the higher rpms, or in any case, there are lots of aftermarket third party fans or combo heat sink / fans that can cool the video chipset better. The greater the blade of the fan's diameter, the more likely it will cool better and make less noise when runing at it's max speed.

What is the temp inside the case when the video chipset is getting too hot ?
That's in the bios's current hardware readings - mboard or system temp - or Gigabyte probably has a hardware moinitoring program on the CD or DVD that came with it that you can install and find that reading in Windows - that's likely to be more accurate than SpeedFan is.

If that gets relatively high too, you need to improve the cooling inside your case.

Some cases already have a place you can mount another case fan so you can blow at, or suck air from the area of, where the video card is.
Or, you could custom mount a case fan on the bottom of the case to blow towards, or suck air away from the area of, the video card.

The fan always sucks in air on the side where you can see the entire fan blade, blows it towards / away from the side where there is a non moving central part. It's probably more effective to blow air at the video card.
(CPU fans are supposed to always blow air towards the cpu's heat sink for the best cooling.)

If you have other cards in one or more slot(s), if there is a card in a slot next to the fan side of the video card, the video card will cool better the more space there is on the fan side of the card - move the other card to a different slot, farther away, if you can.
............

"Sound continues for a few seconds but then get stuck. Only way to sort is to restart the pc."

When the video chipset gets too hot, that can cause all sorts of strange symptoms, but you can also get strange systems when the cpu gets too hot. A high end game places more load on both the video chipset and the cpu.

The cpu getting too hot is more likely to cause your system to "freeze".

What is the temp of cpu getting to when the video chipset is getting too hot ?




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Related Solutions

#4
February 8, 2012 at 13:23:59

Hi thanks for your reply, I had a look around and a safe temp for GPU is 90C with a max temp of 110C. Many report working temps of 90C + on extreme settings on games. My CPU is water cooled and stays around the 44C mark under load and 32C idle. My case has a total of 9 fans so don't think the case is getting very hot but will double check (case us a corsair 800D).

The GPU is a powercolor version with 2 fans. Thinking back on it the temps I have are not horrific. I mean my old 8800 GTS used to hot 87C when playing medieval total war 2 on max. I will have a look around for drivers extra. I will also run some benchmarks to see what temps I hit and if I get problems.

Thanks again
James


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#5
February 8, 2012 at 16:33:47

The GP (or CPU) will begin to misbehave at a temp a lot lower than it's max safe temp.

The max GP temp others have gotten without having problems is significant only if they have the same video card.

It never hurts for the GP temp to be as low as you can get it.

You could try removing the AC to the case, removing the card, wiping off it's contacts, re-seating it.
Do the same for your ram modules.

There's no point in having more case fans running than you need - doing that just pulls more dust, lint, etc. inside the case than it would with fewer fans running.
Only have as many case fans running as it takes to get the temp inside the case to a miinmum - if having another fan running doesn't make a signifcant difference, it doesn't need to be running.

It's NOT a good idea to have your case on the floor in a room that has wall to wall carpet - the lint from that will build up inside the case a lot faster, the more fans you have running, the more lint.

Make sure that you don't have an excessive build up of dust, lint, etc. on your CPU and GP heat sinks.


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