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Author Topic: Lions and Tigers and Computer Freezes oh my! :(
Azraelsbane
Single Celled Newbie
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Icon 2 posted February 12, 2005 21:21      Profile for Azraelsbane     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hi all! I just finished building a computer for the first time, and I've been having some problems. Here are the specs:

AMD Athlon 64 3400+
Gigabyte K8NS Pro motherboard
1 GB Corsair RAM
120 GB HD
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro All-in-Wonder 128MB gfx card
450W Power supply

Okay, here's my story (and problem): About a month ago I built my computer in the states (before moving to Europe for school). On the trip over here (in the mail) things got jostled a bit despite the best packing I could humanly give it, and for some reason the PSU was dead on arrival. I figured, well, stupid customs people tried to start my computer without switching the voltage switch and blew it, So, I bought a 500W power supply, and had a problem with freezing in 3D games (I play WoW and Sims2 a lot). Well, figured that out, I needed the gfx card on its own line, for better power, stopped freezing. Then, one day I come home from work and...my computer is off. I try to start it up, nothing. Shorted the PSU cable to see if it'd start and nope...PSU fried again, this time it took my motherboard with it, so I replaced PSU and motherboard. Everything seemingly working fine for about a week, now I'm having freezing problems again. It's not immediate, but I get graphic glitches hours into playing and then bam, computer freeze. Everything is super hot to the touch, (psu, gfx card, heatsink too, though not as much as the other 2) so I'm thinking it's overheating. Unfortunately I have no idea what to do. I have 4 extra fans in my box, I've swapped thermal pastes twice. My fans are all running great. But I have the feeling I'm on my way to somehow blowing another PSU and perhaps more. What on earth can I do to keep this from happening? Am I doing something wrong? How can I keep my gfx card from overheating? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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-LeAnn Sagmeister

Posts: 2 | From: Vienna, Austria/ Jacksonville, Florida | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cap'n Vic

Member # 1477

Icon 1 posted February 12, 2005 23:36      Profile for Cap'n Vic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Borrow a cheap ass video card throw it in and see if you still get all those heating issues.

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(!) (T) = 8-D

Posts: 5471 | From: One of the drones from sector 7G | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Azraelsbane
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Member # 3441

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Icon 1 posted February 13, 2005 03:08      Profile for Azraelsbane     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I plan on borrowing my nephew's video card today. If all the overheating problems disappear, what then? I built my computer around gaming, and I don't really want to always have a crap card. Would the overheating just meant that the card I have is on its way out? Or that for some reason my computer just can't handle itself w/ such a gfx card? Thanks.

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-LeAnn Sagmeister

Posts: 2 | From: Vienna, Austria/ Jacksonville, Florida | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

Gold Hearted SuperFan!
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Icon 1 posted February 13, 2005 03:45      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
<disclaimer>
I'm a software person, electrickery frightens me.
</disclaimer>

You could try re-arranging the cards inside the case. Sometimes air doesn't flow the way you'd first expect, so the fans might not actually be cooling the card properly.

You've got 4 fans, presumably some are blowing in, and others blowing out, try changing that around a bit, it may make a difference.

Many moons ago I 'fixed' an intermittent fault with a strategically placed bit of cardboard to force air from the fan to flow over a hot component. I've often wondered if that ever caught fire, it may be wise to use something a little less flammable than cardboard.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10680 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Stibbons
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Icon 1 posted February 13, 2005 04:36      Profile for Stibbons   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yeah, look at the way the air is flowing - just having fans doesn't cool a computer it the air flow goes straight to the exhaust fans without passing over any components.

Also have a look at Motherboard Monitor, it might be able to tell you a bit more about what is overheating, and also has an automatic shutdown feature on too high a temperature.

Finally, look at getting a new, larger case - should help fix the airflow problems a bit by spacing things out

Posts: 1143 | From: UK | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
MacManKrisK

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Icon 1 posted February 13, 2005 12:29      Profile for MacManKrisK     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Couple ideas. Make sure all your air is blowing the same way. Generally front fans blow in and rear fans blow out. Maybe invest in one or two (or three) "slot coolers"... I've heard mixed reviews of them at best, but if you can have a dedicated fan blowing on the gfx card that might help keep it a little cooler.

I'd also be suspect that the gfx card is on it's way out. As components wear out, they fall out of spec, causing them to run hotter and consume more elecctricity. Perhaps your first power supply was just crap and wasn't putting out the amount of power you thought it was. Under-powering your components causes more amperage to be forced through them (amperage, right? or is it voltage? EI=P.. well one or the other) which makes them run hotter, which causes them to wear out quickly, which makes them run hotter... which.... you see where I'm going.

Power consumption on modern PCs, especially with these high-end CPUs and GPUs is just outrageously silly. Check to see if your motherboard has one of those little 4-pin square plugs on it for the secondary power source, a lot of people forget to plug those in and that can cause under-power issues.

Something else I'd try, but then I'm crazy... is to see if you can unearth an old AT power supply, and plug all your drives into that to lessen the strain on your main power. [crazy]

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"Buy low, sell high
get rich and you still die"


Posts: 2331 | From: Southwest Michigan, USA | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted February 13, 2005 12:39      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh, I forgot to mention.
If all else fails, you could get a Peltier-effect cooler for the hot component.

Cooling solutions are part of the overclockers stock-in-trade, so have a look at www.overclockers.com

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10680 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
drunkennewfiemidget
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted February 13, 2005 14:38      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
When a device isn't getting enough juice, it increases the amperage to make up for the loss...

Watts = Volts * Amps.

If the voltage drops (brownout, cheap power supply), then the device will increase its current draw to make the wattage the same.

Too much current makes things let the magical smoke out.

Posts: 4897 | From: Cambridge, ON, Canada | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
zesovietrussian
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Icon 1 posted February 13, 2005 23:09      Profile for zesovietrussian     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sounds like there might be a problem with the power line at the house Ė any power supply will go south fast if itís constantly getting 300 volts or so instead of the usual 220. Well, unless that 500-watter of yours is the superduperpowermadeinchinabyunclelao brand, in that case itíll blow up if you look at it the wrong way, let alone put it under any sort of stress. Get a UPS and see if that solves your problem. As long as your power supply is a decent brand, 500 watts should be plenty - heck, I run a similar system (P4 3.2, ATI X800, three hard drives, etc) off a 350 watt Antec with no problems whatsoever.
Posts: 1094 | From: Boston | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted February 14, 2005 03:37      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
DNM________Isn't a amaising how much smoke that some of those little things have packed intside. LEDs are the best if you over power them they let out a bright flash and a really rancid odor.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
spungo
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Icon 1 posted February 14, 2005 03:46      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Druid - I've used peltier devices in the lab before - they're great, but the condensation is an immense problem - v. difficult to see how this can be worked around in practice. Maybe if you layered the inside of the case with silica gel, or summit...

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Shameless plug. (Please forgive me.)

Posts: 6529 | From: Noba Scoba | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Stibbons
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Icon 1 posted February 14, 2005 06:12      Profile for Stibbons   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TheMoMan:
DNM________Isn't a amaising how much smoke that some of those little things have packed intside. LEDs are the best if you over power them they let out a bright flash and a really rancid odor.

No, electrolytic capacitors are the best to overpower. Put a high enough voltage through them and the end pops off, then the entire thing uncoils at speed [Big Grin]
Posts: 1143 | From: UK | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
drunkennewfiemidget
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted February 14, 2005 07:11      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TheMoMan:
DNM________Isn't a amaising how much smoke that some of those little things have packed intside. LEDs are the best if you over power them they let out a bright flash and a really rancid odor.

I know. :S [crazy]
Posts: 4897 | From: Cambridge, ON, Canada | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged


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