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Time to admit defeat!

home99
Grafter
Posts: 254
Registered: 30-07-2007

Time to admit defeat!

There comes a time when you have to hold your hands up and admit defeat and my time is now.  I have spent the last 2 weeks attempting to fix my PC and now I'm afraid I have  given up.  My MB died 2 weeks ago and since I have had a new MB and power supply fitted my sons games constantly freeze.  Its random and occurs in different titles.  In windows, normal apps are fine.
XP SP2
2 GB RAM
Athlon XP4200
MSI 6800GT
ASUS A8V-VM SE
550W powers supply

So far I have:
Updated all drivers - still froze
Rolled back to old drivers - still froze
Had the power supply tested - power supply ok
Had a PC shop run a utility overnight to push my PC to the limit - it was ok
CPU temperatures - within limits, max 50c, average 37c
Ran the games without any USB devices connected - still froze.
Reinstalled the games - still froze.
Reseated all devices - still froze.
Finally I reinstalled windows (fresh install) and ran the games with no other software on - still froze.
So here I sit, wishing I had never laid eyes on this ### thing.  Oh well I least I can still post this mess......
 
33 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,576
Thanks: 3
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Time to admit defeat!

What games are giving the problem as there maybe known issues?
When you say freeze the game or the pc? Can you ALT TAB or CTRL ALT DEL and get any response?
With games it most likely graphic if there big games.
In the bios is there an option for safe defaults or similar if so try that.
Yadda
Grafter
Posts: 102
Registered: 24-10-2007

Re: Time to admit defeat!

just a thought, but have you connected the 6-pin power connector to the graphics card?
Yadda
Grafter
Posts: 102
Registered: 24-10-2007

Re: Time to admit defeat!

Hmm, after a little research it seems you're not the only A8V-VM SE user with this problem.
Many people have similar issues, with games slowing right down or crashing when using this motherboard. It seems to be an issue with the motherboard dramatically throttling (reducing) the CPU speed when the temperature reaches 45-50degrees+. There doesn't seem to be any way of disbling this "feature" in the BIOS either and so far there isn't a solution.  Embarrassed
I'll post some links to discussions relating to this that I found on other forums if that's allowed.
Yadda
Grafter
Posts: 102
Registered: 24-10-2007

Re: Time to admit defeat!

Thanks for clearing that up PJ.
Here are a couple of threads that may be of interest, Home99:
Asus Support forum (if you get a "forum busy" message, try again later):
http://tinyurl.com/3xp29u
Rightmark forum:
http://tinyurl.com/36y7g4

home99
Grafter
Posts: 254
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Time to admit defeat!

Hi,
PJ - full AV, spyware carried out - ok, memtest carried out overnight - ok. System error log shows nothing untoward.
Samurai - it occurs during numerous games at random times, Ctrl Alt Delete gets absolutley no response and its a reboot. 
Yadda- Its almost identical to the posts in the link you provided,  infact its almost comforting to know others are having the same issue.  I was frustrated because I thought perhaps it was something I had done.  I am surprised there is not a solution though.
I think I will pass the links to the guy who replaced the MB to ask for his comments.  I wonder where I stand?
Many thanks for your help everyone
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,718
Thanks: 931
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Time to admit defeat!

Could you try running with the case open and a desk fan blowing in to see if keeping it cool makes a difference? If it does you would then have a strong case for taking it back to the guy who replaced the MOBO as it is not fit for purpose (unless you specifically asked for that board in which case you may be in a dodgy situation). It might be that the problem could be solved by fitting an extra case fan.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Yadda
Grafter
Posts: 102
Registered: 24-10-2007

Re: Time to admit defeat!

I'd be tempted to download RMClock utility - a nifty app that shows lots of system information and includes the realtime monitoring of CPU throttling.
Info here: http://cpu.rightmark.org/products/rmclock.shtml#rmclock
Download here (first link in the 5th "box" down): http://cpu.rightmark.org/download.shtml
Launch it and click "CPU info" in the left hand pane. The "core clock" and "Throttle" values should be the same, showing the correct operating speed for your CPU.
(Alternatively, you can click on "monitoring" in the left hand pane. You should only see a red line in the graph at the top, a purple line in there indicates your CPU is throttling.)
Next, with the RMCLock utility open, launch a CPU benchmark - preferably one that runs in a window (so you can keep an eye on the RMClock figures while the benchmark is running).
Keep looping the benchmark to get your CPU nice & hot and see if RMClock shows any throttling.
If it does, and your temperatures are within the safe limits of the CPU then you have very good grounds to complain and obtain an alternative motherboard.
Edit:
I've just realised that RMClock can record the monitoring data in a log file. This way, instead of using a windowed benchmark to heat-up your CPU, you can use a game instead (therefore re-creating the original cause of your problem perfectly) and check the results in the log file afterwards (make sure RMClock is running before you start the game though of course Smiley ). To enable the logging, in "Settings" tick the "Enable logging of monitoring data" box in the "Logging options section" near the bottom. This will create a text document log in your RMClock program folder.


home99
Grafter
Posts: 254
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Time to admit defeat!

Fantastic!
It has downloaded and I will try it once the kids are in bed.  It would be great if this provides me with a definitive answer.
Many thanks
Dave
home99
Grafter
Posts: 254
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Time to admit defeat!

Hmmm, tried RM clock and it doesn't appear to be throttling that is causing the problem.  Whilst the program was running I was able to crash my PC 3 times during a game.  The following information is the last few lines of info RM clock gives before I crash:
Crash 1
18:58:31.390, CPU: 1, Clock: 2194.78, Throttle:  100.00, FID: 11.0, VID: 1.350, CPULoad:  31.19, OSLoad:  21.88, CoreTemp: 59.2
18:58:32.390, CPU: 0, Clock: 2194.76, Throttle:  100.00, FID: 11.0, VID: 1.350, CPULoad:  70.78, OSLoad:  76.56, CoreTemp: 58.0
18:58:32.390, CPU: 1, Clock: 2194.76, Throttle:  100.00, FID: 11.0, VID: 1.350, CPULoad:  35.77, OSLoad:  25.00, CoreTemp: 59.2
18:58:33.390, CPU: 0, Clock: 2194.78, Throttle:  100.00, FID: 11.0, VID: 1.350, CPULoad:  75.37, OSLoad:  81.25, CoreTemp: 57.8
18:58:33.390, CPU: 1, Clock: 2194.76, Throttle:  100.00, FID: 11.0, VID: 1.350, CPULoad:  31.08, OSLoad:  21.88, CoreTemp: 59.2
19:02:30.484, CPU: 0, Clock: 2194.75, Throttle:  100.00, FID: 11.0, VID: 1.350, CPULoad:  65.28, OSLoad:  64.86, CoreTemp: 43.8
19:02:30.484, CPU: 1, Clock: 2194.77, Throttle:  100.00, FID: 11.0, VID: 1.350, CPULoad:  62.48, OSLoad:  40.54, CoreTemp: 43.6
--Log stopped 11/25/2007, 19:02:30
Crash 2
19:05:06.046, CPU: 0, Clock: 2194.80, Throttle:  100.00, FID: 11.0, VID: 1.350, CPULoad:  83.60, OSLoad:  87.50, CoreTemp: 56.4
19:05:06.046, CPU: 1, Clock: 2194.77, Throttle:  100.00, FID: 11.0, VID: 1.350, CPULoad:  21.87, OSLoad:  14.06, CoreTemp: 57.0
19:05:07.046, CPU: 0, Clock: 2194.75, Throttle:  100.00, FID: 11.0, VID: 1.350, CPULoad:  83.11, OSLoad:  81.25, CoreTemp: 56.0
19:05:07.046, CPU: 1, Clock: 2194.75, Throttle:  99.99, FID: 11.0, VID: 1.350, CPULoad:  22.06, OSLoad:  18.75, CoreTemp: 57.0
19:05:08.046, CPU: 0, Clock: 2194.72, Throttle:  100.00, FID: 11.0, VID: 1.350, CPULoad:  73.74, OSLoad:  76.56, CoreTemp: 55.6
19:05:08.046, CPU: 1, Clock: 2194.75, Throttle:  99.99, FID: 11.0, VID: 1.350, CPULoad:  31.84, OSLoad:  25.00, CoreTemp: 56.8
19:05:09.046, CPU: 0, Clock: 2194.77, Throttle:  100.00, FID: 11.0, VID: 1.350, CPULoad:  77.49, OSLoad:  81.25, CoreTemp: 55.4
19:05:09.046, CPU: 1, Clock: 2194.76, Throttle:  100.00, FID: 11.0, VID: 1.350, CPULoad:  27.67, OSLoad:  18.75, CoreTemp: 56.6

Crash 3
19:12:25.265, CPU: 1, Clock: 2194.75, Throttle:  100.00, FID: 11.0, VID: 1.350, CPULoad:  30.22, OSLoad:  21.88, CoreTemp: 56.6
19:12:26.296, CPU: 0, Clock: 2194.76, Throttle:  100.00, FID: 11.0, VID: 1.350, CPULoad:  89.11, OSLoad:  90.77, CoreTemp: 56.0
19:12:26.296, CPU: 1, Clock: 2194.75, Throttle:  99.99, FID: 11.0, VID: 1.350, CPULoad:  16.49, OSLoad:  10.94, CoreTemp: 56.6
19:12:27.265, CPU: 0, Clock: 2194.76, Throttle:  100.00, FID: 11.0, VID: 1.350, CPULoad:  82.15, OSLoad:  87.30, CoreTemp: 56.0
19:12:27.265, CPU: 1, Clock: 2194.80, Throttle:  100.00, FID: 11.0, VID: 1.350, CPULoad:  22.97, OSLoad:  12.50, CoreTemp: 56.6
19:12:28.250, CPU: 0, Clock: 2194.71, Throttle:  100.00, FID: 11.0, VID: 1.350, CPULoad:  84.65, OSLoad:  92.06, CoreTemp: 56.0
19:12:28.250, CPU: 1, Clock: 2194.79, Throttle:  100.00, FID: 11.0, VID: 1.350, CPULoad:  20.78, OSLoad:  7.81, CoreTemp: 56.4
19:12:29.265, CPU: 0, Clock: 2194.75, Throttle:  100.00, FID: 11.0, VID: 1.350, CPULoad:  80.64, OSLoad:  79.69, CoreTemp: 56.0
19:12:29.265, CPU: 1, Clock: 2194.78, Throttle:  100.00, FID: 11.0, VID: 1.350, CPULoad:  26.30, OSLoad:  20.31, CoreTemp: 56.4
19:12:30.250, CPU: 0, Clock: 2194.76, Throttle:  100.00, FID: 11.0, VID: 1.350, CPULoad:  90.55, OSLoad:  90.63, CoreTemp: 55.8
19:12:30.250, CPU: 1, Clock: 2194.75, Throttle:  100.00, FID: 11.0, VID: 1.350, CPULoad:  16.25, OSLoad:  10.94, CoreTemp: 56.4
Can anyone see a pattern?

Oh and the PC has just crashed whilst viewing video in a browser window, with other browser windows open.
Yadda
Grafter
Posts: 102
Registered: 24-10-2007

Re: Time to admit defeat!

Ok, at least we can rule out thermal CPU throttling as the cause of the problem.
I'm still convinced it's a motherboard temperature-related issue though. I notice the northbridge heatsink on that motherboard has no fan attached....
Download "Asus Probe", you can find it here (in the "general download" boxes, choose "motherboard", "Socket939", "A8V-VM SE" and click "search". Next choose the "Utilities" tab and you should find "ASUS PC Probe II" at the bottom).
http://tinyurl.com/9qlck
Run Asus Probe and watch some video on your PC again. Keep an eye on the "MB Temperature" value in the "monitor summary" section and post the lowest & highest values you see.
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,385
Thanks: 715
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Time to admit defeat!

In honesty i think we can rule out a heating problem.
I think it's more likely to be the motherboard design. If I were you I would take it back (along with the print out of other peoples comments on also using this board and having it freeze) and ask for a refund or another board.
If other people who are having this issue have not solved it yet i somehow doubt it is a user-solvable issue. If it was, someone would of cracked it by now!
I know it's very annoying to hear that but thats what i reckon!
Incidentally i got a cheap ASDA version of splinter cell. I can install it on this PC but playing it only leads to a crash while the intro video is playing (which incidentally you can't get past). I gave up in the end. Thing is my PC is very reliable (not the most upto date) so I'm reckoning my gfx ain't up to it or the game is too much for my system (despite overly meeting the minimum requirements).
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
home99
Grafter
Posts: 254
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Time to admit defeat!

I already have probe II running and I have been keeping an eye on it - nothing spectacular - highest value 53c and the lowest 34c.
Your right about the NB heatsink having no fan.  Its ironic because my last MB failed when the NB fan failed and it fried. That was an ASUS too Angry
I have tried to recreate the crash in normal apps but cant - even with video running.   
Yadda
Grafter
Posts: 102
Registered: 24-10-2007

Re: Time to admit defeat!

53 degrees is very, very hot for a northbridge. I wouldn't be at all surprised if that's the cause of the problem. If you feel like it you could, for the sake of experiment, try removing your case side-panel (or top if it's a desktop case) and cooling the innards with a desk-fan to see if that helps. If it does, and it solves your problem then you could opt for a better aftermarket northbridge heatsink & fan but in all honesty I'd try and get a refund on the 'board and buy an alternative model. After all, it's not your fault the board has inadequate northbridge cooling so why should you have to fit extra components to make it work correctly?
home99
Grafter
Posts: 254
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Time to admit defeat!

Sorry Yadda the temps I posted were for the CPU, Asus Probe II doesnt give temps for the NB.