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Discussion Starter #1
I’m a newcomer to this board so hello to all.
A little background on my problem: I put together a new box and am having some problems playing 3d games especially Battlefield 2 with this computer. The new parts included:
AMD Athlon 64 3700+ socket 754 OEM
Soyo K8USA Dragon Ultra (ALi M1687/M1563 chipset)
PNY GeForce 6600 256mb AGP
1 gig DDR 333
C-Media 6.1
Maxtor 250 gig EIDE, Seagate 300 gig EIDE
HP DVD Writer, Light-ON DVD Writer
Ultra 500 watt power supply
Ultra Wizard case
Added one fan in front, one in rear in push-pull configuration

After a clean install of Windows XP Pro SP2 and other basic software I have been having a heck of a time achieving stabile performance. When I click to join a game in Battlefield 2 I see the opening graphics picture with high pitched beeping sounds then the computer restarts. Upon windows booting I get the recovery message and the usual driver causing the crash explanation. I am able to play some games, Doom 3, Call of Duty, but not others. I have tried everything that I can think of, upgrading and downgrading every driver I can find for all hardware and chipset. Tried to upgrade bios, but the system became unusable until I rolled it back from 8usa2aa5 to 8usa2aa3. When trying to do a DirectX 3D Benchmark in PC Wizard 2005 I get an error “pcwizard.dll has encountered a problem and needs to close.” I have checked the RAM with Memtest86+ 1.65, and it found no problems after 5 passes. I will let it run tonight while I sleep to see if that does anything. I tried everything else I could find in other related posts, so now I’m stuck.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Hi,

Need more information about some operating data:

1) Do a check to see what power is being put out to each rail on your power supply. (ie: 12v rail etc.)

2) Monitor temps with both at-rest and under-stress (gaming).

If your board does not have an onboard program (don't know that board), then here are a couple of free ones to monitor those items:

Sandra Lite Utility

http://www.download.com/3000-2086-10018691.html

or

Speedfan will tell you the temperatures and a whole lot more. It's free

http://www.sofotex.com/SpeedFan-download_L4655.html

or

http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php

Also, the video card could have some problems in set up as well as the power supply may not be strong enough to do the job for you. While you are getting that data, i will try to find the power supply specs to see how strong it really is.

These details we have asked for should help us to know a little more about your problem. Post back when you get that data.
 

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im not sure about this card but with other 6600gt's ive seen posts saying your PSU need to have 20A on the +12V line, which many PSU's dont have
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Update #1

First thanks for the speedy replies.
Last night I ran Memtext86+ through 16 passes with no errors, so I believe that takes the RAM out as the initial problem.

Power supply is rated as follows:
+3.3VDC 28Amps, +5VDC 30 Amps, +12VDC 34Amps, -12VDC .8A, -5VDC .3A, +5VSB, 2 Amps
500Watt (Full Load Nominal Input Voltage)

Efficiency: 70% Typical @ Full Load Nominal Power
AC Input Current 10Amps (RMS) for 115 VAC

Now I haven’t verified this yet, it is what was on the box. If power supply companies are like most other equipment, they are very optimistic with their specs. I will try the utilities mentioned and give the results.

Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Update #2

Speed fan shows that my DC power is running low voltages at idle:
+3.3 = 2.93
+5 = 5.27
+12 = 10.3

I will pick up a spare PS today to try it out.

Speed fan also shows a high temp on temp#2 of 95C
Not sure what temp #2 is.?
 

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chendrixson said:
Speed fan shows that my DC power is running low voltages at idle:
+3.3 = 2.93
+5 = 5.27
+12 = 10.3
I will pick up a spare PS today to try it out.

Speed fan also shows a high temp on temp#2 of 95C
Not sure what temp #2 is.?
Hi,

+3.3 = 2.93 (this should be no less than 3.135 at the lowest ebb)
+5 = 5.27 (this should be no more than 5.25 at the highest ebb)
+12 = 10.3 (this should be no less than 11.4 at the lowest ebb)

The +12 rail and 3.3 rails are way too low to be effective as well as the 5 volt rail being above rated specs.

If you get a new power supply, don't buy anything less than a 500 watt Enermax or Antec power supply. I know that will set you back a hundred bucks, but they are about the only great ones out there. Anything less will be much like you have presently, so pay now or pay later.

Actually, let's deal with the power supply first. Temps can raise when a low powered supply tries to run something and it causes overheating. If you have a heat problem (and you do at 95c), we will deal with that when your rig is getting enough power.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This one OK?

What are your feelings about the Antec True Power 2 550Watt power supply. I might get one today if it will be a good one. It has two +12VDC rails 19A rated on each. Probably have to try and balance the load on each rail.

Thanks again for the help.
 

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Hi,

I second oldmn's comment. It just does not get much better than that power supply. It is not only strong enough to pull anything you presently have, but permits you room to grow as power needs ramp up in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
On it's way!

Ordered the Antec TP 2 550 for $83.91 including shipping. Couldn't find one local. It should be here in two days. I will post after I have it installed. Thanks again for the tip on the PS. I'm sure it will help.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update #3 - HW monitoring problems

OK while waiting for my Antec True Power II 550 to arrive today I began some testing. I decided to check the voltages on my 12VDC and 5 DVC rails under load with my Fluke 87 multimeter. I did a min-max trending function through various tests, startup, benchmarking, Prime95, BF2 etc. and never did the 12VDC fall below 12.2 volts. The range was up to 12.48, with an average of 12.41VDC. The 5 volt rail was stabile at 5.17 volts. I believe that I trust my fluke which came back from calibration a month age more than the onboard HW monitoring. I have also found the reported temperatures vary widely depending on which utility (Everest home, Speedfan, PC Wizard 2005, and Soyo HW Monitor) I am using. I have a screenshot with all four utilities up and vastly differing data.
I should have my Antec installed this evening, but if the problem isn’t power supply related do you have any other ideas?


Thanks again for the help.
 

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high pitched beeping sounds then the computer restarts
your overheating. did you use a thermal paste on the cpu (and just a dab about size of a bb) before mounting the heatsink? is the heatsink fan moving air? is the CPU Air Duct installed?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Answers to CPU questions

1. Yes to thermal paste, didn't think I used too much. Wouldn't a CPU overheating problem be obvious during a heavy CPU stress test like Prime95? Is there another CPU stress test that might shut it down if this were the problem?
2. Plenty of air moving through heatsink.
3. If the CPU Air Duct is the tube on the side of the case, the mobo has the CPU offset so that only ¼ of the duct is over the CPU fan. I have the case side off in a 65°F room temperature and temperatures “look” normal.

Thanks for the ideas please keep them coming. I’m about to pull the CPU and reinstall with new paste just to be sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Update #4 No Luck

First, I installed the new Antec True Power II 550 Watt power supply. I must say that this is a nice power supply, from the packaging to the “feel” of the unit, it seems to be built well. After firing it up everything is the same. Software reporting a 10.3VDC buss instead of 12. My Fluke says it is a nice steady 12.3, like the last PS. No help with the problems that I have been having. I guess I have a usable spare with the Ultra 500Watt now, which isn’t a bad thing.
Second, I decided to pull the CPU cooler and reinstall with new thermal grease. I must be cursed! The CPU cooler was stuck to the CPU. When I tried to gently pull it away from the CPU, it pulled the CPU out of the socket. In my moment of surprise the assembly slipped out of my hands and fell back into the case damaging the pins on my CPU. After an hour with a magnifying glass, tweezers, and a needle, on the third attempt I was able to get all of the pins back into the socket. Overall I would say that 20 pins were bent over at a 45° angle. New thin coat of thermal paste, and I’m back up where I started. Thank god it came back to life. This didn’t help my original problem either.

Any other things I should try? Thanks again for any help.

On another note I ordered the PS from http://www.provantage.com the price was cheaper than anyone else. I chose the cheap shipping option and it was in my hands 24 hours later! I’m not sure what would have happened if I would have opted for the expensive shipping. This is my first experience with this company, and I have to rate it up there with the best.

I attached a screenshot to show four utilities with different views of the system. This was at idle.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Another screenshot

This is a screen shot to compare to the previous one. This one is taken after running the CPU at full load for fifteen minutes with Prime95-self test. The temperature had stabilized. If I had to guess even the Soyo utility is wrong with the temperatures reversed. I am going to download 3dmark and see if it tells me anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Update #5 Still no ideas Please Help

Not to be too wordy, I still have the problem. This is what I have tried:

Video Card: Changed settings like turning off fast writes, slowing down the AGP from 8X to 4X, AGP aperture size, tried different drivers, Used driver cleaner between driver installs, Using Riva Turner to check settings, Coolbits for same reason. Tried the PNY preferred BIOS settings from the PNY FAQ.

Motherboard: Tried all chipset drivers that I could find. Found newer versions on Ali/ULi site than on Soyo site. Also found that the chipset is reported as an AMD chipset in hardware reporting software, so I tried the latest driver pack from AMD as well.

Symptoms: I can play some games like Doom 3, Call of Duty, and Hitman Contracts. I can’t play other games like Battlefield 2, or even install Starwars battlefront. I can get through the Battlefield 2 menus, and choose a level and load the mission. When I click to join the level, the first graphic “screenshot” is loaded and freezes. There is an audible screeching sound followed by a system reboot. I have tried disabling the sound in the device manager, and there is no change. I'm not seeing any temperatures that are high, but then again each utility paints a different picture.

3DMark 05: I originally though that there might be a problem with the game, but I installed my friends copy of 3DMark 05 and it crashes in much the same way. After the loading screen it crashes and restarts the computer. One thing to note in 3DMark in the system pane, when I get the system details it lists the VGA Memory clock as 501.2MHz and the VGA Core Clock as 9.7MHz. When Riva Tuned did the auto-detect it found the base frequencies of 300/500. I can run the CPU tests with no crash, but not the game tests or some of the batch tests.

I am still not finding an answer. Is there anything that someone could recommend as a next course of action? Please help.

Thanks again for the help.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I am currently using ForceWare 81.85.
I will try the Omega 1.6693 and also try an older 78.01 NVidia driver and let you know if it helps.

Thanks for the reply and the idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I've had enough!

First I would like to thank everyone that replied to this thread trying to help with my problem.
As of last evening I returned the NVIDIA 6600 card to the store. I bought the card on 10/18/05 and wasn’t able to play some games since then. I have wrapped over 20 hours of my life in troubleshooting a piece of hardware that was priced $170. I decided to exchange and upgrade to an ATI X850 Pro AGP card. I was able to unlock the four extra pipelines, so now I have an X850 XT for the price of a pro.
Since I decided to try a switch back to NVIDIA from ATI back in April of this year, I have had two DOA cards (6200, 6600) and one that died after three months with no over-clocking or modifications (6200). I am sure that I am just “lucky” to have such a high failure rate, but that was enough to turn me away for a while. I’ll be back with ATI enjoying their resource hogging, bully, built in applications, and crappy drivers for a while. By looking at my 3DMark scores with this “Unlocked” card I am quite happy. I’m now able to play FEAR and BF2 with a modded card in a little over an hours work. Time is money.

Thanks again to everyone, this board is a priceless piece of information for anyone who seeks it.
 

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chendrixson said:
First I would like to thank everyone that replied to this thread trying to help with my problem.
As of last evening I returned the NVIDIA 6600 card to the store. I bought the card on 10/18/05 and wasn’t able to play some games since then. I decided to exchange and upgrade to an ATI X850 Pro AGP card. I was able to unlock the four extra pipelines, so now I have an X850 XT for the price of a pro. I’ll be back with ATI enjoying their resource hogging, bully, built in applications, and crappy drivers for a while. Time is money.

Thanks again to everyone, this board is a priceless piece of information for anyone who seeks it.
Hi,

So glad you got it going. A comment is that IMO, the ATI product line is just better and that is why I only use their products for both my personal use and for my customers. I have tried the rest and ATI is the best.

Just one comment about the drivers. Most of the time if you will load the Omega drivers (you mentioned crappy drivers), you will find they are much more stable and provide the best in graphics for your ATI card. If the Omega driver is available for an ATI card that I purchase, the first thing I do is get the Omega driver put in. Just makes sense if you don't want problems.

Happy gaming and hope you will not be a stranger on the forum. If you see something you can help with, jump right in. See you around the forum.
 
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