Crash diagnosis please

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Howdy all,

Your help with a frustrating issue i'm having if you please. I'm at a loss and this is the best place to come :)

I'm playing mostly GRID, Fallout 3 and Batman: Arkham Asylum just now. When playing GRID or Batman for any more than 20 minutes, the PC crashes. Fallout hasn't done this yet. The crash freezes everything and the screen goes stripey - vertical black and [random colour] stripes. Audio normally goes into a "stuttering loop" of sorts when it crashes. Requires a hard-off. Never crashes when doing generic stuff like web, Office or Photoshop.

Doesn't seem to be temperatures, have ramped up the fans on the GPU to keep it about 40 degrees, and the CPU sits about the same (Artic HSF). Updated Catalysts to 9.9, gave me a little more time before crash, but still happened.

Specs:

Win XP SP3
Core2 Duo e7400 @ stock (2.8GHz)
2GB Crucial Ballistix (1066MHz)
ASRock 4CoreDual-VSTA mobo
600w Hiper PSU
ATI HD4850 512MB XXX Edition


Any more details that you need, just ask :)

Many thanks in advance.
 
Soldato
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Have you tried running MemTest, Orthos or any other stress test tools. Sounds very much like a hardware problem as you've stated yourself, general day to day stuff is OK. Could be a simple voltage issue (CPU/Mem). Also try running FurMark to stress the GPU.

:)
 
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Thanks buddy. Just tried those:

Tried FurMark, GPU never goes above 70 degrees (1440x900 8x MSAA), no crashes.

Tried CPU and mem stressing with ORTHOS, CPU doesn't go above 42 degrees, no crashes.

Not tried Memtest yet, is it bootable only?
 
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Thanks buddy. Just tried those:

Tried FurMark, GPU never goes above 70 degrees (1440x900 8x MSAA), no crashes.

Tried CPU and mem stressing with ORTHOS, CPU doesn't go above 42 degrees, no crashes.

Not tried Memtest yet, is it bootable only?

Hmm!

Yeah MemTest is just bootable. When you ran Orthos, did you open it twice and then set the affinity in Task Manager to each Core? So for example, you'll have 2 instances of Orthos32.exe running (or similar). You then right click on the process, select "set affinity" and you'll have Core0 and Core1 listed. For 1 instance of Orthos32.exe set Core0 and for the other Core1. Then click Run/Go/Start or whatever in Orthos (but set it to Small FTT to stress the CPU loads).

If you did do that, ignore my ramblings! :D
 
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Sorry to resurrect this, but i'm still getting crashes despite replacing everything in my pc! The only common part throughout this is the graphics card.

I sent it back to OcUK and got a replacement (i think) one back. This took over a bloody month. Was still happening so i bought a new PSU, another motherboard (P5Q Pro Turbo) and more RAM (4GB XMS2). Still crashing! So it's not the memory or the PSU, which i suspected.

Current setup is now:
Core2 Duo e7400 (2.8GHz @ 3.2GHz)
4GB Corsair XMS2 (1066MHz, 2.1v)
Asus P5Q Pro Turbo
800w Thermaltake PSU
ATI HD4850 512MB XXX Edition (GPU 650, Mem 1050)

I can't get more than an hour's gaming done without it crashing and i've just been playing Borderlands and it crashed 4 times in an hour! I've spent hundreds upgrading and lots of time trying to suss this out, i really don't want to have to get a new gfx card.

Could it be a mismatch in the memory perhaps? FSB, memory clocks, voltages etc?

Your thoughts are appreciated gents.
 
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It's probably the XFX 4850 XXX edition at fault - i had the exact same problems with the 'XXX edition' with certain games - and 'only' certain games which made it easier to pinpoint the card as the problem as it seemed to be a common theme with faulty XXX editions.

Click this - link - it will take you to a thread i made regarding this problem. Read through it and you should help you establish if you have the same problem...
 
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Sounds similar to issues I was having with my 8800GTX card, never seemed to overheat but kept crashing randomly in games. Bought a 5770 and have not had an issue since. Can you not borrow a card from someone and try it for a day ?
 
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Plec, that was a commendable amount of effort you put in to the linked XFX 4850 thread. It appeared that problems were related to the specific games being run, and Ryan0r's opening post looks to tie in with the previous findings.

Is it not possible that the different games exert varying amounts of stress on the graphics card; I think there was mention of one user experiencing a crash when reaching a critical point in a game. If this is the case it's confusing that Ryan0r's system will run FurMark without issue; isn't this down to the crippling effect of the more recent Catalyst drivers?
 
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Is it not possible that the different games exert varying amounts of stress on the graphics card; I think there was mention of one user experiencing a crash when reaching a critical point in a game. If this is the case it's confusing that Ryan0r's system will run FurMark without issue; isn't this down to the crippling effect of the more recent Catalyst drivers?
Yeah, I appreciate your point, especially with regard to Furmark, but having experienced and returned 2 faulty cards first-hand (my own and a friends) and subsequently following and updating this thread over a period of months – there is definitely a unique quirk/problem with a *few* XXX 4850’s but, admittedly, the drivers can make the identification process less than black and white...

The associated problems with a few faulty XFX 4850 XXX cards seem to have evolved with driver releases – including that of Furmark which was the original and fastest way of diagnosing the problem - this is not the case anymore.

I’m guessing that new drivers would sometimes disguise/cure some problems – yet, if the card was faulty, the fundamental problem still remained and could not be eradicated in a few core games.

The original Furmark error looks like it may have been a red-herring as that particular problem *may* have been entirely driver related making my original thread title a bit of a misnomer. The Furmark error proved to be a common theme in perfectly healthy 48** cards – and subsequent driver releases cured the problem in both healthy and faulty cards. This made the diagnosis of faulty XXX editions that bit harder/frustrating - including comprehensive troubleshooting notes is usally the solution to a successful rma.

As a result it appears to be harder to rma a, suspected, faulty XFX XXX edition when users think that they have the same problem. This seems to be largely due to the fact that ‘retail technicians’, understandably, tend to use Furmark as part of their stress testing criteria (but never solely) – so if Ryan0r plans on returning the card he needs to be very comprehensive in explaining the problems he’s experiencing and the troubleshooting methods he’s used.

Sorry to resurrect this, but i'm still getting crashes despite replacing everything in my pc! The only common part throughout this is the graphics card.

However, as Ryan0r has swapped every component, bar the Gfx card, he seems to have his comprehensive troubleshooting notes covered. The only thing i would try is testing the card in another rig with different drivers (which he has essentially already done) - if it replicated the same fault then the card is almost certainly at fault.
 
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Thanks for your comments lads.

By way of an update, i downclocked the GPU from 650MHz to 625MHz, and i was able to run Borderlands solid for an hour a little while ago. Seems like it's a little too overclocked. Or i got a bad one.

Will post back with more info when i get peace to "test" it further ;)


Oh, and Viper: the 2GB Ballistix is in my gf's mum and dad's PC now. Overkill, i know... :D
 
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By way of an update, i downclocked the GPU from 650MHz to 625MHz, and i was able to run Borderlands solid for an hour a little while ago. Seems like it's a little too overclocked. Or i got a bad one.

The above is another familiar symptom with some of the faulty 4850 XXX editions – and as you correctly summize a few cards seem to be incapable of running the manufacturers pre-overclock.

I would continue along this line of testing (underclocking) with other games that it usually crashes with and, if it produces the same results, it would seem you have your conclusive evidence for an rma - as this would be easily replicated. This coupled with your other troubleshooting history should make for a relatively smooth return process to the retailer.

Ryan0r said:
Seems like it's a little too overclocked. Or i got a bad one.

One and the same - as the card was sold with a guaranteed clock speed.

Good luck.
 
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It's already been RMA'd :( Only got it back a few days ago after it being away for a month.

The 25MHz downclock didn't impair performance too much, and it this is all it takes, then so be it. Annoying to have to do so on a factory overclocked special edition that should really be able to handle the clock, but i'll never get my money back (8 months old now).

I'll test with GRID and Batman tonight when i get home, if i get past 30 minutes on either it'll either be conclusive or a fluke/miracle. I'm hoping for the former.
 
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but i'll never get my money back (8 months old now).

You may not get your money back but the retailer should still swap the card for like-for-like or better (don't mention the retailer's name as your thread may disappear).

You could by-pass the retailer's 12 month warranty and go direct to XFX as they will still honour the warranty as long as you have the original invoice/e-mail - and your card should still be under 2 years old (XFX go by the production date of the card). The downside with using this method is that the process may take considerably longer - so, if you can, use the 12 month warranty with the retailer, although sometimes, they too, will just return the card to XFX for exchange...
 
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It was purchased from here!

I was told that all they're prepared to do was send it back to their supplier, who in turn sent it to XFX to test. They then passed it back up the chain and i got it a month later, still doing exactly the same. No idea if XFX swapped it or just sent it back after not replicating the fault - i wasn't told anything.
 
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(don't mention the retailer's name as your thread may disappear).

The above is just a friendly heads up - as you're not allowed to talk 'shop' on the forums...

I was told that all they're prepared to do was send it back to their supplier, who in turn sent it to XFX to test. They then passed it back up the chain and i got it a month later, still doing exactly the same. No idea if XFX swapped it or just sent it back after not replicating the fault - i wasn't told anything.

In this particular case i would ask the retailer for the XFX reference number for the original return and then contact XFX directly using the retailer's reference number and work from there.

In doing this, you at least cut out the middle-men (retailer and supplier), speeding the process up, and you’ll also be able to steer the outcome more readily as you'll be in direct contact with XFX and know exactly what their report/outcome is.

The retailer should be pretty happy about this solution too as it's less hassle for them.
 
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The above is just a friendly heads up - as you're not allowed to talk 'shop' on the forums...
Yep, cheers - have seen grumblings regarding this on my travels. Are we allowed to discuss OcUK though? ;)
In this particular case i would ask the retailer for the XFX reference number for the original return and then contact XFX directly using the retailer's reference number and work from there.

In doing this, you at least cut out the middle-men (retailer and supplier), speeding the process up, and you’ll also be able to steer the outcome more readily as you'll be in direct contact with XFX and know exactly what their report/outcome is.

The retailer should be pretty happy about this solution too as it's less hassle for them.
I'll see if OcUK will provide this information and try XFX directly.

Appreciate your help buddy, will update if i go down this route.
 
Soldato
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Are we allowed to discuss OcUK though? ;)

In relation to possible purchases or successful/happy receipts, yes. However, talk about returns and on going complaints is usually a no.

TBH, your previous posts are fine as your thread is regarding troubleshooting advice - but when talking about returns and pending problems it's best to refer to them, at all times, as the 'retailer'. This stops things getting complicated and also allows you to vent if you are feeling a little disgruntled as, technically, you could be talking about any retailer...

I'll see if OcUK will provide this information and try XFX directly.

If for whatever reasons the retailer can’t provide the info – I would still contact XFX directly and use your web notes (rma mails), for your original return, as a point of reference. Hopefully, XFX will be able to work off these just as effectively.

Good luck.
 
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Downclocked the GPU from 650MHz to 600MHz last night, ran Borderlands quite happily for a good 2 hour sesh without incident. Looks like i have my answer. Not sure i want to go to the lengths of sending it back and being without it for another month (or two!) :(

May contact XFX to find out what they think and whether they'd be prepared to replace it.
 
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