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Old 03-31-2005, 05:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: K-W. Err... -dot.
Overheating and Spontaneous Rebooting.

I bought a new computer a while ago, and its been randomly freezing while running graphics intensive programs (Warcraft III, FF XI, Half-Life II, etc). I've been told its definitely the video card (Radeon 9800 Pro) based on the way it crashes and under the conditions.

It makes sense, the underside (the flat side, faces up when mounted in the tower) heats up like a mofo. Theres a fan on the heatsink, and I strapped two more chassis fans underneath the card to pull out more air. I also operate my box with the side panel removed (necessary with the chassis fans right there).

However, It still crashes. Is there any reason a Radeon 9800 should still do this? I already had to replace a defective 9500 on the machine (and a little upgrade, heh) but that card was visibly broken.

I was wondering if there could possibly be another explanation, a way to fix it, or if I should be sending this card back to the manufacturer for one that doesn't overheat. Which I am told takes 6-8 weeks. I really don't want to wait that long.
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Old 03-31-2005, 05:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What kind of power supply? What's your hardware inventory? What kind of crashes? Are the problem applications just dumping back to Windows or is the machine locking up? Any video artifacts?

If you have another power supply, even if you have to dangle wires across from another PC, try letting it handle the video or a couple drives.
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Old 03-31-2005, 05:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: K-W. Err... -dot.
Quote:
What kind of power supply? What's your hardware inventory? What kind of crashes? Are the problem applications just dumping back to Windows or is the machine locking up? Any video artifacts?
I've already tested the power supply.

I don't even know where to get a total listing of all the stuff I have in my machine. Soemthing like:

AMD Athlon 64 3500+
1024 RAM
SB Audigy 2 ZS Audio
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro
DVD/CD Writer/Burner
Asus A8V Deluxe Mainboard
120 GB HDD
Windows XP Service Pack 2

As for the crashing, it's a hard freeze. The screen either freezes or blacks out, or displays garbage, and the audio chokes, playing the same quarter second of noise on loop until I power down or reset the computer. It won't accept input of any kind, and reboots itself if I let it stand long enough (a minute or two).

Windows, nor any other program keeps any record of the malfunction, It's obviously hardware based. When I first strapped the extra chassis fans to my vidcard, it ran without incident for a day or two on whatever program I wanted. Now it's back to the same thing, crashing five minutes after I get into {insert graphics intensive game here}.
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Old 03-31-2005, 06:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You can get some great cooling for the 9800's.

Arctic Cooling VGA Silencer is my top choice.
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Old 03-31-2005, 06:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: In my angry-dome.
By "tested", do you mean you know the rails can handle system requirements or that it powers up another box? Rated specs are often optimistic, especially once the supply gets warm. Adding another supply to the mix is an easy way to see if capacity if the problem.
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Old 03-31-2005, 06:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: Cape Cod
Definitely agree with mattzweb, if it is your video card overheating, you might think about replacing the stock cooling fan and buying a VGA cooler. Not only will it pull more air across the card, but it uses a spare PCI slot to exhaust out the back. I lost close to 10*C in my case after I added the cooler and stopped the video card from pumping out all that heat. Arctic cooling has a good line of VGA coolers, this one matches some of the ATI 9800Pro's, be careful to check to make sure the mounts match, as the 128mb vs the 256mb RAM have different configurations: http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...186-115&depa=0
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Last edited by NeoRete; 03-31-2005 at 06:50 PM.. Reason: suggested video card that didn't match all ATI 9800Pro's
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Old 03-31-2005, 09:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Check to make sure all of the heat sinks are in tacked; my 9800 pro had a heat sink break it over heated like a mofo for months till i figured it out.

If they are all in tacked, strap some fans to it, or open your case to get better air flow.
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