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Thread: Ga-880gma-ud2h: system freeze w/ graphical corruption




  1. #1
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    Default Ga-880gma-ud2h: system freeze w/ graphical corruption

    I'm building a HTPC for a client, and I'm having an unusual issue that I can't seem to locate the cause of. Occasionally the system will freeze up and graphic artifacts show up on the monitor. This has occurred while making changes to BIOS settings, after POST when initializing AHCI drives, and within Windows. It sometimes happens on cold boots, when the system has been powered down for several hours, and sometimes when the system has been running for several hours. It happens at idle, full load, and in between. Temperatures are well within thermal limits (the max temp recorded by Sysfan was 45C). Power consumption is stable at around 55 watts (measured at the wall) at idle and 100 watts at full load. Prime95, SuperPi, and Memtest86 can run for hours without encountering any errors. When the freeze happens in Windows, there are no events logged in the management console to suggest what might have happened.

    I popped a GeForce 6600GT I had lying around into the system to see if it would make any difference, and the freezes still happen, albeit without the graphics corruption (though I did have one freeze that replaced the Windows 7 desktop with a blank screen that was the greenish-blue Windows 98 desktop color). Stability through several passes of Memtest86 (run with the discrete card in and integrated graphics disabled to test the memory normally allocated to the integrated GPU), leads me to believe that the problem isn't with the RAM. With power consumption stable, within expected ranges, and well within the PSU's tolerance, I assume that the PSU isn't the culprit, but I'm going to borrow a power supply from a working system to confirm that. I also flashed the BIOS to the latest F5 revision available on Gigabyte's website just in case it was a BIOS issue, but the problem remains.

    Eliminating all other culprits, it must be the MB or CPU, but I don't have another AM3/AM2+ MB to test the CPU on, and I don't have another AM3 CPU to test in this board. Given the graphical corruption, I suspect the MB, but things aren't always as they seem. Are there any tests I can do to determine what the likely culprit is? Is there some possibility that I didn't consider?

    The system is running at stock speeds, and I haven't attempted to unlock the dormant CPU core. For what it's worth, all drivers are up to date. In BIOS, I selected "Load Optimized Defaults" then changed the SATA controllers to AHCI mode and enabled SMART mode for HD's, all other settings are stock.

    System specs:
    AMD Athlon II X3 415e (45 watt TDP)
    Corsair 2x2GB DDR3 1333
    Gigabyte GA-880GMA-UD2H
    Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB
    LG WH10LS30 Blu-Ray burner
    Ceton InfiniTV 4 CableCARD tuner
    SeaSonic SS-350ET 80+ Bronze
    SilverStone GD05B HTPC case
    Windows 7 x64
    Last edited by asgallant; 11-23-2010 at 04:08 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Ga-880gma-ud2h: system freeze w/ graphical corruption

    Sounds like you have tested everything you can in a logical manner, nothing jumps out at me as a culprit other than graphics or BIOS which you have already tested both.

    I would test with another larger power supply before you RMA anything though, just to rule that out.

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    Default Re: Ga-880gma-ud2h: system freeze w/ graphical corruption

    Update: I can now reliably force the freeze by running SuperPi calculations for 2M+ digits (sometimes 2M does it, otherwise 4M, 8M, or 16M will) or Prime95. SuperPi causes a freeze after a minute or two, Prime95 freezes the system almost instantly. This was not the case a few days ago, so I assume that whatever is wrong is getting worse.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Ga-880gma-ud2h: system freeze w/ graphical corruption

    Did you install windows using AHCI initially?
    What happened with the psu test?
    The seasonic one ,probably 1/3 of the power is alloted to 3.3 and 5 v and I dont think lower voltage power draw has been initiated for sata drives yet(not sure).leaves you with 200w max probably.Then the 12v part is it split rail?
    My main psu the 500w one .I had to open the case to see where the leads were originating.The setup is :half the 12v power output is reserved for the cpu .the other 12v rail is used for everything else.

    Anyway, even tho total draw power seems to be well within capacity there may be some limiting on the rail outputs,if dual rail,and depending on which parts are being supplied,by what voltage supply
    Is all the system heat going out thru the psu ? or...
    What is the 45C temp ? system,cpu ?.45 C if its system temp sounds a little warm for normal running.

    OCCT testing will give you a graphical readout of noise and ripple + voltage stability on the psu.
    Of course it may not be the psu, just suggestions.
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    Default Re: Ga-880gma-ud2h: system freeze w/ graphical corruption

    Quote Originally Posted by kick View Post
    Did you install windows using AHCI initially?
    The HDD was in AHCI mode, the Blu-ray drive was in IDE mode (was not recognized at boot in AHCI mode, works fine in Windows that way, though).

    What happened with the psu test?
    I just did the PSU test, and plugging in my Enermax 485W unit (running fantastically for 5 years now) doesn't fix the problem. The system froze within 30 seconds of starting a Prime95 test.

    The seasonic one ,probably 1/3 of the power is alloted to 3.3 and 5 v and I dont think lower voltage power draw has been initiated for sata drives yet(not sure).leaves you with 200w max probably.Then the 12v part is it split rail?
    My main psu the 500w one .I had to open the case to see where the leads were originating.The setup is :half the 12v power output is reserved for the cpu .the other 12v rail is used for everything else.

    Anyway, even tho total draw power seems to be well within capacity there may be some limiting on the rail outputs,if dual rail,and depending on which parts are being supplied,by what voltage supply
    Reading from the label of the unit, there are 2 12V rails at 17A each, with a combined wattage of 324W. I assume that wattage is also limited by what is pulled down on the +3.3V and +5V rails as well (20A each, combined 130W). Even if the +3.3V and +5V rails maxed out, there is plenty of juice on a single +12V rail for the rest of the system.

    Is all the system heat going out thru the psu ? or...
    What is the 45C temp ? system,cpu ?.45 C if its system temp sounds a little warm for normal running.
    The case is designed so the PSU draws air from outside. SilverStone built it as a positive air pressure system (3 120mm intake fans, no exhaust). Despite the relatively cramped interior, air flow appears to be very good (and whisper quiet - can't hear a thing from this system when it is sitting next to my TV, 15' from my couch, even with all other systems turned off).

    The 45C temp reading came from the "CPU 2" reading in Sysfan, whatever that actually corresponds to IRL, after 30 mins of running the CPU at full load (Prime95, large FFT's setting I think - the "max heat" one). The "Core" temps were pretty consistently 10C cooler than that. Idle temps were barely above ambient (1 or 2C).

    OCCT testing will give you a graphical readout of noise and ripple + voltage stability on the psu.
    Of course it may not be the psu, just suggestions.
    I'll run an OCCT test to see what it says.
    Last edited by asgallant; 11-25-2010 at 07:02 AM.

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    Default Re: Ga-880gma-ud2h: system freeze w/ graphical corruption

    OCCT tests were stable (both CPU tests and the PSU test). The PSU test results were almost creepily perfect. There was slight ripple on the +3.3V rail, but the +5V and +12V rails flatlined. I don't know whether to attribute that to a super job by the folks at SeaSonic or question the voltage sensors on the Gigabyte MB. I ran a similar test a few years back on the Enermax PSU in my main system and the output looked like a seismograph - turns out the voltage sensor on the MB is a real POS, as the voltage rails were stable when I rigged an oscilloscope to the MB's ATX connector.

    This is turning into a real head scratcher for me. I can apparently watch Blu-Ray movies or run OCCT tests all day long on this system, but if I fire up Prime95 or SuperPi, the damn thing freezes. What do Prime95 and SuperPi use that OCCT doesn't?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Ga-880gma-ud2h: system freeze w/ graphical corruption

    You might want to test with a slightly under-clocked system, cpu speed and/or memory.
    Did you load Optimized bios settings, save, exit, and boot into the bios again before you made any bios changes?
    Have you manually set any of the bios voltage settings?

    I'm not familiar with AMD setups so I can't suggest possible bios settings.
    Q9650 @ 4.10GHz [9x456MHz]
    P35-DS4 [rev: 2.0] ~ Bios: F14
    4x2GB OCZ Reaper PC2-8500 1094MHz @5-5-5-15
    MSI N460GTX Hawk Talon Attack (1GB) video card <---- SLI ---->
    Seasonic SS-660XP2 80 Plus Platinum psu (660w)
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    CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD UPS
    E6300 (R0) @ 3.504GHz [8x438MHz] ~~ P35-DS3L [rev: 1.0] ~ Bios: F9 ~~ 4x2GB Kingston HyperX T1 PC2-8500, 876MHz @4-4-4-10
    Seasonic X650 80+ gold psu (650w) ~~ Xigmatek Balder HDT 1283 cpu cooler ~~ Cooler Master CM 690 case (RC-690-KKN1-GP)
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    Default Re: Ga-880gma-ud2h: system freeze w/ graphical corruption

    I haven't tried underclocking yet. I'll see what happens with that.

    Yes, I loaded optimized settings, saved, exited, rebooted, and then tweaked. No, I have not made any changes to voltage settings.

    Someone over at Tom's Hardware suggested that this might be a memory compatibility issue, as these modules aren't listed on either Gigabyte's or Corsairs compatibility lists. I'm checking with Corsair to see if the reason is because there is a known compatibility issue or whether this combo just wasn't tested.

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    Default Re: Ga-880gma-ud2h: system freeze w/ graphical corruption

    Apparently, there is an issue with Phenom II/Athlon II memory controllers when running DDR3 above 1333MHz (see here: VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING AMD AM3 CPU's and RAM SPEEDS). My RAM is running at 1333 stock, but the symptoms are a possible match, so I tried underclocking RAM to 1066 and thus far (after 8+ hours of testing), the system has been rock stable. Neither Prime95 nor SuperPi has caused it to freeze.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Ga-880gma-ud2h: system freeze w/ graphical corruption

    Good to hear that you're making progress.
    Nice find in the Gigabyte UK forum!!
    Chances are that your DDR3 settings with tighter memory timings will have similar performance to 1333MHz speeds with looser timings. While synthetic benchmark tests will have lower scores, most real world games or applications will probably have virtually the same performance, based on experiences with DDR2 memory at 800MHz vs 1066MHz speeds.

    I haven't overclocked with AMD systems, but you should be able to tweak bus speeds and cpu/memory multipliers to get closer to 1333 speeds if that's what will make your client happy.

    Let us know how things turn out.
    Q9650 @ 4.10GHz [9x456MHz]
    P35-DS4 [rev: 2.0] ~ Bios: F14
    4x2GB OCZ Reaper PC2-8500 1094MHz @5-5-5-15
    MSI N460GTX Hawk Talon Attack (1GB) video card <---- SLI ---->
    Seasonic SS-660XP2 80 Plus Platinum psu (660w)
    WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data)
    Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD (boot)
    SLI @ 16/4 works when running HyperSLI
    Cooler Master 120XL Seidon push/pull AIO cpu water cooling
    Cooler Master HAF XB computer case (RC-902XB-KKN1)
    Asus VH242H 24" monitor [1920x1080]
    MSI N460GTX Hawk (1GB) video card
    Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium
    HT|Omega Claro plus+ sound card
    CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD UPS
    E6300 (R0) @ 3.504GHz [8x438MHz] ~~ P35-DS3L [rev: 1.0] ~ Bios: F9 ~~ 4x2GB Kingston HyperX T1 PC2-8500, 876MHz @4-4-4-10
    Seasonic X650 80+ gold psu (650w) ~~ Xigmatek Balder HDT 1283 cpu cooler ~~ Cooler Master CM 690 case (RC-690-KKN1-GP)
    Samsung 830 128GB SSD MZ-7PC128B/WW (boot) ~~ WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data) ~~ ZM-MFC2 fan controller
    HT|Omega Striker 7.1 sound card ~~ Asus VH242H monitor [1920x1080] ~~ Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium ~~ CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD U.P.S
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