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EVGA 780i issues

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

I've been having some strange BSODs the past few weeks. My rig has been running stable for 2.5 years but now all of a sudden seems to BSOD on me whenever under heavy load. I'm running:

EVGA 780i
Q9400 Core 2 Quad - Artic Cooler Heatsink
8 GB (2 Gb x 4) Kingston HyperX DDR2
2 x GTX 560 Ti
2 x WD Caviar Black in Raid 0
ASUS Xonar STX sound card
No overclock at all (everything on default voltages/timings)


The BSOD message will vary all the time, occasionally its "memory management", sometimes its "bad pool header", sometimes "SQL not less or equal". So far I've tried all of the following without success:

- Cleaned dust out of case and components
- Took out CPU heatsink, cleaned out paste and re-seated with ceramique (did this TWICE)
- Updated all drivers/bios etc (video drivers, legacy nforce drivers etc)
- Took out one GTX 560, popped heatsink off, peeled off all the weird thermal pads and applied ceramique instead.
- Swapped the two video cards out with two old 9800 GTX+. Same issue again (put 560s back in).
- Took out the mobo's NB/SB heatsink assembly, cleaned out paste and applied ceramique (did this TWICE also).
- Installed a much better fan on the SPP (the northbridge for this mobo) so that it pulls air through the fins and blows out onto the CPU heatsink. The stock fan was pushing air down through the fins onto the back of one of my video cards (seemed to get pretty hot in that area).
- Ran memtest on all 4 dimms overnight, I think it did 4 passes - all ok.
- Upped all voltages (MCP/SPP,DIMMS etc).
- Used factory timings on DIMMs
- And finally ran chkdsk, it did report a bad file but fixed it without issues.

None of these seem to have fixed anything.

About the only thing that seems to keep my system stable is a large box fan sitting right next to the case blowing on the GPUs and mobo. So this makes me think it is purely a heat related issue? I don't understand what component could be overheating though, in AIDA64 all temps are below critical even when doing a stability test. I cleaned/re-applied thermal paste to pretty much everything that needed it.

You guys are my last hope!!!
post #2 of 9
What have you got for power?

What are you usually doing whent he BSOD's occur?

Sometimes, if your power supply is on the way out, the drop in supply voltages can cause just about anything and everything to become unstable.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
90% of the time when playing games, usually in the first 30 mins or so. Seems to happen faster running the latest games. It seems to BSOD less or after longer time when running old / less intense games.

I've got an OCZ mod X Stream-pro 700W. I would think it is still ok?

I just tried removing two of the DIMMS and stress testing with AIDA64. I ran 30 min stress tests and it didnt crash. Very strange. Usually crashes within 15 mins. I know its not the dimm slots or the sticks themselves because I alternated them. Plus I ran memtest with all 4 in there last week twice and would have told me there was something wrong?
Edited by majinbuxl - 4/6/14 at 6:42am
post #4 of 9
Is there any way you can get your hands on a different PSU?
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-3770k  Asrock Z77 OC Titan X 16gb G.Skill Ripjaws 1866 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
WD Caviar Black 1TB Samsung Evo  Samsung Evo  Custom Liquid  
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 8 Dell u2515w EVGA P2 1000W ThermalTake Core X9 
MouseAudio
MX518 Sennheiser PC 363D 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-3770k  Asrock Z77 OC Titan X 16gb G.Skill Ripjaws 1866 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
WD Caviar Black 1TB Samsung Evo  Samsung Evo  Custom Liquid  
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 8 Dell u2515w EVGA P2 1000W ThermalTake Core X9 
MouseAudio
MX518 Sennheiser PC 363D 
  hide details  
Reply
post #5 of 9
Yeah try another PSU, or something that loads more components of the system.

general stressing stresses pretty unevenly.

P95 is CPU only.

Heaven and valley benchmarks only load the CPU a tiny bit.

run P95 and valley to get a more realistic load.

The PSU isnt that bad to begin with, but if its dying it can be troublesome up until it takes everything with it.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
I really don't have another PSU just sitting around. Thanks for the suggestion though. Would I be able to note the voltage drop as it BSODs? I am looking at the voltages now and if I keep them on my second monitor I should be able to still see them as my primary monitor displays the BSOD (the second monitor just freezes during a BSOD).

I just tried running another 30 min stability test with AIDA64 (usually crashes within 15 mins). This time I kept the box fan right in front of the gpu/mobo and it didn't crash. Still makes me think its a heat issue. What components can overheat on a motherboard? Am I maybe missing one that I haven't checked?
post #7 of 9
Software readings wont give you a really accurate sense of whats going on. but it may assist in the troubleshooting process to an extent.

Lets see what you find. biggrin.gif
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ok so I *think* I figured out the issue.

After much troubleshooting I was ready throw in the towel and give up. That is until I took one last good look at the mobo. I noticed there is a tiny black heat sink sitting just next to the cpu, right on the edge of the mobo. Not the big mosfet heatsink by the I/O ports but perpendicular to it I suppose. The thing is so small it sits below the cpu heatsink itself so it is very hard to see. The stupid thing was dusty first of all, which just prompted me to give it a clean. So I took it out (its got push pins), cleaned it, and as I was about to put it back I realize the mobo is bent ever so slightly where the heatsink goes. So I put the heatsink back and low and behold.... the chips were not even touching it!
EVGA puts that silly little layer of thermal tape and that did absolutely no good of course. There was a gap of about 1/16", pretty hefty considering the size of the chips. I'm not sure how to get the mobo to bend back into place but for now I put a decent dollop of ceramique on each chip just to get them to touch the heatsink.

I did another AIDA64 stress test - all hardware about 20 mins long - and it did not crash. Before it would crash within 8 mins of stress testing or so. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!
Edited by majinbuxl - 4/15/14 at 3:37pm
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to send another update. I am still BSOD free. I did some research and found out the little black heatsink is in fact covering another set of mosfets. I never thought of looking at it because of the location. I assumed the only mosfets to worry about were the ones with the bigger heatsink by the I/O ports. The bend in the mobo literally left two of the mosfets without any contact with the heatsink. I'm suprised how hot these things get too. Touched the heatsink after gaming for 45 mins and it is blistering hot to the point I can't keep my finger on it!
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