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720BE system crashes. Wrong vcore values suspected.

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
For the about a year I've been having random lockups with my computer and I've been unable to properly solve it. I've ruled out software/driver issues as far as I'm concerned, running different versions of everything throughout this whole year I've had this computer up and running.

The crashes are not so random as I've also said. It only happens in a few games, never anywhere else. I can leave my computer running for days with a gazillion of firefox tabs opened, photoshop, watch 1080p videos, run multiple virtualbox machines, etc... and never experience any crashes. Prime95 for 10 hours stable, memtest over 12 passes stable, OCCT 3~4 hours stable, Furmark stable... you name it, I've thrown everything I could at this system and nothing is capable of crashing it, save a few games.

Mass Effect 1/2, Crysis2, CoD4, MW2 are the games I've played that made my computer crash so far, repeatedly. But it's not all the time, most of the time it takes a few days in between crashes, very rarely it will crash more than once in a day, but those games will all, at some point, crash my computer and require me to hit the reset button.

I have over 900 hours in TF2 (redface.gif), about half of that with this computer, and it never crashed, although the game itself sometimes (once a month?) crashes with the nvlddmkm.sys has stopped responding error but it continues to work afterwards. Given that TF2 is not known for its stability, I'm not considering those crashes to be related to the matter at hand, but you never know. Other games I play a lot are Fallout3 and CiV4, but those never gave me any issues whatsoever.

System specs:
Processor: AMD Phenom II x3 720BE
Motherboard: Asus M4A87TD/USB3
Memory: 2x Kingstom DDR3 2gb KVR1333d3n modules
GPU: XFX GTS250 512mb
Sound: Asus Xonar D1
PSU: Zalman ZE460B-APS

Nothing is overclocked, all running stock. The CPU idles at 21~23ºC and maxes out at 43ºC under full load. The GPU idles at 50ºC and running Furmark the highest it has ever gotten to is 72ºC, which from what I could gather is a normal (slightly below) temperature for this card.

I previously had an ECS a790gxm-ad3 motherboard which had very limited system monitoring and clock/voltage controls, which I replaced by the Asus mobo a couple of months ago in hopes that would solve the problem. It hasn't change anything, but now I have accurate measures of something that caught my attention:

My motherboard reports the processor's vcore at 1.272, both in Bios and software monitors, using automatic detection. As far as I'm aware, shouldn't this be defaulting to 1.325? I couldn't find anywhere that confirms this, since nobody ever lists the default core voltage of this processor, only the safe voltage range it can operate at.

Could this be the source of my issues? A wrongly defined vcore? CPU-Z confirms this reading. Would it be safe to manually increase the voltage offset to match the 1.325 value?
post #2 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by cofer;13266837 
For the about a year I've been having random lockups with my computer and I've been unable to properly solve it. I've ruled out software/driver issues as far as I'm concerned, running different versions of everything throughout this whole year I've had this computer up and running.

The crashes are not so random as I've also said. It only happens in a few games, never anywhere else. I can leave my computer running for days with a gazillion of firefox tabs opened, photoshop, watch 1080p videos, run multiple virtualbox machines, etc... and never experience any crashes. Prime95 for 10 hours stable, memtest over 12 passes stable, OCCT 3~4 hours stable, Furmark stable... you name it, I've thrown everything I could at this system and nothing is capable of crashing it, save a few games.

Mass Effect 1/2, Crysis2, CoD4, MW2 are the games I've played that made my computer crash so far, repeatedly. But it's not all the time, most of the time it takes a few days in between crashes, very rarely it will crash more than once in a day, but those games will all, at some point, crash my computer and require me to hit the reset button.

I have over 900 hours in TF2 (redface.gif), about half of that with this computer, and it never crashed, although the game itself sometimes (once a month?) crashes with the nvlddmkm.sys has stopped responding error but it continues to work afterwards. Given that TF2 is not known for its stability, I'm not considering those crashes to be related to the matter at hand, but you never know. Other games I play a lot are Fallout3 and CiV4, but those never gave me any issues whatsoever.

System specs:
Processor: AMD Phenom II x3 720BE
Motherboard: Asus M4A87TD/USB3
Memory: 2x Kingstom DDR3 2gb KVR1333d3n modules
GPU: XFX GTS250 512mb
Sound: Asus Xonar D1
PSU: Zalman ZE460B-APS

Nothing is overclocked, all running stock. The CPU idles at 21~23ºC and maxes out at 43ºC under full load. The GPU idles at 50ºC and running Furmark the highest it has ever gotten to is 72ºC, which from what I could gather is a normal (slightly below) temperature for this card.

I previously had an ECS a790gxm-ad3 motherboard which had very limited system monitoring and clock/voltage controls, which I replaced by the Asus mobo a couple of months ago in hopes that would solve the problem. It hasn't change anything, but now I have accurate measures of something that caught my attention:

My motherboard reports the processor's vcore at 1.272, both in Bios and software monitors, using automatic detection. As far as I'm aware, shouldn't this be defaulting to 1.325? I couldn't find anywhere that confirms this, since nobody ever lists the default core voltage of this processor, only the safe voltage range it can operate at.

Could this be the source of my issues? A wrongly defined vcore? CPU-Z confirms this reading. Would it be safe to manually increase the voltage offset to match the 1.325 value?

If the CPU is stable through your tests, then you're fine. It's not the cpu. But when you say 3-4 hours stable, do you mean a) you stopped the test after 3-4 hours b) it crashes after 3-4 hours.

If it crashes at all in any tests raise the voltage.
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post #3 of 38
If you revert everything back to stock does the crashing stop? Easiest way to diagnose if it's an unstable overclock.
post #4 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by railfan844;13266886 
If the CPU is stable through your tests, then you're fine. It's not the cpu. But when you say 3-4 hours stable, do you mean a) you stopped the test after 3-4 hours b) it crashes after 3-4 hours.

If it crashes at all in any tests raise the voltage.

No no, it doesn't crash. I stopped the tests in all occasions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Peen;13266928 
If you revert everything back to stock does the crashing stop? Easiest way to diagnose if it's an unstable overclock.

My computer doesn't even know the meaning of the word! I have never overclocked this computer (yet) until I rule out what is giving me these issues.
post #5 of 38
There is no "default" or "stock" value for processor Vcore. Every cpu has a vcore value set by the motherboard, wich can be as low as 1.25v for example and as high as 1.45v. Sometimes it overcompensates, sometimes not, but it doesnt set an unstable Vcore.

Your problem is most likely not CPU related.
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post #6 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by cofer;13266942 
No no, it doesn't crash. I stopped the tests in all occasions.



My computer doesn't even know the meaning of the word! I have never overclocked this computer (yet) until I rule out what is giving me these issues.

So you haven't overclocked? It's most likely not CPU related then if all voltages are normal as well as clock speeds. Have you tried running Memtest overnight before to check if memory is good?
post #7 of 38
have you tryed removing the soundcard and using the onboard sound?
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post #8 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devilmaypoop;13266991 
There is no "default" or "stock" value for processor Vcore. Every cpu has a vcore value set by the motherboard, wich can be as low as 1.25v for example and as high as 1.45v. Sometimes it overcompensates, sometimes not, but it doesnt set an unstable Vcore.

Your problem is most likely not CPU related.

Thanks, I wasn't aware of that. I imagined each CPU had a vcore value on chip, which the motherboard read and applied, much like it happens with memory chips upon automatic detection.
Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Peen;13267035 
So you haven't overclocked? It's most likely not CPU related then if all voltages are normal as well as clock speeds. Have you tried running Memtest overnight before to check if memory is good?

I have ran a 12 passes test some months ago without issues. I guess I will leave it running for longer one more time and see if anything pops up.

This has to be the most annoying issue I've ever faced in years of building my own computers. I honestly believe I would be happier if it crashed every hour instead of once/twice a month. frown.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by toyz72;13267096 
have you tryed removing the soundcard and using the onboard sound?

I have tried the onboard and other two different sound cards over the lifetime of this computer. The error persisted in every attempt.
post #9 of 38
what case are you using and do you use the front panal sound ports with headsets?
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post #10 of 38
Try running HyperPi 32M test instead of Memtest, because it picks up memory instability much faster. It should take about 20 minutes and you shouldnt do anything else meanwhile, because your pc might crash because it is very demanding.

If it passes HyperPi 32M and memtest, it's not memory.
Edited by Devilmaypoop - 4/25/11 at 11:38am
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