Question Games keep freezing and VGA light on motherboard

Nov 4, 2019
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I booted up Star Wars Squadrons for the first time on Friday and my PC froze after about five minutes. I rebooted and tried again, and this time it froze much quicker, so I checked Nvidia and installed the new drivers but didn't bother trying Squadrons again.

Cut to Saturday and my PC freezes again after five minutes of playing PES 2021. This time when I rebooted, there was a red VGA light on my motherboard that went away after a few seconds. I tried PES again but it froze a second time and gave me the red light on startup again. I left it for an hour or so and tried PES again, and this time I was able to play for two hours and exit the application without it freezing. I haven't played any more games since, but I tried PES again today and it froze again after about three minutes with the VGA light appearing upon bootup.

I'm guessing this is a problem with my GPU? I have a 2060 and haven't touched or moved my PC in a while. I installed a new PSU about a month ago, but this is the first time I've run into any problems and I've played a bunch of games on it since then. My PC has also been completely fine doing everything else over the past few days, it's just freezing whenever I play a game.

I monitored my temperatures and the CPU cores were around 50c and my GPU was at 80c when it froze again. I also ran a benchmark test using MSI Kombuster and it froze around a minute in while at 78c. I checked my memory using the Windows diagnostic tool and it said there were no errors. I also used the Intel Processor diagnostic tool and that said my CPU is fine.

The funny thing is I did order a 3080 on "release day", so I probably wouldn't be having this problem if Nvidia actually manufactured any of the damn things! I hope it's just my 2060 playing up because at least I'll be replacing it at some point this year, hopefully, maybe, probably not. If not, could it be a motherboard issue?

Any advice on what this could be and how I might possibly fix it?

Here's my specs:

Intel Core i7-9700k @ 3.60GHz
MSI GeForce RTX 2060 Ventus XS OC
16 GB RAM
Corsair RM850x 80 PLUS Gold 850 Watts Power Supply Unit
Gigabyte B360 HD3 Motherboard
 

Flamebrander

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Aug 1, 2020
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Yeah your GPU might be overheating, 80 degrees is a bit high for a given gpu and seeing as it is a Ventus, which is MSI's "budget" brand, its most likely has worse thermal performance. I'd say to try and downclock it a little, and set your temperature limit to say 80 degrees that way your gpu shouldn't crash as much.
 

Turtle Rig

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Jun 23, 2020
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This is a easy one my friend. Firstly Im sorry for what your going through, suks big time. You have a very nice Rig my friend. Ok that red light has two positions one for CPU and one for RAM. Take out your manual if you have to and it will tell you . That red light means your motherboard is dying and not communicating properly with the rest of your system thus you get crashes blank screens freezes etc. There is nothing you can do to fix this. I bet your post times are very slow as well. Hopefully it is the RAM light as taking out CPU getting one is a harder task. But I assure you to think about a upgrade as that mobo is toast sorry to say. You need to RMA that board asap.🤷‍♂️👶
 
Nov 4, 2019
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Yeah your GPU might be overheating, 80 degrees is a bit high for a given gpu and seeing as it is a Ventus, which is MSI's "budget" brand, its most likely has worse thermal performance. I'd say to try and downclock it a little, and set your temperature limit to say 80 degrees that way your gpu shouldn't crash as much.
Downclocked and set the temperature limit to 80 and it still froze during the MSI Kombuster test at 72 degrees.
 

Flamebrander

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Aug 1, 2020
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yeah in that case I would agree with TurtleRig maybe your motherboard's dead? Or dying. It might also be because of an unstable overclock, or just an unstable VRM in general. It looks like your mobo has a 4 + 2 phase power design, which might not be adequate for a more powerful 9700k. Try disabling any auto overclocking, and just run it factory for both ram and cpu. That might work
 

Flamebrander

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Aug 1, 2020
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Huh so maybe it is the GPU, but first try my CPU thing that I listed above. Otherwise, it seems that your graphics card is unstable for whatever reason. It does seem like it's overheating, although downclocking it didn't change much. If the CPU trick doesn't work, then clear your CMOS and do a BIOS update. Then, try taking it just out of the case and running it open air if you know how to.
 
Nov 4, 2019
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I decided to see if the GPU was seated correctly and everything was connected right, just in case the problem ended up being something as simple as that. Checked it all and everything seemed fine so I figured I'd try the GPU in the other PCIe slot to see if this one might be busted. Ran the MSI Kombuster test again and it went for five minutes without issue; before it could only manage about a minute before freezing. Tried both PES and Squadrons after this and was able to play both for a few hours with no issues.

I'm guessing the first PCIe slot is faulty then? At least I'm hoping that's the culprit since then I'll know what the issue is and can just replace the motherboard.
 

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