Monitor loses signal, PC freezes shortly after

Nov 28, 2018
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Hey guys, I've been driven absolutely mad by this problem that has kept happening for a few months, and nothing I do seems to solve it. As per title the monitor loses signal and the PC seems to crash after a few seconds (if I have audio playing, I will keep hearing it fine for a little while before it stops).

It appears to be completely random: sometimes it happens once a day, sometimes multiple times in a row, whether I'm gaming or just web browsing. Very rarely I get a BSOD, or the pc freezes while the monitor still has signal. A couple of times I discovered that after the crash the power buttons on my case weren't working, and had to shut down the PC from the PSU switch.

After doing all the various Win 10 troubleshoots I thought it was due to overheating (I had a very old GPU) but after replacing it the problem persisted. I checked the temperatures and everything seemed normal, so I assumed it could be a RAM issue. Tried using one stick at a time thinking maybe one was faulty, but no improvements. I also did a memtest that didn't find any errors. Formatting my SSD and reinstalling Windows also didn't change anything. Even tried a different monitor, with obviously no result.

What do you think could be the problem? PSU, Motherboard? I don't really have replacements at hand to swap them out, is there anything else I can do to test them?

Here's my specs:

CPU: Ryzen 5 1600 3.2 GHz Six-core
Motherboard: Asrock AB350M Pro4
GPU: ASUS Strix RX 570 4GB
RAM: G.skill DDR4 3200 Mhz (4GBx2)
PSU: Antec High Current Gamer 620W
SSD: BX500 Crucial 240GB
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB
OS: Win 10 Pro 64 bit
Monitor: Philips 222E (1080p)

Thanks in advance for any help!
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
How old is that Antec unit?

Have you done a CLEAN install of the AMD drivers using the DDU? Even if you had the same family of card before (AMD for AMD, or Nvidia to Nvidia) but especially if you changed from one camp to the other, removing ALL previous drivers (Which might require running it once for the type of old card that was installed, say, Nvidia, if that is what the old card was, and then again for AMD since you've installed drivers that are likely borked right now) and then performing a fresh install of the very latest drivers, is usually a very good idea and tends to resolve a heck of a lot of issues that just installing the latest drivers OR using AMD's supposed "clean" install option does not fix.


*Graphics card CLEAN install tutorial using the DDU*


The other things you really want to do are to make absolutely sure you have the latest motherboard bios version installed, especially since you have an early Ryzen chipset motherboard, and also possibly resetting the hardware tables by doing a hard reset of the BIOS as follows, AFTER you update the bios successfully.



Power off the unit, switch the PSU off and unplug the PSU cord from either the wall or the power supply.

Remove the motherboard CMOS battery for five minutes. During that five minutes, press the power button for 30 seconds. After the five minutes is up, reinstall the CMOS battery making sure to insert it with the correct side up just as it came out.

Now, plug the power supply cable back in, switch the PSU back on and power up the system. It should display the POST screen and the options to enter CMOS/BIOS setup. Enter the bios setup program and reconfigure the boot settings for either the Windows boot manager or for legacy systems, the drive your OS is installed on if necessary.

Save settings and exit. If the system will POST and boot then you can move forward from there including going back into the bios and configuring any other custom settings you may need to configure such as Memory XMP profile settings, custom fan profile settings or other specific settings you may have previously had configured that were wiped out by resetting the CMOS.
 
Nov 28, 2018
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Thank you so much for the very in-depth reply!

The PSU is probably the oldest piece of my spec, as pretty much everything else aside from the monitor are fairly recent purchases - I don't remember when I purchased it exactly but it was definitely more than three years ago, and it has seen a lot of use.

I haven't done a clean install with the DDU yet, since I thought that formatting the SSD and reinstalling everything would be enough for a clean slate. I will definitely try that out.

I also forgot to mention that I have already updated the BIOS to the latest version available on the Asrock site, the 5.10 - so I should be all set to try and reset the CMOS.

I will try both solutions and let you know, thanks again
 
Nov 28, 2018
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Done - the system booted normally after resetting the CMOS, then I cleared out my drivers and did a clean install of the latest ones - but unfortunately after about half an hour or so of use, I experienced another no signal + freeze/crash.

What could be the cause at this point?

Also it might just be my imagination, but it feels like the problem got a bit more frequent after changing my GPU from a prehistoric HD 7750 to a RX 570 4GB. Could it be that the higher power consumption of the GPU makes the PSU trigger the problem more often? Sorry in advance if it sounds like nonsense, it's just something that I thought about while wondering about the cause.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Yes, that could definitely be the issue. That was a good unit when it was new, but there is a big difference in power consumption between the RX570 and the HD7750. The HD 7750 only needs a good 350w power supply based on recommendations from RealhardtechX. The RX570 has a 500w minimum recommendation.

That's a pretty significant difference of 150w. More than enough for problems to show up on one card but not on the other.

It's also possible that there is a problem with your card itself. To me, replacing the PSU seems like a no brainer since we already know it's rather old PLUS it's an older group regulated design and while it is STILL a good unit even with that old platform, something with a much newer DC-DC internal platform instead of a group regulated design would certainly not hurt anybody's feelings and would be highly recommended if you live in an area where you have access to a good selection of power supplies or can order online.

Here are my recommendations for power supply models. I think you should look at something in the 550-650w range.

Click the spoiler box for more details.

Let's start with the biggest misconception out there, which is that if a unit has high watts it will be ok or is good. No. Just, no.

There are plenty of 750-1000w units out there that I wouldn't trust to power a light bulb and might in fact be more dangerous due to their supposedly high capacity due to poor or non-existent protections inside the unit.

If the platform isn't good to begin with, how many watts or amps it says it can support is irrelevant.

Higher 80plus certification doesn't mean anything, UNLESS it's on an already known to be high quality PSU platform. For example, a Seasonic Prime platinum unit is going to be a better product than a Seasonic Prime Gold unit, because we already know the Prime platform is very good, and platinum efficiency along with it shows there are some improvements internally to account for the higher efficiency.

In a case like that, it might be worth it. It's likely the unit will create less heat, it will probably have better performance in regard to ripple, noise and voltage regulation. It might shave a few pennies, or dollars, off the electric bill over the course of a year.

Other than that, it is not going to perform any better than the same platform with Gold efficiency. On the other hand, just because a unit has Titanium 80plus ratings doesn't mean the unit is any good at all. For example, there are Raidmax units with Titanium efficiency and I wouldn't trust one of those to power a light bulb. There are a lot of units like this out there.

If the platform isn't good to begin with, whether or not it has an 80plus certification or not is irrelevant.

Whatever you do, don't EVER buy a power supply based on whether it has RGB or lighting, or looks like it might be a quality unit. Some of the biggest hunks of junk out there look just as good as a Seasonic Prime Ultra Titanium, but I assure you, they are not. So far as I've seen there are really no excellent units out there that have RGB built in. Maybe one or two models, but rest assured you'll be be paying for the lighting, not for the quality of the power supply.

I don't know what country you reside in, and I know that sometimes it's hard to come by good units in some regions, but when possible, when it comes time to get that PSU, I'd stick to the following if you can.

Seasonic. Just about anything made by Seasonic is good quality for the most part. There are really no bad Seasonic units and only a very few that are even somewhat mediocre. They do make a few less-good quality OEM style units, but mostly those are not going to be units you come across at most vendors, and they are still not bad. Also, the S12II and M12II 520 and 620w units are older, group regulated models. At one time they were among the best units you could buy. Now, they are outdated and not as good as almost any other Seasonic models. They are however still better than a LOT of newer designs by other manufacturers.

The Seasonic 520w and 620w S12II/M12II units CAN be used on newer Intel platforms, if you turn off C6/C7 in the bios, but I'd really recommend a newer platform whenever possible. Prices are usually pretty good on those though, so sometimes it's worth accepting the lack of DC-DC on the internal platform. Higher capacity versions of the High current gamer are not based on that platform, so they are fine. Those being the 750w and higher versions.

Corsair. The CX and CXm units are ok as a budget option, but I do not recommend pairing them with gaming cards. The newer 2017 models of CX and CXm are better than the older ones, but still not what we'd call terrific, so if it specifically says 2017 model, or it has a capacity other than an even 100, like 550w, 650w, 750w, etc., then it's likely at least better than those older ones. Aside from that, any of the TX, RMx, RMi, HX, HXi, AX or AXi units are good. Those are listed from best to worst, with the best being the AX and AXi units.

Antec. The True power classic units are made by Seasonic, and are very good, but are not modular. The High current gamer 520w and 620w, or any other PSU you see on the market that is 520w or 620w, are also made by Seasonic, based on the S12II and M12II platform for modern versions, and are pretty good units but again they are an older platform that is group regulated so if you go with a Haswell or newer Intel configuration you will want to avoid those because they do not support the C6/C7 Intel low power states.

The Antec High current gamer 750w and 850w units are very good and are not the older design, which came in 520w and 620w capacities and were good for back then but again, are an aging Seasonic platform that is not the best choice most of the time these days. Occasionally, these older units MIGHT be the best unit available and you could do worse than one of them, but a newer DC-DC platform is desirable when possible if it doesn't mean sacrificing quality elsewhere in the platform. There are however older and newer HCG models, so exact model number will likely be a factor if choosing one of these however both the older models and the newer models are good.

Antec Edge units are ok too, but reviews indicate that they have noisy fan profiles. I'd only choose this model if it is on sale or the aesthetics match up with your color scheme or design. Still a good power supply but maybe a little aggressive on the fan profile. This may have been cured on newer Edge models so reading professional tear down reviews is still the best idea.

Antec Earthwatts Gold units are very good also.

BeQuiet. BeQuiet does have a few decent models, BUT, you must be VERY selective about which of their models you put your trust in. From model to model their are huge differences in both quality and performance, even with the same series. If you cannot find a review for a BeQuiet unit on HardOCP, JonnyGuru or Tom's hardware that SPECIFICALLY says it is a very good unit, and does not have any significant issues in the "cons" category, I would avoid it. In fact, I'd probably avoid it anyhow unless there is a very great sale on one that has good reviews, because their units are generally more expensive than MUCH better units from Antec, Seasonic, EVGA and Corsair.

Super Flower. They are like Seasonic and they make power supplies for a variety of other companies, like EVGA. Super Flower units are usually pretty good. I'd stick to the Leadex, Leadex II and Golden Green models.

EVGA. They have BOTH good and not very good models.

Not very good are the W1, N1, B1, B3 (All models except the 650w model), BQ and G1 NEX models.

Good models are the B2, B3 650w, G2, G2L, G3, GQ, P2 and T2 models.

FSP. They used to be very mediocre, and are a PSU manufacturer like Seasonic and Super Flower, although not as well trusted based on historical performance. Currently the FSP Hydro G and Hydro X units are pretty good.

I would avoid Thermaltake and Cooler Master. They do have a few good units, but most of the models they sell are either poor or mediocre, and the ones they have that ARE good are usually way overpriced.

This is just ONE example of why I say that. Very new and modern CM unit. One of the worst scores ever seen on JG for a well known brand name product. Doesn't look to be much better than a Raidmax unit. Sad.

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Story6&reid=563

And most of the models I have linked to the reviews of at the following link are at least good, with most of them being fantastic.


Certainly there ARE some good units out there that you won't see above among those I've listed, but they are few and far between, much as a hidden nugget of gold you find in a crevice among otherwise ordinary rocks and don't EVER assume a unit is good just because of the brand.

If you cannot find an IN DEPTH, REPUTABLE review on Tom's hardware, JonnyGuru, HardOCP, Hardware secrets (Old reviews by Gabe Torres), Kitguru (Only Aris reviews), TechPowerUP, SilentPC crew or a similar site that does much more than simply a review of the unboxing and basic tests that don't include reliable results for ripple, noise, voltage regulation and a complete teardown of the unit including identification of the internal platform, then the unit is a big fat question mark.

I recommend not trusting such units as companies generally always send out review samples of any unit they feel is going to get a good review, and don't send them out if they know they are going to get hammered by the reviewer. No review usually equals poor quality. Usually.

Other models that should never be trusted OR USED AT ALL, under any circumstances, include A-Top, Apevia, Apex (Supercase/Allied), Artic, Ace, Aerocool (There might be one model worth using, but I'd still avoid them.), Aspire (Turbocase), Atadc, Atrix, Broadway com corp, CIT, Coolmax, Deer, Diablotek, Dynapower, Dynex, Eagletech, Enlight, Evo labs, EZ cool, Foxconn, G7, HEC/Compucase Orion, HEDY, iBall, iStar computer co., Jeantec, JPac, Just PC, Linkworld electronics, Logisys, Macron, MSI, NmediaPC, Norwood Micro (CompUSA), Okia, Powercool, Powmax, Pulsepower, Q-tec, Raidmax, RaveRocketfish, SFC, Sharkoon, Shuttle, Skyhawk, Startech, Storm, Sumvision, Tesla, Trust, Ultra, Wintech, Winpower, Xilence (Until I see a reputable review of a model showing different), xTreme (Cyberpower), Youngbear and Zebronics.


Motherboard is always a consideration, but since the problem seems to increase in frequency with the higher demand card, it tends to make me disbelieve it is related to the motherboard.

Is that memory configuration you have listed correct? Do you actually have 4 x2GB or do you have 2 x4GB?

If you have 4 x2GB, you might also want to run Memtest86 on the memory to see if there are any errors, and if there are, try increasing the memory voltage by .005v-.010v in steps of .005v to see if the problem might not be due to instability of the memory from insufficient power delivery due to the fact you have four modules installed. That is double the stress on the memory controller. Two 4GB modules would have been a much better option.
 
Nov 28, 2018
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That is...quite the buyer's guide. I couldn't have hoped for a better reply, so thank you a thousand times once again.

I actually have two sticks of 4GB - I was planning to grab another two and up my RAM to 16GB as soon as possible, but now that you said that I might just go for two 8GB ones instead. I did actually run a memtest on them about a week ago without finding any problems, but I'll run it again just to be sure.

Like you I'm also a bit skeptic about the motherboard being the culprit since it's also much newer than my PSU - I bought it barely a year ago - but I do understand that the AB350M seems to be known to have instability problems so I'm afraid I'll have to keep it as a possibility.

One thing that I didn't seem to find in your suggestions - how about BitFenix? I was eyeing their Whisper BWG550M 550W model since it seems quite affordable while also being fully modular. All the reviews I've managed to find seemed very positive, including from Tom's Hardware, but I guess validation is never enough so I'd like to know your opinion as well if possible. :)

I also just remembered that I have a half-built PC laying around with a PSU in it - I'm positive that it works and it's at least 600-700w, but it's basically unnamed with next to no info on it. Do you think it's worth swapping it out with my Antec temporarily, just for the time needed to test the pc without it? Since I still have some doubts on whether the fault lies in the PSU or the Motherboard I'd like to pinpoint the problem as much as possible before buying components.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Yes, 2 x8GB would be much better. And if you can get 3000 or 3200mhz modules with a CAS14 latency (CL14) those will be exceptional memory modules that almost certainly use Samsung B-die modules. Ryzen like that, a lot. They are more expensive, but the quality of the memory chips, the low latency and the tight timings are worth it.

Bitfenix power supplies are generally not good quality or at best, very mediocre quality.

If you find the model number on that other PSU, I can probably give you an idea of it's quality. In any case, it might be worth at least trying momentarily to see if the problem improves. If it's a garbage unit though, don't use it at all. Low quality power supplies are known to damage hardware or even create fires in some cases, especially if used with even halfway demanding hardware.

If it is a generic or off brand unit, I would not use it at all with your RX570.

 
Nov 28, 2018
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I actually bought a PSU tester and checked my Antec unit - at the start everything seemed normal, but after a few minutes I noticed that the tester just turned off on its own. I tried it with other PSUs to be sure the tester wasn't defective, and it worked normally on those. I felt like that was a pretty good proof that the issue is in the PSU, so I didn't even risk swapping it with the other off-brand one. (I actually managed to find the box for it - it's a Feedtek FK-WLS700 which I never heard of before)

Anyway I found an EVGA SuperNOVA 550w G2 80+ Gold for a reduced price on Amazon warehouse (damaged box) which was among the ones you suggested, so I bought it - should be here in a couple of days. Hopefully this will solve the problem, I'll update the thread once I test it properly :)
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Throw that other unit away (Feedtek) and never use it with any system you even remotely care about, old or new.


Units like THAT, cause things like THIS:

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/11/26/exploding_computer_vs_reg_reader/


That's a good unit you bought. Hopefully everything will be much improved after installing it.
 
Nov 28, 2018
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After a longer wait than expected, my new PSU arrived - I installed it, tried it out - and the problem still happens.

I honestly don't know what to do anymore.

Absolutely nothing changed - the monitor still loses signal, and the pc freezes shortly after just like with the old PSU.
What I've noticed is that if I'm gaming it seems to happen more frequently (after around 30 minutes or so) while when normally browsing the internet or doing less intensive tasks it can take hours for it to show up.

Another small thing that I've noticed is that when I try and restart the PC it closes everything down normally, but instead of starting back up it just hangs up at a black screen, forcing me to use the restart button on the case. I doubt it has anything to do with the cause of the crashes, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

What options do I have left?
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
If you have another graphics card you can try, or borrow, that you KNOW is good, you might try that FIRST. After that, I'd simply strip it all down and do the following.

For basic troubleshooting on systems that stick or won't POST, but were working fine previously, or after adding new hardware, I recommend doing the following.

First, check everything as indicated here:


One thing that novice users, and sometimes veterans, make the mistake of doing is accidentally plugging their display cable into the motherboard video output instead of the graphics card. Make sure you didn't do that. Also, make sure the 6 or 8 pin power connectors from the power supply are plugged into your graphics card if you have a model that requires them.

If that turns up nothing then move on to the following and in cases where it may be redundant based on the steps at the previous link, I'd just check again anyhow. It's easy to miss something the first time around.

First, double check the population of your memory modules. Practically ALL motherboards from the last five to seven years use the same population rules.

If you have one module, it should be installed in the A2 slot, which is the second slot away from the CPU socket.

If you have two memory modules installed, they should be in the A2 and B2 slots, which are the 2nd and 4th slots away from the CPU socket.

If you have three or more modules installed, and it is only a four slot motherboard, I don't imagine it makes a lot of difference where the 3rd module is installed although I would probably recommend installing it in the B1 slot for the sake of keeping the clearance for your CPU cooler heatsink and fan.



Always double check the population rules, especially if you have more than four memory slots, just in case. The population rules can always be found in the manual for your motherboard and YES, it does matter where they are installed. With only one or two modules installed if they are not in the correct slots it can result in anything from not being able to get them to run correctly at their XMP/AMP/DOCP profile settings, to not working at all, or anything in between.

If your motherboard specifies A2 and B2, as most all motherboards do, and you cannot get the memory to work correctly or at all in those slots but are 100% certain that there are no problems with your memory modules, then you have a motherboard issue.

Power off the unit, switch the PSU off and unplug the PSU cord from either the wall or the power supply.

Remove the motherboard CMOS battery for five minutes. During that five minutes, press the power button for 30 seconds. After the five minutes is up, reinstall the CMOS battery making sure to insert it with the correct side up just as it came out.

Now, plug the power supply cable back in, switch the PSU back on and power up the system. It should display the POST screen and the options to enter CMOS/BIOS setup. Enter the bios setup program and reconfigure the boot settings for either the Windows boot manager or for legacy systems, the drive your OS is installed on if necessary.

Save settings and exit. If the system will POST and boot then you can move forward from there including going back into the bios and configuring any other custom settings you may need to configure such as Memory XMP profile settings, custom fan profile settings or other specific settings you may have previously had configured that were wiped out by resetting the CMOS.

If the system will not POST after resetting the CMOS, then there is a hardware problem of some kind.

At that point I would again power off, remove all memory except one module, installed in the A2 slot for most modern motherboards, or whatever slot your motherboard user manual specifies for single module population according to it's stated population rules. This matters. Boards MAY run with memory in various slots, but there ARE specific memory slots that are intended to be used with one, two, three, four or more modules installed and the manual will outline which of them should be used based on how many modules you are using.

If you have integrated graphics either on the motherboard itself, or through the motherboard using the CPU integrated graphics, then I'd connect your monitor cable to one of the motherboard video outputs and completely remove the graphics card from the system.

Now remove the CMOS battery again for another five minutes, then put it back again and once again try to POST. If you still get no love, try again using a different memory module.

If you do NOT have integrated graphics to use while troubleshooting, then you can either move along to other steps or try a different graphics card if you have one, or can borrow one.

If you still fail to get the system to POST then I'd recommend you pull the CPU cooler and remove the CPU to check for bent pins or an improperly installed CPU. For AMD systems the pins are usually on the CPU. For Intel platforms the pins are on the motherboard. You may need magnification of some kind to see whether any of the pins look bent, out of place or just "wrong" compared to the pattern of the rest of the pins. A cheap magnifying glass or high powered reading glasses should suffice if you have old eyes like me.

If the CPU and motherboard both look fine, then clean all the thermal paste off the top of the CPU and bottom of the CPU cooler heatsink using isopropyl alcohol and a lint free microfiber cleaning cloth, coffee filter or other lint free cloth. Apply fresh TIM (Thermal interface material aka thermal paste) according to your preferred method or the CPU cooler instructions and reinstall the CPU and CPU cooler.

Now it would be advisable to unplug all connected drives, reset the CMOS, again, and try again to POST or enter the BIOS. If you still cannot get the sytem to POST then you probably need to remove everything from the case and bench test the system according to the steps found here:


If your system is failing to display signs of power or other random power related issues, it would be advisable to purchase or borrow a DVOM (Digital volt ohm meter) or analog multimeter and do some basic power testing of the PSU to determine if there is a power delivery issue as follows:


If you still haven't found any indication of what the problem is, a few last resort measures would be to make sure the PSU is plugged directly into the wall and is NOT using any kind of UPS, power strip or extension cord.

Verify that the CPU cooler IS connected to the CPU_FAN header, as some systems will not even power up if there is no RPM signal from the CPU fan.

Anything beyond these basics is going to require some further conversation and possibly the replacement of your motherboard or CPU, as if everything listed above has checked out, there isn't much left it could be aside from one of those two things.
 
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I think we can safely assume that the GPU is innocent - since I've had this problem I changed three GPUs (HD 5850, HD 7750 and a brand new RX 570 4GB which all worked fine on other systems) and the issue remained exactly the same with all three, although as I said I felt it became slightly more frequent on the 570. But it also might be that the issue simply worsened over time.

Earlier today I tried testing the RAM once again one stick at a time and I noticed something weird - while the problem still showed up, it took much longer with only one stick (usually if I'm gaming it happens after 20-30 minutes, but this time while testing I had no problems for over 2 hours). I'm not really sure how to interpret this, though.

For the rest the RAMs are in their right place, the system boots normally after clearing the CMOS, temperatures seem all fine (while gaming the CPU is always under 50° C and the GPU under or around 60° C), CPU doesn't have bent pins and I applied a fresh dose of paste, and I retested the new PSU without finding any problems.

I checked out the mobo for some signs of problems, but honestly I don't quite have the knowledge to spot more minute problems that could be on there aside from obvious things like scratches or scorch marks and there are none of those. I haven't bench-tested the mobo yet, but since the problem seems to appear after either hours of light use or around 30m-1h of gaming I think everything would work fine while testing.

At this point since I began having this problem I changed the GPU, PSU and SSD/HDD - which should leave the Motherboard, CPU and RAMs as the possible causes, though I might exclude the RAMs since all the tests I've tried didn't find any problems.

I feel like at this point it's down to understanding which of those remaining two is giving up the ghost - any idea how? :(
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
On the motherboard, you want to look at the capacitors for leaking or bulging.

http://www.robotroom.com/Faulty-Capacitors-1.html

I really doubt that though because your board is so new. Which doesn't mean you can't have some other motherboard issue though.


Check your monitor cable for bent pins, and maybe even try a different monitor cable. Probably not the issue, but possible.

Try running WITHOUT the hard drive connected, just the SSD.

Might also try bumping the DRAM voltage (Memory/RAM) by .005-.010v in the bios, then save settings reboot and see if there is any difference.

 
Nov 28, 2018
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As you guessed all capacitors seem completely fine - from what I can see none of them are leaking or domed.
I changed the monitor cable and unplugged the HDD - same problem popped up again after 45 minutes of gaming.

I just can't wrap my head around it. It's difficult for me to believe that the CPU could be the problem, I feel like if that was the case I would have bigger issues than just a no signal + freeze after an hour of gaming - especially since it can't be overheating as the temps are perfectly ok. Then again the motherboard looks fine, unless the problems are more than skin deep.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Ok, let's start over with some basics again.

Have you tried a clean install of the OS at any point since building this system or are you using the OS as is from a previous platform? Have you been through one or more iterations of the spring and fall Windows 10 updates?

Are you in fact even running Windows 10, or an earlier version, because I see no mention of that in any of our exchanges?
 
Nov 28, 2018
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I have done no less than 4 clean installs of Windows 10 Pro since I've had this problem (which started around August) - one of them only yesterday. Unfortunately none of them seemed to change anything. :(

Anyway, now that I kinda feel like we have narrowed things down to the motherboard and CPU I actually googled around a bit, and apparently the Asrock AB350M Pro4 is known to have freezing/crashing problems, with a ton of people complaining about it and asking for solutions. The symptoms seem very similar to the ones I'm experiencing.

I searched around for possible fixes, but there seem to be a ton of different ones and most of them unfortunately go well beyond my technical understanding - some people even just recommend simply changing the motherboard as it isn't worth the hassle. Do you happen to have any experience with that particular motherboard?

If not, I'm honestly contemplating just biting the bullet and buying a different one.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
What build version of Windows 10 are you using?

Yes, I've seen a few people with issues on that board, but in general, the ASRock Pro 4 boards have been pretty fair on a number of platforms and I know of many with no issues at all using that board.

Did you update the bios to version 3.4 BEFORE you updated to version 5.1?

Have you installed all of the drivers listed on your motherboard product page for chipset, audio, network adapter and storage controller to the latest versions listed there?
 
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I'm on the version 1803, OS build 17134.407 of Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

I did update the bios to the 3.4 before the P5.10, as is recommended on the Asrock bios updates page, and installed all the latest drivers on the Asrock page, as well as the latest AMD drivers for the GPU (18.12.1.1)

Another small thing - my RAMs (G.Skill Ripjaws 4 DDR4 3200mhz F4-3200C16Q) have actually been running at the default settings of the mobo, which means 2133mhz.

I haven't tried to overclock them yet as I didn't want to increase the load on the PC and possibly increase the problem - was that a good call or could that be responsible for the problem? I figured that if anything the PC would run more smoothly on a lower frequency.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
No, they will run more smoothly, and much faster, at the XMP profile configuration, usually.

However, running at the default configuration will not cause freezing unless there is something wrong with the memory.

Have you run Memtest86 on the memory, for 4 passes of all 11 tests, with the memory at the default configuration?

If not, I would download Memtest86 from Passmark software, and create the bootable media. Then boot to the media and run it for the standard 4 passes. This will take several hours probably.
 
Nov 28, 2018
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I've run memtest86 a couple of times since I started having this problem - the latest being only a few days ago after you suggested it - and it didn't find any issues with the RAM. I'll give it another try just to be sure, but I'm pretty confident that it'll turn out ok.

I feel like I've pretty much run out of tests to try and I feel no closer to the solution :(
 
Nov 28, 2018
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After creating a bootable flash drive for Memtest86 and rebooting the PC, it actually failed to boot and produced 1 long beep and 3 short ones - after a quick google it looks like it's a BIOS error code that is listed as "Conventional/Extended memory failure".

However after a restart it booted as normal and I ran the memtest - 100% of the tests passed with 0 errors.

Since the BIOS gave me a RAM error code but the RAM appears to be working fine, could it be that it's the DIMM slots on the motherboard that are faulty?
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Remove the memory that is installed in the A1 and B1 slots. Those are the slots in the first and third positions away from the CPU socket. Run the system again and see if the problem continues. Leave the memory that is installed in the A2 and B2 slots as is. Did all four of those modules come together in a single kit or were they separate kits, or even just completely mixed modules?

Also, if there is no change with only those two modules installed, then install the other two back into the system. Boot into windows. Download and run Prime95 version 26.6. Choose the Blend mode option and run it for 8 hours if it will run that long without any worker stoppages.

Memtest is good for telling us SOME things about the memory, but it certainly doesn't tell us EVERYTHING about the stability of the memory configuration. What it doesn't tell us, running Blend mode will.

I suspect we MIGHT be back to the original consensus that acquiring a 2 x8GB memory kit that is a high quality kit, might be the best next step.
 
Nov 28, 2018
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I think there was a misunderstanding somewhere - I don't have four sticks of RAM, only two sticks of 4GB each, and they are placed in the A2 and B2 slots. I was planning to get another two 4GB sticks to up my memory to 16GB, but I haven't done so yet.

I have tried pretty much everything with them - I tested them one stick at a time and tried all slots without impacting the problem, so I eventually just put them back in the A2 and B2 slots.

Anyway, I'll download Prime95 and try the Blend option - just to be clear, the version I have to use is the "FreeBSD 7: 32-bit" on the Marsenne site? Sorry in advance if it's a dumb question - just wanted to be sure since it appears to be the oldest version available
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
This is the version you want to use:

http://windows-downloads-center.blogspot.com/2011/04/prime95-266.html


Or you can download the latest version and do this to disable the use of AVX instructions:

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/stress-test-cpu-pc-guide,5461-2.html


Have you TRIED simply bumping up (increasing) the DRAM (memory) voltage a small amount. Generally in increments, starting with something like .005v, then .010v, then .015v. I'd say if the memory configuration is to blame and you are currently running them at the stock speed, this probably is not a necessary step, but it might be worth trying anyhow. I wouldn't go any higher than 1.3v maximum with them at the default configuration. If you had to go higher than that without even having XMP enabled, then something is wrong with the memory with only two modules.

Sorry for the confusion on four modules. Sometimes when threads take a long time to evolve we forget unless we go back and read everything every time we visit the thread. My bad.

I really am almost ready to agree with you that it's simply a bad motherboard, but maybe try bumping up the DRAM voltage first and then convict the motherboard if nothing changes.
 

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