My brand new PC is hard crashing and I don't know why, help!

gu3miles

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Dec 25, 2015
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Hi,

My new PC is crashing when I play games and I cannot figure out why. Hopefully you guys can help me out.

A few months ago I built a new computer. Inside is:

A 850 watt gold thermalake power supply
Skylake i5 6600k
Asus Z170-A mobo
GSkill Ripjaw 16 GB DDR 4 Ram
Asus 970 Strix
Various hard drives, Windows is on a Samsung 950 SSD.
Acer 1440p 144hz G-Sync monitor + a TV output.

So lets talk about the problem. Sometimes, randomly, when I play games, my computer hard freezes. And I mean hard. Whatever is on the screen generally stays on there. My computer then outputs this horrible BZPLSUZZ noise through the speakers. No mouse movement, no alt/tab, no ctrl+alt+delete, my keyboard won't even turn the caps lock light on. Totally dead. The only option is to turn comp off, turn comp on.

If I don't play games, the computer will work flawlessly until the end of time. If I play games, sometimes, it crashes. It's very random. 90% of the time it crashes when playing Dota 2. I can play NBA 2k15 at max settings for hours, it's fine. I can play City Skilines and it'll crash after 5 minutes. Or. It won't crash after 4 hours of playing. I thought it might be Steam? But once it crashed while playing heros of the storm.

Ah you say, sounds like your computer is overheating. My CPU has a giant noctua cooler on it, it runs at about 38 degrees C. My graphics card is stock, very efficient 970, I monitor temps while I game, it almost never gets over 68 C. Again, I can play NBA 2k15 at max settings at 1440p for hours and it's fine.

I've uninstalled, and re-installed every driver I can think of.

I've done RAM tests, all said everything is 100% great.

I've checked windows crash reports, it just says windows crashed.

I've checked and rechecked all my cables and plugs and whatnot.

My current voltages from my PSU: 12V at 12.192, 5V at 5.120, 3.3V at 3.360, CPU System Voltage at 1.088.

Does anyone have any advice or suggestions? This is driving me nuts. For the life of me I can't figure out what's going on. Help me obe-tom, you're my only hope :(

Thanks.

 

gu3miles

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Dec 25, 2015
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Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 850 Watt 80 Plus Gold Power Supply
 

iCameAsARoman

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Dec 30, 2015
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Hmm. that should be plenty. Did it happen after you completed your build? How long after it was complete?

You may have a loose connection powering the motherboard and/or GPU. Or PSU is faulty.
 

gu3miles

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Dec 25, 2015
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It's kinda been happening ever since I completed my build. It's hard to say when though, again, it happens seemingly randomly, sometimes it'll be a few days, sometimes it'll be a few minutes or hours.

Why would a loose connection cause this? Wouldn't it not work at boot?
 

turkey3_scratch

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Since you tested all that stuff, this usually results from two hardware issues: the motherboard or the power supply. While Thermaltake units vary in quality, and I'm not sure what model your unit is, those voltage readings are safe. Voltages read by software are not always accurate, though, but should give a general neighborhood. But voltage does not include ripple, which is another aspect of power supply direct current outputs that can only be read by a professional tool, an oscilloscope.

The motherboard can also play a role because the motherboard itself is a power supply (in a way). The voltage regulator module on the motherboard is a power supply that takes the direct current from the power supply and adjusts the voltages and/or suppresses ripple and makes it even cleaner for use of the CPU, RAM, chipset, and other minor electronics. This can cause freezes, too.
 

Animatrix4

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Jun 16, 2014
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Hey man, I have your exact same problem, and I've already RMA'd the mobo, PSU, and GPU to no avail. Have you had any luck getting your system to act right yet?
 

gu3miles

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Dec 25, 2015
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Hey there. I've been doing some thinking, so let me tell you my thoughts. First, I changed a bunch of bios settings, and updated the bios to the most recent version (I've been doing that but there was a new version). It didn't stop the crashing.

Another thing that has been happening is that when I let my computer sleep at night, sometimes in the morning I've found that it has restart. I've always found this strange, but just chalked it up to something something bios settings windows 10. It had not occurred to me that the crashes and this weird problem that happens when the computer goes to sleep mode might be related. It does make sense that it is a power problem.

So. Just yesterday I picked up a EVGA SuperNOVA 750 G2 80+ GOLD (was highest recommended by johnnyguru). This PSU in theory has basically no ripple whatsoever. My hope is that the problem was a faulty PSU, or a faulty mobo. And maybe the cleaner power from the PSU will fix whatever issue is going on. I really really really hope that is because I don't want to have to replace my mobo which would be considerably more work, as I'd basically have to rip everything out and start over.

Time will tell if indeed my PSU was the source of my problems. I've gone a day and two games of Dota in without any problems, but I will keep you posted. I'll feel confident that it was the PSU in another week or two.

Thanks.
 

Animatrix4

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Jun 16, 2014
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No, just a 1080p monitor. An Asus VX-238h. I think that I have had some success though. I swapped the slots my RAM was in from 2 & 4 to 1 & 3 and swapped the order that the sticks were in. I messed with the ram at the suggestion of a family friend and a video from Techquickie. When I did that, it took longer to crash, so I tested the sticks 1 at a time. With only 1 stick, I had no crashes in slot 1 or 3 after 30 minutes of streaming. I swapped the order of the sticks after 1 last crash. So far, it's been working! I'll let you know if it keeps stable through tomorrow.
 

gu3miles

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Dec 25, 2015
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Hey Antimatrix,

What is your computer setup? What graphics card do you have? Is it an Asus 970 or something else? I'm just trying to find where we overlap. Maybe it'll help narrow the problems. Again I hope it's the RAM. You using DDR4?

Thanks.
 

Animatrix4

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Here's my setup:

CPU: Intel Core i5-4590 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler
Thermal Compound: Arctic Cooling MX-2 4g Thermal Paste
Motherboard: MSI Z87-G41 PC Mate ATX LGA1150 Motherboard
Memory: Corsair XMS 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1333 Memory
Storage: Crucial MX100 256GB 2.5" Solid State Drive
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: HIS Radeon R9 280X 3GB IceQ X² Video Card
Case: Thermaltake Commander MS-I ID ATX Mid Tower Case
Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA NEX 750W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply
Optical Drive: LG GH24NSB0 DVD/CD Writer
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 OEM (64-bit)
Wireless Network Adapter: Rosewill AC1200UBE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac USB 3.0 Wi-Fi Adapter

Your system is definitely more powerful than mine, but it seems my problem was the arrangement of my RAM. I only just found out about the randomness of the quality of parts while trying to fix my computer. I hope it helps.
 

gu3miles

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Dec 25, 2015
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So here is a small update, there was another problem I totally forgot. When I plug in an external (analog) sound plug for my stereo, it buzzes. If I use HDMI for audio (which I have been doing) it doesn't buzz obviously.

Does this help correlate an audio problem? I mean, it only buzzes once the audio drivers kick in, and happens on either the front or rear headphone jacks. It does not buzz if it's in any other jack, just the audio out. Thoughts?
 

Animatrix4

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Jun 16, 2014
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That just sounds like electrical interference.
 

Animatrix4

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I hope that helps. I tried that for mine and was having great luck until last night. Then the screen glitched out all over again. I've found one thread that stated it could be the thermal paste not being spread evenly, causing random glitches like that. I'll try cleaning it once again and let you know how it goes.
 

gu3miles

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Dec 25, 2015
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Thermal paste? That's like the craziest explanation yet. And if you RMA'd your mobo didn't you reapply the paste? And also my CPU sits at 38 C all the time, incorrect thermal paste would just not allow efficient cooling. And I didn't use too much so it's not like shmearing everything.
 

gu3miles

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Dec 25, 2015
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I mean, electrical interference, doesn't that imply a power/grounding issue someowhere in the mobo? Which seems to be the problem that I'm having? It worries me that you RMA'd your mobo to no avail...
 

Animatrix4

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Jun 16, 2014
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It could be. Though I have no idea how you'd test your power outlet. I saw those threads earlier, talking about dirty power causing electrical problems. I think in one case the person having the electrical issues went to another house to test it and it helped.

 

gu3miles

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Dec 25, 2015
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Well, I found a great other toms hardware article explaining why you'd get a buzz (ground of two electronics being at different voltages, causing the disturbance, or humm), the way you get rid of a ground loop hum is similarize the voltages. I achieved this by plugging my speaker electronics into the same outlet as the computer, it reduced the hum by 90%.

So, new theory is that the computer power was 100% fine, but there was some sort of interference by plugging my HDMI cable into the receiver. I have no evidence to support this theory, but again the buzz is almost completely gone. I'll do some more tests over the next few days to see if it still is crashing, I'll keep everyone posted.
 

gu3miles

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Dec 25, 2015
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So. This is crazy, it might not be my computer at all. Since I unplugged all cables that go to my receiver (HDMI and analog cable) I have had zero crashes. So it's possible that it was my receiver this entire time sending some sort of funky current through the HDMI cable into my mobo that was causing the issues. Nuts. I'll keep you posted.
 

kote21

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May 23, 2016
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How did it work out? I'm having the exact same problem with a similar build. I've tried swapping RAM slots, wiping the drive completely, etc. Was it the peripherals?
 

gu3miles

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Dec 25, 2015
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So it's s till happening. I completely reinstalled everything, did everything I could think of.

It still happens on occasion. Upon closer inspection of my motherboard there is a bent capacitor near the audio chip on my motherboard. This could explain why it sometimes happens more often when using the hdmi audio. I got a RMA for my asus mobo but I want to do advanced replacement (where I get the new one before I send back the old one). But they don't have any in stock so I'm still waiting.

So I'm going to assume it's a bad mobo for the moment.

Thanks

 

gu3miles

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Dec 25, 2015
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Hey everyone.

It was a bad Asus board. The PCI slot was randomly kicking extra voltage into the graphics card, causing the issues. I purchased a Gigabyte board. Lots of work to get it all installed. But once I did, I haven't had a single problem. Solid as can be. Asus is being a real pain about getting the board fixed seeing as I RMA'd it, and they sent it back to me STILL BROKEN.

I'm not happy about them. So stay away from the Z170-A, look for voltage kickback in your mobo if you're having this problem.
 

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