Question My new PC is very unstable. Is my motherboard faulty?

Jamil_NYC

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I built a PC not long ago and have been having some pretty bad stability issues.

PC Specs
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-8400 2.8 GHz 6-Core Processor
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte B360M DS3H Micro ATX LGA1151
  • RAM: Patriot Viper 4 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory
  • Harddrives
    • OS Drive: ADATA SU630 240 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive
    • Additional Storage: Crucial MX500 500 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive
  • Graphics: EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 6 GB XC GAMING Video Card
  • Power Supply: SeaSonic 520 W 80+ Bronze Certified Fully Modular ATX
  • Operating System: Windows 10 64-bit
  • Estimated Wattage: 312 W according to PC Part Picker
History
Originally, the OS was Ubuntu Linux. It was also unstable (as described below), but at the time I just chalked to up to incompatibility with Linux, so that's when I bought a Windows license.

Originally, I had an MSI GTX 1060 graphics card. What I noticed was that when the card was NOT powered and I used the integrated graphics of the CPU, the PC was generally fine (it still had some issues but not bad), so I assumed it must be the graphics card. The 1060 was refurbished, so I figured it's just bad or something. That's when I replaced it with the RTX 2060.

With the brand new RTX 2060 in, things were a little better than with the GTX 1060, but I'm still having issues.

Issues
  • Pages in Google Chrome and Firefox almost always crash. These same pages work without a problem on MS Edge.
  • BSOD errors while web browsing or gaming. The error message is different each time such as SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION or NTFS_FILE_SYSTEM or kernel errors. They are not consistent.
  • Games take a few tries to start up sometimes.
    • They will start, and then after roughly a minute will crash
    • When they finally do stop crashing, they are generally smooth and stable, which is weird.
    • I was able to run games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Star Wars: Battlefront II at maximum settings and 60 FPS
  • The 3DMark Benchmarks always crash partway through and I can't get a valid score.
    • The framerate is generally smooth for the short duration that they run, before crashing
  • Random reboots
Solution Attempts
  • I've reinstalled Windows from scratch
  • I've installed the latest nVidia Drivers
  • I've installed the latest Windows Updates
  • CPU: The Intel Diagnostic Tool passes all tests: https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/19792/Intel-Processor-Diagnostic-Tool
  • RAM: I ran the Windows Memory Test utility and it reported no problems
  • Disks: I ran the CHDSK utility on boot and no errors were reported
  • Graphics: I can't run 3DMark as mentioned, but I can run these AAA titles on max settings, so graphics seem okay
  • OS: I ran the SFC tool to fix system files. It reports either that there are no errors, or when errors are found that they are all fixed
At this point the only components I haven't been able to test are the Power Supply and the Motherboard. Is there a way to test them other than buying new ones? I just want to play my games.
 

Ralston18

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I think that the PSU is not fully up to supporting the system's wattage requirements.

The system may total to 312 watts but those wattages were likely established under ideal circumstances.

The GPU's specifications recommend a minimum PSU of 500 watts.

Re-total the wattages: If a component provides a wattage range, use the high end value.

[Note: there are online calculators to help tally up component wattages. Try two or three at least to get a wattage consensus.]

Once you have a total wattage add 25% more. How close is that value to 520?

You can test a PSU's voltages if you have a multimeter and know how to use. Or can get someone who does.

https://www.lifewire.com/how-to-manually-test-a-power-supply-with-a-multimeter-2626158

Not a full PSU test per se as the PSU is not underload. However, any out of spec voltages would make the PSU suspect.
 

Jamil_NYC

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[Note: there are online calculators to help tally up component wattages. Try two or three at least to get a wattage consensus.]

Once you have a total wattage add 25% more. How close is that value to 520?
Thanks for the tips. So I tried a few PSU Calculators, the results are as follows

Taking the worst case from this and rounding up, that's 400W. Giving it a 25% buffer: 400W * 1.25 = 500W

Which is less than the 520W rating for my PSU. I should also note that even when I remove my Graphics card (and use integrated graphics), I still have instability. Without a Graphics Card, these calculators are reporting that I need around 200W or less.

I do know how to use a multimeter, so I'll give that a try next.
 

Jamil_NYC

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Motherboard has:
Support for DDR4 2666/2400/2133 MHz memory modules
Oh that's an interesting point. I found this list of supported memory modules here and don't see mine on the list.
https://www.gigabyte.com/us/Motherboard/B360M-DS3H-rev-10/support#support-doc

At the time that I built the PC, I read that having a higher frequency memory was fine (in this case 3000 MHz), it would just be clocked at a lower rate by the MB if it couldn't support the full speed. Did I misread that?

I should also note that I ran Windows Memory Test (Including the hours-long extended version) and it found no problems.

But at this point I'll try anything. What do you recommend would be the best RAM to switch it out with?
 

Third-Eye

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Thanks for the tips. So I tried a few PSU Calculators, the results are as follows

Taking the worst case from this and rounding up, that's 400W. Giving it a 25% buffer: 400W * 1.25 = 500W

Which is less than the 520W rating for my PSU. I should also note that even when I remove my Graphics card (and use integrated graphics), I still have instability. Without a Graphics Card, these calculators are reporting that I need around 200W or less.

I do know how to use a multimeter, so I'll give that a try next.
The Cooler Master estimate is the most correct as the system with your configuration should use about 220 watts during gaming and around 240 watts peak usage when stress tested. Your 520w SeaSonic is more than enough for your system.

The instability is more likely to be the low budget SSD or a memory module may be faulty. Run memtest86 with the memory at 3000Mhzand if you get errors, run it again with the memory set to 2133Mhz. If you still get errors at 2133, you likely have faulty ram. If that doesn't fix it, maybe consider getting a better SSD for the OS.
 

Jamil_NYC

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The instability is more likely to be the low budget SSD or a memory module may be faulty. Run memtest86 with the memory at 3000Mhzand if you get errors, run it again with the memory set to 2133Mhz. If you still get errors at 2133, you likely have faulty ram. If that doesn't fix it, maybe consider getting a better SSD for the OS.
So I was actually in the middle of running a memtest86 test before I saw this post, since I heard about it on another thread in this forum. I ran it with the defaults, it showed the memory frequency as 2998 MHz, so I'm assuming it ran as fast as it could (but I'm not sure). If you know how to quickly change the speed at which the test is executed, I'd really appreciate it. Otherwise, I'll continue searching online.

In any case, as I'm writing this the test just finished. After 4 out of 4 passes, and nearly two hours, it showed 0 errors of any kind. Unless I'm missing something, I guess the memory is okay.

Interesting point about the low budget SSD. I didn't consider that. Although I've been running CHKDSK all this time and it hasn't reported any errors.
 

Third-Eye

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So I was actually in the middle of running a memtest86 test before I saw this post, since I heard about it on another thread in this forum. I ran it with the defaults, it showed the memory frequency as 2998 MHz, so I'm assuming it ran as fast as it could (but I'm not sure). If you know how to quickly change the speed at which the test is executed, I'd really appreciate it. Otherwise, I'll continue searching online.

In any case, as I'm writing this the test just finished. After 4 out of 4 passes, and nearly two hours, it showed 0 errors of any kind. Unless I'm missing something, I guess the memory is okay.

Interesting point about the low budget SSD. I didn't consider that. Although I've been running CHKDSK all this time and it hasn't reported any errors.
The OS scans won't report most issues with speed of the drive, but it may be running slowly. I would run a benchmark on it with either AS SSD and compare it to the advertised speeds or you could use userbenchmark for a general idea of what parts may be having issues. Post the webpage link you get at the end of the test. https://www.userbenchmark.com/
 
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Jamil_NYC

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The OS scans won't report most issues with speed of the drive, but it may be running slowly. I would run a benchmark on it with either AS SSD and compare it to the advertised speeds or you could use userbenchmark for a general idea of what parts may be having issues. Post the webpage link you get at the end of the test. https://www.userbenchmark.com/
Here's the webpage for the User Benchmark test:
https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/23835159

As you suspected, the ADATA SSD is not performing well.

Here's the TL;DR:

UserBenchmarks: Game 80%, Desk 78%, Work 52%
CPU: Intel Core i5-8400 - 81.8%
GPU: Nvidia RTX 2060 - 86.9%
SSD: Adata SU630 240GB - 51%
SSD: Crucial MX500 500GB - 108.8%
RAM: Unknown 3000 C16 Series 2x4GB - 74.6%
MBD: Gigabyte B360M DS3H
 

Third-Eye

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Here's the webpage for the User Benchmark test:
https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/23835159

As you suspected, the ADATA SSD is not performing well.

Here's the TL;DR:

UserBenchmarks: Game 80%, Desk 78%, Work 52%
CPU: Intel Core i5-8400 - 81.8%
GPU: Nvidia RTX 2060 - 86.9%
SSD: Adata SU630 240GB - 51%
SSD: Crucial MX500 500GB - 108.8%
RAM: Unknown 3000 C16 Series 2x4GB - 74.6%
MBD: Gigabyte B360M DS3H
I would get an Crucial MX 500 or Western Digital 3D NAND 250GB as a replacement or spend a bit more for a Samsung 860 Evo. Do you know what model your ram kit is? Have you tried setting XMP to run it faster than the minimum standard speed of 2133Mhz?
 

Jamil_NYC

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Do you know what model your ram kit is? Have you tried setting XMP to run it faster than the minimum standard speed of 2133Mhz?
Yup! After I saw that XMP was disabled in the Benchmark results, I googled how to enabled it in my BIOS. I have enabled the XMP profile and re-ran the User Benchmark test. It now comes in at 2666 MHz. So far, I haven't noticed any serious drawbacks.

The exact RAM modules I have are:
https://www.newegg.com/patriot-8gb-288-pin-ddr4-sdram/p/N82E16820220976?Item=N82E16820220976

Benchmark Results after enabling XMP:
https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/23835750
 

Third-Eye

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Yup! After I saw that XMP was disabled in the Benchmark results, I googled how to enabled it in my BIOS. I have enabled the XMP profile and re-ran the User Benchmark test. It now comes in at 2666 MHz. So far, I haven't noticed any serious drawbacks.

The exact RAM modules I have are:
https://www.newegg.com/patriot-8gb-288-pin-ddr4-sdram/p/N82E16820220976?Item=N82E16820220976

Benchmark Results after enabling XMP:
https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/23835750
Your OS SSD speed increased by 20%, so either the ram speed increase helped that or something else changed when you reran the test. You probably had programs running before rebooting to change ram speed. Deep queue 4k also improved massively by 40%.
 

Jamil_NYC

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Your OS SSD speed increased by 20%, so either the ram speed increase helped that or something else changed when you reran the test. You probably had programs running before rebooting to change ram speed. Deep queue 4k also improved massively by 40%.
I ran them both after a fresh reboot, so hopefully nothing else was running in the background that normally wasn't there.

But in any case, I have some interesting news! Ever since enabling XMP, I haven't had a BSOD all day. I was also able to play my games and run all the 3DMark benchmarks to completion (with decent scores to boot). Normally, I'd have half a dozen or more BSOD's every day, but so far nothing.

Crossing my fingers and I'm going to give it a few more days, but maybe this is what I was looking for.
 

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