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areadenial
08-15-06, 11:10 PM
I am unsure as to whether or not my GPU is the cause of my problems, but here are the details:

Ever since I purchased a new motherboard and video card, I've been having issues out the ass. I originally started getting DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL BSOD's, but after a change I made(I can't recall what it was), the error shifted from IRQL BSOD's to Machine_Check_Exception errors.

I was later told that my RAM(TCCD type) was not the type of RAM that my mobo often agrees with. I made a purchase of RAM that Mushkin and DFI-Street suggested, but despite the RAM passing memtest with flying colors, the problem remained. I purchased a new PSU since my original was not meant for PCI-E boards, so some people said my PSU was probably the issue. After purchasing an OCZ GameXStream 600W(suggested by DFI-Street), the problem still did not go away.

I know it's not an issue with the memory, because the original memory I had in that system ran just fine in a previous system and the new RAM is running at timings suggested on the DFI-Street forums.

A new problem later showed up. The infamous squeal of death. I assumed this was the problem in the end as the SB Audigy 2 Platinum was supposedly plagued with this issue. After pulling the Audigy 2 out of the slot and using onboard sound, the problem was still there.

I've ruled out the most likely problem children, which are the RAM, PSU and Soundcard. The only hardware to change during the initial upgrade was the video card and the GPU. I've heard the 7900GTX has had a pretty bad run, but I am not sure if my problem is what was experienced by so many of the people that had issues.

Is the card worth RMA'ing, or does anyone have any suggestions?
Thanks

Xion X2
08-16-06, 10:48 AM
[Edit: Just found this thread on the issue. Appears not to be a video problem at all.]

http://www.abxzone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2781

Found that after a quick internet search. Gotta love the search engine.

Looks like from that thread that it's not a video problem, but could have something to do with windows updates. I would make sure you have the latest XP updates and have the rest of your drivers up to date, as well. One user reported that it turned out to be an issue with his sound card, but maybe he had old drivers/updates installed.

areadenial
08-18-06, 01:02 AM
[Edit: Just found this thread on the issue. Appears not to be a video problem at all.]

http://www.abxzone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2781

Found that after a quick internet search. Gotta love the search engine.

Looks like from that thread that it's not a video problem, but could have something to do with windows updates. I would make sure you have the latest XP updates and have the rest of your drivers up to date, as well. One user reported that it turned out to be an issue with his sound card, but maybe he had old drivers/updates installed.

Yes I do love search engines. Search engines have also revealed to me that there seems to be no isolated cause of the problem. Some people who have experienced these issues have recommended me solutions that have had no effect on my system. For some people it is an issue with HDD's, for some people it is an issue of IDE drivers, heat problems, bad RAM, etc.

As I said in the post, the initial RAM that I had when I upgraded was also used in a previous system. That system ran flawlessly, but upon upgrading from AGP to PCI-E, I had issues from the start. Buying new RAM didn't even help and a 24 hour run of memtest revealed no such problems with both sticks inside.

I was even suspecting the sound card because as I said, the squeal of death was a common error on the sound card I am currently using. This was also not the problem.. I completely removed the soundcard and used onboard audio instead, but the problem remained even with it gone.

The one thing I haven't messed with yet is the GPU. The motherboard could also be a problem, but I am not sure of it. I've updated the BIOS, but that wasn't the solution it seems. So it's pretty much either the mobo, the CPU or the GPU. I am not sure why the CPU wouldn't be working. My previous mobo was picky just like the current one. The CPU ran just fine in the previous setup.

The sound card and GPU are on different IRQ's, but maybe I could drop down the sound card another slot.. Doubt that will be the fix though.

Xion X2
08-18-06, 08:48 AM
area--I don't know why this didn't hit me sooner, but let me ask you the obvious: Did you reformat your hard-drive after swapping out motherboards? I just assumed that you had since this is basically a given after changing the core of a system, but just in case you hadn't I wanted to ask.

In the case that you haven't, that is a must, in my opinion. What you describe sounds like the result of incompatible Windows files, and that would make sense. When you first install Windows, it scans your system to determine what files it needs and where to put them. If you've swapped out the motherboard, then it needs an entirely new variation of drivers.

Yes I do love search engines. Search engines have also revealed to me that there seems to be no isolated cause of the problem.

Just so you know, I wasn't saying that to agitate you. I was just stating a general opinion. I had to think about your problem for a minute before it even hit me to "Hey, let me google this!"

Some people who have experienced these issues have recommended me solutions that have had no effect on my system. For some people it is an issue with HDD's, for some people it is an issue of IDE drivers, heat problems, bad RAM, etc.

The solutions did seem to be a bit random. I tend to believe that you might have a bad copy of Windows if that's the case. When was the last time you ran Windows updates?

As I said in the post, the initial RAM that I had when I upgraded was also used in a previous system. That system ran flawlessly, but upon upgrading from AGP to PCI-E, I had issues from the start.

Yeah I understand that, but compatibility issues can arise whenever you swap out any part in your computer; it doesn't necessarily mean that the new part is defective. Again, this leads back to making sure all the proper drivers/windows updates are installed.

I ran into a bug last night with my system. I was playing Halo online just like I always do, but I had just installed a new sound card a few days ago. Well, to make a long story short, my system kept hanging up while I was playing Halo. Obviously, I attributed this to the sound card and removed it and put my old sound card back in. The game still kept locking up. Scratching my head by this point, I broke out an old copy of System Works, ran a system cleanup, and voila. No more hanging.

Any time that you install something new in your system it can mess with all kinds of drivers and registry entries in Windows and create errors. My advice to you would be to pick up some sort of a Windows scanner/Win Doctor if you don't have one. I would highly recommend System Works. It seems any time I have an issue it resolves it.

I was even suspecting the sound card because as I said, the squeal of death was a common error on the sound card I am currently using. This was also not the problem.. I completely removed the soundcard and used onboard audio instead, but the problem remained even with it gone.

See above. There may be some leftover registry entries that Windows doesn't like or some disjoined files somewhere. I would recommend running some type of Windows scanner to clean these up.

The one thing I haven't messed with yet is the GPU. The motherboard could also be a problem, but I am not sure of it. I've updated the BIOS, but that wasn't the solution it seems.

The motherboard bios? There's also a video bios that you can update.

So it's pretty much either the mobo, the CPU or the GPU. I am not sure why the CPU wouldn't be working. My previous mobo was picky just like the current one. The CPU ran just fine in the previous setup.

What you describe just isn't reminiscent at all of a 7900-series GPU problem. 99.9% of the problems with the 7900-series are due to lockups and graphical distortions--neither of which you report.

The sound card and GPU are on different IRQ's, but maybe I could drop down the sound card another slot.. Doubt that will be the fix though.

Generally, you don't want them both sitting on the same IRQ. When that happens, they have to share resources with each other. In most cases, that would do you more harm than good. I guess there's a chance your motherboard may not like the sound card where it is, though. It's definitely worth a shot.

So, I guess in summary I would see if I could pick up some type of Windows scanner first. If that doesn't do the trick, I would try a reformat if that's a viable option and you don't have a ton of data to back up (even if you do, you might not have a choice unless you just want to go back to your old video card and even that may not fix the problem now just like swapping my old sound card back in didn't fix mine.)

If none of that works, then I would try contacting the motherboard tech support. If this is a reported problem then they'll be able to tell you. If not, then contact the video tech support for your card, but I really don't believe that the problem lies with your video card.