Most unstable computer in 15 years: H55 and Clarkdale - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 50 Old 03-25-2010, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by lancia View Post

That sounds like my last i7 build...rock solid. I think I will try the 1 stick of memory test this weekend and see if it is more stable.

If a single stick of ddr3 doesn't help, try a completely different stick of ddr3. These boards are very picky about what memory they like. I first tried moving some ddr3 from my Core i7/X58 system into my H55 system. Windows 7 installed fine and things were going great until I installed the graphics driver and switched into 1920x1080. Then it would bsod/reboot anywhere from a couple of seconds to a few minutes. Out of the 6 ddr3 sticks that work great in my Core i7 system, only 2 of them work in the H55 system with any degree of stability. Running memtest86 didn't show any problems, but swapping out the memory is what fixed my stability problem.

Bazinga!

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post #32 of 50 Old 03-26-2010, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by lancia View Post

I choose the 661 because I wanted a bit more horsepower than the other CPU/GPUs... ...My last i7 build was rock solid, handled bitstreaming no problem, full audio but ran really hot and the case was the size of a large AVR. I didn't want that this time.

ummmm.... IIRC, i7 doesn't do bitstreaming of HD audio... only i3/i5.


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post #33 of 50 Old 03-26-2010, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by jimwhite View Post

ummmm.... IIRC, i7 doesn't do bitstreaming of HD audio... only i3/i5.


My Core i7 system bitstreams HD audio just fine. Obviously we're not talking about integrated graphics or audio because Core i7 has neither. But with an ATI or Nvidia graphics card + Xonar HDAV 1.3, people have been able to bitstream HD audio on Core i7s for over a year. It does burn a lot more power than my Core i5/H55 build does.

Bazinga!

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post #34 of 50 Old 03-26-2010, 06:36 PM
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first thought is motherboard hardware problem, or bios issues. check for updated bios, try that, if no good, return the motherboard.

when you get the new motherboard. add as little of the hardware in as possible (minimal memory, leave all the other stuff out), see if it's stable, then piecewise add in more hardware, checking for stability as you go. this will help idntify other components that may be faulty.

at least that's what i would do.

Rule #1: You haven't wasted your money...you just haven't spent enough yet.
Rule #2: When in doubt...get both.
Rule #3: No need to invoke malice when stupidity alone suffices.
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post #35 of 50 Old 03-30-2010, 05:41 AM
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Try raising the memory voltage a bit. Don't go over 1.6v
For details see:
http://communities.intel.com/message/87044
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post #36 of 50 Old 04-08-2010, 01:09 PM
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@lancia - You and I have a similar setup. Thank you for identifying the workaround for the Denon+Clarkdale audio issue on the other thread you started. It has made my HTPC usable.

I noticed that you're using the 2086 drivers from Intel. The last ones listed by Gigabyte on their website are 2057. I recently went directly to the Intel site and installed 2086 directly (I think Windows Update also recommended them). My system's stability went downhill from there. I've since gone back to 2057 a couple days ago, so we'll see if things improve.

Is there a reason why the Gigabyte site is lagging Intel's? Is it just complacency by Gigabyte?
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post #37 of 50 Old 04-08-2010, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by cmichel04 View Post

Try raising the memory voltage a bit. Don't go over 1.6v
For details see:
http://communities.intel.com/message/87044

Are you suggesting to change the BIOS setting for the voltage, or switch to a different type of RAM? The guy in that thread actually switched to a different type of RAM. Sadly, I have the exact same RAM that he had problems with.

Here's the list of what's supported:

http://www.gigabyte.us/FileList/Memo...a-h55m-s2h.pdf
http://www.gigabyte.us/FileList/Memo...-h55m-ud2h.pdf
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post #38 of 50 Old 04-08-2010, 01:32 PM
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I have a similar setup. I have a Gigabyte H55M-UD2H motherboard with an i3 2.93 overclocked to 3.66.

I am a UNIX head, and have previously maintained that Windows 2000 was the only release that had any concept of stability. However, this box with Windows 7 64-bit has redefined my prejudices. I've never seen a Windows desktop this fast and stable.

One item that I found as I was noodling with the Happauge PVR150 SD tuner that I had was that some people reported stability problems at 4GB or RAM. The solution was to go to the Max RAM setting (in Hardware Device Manager?) and hardcode the operating system to use only 4095MB of memory. Apparently, staying even one meg below the 4GB threshold made a difference. Just throwing that out there for what it is worth.

I am using a 550 watt ATX PSU, and have not raised the voltages to overclock.

I don't believe that the instability is endemic in your use of the Gigabyte mobo or processor (though you may have a bad unit of anything). As above, test methodically, isolate RAM, power, cards, etc.

Best of luck and report what the problem was.
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post #39 of 50 Old 04-08-2010, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by BoulderGeek View Post

I have a similar setup. I have a Gigabyte H55M-UD2H motherboard with an i3 2.93 overclocked to 3.66.

I am a UNIX head, and have previously maintained that Windows 2000 was the only release that had any concept of stability. However, this box with Windows 7 64-bit has redefined my prejudices. I've never seen a Windows desktop this fast and stable.

One item that I found as I was noodling with the Happauge PVR150 SD tuner that I had was that some people reported stability problems at 4GB or RAM. The solution was to go to the Max RAM setting (in Hardware Device Manager?) and hardcode the operating system to use only 4095MB of memory. Apparently, staying even one meg below the 4GB threshold made a difference. Just throwing that out there for what it is worth.

I am using a 550 watt ATX PSU, and have not raised the voltages to overclock.

I don't believe that the instability is endemic in your use of the Gigabyte mobo or processor (though you may have a bad unit of anything). As above, test methodically, isolate RAM, power, cards, etc.

Best of luck and report what the problem was.

What RAM are you using (brand & model)?
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post #40 of 50 Old 04-08-2010, 09:58 PM
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I'm using G.Skill ECO which is spec'd for 1.35 volts but at 1.40 since there is no setting for 1.35. Have had ZERO issues with it!


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post #41 of 50 Old 04-09-2010, 09:12 AM - Thread Starter
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For the last two weeks I have been running with a single stick of RAM. First week, stick #1, second week, stick #2. I've even swapped slots that they sit in. Either way it makes no difference. It "seems" a little more stable meaning it crashes less often.

I am going to Fry's tomorrow and going to pick up 2 different motherboards and 2 different packs of RAM. I will figure this out if it is the last thing I do!
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post #42 of 50 Old 04-09-2010, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpitt42 View Post

What RAM are you using (brand & model)?

Oh, sorry.

I am using OCZ 2 x 2GB PC10666 RAM ($79.99 after rebate, shipped).

After I posted on this thread yesterday, I decided to flash my BIOS, as it was four revisions behind. Bad idea. What was I thinking?

The new BIOS caused my Windows 7 installation to BSOD as it loaded IRQ resolution libraries. I rolled back to the old BIOS. Same thing.

I tried to repair Windows from the install disc. No dice. All I could do was a fresh reinstall. I did that after going back up to the new BIOS revision, so at least I don't have to do that again.

The machine was rock solid. But, the user introduced instability, in my case .


FWIW, I paid $70 for my Gigabyte H55M-UD2H from Newegg. I am very impressed. I built this HTPC with the cheapest components possibe for a new-generation build. $70 mobo, $99 CPU, $80 RAM, $40 SATA drive, cheapo shoebox case, 4-year-old IDE DVDR drive. I have no idea if there's some compatibility problem with the i7 versus the i3.
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post #43 of 50 Old 05-06-2010, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lancia View Post

I am going to Fry's tomorrow and going to pick up 2 different motherboards and 2 different packs of RAM. I will figure this out if it is the last thing I do!

Lancia, what's been the result of all this? I ask because I'm getting the occasional power shutdown on my H57/i3 system, and I'm getting worried.

I've not seen a BSOD - only that the system just suddenly powers down and then restarts, or (twice) I've seen a visual corruption of the screen before the power recycles. There's nothing in the event logs that shows the cause, so I suspect it's either the memory or the power supply. All my other self-builds have been using Asus AMD mobos and they are rock solid. This is my first Gigabyte Intel combo, and it's been more of a hassle than I would have liked...

Oh, I should add that all temperatures seem well within range - in fact comfortably on the low side.

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post #44 of 50 Old 05-06-2010, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by gcoupe View Post

Lancia, what's been the result of all this? I ask because I'm getting the occasional power shutdown on my H57/i3 system, and I'm getting worried.

I've not seen a BSOD - only that the system just suddenly powers down and then restarts, or (twice) I've seen a visual corruption of the screen before the power recycles. There's nothing in the event logs that shows the cause, so I suspect it's either the memory or the power supply. All my other self-builds have been using Asus AMD mobos and they are rock solid. This is my first Gigabyte Intel combo, and it's been more of a hassle than I would have liked...

Oh, I should add that all temperatures seem well within range - in fact comfortably on the low side.

I'd look to your video card producing a thermal shutdown. The same thing is happening on my older gaming PC, with a one-year-old ATI video card.

If you look at your log files (Event Viewer?), do you have any hard faults listed, and if so, what does a Google search of the event code say? That's how I isolated my video card issue.
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post #45 of 50 Old 05-06-2010, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by BoulderGeek View Post

I'd look to your video card producing a thermal shutdown. The same thing is happening on my older gaming PC, with a one-year-old ATI video card.

If you look at your log files (Event Viewer?), do you have any hard faults listed, and if so, what does a Google search of the event code say? That's how I isolated my video card issue.

Nope - I don't have a separate video card; I'm using the IGP of the i3 530 chip - and the temperature of that never gets above 32 Celcius.

There's nothing in the event viewer logs (either system or application), apart from kernel events saying that there has been an unexpected shutdown. Yep, we knew that already...

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post #46 of 50 Old 05-07-2010, 07:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gcoupe View Post

Lancia, what's been the result of all this? I ask because I'm getting the occasional power shutdown on my H57/i3 system, and I'm getting worried.

I've not seen a BSOD - only that the system just suddenly powers down and then restarts, or (twice) I've seen a visual corruption of the screen before the power recycles. There's nothing in the event logs that shows the cause, so I suspect it's either the memory or the power supply. All my other self-builds have been using Asus AMD mobos and they are rock solid. This is my first Gigabyte Intel combo, and it's been more of a hassle than I would have liked...

Oh, I should add that all temperatures seem well within range - in fact comfortably on the low side.

My problems seem to be related to bad motherboard/memory combo. I've tested the memory overnight with memtest - no problems. The machine would run fine with normal use. The only problems I saw is when I was running Media Center.

I changed out the motherboard and memory to a very generic Intel H55 board (H55TC of the top of my head) and some Kingston 1333 DDR3. I've been running it for 2 weeks and it appears to be MUCH more stable. I've had a single crash while just watching TV but it still does crash when I switch from my living room to my bedroom. 2 HDMI outs on my Denon, single signal sent to both. Looks like I still have problems switching monitors like that.
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post #47 of 50 Old 05-07-2010, 11:42 AM
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Blue screens that reference DWM (window manager) and ehshell (media center)?

Try disabling onboard audio and see if it helps. If not then see if you can find another mobo to try the CPU in. I'm leaning towards a bad CPU (specifically the video portion of it). This is why I'm against the integration of multiple devices into one chip.
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post #48 of 50 Old 05-08-2010, 02:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lancia View Post

My problems seem to be related to bad motherboard/memory combo. I've tested the memory overnight with memtest - no problems. The machine would run fine with normal use. The only problems I saw is when I was running Media Center.

I changed out the motherboard and memory to a very generic Intel H55 board (H55TC of the top of my head) and some Kingston 1333 DDR3. I've been running it for 2 weeks and it appears to be MUCH more stable.

Yes, I'm beginning to think that my power cutout issues can also be put down to a motherboard/memory combination that flirted with instability, even though I was running it at standard specs.

I originally had 4GB of Corsair XMS3 DHX 1333MHz DDR3 (TW3X4G1333C9DHX). I've now changed that out for 4GB of Kingston 1333MHz DDR3 (KVR1333D3N9K2/4G).

So far (touch wood), I've not had any unexplained power shutdowns. But admittedly, it's early days. Time will tell.

Geoff Coupe
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post #49 of 50 Old 05-08-2010, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by lancia View Post

I have been building machines for over 15 years and can tell you I have identified problems FOR manufacturers well before they publicly acknowledge the issue. I've worked directly with Microsoft .NET creators a year before they even released the first version to the public. I've identified problems with a batch of resistors Compaq used on a revision of their boards that caused "excessive" noise along the bus. I spent time on the phone with OS product managers at Microsoft...even had correspondence with Balmer. I exhaust all my resources and I'm really good at my job. I'm not sure if you are calling me a noob or not but I am about as far away from noob as it gets when it comes to computer hardware. It's hard to read the "tone" of your email so I appologize in advance if I read into this.

You do a whole lot of patting yourself on the back for someone who can't troubleshoot a pc. There's only 10 components. If you're as far away from noob as it gets, start testing them one by one. With your vast experience in "identifying problems with a batch of resistors" for compaq, this should be a walk in the park for you.
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post #50 of 50 Old 05-08-2010, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by CynicalCS84 View Post

You do a whole lot of patting yourself on the back for someone who can't troubleshoot a pc. There's only 10 components. If you're as far away from noob as it gets, start testing them one by one. With your vast experience in "identifying problems with a batch of resistors" for compaq, this should be a walk in the park for you.

+1

I don't want to dogpile a guy when he's down. This comment just makes me recall seeing MCSEs come into enterprise UNIX support teams, and do nothing but cause problems, all the while insisting "But, I am an MCSE! I am an excellent systems admin!" Sometimes, the hubris that Microsoft engenders is highly counterproductive.

Also, I note this thread every time that I come here, since my homebuilt H55 + i3 HTPC system is the most stable non-workstation-grade (Windows) computer that I have used in the past decade. Though, the Lenovo Hackintosh netbook that I am typing this on is pretty sweet, as well.
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