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BLINK! Reboot...


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I built a new system, but I'm having problems and I can't narrow down the cause.


The problem is that after running any 3D application, between a few minutes and an hour later, the screen goes blank then the system reboots. No hangs, BSOD, or anything like that - just *click* and back to the POST screen.


I'm running everything at stock speeds, which in this case means ram timings of 800mhz 5-5-5-18


At first I suspected ram, since initially I was not able to get past POST at all when in Dual Channel (DC) ram configuration. If I moved one of the DIMMS to the non DC slot, the system would boot - while in DC mode it would hang with a flashing white cursor in the upper left corner after a successful POST.


Swapping the positions of the DIMMS in DC mode allowed the system to boot properly, although this seemed to indicate a problem.


In any case, I ran for a day or two with few problems, but then suddenly the system would blink out of existence. After this, I started testing everything.


Performed full surface test on hard disk with Western Digital's tools with zero errors

Tested Ram with Memtest for 8 hour with zero errors

Tested CPU with SciSoft Sandra burn in test for 8 hours with zero errors

Reinstalled WindowsXP 3 times - no change

Tested both Geforce video cards individually - no change

Tested both Corsair DIMMS individually - no change


The case has lots of airflow, with 2 120mm fans and a 140mm PSU cooling fan, and rear exhausting video cards. The MSI Geforce cards have super ginourmous copper/aluminum finned heat pipe coolers.


While troubleshooting, I identified some hot spots on the motherboard (some of the chips/one with a heatsink) and aimed blowers at them to cool them from 127/150 degrees f down to about 100 each. This did not help stabilize the system.


I tried re-seating everything.


In all cases, when running the other tests or 2D stuff, there isn't a problem, but if I run a 3D application for some period of time, the system goes BLINK and reboots immediately.


I'm having a little trouble (could be denial) believing that both of video cards failed at exactly the same time.


Can anyone suggest if this could be a memory problem? I don't know what can cause this sort of catastrophic crash every single time. I might have suspected Windows or a memory leak, but this seems to happen with every 3D application that I have tried.


I'm puzzled by the Dual Channel problems that I was having, and don't understand why the ram would behave in memtest, but perhaps not while communicating back and forth with the video card. I don't know how I can diagnose and/or differentiate defective ram vs motherboard.


Any help would be greatly appreciated.



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Then I am sorry you will not be able to run these modules at their tested settings with out the Voltage set to 2.2 Volts and with this MB I doubt it will run the memory much over 750 Mhz Even then, I would set the voltage as high as it will let you but not over 2.2 Volts and set the memory Frequency at 667 Mhz.
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