• Welcome to Overclockers Forums! Join us to reply in threads, receive reduced ads, and to customize your site experience!

Why is it SO unstable??

Overclockers is supported by our readers. When you click a link to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn More.


I'm a little teapot Senior
Dec 17, 2000
Montana, USA
One of my friends has one of the most unstable systems known to man, and i was just wondering if you had any ideas about what might be wrong. It seems like a heat problem, but he has a FIC AZ11 mobo, so we can't get a temp reading. He is running a T-Bird 800, not overclocked, a Geforce 256 SDR, and SB Live. He has a slightly better than standard heatsink on the processor, and it still crashes , even with 2 80mm fans on the processor and the side off of the case. The heatsink gets hot, so its not a problem with a bad fit there. Problem might be that he only has a 250w ps. Any ideas?
AMD CPUs like PSU's that are 300w - no doubts there, so that could be the problem causing instability. If you can, try another RAM stick - maybe thats what it takes.

You remembered to put the thermal grease on it, right? :)
I could be a PS problem since in addition to that power hungry T-Bird, he's also running that GeForce SDR. They use about 4 times the power of the newer GeForce2 MX cards. Try running it with a different (lower powered) video card. If it runs then, you're pretty certain he needs to go with a 300W PS.
It is just the same with a Matrox 2D card with 4 mb ram on it. Could be ram like you said.
Try moving the PCI Cards around. Depending on what you put in each of the slots and how their IRQs interact with one another, this can make a HUGE difference. Also try a clean format and reinstall. Formatting can help fix many problems. Other than that you're looking at the memory or power supply. I'd probably look more closely at the memory, but the PS is also a candidate for replacement.
Yeah, try shuffling the PCI cards around - I've heard in particular that slot 1 (next to the agp) and the agp slot don't like each other, so try to avoid the first pci slot if you can. I can't confirm this cos I've never tried it, but I did have to swap my sb live! value and my NIC to get stability. Mind you, the psu could still be the problem - an 800MHz Tbird with extra case fans will use a lot of power, especially if there's a couple of cd drives and a fast (7200-10000rpm) hard drive). I'd get a new psu even if it turns out not to be a problem, cos if you add any more drives to the 250W it almost certainly will be.
Part of whats so strange is that it seems to run WAY hot. The heatsink is a slightly better than what came with it, but nothing special, and it gets very hot.
WyrmMaster (Dec 25, 2000 01:26 p.m.):
Part of whats so strange is that it seems to run WAY hot. The heatsink is a slightly better than what came with it, but nothing special, and it gets very hot.

And you are absolutely sure that this "better than standard" heatsink actually IS better than standard? Tried even using the standard heatsink? What kind of heatsink is it, a custom, homebuilt one? Or? 8)
When dose it crash??? Under boot up or when he gets in to win, after playing 3d games, playing music etc.
And can you give me some extra info on the system,
All the Pci devises names and numbers.
And if he has a NIC in it try to rip it out and see what happens, it could also be the sound card so try to move it around, but still try to rip that NIC out of the case. If that doesn’t help then try to move the ram, and then start all over again with the pci cards. And if you have tried all that over and over again and again, then rip that 250W ps out and get another 300-W ps and then start all over again with the ram and pci cards.