This week we get to the root of the problem of what the hell happened to my PC!
So last week on Tek Tuesday I spoke about my problems with Logitech devices and how one of them could be responsible for my games crashing. I spent the whole week, in between blogs, trouble shooting my PC.
As I promised last week I did end up resetting my PC, another kudos to W10 on that as the feature allows me to keep my files saving me the hassle of backing stuff up, although readers do please back up you files; its not worth the risk. Anyway, I reset my PC and loaded up The Witcher 3. No Dice. It crashed just like before.
So I started monitoring exactly what was happening with my PC. W10 task manager has all the tools for a preliminary analysis and with the game running I set it to Windowed mode and pulled up the Task Manager Performance tab.
First of all, to be expected my RAM was being completely used up leaving perhaps 400MB of Memory free. But if there was 400MB of Memory left, than why was it still crashing?
It was then that I noticed the CPU load.
I installed HW Monitor which gives a detailed analysis of each an every hardware, it’s temperatures and it’s performance.
HW Monitor told me that my CPU was running 50 Degrees Celsius on Minimum with my CPU fan running at 1953 RPM. Now I don’t need to be a genius to figure out that that is not good. A forum told me to check the thermal seal; remove the cooler, clean the dried paste and reapply the paste and fit the cooler back in.
Now here’s another tip readers. Don’t leave the side panel of your PC open! It seems to be a no brainer but when you tinker around with you system as much as I do it seems like it would be a better idea to leave the side panel aside since you keep removing it over and over anyway.
So I did.
And I was wrong.
You see, each and every dust particle that flies around the room, pieces of cloth fiber and even stray insects get sucked in through the exposed fans and clog up the heat sinks.
You get now why I don’t claim to be an expert?
Anyway I detached the CPU fan of my Hyper 212 Plus cooler and looked at the thick blockage of dust bunnies and cloth fibre on the heatsink and almost hit myself over the head. So stupid!
The HW Monitor came back to the rescue. Both the fans of my MSI GTX 660 Twin Frozr card was at 0 RPM. Now I didn’t panic just yet because MSI have a built in system that only activates the fans if the temperature of any GPU goes over 60 degrees. So I booted up Witcher again and tested it. Most people report that a demanding game like the Witcher 3 should have the fans or at least one fan spinning at the games launch but my fans remained still. The game launched loaded and crashed all without the fans turning off at all.
So now I was in trouble.
Graphics Cards are expensive, I know since I had already upgraded once and fried my GTX960 when I booted up my computer on Generator power.
Another tip; Don’t boot up your high end gaming PC on Generator Power!
So I was worried but I had one more trick up my sleeve.
Afterburner is an overlooking program that works with any and all graphics cards, not restricted to MSI cards only. So I downloaded Afterburner and turned off automatic fan control. Then I cranked up the fan speed and as it hit 80% the glorious sound of Twin Frozr fans starting up reached my ears. I booted up each and every game that had crashed and they ran with minimum lag and the ones that did lag was due to lack of RAM, which like I said is on its way.
Now most of my games are working great and with Rivertuner the accompanying software paired with Afterburner, I can monitor my hardware performance on the fly and tell if something is not going right.
I would have accompanied this post with a lot more images but unfortunately I don’t yet have that mentality of capturing everything that is happening for a future blog post, I think you all would have been horrified if I had the foresight to capture the condition of that CPU heatsink before I cleaned it. From now onwards though I’ll make a concentrated effort to capture any and all mishaps for my blog.
So my PCs working fine and with the upcoming RAM upgrade it’s going to pick up again. And I have to say despite my rant about Logitech I am enjoying the G430 for its superb sound quality, just another quick tip; don’t plug it via USB if you don’t want to be holding your head in your hands later.
But that’s all for this week’s Tek Tuesday. Tell me what you thought of my little story, have you had any harrowing experiences with your gaming PC and follow me to get an update on next week’s Tek Tuesday, alternatively if you’re into wrestling then come back tomorrow and I’ll have another episode of Wrestling Wednesday, this week I talk about one of my top 5 wrestlers of all time. The Heart Break Kid, Shawn Michaels. Til then I’ll see you.