I just built the following rig:

amd athlon 64 3500+
asus a8v deluxe mobo
ati radeon 9800 pro
1 gig of corsair memory
74 gb western digital raptor
antec 550w true control ps

i have a nice zalman fan cooling the proc and 3 80mm cooler masters running as case fans.

so yesterday, i loaded half life 2 and the game crashed about ten seconds after starting to run. it let's me start a new game, but dumps out and reboots my machine automatically (despite me setting windows xp to not reboot after a critical) after running for about a minute.
so then i figured that i'd install doom 3 to see if this was just a half life 2 problem. doom ran a bit longer (about ten minutes), but did the same thing. screen goes blank and machine reboots.
after this happens, there isn't a derned thing in my logs to indicate where the problem might be, but i've got two clues.
first off, after one reboot (out of many), during post, i received a message: overclocking failed, press f-something to enter setup. i haven't overclocked anything, nor have i changed any of the default bios settings. please note that this message only appeared once and did not appear each time the machine crashed and rebooted.
secondly, after another reboot (another once-only occurence), windows dropped to a lower resolution-- 1024 x 768. i run windows in 1280x1024. i thought that this was odd and might indicate something fishy with the video card.
i don't have any other games to test out, unfortunately.
i don't know if this is a cooling issue, but i doubt it. my proc is running around 44 degrees centigrade and i believe that the limit for the 3500 is 65 centigrade. i don't know if the vid card is overheating, but the case is cool.
i'm also not sure if there's something i should set in the bios as well. i've updated ALL drivers including the vid card, processor and sound (onboard).
anything help you guys could give would be great. i'm stumped with no where to turn.
I take it you are using 2 sticks of ram. Try just using one stick of ram at a time to see if you can get the problem to occur again with just 1 stick. Do this for each stick of ram. Also try giving memtest86 to detect any memory errors.
any reason why you think it would be memory? not questioning you, but kinda curious
Well the fact its crashing the game and I know HL2 loves RAM so would stress it. Also you appear to have tried everything with the GFX card (I may be wrong) as well as mobo and CPU. You ain't tried seeing if your RAM is the problem yet as well.

Just trying to elminate as much as possible and at the moment you ain't tested the RAM so we don't know if thats playing a part in your problems
gotcha. i could swap the gfx card too with a geforce 3 i can get a hold of. mebbe i try that too. i'll post again tonight after i've gone through all of it. thanks for your help
Not a problem. Helps when I can learn off the smarter guy's and put it to use. Good luck
Damo do you reckon that could also apply for HL2? He says he updated all drivers though but I guess DirectX 9(c) isn't a driver so yeah wish I had thought of that too
  •  Drago
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It should have installed it when he installed Doom 3 or HL2. To check and see what direct x version you are running, go to start, run, and type without quotes "dxdiag" and press enter.

Damo a dx7 graphics card can only display dx7 effects, but the game will still require the dx software be up to date. Even if the card cant run the effect, the code is still run.
any other ideas for me to try while i have my box open?
  •  Drago
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Well you could do a general clean up, like dusting, and reseat all of the components cables.
  •  Jordan
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Do you have Cool n Quiet enabled? If you do, 44C is a little high if the CPU is throttling right back with CnQ.

Download Prime 95 and run the torture test. During the test watch temps and see if it crashes. It won't test your card so you'll be able to see if it's the CPU (or something else) overheating.
Sorry I'm late to the party but I might be able to help you here since I *had* the exact same problem and got the same mobo/cpu/ram/PSU/and HDD as you do.

The crashes have nothing to do with overheating and will only happen in games. They will also always happen the way you discribed. First a quick check to see if you have the same exact problem as me. Go into the bios and change your rams timing to something like +0, +1, +1, 10. Basicly what I mean by this is if your ram is rated 2-2-2-5, change it in bios to 2-3-3-10 and reboot. Try running a game and if it doesn't crash, you got the problem I had.

First off, the mobo by default is on auto clock control which means the system will do midling OC without you doing anything. This OC is always in flux and actually a lot poorer than what you can get if you do it manually. To prevent this auto OC'ing, change the setting to manual and set it at exactly 200. Next, change the voltage on your ram to 2.8 (the ram needs 2.75 and the board moves in 0.1). Next change the command rate from auto to 2t. Manually enter your rams timings. Don't know the exact type of ram you have but from some reason corsair on that mobo actually tries to run the ram tighter than the rams pcb trys to auto-set it for.
just a follow up on this.
i worked a bit with corsair and asus on finding out what the preferred settings were for my board. after getting all of the memory settings down pat without much success, i swapped the vid card out with a geforce 3 and the thing runs wonderfully.
now i have to get a replacement sent out. wondering how much fun this is gonna be.
thanks for all of your help guys.