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I recently acquired a 9700 pro, 128mb. I cannot afford any other upgrades, so non of that "lol 9700 sucks" crap.

My room is a minimum of 80-90 degrees fahrenheit as its summer. Whenever I run a demanding program (games, anything from hl to hl2), it eventually locks up my computer. sound stops. video stops. nothing responds. the monitor still gets a signal, but it shows the last frame it received. I believe it's due to heat (even with multiple case fans, and a large fan blowing into the case).

Now, here's what I'm wondering. Can this overheating (if that is the cause of the hardlocking) and the hardlocking cause permanent damage to the card or other hardware?

I'll post whatever hardware specs as requested (but I do have a PSU with enough wattage, otherwise the system wouldnt start anyways, right?)

And my CPU temp sensor reports 100F when not ingame, and 115-120F when ingame.

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Well, I had just the same problem with my old Raddy 9800 SE, everything GPU intense locked up my comp. The lockup does not damage your system permanently, but the heat problem might reduce the lifespan of your Raddy.

I worked around this problem by installing memory heatsinks and opening my case sidepanel and put a big fan blowing air to the card, yes it was pretty noisy :P But when I'm playing a game, I wear headphones so that is not a problem.

Yes the problem is obviously heat, but I'm pretty sure that it some manufacturing problem, since it is extremely rare. But memory shouldn't heat up that much anyway, and you'd get artifacts and not a lock up with memory overheating, my guess is that core heat was the culprit here, maybe the manufacturer changed the thermal paste or the heatsink is bit off from the core, there are alot of possibilities. so your options are to get a new HSF for your card, or put a big ass fan next to your comp, blowing cool air to the card.

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I'm sceptical as to whether this is a heat issue.

So sceptical that even my problems with almost similar core and similar effect you'd rule out the possibility of heat issue even when the fix to the problem was efficcient cooling (well atleast in my case).

The heatlock is extremely rare, but it is not unheard of, especially with the 9xxx raddy generation. Some have gotten rid of it by placing small memory heatsinks on the memory modules, some have gotten rid of it, by changing the core HSF, and some had to buy completely new card after trying everything, even watercooling.

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Heatlocking isn't exactly rare, but it's strange if your temperatures are well within spec and your case has decent airflow.

I know, it's weird, I often monitored my card core temperatures on my raddy 9800 se and they were on the usual level, and still the heatlocks occured when I put on something GPU intense. That is how I got to the conclusion of memory overheat, but that was a deadend afterall.

And I recognize heatlocks when I see them, but there was just nothing to point there, I actually RMAd my first card, the first raddy clearly had some serious heat problems and I got artifacts after few minutes of C&C Generals, so I took it back to the store, and they gave me another one, that didn't get artifacts, but it had the heatlocks, so I'm guessing that there is something seriously wrong with ATIs line of GPUs from the 9500/9700/9800 series.

I'm pretty confident that my case has top notch airflow, one 120mm fan on the front where the HDDs are, one 120mm fan on the back to take the hot air from GPU and CPU and one low rpm papts 80mm fan on the side panel just where the GPU is.

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I didn't have these problems with my gf4 mx. So either the card is defective, or it's a heating issue. I hope its the second, because unless it's already damaged the card (defective.), the heat can hopefully be fixed.

In the day I can only play so long before the comp hardlocks, but at night when I'm freezing with my window fan going and the large fan next to my comp going, I can play a lot longer (it may still eventually hardlock, but it would be hours compared to minutes).

Right now I'm working on getting a new HSF for my cpu, as I'm still using the stock hsf that comes with P4s (aka shit (the hsf, not the p4)). I'll consider the memory hs stuff. But question: How much do those memory hs stuff cost? I'd like to try those too, but if in the end the over heating isnt fixed and I'm forced to go back to gf4mx hell, the new cpu hsf would still be of use. (I don't have a lot of money to waste on this thing)

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A'ight, I'm very confused.

I play ns for 10 minutes: 100% chance of hardlock

I play hl2 for 8 hours: 5% chance of hardlock

ns, an hl1 mod, is no where as intense hardware wise as hl2. WTF?

Actually after I talked with NS guys few years back (when all of my clan mates had serious problems with fps going like a yoyo) they said that the particle engine and some animation stuff they did for NS is something HL engine is not supposed to do and it taxes the computer like hell. And HL2s most gfx goes through shader units so it is that more faster than old games that put load on something that has not seen a major improvement since two generations ago.

But, I'd still say that there is something fishy going on with your HL :D

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nvm... was trying to debug some issue I have with my install of hl2 last night (my crosshair and the weapons in the hud weapon menu were letters) and I'd hardlock before the train doors open, which is quite fast.

And yeah I guess that makes sense, even though hl2 has more shit to do, the codes is more optimal/efficient than hl1.

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