January 09, 2012

Skyrim Blinking Out/Rebooting Part 2

Thanks to the suggestions of a very helpful The Nexus Forums user (who successfully fixed his Skyrim problems by disabling his SLI config), I ran more tests and found the following:

  • Cleaned out drivers per these instructions.  Still rebooted. 
  • Running Prime95 for over 7 hours yielded no errors with RAM.
  • Running Linx for about an hour yielded no errors with RAM.
  • Running OCCT yielded no errors with GPU RAM.
  • Running OCCT "CPU:OCCT" test with large data sets for an hour showed no errors or issues.
  • Running Kombustor yielded no errors or crashes.
  • Running all of the above AT THE SAME time yielded no errors or crashes.
What this tells me is my system is stable - drivers and hardware all work well together.

I found some data from 03 JAN 2012 when I started earnestly troubleshooting the Skyrim crashes.  This chart shows what's happening with the GPU from idle (22:09:34), starting Skyrim (22:09:58) and then the reboot (22:17:01, end of the chart).  This involved loading the latest saved game and running through the area outside the College of Winterhold.  This session lasted 7 minutes.

As you can see, the GPU temperature and fan speeds are fairly consistent and way below the danger zone.  I did this a few more times and yielded similar results.  Basically, it a good run with no indicators of any problems related to temperature or load.

So, it's still crashing.  Our friendly Nexus Forums user summed up my feelings on this:
Unlike others I do feel that the fix has to do with ones system configuration/settings and not the game itself.  I really strongly feel it has to do with video drivers and something a bit deeper.  Quite frankly this problem isn't as wide spread as it potentially could have been with the vast amount of people who've purchased & pirated the game on PC.  At one point Steam had 500,000 people playing the game at the same time so my feeling is if it was the game a whole lot more people would be complaining.
Today, I found at a local store (Conrad's) a Silverstone ST1000-P 1000W for cheaper than NewEgg(!) and will install it tonight.  Hopefully the problem is that Skyrim does *something* that causes a huge draw on the PSU and this fixes the problem.  If not, in addition to the other quality components I have that have been thoroughly tested, I will also have a quality PSU.  Then, I'll just wait for Skyrim to be patched.

More to come...

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