Computer upset by large images

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Chris Malcolm, May 11, 2007.

  1. I've recently started loading large images into my desk top computer
    (roughly 2600 x 3900) and playing about with them using Picasa, which
    does all sorts of whizzy graphic effects as you move images and
    thumbnails around. After usually about 15-20mins of this a switch
    trips with an audbile clunk in my computer and it reboots.

    My guesses are that I'm using the graphics processor on the vid card
    more, and either this is overheating, or the high rate of bulk memory
    transfers is heating something else, or the floating point hardware is
    getting a lot more exercise than usual and heating up too much, or the
    extra power consumption is a little too much for the PSU.

    I've taken the side panels off and scoped internal temperatures with a
    remote IR reader. The hottest thing I've found is on the video board.
    From the backside of the main finned and fanned processor chip on the
    video board I get a reading of about 55C when not using Picasa, and
    the reading rises to over 60C when using Picasa. Is this the culprit?
    If so will a bigger fan or heatsink on it fix the problem?

    The processor has a very large heatsink and fan on it, and things are
    too crowded for me to get good temp readings off that.

    Just hoping that some other photographers have stumbled over this one
    before and got some useful tips :)

    --
    Chris Malcolm DoD #205
    IPAB, Informatics, JCMB, King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK
    [http://www.dai.ed.ac.uk/homes/cam/]
    Chris Malcolm, May 11, 2007
    #1
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  2. Chris Malcolm

    tomm42 Guest

    On May 11, 6:16 am, Chris Malcolm <> wrote:
    > I've recently started loading large images into my desk top computer
    > (roughly 2600 x 3900) and playing about with them using Picasa, which
    > does all sorts of whizzy graphic effects as you move images and
    > thumbnails around. After usually about 15-20mins of this a switch
    > trips with an audbile clunk in my computer and it reboots.
    >
    > My guesses are that I'm using the graphics processor on the vid card
    > more, and either this is overheating, or the high rate of bulk memory
    > transfers is heating something else, or the floating point hardware is
    > getting a lot more exercise than usual and heating up too much, or the
    > extra power consumption is a little too much for the PSU.
    >
    > I've taken the side panels off and scoped internal temperatures with a
    > remote IR reader. The hottest thing I've found is on the video board.
    > From the backside of the main finned and fanned processor chip on the
    > video board I get a reading of about 55C when not using Picasa, and
    > the reading rises to over 60C when using Picasa. Is this the culprit?
    > If so will a bigger fan or heatsink on it fix the problem?
    >
    > The processor has a very large heatsink and fan on it, and things are
    > too crowded for me to get good temp readings off that.
    >
    > Just hoping that some other photographers have stumbled over this one
    > before and got some useful tips :)
    >
    > --
    > Chris Malcolm DoD #205
    > IPAB, Informatics, JCMB, King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK
    > [http://www.dai.ed.ac.uk/homes/cam/]


    Generally the success of working with graphics files is dependent on
    how much RAM is in your computer, and how well the graphics program
    interfaces with that RAM. I would expect Picassa to be designed to
    work with smaller images (web images) and not be all that efficient in
    working with the system RAM. It sounds like you have to increase your
    system RAM in any case. If the computer is rebooting at 20 minutes
    then save exit and restart Picassa every 10 or 15 minutes. The other
    alternative is to get another editing program I'm not suggesating
    Photoshop (my choice) but GIMP (free), Corel Photo (whatever they are
    calling it now), PaintShop Pro, or Photoshop Elements. All of these
    are programs designed to work with your larger images. The first thing
    to do is get your system RAM up to at least 1gb (XP) or at least 2gb
    (Vista) more is better.

    Tom
    tomm42, May 11, 2007
    #2
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  3. Chris Malcolm

    ASAAR Guest

    On 11 May 2007 10:16:21 GMT, Chris Malcolm wrote:

    > I've recently started loading large images into my desk top computer
    > (roughly 2600 x 3900) and playing about with them using Picasa, which
    > does all sorts of whizzy graphic effects as you move images and
    > thumbnails around. After usually about 15-20mins of this a switch
    > trips with an audbile clunk in my computer and it reboots.
    >
    > My guesses are that I'm using the graphics processor on the vid card
    > more, and either this is overheating, or the high rate of bulk memory
    > transfers is heating something else, or the floating point hardware is
    > getting a lot more exercise than usual and heating up too much, or the
    > extra power consumption is a little too much for the PSU.
    >
    > I've taken the side panels off and scoped internal temperatures with a
    > remote IR reader. The hottest thing I've found is on the video board.
    > From the backside of the main finned and fanned processor chip on the
    > video board I get a reading of about 55C when not using Picasa, and
    > the reading rises to over 60C when using Picasa. Is this the culprit?
    > If so will a bigger fan or heatsink on it fix the problem?


    Possibly, but part of the reason why the video board is getting
    5ÂșC hotter is because the CPU and other components are doing their
    part to raise the temperature inside the cabinet. Make sure that
    there aren't any dirty air filters. More powerful fans may help.
    The power supply may be inadequate. Sometimes power supplies
    deteriorate and a new/better power supply often solves problems.
    How good is the airflow in the cabinet? Can the video board be
    moved to another slot that would either provide better air flow
    (either to the board or to help the board's fan), or move it away
    from another heat source such as a hard drive?

    Also try running the Windows Task Manager, watching the CPU usage
    to see if it's abnormally high. Not too long ago I noticed my
    computer's normally idle fan running when it shouldn't have. It
    turned out that the CPU usage was abnormally high, and with a little
    sleuthing it turned out that my web browser had about a dozen pages
    open, and when one of them was closed, the CPU usage dropped back to
    normal levels. You may have active background tasks, such as
    antivirus programs, etc., that are contributing to heat. Lack of
    RAM when editing large images can also cause lots of disk page
    swapping, which can also turn your hard drive into a heat generator.
    ASAAR, May 11, 2007
    #3
  4. Chris Malcolm

    Roy G Guest

    "Chris Malcolm" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I've recently started loading large images into my desk top computer
    > (roughly 2600 x 3900) and playing about with them using Picasa, which
    > does all sorts of whizzy graphic effects as you move images and
    > thumbnails around. After usually about 15-20mins of this a switch
    > trips with an audbile clunk in my computer and it reboots.
    >
    > My guesses are that I'm using the graphics processor on the vid card
    > more, and either this is overheating, or the high rate of bulk memory
    > transfers is heating something else, or the floating point hardware is
    > getting a lot more exercise than usual and heating up too much, or the
    > extra power consumption is a little too much for the PSU.
    >
    > I've taken the side panels off and scoped internal temperatures with a
    > remote IR reader. The hottest thing I've found is on the video board.
    > From the backside of the main finned and fanned processor chip on the
    > video board I get a reading of about 55C when not using Picasa, and
    > the reading rises to over 60C when using Picasa. Is this the culprit?
    > If so will a bigger fan or heatsink on it fix the problem?
    >
    > The processor has a very large heatsink and fan on it, and things are
    > too crowded for me to get good temp readings off that.
    >
    > Just hoping that some other photographers have stumbled over this one
    > before and got some useful tips :)
    >
    > --
    > Chris Malcolm DoD #205
    > IPAB, Informatics, JCMB, King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK
    > [http://www.dai.ed.ac.uk/homes/cam/]
    >


    Hi.

    Images of 2600 x3900 pixels are not all that big.

    If you were intending to print these at 300ppi ( normal for good quality)
    they would be 13 inches x 8.6 inches. which is just a little longer than A4.

    If your machine reboots, then it could be overheating, but the usual result
    of that would more likely be a frozen screen.

    Rather than sticking a probe inside, you should be able to download a little
    hardware monitoring program which will give temperatures at the processor
    core and internal case temps. They usually also monitor the fan speeds.

    Give some more details of your hardware, Processor and RAM., or try one of
    the other Graphics Programs.

    Graphic cards are not very critical for image processing, because these are
    not 3 D. Powerful Graphic cards are really only needed for Gaming. Until
    very recently I only had a 32Mb Graphics card, and it worked fine with 5100
    x 7600 pixel images.

    Roy G
    Roy G, May 11, 2007
    #4
  5. Chris Malcolm

    ray Guest

    On Fri, 11 May 2007 10:16:21 +0000, Chris Malcolm wrote:

    > I've recently started loading large images into my desk top computer
    > (roughly 2600 x 3900) and playing about with them using Picasa, which
    > does all sorts of whizzy graphic effects as you move images and
    > thumbnails around. After usually about 15-20mins of this a switch
    > trips with an audbile clunk in my computer and it reboots.
    >
    > My guesses are that I'm using the graphics processor on the vid card
    > more, and either this is overheating, or the high rate of bulk memory
    > transfers is heating something else, or the floating point hardware is
    > getting a lot more exercise than usual and heating up too much, or the
    > extra power consumption is a little too much for the PSU.
    >
    > I've taken the side panels off and scoped internal temperatures with a
    > remote IR reader. The hottest thing I've found is on the video board.
    > From the backside of the main finned and fanned processor chip on the
    > video board I get a reading of about 55C when not using Picasa, and
    > the reading rises to over 60C when using Picasa. Is this the culprit?
    > If so will a bigger fan or heatsink on it fix the problem?
    >
    > The processor has a very large heatsink and fan on it, and things are
    > too crowded for me to get good temp readings off that.
    >
    > Just hoping that some other photographers have stumbled over this one
    > before and got some useful tips :)


    Could you give some more info about your system? Amount of RAM, type and
    speed of CPU, operating system, video card, etc. On the basis of what
    you've said so far, my first guess would be a power supply problem - I've
    seen that in other systems with similar symptoms. You might also want to
    run a memory test utility.
    ray, May 11, 2007
    #5
  6. Chris Malcolm

    Bill Funk Guest

    On 11 May 2007 10:16:21 GMT, Chris Malcolm <>
    wrote:

    >I've recently started loading large images into my desk top computer
    >(roughly 2600 x 3900) and playing about with them using Picasa, which
    >does all sorts of whizzy graphic effects as you move images and
    >thumbnails around. After usually about 15-20mins of this a switch
    >trips with an audbile clunk in my computer and it reboots.
    >
    >My guesses are that I'm using the graphics processor on the vid card
    >more, and either this is overheating, or the high rate of bulk memory
    >transfers is heating something else, or the floating point hardware is
    >getting a lot more exercise than usual and heating up too much, or the
    >extra power consumption is a little too much for the PSU.
    >
    >I've taken the side panels off and scoped internal temperatures with a
    >remote IR reader. The hottest thing I've found is on the video board.
    >From the backside of the main finned and fanned processor chip on the
    >video board I get a reading of about 55C when not using Picasa, and
    >the reading rises to over 60C when using Picasa. Is this the culprit?
    >If so will a bigger fan or heatsink on it fix the problem?
    >
    >The processor has a very large heatsink and fan on it, and things are
    >too crowded for me to get good temp readings off that.
    >
    >Just hoping that some other photographers have stumbled over this one
    >before and got some useful tips :)


    This is exhibiting classic overheating problems.
    How old is the system? More details are needed.
    But, a quick diagniosis is that the power supply is either not big
    enough for the system, or it's telling you it's about to die. The
    clunk is the hint here.
    If it were the video card, there would probably be visible artifacts
    of the card's problem; if it were the CPU, the usual result would be a
    freeze (Strange: overheating causes a freeze. Oh wait, that's Global
    Warming; never mind!).
    Good luck!

    --
    THIS IS A SIG LINE; NOT TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY!

    Germany said Wednesday it will use computers
    and a complex algorithm to reassemble millions
    of shredded East German secret police files.
    Careers could be ruined. If it's possible to
    reassemble shredded files, Hillary Clinton
    could be impeached before she's even elected.
    Bill Funk, May 12, 2007
    #6
  7. Chris Malcolm

    Pat Guest

    On May 11, 6:16 am, Chris Malcolm <> wrote:
    > I've recently started loading large images into my desk top computer
    > (roughly 2600 x 3900) and playing about with them using Picasa, which
    > does all sorts of whizzy graphic effects as you move images and
    > thumbnails around. After usually about 15-20mins of this a switch
    > trips with an audbile clunk in my computer and it reboots.
    >
    > My guesses are that I'm using the graphics processor on the vid card
    > more, and either this is overheating, or the high rate of bulk memory
    > transfers is heating something else, or the floating point hardware is
    > getting a lot more exercise than usual and heating up too much, or the
    > extra power consumption is a little too much for the PSU.
    >
    > I've taken the side panels off and scoped internal temperatures with a
    > remote IR reader. The hottest thing I've found is on the video board.
    > From the backside of the main finned and fanned processor chip on the
    > video board I get a reading of about 55C when not using Picasa, and
    > the reading rises to over 60C when using Picasa. Is this the culprit?
    > If so will a bigger fan or heatsink on it fix the problem?
    >
    > The processor has a very large heatsink and fan on it, and things are
    > too crowded for me to get good temp readings off that.
    >
    > Just hoping that some other photographers have stumbled over this one
    > before and got some useful tips :)
    >
    > --
    > Chris Malcolm DoD #205
    > IPAB, Informatics, JCMB, King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK
    > [http://www.dai.ed.ac.uk/homes/cam/]



    My guess is that it is not heat-related but that you've got a hunk of
    bad RAM. Try swapping a stick out and see if that solves the problem.
    Pat, May 12, 2007
    #7
  8. tomm42 <> wrote:
    > On May 11, 6:16 am, Chris Malcolm <> wrote:


    >> I've recently started loading large images into my desk top computer
    >> (roughly 2600 x 3900) and playing about with them using Picasa, which
    >> does all sorts of whizzy graphic effects as you move images and
    >> thumbnails around. After usually about 15-20mins of this a switch
    >> trips with an audbile clunk in my computer and it reboots.


    > Generally the success of working with graphics files is dependent on
    > how much RAM is in your computer, and how well the graphics program
    > interfaces with that RAM. I would expect Picassa to be designed to
    > work with smaller images (web images) and not be all that efficient in
    > working with the system RAM. It sounds like you have to increase your
    > system RAM in any case. If the computer is rebooting at 20 minutes
    > then save exit and restart Picassa every 10 or 15 minutes. The other
    > alternative is to get another editing program I'm not suggesating
    > Photoshop (my choice) but GIMP (free), Corel Photo (whatever they are
    > calling it now), PaintShop Pro, or Photoshop Elements. All of these
    > are programs designed to work with your larger images. The first thing
    > to do is get your system RAM up to at least 1gb (XP) or at least 2gb
    > (Vista) more is better.


    It's Windows 2000 Prof, and has a Gig of RAM.

    --
    Chris Malcolm DoD #205
    IPAB, Informatics, JCMB, King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK
    [http://www.dai.ed.ac.uk/homes/cam/]
    Chris Malcolm, May 14, 2007
    #8
  9. ASAAR <> wrote:
    > On 11 May 2007 10:16:21 GMT, Chris Malcolm wrote:


    >> I've recently started loading large images into my desk top computer
    >> (roughly 2600 x 3900) and playing about with them using Picasa, which
    >> does all sorts of whizzy graphic effects as you move images and
    >> thumbnails around. After usually about 15-20mins of this a switch
    >> trips with an audbile clunk in my computer and it reboots.
    >>
    >> My guesses are that I'm using the graphics processor on the vid card
    >> more, and either this is overheating, or the high rate of bulk memory
    >> transfers is heating something else, or the floating point hardware is
    >> getting a lot more exercise than usual and heating up too much, or the
    >> extra power consumption is a little too much for the PSU.
    >>
    >> I've taken the side panels off and scoped internal temperatures with a
    >> remote IR reader. The hottest thing I've found is on the video board.
    >> From the backside of the main finned and fanned processor chip on the
    >> video board I get a reading of about 55C when not using Picasa, and
    >> the reading rises to over 60C when using Picasa. Is this the culprit?
    >> If so will a bigger fan or heatsink on it fix the problem?


    > Possibly, but part of the reason why the video board is getting
    > 5C hotter is because the CPU and other components are doing their
    > part to raise the temperature inside the cabinet. Make sure that
    > there aren't any dirty air filters.


    There aren't, but some of the on-board fan-cooled heat sinks were
    partly clogged with dust. Cleaning them out increased the time before
    it reboots, which suggests an overheating problem.

    > More powerful fans may help.
    > The power supply may be inadequate. Sometimes power supplies
    > deteriorate and a new/better power supply often solves problems.
    > How good is the airflow in the cabinet? Can the video board be
    > moved to another slot that would either provide better air flow
    > (either to the board or to help the board's fan), or move it away
    > from another heat source such as a hard drive?


    I tested the power supply hypothesis by pulling out a card, reducing
    PSU load. That made no difference.

    > Lack of
    > RAM when editing large images can also cause lots of disk page
    > swapping, which can also turn your hard drive into a heat generator.


    I've kept an eye on the disk light. That's not the problem.

    --
    Chris Malcolm DoD #205
    IPAB, Informatics, JCMB, King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK
    [http://www.dai.ed.ac.uk/homes/cam/]
    Chris Malcolm, May 14, 2007
    #9
  10. Bill Funk <> wrote:
    > On 11 May 2007 10:16:21 GMT, Chris Malcolm <>
    > wrote:


    >>I've recently started loading large images into my desk top computer
    >>(roughly 2600 x 3900) and playing about with them using Picasa, which
    >>does all sorts of whizzy graphic effects as you move images and
    >>thumbnails around. After usually about 15-20mins of this a switch
    >>trips with an audbile clunk in my computer and it reboots.
    >>
    >>My guesses are that I'm using the graphics processor on the vid card
    >>more, and either this is overheating, or the high rate of bulk memory
    >>transfers is heating something else, or the floating point hardware is
    >>getting a lot more exercise than usual and heating up too much, or the
    >>extra power consumption is a little too much for the PSU.
    >>
    >>I've taken the side panels off and scoped internal temperatures with a
    >>remote IR reader. The hottest thing I've found is on the video board.
    >>From the backside of the main finned and fanned processor chip on the
    >>video board I get a reading of about 55C when not using Picasa, and
    >>the reading rises to over 60C when using Picasa. Is this the culprit?
    >>If so will a bigger fan or heatsink on it fix the problem?
    >>
    >>The processor has a very large heatsink and fan on it, and things are
    >>too crowded for me to get good temp readings off that.
    >>
    >>Just hoping that some other photographers have stumbled over this one
    >>before and got some useful tips :)


    > This is exhibiting classic overheating problems.
    > How old is the system? More details are needed.
    > But, a quick diagniosis is that the power supply is either not big
    > enough for the system, or it's telling you it's about to die. The
    > clunk is the hint here.


    The clunk is a relay tripping which forces a reboot. So something is
    triggering a reboot because it has detected something going wrong. My
    guess was a temperature sensor, and since reducing the load on the PSU
    didn't help, my guess was a temperature sensor on a chip. The obvious
    first suspect to investigate was the CPU. So I removed the large CPU
    heat sink. It had been assembled with too much heat sink goo, so that
    there was a mm or so of white goo between chip lid and heat sink. Not
    good for heat transfer. So I cleaned it all off and replaced it with a
    very thin layer of high conductivity silver-loaded heat transfer
    goo. I also acquired kit for boosting the fan power on that heat sink
    if necessary.

    The new goo worked! It's now been running like a train for well over
    two hours while doing the kind of image work that was previously
    causing it to trigger a reboot after 10-20 minutes. So it was a CPU
    overheating problem. If it happens again all I'll need to do is to up
    the fan power on the CPU heat sink.

    --
    Chris Malcolm DoD #205
    IPAB, Informatics, JCMB, King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK
    [http://www.dai.ed.ac.uk/homes/cam/]
    Chris Malcolm, May 14, 2007
    #10
  11. Chris Malcolm

    ASAAR Guest

    On 14 May 2007 00:37:13 GMT, Chris Malcolm wrote:

    > I tested the power supply hypothesis by pulling out a card, reducing
    > PSU load. That made no difference.


    I wasn't thinking that the power supply wasn't capable of
    supplying enough current. When power supplies deteriorate, they
    sometimes don't provide nice, stable, clean, spike free voltages.
    Of the several voltages they provide, it may be only one that
    occasionally lets through transients that can send a CPU into limbo,
    and not necessarily because it's even affecting the CPU. A pulse
    could have simply changed one bit of an address line during an op
    code fetch, causing a byte/word/whatever to have been pulled in from
    a memory location 4, 32, 64, however many bytes distant from where
    it should have come from. Such transients are almost impossible to
    notice even with a good meter. A good digital scope can sometimes
    identify bad supplies, but it's usually much easier to test the
    supply by swapping it out with a known good one. Easy to say if
    spares are readily available. Not so easy if you have to buy one to
    test the theory.
    ASAAR, May 14, 2007
    #11
  12. Chris Malcolm

    ASAAR Guest

    On 14 May 2007 00:53:53 GMT, Chris Malcolm wrote:

    > The new goo worked! It's now been running like a train for well over
    > two hours while doing the kind of image work that was previously
    > causing it to trigger a reboot after 10-20 minutes. So it was a CPU
    > overheating problem. If it happens again all I'll need to do is to up
    > the fan power on the CPU heat sink.


    Congratulations, and forget my last post. Or don't forget it, but
    now we know that you don't have to consider the PS anymore. I find
    it hard to believe anyone would be stupid enough to use that much
    heat sink compound. Sounds like there was enough to go around for
    hundreds of additional CPUs.
    ASAAR, May 14, 2007
    #12
  13. ASAAR <> wrote:
    > On 14 May 2007 00:53:53 GMT, Chris Malcolm wrote:


    >> The new goo worked! It's now been running like a train for well over
    >> two hours while doing the kind of image work that was previously
    >> causing it to trigger a reboot after 10-20 minutes. So it was a CPU
    >> overheating problem. If it happens again all I'll need to do is to up
    >> the fan power on the CPU heat sink.


    > Congratulations, and forget my last post. Or don't forget it, but
    > now we know that you don't have to consider the PS anymore. I find
    > it hard to believe anyone would be stupid enough to use that much
    > heat sink compound. Sounds like there was enough to go around for
    > hundreds of additional CPUs.


    Yup! It was being used like mortar in a brick wall :) That's what
    comes of skimping the basic physics education of electronic
    technicians.

    Before I acquired this computer as a freebie from a lab systems
    upgrade it and its kin had suffered from overheating problems (they
    were all stupidly run in a rack in a small unventilated cupboard), and
    someone had exchanged the original heat sink fans for more powerful
    ones. And at the same time plastered the CPU and its surroundings with
    gobs of heat sink compound, making the problem he was trying to cure
    worse :)

    It's still possible there are tendencies to power problems of the kind
    you describe, not due to the PSU itself, but to degeneration of local
    power rail buffering caps on the motherboard. There's about ten of
    them, and most of them have sweated a bit of gunge, but so far
    asymptomatically as far as performance is concerned. I could scope out
    the local power rails, but I'm not one to disturb sleeping dogs :)

    --
    Chris Malcolm DoD #205
    IPAB, Informatics, JCMB, King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK
    [http://www.dai.ed.ac.uk/homes/cam/]
    Chris Malcolm, May 14, 2007
    #13
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