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ROG Dark Hero VIII random freezes at idle - read on how to resolve.

AlexanderB
Level 8

Hello All,

The problem I had: PC randomly freezes when idle or light browsing

- the PC was running rock solid for 2 years, problems started mid 2023 and progressively worsened
- never happened during gaming
- no blue screen
- the screen freezes (no other graphical artefacts, just freeze)
- keyb/mouse don't work so only option is hardware Reset

I have found a lot of similar threads where the people had eerily similar setups, even the PSU was the same; Most threads did not have a clear resolution so decided to be a good citizen and here are my findings:

- obviously tried what other did too: updating the BIOS, setting the memory to 2333MHz, swapping GPUs, swapping SSD cables etc, reinstalling the whole OS and of course disabling power saving settings in Windows. Nothing helped. The issue is clearly hardware related as it happened under Linux too.

The real culprit is the dreaded C-state setting.

The freezes consistently stopped when I disabled the global C-state control in the BIOS.
On the Dark Hero VIII it is under "Advanced > AMD CSB > CPU Common Options > Global C-State control".


Part II.
In a forum thread I learned about LLC - Load Line Calibration and VDroop;
The LLC setting controls the countermeasures to voltage overshoot and undershoot when the CPU is changing operating frequency and voltage - when it jumps between C-states. As I understand it, the lower the value is, the more this compensation works to minimize the overshoot in the transitional voltage change. The higher the LLC number, the overshoot compensation is weaker BUT the overall base voltage is slightly higher. This is mostly used by overclockers with extreme cooling, as raising the base voltage is normally avoided because the more heat.

I have tried re-enabling the C-state control and set LLC to Level 2 - this was not sufficient, I still had freezes.
With LLC = Level 4 the PC seems to be stable (5 is the max - maybe more levels are unlocked if you enable the Liquid Nitrogen mode)
In my BIOS it is under "Extreme Tweaker > External Digi+ Power Control > CPU Load-Line Calibration"


Part III.
Heartfelt message to the Asus leadership:
Maybe you should start firing some management and hire more engineers, and listen to them.
No I don't want Asus Cloud (whos idea??), no I don't want patronising "how do you do fellow gamers" shticks, no I don't want always on RGB puke (FFS I disabled this ******e in BIOS AND in OS, but it is still on...), no I don't want more bloatware with a gigabyte install size to set the bloody fan speeds.
Although it might seem at first it's easier to sell electronics with some braindead PR gimmicks instead of focusing on the basic functionality that actually work (and work well), but if you check where is your company's reputation now you might start seeing the problem. The real one.


And to close off with some positives: at least I have a brand new Windows install!
Cheers!

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1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions

Hello Gelial! 

At the end of Part II I mentioned that LLC Level 4 + C-states Enabled looks stable although then I was just starting the experiment. Today was the fourth day without freezes. I will wait a bit longer and then try to lower it to Level 3. 

The levels are quite abstract, there are no numeric values or voltages mentioned and every board seems to have a different scale stepping (I have seen others talking about Level 1-7 and 8 reserved for liquid Nitrogen cooling). 
It's basically trial and error but fairly easy to find what's working for you. I have everything else left at stock/default, no OC at the moment. 

Good luck mate! 

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4 REPLIES 4

Gelial
Level 8

This same problem started happening to me last year, I disabled Global C-States, like you mentioned, and that fixed my problem. However, I wasn't aware of the LLC setting. Please let me know if this fixes your issue.

I don't have the problem anymore, since disabling Global C-States, but I would like to have that option enabled. Keep us posted if this looks like a complete fix.

Thanks!

Hello Gelial! 

At the end of Part II I mentioned that LLC Level 4 + C-states Enabled looks stable although then I was just starting the experiment. Today was the fourth day without freezes. I will wait a bit longer and then try to lower it to Level 3. 

The levels are quite abstract, there are no numeric values or voltages mentioned and every board seems to have a different scale stepping (I have seen others talking about Level 1-7 and 8 reserved for liquid Nitrogen cooling). 
It's basically trial and error but fairly easy to find what's working for you. I have everything else left at stock/default, no OC at the moment. 

Good luck mate! 

hanswurst31
Level 8

Thx mate. Starter to experience this issue lately. Random freezes for a few sec. No video for a few secs.. Level 4 seems to have fixed the issue.

Hello! 

I am not completely sure it is the same problem, in my case the PC completely froze, had to power cycle it. If it is freezing up for a couple of seconds then continues working that's rather suggesting there is a bottleneck somewhere, maybe IO problem (SSD/HDD problems, bandwidth etc.,)

Anyway, if this solution (LLC settings) actually helped to you too then all the better. 
Regards!