Frequent system crash while using Houdini

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I could use some help in finding the cause of a frequent system crash I'm having.

I recently built a new PC (my first build) and while using it for houdini the screens will suddenly go black, the fans go to full speed and the system will go completely unresponsive. Holding down the power button doesn't do anything; switching off the PSU is the only way to restart. This happens frequently when GPU rendering with redshift but also happens when doing something simple like scrubbing through the timeline.

The thing is, it's only ever happened with Houdini. I've been successfully using this PC without issue rendering thousands of 4k frames in C4D with redshift, compositing and exporting 8k raw footage from after effects, no problem at all. I even exported an entire scene from houdini to C4D as alembic and so far it's rendering and working without an issue.

I've tried uninstalling Houdini, I've tried running different versions of Houdini, doesn't make a difference, still have the crash.

I know it sounds like a hardware issue but no other software has the problem. Any idea what I'm missing? Is Houdini using resources in a vastly different way? Anyone else ever had a similar problem? Any help is appreciated. I just need to start narrowing down possible causes because right now there are way to many variables.
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What are your system specs Peter? Sounds reminiscent of the issues with Core Performance Boost enabled on Threadripper systems.
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Well that sounds promising. It is indeed a threadripper build.

Threadripper 2990wx, 3x RTX 2080ti, G.Skill Trident Z Royal 128 GB (8 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200, Corsair 1600 W PSU, Gigabyte X399 AORUS PRO ATX sTR4 MoBo

Do you know where I can find more info about the issue? Thanks so much for the help.
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Core Performance Boost is AMDs method of dynamically overclocking a small number of cores. Unfortunately it doesn't play nice with Houdini for whatever reason, so you'll want to boot into the BIOS and disable it there.
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Thanks DaJuice, I'll give it a shot and update here with results for anyone else with the same issue.

I found This Thread [forums.odforce.net] on odforce discussing Core Preformance Boost, and amd/houdini compatibility.
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For anyone else that has the same problem, I can confirm that so far turning off core performance boost has solved the issue. It seems like that feature does not work with Houdini. Thanks a million DaJuice!
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Just bumped into this after emailing support and being told about Core Performance Boost.. Yup, having the exact same issue on my 3950X build! Had no issues with the same machine but a 3600X before. As soon as I swapped CPUs.. *poof*. Anxiously waiting to leave work so I can go home and confirm that it fixes my problem as well And so far it only cost me a slightly unnecessary PSU upgrade
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Glad you found some answers, it's so frustrating trying to troubleshoot something like this. I've been working crash free ever since I turned off core performance boost. Hope that fixes it for you as well. Good luck.
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I don't have “core performance boost” option in the bios of ASUS x570-I, ryzen 9 3950x. Constant crashes few seconds from start of Houdini!
May be they renamed it? What name it could have now?
Vladislav Tushevskiy
http://vimeo.com/heliosalmatea/videos [vimeo.com]
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Hmm, I found “core performance boost” and disabled it but Houdini still crashes…
Vladislav Tushevskiy
http://vimeo.com/heliosalmatea/videos [vimeo.com]
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I'm mulling over an upgrade. I have an old i7-5820 (6-core) how is the Threadripper? I haven't tried am AMD in decades. Do you run into other issues like this one with it where it's not too well supported?

I know there are tons of benchmarks out there but it's hard to know how they will really relate in houdini performance which would be my main reason for a cpu upgrade.

Thanks so much!
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hey hey, I just resolved it. It was “Nahimic” service which is well known problem reason (Ijust disabled it; it is somehow related to audio driver). I disabled it and now my system is stable even with “core performance boost” on. So far.
Edited by Vladislav Tushevskiy - Aug. 30, 2020 01:52:40
Vladislav Tushevskiy
http://vimeo.com/heliosalmatea/videos [vimeo.com]
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Barrett Meeker
I'm mulling over an upgrade. I have an old i7-5820 (6-core) how is the Threadripper? I haven't tried am AMD in decades. Do you run into other issues like this one with it where it's not too well supported?

I know there are tons of benchmarks out there but it's hard to know how they will really relate in houdini performance which would be my main reason for a cpu upgrade.

Thanks so much!


I did not test it too much but for now I see very good performance of ryzen 9 3950x. I just build miniature system (on Asus x570-i) and it works good on Windows 10 (will test on Ubuntu as well).
Vladislav Tushevskiy
http://vimeo.com/heliosalmatea/videos [vimeo.com]
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