ASUS P5W DH Deluxe
Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 2.67Ghz
Sapphire Radeon 6970 2Gb
CORSAIR 2x2Gb DDR2-800, APACER 2x1Gb DDR2-800 (Total: 6Gb)
1xSamsung SSD 64Gb 470 series, 1x250Gb (Old as hell, I think it's regular SATA)
HKC 550w PSU
PC case is custom, with 1x 120mm fan in the back, I keep it open all the time from one side (no particular reason)
No fancy fans/coolers, everything is stock/default
So i'll try to be as short as possible.
Friend of mine was trying to get me to play S.T.A.L.K.E.R. because it was supposed to be "awesome", he got it 2 weeks ago and was totally hooked. I wasn't really pulled by screenshots and videos about the game but he was insisting so much I had to try it. He lend me the game and mentioned I should totally download the Complete 2009 mod which supposedly overhauls the game completely (superior graphics, better audio, bug fixes etc...). I downloaded the mod, followed instructions and installed it.
I started playing the game and was hooked in the first 5 minutes, it was indeed "awesome". My settings were all at max.
So everything went fine for around 20minutes when all of a sudden my pc shutdowned. I was like wtf. I tried to turn it back on, wouldn't work. I turned of my PSU for about a minute, turned it back on and turned on the PC.
I decided to download RealTemp 3.70 app to check my CPU temperatures and I was monitoring GPU temps with Catalyst Control Center. I started the game again, this time in windowed mode at 1280x1024 resolution to be able to observe temperature readings next to the game window.
Again, about 20-25minutes passed and PC shutdown. Around a minute before the shutdown the values were:
- 68 degrees on Core#1 and 66 degrees on Core#2
- 75 degrees on GPU
I definitely know it's not GPU since when I play Skyrim it goes to 80-85 degrees there. Also this is another "theory": I am in doubt if actually any component is to blame though just because I usually play Skyrim (big fan) every day for 4-6 hours STRAIGHT without stopping and no issues while this game (which is like 4-5 years older) plays for 20mins and shutdowns my pc. And I played Skyrim again for about 3-4 hours after these S.T.A.L.K.E.R. shutdowns and it played perfectly.
So those "facts" make me wonder what could be the problem and is there even a slightest possibility (even if unlikely) for the game to have some weird problem/issue.
My dad (has some basic knowledge with computers) pointed out the GPU overheating first, I said Skyrim makes it hotter so it's not GPU. Then he mentioned the game might be CPU demanding and I told him the temperatures the CPU reached. Considering Skyrim eats a lot more out of my PC then S.T.A.L.K.E.R. I believe it's not CPU either. Then we both came to ask ourselves about the PSU. I know PSU's degrade over time (It's couple of years old) and all but the fact that I run Skyrim for several hours and this game shutdowns the PC makes me wonder could it really be PSU?
So now i'm here, clueless at what could it be. Dad insists that I check my total Power Consumption to see if it possibly nears 550w and I still throw in Skyrim facts to rule out that possibility.
For a system using a single Radeon HD 6970 graphics card AMD specifies a minimum of a 550 Watt or greater system power supply. The power supply should also have a maximum combined +12 Volt continuous current rating of 32 Amps or greater and have at least one 6-pin and one 8-pin PCI Express supplementary power connectors. AMD's power supply requirements are based on a PC configured with an Intel Core i7 3.2GHz 130W TDP processor. If we base it on your Intel Core2 Duo E7600 (Wolfdale) processor then the power supply's recommended maximum combined +12 Volt continuous current rating should be 27 Amps or greater.
Total Power Supply Wattage is NOT the crucial factor in power supply selection!!! Sufficient Total Combined Continuous Power/Current Available on the +12V Rail(s) rated at 45°C - 50°C ambient temperature, is the most critical factor.
Overclocking of the CPU and/or GPU(s) will require an additional increase to the maximum combined +12 Volt continuous current ratings, recommended above, to meet the increase in power required for the overclock. The additional amount required will depend on the magnitude of the overclock being attempted.
You may find power supplies on the market that supply more than enough Wattage to run the system. However, some of them lack Sufficient Amperage capacity on the critical +12 Volt rail, which is necessary to properly power the critical components in the system (i.e. CPU and GPUs). This is the reason why graphics card manufacturers may overstate the power supply wattage, usually by at least 50 Watts, in an attempt to take into account some of those power supplies that have the weaker +12 Volt rail(s).
The HKC Silent Series 550W (USP-5550) (assuming you're using this model since you never specified the model number), with its maximum combined +12 Volt continuous current rating of 24 Amps and with one 6-pin and one (6+2)-pin PCI Express supplementary power connectors, is insufficient to power your system configuration with a single Radeon HD 6970 graphics card.
There's a good chance that you're triggering the power supply's overload detection circuit. This will cause the power supply to turn itself off unexpectedly.
Get a better quality power supply unit with the proper specifications from a reputable brand like Antec, Corsair, Enermax, Seasonic or XFX. Stay away from the generic budget PSUs like HKC.