PC powers down

PC powers down in the middle of games.
Current CPU temp 33C
Current system temp 28C
Over the last couple of days my PC has cut out (powered off) several times while playing games. I suspected overheating so downloaded the VIA Hardware monitor (where I got the above figures) to verify this. It has registered a CPU Overheat Alarm a few times while playing games, but this surprised me in a couple of ways:
1) the temperature jumped from 33 to 51 degrees (and presumably higher, as I was able to stop playing the game when I heard the alarm, rather than it heat up to the point where it shut down) which seems a very high temp differential between load/non-load?
2) the CPU Overheat temperature on the Via Hardware monitor is set to 50 degrees (which judging by the previous posts I have looked at is low for an overheat temp?). Not sure if I should be setting it higher, but nevertheless I had the powerdown problem BEFORE I dl'ed the VIA HM, so that is not a contributing factor.

Fans are working as they always have, so I suspect possibly a dodgy CPU or maybe even the heat sensor on the MB, but I don't really know how I can conslusively prove one or the other (or anything else it may be)?

Any ideas/observations?

AMD Athlon 1.3 (not OC, but it IS a cooling issue, maybe?)
Coolermaster up to 1.4
GF4 MX440
MOHAA and Colin McRae 2 and Quake 2 (yes, still!)

TIA for any help or assistance you may be able to provide.

4 answers Last reply
More about powers down
  1. Power downs are initiated by the power supply usually. I actually don't know of any MB that powers down by itself except for the latest AMD mobos with overheating protection.

    1° of separation between my monopoly and yours. That's business with .NET
  2. I think its your power supply, it might not be powerfull enough. Do you use a lot of other appliances while you use your computer? I mean something thats power hungry(ac, microwave, etc.). If you do sometimes it causes these power spikes, its happened to me before.
  3. Yep, I (foolishly) plugged in my 1500W heater into the same room as my computer and everything was stable for about an hour but as soon as I launched a CPU intensive program it powered down on its own.

    Now why did I bring a <b>heater</b> into a room with a <b>computer</b>? Cause it was winter time, and things get really cold here, cold enough that it didn't matter what I used to chill or heat the air.

    1° of separation between my monopoly and yours. That's business with .NET
  4. Thankyou both for your help. I'll try replacing the PSU and take it from there.
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