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Computer restarts randomly when playing games

Last response: in Video Games
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January 27, 2013 11:27:55 PM

Hello, first post here!
I've had my computer for about 5 years, but this problem started happening about 3 years ago. Whenever I play games only, my computer would shut off, and reboot by itself, asking me if I would like to run safe mode, or regular mode. Of course I've been researching a while back and came across many threads here with people with the same problem. The PC reboots at random moments, sometimes it's good for like 1-2 months without rebooting at all. When it does reboot, it continues to do it for the rest of the day. I'm forced to just not use my computer to play games for the rest of that day. I can browse the web for hours and leave my computer on for days downloading things, and it won't turn off. About a year ago I got frustrated enough and went to Fry's Electronics to get a diagnostic that costed 90 dollars. I was pretty sure it was my power supply, or that's what many threads pointed to but i wanted to make sure before i bought a new PSU. After about 2 weeks I got called to pick it and the guy said apparently there was no problem with the rig. He said he stress tested it for about a week and it didn't shut down. I just wasted about 100 dollars... I asked if it was my PSU since it was only 400 watts but he said no. He offered me to just reinstall windows cause it might be a software problem. I doubted it, because it happened with every game, but regardless I erased all my data and reinstalled Windows. I downloaded a game and played, it rebooted with the same problem. I was so sad hahaha. Alright enough of my story, my specs are:
(it was a PC by Velocity Micro called the Edge MX230)- the only aftermarket upgrade that I did, just about a week ago was get 16gb of ram
Nvidia GTX 260
16GB or Corsair Vengeance 1600 ram
Intel Desktop Board, DP55WP
Windows 7 64 bit
400 Watt PSU, (no brand when I opened the case)
average generic 1TB HDD
well, if you guys want the full list its just here: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite..., but the only thing I did was upgrade the ram recently :( 
January 28, 2013 9:06:51 AM

I would still suspect the power supply and that the stress test only stressed the CPU not the GPU which didn't put the PSU over the edge. Its also worth checking the temps as well and running memtest to check the RAM.
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January 28, 2013 9:17:12 AM

I would also suspect the PSU.

Power, temps or drivers.
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January 28, 2013 5:54:49 PM

simon12 said:
I would still suspect the power supply and that the stress test only stressed the CPU not the GPU which didn't put the PSU over the edge. Its also worth checking the temps as well and running memtest to check the RAM.

I can probably confirm that it's not the ram, i didn't overclock it and yesterday i ram memtest for 10 hours with 4 passes and no errors. It might be the temp because about a week ago i decided to clean up my computer and found what i thought to be a lot of dust in the graphics card and the processor cooling unit. what is the normal temp my computer is supposed to run at?
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January 28, 2013 6:21:05 PM

also, is there a chance that it would be the graphics card? or did the successful stress tests eliminate that
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January 28, 2013 6:54:38 PM

eversoawesome said:
Hello, first post here!
I've had my computer for about 5 years, but this problem started happening about 3 years ago. Whenever I play games only, my computer would shut off, and reboot by itself, asking me if I would like to run safe mode, or regular mode. Of course I've been researching a while back and came across many threads here with people with the same problem. The PC reboots at random moments, sometimes it's good for like 1-2 months without rebooting at all. When it does reboot, it continues to do it for the rest of the day. I'm forced to just not use my computer to play games for the rest of that day. I can browse the web for hours and leave my computer on for days downloading things, and it won't turn off. About a year ago I got frustrated enough and went to Fry's Electronics to get a diagnostic that costed 90 dollars. I was pretty sure it was my power supply, or that's what many threads pointed to but i wanted to make sure before i bought a new PSU. After about 2 weeks I got called to pick it and the guy said apparently there was no problem with the rig. He said he stress tested it for about a week and it didn't shut down. I just wasted about 100 dollars... I asked if it was my PSU since it was only 400 watts but he said no. He offered me to just reinstall windows cause it might be a software problem. I doubted it, because it happened with every game, but regardless I erased all my data and reinstalled Windows. I downloaded a game and played, it rebooted with the same problem. I was so sad hahaha. Alright enough of my story, my specs are:
(it was a PC by Velocity Micro called the Edge MX230)- the only aftermarket upgrade that I did, just about a week ago was get 16gb of ram
Nvidia GTX 260
16GB or Corsair Vengeance 1600 ram
Intel Desktop Board, DP55WP
Windows 7 64 bit
400 Watt PSU, (no brand when I opened the case)
average generic 1TB HDD
well, if you guys want the full list its just here: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite..., but the only thing I did was upgrade the ram recently :( 

Sounds like power supply but believe it or not i had that problem and it was caused by bit defender but that was about 4 years ago.
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January 28, 2013 6:56:09 PM

ps

I cured that once by blowing the dust off the power supply
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January 28, 2013 8:48:02 PM

ttomm46 said:
Sounds like power supply but believe it or not i had that problem and it was caused by bit defender but that was about 4 years ago.

hmm, i cleared the dust in the psu, cpu, and gpu yesterday. i'm running avira antivirus
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January 28, 2013 10:08:24 PM

eversoawesome said:
I can probably confirm that it's not the ram, i didn't overclock it and yesterday i ram memtest for 10 hours with 4 passes and no errors. It might be the temp because about a week ago i decided to clean up my computer and found what i thought to be a lot of dust in the graphics card and the processor cooling unit. what is the normal temp my computer is supposed to run at?


OK its not the RAM but was worth ruling it out. The CPU temp should be well below 70C when stress testing and the GPU lower than 90C though will generally be much lower
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January 28, 2013 10:09:09 PM

eversoawesome said:
also, is there a chance that it would be the graphics card? or did the successful stress tests eliminate that


What stress test was run?
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January 29, 2013 1:42:21 AM

simon12 said:
OK its not the RAM but was worth ruling it out. The CPU temp should be well below 70C when stress testing and the GPU lower than 90C though will generally be much lower

okay so my my 4 cores were on the max of 64 degrees C, and my graphics card was about 70-71 when the computer rebooted.
and by the way, my event viewer log just has Critical: event 41, without any other errors surrounding it...i'm pretty stumped.
I disabled "windows automatically restart" in advanced settings, but it still restarts regardless without a BSoD.
I'm not sure which stress tests the guys at Fry's ran but I remember there being 3
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January 29, 2013 7:55:48 AM

I'm still gonna go with it being the no-brand PSU not having enough current on the 12V rail.
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January 29, 2013 9:03:11 PM

mi1ez said:
I'm still gonna go with it being the no-brand PSU not having enough current on the 12V rail.

go with it as in buy a new psu?
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January 29, 2013 9:29:42 PM

Since most other likely things are ruled out now I think it must be the power supply. But a stress test should also cause the same crash if the CPU & GPU are both stressed. You could try running the GPU test in OCCT and while its running start intel burn test (both free downloads) and check your temps and see if it crashes the same way. But doing this on a questionable power supply may kill it which could take the motherboard and other components with it.
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January 29, 2013 9:51:42 PM

simon12 said:
Since most other likely things are ruled out now I think it must be the power supply. But a stress test should also cause the same crash if the CPU & GPU are both stressed. You could try running the GPU test in OCCT and while its running start intel burn test (both free downloads) and check your temps and see if it crashes the same way. But doing this on a questionable power supply may kill it which could take the motherboard and other components with it.

sorry, but does killing it mean just making it shut down or permanently destroy the mobo and graphics card
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January 29, 2013 9:53:46 PM

It can permanently destroy it if a power supply dies its not likely but its possible.
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January 29, 2013 9:58:53 PM

simon12 said:
It can permanently destroy it if a power supply dies its not likely but its possible.

oh my....is there a safer way to check?
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January 29, 2013 10:25:37 PM

You can get power supply testers (I know nothing about how or what they test) but a new power supply is cheaper.
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January 29, 2013 10:38:48 PM

simon12 said:
You can get power supply testers (I know nothing about how or what they test) but a new power supply is cheaper.

power supply testers check to make sure the right voltage is on all the output wires. it will now show errors or if the PSU has a short...

when you check the Newegg.com PSU calculator, your Recommended PSU Wattage: 501 W
You said yours is 400.
that seems to be the problem.
your Graphics, HD, and cpu are heavily utilized when playing games drawing large ammounts of power. The PSU cant take the load and restarts the PC to not burn it out.

I guessed on some of your specs. but you should check yours out for yourself.
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January 29, 2013 11:12:52 PM

dang, thanks for the link. I'm not quite sure on some of the inputs i put in the psu calculator but it amounted to about 480. Now the only thing i'm wondering is why the Velocity, the company I bought the pre built computer from, would do this...
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January 29, 2013 11:52:09 PM

Your system under 100% load would not draw more than 400W when new but components and the power supply degrade over time manufacturers will source the cheapest power supply that will last the warranty period. If you look at and toms build like this one http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-a-pc-overcloc... even overclocked it draws 130W less than the PSU they used (and its a quality one and the tested draw was at the wall so doesn't alloe for PSU inefficiency making the unit use about 20% less) giving them a huge margin of safety while yours maybe only has 20W margin.
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January 30, 2013 12:04:29 AM

simon12 said:
Your system under 100% load would not draw more than 400W when new but components and the power supply degrade over time manufacturers will source the cheapest power supply that will last the warranty period. If you look at and toms build like this one http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-a-pc-overcloc... even overclocked it draws 130W less than the PSU they used (and its a quality one and the tested draw was at the wall so doesn't alloe for PSU inefficiency making the unit use about 20% less) giving them a huge margin of safety while yours maybe only has 20W margin.

oh, I see, well i'm never going to buy a computer from Velocity again... Alright i'll try to get my hands on a psu, probably next week with the president's day three day weekend. What would you recommend? I'm looking towards the Corsair TX 650. Would that be enough? and what's the difference between the Hx and the Tx model?
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January 30, 2013 9:14:47 AM

The HX are 80% gold while TX are 80% bronze making the HX more efficient also the HX are modular so you don't have unused cables in you case.
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January 30, 2013 9:32:22 PM

alright thanks again haha, sorry but one last question, would you recommend me to get the 650 or 750 because I don't want to waste money and bottleneck the psu
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January 30, 2013 9:32:53 PM

Best answer selected by eversoawesome.
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January 30, 2013 10:14:13 PM

It looks like a no brand 400W is nearly enough so a 500W corsair will be fine.
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