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Powering off (not a heat/PSU issue)

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July 22, 2006 7:40:35 PM

Hey everyone. I've got a real problem here that I've been fighting for some time. I recently built my PC, end everything seems to run fine. When I play a game (in this case, Quake 4), my PC shuts off after about 30-45 minutes (and my CPU and mobo temps are around 50). Otherwise, things seem to be fine.

I haven't overclocked anything yet either. I've swapped out the PSU, mobo, and RAM, and the problem remained after each step. So know I'm thinking it's my video card, but I was hoping for some additional feedback from anyone willing to help.

Here are my specs:
XP Pro SP2 (32 bit)

Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe

AMD 3800+ X2

ZALMAN CNPS7700-CU 120mm 2 Ball Cooling Fan

COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power 600W Power Supply

Western Digital 160GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s

eVGA 7900 GT KO Superclocked

CORSAIR XMS 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM Unbuffered DDR 400 (PC 3200) Dual Channel Kit System Memory

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I think the problem would be my video card, since this only happens while gaming... but if anyone has any thoughts, please share them. Thanks everyone!
July 23, 2006 1:02:38 AM

Quote:
Hey everyone. I've got a real problem here that I've been fighting for some time. I recently built my PC, end everything seems to run fine. When I play a game (in this case, Quake 4), my PC shuts off after about 30-45 minutes (and my CPU and mobo temps are around 50). Otherwise, things seem to be fine.

I haven't overclocked anything yet either. I've swapped out the PSU, mobo, and RAM, and the problem remained after each step. So know I'm thinking it's my video card, but I was hoping for some additional feedback from anyone willing to help.

Here are my specs:
XP Pro SP2 (32 bit)

Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe

AMD 3800+ X2

ZALMAN CNPS7700-CU 120mm 2 Ball Cooling Fan

COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power 600W Power Supply

Western Digital 160GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s

eVGA 7900 GT KO Superclocked

CORSAIR XMS 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM Unbuffered DDR 400 (PC 3200) Dual Channel Kit System Memory

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I think the problem would be my video card, since this only happens while gaming... but if anyone has any thoughts, please share them. Thanks everyone!


1) While not critical, 50C is hot for an AMD X2 cpu. Mine never gets above 40 even on max load. Might want to apply some artic silver thermal paste. Make sure you use a very thin coat on the CPU. Should improve your temps.

Now to answer your question. Your PC completely loses power? Or does the screen go black and the computer remains on?

Make sure all your energy saver settings are set to off. Run the DirectX testing (dxdiag.exe from the Run prompt) and see if that comes up with anything. However, I do believe it is probably your video card. Does this only happen in games? Or does it happen in general system operation too?
July 23, 2006 3:57:57 PM

Thanks shadowduck:

By powering off, I mean the system completely turns off suddenly, just as if you were unplugging it, and it only happens while gaming.

I did apply some Actic Silver; I haven't quite passed the 200 hour initial period (I agree, my temps are a little high, could this offer some explanation?)

I checked DirectX: nothing unusual. I don't think that it's an energy setting, otherwise my system wouldn't power off so abruptly, but at this point, I'll try anything.

Before I do that though, a friend has offered to swap video cards, so I'll see if we can duplicate this problem on his machine, or if my problem continues. Thanks again for your reply!
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July 23, 2006 4:00:12 PM

Yeah, 50C does seem hot for a non-OC'ed X2...

Overclocked 7900GT's are having some problems, but that wouldn't causes a total system shutdown?

Have you checked Event Viewer?

~Ibrahim~
July 23, 2006 6:26:14 PM

I agree, 50 is too hot for this CPU, especially with Arctic Silver and a Zalman 7700; I may need a better ventilated case(?)

Even Viewer doesn't give me anything either...

Since this only happens in games, that's why I believe it's my 7900. I can have the system up and running for 24 hours solid, but as soon as I get around 30-45 minutes in Quake 4, my PC powers off. I downloaded the Prey demo to see if I can duplicate the issue, and sure enough, after playing for 15 minutes, my computer powers off. A friend has a 6800 that we'll swap this afternoon, so we'll see what happens then. If his system shuts off with Quake 4 or Prey, I'll know where the problem is. Strange to say, but I hope his system shuts down with my 7900, just so I can hurry up and get this fixed :wink:
July 23, 2006 7:32:21 PM

All right. Good luck!

~Ibrahim~
July 23, 2006 7:38:40 PM

When you mention you've swapped things out, it's not clear whether you swapped w/same model items, or different. I just noticed that there are a number of bad reviews for the PS on newegg indicating unexpected shutdowns, especially while gaming. Also, your MB depends a lot on passive cooling with those heat pipes and hs on the voltage regulators. Have you tried the optional blower that Asus makes to sit on top of the heat pipe's radiator fins?
In general, your high MB temp worries me as symptomatic of a way-too-high internal temp for the case. The length of running time it takes to cause the shutoffs indicates a more chronic problem to me, like temps slowly rising due to slightly insufficient cooling until finally a motherboard component malfunctions and triggers a PS shutdown.
I think you need *much* better case ventilation (as you suggested in your last post), and it should be up at the top. What kind of case do you have? What ventilation setup?
July 24, 2006 1:22:56 AM

Thanks everyone for your input. Here's the update:

I used my friend's 6800 card in my system: gaming was fine. He used my 7900 in his system (which is nearly identical in regards to hardware), and he was able to play the Prey demo for about 40 minutes without problems. If you remember, it powered off within 10 minutes for me.

So, he quit the game, and he was getting some black lines on his desktop, and some menus (i.e. Start Menu) would appear distorted, you name it. After he restarted hsi machine (still with my 7900), we ran 3DMark06. The test ran fine for a few minutes, and then we started to see some areas of discoloration during the test, as well as some unusual vector shapes. Based on this, I feel pretty confident that the problem is with my video card.

Mondoman:
I've heard that the additional fan that comes with this mobo is really only beneficial if you use water cooling, but I might give it a try. I took my PSU into a trusted shop, where they stress-tested it for quite some time, and it seemed to be fine. Since I wasn't able to dublicate the issues with my friend's 6800, I assume the problem is with my 7900. In regards to my case, it's the P.O.S. model from a few years ago: very soon to be upgraded :) 

Thanks everyone for your thoughts! I'll see about updating soon if anything new happens...
July 24, 2006 1:26:45 AM

I know exactly what it is, I think. eVGA had some voltage problem with it's overclocked cards, specificially their Super Clocked seires. I'd contact them, they should provide some type of RMA. It might be clocked too high, but then what is the point of buying an OC'ed card? I'd RMA.

~Ibrahim~
July 24, 2006 2:11:49 AM

Thanks ikjadoon, I plan on sending this card back tomorrow or the next day. Oh well, at least I hear that eVGA is good with their RMA's...
July 24, 2006 4:40:26 AM

Thanks for the links, as depressing as they are. You know, when I purchased my components, the prospect of this card got me the most excited. Never really had a great video card before. Well, I suppose I should've done a little more research... Hopefully the replacement card will work out for me.
July 24, 2006 11:06:03 PM

Good luck!

~Ibrahim~
!