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Power cut off - caused by X1900XT?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 27, 2006 4:39:55 PM

First of all hello all wish to say what a great looking community you have running here from what i have seen so far.

My problem:
I have upgraded to X1900XT recently, i did twice... first i bought a ASUS mobo (few months ago) which i had several problems with. one being similar to what i have now, system lock up, PC would randomnly shut off.

I got rid of that mobo and switched back to my X800Pro trusty old thing that never failed me. Finally about a month ago i decided to upgrade to a AMDX2 3800+ and use my X1900XT with it on a Gigabyte board.
This system that i am now running works brilliantly for what i have been using it for (mainly CS:S). However if i try another computer game say Fable: Lost chapters, Oblivion Elder scrolls, the new games it will cut the power on the machine quite randomnly whilst playing them. The time frame can be from 5 mins to 1 hour. This is the problem i was having with the ASUS mobo.
Now im thinking its the power consumption from the X1900XT as we all know its very very hungry, maybe the card uses a little too much for the PSU when i play a game that forces it use more, like maybe when it has to use AA and/or HDR in a newer game?

My system spec:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+
Gigabyte GA-K8NF-9 Ultra SKT939 nForce4
2X 512DDR 400MHZ (ebuyer value ram)
X1900XT HIS
DVD- drive
Ebuyer value PSU (could not find exact link)
500W (3.3V 28a) (5V 35a) (12V 25a)

I thought that PSU would of been able to power it (which it can untill a demanding game is played) though it is only single 12V rail. I can't say i know too much about PSU's i have just bought what with a high enough wattage is needed in the past.
I have tried a PSU calculator with this spec and says recommended Wat is 435.
Do'es it look like i need to purchase a new PSU with higher 12V rails.
Thanks in advance and sorry for the long post, just wished to provide as much info as possible :) .
July 27, 2006 4:54:46 PM

Probably your PSU, since it's "value".
July 27, 2006 5:17:42 PM

You may also want to check the heat in your system I know had a similar problem and it was CPU was running too hot and once I replaced the stock CPU fan with an after market fan the problem was resolved. I had build the PC in the winter months and it didn't start shuting down until the summer months because of the increased heat in my room.
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July 27, 2006 5:36:57 PM

Checked the temp on the CPU and has been idling at 50c on average. Even after this has problem has accured i booted into BIOS straight away to check.
July 27, 2006 8:23:29 PM

Quote:
Checked the temp on the CPU and has been idling at 50c on average. Even after this has problem has accured i booted into BIOS straight away to check.


You need to check the ATI card's temps not the CPU.
Start by using ATI Tool Link. Don't mess with overclocking until you've stabelized your system.

I don't have it on my work machine so I will have to be a little vague here. Get into setup and turn on temperature monitoring with logging to a file and see what you get from there. If you crash while playing a game, check the log file to see if it was peak temps that locked it up.

I had the same problem with my current All-In-Wonder X800-XL that would crash at the slightest hint of 3D graphics use. It was RMA'd to ATI after days of trying everything under the sun, including PSU. They fixed it and shipped it back without a hint of what was wrong. It still crashes occasionally after many hours of gameplay and I need to log temps to see if it really is the card crashing, which is supposedly stable as high as 76c. I still don't believe it.

Another tip: I replaced the heatsink compound with Arctic Silver 5 and got a few degrees cooler under load. This seemed to help a little more so a different cooler may be in order.

An interesting difference I've noticed between the ATI cooler and others is that ATI made no real effort to cool the memory chips. There is a clear plastic film over the heatsink where it would contact them. The other coolers go to great lengths to do just the opposite.

I'm just a little concerned about my warranty if I alter the stock cooler, even though they'd probably use the Arctic Silver as an excuse anyway.

That's where things stand now. It locks up so infrequently that I haven't bothered to log the temps. I'll try it tonight just for grins.
July 27, 2006 9:29:12 PM

I'll try the logging system, as i have'nt tried that yet, i have only done the Catalyst force load little program that i used that forced it up to 74c at maximum overclock, and 62c standard.

Otherwise i would of thought those temps would be fine for a card like this.
Though ill re-install ATI drivers and try the logging really make sure its not the card temp.
July 27, 2006 10:31:35 PM

The reason that 99% of PSUs made today have multiple rails is that the draw from them for various components has increased, literally, exponentially. In fact, the ONLY component that affects the rails that has moved towards a more efficient profile are the CPUs. You are talking about such things as GPUs, peripherals, bling (cold cathode, LED), fans, cards, water cooling components - all these things drawing power.

Your computer was just overwhelmed during certain activities (like playing a game) because the draw off of the amperage was more than it could handle. I would have guessed it was a heat issue with the GPU if all that you experienced was the computer locking up and freezing. The shutting down is symptomatic of too much draw on the PSU.

Your PSU was just overwhelmed at the rail. You need to get a better PSU with multiple rails on it. You may hear alot from people but don't fool yourself - getting anything with less than 17amps per rail is just going to force you to buy a PSU in the future when you wouldn't have needed to - especially wiht the newer GPUs coming out. A quad rail system at 17 amps per like those made by Antec, Silverstone, OCZ and Thermaltake are excellent.
July 30, 2006 11:59:47 AM

I fully agree. You get good psu's and then you get bad psu's - at the same wattage range.

Get a dual, and since you're going to buy a new one, maybe a triple rail psu. The psu has become the most important function in the pc, and a stable psu providing high amps on the 12v rail constantly will really make pc life for yourself alot better.

Just an after thought - when you monitor the temp of the CPU in the bios, there will be no intelligent power control on the cpu - so temps are going to be higher than they actually are. Only once the inf files are engaged from within Windows, do the cpu start working at the normal temps. Normally, the cpu is throttled in the bios section, or the fan spins higher to offset the rise and uncontrollable temp of the cpu prior to boot.
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