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New system, too little power?

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January 20, 2007 5:58:24 PM

I posted this first earlier today in the General Homebuilt section, but no replies yet : \. It looks a lot more like power is the issue now.

Original post:
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Okay, i just finished building a system and now its unstable. Symptoms have been very intermittent. On first boot it started up okay and ran for a couple hours (enough time to install windows and drivers). About 5-10 minutes after installing Intel desktop utilities the system shut itself off. I noticed before it shut off that the +3.3v voltage was kind of low in the hardware monitor.

So after it shut off it wouldn't boot, the fans would turn on for a split second, and then nothing. I unplugged everything except the motherboard from the power supply, the fans turned on for a little bit longer, then nothing. After messing around with it some (Unplugging various things and turning it back on again a few times) it booted up again. and i'm using it now without the front usb/firewire/audio plugged into the board.

So of course now it boots, but it'll only stay on for a while, and if I run anything remotely taxing (Half life 2) it hangs.

I feel like this could be a power supply issue because of the not booting, but i'm no expert.. I feel like it might be the motherboard because of intel's stupid Quiet Cool Technology or whatever, my fans run at below 1000rpm. Any help is greatly appreciated. Here are the specs:

Intel E6600
ATI Radeon x1950xt
2gb GSkill dual channel
Intel DP965LT motherboard (i'm worried this or the power supply is the culprit)
Seagate 320gb SATA HDD
CDRW/DVD combo drive
Antec Smartpower 2.0 500 Watt PSU (17 amps on the first +12v rail and 19 amps on the second +12v rail)

Thanks,
Adam

UPDATE:

Assuming power is the problem, i bought and tried a 750-watt thermaltake toughpower PSU (4 12v rails at 18 amps each).

Tried half-life 2, lost coast at 1280x1024. Ran fine for about 3-5 minutes and then did its usual thing of hanging. Note that it doesn't actually shut off completely, the power light stays on but the screen doesn't show anything.

Anyone?? Definately power?

More about : system power

January 20, 2007 6:38:21 PM

If you have substituted your PSU with that very powerful one, without change, then it is NOT a power supply problem.

When it shuts down, open the case and feel the heatsink. Is it hot or not?

What BIOS temps are you getting?

For God's sake, turn off that Quiet n cool thing - it is working AGAINST you! 8O
January 20, 2007 6:49:04 PM

I'm not familiar with the architecture of the C2D an I'm not sure if it has thermal protection but you might wanna monitor your temps. If it works for awhile and then hangs, those symptoms are relative to overheating among others. Check your temps before you rule that out.
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January 20, 2007 7:01:01 PM

Quiet cool thing:
Tried to turn it off, there is no option in the bios that i can find :( 

While your right that if new power supply doesn't work then its probably not psu, its not exactly the same behaviour. It takes longer for it to fail than it did with the less powerful one..

CPU Temps:
Was monitoring temps while playing HL2 (Dual screens, temps on the other screen) and temps for everything stayed below 50 degrees celsius
January 20, 2007 7:11:15 PM

I thought of possibly running Memtest for your ram but it probably won't last. Is your 4 pin atx cable plugged in?
January 20, 2007 7:27:03 PM

if by the 4 pin atx connector you mean the 2x2 pin plug then yes its pugged in. I ran orthos sp2004 stress test on the cpu and ram and it hung after 8 seconds, screen shut off and computer went into weird limbo mode... (fans still spinning, power light still on but no visual). Mind you this is different behaviour from the most recent HL2 Crash in which video just froze...
January 20, 2007 7:30:07 PM

I'm kinda leaning toward a board issue but do a little more troubleshooting before you invest. You could always buy another board and take it back if not successful.
January 20, 2007 7:54:32 PM

True, that may be what i do. I'll fool around with the ram first and test all the slots and each stick first.

Thanks for your help so far folks.
January 20, 2007 8:27:06 PM

Even with your readings it still sounds like a heat issue. Try running the computer with the side off and a household fan blowing air in.
January 20, 2007 8:38:30 PM

Well, after fooling around with the ram, it appears that one stick is bad. I'm now running with just 1 1GB stick and the Orthos sp2004 stresstest has been going for 19 minutes with no hangs. I was able to play through the HL2 Lost Coast level, i'll have to throw more at it to be sure, but it appears its fixed.

I guess its RMA time...

Thanks guys for all your help.
January 21, 2007 9:56:56 AM

I think you have narrowed it down now. I think your problem, in order of likeleyhood is

Motherboard
CPU
RAM
January 21, 2007 7:42:39 PM

yes, i am pretty sure it was that stick of ram. My system has been running with no problems for quite a while now. I haven't had any crashes with the good stick of ram so i'm assuming that was the problem.
!