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S.O.S. - new system shuts down playing ANY game!

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March 20, 2008 12:18:40 PM

hello all - please help!

I have a brand new system, I have given this 29 days of troubleshooting, and it is my last day before I have to apply for an RMA on my 30day newegg.com return policy for a couple products I purchased... My system will post, boot into windows --- running vista x64 ultimate SP1 and windows xp SP2/32bit in dual boot setup --- once in windows I can run ANY application, video, etc without problem, for days on end == but as soon as I load up a game [and that is _the_ main reason I built this box], my system SHUTS down, out of nowhere! No slow down, no warning, just *boom* power off!!$@#
I am an old-school troubleshooter, and know my **** pretty well, but this has me stumped! someone please help a fellow out =)

....the problem is OS independant, RAM independant, _probably not heat related_, just plain has me perplexed....

Games I can start up ANYTIME, and the problem occurs [actually every game I've tried so far];
Call of Duty 4 - direct X 10 and DX9
Crysis [64bit and 32bit] - direct X 10 and DX9
Gears of War - direct X 10 and DX9
Bioshock - direct X 10 and DX9

- I've ran different OSs, same problem [vista x64 ultimate, now SP1 and windows xp SP2/32bit]
- I've swapped between, in and out trying each single stick, to using all 4, 4x1G sticks of ram [CORSAIR 1Gx2 TWIN2x2049-6400 R, and KINGSTON 1Gx2 KVR800D2N5K2/2G]
- tried every one of my 4x PCI-E 6pin connectors connecting one at a time to my video card --- the power supply is 650watt hec zephyr SLI/crossfire supported, I figured 4x+12V rails @ 17A/each should be fine for a single 8800 GTS 512MB??
- tried adding 5 more case fans, positioning them and repositioning them, to just currently putting the motherboard/video/ram and all outside of the case, exposed to the cold air in my basement [62degree room temp], on an anti-static sheet and foam, so to be sure its not a grounding issue in the case or something...
- uninstalled/reinstalled all different versions of drivers nvidia, and "tweaked" others - currently running stock nvidia 169.44 on vista x64 ultimate downloaded from evga's site, and the current nvidia drivers for XP from evga's site
- reinstalled OS multiple times, currently on a fresh minimal installs of both OSs [installed indepently first, now dual booting]
- tried OC'n, stock, everything in between = ASUS overclock speed/FSB/voltage settings... I've read you need to specify voltage config for Vcore/HT/NB/SB/DIMMs with this motherboard and processor, I've tried this using all stock settings from manufactures' specifications, as well as starting from incrementing voltage in steps of .05 increments where applicable
- specified memory timings, and tried AUTO
- disabled all unnecessary things in BIOS to try and strip it down, and tried defaults, and custom settings....
- making sure all fan settings are set to performance, then disabled -- many differnt combos!
:: yes, I crank up the nvidia 8800 onboard fan to 100% via ntune every time I boot
:: CPU fan is _huge_ arctic cooling freezer 7 pro, and seems to do a good job
:: again the whole machine is outside the case, exposed to the air, so it says nice n cool, with a couple fans pointed at it...
- no add-on cards are in the system other then video card, everything else is onboard, or just ram+DVD and hard drive
- I've enabled and checked all "event/error/application" logs vista x64 has default, tried using the tool "everest" and enabled logging every 1 second, playing a game, while pulling EVERYTHING, also speedfan and nvidia monitor has event logging, whcih isn't telling me anything either... I am open to trying any other program that may help me diagnose/isolate the issue

I'm not sure what to think, is it the power supply, video card, motherboard, CPU, or ram??? somebody please help ='(

is there anything out there that I could use to test the power supply itself, and see at what point it shuts off?? it just seems like it would have to be power, heat, or motherboard/cpu related but heat just doesn't seem to be the answer - I boot up and idle around motherboard temp @ 23C, CPU @ ~20-26C, video card @ ~22-26C and I seem to top out at = motherboard @ 25C, CPU @ ~24-30C, video card @ ~28-33C --- this isn't too hot is it?

;;for reference i have some files uploaded that may give ya an idea what I am dealing with here;;
nvidia ntune system information output
cpu-z html output (OC'd to 3.0GHz)
example Everest log that captures the power down issue [last entry]
another example Everest log capture with power down issue [last entry]
SpeedFan log capture during power down issue
another SpeedFan log capture during power down issue

;;my PC build as of 2/20/2008 ;;
ASUS P5N-D nForce 750i SLI Motherboard
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz CPU
CORSAIR XMS2 2x1GB DDR2 800MHz - TWIN2X2048-6400 (1 came DOA)
Kingston 2x1GB DDR2 800MHz PC6400 - KVR800D2N5K2/2G
EVGA GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 Video Card
hec Zephyr 650 ATX12V 650W Power Supply
COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Computer Case
Western Digital Caviar SE SATA2 WD800AAJS Hard Drive
SAMSUNG 20X DVD±RW w/LightScribe SATA Model SH-S203N
1x - Antec 120mm TriCool Blue case fan
3x - Antec 80mm Ball Bearing case fans
March 20, 2008 12:53:20 PM

Probably the power supply? you seemed to have troubleshooted it very well and if it was a software glitch , a clean install might have solved the problem..... I know if the power connectors aren't connected or the video card isn't seated properly the thing just heats up like a toaster!!! so when you do use the GPU that would make sense for it to crash...



If you can borrow a friends PC, take out your video card and power supply and test them on his rig.....


Then you can obviousily narrow down the choices alot from there?


Then maybe use his power supply and video card on your rig and see what it does!!! .......


Just a suggestion... good luck!
March 20, 2008 1:17:54 PM

I agree with above. Try out a different PSU if you got it, if you don't that can handle your system, double the PSU's up and run two at once. Try running the GPU in a different system. If you had to RMA something blindsided, I'd hit both of them with one, but I would definitely prefer to only get rid of the broken thing.
Related resources
March 20, 2008 1:26:24 PM

It definitely sounds like a power problem. If you've double checked that you've securely connected the 24 pin and 4 pin connectors to the motherboard and the 6 pin connector to the video card then I'd definitely take a close look at that PSU. You should have enough power to run with no problem. I'm not a huge fan of multiple 12v rails but the PSU seems adequate for your system. I'd try to swap out the PSU and test. If it's still failing after that I suppose it could possibly be the video card but I'd troubleshoot the PSU first.
March 20, 2008 1:40:44 PM

Definitely sounds like power. Do you have the option of combining 2 of the rails to power the card?
March 20, 2008 1:59:56 PM

agentdcooper said:
My system will post, boot into windows --- running vista x64 ultimate SP1 and windows xp SP2/32bit in dual boot setup --- once in windows I can run ANY application, video, etc without problem, for days on end == but as soon as I load up a game [and that is _the_ main reason I built this box], my system SHUTS down, out of nowhere! No slow down, no warning, just *boom* power off!!$@#....
the power supply is 650watt hec zephyr SLI/crossfire supported, I figured 4x+12V rails @ 17A/each should be fine for a single 8800 GTS 512MB??

Test your PSU by borrowing a friends unit, or buy one and return it if its not the problem.
Is it possible this could be related to your DVD RW doing something as it begins to read the game disks?
March 20, 2008 2:19:21 PM

Agree with other posters - this _might_ just be memory - try removing all but one mem modules, test, swap for a different modules, test etc. If the problem persists it almost has to be due to the current drain from your card going into 3D causing the PSU to brown out.
Try ATITOOL to stress your graphics - if that causes a shutdown too it is pointing more and more at the PSU
March 20, 2008 7:06:50 PM

Ive tried everything with my memory modules, individually, and in all different combinations - it just isn't the memory, or the voltage to the memory causing the issue, Ive tried everythhing I can think of. Unfortunately I don't have someone I can just ask to try and use thier power supply, and I dont have an extra one, or even have $80+ to plop down to just "test" out a new one... I really think it could be the power supply, causing the system to shut down... I like the idea of stressing the system to see if it is the power, I will try that and see what I come up with, unless someone else can give me another suggestion on how to test out my power supply --- I will probably try to just get an RMA today for the power supply...
March 20, 2008 7:24:58 PM

you are pretty much answering youself in a way :)  as you have tested everything.
as many others say, since your system runs fine, except for when under load, it makes sense that it is your power supply . i see your problem though, as the mobo may just have bad connectors/wires or whatever, so the parts dont get enough power, causing them to shut down. but this is unlikely as your gpu has its own powerline. your mobo is probably good just because it boots fine. this is a long shot and kind of stupid, but what temp did you set your bios to shut down the computer at? a friend once put it on 40 by accident....
trying to stress the system without playing games can't hurt, but you are running out of time...
kind of stupid waiting 29 days before addressing the problem on a forum or with tech help though...
rma it while you dont have to go through the manufacturer
March 20, 2008 8:07:51 PM

ya I shoulda posted on a forum sooner, I troubleshot the issue with friends, and people at work, and finally came here to ask [I actually didn't notice the time had gone by so quickly] ... I figured I am just gonna RMA the PSU, video card and RAM and see what happens from there. I tried to use the ntune tool and ati tool to test stability, results were no problems found, computer stayed stable... it just seems to be power or video related in my mind...
March 20, 2008 8:30:41 PM

agentdcooper said:
it just seems to be power or video related in my mind...


My thoughts too. I agree with the more-power-needed-for-the-games bit. You could also try a different video card. I would bet on the PSU, but I would want to rule out the video card too... just to make sure.
March 21, 2008 2:27:22 AM

excellent suggestions by all! big thank-you to newegg, I'm RMA'n memory [1 was DOA, but have to replace both @ same time], the video card and PSU. I am going with replacements for RAM and video card, but requesting refund on the PSU -- I am going to replace the hec Zypher 650W PSU for this instead = OCZ StealthXStream OCZ600SXS 600W Power Supply, reviews are mostly, on,the, good, side - it sounds like well-built PSU, I was very hesitant in the first place to buy the hec PSU, but we shall see if it was the source of the trouble...

I will post a follow up! If any one has a solution before I ship this back, I'd be happy to keep everything without sending in for replacement =)

peace
March 24, 2008 8:38:38 AM

Well, well - after several days of reviewing just about anything talking about power supplies, and anything that seemed to resemble a similar issue I am having, I've come to my own conclusion the _hec zyphr 650W Power Supply_ is the failure. I can run a friend's ATI X1950 on my box without issue [same PSU] running any game, but as SOON as I put the EVGA 8800 GTS 512MB in, it runs fine until I play ANY game again...

Then I read this = http://www.pcpower.com/technology/myths/

Specifically;
Quote:
We went through three power supplies before we found one that consistently worked with these high-end graphics cards and an FX-60. We initially started with a Silverstone 600W SLI certified power supply, but running some games resulted in the system powering down under full load. We next moved onto a higher rated Thermaltake PurePower SLI certified 680W unit. But while most games ran most of the time, the system would still occasionally shut down. Finally, we ended up using PC Power and Cooling's massive TurboCool 850 SSI. This just goes to show that if you really want to build something that pushes the bleeding edge, make sure you have the right power supply.


Unfortunately I cannot use my 8800 video card in any one else's box that I know, so as to MAKE sure it's not the video card... but I think the video card is fine, I am still going to replace it though, _just to be sure_ since I already have to ship my RAM, and power supply... i.e. I will be out of a computer anyways, might as well be SURE.

Overall though, I have learned ALOT about power supplies, and I figured that if ANYONE is in the market for the same thing, or is having a similar issue, I'd suggest visiting the following sites to make a decision about which power supply to buy [[other then the obvious, ever-relevant, Toms Hardware joint]];

http://www.jonnyguru.com/
http://www.silentpcreview.com/section10.html
http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/reviews.html?cat=NDUsUG93...
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/page/power
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...
http://www.techaddicts.net/reviews.html
http://www.legitreviews.com/articles/power_supply/
http://hardwarelogic.com/news/136/

I hope I didn't leave anyone out... Those sites have helped me understand power supplies on a whole new level =)

I posted up above I was thinking about getting the OCZ StrealXStream, but that was before I found out about buy.com !! buy.com has FREE SHIPPING on MANY good power supplies, and what's more amazing is they have this deal with google checkout, that first time you buy something from google checkout, you get $10.00 off!

Just posting this here, because others may find themselves in my shoes somewhere down the road... Here seems to be the BEST power supplies you can get for $75-$105 @ buy.com, and elsewhere ;


* Corsair HX620W Power Supply = modular PSU, 3x +12V rails @ 18A with combined rating of 50A, active PFC, 120mm fan, 105ºC rated industrial grade capacitors and Gold Plated connectors, efficiency between 82.9% to 88.0% at 115 V, 5year manufacturer warranty!


* BFG 800W Power Supply = 2x 80mm fans, active PFC, 4x +12V rails @ 20A, capacitors rated at 85º C, active PFC, efficiency measured between 77% and 85.3% @ 115 V, the "Limited Edition" version offers 4x PCI-e 6pin connectors, LIFETIME manufacturer warranty!


* Corsair TX750W Power Supply = 140 mm fan, all PCI-e cables use 6/8pin connectors, ONE single +12V rail @ 60A! efficiency is between 78.8% and 84.3% @ 115 V, 5year manufacturer warranty!


* PC Power & Cooling Silencer 610 = 1x +12V rail @ 49A! active PFC, efficiency 83%, 5 year warranty, 2 PCI-e cables with one being a 6pin, the other 6/8-pin, tested capability to deliver 610 W of power under 45º C


* Mushkin XP-650AP 650W Power Supply = modular! model#550150 is the one to get, active PFC, 5year manufacturer warranty, 4x +12V rails @ 20A, "rail fusion" which is supposed to respond to increased system loads by automatically combining the +12v rails


* Antec NeoPower 650W <Blue> = modular! PCI-e connectors are 1x 6pin, 1x 6/8pin, 80mm fan, active PFC, 3x +12V rails @ 19A!


honorable mentions = Corsair TX650W, Seasonic S12 Energy+ 550/650, Seasonic M12-500/600/700, OCZ GameXStream 700W, 600W OCZ GameXStream and Thermaltake Toughpower 650W.

Sorry if this post is a little off-topic for the overall issue, but I found it helpful when others posted good/suggested power supplies, as it gave me a jumping off point, to where I was able to research reviews for the suggested power supplies, and make my own decision from there... The PSUs I listed above were almost all recommended from the sites listed above. Dont just believe me, check em out for yourself.

-Peace-
March 24, 2008 11:55:48 AM

In other words the GPU works fine until you place a load on it requiring 3D rendering. The PSU may be at fault, but the symptoms seem more to me like a bad GPU, especially after running a 1950pro, they need 30amps. The 8800gts may need more juice than a 1950pro, but if it will run a 1950pro perfectly fine, it should at least get you into the games and playing.
I think you have a problem with your GPU. Definetly RMA it.
April 17, 2008 10:57:46 PM

Problem solved! It was the power supply, plain and simple. :D 

Back on February 20th, '08 I purchased a hec Zephyr 650W power supply from Newegg.com for $89.99 (along with the rest of my components for this build - noted @ my first post), also I find it relative to this post that Newegg's product specifications webpage shows this PSU is " NVIDIA SLI Certified". I got my money refunded (thank-you Newegg, I LOVE their service) after shipping back the "hec zephyr 650W" PSU, then turned around bought the PC Power & Cooling 750W Quad power supply as a replacment.

My reasoning for getting the PC Power & Cooling 750W Quad PSU was as easy as reading thru the glowing reviews + checking out all the awards this PSU has won, just some of them are listed right here (no I don't work for PC Power&Cooling! I just really like their product{s}, and I'm offering my advice to anyone that may find themselves in a similar situation as I!)

:: [H]ardOCP gives the PC P&C 750 their "Gold award" ::
:: AnandTech gave the PC P&C 750 their "2007 Power Supply of the Year award" ::
:: PC Perspective heartily recommends the PC P&C 750 in their Hardware High-end system AND the Dream System Leaderboards ::
:: JonnyGuru gave the PC P&C 750 his "jonnyGURU recommended award" ::
:: bit-tech gave the PC P&C 750 their "recommended award" ::
:: Toms Hardware Tiered PSU Listings lists the PC P&C 750 as "Tier 1", which means, it "can handle 4Ghz Conroe or 3Ghz AMD along with Oced Quad Crossfire/SLI With Ease ::
:: DriverHeaven gave the PC P&C 750 their "Best in class", "Heavenly Hardware Gold Award" ::
:: Recently (04/06/08), Hardware Canucks gave the PC P&C 750 their "Dam Good Award" ::

All pretty prestegious awards in their own right.. Now check this out! Right on PC Power & Cooling's myth's webpage, it seems to have the answer to my problem/question right there = myth #5;

5. AN SLI CERTIFIED POWER SUPPLY WILL ALWAYS POWER HIGH-END GRAPHICS CARDS?

We went through three power supplies before we found one that consistently worked with these high-end graphics cards and an FX-60. We initially started with a Silverstone 600W SLI certified power supply, but running some games resulted in the system powering down under full load. We next moved onto a higher rated Thermaltake PurePower SLI certified 680W unit. But while most games ran most of the time, the system would still occasionally shut down. Finally, we ended up using PC Power and Cooling's massive TurboCool 850 SSI. This just goes to show that if you really want to build something that pushes the bleeding edge, make sure you have the right power supply.

**((the bold/italic's/underline's was done by me to add emphasis))**

So my new PSU came yesterday (I paid $159.99, with free 3-5 day shipping) it now installed, and DAMN, I couldn't be HAPPIER!! My case/motherboard/CPU(s) temperatures at average, around 5-9 degrees fahrenheit cooler with the new PSU/otherwise same setup! I'm very pleased with it's performance, considering where I came from with this build!! Plus, it just WORKS, my system is rock solid stable playing ANY game, the problem is FIXED! I am now messing with overclocking the CPU...

I will never buy another "hec zephyr" power supply again... As far as the manufacturer is concerned, I should give them the benefit of the doubt here, and HOPE that my first power supply [hec zephyr 650W] was defective - but if it wasn't a defect, then their 650W just can't power my newly built system - it would work fine, UNTIL I played ANY game. All I DO KNOW is that the PC Power & Cooling 750W is a bad-ass PSU, and I am more then happy with it! Also, I want to mention, this thing is friggin' SILENT =) Granted, I am not using more then 400W total right now - so far it has NOT been even slightly audible. Power+performance, AND 5year warranty = PC P&C can add me to their already large fan base. :sol: 

-peace-
October 12, 2008 6:55:36 AM

Just for future reference on this system, here's a quote directly from Nvidia's 8800GTS datasheet: "400 watt power supply with a minimum of 26 amps on the +12v rail."

However, good luck finding a 26A +12v PSU that is only 400W. I'd look more at ~700W models like the one you've found.
!