Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Can a overheated powersupply cause loss of power?

Last response: in Components
Share
April 28, 2008 3:17:49 PM

I have a computer that has a liquid cooled CPU and Video Card.
Last week I heard what sounded like the fan in my power supply failing (at first a rubbing noise that got louder until it just started slowing down until it stopped) but the computer continued to work ok.
My CPU and GPU temps at heavy load is about 50 degrees Cel.
This last week though, my computer has started to power down randomly, but I am not sure why.
I suspect it is the power supply.
One quirk bothers me though, when playing a game on my computer (City of Heroes/Villains) with the graphic settings on max (my normal default) the computer powers off after a few minutes. But when I lower the graphic settings to minimum I can play for many hours.
So can my issue be caused by the power supply?
OH, the power supply is rated at 1250 watts if that is of any use.

Thank you,

Mako
April 28, 2008 3:21:32 PM

Holy Fing Christ, 1250w power supply?

How about you ditch that sucker and go with like a 650w or something. Assuming you have the average gaming desktop, what components do you have?
a b ) Power supply
April 28, 2008 3:32:51 PM

Your PSU is probably dying. Try with another PSU, see if that fixes it.
Related resources
April 28, 2008 3:37:28 PM

Make sure it is the fan in the PSU which is stopped.... If it is stopped well yah, safe to say that’s most likely the issue if your problems began when that fan stopped.

Process of elimination… starting with the obvious!
April 28, 2008 3:40:21 PM

I won't judge why you bought such a large PSU as I don't know how much hardware you're running. Who made your PSU and what model is it? Next, the PSU could be going bad, as that happens to the best of PSUs on occasion. Third, its possible that the power draw is so little that the PSU simply turns off its fan because it isn't needed.

OK, to the specific problem of the computer powering off at high graphics settings, this may be caused more by an overheating or otherwise faulty graphics card than a bad PSU. Computers can power down for many reason, including an overheat to the CPU, motherboard, ram and graphics card. The clue here is when you change the graphics settings to the card. The PSU doesn't know what settings you use, and neither do overheat protectors. I had a case of an overheating graphics card in the past and it would slow things down to a crawl and then lock up the computer. The PSU I was using back then didn't have any specific protections, so it would keep power coming out. Your PSU might have an overheat protection and shut down in an effort to save the computer.

So, the first thing you might try is changing to a different graphics card and seeing in the problem persists. If it does, then start looking to the PSU and if you can't check its power levels, take it into a shop and have it checked there. If the problem goes away, you nailed it with the graphics card. That said, both your CPU and GPU temps are a bit high. Perhaps you need to add a fan or two for better case ventilation.
April 28, 2008 3:41:09 PM

Here is the basic stats on my computer...

Apevia Black/Black X-Plorer ATX Mid-Tower Case with Clear Side, Fan Controller, Front USB and Firewire Port
Corsair Nautilus 500 Watercooling Kit
Atech PRO-28U 28-in-1 Internal Card Reader Black
2x Lite-On Super-Multi LH20A1H Lightscribe DVD Burner - 20x DVD±R Burn, 16x DVD±R Read, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD-RW, 8x DVD±R DL, 12x DVD-RAM, Internal, Black-Beige
Asus Striker Extreme Motherboard - NVIDIA, Socket 775, ATX, Audio, PCI Express, SLI Ready, Dual Gigabit LAN, S/PDIF, Firewire & USB 2.0, Serial ATA / RAID
Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit DSP
2x Corsair XMS2 DHX 4096MB Dual Channel PC6400 DDR2 800MHz Memory (2 x 2048MB)
Cyberpower - CP1500AVRT - 1500 VA / 900 Watt Battery Back Up Wth AVR
3x Hitachi / 7K1000 / 750GB / 7200 / 32MB / Serial ATA-300 / OEM / Hard Drives
BFG GeForce 8800 Ultra OC / 768MB GDDR3 / SLI Ready / PCI Express / Dual Link Dual DVI / HDTV / Video Card
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6800 Processor - 2.93GHz, 8MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB, Kentsfield XE, Quad-Core, Retail, Socket 775
2x 24" 1950x1200 LCD Monitors
Edit: I did update the Video to liquid cooling.

I was told when I designed it that I needed over the 1010 Watt Power supply that I initially wanted.

Aevm, Thank you; I will check and see it is still under warranty.

Sailor, While the PSU may not know what the settings are, is it probable that the greater the setting the greater the power requirements for the video card? I am not a Video Card engineer so I am not sure if this is accurate but it seems to make sense that the reason the video card would get hotter is due to greater power consumption. If this is the case it then what the others stated about the fan makes sense.

Also if you all feel I may not need this much wattage please let me know, and if possible provide some reference from which you garnered your knowledge.

Again, thank you.

Mako.
April 28, 2008 3:57:36 PM

mako42 said:
Here is the basic stats on my computer...

Apevia Black/Black X-Plorer ATX Mid-Tower Case with Clear Side, Fan Controller, Front USB and Firewire Port
Corsair Nautilus 500 Watercooling Kit
Atech PRO-28U 28-in-1 Internal Card Reader Black
2x Lite-On Super-Multi LH20A1H Lightscribe DVD Burner - 20x DVD±R Burn, 16x DVD±R Read, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD-RW, 8x DVD±R DL, 12x DVD-RAM, Internal, Black-Beige
Asus Striker Extreme Motherboard - NVIDIA, Socket 775, ATX, Audio, PCI Express, SLI Ready, Dual Gigabit LAN, S/PDIF, Firewire & USB 2.0, Serial ATA / RAID
Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit DSP
2x Corsair XMS2 DHX 4096MB Dual Channel PC6400 DDR2 800MHz Memory (2 x 2048MB)
Cyberpower - CP1500AVRT - 1500 VA / 900 Watt Battery Back Up Wth AVR
3x Hitachi / 7K1000 / 750GB / 7200 / 32MB / Serial ATA-300 / OEM / Hard Drives
BFG GeForce 8800 Ultra OC / 768MB GDDR3 / SLI Ready / PCI Express / Dual Link Dual DVI / HDTV / Video Card
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6800 Processor - 2.93GHz, 8MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB, Kentsfield XE, Quad-Core, Retail, Socket 775
2x 24" 1950x1200 LCD Monitors
Edit: I did update the Video to liquid cooling.

I was told when I designed it that I needed over the 1010 Watt Power supply that I initially wanted.

Aevm, Thank you; I will check and see it is still under warranty.

Sailor, While the PSU may not know what the settings are, is it probable that the greater the setting the greater the power requirements for the video card? I am not a Video Card engineer so I am not sure if this is accurate but it seems to make sense that the reason the video card would get hotter is due to greater power consumption. If this is the case it then what the others stated about the fan makes sense.

Also if you all feel I may not need this much wattage please let me know, and if possible provide some reference from which you garnered your knowledge.

Again, thank you.

Mako.



You have a 1250W output PSU, lets assume this is 82% efficient (which would be a high end PSU). That means it would draw up to 1524W at the wall. If you are in the UK, that's fine as our electrical outlets are 32amp ring circuits at 240V (yes, we harmonised with europe at 230±10%, but as that includes the 240V we were already running at, in practice we use 240V). If you are in the US, my understanding is that you guys use 15A circuits at 110V, which is 1650W and means you are pushing right to the limits of the outlet, especially when you factor in the monitors and printer and speakers etc etc.

Also, you are using a 1500VA/900W UPS.

A 900W UPS is going to REALLY struggle with your PSU. If the PSU tries to draw any more than 900W you will encounter significant issues. This could have been anything from a drop in output voltage of the UPS, causing the PSU to have to work harder, to killing either the UPS or PSU. With a PSU that has the potential to be drawing over 1500W from the wall, running it on a 900W UPS means you will have issues if you run at 60% or more of your PSUs output.

Remove that UPS and see if that fixes it.


Also, the guy that is saying 50°C is high for a G80 based graphics card at full load is talking crap. With stock cooling these will hit the high 80s, sometimes even 90°C. 50°C is perfectly cool for an 8800Ultra, and I assume means you are water cooling it.

50°C under load for the CPU also isn't bad assuming that's a CoreTemp reading. An overclocked CPU or one on the stock Intel cooler will commonly hit those sorts of temperatures under load.
a c 104 ) Power supply
April 28, 2008 4:09:41 PM

I didn't see a power supply listed there. The Cyberpower unit is the UPS; is that what they said had to be over 1000 VA?
If you are using a PSU that came with the case, 9/10 that's the problem. Apevia PSUs are on tier-5 ("do not buy") of the list at http://www.tomswiki.com/page/Tiered+PSU+Listings?t=anon.
If that PSU's fan died, then yes, it is surely about to croak; you're lucky it is shutting down gracefully and not taking your system with it.
April 28, 2008 4:40:24 PM

darkstar782 said:

...

Also, the guy that is saying 50°C is high for a G80 based graphics card at full load is talking crap. With stock cooling these will hit the high 80s, sometimes even 90°C. 50°C is perfectly cool for an 8800Ultra, and I assume means you are water cooling it.

50°C under load for the CPU also isn't bad assuming that's a CoreTemp reading. An overclocked CPU or one on the stock Intel cooler will commonly hit those sorts of temperatures under load.



Yea, they run hotter than that on air, but with a watercooling setup, I would hope they wouldnt get that hot, kinda defeats the purpose doesnt it?
a b ) Power supply
April 28, 2008 4:46:45 PM

If I read your PC specs correctly, you only have one video card (8800 Ultra OC) and a QX6800 CPU. You only need a 600w - 650w PSU from a good name brand to run that system (Seasonic, Corsiar, PC Power & Cooling, Enermax, Thermaltake ToughPower).

A hot power supply is a sure sign of inefficiency since wasted power is converted to heat.


April 28, 2008 4:47:47 PM

Onus said:
I didn't see a power supply listed there. The Cyberpower unit is the UPS; is that what they said had to be over 1000 VA?
If you are using a PSU that came with the case, 9/10 that's the problem. Apevia PSUs are on tier-5 ("do not buy") of the list at http://www.tomswiki.com/page/Tiered+PSU+Listings?t=anon.
If that PSU's fan died, then yes, it is surely about to croak; you're lucky it is shutting down gracefully and not taking your system with it.


The reason the power supply is missing is because it was changed based upon the original spec.
I think it was also a OCZ but I need to verify.
When I designed this computer I intended it to last 3 years (my average computer lifespan due to my work and other activities) with the option of upgrading as needed.
I am trying to determine the make and model of the power supply.
I will try and remove the UPS and see if that is an issue, though I have been running this system for 8 months without any issues.
I only encountered the problems after the powersupply fan seemed to go south last week.
April 28, 2008 4:53:04 PM

jaguarskx said:
If I read your PC specs correctly, you only have one video card (8800 Ultra OC) and a QX6800 CPU. You only need a 600w - 650w PSU from a good name brand to run that system (Seasonic, Corsiar, PC Power & Cooling, Enermax, Thermaltake ToughPower).

A hot power supply is a sure sign of inefficiency since wasted power is converted to heat.


Hmm... Is this including the 3 Hard drives or are they so power efficient that they are not a factor?
If what you state is accurate (and I have no reason to believe it is not) then my power supply is detrimental to my system. :( 
April 28, 2008 5:08:22 PM

Unless I missed it, I didn't see a listing for the PSU as to make and model. As to the UPS, I use then on all my computers. They do not pull 1500VA/900wt from the wall, but store that for use in the computer in case of a power loss so the pull from the wall shouldn't be a problem. You can try plugging the computer directly into the wall, as someone suggested and that would mainly tell you if you had a problem with the UPS itself, but it would not address the specific problem in the computer. As to drawing too much power from the wall circuit, if that was done, a circuit breaker would be tripped and everything electrical powered by that breaker would stop. Such things have led some people to have dedicated 20 amp circuits wired in for their computers.

I also said that the CPU and GPU temps seemed a bit high, not that they were too high. Under full load, for example, my QX9650 runs a high of 46c, though its capable of running a fair amount higher. CPUs and GPUs simply run better at lower temps. It wasn't stated at first that you had a 8800 Ultra, which are known for their high temps, which is the reason many people have used watercooling on them.

Back to the PSU. Yes, it may be failing, as Aevm and grieve said. That's why I suggested checking it for power output levels, taking it to a shop if necessary for a check. I still wonder why the problem only appears when you raise the graphics settings and that's why I wonder about the video card. Back when I had a card fail, I found that as soon as the settings were raised, it would fail and take the rest of the computer with it. A simple change of the card fixed the problem.

As to how big a PSU that you need, I ran your listed hardware, plus a couple other common parts and used a 20% capacitor aging through a PSU calculator from:

http://www.extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine

It showed a need for a PSU of 574wts at 100% CPU utilization. I couldn't duplicate your listed water cooling, so I tried a similar system. Remember that when it asks for "system type" you use single socket, not quad socket. It doesn't care how many cores are in a CPU, but rather the number of CPUs used. Try it yourself, and list the exact hardware you have as best as possible. But if the 574wt is nearly correct, then if you added another 20% for safety, you would come up with about 689wts. Using that information, I would say that you should do fine with a PSU of 750wt-850wt, depending on if you ever plan to add a second video card.

Edit: I see that the PSU is listed as possibly being an OCZ. Don't know a lot about such a PSU as to reliability. At least its not an Apevia or Aspire. If the fan is quiting, try a different PSU and see if the problem goes away or stays. If its only 8 months old, you should be able to RMA it, though check the warranty to make sure. If the problem goes away, than good. If not, look at the video card.
a b ) Power supply
April 28, 2008 5:24:10 PM

Reference darkstar782 comements - Not valid unless power requirements were at max, His system is no wheres near that.

ie I have an 850 W PSU, However it only draws about 2.2 to 3.0 Amps at the outlet (270 - 330 Watts). My system is not quite as demanding as OP's

5 HDD's + up to 3 USB HDD's, 2 Optical drives Lowly E6400 @3.2 GHz, 4 gigs Ram, and a lowly x1950xt GPu

Editted
Sailer - You beat me to it again
April 29, 2008 1:29:27 PM

I realise its not going to be an issue unless he maxes out the PSU, but what is the point in having 1250W of PSU output capacity (which would mean 1500W+ of PSU power draw) when your UPS is only capable of 900W output?

1500VA is the apparent power output and is purely a measure of the UPS's ability to deal with highly capacitive or reactive loads. This is not an issue in modern PCs that usually have a 98-99% resistive load profile thanks to power factor correction.

I never said the UPS will pull 1500VA from the wall. They have pretty complex PFC onboard and will be a pure resistive load. The UPS will start acting weird if more than 900W is drawn from it however, which is easily possible here.

Sailers' calculations show 574W, and he himself says you should consider 20% for safety, meaning we are assuming 689W load on the PSU (unless you are overclocking your CPU and GPU).

Now, that means that an 80% efficient PSU is going to be drawing 861W (689/80)*100.

Thats already VERY close to the UPS limit and if you are running so much as a monitor on the UPS as well (not to even consider speakers, printers, etc) then you are quite possibly running the UPS over capacity.

I would seriously consider trying the PC without the UPS.
May 23, 2008 3:10:18 AM

I am running a fairly beefy system on a Corsair 650watt 80+ certified PSU.

Abit P35 Pro-MB
ZALMAN CNPS9700-cpu cooler
Q6600 OC 3.3Ghz
Corsair 2 GB-ram
ATI HD 3870 512MB OC 827MHz
WD 74 GB Raptor-main drive
WD 36 GB Raptor-temp drive
2x WD 640GB RAID 1.2TB-data drive
LG HD DVD/Blu ray DVD-RW optical drive
Lite-On 20x DVD-RW optical drive
Windows XP Pro Sp3
Coolermaster 690 case with 3x 120mm case fans
Sony 19inch
Sharp 52inch LCD 1080p
APC XS 900 ups running at 85% capacity

ATI video card always draw more power than their nvidia counterpart. Therefore, the 1000watts PSU is overkill for your setup. The random shutdown is classic problem with PSU failure. The added power draw from the video card pushes the failing PSU over the edge.

Also, the UPS can not be the problem. If the PC draw more powers than what the UPS can supply. The UPS goes into alarm. It's does not shutdown the PC. When using an under rated UPS, there wont enough battery time to keep your PC running in case there is a power outage.


May 23, 2008 4:02:24 AM

Ok! Problem solved.
Turns out my Power Supply failed.
Thermaltake replaced it and all is well in the world. :D 
Thanks for your replies all.
!