Hot CPU, hot Vidcard, weak PSU?

I am trying to nail down a nasty heat issue. I have already posted a rather in-depth message in another TH board (see related thread). The long and short of it is this:

I can't tell if what is causing my program-shutdown problem is a hot video-card, a hot CPU, or my power-supply being pushed to capacity.

I am getting tons of mixed signals, such as "it's your CPU" or "it's your videocard", also, I'm led to believe that the load on my system is too great for my 1-yr old 510w power-supply.

In any event, I can feel the video performance of my box just chugging along until, whoops, I get dumped to desktop.

I put the related thread in the appropriate box, but just in case I screwed it up, here's the link: I am hoping that some of you can help to enlighten me.
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  1. from my originating message:
    Mobo: NF4 Ultra-A9A
    CPU: AMD Athlon athlon 64 FX-55 @ 2.61 GHz
    Ram: 2.0 GB Ram
    Videocard: nVidia GeForce 6800 Series (PCI-Express x16)

    I also have:
    70gb hard drive
    111gb hard drive
    74gb hard drive
    465gb hard drive
    a CD/RW drive
    a DVD/RW drive
    Sound Blaster Audigy something-or-other
    My current 510w (over a year old) may not be up to the task.

    of those are your specs.

    what case do you have this in and whats the airflow like? this doesnt seem like the PSU is not up to the task." yet it could be time for a new one if your air flow in your case is good"
  2. Maybe I missed it, but what brand PS do you have and what is the 12 volt rail output, in watts. Also, what case are you using and what is your case fan configuration (e.g., how many case fans, location, and size).

    You do have a lot of drives which accumulatively can draw a lot of power and generate a lot of heat. We might be able to offer some ideas with a little more info.
  3. As ejay says some more info on the PSU would be helpfull, it most certainly could easily all be being caused by the PSU being underpowered. It dosent push the power the components draw it and if they cant pull enough they jsut try harder and before you know it BOOM (worst case scenario).

    What im leaning towards is unplugging all your harddrives (not the one with the OS on it) :D Anything else not needed like USB ports/Drives. Just literally the bare minimum you need to run and then use Orthos Prime to stress test the CPU and then stress test the GPU run Memtest on the RAM. Once you have done this you will know if your hardware is ok on its own and so the conclusion would be that its all too much for the PSU when running together.

  4. Thanks to both of you

    I have a black Antec case that looks simliar to this one:

    It doesn't have any super-ventilation abilities that I'm aware of. My PSU - I don't know because I'm not currently at home.

    I have one very large fan that pulls air out the back of the case. I hadn't wanted to have four HD's, but since I couldn't get my media server going, I Just stuck them in my primary machine. I will need to rethink that, though.

    Are there low-cost cooling options that I can consider before spending large cash on more peripherals?

    I will do my best to take a few photos of the case interior to help provide perspective, once I get home.
  5. No worries we need to know the AMPS+ 12 Volt rail ideally. If its easier take a picture of the sticker on the side of the PSU and we will take a look ourselves.
    I think it was already mentioned, sticking a desk fan facing the machine with the side off may be crude but it is effective.
  6. Thanks so much to all of you for your kind offers. I have built systems in the past, but my knowledge is rapidly expiring as the pressures of work and a family cut into my usual keep-up-to-speed time. :)

    I will take a photo of the sticker, for sure.

    Also, what I found is that the whole deskfan blowing in thing was not decreasing my temperature. If you look at that other Tom's thread that I posted to, you can see that my temperature peaked and I got booted out of TF2 during the time when I had the side-off.

    When I put the side back on (and I presume that the airflow had a better time of it), I got lots of choppy-but-playable action before quitting the game with*out* getting booted out.

    Could this be one of those rare instances where the heat was managed by somewhat proper flow?
  7. To be honest its really difficult to know if what you are getting reported Temp wise is in anyway accurate at all. Newer Hardware is easier to deal with as more have dedicated sensors built in. I can 100% promise you that the PC was running cooler with the fan blowing on it than not, regardless of what your temp monitoring software was telling you. Short of putting a thermal sensor on the actual chips its very hard to be sure.
    Something that has come to mind is that you may have a setting in the Bios which is shutting down the pc to protect it from overheating, Mine is a newer board and is Intel but it has differant tollerance settings and im wondering if yours has this function and if its set too low ?

  8. I had a similar problem with my mobo too, a M2N-MX. The problem was that some transistors ( with those copper wire aroud it ) became to hot, the solution was simple: Just aim a fan at it.
  9. The antec sonata is a good little case. I'm not sure you need a better one since you aren't even overclocking that FX. You should get a can of Compressed air to clean out the CPU Fan, PSU, and the video card video card fan. It could just be a case of some nasty dust bunnies. Even if it looks clean you can have dust stuck between the fins and you may be surprised at what the compressed air flushes out. You may also want to check out your voltages by going to the BIOS screen and checking out PC Health. If you see the volts fluctuating greatly then you may need a new PSU.
  10. A three-photo flickr photoset is here:

    I will use some compressed air as soon as I get the chance. Sadly, I am preparing to go away for a day or so. As a result, I won't get around to some of these proscribed ideas until Sunday.
  11. Okay, I have performed a bit of work on my computer. Among these:

    Based on my informal test of almost an hour of TF2, I have found that the CPU is down from 75° to 60°. The videocard is not down at all - it's still hovering at 109 to 110.

    I tried to swap out my 510watt PSU for an Antec 550watt PSU but then found that the connectors won't work with my motherboard's connectors. I'm sure it's an out-of-date issue, I'm just enough of an old timer to remember when I didn't have to give a damn about PSU connectors (wheezing noise).

    Next on the agenda:
    Reboot this machine, boot up TF2 and then crank up the options again. We'll see how the graphics card temperature fares (though I am to understand they have a higher tolerance - is this true?). When I first started using the graphics card, I could have TF2 cranked all the way up and it was butter.

    The "tomorrow steps" are going to be:
  12. I have done some research and it turns out that your PSU isnt all that bad after all, the reviews i have seen of it show it in a good light and the only thing that may be against it is age. It has been known for the fans to need re seating on graphics cards or you could find a third party cooler to replace the stock one, nothing too fancy a standard Zalman or artic cooling fan should sho wimprovements over the stock fan.

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