Unexpected shutdowns while gaming (some time)

Unexpected shutdowns while gaming are posted all over the net. I have been having a similar problem. My PC totally shots down while playing some (but not all) games. The system is home built with the following components:

• MSI K9N SLI Platinum (MOBO)
• AMD 6000+ (3.0 GHz.) AM2 processor
• (2) XFX Alpha Dog 8800GT (512) PCI-e video cards
• 2 GIG Corsair XMS2 PC6400 DDR2 800 ram (2) 1 GIG sticks (4-4-4-12)
• Zalman 9500A CPU cooler
• Seagate 750GIG HD (SATA)
• Windows XP (SP3)
• CoolerMaster case (w/2 120mm fans)
• Nothing is being over clocked

I too have replaced a number of components with hopes of resolving the issue (I have swapped ram, new thermal paste on the CPU, ran the video cards in standard mode (not SLI), cleaned the fins in the CPU cooler, checked component temps, installed new drivers, updated the system BIOS, etc). None of these things worked to fix the shutdown problems.

One thing that worked (in part) was to run a registry cleaner. This resolved some of the messages that were popping up during the boot process. However, the shutdowns are still happening while gaming. Games like:

• Flight Sim-X (PC shuts down within 10 minutes)
• Flight Sim 9 (runs perfectly)
• Falcon Allied Force (PC shuts down within 10 minutes)
• Lock-on (PC shuts down within 10-15 minutes)
• World in Conflict (runs perfectly)
• GTR2 (locks up within 5 minutes)

So, some games would cause a shutdown, while other 3D games seem to run fine. When not gaming, the machine runs perfectly.

I have started looking at power supplies. Removed the 550 watt cheapo PSU (yeah, I know that was way under powered) and replaced it with a Corsair (cannot remember the model) 630 watt PSU. Guess what! That did not do the trick. The machine still shuts down during gaming. I replaced that PSU with a Corsair (cannot remember the model) 750 watt PSU. Guess what! That did not stop the shutdowns either.

Recently found a power supply calculator on the Asus Support website that says, based on the components I have installed, I need at least an 850 watt PSU. So, I am returning the 750 watt PSU and getting an Antec TruPower Quattro 1000 Watt PSU (currently on same for a great price). This had better work, or else I am screwed.

Has anyone of you experience similar issues with shut down s with some games while others run fine? Does it make since that I need to spend crazy money on power supplies just to run two video cards? This is getting nuts! Does it sound reasonable that I really need a 1000 watt power supply with the system described above?

The only thing I have not replaced is the motherboard and I have not done a fresh install of Windows. Could it be that one of these issues is the real problem with this system and I have been running in circles and looking in the wrong places for a solution? No doubt that some one will say yes. Say it ain’t so!
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More about unexpected shutdowns gaming some time
  1. I would download Memtest86+ and run it overnight to remove the RAM from the list of possible problems.

    This really sounds like an overheating issue. What are your CPU and GPU temps when the system shuts down? You can get monitoring software that will log the temps.
  2. shortstuff_mt said:
    I would download Memtest86+ and run it overnight to remove the RAM from the list of possible problems.

    This really sounds like an overheating issue. What are your CPU and GPU temps when the system shuts down? You can get monitoring software that will log the temps.

    Good questions. Yes I thought about temps. After first swapping out the ram, I ran memtest with nothing flagged. To your question about CPU temps, under load, my VGA temps are about 119 to 127 degrees-F. Under load, my CPU temps are 97 to 120 degrees-F.
  3. I too am having the same problem with a similar yet lesser machine.
    My machine consists of:
    MSI K9N SLI Platinum v1.0 Motherboard
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5400+ (2.8GHz) CPU [not overclocked]
    Kingston 2GB (2x1GB) DDR2 1066MHz/PC2-8500 Hyperx Memory Cl5(5-5-5-15) Underclocked to 800MHz
    2 x MSI GeForce 8600 256MB PCI-E Graphics Cards
    OCZ Stealth Xtream 500W PSU with 120mm Fan
    19" 16:10 LG LCD Primary (Centre) Display
    21" 4:3 Hitachi CRT Secondary (Left) Display
    19" 4:3 Proview CRT Third (Right) Display
    40" 16:9 Sony Bravia 1080p HDTV
    Vista 64bit Ultimate

    I've not played many games on this system due to lack of time while doing my degree, but recently got Red Alert 3. So far I have tried playing it on the 40" HDTV at 1900x1080 in SLI mode and on the 19" LCD screen at 1440x900 in SLI mode and multi display mode. Each mode has resulted in the same, unwarned power-down.

    I can only assume its an overheating problem, though my CPU, GPUs and memory seem cool to the touch upon feeling straight after the power-down.
    I did however notice that the heatsink on the southbridge was scolding hot. This is probably due to it being passivly cooled and being surrounded by two graphics cards.

    The last time my computer powered-down mid-mission in Red Alert 3, it wouldn't turn back on for a few minutes, which almost certainly means that it was an overheating problem.

    I'm not sure if it's possible to mount a larger heatsink on the southbridge or mount a fan on the current heatsink.

    I noticed in the most recent pdf manual from the MSI site that the pictured v1.2 motherboard has a smaller copper heatsink on the southbridge chip that has a heatpipe going to the copper finned heatsink on the power regulators. This leads me to beleive that overheating of the chipset was a problem with the fist revisions of the motherboard.

    Anyway, hopefully this might shed some light on why our machines have been powering-down for no apparent reason.
    I will post back with my findings when I have some.
  4. overheating.. i had the same problem...
  5. I am facing the same Shutdown Problem when I am Playing Red Alert 3 too , My machine consist of :

    Gigabyte GA-EP45T-EXTREME motherboard
    Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q9550 @ 2.83 Ghz
    8.00 GB Kingston DDR3 RAM
    Gigabyte ATI Radeon HD 4870 (1GB DDR5)
    Gigabyte ODIN 850 W PSU
    Vista 64bit Ultimate

    Shutdown happen only with during RA3 Skirmish mode ... Don't know why ,
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