I spent about two weeks researching a new build, deciding what i wanted to buy. Eventually settled on:
Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem @2.66GHz
GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
OCZ Platinum 3GB (3 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)
BFG Tech GeForce GTX 280 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 gpu
COOLER MASTER UCP 700W psu
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 1TB 7200 RPM hdd
COOLER MASTER Storm Sniper case (200mm front, 200mm top, 120mm back fans, mostly steel mesh body for lots of air flow)
I'm using the HDMI-> DVI adapter on the gpu, and running it into a 22" dynex HDTV (cheap, large monitor, effectively)
I set everything up, nervous as hell (only my second build, and first one in years).
I realized i made a mistake with thermal compound later, (i didn't even consider whether or not there was already some sort of compound on the heatsink, and i'm pretty positive i used too much artic silver 5 on the heat spreader). The temps are higher than I expected (43-45c idle), but that doesn't seem to be the issue i'm currently dealing with.
When I first fired up the computer, everything booted fine. I went into bios and changed the voltage on the ram up to 1.64v (since this is where the ram is supposed to be, it just defaults down to 1.5v, and underclocks the ram). I rebooted, everything was still fine. I loaded vista up, it did it's first install (before the restart) without issues.
This is where it started to suck. When the computer automatically restarted, it booted fine, and I heard it do the "beep" noise and go to post (HDD was spinning up as well), but no video displayed. My first impulse was "doa gpu", but it had ran fine just a minute before.
So I restarted the computer, and it went right back into windows as normal. It finished setup. Vista managed to boot up, and I decided it was time for a bite to eat. I turned off the system, and left for a few hours.
When I came back, and tried to fire it up, the comp went to post, but didn't display video again. I restarted multiple times, but it wouldn't work again. I opened the case up and double checked the supplementary power on the gpu that was necessary (a 6 pin and 4 pin connector), and they were attached well. Just to give it a shot, i disconnected them and used the other ones available (the psu is SLI ready, so it had two rails specifically for GPU). This time it fired up as normal.
I installed the nvidia drivers off the disk, and rebooted. When i rebooted, it refused to go into windows.
Now I can get it into windows if i leave it alone for awhile, or if i turn off the switch on back of the PSU and let it sit for a few minutes. I managed to get it to run, and I installed call of duty: world at war. Played for about two hours, and shut it down. Graphic settings on high, no artifacts, nothing spectacularly strange. I reboot the computer, and it wont start, yet AGAIN.
Sorry if you actually read through all of that, but i just wanted to be thorough. What could be the problem? Defective GPU, or perhaps the PSU? I believe I chose the right PSU, the gpu said "575W PCI Express-compliant system power supply with a combined 12V current rating of 42A or more*" on the newegg page, and this one has 76a over 4 rails.
I'm getting antsy over this, since I spent a large chunk of cash on this computer, and don't want to find out that my money is wasted.