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PC "shuts off" when playing games

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May 20, 2009 12:36:14 PM

I've got a PC that shuts off whenever I try to run any type of video game. I usually test it with Team Fortress 2 and Portal - which aren't usually considered high end graphic intensive games.

I've replaced the Graphics Card from a 7900 GTX to a 9800 GT.

Essentially, what happens is when I begin to play, my screen goes black/PC stops functioning. I can hear fans spinning in the box and the power light is on but nothing is responsive. The only way to remove the PC from this state is to do a cold boot by holding the power button.

Here are my specs via dxdiag:

System Information
------------------
Time of this report: 5/20/2009, 08:29:52
Machine name:
Operating System: Windows Vista™ Enterprise (6.0, Build 6001) Service Pack 1 (6001.vistasp1_gdr.090302-1506)
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: System manufacturer
System Model: System Product Name
BIOS: BIOS Date: 12/14/05 11:50:14 Ver: 08.00.12
Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4400+ (2 CPUs), ~2.2GHz
Memory: 2046MB RAM
Page File: 1340MB used, 2994MB available
Windows Dir: C:\Windows
DirectX Version: DirectX 10
DX Setup Parameters: Not found
DxDiag Version: 6.00.6001.18000 32bit Unicode

Some things to consider:

This did not happen when I had Windows XP installed. I tried running Memtest86+ last night but came in this morning to the same "dead" computer so I couldn't see the results. Also, the power supply is 450w.

I'm sort of thinking it's the Power Supply but why would it happen now and not when Vista was installed? All drivers are up to date, by the way.

If it's not the power supply than Processor? Or RAM? But the RAM and Processor are both showing up just fine.

Any other tests I should run to get the exact error that's occurring? Or maybe someone has experienced this and can give me a solution.

Thank you!

More about : shuts playing games

May 20, 2009 5:11:56 PM

I have the exact same problem. I have an Ati 1950Pro . This problem is forcing me to change my gfx/psu.I used prime95 for 24 hrs to see if it was ram/cpu fault but it wasnt.So im betting on the mobo/gfx/psu. I ordered myself 4770 and a new psu.
This happens on absolutely all 3D games - Warcraft 3 , cs 1.6 , css etc .
I searched for solution but couldnt find anything . My mobo is Asus m2n mx
May 20, 2009 5:20:16 PM

If you ran memtest without having booted into windows, then the problem must be hardware related. Do you have another computer you can toss the 9800GT into? Either it's that, or the PSU is going bad.

Edit: If you can't run memtest without the shutoff happening, how did you check your RAM as okay?
Related resources
May 20, 2009 5:30:07 PM

fatkitty420 said:
I've got a PC that shuts off whenever I try to run any type of video game. I usually test it with Team Fortress 2 and Portal - which aren't usually considered high end graphic intensive games.

I've replaced the Graphics Card from a 7900 GTX to a 9800 GT.

Essentially, what happens is when I begin to play, my screen goes black/PC stops functioning. I can hear fans spinning in the box and the power light is on but nothing is responsive. The only way to remove the PC from this state is to do a cold boot by holding the power button.

Here are my specs via dxdiag:

System Information
------------------
Time of this report: 5/20/2009, 08:29:52
Machine name:
Operating System: Windows Vista™ Enterprise (6.0, Build 6001) Service Pack 1 (6001.vistasp1_gdr.090302-1506)
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: System manufacturer
System Model: System Product Name
BIOS: BIOS Date: 12/14/05 11:50:14 Ver: 08.00.12
Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4400+ (2 CPUs), ~2.2GHz
Memory: 2046MB RAM
Page File: 1340MB used, 2994MB available
Windows Dir: C:\Windows
DirectX Version: DirectX 10
DX Setup Parameters: Not found
DxDiag Version: 6.00.6001.18000 32bit Unicode

Some things to consider:

This did not happen when I had Windows XP installed. I tried running Memtest86+ last night but came in this morning to the same "dead" computer so I couldn't see the results. Also, the power supply is 450w.

I'm sort of thinking it's the Power Supply but why would it happen now and not when Vista was installed? All drivers are up to date, by the way.

If it's not the power supply than Processor? Or RAM? But the RAM and Processor are both showing up just fine.

Any other tests I should run to get the exact error that's occurring? Or maybe someone has experienced this and can give me a solution.

Thank you!

Go to the system tag on the start menu ,then advanced, then start up and recovery, and and turn off automatic reboot,also could be that vista is running too much junk in the background and check that your psu has the right amperage for your video card,another thing there was an article a while ago here on Tom's that indicated that gpu's above 8800 needed at least a 2.6ghz cpu running to prevent bottlenecking..??:) 
May 20, 2009 7:44:38 PM

Thanks for the advice guys but I'm still having some issues.

My PC runs fine. I can leave it on for days without any issues... it's just when I try to run a graphics intensive game that it just blacks out.

This was not happening when I had windows XP/7900 GTX. It started happening when I upgraded to Windows Vista/7900 GTX. I went ahead and got a new 9800 GT thinking this may solve the issue but, alas, it has not.

My RAM is still registering in the bios/PC and my CPU seems to be running fine. My card requires a 400w PSU but mines an Antec (trusted seller) 450w PSU. I've stress tested with Prime95 but it came up with no errors.

My processor is a dual core giving me a total of 4.4 GHz of power.

It's not the 9800 GT... I know that.

So what does that leave me? Are there any other tests I can run to narrow it down?

Memtest ran for a little while before it shut down. I turned it on in the afternoon and it was running fine but I left it on over night and came back to a "dead" pc.

May 20, 2009 7:58:02 PM

borrow a higher spec psu and test.
May 20, 2009 8:05:22 PM

Update:

Got my hands on an unopened Antec Trio! 550 Watt power supply. I'll switch it out tomorrow and give you guys an update.
May 20, 2009 8:08:17 PM

i get this problem sometimes too. [aTi x1950pro]
i think it basically happens when theres just too much information flow for the GPU to handle. it doesnt die on me too often, but it did all the time when i overclocked it a little bit. if you have overclocked your GPU at least one level up, i suggest you disable it. and i know the problem isn't with the PSU, because i own a 750W Jeantech.

i dont think this has to do with overheating, because when my GPU heats up, it automatically shuts down my pc (and that really bugs me).
a c 192 U Graphics card
May 20, 2009 8:38:23 PM

Weren't the old Antec 450W PSUs the ones that had capacitor issues? I will be very surprised if that Antec Trio doesn't solve your problem.
...and, AFAIK, Jeantech PSUs are designed to power light bulbs, not computers. Under the stress of a PC, it is probably shutting down. Hopefully it isn't passing really messy (i.e. destructive) waveforms in the process.
May 20, 2009 9:04:44 PM

Bora-02 said:
i get this problem sometimes too. [aTi x1950pro]
i think it basically happens when theres just too much information flow for the GPU to handle. it doesnt die on me too often, but it did all the time when i overclocked it a little bit. if you have overclocked your GPU at least one level up, i suggest you disable it. and i know the problem isn't with the PSU, because i own a 750W Jeantech.

i dont think this has to do with overheating, because when my GPU heats up, it automatically shuts down my pc (and that really bugs me).

Pretty much the same here except this happens alot . IE i didnt have problem for 1 week then next day it crashed and happens asap i get on a 3d game ..really stupid
a b U Graphics card
May 21, 2009 1:07:35 AM

I had the same issue last spring with an Antec 450W PS. It was only about 18 months old, but every time I'd start to play games like LotRO or Oblivion the PC would shut off like it the power cord was yanked from the wall. Otherwise it ran fine.

I tried checking for heat issues (took the side off and pointed a household fan in the case), software problems, reinstalled XP, etc... After a week of troubleshooting I replaced the power supply with a new 650W Antec Earthwatts.

Problem solved.
May 21, 2009 12:08:17 PM

As a side note, and I'm not sure how much information can be inferred from this, but I have another PC with this exact same setup that is apparently functioning just fine. I mean exact same hardware/software.

I'll try the new PSU today.
a b U Graphics card
May 21, 2009 12:37:03 PM

90% of the time, the PC shutting off under load is a sign the power supply is bad/weak/too small.
May 21, 2009 12:44:08 PM

Scotteq said:
90% of the time, the PC shutting off under load is a sign the power supply is bad/weak/too small.


Right, it's just that it's not exactly "shutting off"... everything goes black and stops spinning but I can visably see that power is still being given. Is that also a known cause of a weak PSU?
a c 192 U Graphics card
May 21, 2009 8:05:00 PM

The +5VSB is provided by a separate circuit, that may continue to provide power even after the rest of the PSU has shut down.
May 21, 2009 8:21:55 PM

Jtt hit that one on the head i have seen this with bad PSU's multiple times and once...a bad mobo some fans would stay on and some lighting if you have some of those snazzy ram status lights etc. but one rail had completely ate it
May 23, 2009 1:58:53 PM

I changed my psu from FSP 350w to a corsair 650W TX and its still happening
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
October 30, 2010 11:23:18 PM

i have been reading evry 1 post and i have been havings exact same problem as evry 1 the problem was my cpu was overheating the plac it was installed dint have enaught ventilation witch caused the 4 cpu to almost melt until i dowlaoded this program called speedfan (google it) and figured out that the cpu s heat was causing all the problems so to fix al i did was open it up clean the tons of dust it had put it on a ventilated place and left the side panel opend when i play video games
a c 271 U Graphics card
October 30, 2010 11:25:18 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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