I've had this problem for quite some time now and even managed to stump all my geeky friends. Here are my parts:
AMD Phenom 8650 Toliman 2.3GHz Socket AM2+ 95W Triple-Core Processor Model HD8650WCGHBOX
SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223F
Crucial 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model CT2KIT12864AA800
ZOTAC ZT-98GES3P-FSR GeForce 9800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
ECS Geforce6100PM-M2 AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223F
The issue I'm having is whenever I play Sims 3 or Left 4 Dead, my computer completely turns off after a few minutes of playing the game. The weird thing is, my computer never turns off when I play Sims 2 or Spore, which are the about the same caliber of game. Obviously, the first assumption was that my cpu or gpu was overheating. However, it seemed odd that my computer turned off rather than give me a blue screen. Nevertheless, I downloaded a program called Speedfan and monitored my temperatures while playing the game. My gpu's temperature stayed in a healthy range, but one of my cores got pretty hot (upper 60's) during gameplay before it turned off. I put in another fan but it had little effect. I looked online for reviews about my cpu and many buyers complained about the stock fan and bought a third party fan. I figured I would do the same, but just to make sure I wouldn't waste my money, I ran a cpu stress test to see if it would make my computer turn off. One of my cores got all the way to 75 degrees Celsius before I decided to stop it. It did indeed prove my fan was utter failure, but my computer stayed on, disproving my theory of an overheating cpu. Afterward, I hopelessly tested all my other hardware pieces by using my friends' parts. I tested the gpu, power supply, and ram to no avail. I also reinstalled the games, but that didn't help. Perhaps it could be my mobo, but this is the only problem my computer has; if my mobo was malfunctioning, I would think there would be some more serious symptoms. I looked on my mother board's website (http://www.ecsusa.com/ECSWebSite/Downloads/ProductsDeta...) and found that there was no AMD Processor Power Management Driver for Vista (which I have). That intrigued me but not enough for me to install an older OS. I've tried taking a look at my BIOS and didn't see much that could help me, but then again, I'm not very experienced in that area. I would really really love to start playing these games without interruption, for that was essentially the intended purpose for this PC. PLEASE HELP!!! Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
What power supply do you have? What resolution are you running at? Oh and 75 is way too hot, you definitely need an aftermarket fan or you are going to burn something out, see about getting the sunbeam core contact freezer, it is one of the best coolers out there that will mount on an AMD processor. You said it gives you a BSOD, what does it say?
I'm using a 500 watt power supply that came with my case (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...). And I'm running with a 1440x900 resolution. I've been looking at fans and it's kinda been hard to find one that I think would fit my case, but ill take your recommendation into consideration. I've actually never gotten a blue screen in this ordeal . "it seemed odd that my computer turned off rather than give me a blue screen" it just turns off...
Okay, that actually leads me to believe even more so that it is likely your PSU. It is this one, which is a total POS that i wouldnt even consider harvesting parts from. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Someone failed at math on that PSU too because i just added everything up and best case it can give you 472 so its obviously rated at peak not continuous. The 9800 GT has a TDP of 125 watts which only leaves 115 watts available on the 12 volt rail to power everything which isnt sufficient. My best guess is the power supply is the source of your issues, try one that is a bit stronger and see if it will work.
I can agree about the PSU. Also what I've seen on my systems is if the PSU gets too hot, you can have those type of issues. Get a strong fan to go under your PSU. I would get at least an 80 mm or 120 mm or the biggest one your case allows to go directly under the PSU for exhaust. But when you buy one, get the highest flow fan you can find. What could be happening is that heat is gradually building up in your PSU and when it gets too hot it shuts off rather than takes out your computer.
However, on that PSU, definitely upgrade to a stronger unit, a cheap power supply can take out motherboards and other components. I've had one take out a mobo before. So I highly reccomend a higher quality PSU. Something like an Antec or Corsair, etc. Keep in mind, don't look at Watts, look at the amps on the 12v+ rail. The one hunter showed that is in your case is 20 amps. The 400 watt corsair is 30 amps. So while it shows a much lower wattage rating, it is actually much stronger than the 500 watt linkworld.
But if you get a new PSU and a good exhaust fan to go underneath it, I'm guessing not only will your issues stop, but you probably won't see your cpu getting as hot, because as the PSU heated up, it was probably letting a lot of that heat back into the case. Try those and see if that helps.
To get the BSoD, right click on my computer, properties, advanced, click the settings button on the start up and recovery section. Uncheck the "automatically restart" check box. You should now get a BSoD instead of reboot. If it still reboots, it is a power issue.
Thanks guys. I'm going to test my power supply with my friends 750 watt tomorrow and see if I can play a full game of Left 4 Dead uninterrupted. If I can, I'll call it a success! Have your fingers crossed...
First problem: yes, suspect the PSU.
Second problem: The ECS motherboard is not a whole lot better.
+1 and +1.
I realize that many people simply do not have a wad of cash to spend on their PC, but using a generic PSU and an ECS motherboard is, well, lets just say unless you got these for free, there were better choices to made at the time of purchase.
Sounds like a Frys deal to me....anyway best of luck, hope you get it sorted out.