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PC Switches on and off during COD4, destroyed GPU.

Last response: in Components
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November 22, 2009 3:32:14 AM

Hi

I was playing Cod4 when my screen turned off and my computer started resetting, no delay in between the cycles. The fans were spinnning up and going silent each cycle and I could hear the bass going off, as it does when the computer is turned off or on. I tried to shutdown, but was unable to, so I cut the power at the wall. When I tried to start up again everything turned on, but no signal was detected. I got an electrical smell and immediately turned the PC off. After some limited testing I have concluded that the PSU is still operational but the Graphics card is fried. The computer will now start and stay on, but without a graphics card I am unable to see if it posts. There are no error noises on startup. All fans and HDD's appear to still be working.

Any ideas on what would cause this? Should I be replacing the PSU regardless?

Specs:
Vista Ultimate SP1 X64
Core 2 Duo E8400@3750mhz
HIS4890 Turbo
P5Q-SE2
G-skill DDR 1066@ 1100mhz
1x500gb Seagate SATA
1x1tb Seagate SATA;
Vantec ION2+ 500W

Computer was running fine for 3 months prior to this incident.

Cpu was at 38 degrees idle, and up to 58 under 100% load.
GPU was at 50 idle, and up to 75 under load.
November 22, 2009 4:47:17 AM

Sounds to me like the cheap PSU decided to kill your graphics card.
November 22, 2009 4:48:42 AM

I can only hope, because I doubt I will be able to RMA it a second time for that sort of damage.
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November 22, 2009 4:53:16 AM

I would throw that thing away and get something decent .......Antec, Corsair ect.

Maybe you will be lucky and the graphics card will be all that got fried. The last thing you want to go "budget" on is a PSU.
November 22, 2009 5:31:31 AM

Junk the PSU. Get a decent one. It sounds like your PSU is OK at idle, but under the higher power draw of a game, it was going out of spec and shutting down.

I recommend Corsair.
November 22, 2009 9:38:55 AM

Thanks for the advice.

Hard lesson learned.
November 22, 2009 10:37:03 AM

Yep, another cheap PSU took a companion with it into the nether regions. Antec, Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, Seasonic, and Enermax are among the decent brands. Look for full range active PFC (no little voltage switch) and 80+ certification.
November 22, 2009 11:04:00 AM

An electrical smell?
I dont thing the GPU is fried.
Must be the DC cable going to the GPU Card that is fried.
Try replacing the PSU.
Even cheap PSUs have a safety mechanism and will not necessarily harm stuff attached to them when they die . . .
November 22, 2009 12:45:03 PM

A PRIME example of a person thinking he can get away with a cheap PSU.

-Now instead of buying a real PSU in the first place, you will have to replace the PSU AND buy a graphics card. I hope you learned your lesson and hopefully others will learn from these kinds of mistakes, because when a cheap PSU goes down, nothing will stop it from taking half your computer down with it. Get a decent brand name PSU: Coolermaster, Corsair, Seasonic, PCP&C...etc
Oh and I highly recommend getting a UPS (Uninterupptable Power Supply), because a power outage can also end your PC, a UPS will keep it on for 10-20minutes so you have enought time to turn it off safley or hibernate it.

Good Luck :) 
!