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What is causing my system to fail when I overclock?

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December 19, 2011 3:23:06 AM

Hello everyone. I have recently started overclocking my system (mildly, I believe. About 10% or so) when I got my new video cards. What I have noticed is that whenever I overclock and then try to play an intense game or run 3DMark 11 or what have you, my computer will completely fail. The screen goes black and the monitor idles as if it's receiving no signal. The computer will stay on, but I am unable to interact with it in any way and must do a hard reset to make it come back on.

After a bit of research and analysis, I do not believe that the problem could be my GPU's. They are too top-of-the-line, and can handle much more than what is being thrown at them before complete failure of this caliber. That, and they handle the tests fine when at stock setting. They never even get a chance to break 40 degrees, being watercooled very efficiently. I believe the issue may be my PSU, as I've read elsewhere that an insufficient PSU can cause your system to shut down when stressing your cards.

My system is as follows:

i7 920
2x EVGA GTX 580 Hydo Copper 2 3072MB
Corsair AX850 PSU
6 GB RAM
A single 300 GB 10000 RPM HDD
Asus Rampage II Extreme Mobo

I would like to believe that the problem isn't my brand new PSU, but I can't see where else the problem would lie. This is supposed to be one of the highest quality, most efficient PSU's available, but can it just not handle pushing these cards? I just can't imagine 2 of the most powerful cards on the planet crashing my computer under 3DMark 11's stock Extreme setting at 1920x1080, with only a simple 10% OC.

I've been OC'ing my 2 cards to about the level of the "factory OC'ed" EVGA cards, 772 core clock to 850. They perform very questionably at that level, and then fail outright if taken even up a bit to 855.

Any confirmations or further suspicions? I appreciate the help and insight!
a c 197 K Overclocking
December 19, 2011 1:26:21 PM

If your system is stable with the GPU's at stock speed, but unstable when overclocked, you do not have a choice.

Your GPU's apparently cannot be overclocked with any stability.

And remember, the GPU's for the factory overclocked cards were tested and binned at the higher speeds.
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a b K Overclocking
December 19, 2011 1:49:00 PM

Did you run any before/after benchmarks to see just how many FPS a stable O/C gives vs stock?
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