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Computer occasionally cuts off unexpectedly after OCing

Last response: in Overclocking
September 14, 2012 2:09:07 AM

The other day, I decided to overclock my computer. Everything was working great for a while. After playing some games with the overclocked settings, I decided to go ahead and use Prime95 to see if it is stable enough. I ran the test for about 5 minutes and then decided to stop testing as temps were reaching 80 to 82. A couple of seconds after stopping the test, the computer shut completely off. A few seconds later, the computer tried to restart itself but failed to do so after the fans and lights came on for about 2-3 seconds. This process continued until I flip the power supply off or unplug the power supply. Long story short, I took the cmos battery out overnight. The next morning, I installed the battery back in and the computer did the same power cycling. I then researched via my laptop and was suggested to take the motherboard out to see if any shorts were occurring underneath the motherboard. I DID notice that there was a screw coming from the backplate side that seemed to possibly be long enough to touch the underside of the motherboard. I removed the screw and everything seemed in line. I replaced everything and the computer powered on. This time it stayed on and I was able to play games and everything like normal.

Well, the issue has returned. I have no idea what is causing it. I'm actually using the computer right now because the computer turns itself back on after shutting off abruptly. Sometimes, it does the power cycling thing and I have to turn the power supply off but after a few minutes, I turn it back on and the computer is able to boot right up with no problems. Notice that I reset the bios to default settings and voltages after the first occurrence of the power cycling (after I was able to get the computer to turn on after removing the screw from the backplate).

Here's the big kicker. It tends to do this while gaming. I tend to listen to music on my headphones while gaming and it seems that 9/10 of the time, it will shut itself off while the computer is running a game. It has actually turned itself off once while I was just web browsing and another time when the computer was idle except for downloading a game on Steam (I wasn't using the computer at all). This is all occurring when the cpu, gpu, and ram are at stock settings. No overclocking is currently involved.

I'm so frustrated with this. I spent top dollar on these premium parts and I'm having these issues. These computer parts should be absolutely rock solid (especially the motherboard). I'm tempted to buy a new power supply to see if I possibly caused something in it to become unstable. If the power supply doesn't fix the issue, I'm assuming that it could be the motherboard or RAM. I checked the CPU back when the screw was in the backplate and it didn't seem to have any signs of burns or bent pins on the motherboard or the cpu.

Also, I should mention that I was having trouble just a few minutes ago getting the computer to start back up (it was power cycling again every 3 seconds). I unplugged a few unnecessary USB plugs as well as the GTX 690 and a couple of cathode tubes and the computer seems to be fine for now. I'm running the computer on the onboard HDMI of the motherboard and the embedded graphics of the IB chip. I'm going to test it by running WoW a bit to see if the computer shuts off again.

I'm thinking that it may be the power supply because I sleeved the cables on it prior to this build in late July. It's possible that some molex or sata cables were reversed during sleeving but I'm not sure as my drives seem to run fine in terms of performance and booting, etc.

If anyone has any ideas based on all of this information, I would be grateful for any suggestions. I spent $3k on this system and I'm really frustrated over this. (This is my 3rd system build in the past 3 years...)

My computer's specs:

GTX 690
Asus P8Z77-V Premium
G.Skill Ripjaws X 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) 2133
Corsair HX750 PSU
Crucial M4 64GB SSD
WD Caviar Black 1TB HDD
Asus 24x DVD Drive
Corsair 800D Case
Front Panel Fan Controller
2x Blue Cathodes
Custom Watercooling loop (CPU) (Includes 1x Blue Cathode in the reservoir)
September 14, 2012 3:54:17 AM

I have been playing WoW on the onboard graphics for a while now and no issues. I did a bit more searching and I read that you should test the current of the PSU. I loaded up HWMonitor and I noticed that the 12V is very low. HWMonitor is reading the 12V as 7.08V on all three columns (avg, min, and max). From what I've read, people are saying you should look for a new power supply when the 12V current starts going below 11.4V. Does anyone know if this software is accurate in this? It makes sense because I am not running a high power graphics card so the PSU is not under a heavy load atm. It seems that a heavy load causes the computer to power off. At this point, if the PSU is truly outputting that low of 12V, I think I really DO need a new PSU...

A link that I found concerning the min and max for each voltage: