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PC crashes, PSU or GPU probelm?

Last response: in Systems
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May 10, 2010 10:02:31 AM

Hello,
I have a new PC rig, built about 8 or 9 months ago. All was going very well, but I had an occasional unexplained shut down. No blue screen or errors, it just went off like a power failure. If I powered it back on it is usually OK. This problem went away and I forgot about it until last week. System now only stays up for 2 to 10 minutes before completely shutting down with same symptom.
I sounds like a power problem however as I dont have any spares I thought I'd try a few things:
Mobo has on onboard GPU so I have removed the PCI express Graphics card and system seems OK for now.
The question is; Is this a PSU problem (450w basic PSU) that cannot handle the extra load from the graphics card, or is it a faulty graphics card that is causing the system to crash.
When the system does crash, there is a single click/popping sound and the system is completely off, no fans, no power at all.
When I restart its ok for a while then goes off again. This also happens without OS loading so I know its not a windows issue. (left PC on BIOS screen and still crashes).


Intel Q9300 CPU Stock fan
2 x 2GB Crucial Ballistix ram
Samsung 1TB SATA drive
Optiarc SATA DVD multi format
Saphire 4350 PCI Express 512
USB card reader
Gigabyte GA 73PVM S2H Mobo
runs at 26 to 28 degrees C

Any suggestions, similar experience. I would like to get my graphics card back in again but do not know whether its faulty or if its a dodgy PSU that cant handle the load.
Seems odd that the problem seems to come and go also.



a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
May 10, 2010 10:49:23 AM

Doesn't seem like a heat problem, I'm supposing it's the PSU. Even though the HD 4350 barely uses any energy, still, I think that a generic 450W PSU is dodgy.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 10, 2010 11:11:27 AM

I'd bet that PSU is done for.
Related resources
May 10, 2010 11:55:28 AM

Yeah, probably the PSU gave up. You should try borrowing a PSU from a friend and swapping it in to make sure, but that is the most likely cause.

If that is the problem at least its nice to know that buying a good new PSU is pretty much future-proof as the tendency now is more energy-saving components so it could last a long time ;) 
May 10, 2010 2:00:03 PM

Thanks for your feedback, didn't expect any responses so soon or i'd have checked earlier.
I did some more testing after I took the Graphics card out and thought the system was stable, but it gave up after a couple of hours with same symptom as if someone had pulled the plug.
I have a PSU from my old pc that I will try. I'll give it a go and then go buy a new PSU if that proves the point.
Any recommendations without busting the bank?
There are lots of good recommendations for sub £20 PSU, yet prices go skywards to £100 +.
I don't think I need much more than 450. My old 450watt served me for 7 or 8 years and the new stuff is supposed to draw less power.
You can see from the config, its not exactly packed out with stuff.

a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
May 10, 2010 2:30:08 PM

I guess it depends on how long you plan on keeping your machine. If you plan on upgrading to a new computer in the near future I would recommend spending the money on a more powerful PSU (700/750W) so that it would be more than capable to power a new computer when you upgrade.

If you are planning on sticking with your computer I would probably buy a decent quality 500W PSU. By decent quality I mean a known brand, as you know the PSU will last. In actual fact a good quality 500W will probably handle a newer computer too if you decided to build one.

I actually went with a £52 Powercool 750W Modular PSU. No one here would recommend it as it has no reviews and is an unknown brand-everyone who knows their stuff will always recommend a well known and reliable brand for a PSU as a bad one can cause damage to your system. I went with this 'unknown' brand because it is manufactured by Scan (Scan is a reputable UK online hardware seller) due to the fact Scan have a good reputation I had no doubt that their own product would be reliable and not be of shoddy quality. So far I have had no issues with it.
!