PSU blew; can no longer run games

Hey there.

Around two weeks ago my PSU blew. There was a burning smell and a spark which I read up on and is usual with this stuff. Unfortunately, I also read that if this occurs it can damage other components providing you don't have a high-quality PSU. Bare with me here, but I'm not sure what I had, I'm not the most tech-savvy person and the computer was a gift for me around three or four years ago now. Regardless, it's worked fine all these years until now.

I replaced the broken PSU with a brand new 450W one. It runs fine, to an extent. I can use the desktop and all just fine, and the problems only occur when I run a video game. Graphically demanding games like GTA IV or StarCraft 2 will shut my PC down within about 5 seconds of rendering a 3D environment. Less demanding games like Civilization IV or League of Legends can last about ten to fifteen minutes before shutting my computer down. There's no signs or warnings, the game will run perfectly fine and then just suddenly shut down, and start back up again about two seconds afterwards. Also, I'm unsure if this is relevant or not but the crashes seem to happen at the exact same time in every game.

My first instinct was overheating. I have a GTX 260 which I monitored while I ran the games. It was at 60 degrees celsius on idle and was up to about 70 while running a game. It never reached 100 degrees yet my computer still shut down.

Then I thought that maybe the video card wasn't getting enough power. I replaced the PSU with a 550W one and it didn't change a thing.

Since then I handed it to a technician who lives locally and I've paid him to fix it. However, it's been almost ten days and he's still stumped as to what the issue is. He ensured all the cables were in correctly and it didn't resolve the issue, and he replaced the CPU and it didn't resolve the issue. He's now ordered a new motherboard and I'm supposed to wait and see if that fixes it, but understandably I have my doubts.

If it was the motherboard, surely I wouldn't be able to run the computer at all, or there'd be other issues than running games? I've checked all over the internet and I'm thinking now that the PSU blowing broke my RAM. Does anyone have a clue what could be causing this or am I thinking along the right lines with the RAM?
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  1. What 450W power supply were you using? Which 550W power supply did you replace it with. If you swapped an average level 450W power supply out for a low end 550W unit you will still have the same level of power available which might be insufficient for your GTX 260.

    What are the other specs of your system like CPU, and motherboard model. For the power supplies, post their make and model if you can find it, if not you will see a sticker on the side of the unit with a load table, post the current for each 12V rail.

    When your system shuts down does it give you any messages when it boots back up? Have you been getting any blue screens of death? If not your memory is probably fine.
  2. Like I said, I don't have the computer at the moment, it's in the hands of a technician so I don't have most of that information available.

    However, I think it was just a generic PSU, the 450W cost about $45. As for it shutting down, no, there's no messages or BSoDs. It just immediately turns off during games and restarts shortly after as if someone had pulled the plug.
  3. Missed that you handed it over to the tech, if replacing the motherboard doesnt fix it take it back and we can probably help you find out your issue.

    Do you happen to know how many fans your case had? The sudden shut down as if someone pulled the plug seems like its still a power supply issue. It might be drawing too much from the power supply or the power supply might be overheating. If your CPU overheats it would give you a message at the next start up, but PSUs have no way to convey error information so if it overheats or triggers the overload shutoff the system will just shut down and not yield an error message.
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