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Problem with computer shutting down at random when gaming

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July 23, 2010 9:36:14 AM

Ok guys, Ive had big problems with my computer for over a year now and am desperate for help!

I bought a package och parts which i assembled myself, and am using Win 7 x64 pro as an OS. My problem is that the computer tends to shut down and reebot when I play games such as Mass effect 1 & 2, Modern warfare 2, Sacred 2 etc. There is no error message; I have removed the auto-reboot: still nothing, the screen is just black. The only new game that seem to work is Dragon age.

My computer consists of the following:

ANTEC MIDITOWER SONATA III 500 ATX BLACK 500W
SAMSUNG SPINPOINT F1 1TB SATA/300 7200RPM 32MB
AMD PHENOM X4 9950 BE 2.6GHZ SOCKET AM2+ BOX
XFX RADEON HD4850 XXX 512MB DDR3 PCI-E DVI
ASUS M4A78-E 790GX AM2+ ATX
CORSAIR 4GB DDR2 XMS2 PC6400 800MHZ (2X2GB) 569,12
SAMSUNG DVD±R/RW/RAM DL 22X SATA LS BULK

What I have done:

Uppdated all bios, both Mobo, and graphic card.

I experienced bigger problems at first, and managed to switch the DDR2 memories to a new, pair, which solved the random crashes and blue screens I was experiencing initially. (reported to the store and got them switched)

Changed Graphic card. (reported to the store and got it switched)

Manually turned up graphic card fan to 80%.

I have started to suspect that the Mobo gets overheated, and have used asus probe to monitor the temperature, which seems to be around 40C when idle, and 50C+ when playing games. I dont really know how to interpret this information.

The store has offered my to send them my Mobo, but I dont want to do it and be without a computer for 3 weeks when im not even sure that the Mobo is the problem.


I am not that great with computers and would really appreciate some help.




a b B Homebuilt system
July 23, 2010 12:58:24 PM

Whats your PSU? Its not a bundled one is it? They tend to be not very good.

Also those temps on your MB seem quite high, is the airflow alright through your case?
July 23, 2010 1:35:18 PM

It is a bundled one on 500W. I asked my store if the powersupply could be the problem but they argued that it couldnt..

Also,I dont think my case has the best airflow, however, I have tried removing it and using an external (a real) fan pointed towards the opening, with the same problem occuring.
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
July 23, 2010 1:57:01 PM

Well it could be the PSU not giving the computer enough power and as a result you get a bad crash like that. If possible, invest in a good quality PSU like a Corsair 650HX and see if the problem is solved, if so then excellent.

Its always a good idea to get good airflow through your computer, especially gaming ones. Fans in the front should be taking air into the case, and rear ones blowing air out.
July 23, 2010 2:23:46 PM

How do the crashes occur? When the computer crashes, if you turn it back on and immediately start gaming again does it crash sooner? That could mean its a heat problem. I agree with Griffolion, it could be the PSU. I have a 1200W PSU and dont even need half of it really but its nice to know that when I upgrade comps i can still use the same PSU. Also, check your RAM timings in BIOS to see if you really are getting that full 800MHz. I had some Corsair Dominator DDR2 @ 1066 (at least thats what the box said) and it was really running at 600MHz. I needed to overclock that. Some BIOS throttle the FSB and RAM speeds to make the system more stable for casual users.
July 23, 2010 3:01:35 PM

No, actually I just tried it and the crash does not occur sooner. I just cleaned my computer from dust, and the heat does not seem to exceed 50C now even when playing (trying out with chasi of). The Northbridge burns on touch though. One thing I didnt mentioned is that I can still hear sound before the computer reboots: the game music is still on. I guess that this a sign that the power is to weak to keep everything running. Or is the hot northbridge a sign of overheating?
July 23, 2010 4:13:24 PM

Well 50C is 122F. My GPU runs at around 60C which is 140F. Most anything you touch in your computer is going to be VERY hot to the touch. On that note you shouldn't touch the NB. Touching copper in your computer reduces its conductiveness. Back to your computer, heat doesnt seem to be the issue or else your computer wouldnt run as long the second session. What I can say is that your RAM is inapproriate for the system youre using. DDR2@800 that isnt overclocked more than likely wont be able to keep up with your other hardware. If your RAM has a heatsink then you should try adjusting the speeds in the BIOS. Your Mobo supports up to 1066. I assume you're maxxing these games. Its overloading your RAM I think. I had the same issue last week, all I did was boost my RAM speeds to 1066 (I use DDR2 as well) and my computer stopped crashing.
July 24, 2010 9:32:10 AM

Thank all of you guys for replying! I am about to try to overclock my Ram, but Im not really sure how.. And how do I know if my ram has a heatsink or not?
July 24, 2010 10:51:16 AM

OK so that setting did not work haha, my computer would not start and I had to go back to default. I know playing around in Bios is dangerous so if any of you guys could tell me how..

I have been browsing around looking for info, and downloaded cpu-z and got the following info about my ram:

http://img191.imageshack.us/i/97062781.png/

Something else I should look at?

Thank you once more for helping me out guys :) 
a b B Homebuilt system
July 24, 2010 12:50:39 PM

Typically power supply or CPU over heating.

fridm said:
Ok guys, Ive had big problems with my computer for over a year now and am desperate for help!

I bought a package och parts which i assembled myself, and am using Win 7 x64 pro as an OS. My problem is that the computer tends to shut down and reebot when I play games such as Mass effect 1 & 2, Modern warfare 2, Sacred 2 etc. There is no error message; I have removed the auto-reboot: still nothing, the screen is just black. The only new game that seem to work is Dragon age.

My computer consists of the following:

ANTEC MIDITOWER SONATA III 500 ATX BLACK 500W
SAMSUNG SPINPOINT F1 1TB SATA/300 7200RPM 32MB
AMD PHENOM X4 9950 BE 2.6GHZ SOCKET AM2+ BOX
XFX RADEON HD4850 XXX 512MB DDR3 PCI-E DVI
ASUS M4A78-E 790GX AM2+ ATX
CORSAIR 4GB DDR2 XMS2 PC6400 800MHZ (2X2GB) 569,12
SAMSUNG DVD±R/RW/RAM DL 22X SATA LS BULK

What I have done:

Uppdated all bios, both Mobo, and graphic card.

I experienced bigger problems at first, and managed to switch the DDR2 memories to a new, pair, which solved the random crashes and blue screens I was experiencing initially. (reported to the store and got them switched)

Changed Graphic card. (reported to the store and got it switched)

Manually turned up graphic card fan to 80%.

I have started to suspect that the Mobo gets overheated, and have used asus probe to monitor the temperature, which seems to be around 40C when idle, and 50C+ when playing games. I dont really know how to interpret this information.

The store has offered my to send them my Mobo, but I dont want to do it and be without a computer for 3 weeks when im not even sure that the Mobo is the problem.


I am not that great with computers and would really appreciate some help.

July 24, 2010 2:30:48 PM

xxsk8er101xx said:
Typically power supply or CPU over heating.


Thank you for your input. Because of the stuff ive tried, I doubt its overheating. I mean the problem does occur even though my chassi is of, a big external fan is blowing through and probe shows no more than 40c on my cpu. Also, it doesnt happen again faster just because it just happended -which should be the case if the components are to hot.

I guess the power supply can be bad though. Is there any way o try that without purchasing new eqiupment?:
a b B Homebuilt system
July 24, 2010 4:58:47 PM

Hmm check your GPU temperatures if you can. I'm not sure how on an ATI card. Probably in their control panel that they use.

As far as testing your power supply the only way that I know of is either purchasing a volt meter and testing the lines or buying a power supply tester.
You could also go into the BIOS and look at the voltages and see if their normal. usually under hardware monitoring. That doesn't give you the whole picture though so.

I can't tell based on this picture I'm seeing if there's a 4pin/6pin power adaptor on the video card. If there is one I would test that first. Maybe even unplugging it and plugging it back in.


fridm said:
Thank you for your input. Because of the stuff ive tried, I doubt its overheating. I mean the problem does occur even though my chassi is of, a big external fan is blowing through and probe shows no more than 40c on my cpu. Also, it doesnt happen again faster just because it just happended -which should be the case if the components are to hot.

I guess the power supply can be bad though. Is there any way o try that without purchasing new eqiupment?:

July 26, 2010 1:19:31 PM

xxsk8er101xx said:
Hmm check your GPU temperatures if you can. I'm not sure how on an ATI card. Probably in their control panel that they use.

As far as testing your power supply the only way that I know of is either purchasing a volt meter and testing the lines or buying a power supply tester.
You could also go into the BIOS and look at the voltages and see if their normal. usually under hardware monitoring. That doesn't give you the whole picture though so.

I can't tell based on this picture I'm seeing if there's a 4pin/6pin power adaptor on the video card. If there is one I would test that first. Maybe even unplugging it and plugging it back in.


Im not sure what you mean considering the power adaptor and video card, could you please elaborate?
July 26, 2010 1:21:31 PM

specter800 said:
Well 50C is 122F. My GPU runs at around 60C which is 140F. Most anything you touch in your computer is going to be VERY hot to the touch. On that note you shouldn't touch the NB. Touching copper in your computer reduces its conductiveness. Back to your computer, heat doesnt seem to be the issue or else your computer wouldnt run as long the second session. What I can say is that your RAM is inapproriate for the system youre using. DDR2@800 that isnt overclocked more than likely wont be able to keep up with your other hardware. If your RAM has a heatsink then you should try adjusting the speeds in the BIOS. Your Mobo supports up to 1066. I assume you're maxxing these games. Its overloading your RAM I think. I had the same issue last week, all I did was boost my RAM speeds to 1066 (I use DDR2 as well) and my computer stopped crashing.


I followed these instructions in order for how to overclock my ram, but my computer did not want to start when I did that, so I had to go back to deffault.. could you please tell me what I am doing wrong?
July 26, 2010 2:19:11 PM

Ok so i missed to ad what instructions I followed..

Basically I did exacly what this guy said:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fC_XLu0jCZ0

Changed frequency to 1067, and changed timing to 5-5-5-18.

But the system wont start, so I have to reset the settings.. Do you guys know what I am doing wrong. I am trying to search the net but unsuccessfully so far..
a c 122 B Homebuilt system
July 26, 2010 2:25:32 PM

You have worked through our standard checklist and troubleshooting thread:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-read-postin...
yes? I mean work through, not just read over it.

Breadboard - that will isolate any kind of case problem.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/262730-31-breadboardi...

The breadboarding thread has a paragraph about how to build and test a PC in stages.

Breadboard with just motherboard, CPU & HSF, case speaker, and PSU. You do have a case speaker installed, right? If not, you really, really need one. If your case or motherboard didn't come with a system speaker, you can buy one here:
http://www.cwc-group.com/casp.html

You can turn on the PC by momentarily shorting the two pins that the case power switch goes to.

You should hear a series of long, single beeps indicating memory problems.
Silence indicates a problem with (in most likely order) the PSU, motherboard, or CPU.

At this point, you can sort of check the PSU. Try to borrow a known good PSU. If you cannot do that, use a DMM to measure the voltages. Measure between the colored wires and either chassis ground or the black wires. Yellow wires should be 12 volts. Red wires: +5 volts, orange wires: +3.3 volts, blue wire : -12 volts, violet wire: 5 volts always on. Tolerances are +/- 5% except for the -12 volts which is +/- 10%.

The gray wire is really important. It should go from 0 to +5 volts when you turn the PSU on with the case switch. CPU needs this signal to boot.

You can turn on the PSU by completely disconnecting the PSU and using a paperclip or jumper wire to short the green wire to one of the neighboring black wires.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FWXgQSokF4&feature=yout...

This checks the PSU under no load conditions, so it is not completely reliable. But if
it can not pass this, it is dead. Then repeat the checks with the PSU plugged into the computer to put a load on the PSU.

If it looks like the PSU is good, install a memory stick. Boot. Beep pattern should change to one long and several short beeps indicating a missing graphics card. Silence or long single beeps indicate a problem with the memory.

Insert the video card and connect any necessary PCIe power connectors. Boot. At this point, the system should POST successfully (a single short beep). Notice that you do not need keyboard, mouse, monitor, or drives to successfully POST.

Now start connecting the rest of the devices starting with the monitor, then keyboard and mouse, then the rest of the devices, testing after each step.
!