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Weird system issue, need some ideas

Last response: in Systems
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November 7, 2010 1:07:10 AM

I have a system I built myself, not my first one. Its been running fine for almost 2 years, then last week I developed a weird issue I cannot peg down. The best way I can describe this is that something, no clue what, causes the computer to go into a state where everything is on, but I cannot see anything on the screens, almost like the computer is asleep but won't wake up.

I'll list the hardware below, but the OS is Win7 64-bit. I already turned off all the hibernate and sleep crap, including turning hard drives off. I am thinking its a power issue, but I dunno. I bought an Antec Digital PSU tester, and it for my +12V2 it says "LL". Looking at the manual that tells me it is putting out less power than it is supposed to, and LL - "Low Level". I have two video cards and tested them both. My big 260 seems to never work, my smaller 240 works more often, but occasionally I still get into this weird sleep state.

The only way to recover after I hit this state is to hard reboot. I tried the windows keys to shutdown, and nothing happens, so that makes me think the hard drives are not spinning. The HD light is not active, and the DVD drive will not open either. More things that make me think its the PSU. My problem with that is that the computer boots just fine. Wouldn't boot time be the most load on the PSU?

Any help would be awesome. My current plan is to move up to a Corsair 1000 PSU. I'm also thinking of a new case for some more room and airflow, but that probably won't directly affect this issue.

The issue seems to happen when I do something like start a game, most commonly with EVE Online. Sometimes this happens when it goes into the screensaver, which is the 3D Text thing.

I thought it was maybe a heat issue, but the CPU temps are 48 celsius. If I load a graphics test like Furmark, running on only my GTX 240, the GPU temps get up there 84 celsius, but the CPU never gets past 50, and the computer does not go into this "sleep" thing.

Hardware Specs:

Case: Antec P182

MOBO: EVGA X58 SLI

CPU: Intel Core i7 920 - no overclocking

PSU: Antec NeoPower 650W Modular

RAM: 6GB OCZ Gold DDR3 1600

Hard Drives: 1x WD Velicoraptor 150 GB 10k RPM SATA
2x WD Caviar Black 500 GB 7200 RPM SATA
2x WD Caviar Black 1TB GB 7200 RPM SATA

DVD Drive: LG 22x DVD Burner SATA

Video Cards: EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Superclocked 896 MB
EVGA GeForce GTC 240

Thanks for anyone with some ideas. I've spent hours looking into this, and I am out of ideas myself. I've never had an issue quite like this, unless it was Windows hibernate or sleep mode causing it.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 7, 2010 1:23:30 AM

It really sounds like the power supply to me! I've had a few go on me, and it's never the same really - and one that went on me a year or so ago would sometimes give me black screen freezes sort of like that.

You can test your memory as well just in case, or try just running each video card separately just to make sure, but yeah, looks like PSU to me. You're pulling a fair bit of power under load too - 5 HDs, 2 GPUs, an i7 and a few fans - and it does tax a PSU more to push more juice through it all the time...
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November 7, 2010 3:14:37 PM

Thanks for the help. I did run a memory test using the Win7 tester, and everything came out ok. I also only have on card in the machine right now, the 260 is out entirely and is getting replaced most likely anyways. I guess I'll buy a new PSU, just debating on how big to go. Somewhere between 800-1000 is what I am thinking. My feeling is, might as well buy the 1000 and not need all of it right now, in case I want to to add more later on.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 7, 2010 4:37:30 PM

1000 is a little bit overkill perhaps, unless you plan on running a couple of GTX 480s or something like that. 800 would be plenty - most of the newer batch of cards use less power anyway (GTX 460, Radeons).
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a c 122 B Homebuilt system
November 9, 2010 12:55:12 PM

Corey_Tess said:

Wouldn't boot time be the most load on the PSU?

No. You are only using one CPU core and your GPU is loafing along in 2D mode.
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