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Computer shutting down while playing games

Last response: in Components
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May 26, 2011 7:17:29 AM

While playing games, such as COD 4 or SC II, my computer will occasionally just shut off like someone pulled the power cord out. Ive seen it might be the PSU but im not sure.

My specs:
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
Crucial 4048MB PC5400 DDR2 667MHz Memory
Ultra LS600 Lifetime Series 600W Power Supply
Nvidia 9800 GT

my temps are:

gpu: 62
cpu: 42

PSU ratings:

3.3V - 2.93V
5V - 4.95V
12V- 12.10V
+5V - 4.89V
CPU VCore - 1.41V
VIN1 - 1.23V
a b ) Power supply
May 26, 2011 7:22:24 AM

so have you run furmark to stress test your pc?
And have you run prime?
And how long have you been using this pc?
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May 26, 2011 8:34:02 AM

Your temperatures seem within the correct range, although you don't specify whether they're taken when the PC is idling or under load. I think you're correct in assuming it's the PSU...the ironically-named 'Lifetime Series' is from a company that makes cheaper PSUs, and judging by your spec you've had this since about 2008ish? If you can, try swapping out the PSU and seeing if you have the same issues.

In fact, if this issue is an intermittent one, before doing anything run Prime95 and/or Furmark and record how long it takes for the PC to turn itself off. Then, with the new PSU, run the tests again. Should indicate reasonably quickly if the PSU change has rectified the issue.
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a b ) Power supply
May 26, 2011 9:29:15 AM

Probably a dodgy PSU brand... Although if those are your idle temperatures, I'd be a bit concerned. Can you measure temperature under load conditions?
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a b ) Power supply
May 26, 2011 9:36:18 AM

My first thought would again be PSU.
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a b ) Power supply
May 26, 2011 9:57:36 AM

mi1ez said:
My first thought would again be PSU.


Whaddup! Not seen you around for a while.
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a c 126 ) Power supply
May 26, 2011 10:06:02 AM

Another vote for the PSU, although your system doesn't load it much. Check also for bad capacitors on the mobo. Finally, 62C seems a little high for a GPU IDLE temp; that's fine for under load, but if that's at idle, check the load temps. That would be a separate problem though, as an overheating GPU tends to artifact or crash, not cause a power-off behavior.
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May 26, 2011 10:11:56 AM

Whilst I'd agree with you that on paper the system wouldn't load the PSU much, check out the article below (done by Tom's, no less). The up-shot is that cheaper PSUs may not perform as expected from the specs. Even if the OP's 600W PSU did perform as per the spec when it was new, after several years of use it may have degraded to the point it's causing this issue.

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/low-cost-psu-pc-power-supply,review-32182.html
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a c 126 ) Power supply
May 26, 2011 10:19:16 AM

Despite adding (and describing) some very nice test equipment, Tom's is not [yet] a good source for in-depth information on PSUs. HardOCP, Jonnyguru, and especially HardwareSecrets perform the best competent technical reviews, including the waveform analyses that make that very point. If capacitors have failed in the PSU, the voltages under any kind of load might be all over the place.
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a b ) Power supply
May 26, 2011 10:24:14 AM

check the temps at load, not idle. The CPU overheating or PSU failing are the only 2 things that should cause a hard power off. Its an Ultra PSU, they are known to be made from poor quality parts. Probably has dried up leaking capacitors.
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May 26, 2011 10:24:40 AM

I didn't know that about Tom's...thanks for the info! :) 
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a b ) Power supply
May 26, 2011 10:34:33 AM

therealzeus said:
While playing games, such as COD 4 or SC II, my computer will occasionally just shut off like someone pulled the power cord out. Ive seen it might be the PSU but im not sure.

My specs:
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
Crucial 4048MB PC5400 DDR2 667MHz Memory
Ultra LS600 Lifetime Series 600W Power Supply
Nvidia 9800 GT

my temps are:

gpu: 62
cpu: 42

PSU ratings:

3.3V - 2.93V
5V - 4.95V
12V- 12.10V
+5V - 4.89V
CPU VCore - 1.41V
VIN1 - 1.23V



Run prime95 establish the reliability of your pc for ~ 4 to 8 hours... You should get 0 failures. You can do the same for furmark.
Measure (datalog) your power (voltage/current) & Temperature using hardware monitor.

Your PSU is not one of those "Known good brand " PSU. Get an Antec, Corsair, Seasonic brand PSU.
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a b ) Power supply
May 26, 2011 11:54:39 AM

Herr_Koos said:
Whaddup! Not seen you around for a while.

We've rebuilt our entire network at work twice this year. Once after it destroyed itself, just to get everything working again. Once because it didn't seem worth rebuilding all the group policy, then upgrading everything again in the summer so we've pulled our upgrade cycle forward this year and set up the network much more sensibly for it's size.

The upshot is that I've not had a lot of spare time. All's good though.

How you doing?
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a b ) Power supply
May 26, 2011 11:59:25 AM

mi1ez said:
We've rebuilt our entire network at work twice this year. Once after it destroyed itself, just to get everything working again. Once because it didn't seem worth rebuilding all the group policy, then upgrading everything again in the summer so we've pulled our upgrade cycle forward this year and set up the network much more sensibly for it's size.

The upshot is that I've not had a lot of spare time. All's good though.

How you doing?


So you've been busy eh? Doing well thanks.
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May 26, 2011 3:54:03 PM

I'd say your temps aren't unusual then. You can always see about improving them slightly by ensuring cables are tidied away and any dust build-up is cleaned out etc. Let us know how you get on.
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May 26, 2011 4:09:10 PM

Just ran the furmark test and it lasted about 40 seconds or till the gpu hit 85 degrees celsius.
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a b ) Power supply
May 26, 2011 5:05:24 PM

CPU temps?
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May 26, 2011 8:30:49 PM

So upon examining my mobo I saw my 20 + 4 pin connector from my psu. The 20 pin part was plugged in but the 4 pin wasn't. Could this cause the problem?
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a c 126 ) Power supply
May 26, 2011 8:55:25 PM

The last pic of that PSU shows the little voltage switch that gives it away as an older, inefficient design at best, and overrated junk at worst. Age will have made the latter more likely, especially if capacitors in it are failing/have failed. A quality modern PSU has full range active PFC (no little voltage switch) and at least 80+ certification for efficiency.
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a b ) Power supply
May 27, 2011 7:36:06 AM

therealzeus said:
So upon examining my mobo I saw my 20 + 4 pin connector from my psu. The 20 pin part was plugged in but the 4 pin wasn't. Could this cause the problem?


Is the connector on the motherboard 20 pin or 24pin?
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a b ) Power supply
May 27, 2011 12:11:24 PM

therealzeus said:
So upon examining my mobo I saw my 20 + 4 pin connector from my psu. The 20 pin part was plugged in but the 4 pin wasn't. Could this cause the problem?

Absolutely. make sure everything is plugged in properly. Also those Ultra PSU's are pretty poor quality. if making sure that connector is plugged in doesnt work, just replace that psu.
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May 27, 2011 11:56:28 PM

well, its been 2 days and since i plugged in the 4 pin connector I have not had a shut down! Thanks for all the suggestions
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