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PC Shuts down while playing games

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June 9, 2011 12:39:30 AM

Hello,
I've posted on these forums before with the same problem. I'd just like to get more feedback before I start to sink more money into this pile of silicon.

Background:
I have a PC that was originally built by CyberPower PC back in the fall of 2008. The PC had some issues with the motherboard in the spring of 2008, so I ended up RMA-ing the original mobo and this appeared to solve the issue.

This past Christmas I received a new graphics card, a GTX 470, which I thought would significantly upgrade my computer. If I would have known all the trouble that was to follow, I never would have bothered with the GPU upgrade.

So, I replace my dual 8800 GTS 320MB Superclocked graphics cards with my new GTX 470. Go to power up the system, nothing happens. 3 days on hold with ASUS later, I have to RMA my motherboard. A month goes by before I get a motherboard back.

Unfortunately, they didn't have any of my original motherboard so they sent me a different replacement. Hook my system all back up, and the RMA board is DOA. Have to RMA it again. Only takes 3 weeks to get the next motherboard this time, which works.

Description of Problem:
So my PC finally boots up. After having been without a computer for almost 3 months, the first thing I want to do is play a game. So I load up Mass Effect 2 and I'm enjoying the opening intro video until....my PC shuts down. No blue screen, no warning, just total shut down. I can play some games for longer. Crysis lasts about 10-15 minutes before my computer shuts down. Shogun 2 ran for about 20 minutes.

Previously, I had thought overheating to be the cause of my issue. I tried multiple things to attempt to reduce temperatures:
-Additional fans
-moving the GTX 470 down to the bottom slot
-Arctic Silver Thermal Paste
-re-seating the crappy Intel heatsink
-purchasing 2 different after market heatsinks

After all that, my temps idle at about 44-51C and under high load (Prime95, games) top out at 63-67C.

I don't believe these temps are high enough to cause my computer to shut down.

Current System Specs:
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium, 64-bit
CPU: Core2 Quad Q9550 @2.83gHz, slightly undervolted
Heatsink/Fan: MASSCOOL 8W501B1M3G 90mm Ball CPU Cooler
MOBO: ASUS P5N72-T Premium
RAM: 4gb DDR2 800, generic
GPU: EVGA GTX 470, Superclocked
HDD: 500gb Hitachi
PSU: Generic 700W (Has a sticker that says Kingwin, but no specs on the label)

My current theory is the PSU is the culprit, but I honestly have no idea. Sorry to have such a long description, if you need any clarification please let me know.

And thank you in advance for all of your help!

More about : shuts playing games

June 9, 2011 12:41:36 AM

Event viewer has this critical error each time I power back up:

Event 41, Kernel-Power
The system has rebooted without cleanly shutting down first. This error could be caused if the system stopped responding, crashed, or lost power unexpectedly.
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June 9, 2011 2:57:56 AM

Could be the PSU. You should grab a quality PSU for your rig. Try Silverstone, Seasonic, XFX and Corsair. And by the way you're GTX470 needs atleast 38amp on the +12v rail.
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June 9, 2011 3:08:09 AM

Kingwin is pretty good but it might be failing. The temps your talking about on the cpu definitely wouldn't cause a shutdown. Do you have a friend that would be willing to loan you a psu so you can test?
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a c 127 à CPUs
June 9, 2011 4:53:09 AM

While the PSU could be to blame, it might be memory. I had the same issue when I built my current system. My PC would be fine but shut off during games. It turned out the issue (even after I bought a new PSU that did not solve the issue) was my memory.

Not that it was bad, the mobo set the voltage too low. Check your RAM in the BIOS and make sure the voltage is set to the spec.
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June 9, 2011 5:29:13 AM

Have you tried what happens when you run Furmark or something with OpenGL? If it crashed doing that then it isn't DirectX behaving badly.. which it sometimes does.
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June 9, 2011 11:22:47 AM

Thanks for all the tips.

Unfortunately, I don't know anyone that has a PSU powerful enough to test in my system. I think one of my Dad's friends at his work could test the PSU- I will see if he can figure out if my +12v rail has 38amps.

I do have a spare 1gb memory stick I could try running. I will test that out and see if it makes a difference.

I will admit I know next to nothing about what voltage settings my memory should be at. My RAM is generic 2gb sticks from a company called "V-Color". Never heard of them, although it does say DDR2 800. Any idea what the proper settings should be?
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June 9, 2011 12:04:30 PM

There might be a number on one of the sticks themselves, that way you can look it up. In some cases the voltage and timings is on the ram in the form of a small sticker. You could always call tech support and ask as a last resort. Most ddr2 ram will run fine with 1.8 volts and 6-6-6-18 timings @ 800mhz if you feel like guessing.
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June 10, 2011 12:52:28 AM

Thanks, I'm off all day tomorrow so I will be testing a lot of different things to see if I can't narrow it down at all.
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June 10, 2011 2:29:41 PM

RAM itself doesn't have memory timings, but a quick google search for the model number turns up the following information:

V-Color Part number TD2G16C6-S6 PC2-6400
Description DDR2 -800MHz 2GB CL5 U-DIMM
Speed PC2-6400
Capacity 2GB
IC configue 128M*8
Registered/Unbuffered Unbuffered
Ecc/Non-Ecc Non-ECC
Pin No. 240 Pin DIMM
Power Supply JEDEC standard 1.8V ± 0.1V Power supply
RoHS compliant YES
Cas Latency 6-6-6

So at least I have the first 3 numbers, will guess at 18 for my first go around and use 1.8V.
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June 10, 2011 4:20:25 PM

Ok, well I tested my memory at 6-6-6-18 and at first I thought it was going to work. I had Crysis running on Very High for about 25 minutes and just as I was thinking "Hey, it worked!" my computer shut down.

One of the most puzzling aspects of this problem to me is that if it was the PSU, wouldn't the computer shut down right away once my GPU is running at full speed?

Or would the PSU be able to "hold its own" for a little bit before realizing it can't keep up and then shut the system down?
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June 10, 2011 4:46:32 PM

skurvy5 said:
One of the most puzzling aspects of this problem to me is that if it was the PSU, wouldn't the computer shut down right away once my GPU is running at full speed?

Or would the PSU be able to "hold its own" for a little bit before realizing it can't keep up and then shut the system down?


Things change as the electronics in the box heat up and that's why it might take a while for problems to occur. I'd still run a GPU stress test which didn't use DirectX with a CPU stress test to see if you can get the same restart problem.
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June 10, 2011 7:27:52 PM

How many times should I run Furmark? It passed when I ran it once.

Prime95 won't make my computer shutdown.
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June 10, 2011 8:13:15 PM

I ran the burn-in test for 45 minutes. Nothing happened.
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June 11, 2011 1:09:37 AM

Did you run both Furmark and Prime95 at the same time? I'd run it for longer than 45 minutes...

I had a P5QL-VM that had a similar problem that you described. I ended up getting a new board, that fixed the problem. Never figured out if it was a driver issue or a failing capacitor or what.
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June 11, 2011 12:55:27 PM

Oh, run them both? Ok- I am gone this weekend but will try to run both Furmark and Prime95 at the same time and see what happens. I really hope its not a motherboard problem. That would bite.

But hey, maybe it would convince my wife to let me upgrade to a new sandy bridge cpu!
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June 11, 2011 1:32:40 PM

Alright, I had some time before leaving today to run both Prime95 and Furmark at the same time. Guess what? It lasted 20 minutes and then my computer shut down, just like I was playing a game.

Does this finding help clarify anything?
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a b à CPUs
June 11, 2011 11:43:00 PM

Looks like it's time for a new power source.
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June 22, 2011 2:14:27 AM

Update: I've ordered a new 900W PSU, should be here tomorrow. I really hope this fixes the problem.
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June 29, 2011 12:36:36 AM

Looks like the new PSU solved my problem. Hurrah! A fully functioning PC...for the first time in a couple of years!


Amazing! Thanks everyone!
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June 29, 2011 12:36:58 AM

Best answer selected by skurvy5.
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May 30, 2013 1:41:26 PM

jimmysmitty said:
While the PSU could be to blame, it might be memory. I had the same issue when I built my current system. My PC would be fine but shut off during games. It turned out the issue (even after I bought a new PSU that did not solve the issue) was my memory.

Not that it was bad, the mobo set the voltage too low. Check your RAM in the BIOS and make sure the voltage is set to the spec.


I had the same problem with the guy in this discussion. I replaced the PSU and same is happening. Do you think it is the RAM?
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