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[SOLVED] Computer works "better" horizontal than vertical

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  • CPUs
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May 18, 2011 9:26:00 PM

Hello Tom's members

CPU - Core i5-2500k (not OC yet)
CPU cooler - CM 212+
RAM - 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1333
Mobo - MSI P67A-GD55 (B3)
Video card - Visiontek 6950 2GB
PSU - Corsair HX750
HDD - Seagate Barracuda 1TB
DVD R/W - Lite-on ihas424-98
Case - NZXT Guardian 921

I built my computer a couple months ago (January) but the mobo was bad and only allowed me to use it for 2 weeks. B3 stepping mobo arrived just a couple weeks ago and since then the computer behaves weird as hell.

On non-game use, it works flawlessly. Once a game starts it goes randomly off (or so it seems).
The games I've tried so far are wow, alpha protocol, mass effect 2, dog fighter, devil may cry 4, the witcher and last remnant.

This is what happens: while playing through any game the computer will randomly shut down. If the computer is vertical (as intended) it will attempt to reboot once and die, won't turn back on until after I've waited for about half an hour.
If the computer is horizontal, the reboot will go through POST, a bit into restarting windows and reboot again. Again, to turn it back on I have to wait for about 15 minutes.

I've ran a prime95 test for 12 hours with the computer on horizontal position without any issue (haven't tried vertical, but doesn't make sense to me).

I've also tested the memory with mdsched and it didn't report any issue either.

I've reseated all of the computer components and still have the same issue.

I'm starting to suspect some issue with the PSU but I'm not really sure. Is there any way to test it and make sure the PSU is to blame? Or am I asking too much out of the PSU (don't think so, though)?

More about : solved computer works horizontal vertical

a b B Homebuilt system
a c 231 à CPUs
May 18, 2011 9:28:36 PM

Are your temps the same when its horizontal and vertical? One of the biggest differences is that the CPU cooler has gravity helping it make better contact when horizontal, when its vertical its inclined to tilt away which could lead to overheating if its not mounted properly.
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May 18, 2011 10:22:59 PM

I haven't monitored the temps, actually.
Good call, I'll try it tonight when I get home.
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May 19, 2011 4:59:35 AM

yeah, use core-temp to make sure the full load temps are good while prime 95 is running after a good 10-15 mins.. but if prime 95 was running for 12 hrs i dont think its temperature.. otherwise the next thing to test is the power supply (running a game makes the video card use more power) .. so to test that theory, use something like Furmark to stress the video card and put the GPU on full load while still having the desktop visible.. if the computer reboots, its probably GPU/PSU related... check GPU temperatures on full load.. (furmark will tell you the temps). I'm not familiar with vision tek as ive never owned one so i dont know how their quality is.. but the only way to truly weed out the psu (without a tester) and the gpu.. is to try a different 3d accelerator and run the game and see how it behaves. Alot of the non reference 6950's have had some trouble though i've heard, stories of sparks flying out the exhaust port of the cards.. etc .. did you try the 2nd PCI-E slot on your motherboard?
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May 19, 2011 5:51:07 AM

well... I've been taking a look at temperatures now...

while not playing the cpu remained around 30C, and while playing it raised up to around 40C (give and take 2C for each)

the video card raised up to 75C while playing and then went down to 65C.... then the computer shut down

I also made a small adjustment to the cpu cooler... wasn't able to make it a lot tighter

as far as my experience goes, I had a Visiontek radeon 4870 512MB for 2+ years and never gave a single hicup... then again, it's the only card I've owned so it gave me a great first impression

the video card is sitting on he second PCI-E slot because it won't fit on the first one... the DVD cage is on the way... I need to get a saw or something to cut it down a bit so that the card will fit

I'll test furmark tonight and see how it behaves
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May 19, 2011 6:12:47 AM

Wow thats a big card if it wont fit in a nzxt guardian

im currently running two ati 5770s in crossfire with an antec 650 watt psu without any troubles.. so im sure your psu is rated to have more then enough power for a single 6950 , and i hear corsair psu's are excellent quality. I'm curious did you buy the visiontek 6950 from bestbuy? If so you may be able to return it for a different one to try - or did it really come from amazon like the link says in your first post?
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a b à CPUs
May 19, 2011 6:38:30 AM

hunter315 said:
Are your temps the same when its horizontal and vertical? One of the biggest differences is that the CPU cooler has gravity helping it make better contact when horizontal, when its vertical its inclined to tilt away which could lead to overheating if its not mounted properly.


Almost... I was thinking this too. Its not gravity, but the simple fact that hot air rises that means a horizontal orientation will naturally aid cooling, assuming the hot air doesn't get trapped in the case.

However, running prime stable for 12 hours leads me to believe it isn't the cpu, but maybe the graphics card, or even ram or PSU.

As said, 1st thing is monitor and record your temps carefully.
Manually set your gfx card fan to 100%
Unplug all unneeded drives etc
And maybe isolate a single stick of ram

Unfortunately at the end of the day any single component can cause erratic behaviour. We start at the most obvious, but you just need to isolate 1 part at a time and keep testing the system until you replace something and it starts working fine.You may end up having to test a new mobo before this is all done.
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May 19, 2011 2:40:10 PM

kd0frg said:
Wow thats a big card if it wont fit in a nzxt guardian

im currently running two ati 5770s in crossfire with an antec 650 watt psu without any troubles.. so im sure your psu is rated to have more then enough power for a single 6950 , and i hear corsair psu's are excellent quality. I'm curious did you buy the visiontek 6950 from bestbuy? If so you may be able to return it for a different one to try - or did it really come from amazon like the link says in your first post?


I got all parts from amazon... no other place takes international credit cards that I know of (they may ship international but won't take international payment)
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a b à CPUs
May 19, 2011 3:29:48 PM

The problem could be caused by the graphics card being installed in the second PCIe slot. Theoretically it should work fine, but some quirk in the board may result in problems like the one you're having.

Do you still have the 4870? If so, try it (in the second slot) and see if you have problems.
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May 22, 2011 7:20:57 PM

I tried using an old nvidia 7800 GTX that a friend was able to lend me... the computer still shut down in the middle of nothing important (watching a movie)

Then the thing went from bad to worse... it wouldn't even turn on

Took the computer to a friend's place and tried it there... no power at all

Swapped PSUs with his computer (he has a corsair 750TX) and presto! The computer turned on... I even was able to run a 12 hour furmark... at that point I was already sure it wasn't the mobo nor the v-card but if I was already there the test couldn't hurt

I'll check it out with corsair and amazon and see what can be done... I don't live in the US and the RMA process is painful for me if I have to go to the US twice

Thanks a lot for your help, guys!
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May 26, 2011 3:26:23 PM

Best answer selected by triculious.
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