I have just bought a new monitor and something strange just happened: I was trying out Starcraft II at 1920*1080 and while playing the game and the PC suddenly rebooted. During the reboot a screen informed me that the PC had shut down to prevent damage related to power surges and gave me the option to go into the BIOS which I did.
However after a few seconds of being in the BIOS the PC rebooted again on it's own but wouldn't get to windows, it would just stay at a black screen; this got me pretty worried so I shut her down and unplugged it for a while. The PC tower felt hot, but not much hotter than it's ever been so I checked out my power supply: it can go to 650W and I got it at the same time as my video card (GTX460) and according to what I know (which isn't much) 650W should be fine. It's true that there is a lot of dust in that corner of my apartment but the inside is sealed and looked fine when I too a peek.
So from the sound of it my PC didn't take too kindly to the higher resolution (I used to run 1440*990 or something close to that) and I'm not feeling too confident about playing games until I get a better grasp of what happened!
Anyone have any suggestions as to what to look into to make sure this doesn't happen again? I've had power supply problems a long time ago and I'd rather not have to go through that with Deus Ex 3 being just around the corner!
^+1. A quality 400W-450W PSU should be enough for that rig. Look for a new PSU with full range active PFC (NO little voltage switch) and some level of 80+ certification for efficiency. Seasonic, Antec, Corsair, XFX, and Enermax/LEPA are among the better brands.
I stay with either PC Power & Cooling or Seasonic. Both have long term reliability records and I would STAY away from multi-rail 12v power supplies. They can put limits on the most demanded power draws the computer may ask for. It only adds to long term use of the supply unless you start off buying one that is way beyond your current power demands. If you like to replace power supplies a lot then go for the split rail types but really for long term game systems they just don't cut it.
My most bought power supply has been PC Power because they have a better design for airflow. Those top mounted fans don't supply a turbulant free air flow like the ones that mount the fans on the back which flows though and out the back and PC Powers heatsinks are very well designed for good airflow and cooling even if it adds a bit more noise if you put heavy demands on them. But there are a lot of other good ones out and it looks like you should have done some homework before picking the brand you did but oh well, it's a learning experience that everyone goes through.
I'm still using a PC Power 500W that I bought 7 years ago and it has very stable voltage measurements and has a very fast current supply so it rarely has any voltage drops when huge demands are asked for on it.
This sounds like what is going on with your power supply. It sounds like when loaded your voltage will drop causing instability but it's just guessing.
Out of it all, of any computer part your going to take seriously make it the power supply because cheap ones or bad ones can cause the hardest problems to troubleshoot and so don't skimp in this area above all others. Get a very high quality one and you will have a more trouble free system as a whole.
I'd never consider spending less than 100.00 on one because if they are cheap there is a very good reason for this. They use substandard parts and take shortcuts and all you end up with is a lot of trouble and wasted money. If you also are the type to do a lot of upgrades, add harddrives and faster video cards when they are made availible then def. get one that can supply it and you will have a power supply you will rarely ever have to replace. I got sick of that a long time ago and it's why I went with PC Power a long time ago. It's survived many many upgrades of video cards, harddrives and CPU/motherboard upgrades. You might also try to plan ahead if you think you may go either SLI or Crossfire getting a good enough one now to handle it if you ever go that way in the future. I'd look at min. 750W or in the 800Watt range. Because video cards are constantly being more and more demanding on computers as is using a few harddrives in RAID setups. At least you can do it if you plan ahead. Go with Silver or Gold rated ones as well. You will spend a bit now but save a whole lot down the road if you buy right the first time. Good luck..