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New Build - Power cuts-out whenever I try to play a game.

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August 7, 2011 1:26:26 PM

Hey guys,

This is my first post here on Tom's Hardware. As the thread title suggests, I have just built a new gaming rig and when I try to play games the system cuts-out completely...

It first happened when I went to run the Benchmark on GTA IV, I select my settings (most are set to optimal) and then it heads to the loading screen. As soon as the game loads you see what looks like the first frame or so of the benchmark and then the system just cuts out. The first time it did this the system was still running but totally unresponsive and I powered it off manually but when I re-booted and tried it the second time it instantly cut-out and wouldn't turn back on until I turned off the PSU and re-inserted the kettle plug.

I started to wonder if it was my card not fully supporting GTA IV so I tried it with the early copy of Deus Ex: Human Revolution in DX10 that has been floating around the torrent sites for a couple of months (I know, I'm sorry!) and you can watch the first cutscene and then as soon as it comes time for the engine to load the actual game it instantly restarts my system and goes to the motherboard splash screen, This also happened the second time I tried it.

I've tried both games on my old system and they work flawlessly so I know it's not the games themselves, but I don't want to try with any more games as I don't want to damage my system but I'd imagine it'll do the same thing with whatever I put into it. I don't think it's anything to do with overheating because my case is running really cool and It happens on que everytime and the graphics card worked fine on my old rig last week when I was playing the Battlefield 3 alpha and DiRT 3.

Here's what I'm running:

ASUS M5A99X EVO
AMD PHENOM II 1100T (BLACK EDITION) @3.3GHZ
ARCTIC COOLING FREEZER 13 TI
G.SKILL RIPJAWS-X 8GB (2x4GB)
MSI GeForce GTX 560TI Twin FrozR II/SOC 1024MB GDDR5 PCIe
800W Novatech PSU (Link)
Windows 7 Ultimate

If anyone has any ideas what the problem might be I'd greatly appreciate your help! Thankyou! :) 
August 7, 2011 8:46:13 PM

Hello Blackout Guy;

What PSU do you have on the old system? You might want to try that PSU with the new parts.
The OK on idle but shut down with gaming kinda hints at a PSU problem.
August 7, 2011 8:59:18 PM

Huh... so it sounds like whenever the GPU is kicked into 3D (full power) mode, the whole system cuts out.

If I'm right, a GPU issue would either cause BSOD'ing, or artifacting - not a total failure. Like WR2 said, it sounds like a PSU problem... whenever the GPU starts to draw full power, it's too much for the PSU to put out. I know you're thinking that you have an 800w PSU, but the price listed on your link is very, very cheap for that 'much' power. I'd be willing to bet that it can't put out anywhere near that much under load, and failures on these cheap PSUs are relatively common. I'd definitely start testing there.
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August 7, 2011 9:04:17 PM

Hi WR2,

My old system had a 400W power supply but since i've built an entirely new system with totally new parts the only PSU i've used is the one in the link, apparently the card alone needs 500w to boot so I can't see the 400w PSU working with this one...

I also just tried what I read in another thread about some 560's being overclocked incorrectly so I turned the clock speed down to 850Mhz from 950 using MSI Afterburner and the memory clock to 2300 like one poster suggested and still no luck...

The PSU should be more than capable with that kind of load i'd have thought, what do you think the problem could be? Thanks! :) 
August 7, 2011 9:07:12 PM

The card itself won't need anything like 500W. That's the recommended PSU for the ENTIRE system.
Your old 400W PSU might be better than your new '800W' model.
PSUs are not all made equally.

You could try using different PCI-e power connectors to see if one of those might be bad.
August 7, 2011 9:07:49 PM

What is that 400W PSU?
August 7, 2011 9:10:15 PM

someguynamedmatt said:
Huh... so it sounds like whenever the GPU is kicked into 3D (full power) mode, the whole system cuts out.

If I'm right, a GPU issue would either cause BSOD'ing, or artifacting - not a total failure. Like WR2 said, it sounds like a PSU problem... whenever the GPU starts to draw full power, it's too much for the PSU to put out. I know you're thinking that you have an 800w PSU, but the price listed on your link is very, very cheap for that 'much' power. I'd be willing to bet that it can't put out anywhere near that much under load, and failures on these cheap PSUs are relatively common. I'd definitely start testing there.


Hey someguynamedmatt,

If the PSU is the problem, would a 800W PSU from a better, well-known manufacturer such as this Corsair Gaming Series GS800 be able to do the job?

Thankyou again... :) 
August 7, 2011 9:14:28 PM

WR2 said:
What is that 400W PSU?


It was an old cheapo 400W from a 5 year-old Packard Bell machine that I had... I got rid of it about 2 weeks ago because the motherboard had died and replacing it would've cost more than the machine was probibly worth! :D 

Sadly, I've not got it on hand to test it out...
August 7, 2011 9:19:10 PM

Please see the PSU guide linked in my sig.
Just because the seller promotes their PSU as 700W does not mean it can produce that power, or any specific range of power. There is no governmental or industry regulation of this, except for the voluntary 80Plus program.

A single overclocked 560ti will pull about 175W from the PSU while gaming. That will be all 12V amps... we'll say 15A. It will pull up to 230W under certain conditions.
Ref: http://forums.atomicmpc.com.au/index.php?showtopic=264

A good 400W would probably handle the whole load, for testing purposes, but it would have to be a good one.

There is no indication I can find that the Novatech PSU is other than junk.
August 7, 2011 9:27:00 PM

Not likely you'd want to use that PB PSU to test anyway.
If you'd have had a known good 400W PSU on hand I would have suggested you trying that out.


Any of these 3 PSUs would be more than adequate for a single GTX 560Ti system.

Are you planning on adding a 2nd graphics card?
August 7, 2011 11:04:57 PM

I don't think I'll be adding another to be honest...

I'm happy with the system I've got! ;)  I just wish it would work... Do you think the CORSAIR GS700 would be ok then? Should I go out and get one tomorrow?
August 7, 2011 11:08:33 PM

Even the GS600 should be plenty of power for that system. Still a lot of headroom for a next gen GPU that needs even more power.
The GTX 580 only needs a good 600W PSU.
August 8, 2011 12:58:53 PM

Thanks so much for your advice guys! I have just ordered the Antec HCG-620 that you recomended Proximon, it should be here by tomorrow morning so I'll post back when it's installed and let you know how I'm getting on with it...
August 9, 2011 1:06:01 PM

Good news! I recieved my Antec this morning and I've just finnished installing it...

Not only can I play GTA IV now, I've just been running DiRT 3 in DirectX 11, 1080p in Ultra on a 50'' Panasonic Viera at a solid 60fps!

Thankyou all ever so much for your advice! :) 

Jimmy
August 9, 2011 1:08:06 PM

Good news.
We wish all problems were so easy to solve.
!