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PC suddenly reboots while playing games

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December 8, 2011 6:44:57 PM

Hi,

I know this question has been asked a lot around forums, but I've read most of the threads through, and I still haven't found the solution. Basically, my computer reboots after playing between 15 minutes and 2.5 hours of any graphically intensive game. This has happened to me with Skyrim, CoD MW3, The Witcher 2, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution, so I assume it also happens on the other ones. Here are my full system specs:

MB: Asus P6TD Deluxe
CPU: QuadCore Intel Core i7-950, 3066 MHz (23 x 133)
RAM: 3 x Kingston 9905403-152.A00LF 2 GB DDR3-1333 + 3 x Corsair XMS3 CM3X2G1333C9 2 GB DDR3-1333 (Tot. 12GB)
VGA: EVGA nVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 (1536 MB)
HDD: 2 x ST3500841AS ATA Device (500 GB, 7200 RPM, SATA-II) + 2 x WDC WD10EADS-00M2B0 ATA Device (1000 GB, SATA-II) + WDC WD5000AAKS-00D2B0 ATA Device (500 GB, 7200 RPM, SATA-II) (Tot. 3.5TB over 5 drives)
PSU: ThermalTake Toughpower 850W (4 years old)
OS: Windows 7 Professional (64 bit)
Other: Dual 23" monitor (dunno if it's important)

Most of the problems I found on other threads about this type of problem suggested that it could be either a heat problem, or a PSU problem. I don't think it's a heat problem because I've been watching the temps on all components while gaming and stress testing, and the GPU has rarely gone over 70º (gaming) or over 83º (stress testing). Also CPU has never gone over 53º, and it's the hottest of other components.

I also don't think it's a power issue because I've researched on PSU calculators and most recommend a PSU of around 600W "to be on the safe side" for my rig. So even if during its 4 years, mine has lost up to 25% of its potential, it should still hold. Right? Also, during stress testing (OCCT), the 12V rail never went below 11.65V which is within the +/-0.6V range it should have, and stayed at an average of 11.7V. Still, I'm no expert in this matter, so correct me if I'm wrong.

Anyway, I find it very strange that this happens ONLY during gaming. I've never had a single error or strange behavior during any type of test, and here are the ones I've run.

Memtest86+ (5 pass, no errors)
OCCT PSU stress (4+ hours, no errors, normal temps)
OCCT GPU stress (4+ hours, no errors, highest temps, but still normal)
Furmark GPU stress (4+ hours, no errors, low temps)
AIDA64 Extreme Edition CPU + Mem stress (1+ hour, no errors, low temps)
3DMark11 benchmark (no errors, perfect behavior)
Heaven DX11 benchmark (no errors, perfect behavior)

One thing I did a couple of days ago that I don't know if it could have something to do with this problem is that I tried a friend's graphic card on my PC for a few minutes (it was an ATI Radeon HD 4xxx). Later I uninstalled the drivers and other ATI stuff following this tutorial so I wouldn't have driver clashes or something.

This problem popped up 2 days ago, out of the blue. Everything worked fine before, and now I have this really frustrating failure :cry:  . Please, I would be extremely grateful for any help on this topic. Thank you!

PS: The PC powers down and starts again even though I disabled the "Reboot upon system crash" on Windows, and no minidumps or other memory dumps are saved, so I presume it's not a Windows crash or BSOD.

December 8, 2011 7:29:12 PM

This happened to me a few years ago. I wasn’t getting high temperature readings. It started happening while playing games and gradually got worse to the point where it was switching off while doing normal things. I replaced the PSU with a spare that my friend had and the problem went away. It was a few years old much likes yours so I can only presume that it was either a manufacturing fault or it just generally came to the end of its life.
December 8, 2011 7:56:59 PM

Yep, that's the PSU if your temps are fine. Sorry, but that seems to be the only answer. Is its fan working?
Grab a new Antec, Corsair, Silverstone or XFX 600W.
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December 8, 2011 8:08:29 PM

But if it's the PSU, wouldn't it also fail in the stress tests that supposedly take the system to the extreme?

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December 8, 2011 8:15:57 PM
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In theory, yes. In practice, apparently not. If it were any other part (except possibly an overheating mobo, but I doubt it), you'd get a BSOD or artifacts or something.
December 8, 2011 8:38:57 PM

My first thought was psu unable to cope.
December 8, 2011 8:50:13 PM

Well. At least it's good to know that it's probably not the mobo or vga card. Would you recommend this PSU to buy? Or go with this other one? There isn't much selection of the brands you named here in Chile, unfortunately. The cheapest Corsair that would serve my purpose (I might want to get a second gtx580 to SLI eventually) would be this one. But bear in mind it costs almost double (equivalent of around US$280). Is it still worth it?
December 8, 2011 9:34:26 PM

For a single 580, as I said, 600W would do it. Antec is good. Go with the 900W if you're planning to get another card.
December 9, 2011 11:04:22 AM

Ok. I'll buy that one then, and tell you guys how it goes.
December 9, 2011 1:30:40 PM

Just to toss in my 2 cents worth, I have seen malfunctioning or bad, or poor quality PSU's cause all sorts of issues that one would not think it's a PSU issue at first. Just remember, a "dirty" power stream that spikes or drops suddenly, even for a split instant, can cause all sorts of strange problems.

Quickly for instance, I once had a PC that would not run stable with 4 sticks of memory no matter what I did. Would run fine with any 2 of them but not all 4. Even upped the voltage, lowered the timings, no success. After a few months and suddenly a no boot at all, I concluded the Raidmax Volcano 630 watt POS PSU had spewed its last bit of smoke and steam, and died. New BFG LS series PSU installed, one day was messing around and stuck all 4 sticks of memory in, and bingo, they worked perfectly from then on.
December 9, 2011 1:49:12 PM

Another option you might not have considered (one of those "couldn't see the forest because of all the GD trees" scenarios) might be wires and connections.

Your dilemma is similar to my last (and first) build earlier this year. PC would reset for no discernable reason. I too suspected a faulty power supply/motherboard/CPU issue. After ripping the guts out of my machine to verify everything, I noted it reset after being jostled. Turns out the power supply’s external connection was loose.

This occurred with a Corsair 600T case and HX750 modular Pwr supply. For a quick fix I simply tried a different cord and it worked with no resets.

So, I guess I'm saying if you've ruled out the software, double check the hardware. Power buttons, cords, components arcing, etc.
December 9, 2011 1:53:33 PM

I have had that problem as well, power cord that did not plug securely into the back of the PSU, found out that I could simply stomp the floor kind of hard, and my PC would reboot!
December 16, 2011 1:42:33 AM

Well, thank you guys for all your help. I bought a new PSU, and it's been working fine for 3 days now. No reboots or any glitches either in stress testing or gaming, so I guess you guys got it right! Thank you very much.
December 16, 2011 1:43:42 AM

Best answer selected by VotaVader.
December 16, 2011 2:30:23 AM

Sweet.
!