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Homebuilt system shuts down randomly

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October 24, 2011 9:31:29 PM

Hello,
A few months back I built myself a new PC (Spec below), and have had no problems with it whatsoever. Its handled some reasonably modern games (eg COD4MW) with ease. However, today I was playing DOOM 3 cooperatively with a mate over LAN (we did this for hours yesterday with no problem) and the whole thing just turned off, with the power light blinking, and couldn't turn it back on without pulling out the PSU power lead. All three fans spin fine, and I set the CPU fan to run at maximum in the BIOS, but the problem returned. I used SpeedFan to log temperatures, and just before it turns itself off, the GPU (GTS 450) hits 49C and the CPU about 42C. I don't know much about that stuff, but that doesn't seem too high does it?
Any help would be massively appreciated! I'm new to system building , so I may have made a really basic error.
Thanks

AMD Phenom II X6 1055T 6 core CPU
ASUS GeForce GTS 450 1GB
MSI 870A-G54 Motherboard
8GB Kingston ValueRAM
Windows 7 Pro
500W PSU
a b B Homebuilt system
October 24, 2011 9:43:27 PM

Those temps if correct are not excessive. You might want to double check the CPU temp with "Core Temp" as SpeedFan and other software some times get the temps wrong.

Assuming that your HSF and Vid card fan are clean and spinning at proper speed, I'd run Memtest86+ from a floppy, CD or flash drive on one DIMM at a time and then all DIMMs if they show good individually. You may have a bad memory DIMM????
October 24, 2011 9:54:58 PM

That sounds weird ......those temps are great on the vid card. I would worry about the CPU, or it may have been a power surge/PSU is going.

What type of PSU do you have?

Run CPU prime when watching the temps to rule out the CPU heating up to much.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 24, 2011 10:19:20 PM
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Although it could be other things, odds are the cause is a bad power supply. Especially since you didn't mention what make/model you are using.

1) What is the make/model/age of psu?
2) Do you happen to have another psu you could swap in? A 300W or higher psu will be enough to support the gpu through some gaming.

If you need to buy a new one (a spare is not a bad thing for a builder to have), please go with an Antec (eg 380W Earthwatts ~$40), Corsair, Seasonic, or another specific model that has been reviewed by a qualified reviewer. Given the market and the problems a weak psu can cause, there's no reason to take a chance on anything else.
October 24, 2011 10:50:36 PM

Twoboxer said:
Although it could be other things, odds are the cause is a bad power supply. Especially since you didn't mention what make/model you are using.

1) What is the make/model/age of psu?
2) Do you happen to have another psu you could swap in? A 300W or higher psu will be enough to support the gpu through some gaming.

If you need to buy a new one (a spare is not a bad thing for a builder to have), please go with an Antec (eg 380W Earthwatts ~$40), Corsair, Seasonic, or another specific model that has been reviewed by a qualified reviewer. Given the market and the problems a weak psu can cause, there's no reason to take a chance on anything else.


that is one thing i CANNOT stress enough ....spend the money on a quality PSU. People who spend $500 on a vid card and get a $29.99 special for a PSU are morons. Like twoboxer said ....Get a nice PSU Corsair is my fav but Antec, Seasonic and PC heating and Cooling all make very nice PSU's. And also a spare is nice for when a PSU goes and you have the extra one in the closet :bounce:  This has happened to me once before
October 24, 2011 11:13:56 PM

Hahahaha I guess I fall neatly into the moron category! Yes, it's a generic PSU that came included with a £20 case. I'm running Memtest as well just in case, as the RAM is the other cheapo component here (Although it is Kingston). I was thinking of replacing the PSU anyway, this one is too damn noisy!
Is there any way of confirming that's the fault, short of replacing it?
Thanks
a b B Homebuilt system
October 24, 2011 11:22:37 PM

Not reliably. There are so many interim and final failure modes for a psu, so many conditions under which they might work and yet fail under others, that it renders voltage meters and psu testers virtually useless. The cheapest diagnostic tool is a spare psu.

You could, of course, put your psu into an otherwise working PC. The failure may repeat if the load is the same, etc. I wouldn't recommend it - too risky to your friend's hardware :) 

You're sort of getting the idea why we don't fool around recommending PSUs other than a very strict list. They probably are the source of more than 50% of the hardware issues resolved here.

And don't feel bad . . . most people don't learn about the importance of PSUs until they visit us :) 

Edit: I'm pretty sure you've got it, but this recommendation to swap out the psu is being made based on the your description eliminating heat and the symptoms you describe. We could be wrong. If you wish, try to get your new psu at a place you can return it. Might be worth paying a few extra dollrs for it if you don't intend to keep a spare.
October 24, 2011 11:22:56 PM

Do not run it long enough to confirm - just turf it!!!
-Bruce
October 24, 2011 11:41:59 PM

Cool, I'll get one ordered pronto. I checked the eXtreme PSU calculator, and I can't believe I bought such a hefty one in the first place! Apparently all the system needs is 283W.
Would you guys approve of something like an Antec Basiq BP350P 350W? (http://store.cbccomputers.com/products.asp?partno=07613...) It's an established brand, but the budget line. I'm a bit short of cash right now, so I can't really spend loads on a really nice one, but as I've found out getting a really cheap one is kinda pointless...
a b B Homebuilt system
October 24, 2011 11:48:05 PM

Yes, it will work and is acceptable, entry level quality.
October 25, 2011 12:00:11 AM

dhoare12 said:
Cool, I'll get one ordered pronto. I checked the eXtreme PSU calculator, and I can't believe I bought such a hefty one in the first place! Apparently all the system needs is 283W.
Would you guys approve of something like an Antec Basiq BP350P 350W? (http://store.cbccomputers.com/products.asp?partno=07613...) It's an established brand, but the budget line. I'm a bit short of cash right now, so I can't really spend loads on a really nice one, but as I've found out getting a really cheap one is kinda pointless...


Don't take it personally I was calling people moronic that spend 1800 on a customs built computer and put a $39.99 1100Watt PSU in it and wonder why it wont work after 4 days.
October 25, 2011 8:55:51 AM

envymert said:
Don't take it personally I was calling people moronic that spend 1800 on a customs built computer and put a $39.99 1100Watt PSU in it and wonder why it wont work after 4 days.


No offense taken, this was a budget system and I guess I never knew that saving money on the PSU was a bad idea. Not a mistake I'll make again! :) 

Thanks for all your help
November 1, 2011 5:26:11 PM

Best answer selected by dhoare12.
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