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PC Monitor Shutting Down While Playing Games and/or

Last response: in Components
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April 2, 2012 7:22:32 PM

Ok, so I made 3 upgrades to my computer recently. I wanted a new CPU and stronger GPU for gaming. I got the 6 core Thuban AMD CPU, and I got the Nvidia Geforce GTX 550 Ti. Also, b/c of the GPU, I also got a 500W power supply (this GPU requires minimum 400W) . I got everything installed by a technician. The first night, I played through 5 chapters of Super Meat Boy with no problem. But once I started playing Skyrim, the problems began. The first time, after maybe about 30 minutes, my monitor just shut off without warning, but my tower remained on. My new power supply has a switch, so I just flipped it, waited a moment, and rebooted. I tried running Kingdoms Of Amalur, and that was even worse. Once into the main game screen, it lasts I think less than 10 minutes before the monitor fails and shuts off. This happened every other time I tried to play Kingdoms of Amalur since (my PC was serviced Saturday morning, and I started trying out games Saturday night, 2 days ago). Surprisingly, last night when I tried running Skyrim, it actually lasted pretty long before the monitor shut down, considering Skyrim is such a demanding game, but I think it lasted about 30 minutes, just like the last time it failed. However, more concerning is that, I also tried Super Meat Boy again, and this time I played in window mode so I could maybe see what really happens. I could not even get halfway through Ch 1 before I got a brief blue screen which I didn't have enough time to read what it said.

Finally, I also do video encoding. Specifically, H.264 encoding. So, I have my program set to use the max number of cores. Twice, I encoded a short video (3-4 minutes), and both times, the monitor shut down almost immediately after the encoding was done, and the tower remained on. If I was doing a longer encode, the monitor would fail before it could even finish.

Unfortunately, I have deduced several possible causes, but cannot thoroughly confirm what the cause is.

- GPU overheating: the GPU does have it's own fan, and I updated to the latest drivers.

- CPU overheating: Before the guy serviced my rig, I noticed that the heatsink and fan which came with the cpu had thermal paste on it already. I pointed this out to him, and thought that that paste would be enough. I knew beforehand that 6 cores would generate more heat, but I thought the factory paste would be good enough. I may have been wrong, and given the fact that video encoding is almost purely CPU driven, and the fact that my encoding caused shutdown, I believe my cpu overheating is the most likely cause, hopefully, better thermal paste would fix the problem.

- Power Supply: In theory, my power supply should be more than sufficient for the GPU I installed, and I'm sure it was installed properly. This might be a stupid question, but could it be my electrical outlet is not sufficient enough? I think I have 3-4 other devices plugged into the power surge, including my monitor and printer.

- DirectX 11: My initial setup was dual-core, integrated graphics with 256MB VRAM, and DirectX 9.0 c. , and a 250W power supply. Despite these inferior specs, I never had this problem before with this PC, even while playing Skyrim (which I played many hours, at about 13 fps).

- DVI-to-VGA Adapter: I'm having to use this until I buy a monitor with an HDMI port. I'm not sure if the adapter is screwed all the way in or not, and I never had any problem when I had a direct connection. Since the tower itself does not shut off when this problem occurs, could my monitor connection be faulty?

That's all I can think of at the moment. Here is a quick reference:

Power Supply: 500W
GPU: Nvidia Geforce GTX 550 Ti
CPU: AMD Phenom II X6 "Thuban" 1045T 2.7 GHz 95W TDP
RAM: 5 GB (2 GB x 2, 1 GB x1)
a b C Monitor
April 3, 2012 8:52:14 PM

What do you mean by the monitor is shutting down? Does it stop getting a signal from the PC while still showing standby mode? Or does it's light turn off.

If it is a case of the monitor fully shutting down then your PC isn't at fault...nothing it could do would shut down the monitor.
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a b C Monitor
April 3, 2012 10:32:48 PM

turn the monitor on in a quiet room without the pc on. listen for a little click when you hit the button... when you have the pc on and the monitor shuts off again listen for a little click...
if the click sounds like a cheap lighter being pressed (ie and electical arch snap) its likely the monitors psu is failing... this is typical for cheap high dpi monitors...
i had this issue with my old hanns g and it turned out to be a known fault...

if theres no clicks try turning the monitor on again if it stays off then it may be a bios issue such as the battery is dieing.
if your pc starts with the wrong time and date then this is likely the reason that the monitor is turning off... my m8 had this issue with his . replacing the battery fixed it.

lastly either bad drivers or bad signal from the gfx card telling the monitor to turn off. if this is the case then hitting the power button on the monitor should bring it back on. if you then see no signal then the gpu is the problem if the picture returns then you need to check the event logs and see if the gfx driver lost the hardware and couldnt restart the card... if this is the case change the driver...

just for security also check your gpu temps...
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April 4, 2012 3:49:39 AM

I opened up my rig last night, and discovered that my power supply was installed the wrong way. The bottom vent is facing the roof of my tower. Could this be causing my PSU to overheat and crash the system?
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April 4, 2012 4:53:14 AM

goldensun87 said:
I opened up my rig last night, and discovered that my power supply was installed the wrong way. The bottom vent is facing the roof of my tower. Could this be causing my PSU to overheat and crash the system?


Wow, that almost has to be it. Play a game and let us know, but please try to capture and share that blue screen with us. Maybe a camera? I know this sounds ridiculous but if we had the error code we'd have a solution.
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a b C Monitor
April 4, 2012 5:36:40 PM

I run my PC with the fan pointing up into the case rather than down. Unless your PC's interior is HOT then that wouldn't be the cause. Many people run their PSU facing like that because of dust and such entering from under the case.
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a b C Monitor
April 4, 2012 9:31:20 PM

goldensun87 said:
I opened up my rig last night, and discovered that my power supply was installed the wrong way. The bottom vent is facing the roof of my tower. Could this be causing my PSU to overheat and crash the system?

unlikely...
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April 5, 2012 1:18:12 AM

Ok, brought it back from my technician's. After troubleshooting all possible causes, we narrowed it down to the CPU. I suggested that maybe the provided thermal paste was not good enough, and although this may be the case, he decided that it should not be. Also, by the time we decided to call it a day, the computer was not even making it all the way to complete startup. He described it as 'locking up'. So, we have determined that the new cpu is most likely defective. Until I order a replacement, I will be going back to him on Friday to re-install the original cpu (which is a dual core athlon processor). Hopefully, IF everything starts working properly again, we will know for sure that the new cpu was the culprit...
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