Need advice on new build freeze ups and reboots

Hello! I recently completed my first pc build from the following parts:

MOBO: Asus P8Z68-V LX

CPU: Intel i5 2500K

RAM: Corsair Memory Kit CL9

GPU: Radeon 6950

Case and PSU: Coolermaster Elite 330

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 500Gb

OD: LiteOn

OS: Windows 7 Home Edition 64 Bit

With a Logitech wired USB mouse and keyboard.

On initial boot I had a freeze up while installing Windows 7 and consequently had to reboot. The second time was successful. I have been having freezing issues, usually not long after boot up and occasionally the computer restarts itself. Normally once the machine is running, it runs flawlessly. I recently had a restart after it being on for a few hours. The machine shut itself down completely and did not turn back on until I manually pressed the on button, after which there was the windows loading sound but no display (black screen). After rebooting it manually again it booted as normal.

One of the first things I did was take the whole thing apart and put it back together again to make sure nothing was shorting the underside of the motherboard. I've tried to be careful to avoid static damage but regularly grounding myself on the case with the power supply plugged in, but not turned on and by reducing the amount of contact I've had with the parts.

I've run memtest86+ on both sticks of RAM and both have returned error free results. I also used UBCD to run SeaTools to check my SATA HDD, which also came back fine. I've checked the BIOS for RAM settings, they're on auto, but they are at the correct manufacturer ratings. The CPU temperatures are between 25-35 degrees Celsius generally.

I've also tried to ensure all of the drivers and the BIOS is up to date and I believe they all are (the BIOS definitely is the most recent version).

I'm new to this, although, as you may be able to tell I've been scouring forums for the past week to try and work out the problem. I've heard the PSU is most frequently to blame for problems. Do you know of any method of testing my MoBo, GPU and PSU to discern whether they are the culprits?

Apologies for the mammoth post, but I thought I'd try and include as much detail as possible.

6 answers Last reply
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  1. It could very well be the power supply. That one is of middling quality at best. The minimum for a reasonably high power gaming rig is at least an 80 plus certified unit, preferably from trusted makers such as Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, Silverstone, or XFX. Although AMD says 500 watts is fine for that card, they do recommend certified power supplies. 550 watts would be better.

    Here is some info on certified PSU's.
  2. Thank you for your response tlmck. I'm looking into upgrading the power supply, I do have a question though. Whilst I can see the PSU could lead to random shut downs, would it also cause the freezes on boot? Is there an extensive power requirement on boot? Just trying to understand the problem a bit better.

  3. The problem is most likely incorrect or "dirty" voltage. High powered gaming rigs need good clean power to run properly. On lower power rigs with say integrated graphics, you have some wiggle room.

    Think of dirty voltage like static on a radio or television. Even though the voltage is correct, it is so dirty, the components have trouble using it. A poorer analogy would be dirty oil in a car.

    There is only a slight power surge at start up as everything fires up at once, most noticeably the various fans may run at full until fan control kicks in.

    Another less likely issue is PSU lag. This is where there is a few millisecond delay between the time you press the power button, and actual machine start up. Historically, there have been motherboards that do not like this. I have heard of no such cases in recent memory as I think such errors have been corrected by board makers.
  4. I see, that makes sense. Good to know, thanks for the help.
  5. I've switched the power supply, currently on 750W Corsair, but the problem remains. Still freeze ups loading Windows, can access safe mode fine. Shut downs when booting up SW:ToR, tends to be if I have a lot open in the background or if I minimize it.

    Can't find anything in the event viewer for the most recent shut down with the exception of:

    "The previous system shutdown at 14:34:57 on ‎20/‎02/‎2012 was unexpected."

    Any suggestions?
  6. This problem has now been resolved. It was due to two things.
    The shut downs were caused by the GPU fan cable having come loose, thus the GPU was over-heating. The random freezes were caused by faulty RAM.

    Hope that helps anyone who might view this.

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