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New Home Built System - Random Powering Down Problem

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March 3, 2012 2:20:21 PM

Hi everyone, I'm new here, but knowing Tom's Hardware's reputation, I thought this would be the best place to ask.

I recently underwent a massive computer upgrade at home, buying all my parts from Overclockers.co.uk - I live in England btw.

This is what I purchased:

- AMD Bulldozer FX-8 Eight Core 8120@8150 Black Edition 3.60Ghz (Socket AM3+) Processor

- Asus M5a78l-MUSB3 AMD 760G (Socket AM3+) DDR MicroATX Motherborad

-2x Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2x4GB) DDR PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit

This I installed in my old X-Blade Chassis, and a 750 wat PSU. The motherboard is anchored to the case with 4 screws and associated insulation washers. With it, I'm also using my old ATI RADEON HD 3870 512MB video card, and a Sound Blaster Audigy 7.1 sound card, and a Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200 RPM HD connected to the motherboard through a SATA cable.

The case has 2 chassis fans, a third one is broken.

I'm also on Windows Vista SP2, and a Dell 19 inch LCD screen.

Anyway, my first question would be, are all these parts compatible? After all the research I did, I came to the conclusion it was, but I got a few problems, as I will outline below.

- First time I turned it on, the PC would turn off, then reset before entering windows, and the BIOS would tell me the anti-power surge setup had turned the PC off to protect it from spikes. On investigating this, I found this to be a common problem with this type of Asus motherboard (even when there wasn't a power surge) and that Asus' own advice was to turn that function off on the bios - I did that and never had any other problems.

- The second, and most annoying problem, is that after a few hours turned on, the PC would then simply shut off (as if out of power) and turn itself off. No messages, nothing, just a total powerdown. Pressing the power on button would not turn it back on, I had to turn the switch off on the PSU, unplug the power cable, and then plug it back in, and turn the switch on. Only then would it turn on, but for the next hour this process repeated, and then again this morning after maybe 8-10 hours turned off.

I've since installed a number of hardware monitoring software, to check if it was overheating, but everything fell within spec, the cores were all at around 36-42C, motherboard at 32C, and the video card at 66C. I have since managed to get rid of the problem by removing the video card, and I have not had a crash since.

So based on these facts, what do you guys think? Not enough power (even though a number of websites and programs tell me I should only need about 650W) or maybe a problem with the video card or PCI-Express slot? The video card worked fine on the previous build.

I eagerly await any help you guys may care to give.
a c 93 B Homebuilt system
March 3, 2012 4:57:54 PM

I'm thinking it sounds like a PSU issue. I had a similar issue with my build where my PSU would completely shut off if you used the PC on anything but idle - I chucked the PSU (which was an Ultra 850 modular - never buying again) for a Corsair TX750 - been problem free ever since.

The bad thing is PSU is bar none - the most important part of a PC and if you're using an old and outdated one with modern GPUs then it could have the potential to be disastrous.
March 3, 2012 6:25:06 PM

Thanks for the reply. The PSU is relatively new, only a year old, and while it's not from an amazing brand, I did think 750W would be enough for all that.

It worked previously with my other configuration, I'm just at a loss. Does having to turn the power switch off and on and then taking out the power cord not give any hint as to the problem?
Related resources
March 3, 2012 6:31:38 PM

Do you have the manufacturer and model number for the PSU? There are a number of cheap manufacturers that you don't want to trust your computer with.
March 3, 2012 8:57:47 PM

I honestly can't seem to find anything on the PSU, I have this:

CIC ATX12V P48&PFC Model 750UB 750W.

That is literally it!
March 3, 2012 10:18:23 PM

Hmmm. It's made to look like it isn't a piece of junk. I don't see a UL number in those pictures though, which (while not completely telling) isn't a great sign. It wouldn't surprise me if the innards were of poor quality. Easiest way to tell if it's the problem is if you can try another PSU.
March 3, 2012 10:49:48 PM

Geronimo57 said:
Hi everyone, I'm new here, but knowing Tom's Hardware's reputation, I thought this would be the best place to ask.

I recently underwent a massive computer upgrade at home, buying all my parts from Overclockers.co.uk - I live in England btw.

This is what I purchased:

- AMD Bulldozer FX-8 Eight Core 8120@8150 Black Edition 3.60Ghz (Socket AM3+) Processor

- Asus M5a78l-MUSB3 AMD 760G (Socket AM3+) DDR MicroATX Motherborad

-2x Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2x4GB) DDR PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit

This I installed in my old X-Blade Chassis, and a 750 wat PSU. The motherboard is anchored to the case with 4 screws and associated insulation washers. With it, I'm also using my old ATI RADEON HD 3870 512MB video card, and a Sound Blaster Audigy 7.1 sound card, and a Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200 RPM HD connected to the motherboard through a SATA cable.

The case has 2 chassis fans, a third one is broken.

I'm also on Windows Vista SP2, and a Dell 19 inch LCD screen.

Anyway, my first question would be, are all these parts compatible? After all the research I did, I came to the conclusion it was, but I got a few problems, as I will outline below.

- First time I turned it on, the PC would turn off, then reset before entering windows, and the BIOS would tell me the anti-power surge setup had turned the PC off to protect it from spikes. On investigating this, I found this to be a common problem with this type of Asus motherboard (even when there wasn't a power surge) and that Asus' own advice was to turn that function off on the bios - I did that and never had any other problems.

- The second, and most annoying problem, is that after a few hours turned on, the PC would then simply shut off (as if out of power) and turn itself off. No messages, nothing, just a total powerdown. Pressing the power on button would not turn it back on, I had to turn the switch off on the PSU, unplug the power cable, and then plug it back in, and turn the switch on. Only then would it turn on, but for the next hour this process repeated, and then again this morning after maybe 8-10 hours turned off.

I've since installed a number of hardware monitoring software, to check if it was overheating, but everything fell within spec, the cores were all at around 36-42C, motherboard at 32C, and the video card at 66C. I have since managed to get rid of the problem by removing the video card, and I have not had a crash since.

So based on these facts, what do you guys think? Not enough power (even though a number of websites and programs tell me I should only need about 650W) or maybe a problem with the video card or PCI-Express slot? The video card worked fine on the previous build.

I eagerly await any help you guys may care to give.



If you have a friend, try borrowing a PSU to isolate the problem.
March 4, 2012 4:50:32 PM

of the way said:
Hmmm. It's made to look like it isn't a piece of junk. I don't see a UL number in those pictures though, which (while not completely telling) isn't a great sign. It wouldn't surprise me if the innards were of poor quality. Easiest way to tell if it's the problem is if you can try another PSU.


Well, all the reviews I read of it were pretty crap, and apparently this is a common problem, and you should never trust a brandless PSU that advertises 750W and sells for only £22!

However, I think I have found a solution, see below.

aqe040466 said:
If you have a friend, try borrowing a PSU to isolate the problem.


Yeah, ordinarily I would, but all my other PSU's only have 400W or so, which wouldn't be enough to power the rig in the first place.

However, I changed two things this time round. Apparently, the PSU came with two 6 pin connectors that I used to connect the video card, a white one and a black one. I had previously used the black one because the colour matched the power socket on the video card (also black) but changing it to the white one seems to have stopped the problems.

I also connected the 3rd broken CPU fan (which still doesn't work) to the power unit (just in case) and I get the light on, but no fan.

It all seems to work fine now, so I am guessing it was something to do with the 6 pin black connector.

Thanks for all the answers in any case!
!