This outage is almost instant, followed by an automatic restart. Oddly when it restarts there is power to the base unit, but no disc spin noise, and the monitor is blank. (I don't have a spare monitor to test if the base unit is giving a picture when it restarts).
The popping sound is fairly high pitched but not a squeak, more like the sound of a plug switch being turned on and off
I then restart using the power switch, and the PC and monitor both boot up to the windows menu for windows-unexpectedly-shut-down faults. The computer then functions normally for anything from 20 minutes to three hours before the same fault reoccurs.
Generally the computer fault happens more when the PC is under load (playing games), but it can be hours before this happens. It is about 18 months old, i5 cpu, 8 RAM, Nvdia 460 graphics card.
I thought the popping sound might be a power surge protector kicking in but I switched plugs, and it is only the PC that is affected by the popping sound, not the other items switched into he same adaptor.
Right now I have 4 suspects and no good evidence or experience. PSU, GPU, Monitor or dust. There are no clear burning smells.
PSU: It an EZCool not a great brand, and has overheated in the past (i melted a 5A cord, now with a 13A cord it's been okay for 3 months). In the past the PSU did get very hot (mug-warmer) but lately its seemed under control and no smells.
The GPU temperature registers in a normalish range under 70C.Erm, also I am writing this, running backup, the keyboard is sometimes not registering the letters, so I am thinking more broadly of a power management fault despite the fact my PSU is rated 800W and my current draw is 300, max 550W.
GPU: as mentioned above its a Nvidia 460, and NVidia software gives temperature 50-65C.
Monitor: Is still working fine, checked cables weren't loose.
Dust: I have dusted the inside of the case somewhat. As I say above as a precaution I have run the PC for 3 months with the cover slightly off the case to improve cooling.
I dont have the money to start randomly replacing £ 100 components, so perhaps someone can help me narrow it down?
what makes you sure its the PSU if there is no burning smell and theres no obvious overheat? I agree its not a great power supply but I dont want to be replacing that (for £ 100) and still not sorting the problem. Yes its not a great brand but is that the actual problem?