560Ti 448 & older 550w PSU = Skyrim crashing?

So I recently purchased a second hand MSI 560 ti 448 Frozr and I love it, it's a huge upgrade from my previous HD4870 and up untill recently I haven't had a single problem. I played Mass Effect 3 with zero problems at high settings and great frame rate, I was able to play Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition completely maxed out at highest settings with 120fps, and even Kingdoms of Amalur with a steady FPS highest settings.

So here's where I think I have a problem: I originally started playing Skyrim when it first came out and only played a few hours of it because i was forced to play it on Low/Medium settings with my old card and even then I was getting about 40 average FPS. It was playable but i wanted to experience it in better quality so i decided to wait. Since then I've added an excessive amount of memory, a solid state drive, and the new video card and have been able to play High settings around 50fps with little trouble. I am pretty limited by my CPU which is a Core 2 Quad Q9400 but it does it's job well enough and I will most likely upgrade to a new intel CPU later on this year but not right now.

TL;DR version: My new 560 ti 448 seems to be pushing the GPU useage when playing Skyrim as my MSI afterburner monitor shows it using up 90+% when there's alot going on. Due to this I've had my computer completely power down on me twice so far. No blue screen, no CTD, simply powers down.

I'm looking for experienced opinions but I'm pretty sure my problem is simply that i have the bare minimum PSU for this graphic card, and when it's running up the GPU useage too much i simply don't have enough power and it crashes my system. I've tried other games to see how much load it's putting on the GPU and nothing has come close to Skyrim yet (yes it's also heavily modded) but it was giving me great performence.

Antec Trupower II 550w PSU (says 530w effective on the side)
Core 2 Quad Q9400 stock @ 2.66 ghz
Corsair XMS3 10333 4x4gb: 16gb RAM
MSI Frozr III 560 Ti 448
Crucial M4 64gb SSD
Assorted WD, Seagate 2x 160 gbs, 1x 300 gb
DVD+/-RW drive

Is it pretty safe to say I don't have enough juice to push this card? I've ran CPU stress tests and it doesn't look like it's overheating, I've run the GPU stress tests and they completed with no errors, but i think running at 90%+ load for extended periods of time are crashing me. Any advice / opinions as to best way to further test this without possibly bricking my computer are greatly appreciated. As well as recommendations on how big of a new power supply i might need. Thank you
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More about 560ti older 550w skyrim crashing
  1. That shutting down, considering you got a decent power supply and not crashing on high CPU/GPU workload, points to RAM. Use memtest software (www.memtest.org) to test it. Do at least 5 passes!
  2. What does your case cooling include.
    If most of the heat is removed by the power supply it could be overheating the power supply.
    It will shutdown @ 50c.
  3. @ Sunius - When i first purchased the RAM i did 5 passes with memtest and there were zero errors but i will do another test and see what happens this time.

    @Rick_Criswell i have a fairly "ghetto" cooling at the moment. I have a stock heatsink+fan on my CPU, one stock 120Mm fan in the back, and the left side of my case open. So not much cooling going on, i use to have to have an extra desk fan running on my old 4870 to make sure it didn't crash. Is there a easy way to see how hot my PSU is getting?
  4. My GTX460 with the center dumps about 75% of its heat in the case. Most dual slot cards with the center fan do this .Even though it has the rear exhaust vent . The rear vent is too small to work properly and the shroud does not contact the rear vent.
  5. Not easily or accurately without a probe.
    But put your hand at the vent for the power supply. If it becomes uncompfortable within 10 seconds or so you are overheating or close to it.
    When was the last time you cleaned enerything by blowing the dust out with air?

    EDIT: you can use a household thermometor to check the air temperature coming out of the power supply vent. If it is 40c or more the power supply is much hotter.
  6. @Rick_Criswell i'm using a black+decker "thermal leak detector" it's suppose to be used on windows to see if it's leaking air in but, it shows around 35-37 degrees on my PSU without any load, the fan does look to be spinning a little slow, it looks weak and a little dusty, i think the last time i cleaned it out was about 3-4 months ago.

    I'm wary to try to boot up skyrim to play again cause i don't want to end up frying my system, and im also aware i could lower my settings to play but, i haven't been upgrading for the last 6 months to lower my settings, i'd just assume buy a new PSU if i have to.

    EDIT: i the PSU temperature readings were aiming the laser at the intake fan as well as the exhaust so i can only assume if its 35-37 based on that and you say its hotter inside then it looks like my PSU might be overheating
  7. I blew my Antec truepower 2 about a month after upgrading to the GTX460. It was about 5 years old so I could not really complain. With capicator ageing things work harder and create more heat. Plus over time the heatsinks and fans get covered with dust and cigarette smoke making them less efficent.

    EDIT: try running one of your less demanding games and check the temperature.
    EDIT: typos cat helping again
  8. Thanks Rick, well the way I look at it I'm going to need to upgrade my PSU eventually anyway so i may as well do it now, Since i started this in the GPU thread i'll ask over there since i really know diddly squat about power supplies other than "get a named brand and you get what you pay for" in regards to PSU's. Thanks for all your help. I will run Memtest just in case to cover all my bases.
  9. Sources I use for power supply info.
    These are some of the most knowledgeable people on the net when it comes to power supplys.
  10. Think im gonna end up with a CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 should cover all my bases. I think it would even meet the minimum req for SLI but i don't plan on buying another 448 anytime soon
  11. Good Choice.
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