Reboot during high load; GPU overheat?

Hello all,

I recently built my first gaming PC. First, thank you to all of you regulars here on this forum - I got a lot of info from these forums and this really helped with my hardware picks. The build went flawlessly, system booted up perfectly on first attempt. However, now I'm having an issue that I hope you all can help me address.

The problem: On three separate occasions within the last two days, the system has rebooted itself under high GPU load (99-100%)/temperatures (high 70s, C). The first two times it happened while playing Planetside 2 beta with maxed out graphics. When this happened, the system turned off, attempted to reboot itself a couple of times, getting as far as just powering on and the fans spinning up (GPU fan sounds like its at or near 100%), but nothing showing up on the screen, and then rebooting again within a few seconds. The system usually fails to start up the first couple times, and then powers up normally on the third attempt. After this happened a couple of times, I installed MSI afterburner and used its fan control settings to manage the temperature (seems to control fan based on temperature better than CCC); this seemed to stop the problem from happening during play of this specific game.

The last time it happened was last night while running a Bitcoin mining client that causes GPU clock to max out continuously. After about 10-15 minutes of this, same automatic reboot event happened just as before.

My specs:
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4
CPU: i5 3570k (not overclocked)
GPU: VisionTek Radeon HD 7970 3GB (Reference; not overclocked; temperature/fan managed through MSI afterburner)
RAM: 8GB DDR3 1600 (2x4GB sticks)
HDD: WD Caviar Blue 500GB 7200rpm
Cooling: stock GPU HS/fan, stock CPU HS/fan, three chasis fans (120mm each), PSU fan
PSU*: Cooler Master Extreme Power Plus 700W -
*Power consumption calculation based on hardware profile is under 500W
As this is a fresh build, all parts are essentially new and have been used for less than 24 hours.

My questions are:
-What do you all think the source of the problem could be? I was thinking temperature, as adjusting the fan control profile seemed to fix the issue while playing Planetside 2. But I've also read that this could be a power issue.
-Any recommendations for a solution to fix this issue and allow me to safely Bitcoin mine?
-In general, is it bad for a GPU (or other system components) to have a 100% load for prolonged periods of time (ie during Bitcoin mining?)

Thanks all again for the wealth of knowledge you have all contributed to these forums. Let me know if there is any other info that could be helpful, I've been logging with afterburner so have data associated with one of these forced reboot occurrences. Looking forward to your thoughts/opinions on this issue :)

*Edited to add more specific PSU specs.
5 answers Last reply
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  1. Umm i don't think your problems is related to overheating to be honest, it sounds like a possible psu issue or motherboard problem as far as i can tell. I would do the following 3 things to verify working components, run a memtest overnight and swap out the psu if you can. Random restarts are almost always indicative of a bad power supply or memory problem.
  2. your temps are completely fine and GPUs are designed to run at 100%. It sounds like the PSU. You have to tell us WHICH PSU. Rated wattage is irrelevant. PSU makers lie, and there are plenty of 700W PSUs that can't put out 500W
  3. What brand is the PSU?
  4. Whoops sorry guys.

    PSU: Cooler Master Extreme Power Plus 700W (
  5. Id try another PSU, CM isnt known for selling quality, reliable PSUs.
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