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My computer shuts off randomly while playing video games???

Discussion in 'Software' started by dtennisplaya, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. dtennisplaya

    dtennisplaya Private E-2

    Ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231180
    HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136073
    Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147047
    PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817822010
    CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103886
    Optical: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106289

    When I play games from WoW with full graphics or crysis 2, Deus Ex...etc. My computer gives no warning, bluescreen or noise. It just restarts with the video card's fan revving up constantly. Screen is off, the computer has restarted but nothing shows up or beeps as if it's starting up...nothing except for the fan going crazy.

    Additionally I tried to install the newest form of drivers from ati and right after installation the screen and computer freeze up with a couple of blocks on the screen shaking which forces me to restore it back. I figured it was a bad installation of windows 7 so I reformatted and still have the same problem. The card is supposed to run on low heat as per reviews and the case holds no heat whatsoever. Even if the 750w psu runs at 80% or 600w it should still run just fine. I'm starting to think it's a motherboard problem, any help would be appreciated.
  2. 2-Bit-Geek

    2-Bit-Geek Specialist

    Welcome dtennisplaya.

    Hi dtennisplaya, welcome to Major Geeks :)

    Could you tell us what make/model GPU & motherboard you have installed.
    From the info you have provided I'm guessing it's your power supply, I had a similar problem a few years ago when I installed an ATI HD 4870 1GB. Every time I played any game my PC would give me between about a minute to about ten minutes of stuttering gameplay, obviously not what I expected when I picked it :-D Basically I had a low quality PSU that just couldn't handle the load & cut out, thankfully it cut out rather than blowing out though. To make sure it was the PSU & not some kind of HDD error or Registry error I downloaded Advanced SystemCare Free & ran it to get rid of as many of the registry &/or disk errors as I could to rule them out (Deep Care these days). You could also try CCleaner Standard which used to be free :confused But It may still take care of the Registry errors at least.

    Anyway after all that I still had the same problem, so I got myself a digital multi meter (attached pic) to test my PSU. You can pick these up anywhere if you live in USA (not jealous) or if you're having trouble finding one you could try an auto repair/parts type place like Halfords in the UK should have one & they're not to expensive, certainly cheaper than replacing your PSU only to find out that it wasn't the issue :-D

    I'm not 100% on how to test a PSU with a multimeter, but here's a YouTube video

    After you have some results I'm sure someone can pick up where my limited knowledge has left off lol More information wouldn't hurt in diagnosing this issue though, knowledge is power :p

    Hope this helps,


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  3. Nedlamar

    Nedlamar MajorGeek

    Hey Dtenn, welcome to MG's.

    I notice you stated that your GPU runs cool "as per reviews" I would be inclined to see what it is actually running at. The problem you are experiencing always rings the same bell first.
    Actually it was 2-Bit-Geek that helped me with the issues a few years ago.

    Go to the download section here and download/install "Speccy".

    Fire it up, note temps on CPU and GPU.
    Now fire up a game and play for a few minutes if possible, then minimize and record temps again.

    While it might not be this, this is the easiest test and often the issue that your GPU or CPU is overheating and your system is shutting down your PC for self preservation.

    Especially since you got block pixels I would say it's your GPU.

    Anyway, the test I'm talking about should take you no more than 10 minutes start to finish.

    Then post results.

    BTW, Hey 2-Bit-Geek!! where the hellya been? , nice to see you around :)
  4. 2-Bit-Geek

    2-Bit-Geek Specialist


    Hey Ned! I've been in that strange situation where I've been busy doing nothing for a while :-D Nice to see someone I helped continuing my legacy lol

    That's a point, ATI cards can have... rather crude memory cooling if it's anything other than a reference cooler (that's why I stick to Sapphire, they know there way around ATI's shortfalls!). Basically I've noticed that since the... HD3870 (that I've noticed) ATI have been using crappy thermal pads & if they get too dusty or cracked they're almost useless & the VRAM tends to set off no heat warnings before it goes critical & forces a hurried shut down, A.K.A one of those WTF restarts :-D Though I've not come across that issue on my own cards, I have read about it & seen it in a friends machine.

    Yeah speccy is a great idea, though I suspect since you have linked us to newegg for the other componants you'll probably be able to for the mobo & GPU ;) I doubt it'll be the CPU overheating though as AMD chips have a rough threshold of about 60C & if you're getting that something isn't working. I absolutely banished my heat issues to the pages of history when I got myself an awesome full tower case, though the heat problem is gone... the case is very big :-D I can't believe I missed heat as a possible cause I must be more :zzz than I though lol

    Good luck sorting it out though. I'd try heat, then HD errors & registry errors as they are reliantly simple to sort out. After that take a look at power & you'll have ruled out hardware failure pretty much :)

    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  5. dtennisplaya

    dtennisplaya Private E-2

    sorry Newegg didn't have my mobo under purchase products for some reason but i found it in my wish list:


    and as for the graphics card, they don't carry it for a good ling but it's an xfx radeon hd 4850 1GB gddr3 using pci express 2.0

    Oh and I thought I should mention I have two of the GPU's for crossfire however i'm only running 1 at the moment due to being unable to get the drivers installed without the computer crashing, but I diverge. Both GPU's installed act the same way playing games which lead me away from them as the root cause. I wouldn't think heat would be a problem unless it's within the psu since i have 6 fans plus the GPU's fan and the air coming out of the case is cool. I'll give speccy a go and post results! Thanks.
  6. dtennisplaya

    dtennisplaya Private E-2

    Got speccy up and running and while playing WoW on high settings the cpu is at 37C, the mobo is at 45C and the GPU is at 63C. When I crank it up to ultra, I'm still pulling 60 frames with vsync off and the GPU temp gets to 70C. Gonna try it with crysis 2 but it will probably shut off the computer before then. Wish me luck.
  7. dtennisplaya

    dtennisplaya Private E-2

    Alright, after playing about 10 minutes of Deus Ex the computer did it's thing where the computer sounds like it's restarting but nothing ever pops up and the only things i can confirm that are on are the fans inside the case. The GPU runs around 40-47C idle and maxed at 71C; it shut down around 68C however. Based off of how the computer reacts to what should be the GPU's rightful drivers I want to hope it's still software and not the PSU. Hope this helps
  8. 2-Bit-Geek

    2-Bit-Geek Specialist

    We're getting close now :)

    That looks like a descent enough mobo for the components, I have the ASUS M4A78-E myself :)

    Never fear though I have a few suggestions, I've been reading around & some people are saying that the Northbridge on the mobo could be getting hot & heating the GPU a bit, worth a feel after it crashes to see if it's burning hot. My experience with the 4870 has taught me that the thermal compound they put on the GPU/heatsink contact is :*** , I replaced mine with Arctic Silver 5 & my temps dropped 20C ***Warning*** If you remove the heatsink from a GPU you'll usually invalidate the warranty & you need to be really careful with the VRAM thermal tape (grey sponge) if that gets damaged it won't work as well if at all***. Give the heatsink a blast with compressed gas to get the dust out, but hold the fan (so it doesn't move) cause it can spin too fast & break itself. After that if you still see temps as high as 70C or more you have serious problems. They say the 4800 series can tolerate temps around 100C +, but they tend to start causing problems around the 70-80C mark. This is especially important in Crossfire setups as they top card cannot get as much cool air as the bottom & is very near the Northbridge heatsink (mine practically touch).

    After my next concern is defiantly the PSU, the 4850&4870's used to monster most PSU's & if you intend on having a crossfire setup you REALLY need a good PSU. I was suprised my Cooler Master Extreme Power Duo 650W could handle 2 4870's which were both overclocked. It did get very hot though, so I dare say I was asking all it could give when gaming. Does your PSU feel hot after a shut off? If it does it'll almost certainly be the problem & you should test it before it blows (cheap PSU's can blow), then replace it if it's not got enough juice.

    Hope this helps & you can get it sorted quickly, I know how annoying this issue is :(


    P.S. Be gone spam!
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2011
  9. dtennisplaya

    dtennisplaya Private E-2

    I took that graphics card out and put in the other one in the second slot, furthest away from the north bridge and now it plays everything but crysis 2 so that seems more likely a scenario. I really didn't think 750W was undercutting what i'd need and it looks like it's doing fine now. May end up replacing the mobo or trying a cooler, less taxing GPU.

    Thanks all
  10. 2-Bit-Geek

    2-Bit-Geek Specialist

    Did you install it in the grey slot? Strange that my mobo is the AM2+/AM3 (CPU only) version of yours (a little older too) & my X16 PCI-E slot is at the bottom, could you take a look at the mobo around the PCI-E slot your GPU is in now & see if it's labelled PCI-E 1 or 2. But from what you've explained it seems to be in the PCI-E X4 slot which I assume would draw much less power (I could be wrong even though it makes sence :-D).

    You're quite right 750W should be plenty for that card... maybe even 2 in CF, but it's not the wattage that's most important when considering PSU's are the 12V rails which power your GPU for example, if it's a cheap or non brand name PSU it'll have problems powering your system & you'll get system shut off's or even a surge (as cheap PSU's don't protect your system nearly as well) which can blow multiple, if not all your components. Here's a really good guide to choosing the right PSU. It even has a link to Antec's PSU calculator which will tell you what wattage you need, mine calculated as 649Watts & I have a 650W... :eek lol The link to Motherboard Moniter is out of date so here is an up to date one, this is best used for recording temps from what I've heard of it though & it could prove useful in recording the temps when the PC shuts off. If anybody could help this chap with a rough idea of the ampage he needs on the 12V PSU rails that'd be fantastic as my knowledge extends as far as Google on the subject :-D

    But finally I'd suggest feeling the outer case of the PSU & seeing if that gets hot or exhausts excessive heat, but please ground yourself :cool

    Hope this helps :)

    Last edited: Sep 10, 2011
  11. dtennisplaya

    dtennisplaya Private E-2

  12. dtennisplaya

    dtennisplaya Private E-2

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