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PC SHUTS OFF WHEN GAMING EVEN THOUGH HARDWARE AND COOLING IS TOP NOTCH

Posted on 2004-04-23
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Last Modified: 2011-09-20
Hi,
Here is my system
Pentium $ 3.06 Ghz (533) not overclocked with Coolermaster Aero Fan and massive heatsink
Asus P4S8X-X MOBO
RADEON 9800 PRO with Arctic VGA cooler installed (not overclocked)
1024 ddr RAM PC2700
Soundblaster Live 5.1
Qtech 550Wts PSU
About 5 80mmcase fans, an exhaust fan and its not sitting next to a radiator

The problem is my pc shuts off all power after a short period when 3d gaming on demanding games such as Farcry and on the 3Dmark03 benchmarker. It would seem like cooling, VGA getting too hot so i installed the arctic VGA card cooler and now the powering off is delayed, before it was a few seconds now its minutes. I am virus free, i have tried Catalyst drivers 3.7 to the latest 4.4 making sure to destroy all previous installations, i have tried turning Fast writes off in the bios, increasing AGP voltage, decreasing the AGP aperture, turning off VPU recovery, My CPU temps are 36 when idle going up to 50ish when stressed, my case temp is 25-30. MY power supply is a 550 watt variety so i am unsure whether this is the problem, the Radeon 9800pro is brandnew and i have changed from a 9600 XT so i have not gone from Nvidia to ATI. My heatsink is dust free and i have checked for swelling of the capacitors on the mobo. This problem only started with the new graphics card so it is part of the problem if not the cause, i have heard that it may be my mobo or the northwood chipset that may be the issue here. I have tried fanning strong cool air onto the mobo whilst running the mother nature gametest on 3dmark03, but what ever happens it cannot get throught he whole test without swithing off power. Power is only restored when the mains switch is turned off for a few seconds then some thing resets and the power button works again. Ive scoured forums hoping to find an answer to this but inspite of many people having this problem with many hardware combinations, no one has posted a good solution. HELP!!!!!!
Many thanks for all your replies!
Jonathan from sunny England
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Question by:jonnyhippo
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 10905239
Some things to check:
- do you have a setting in your BIOS that says shutdown if a certain temperature is reached (probably in the alerts section)
- is the heatsink on your Radeon seated properly?
- did you connect the extra power connector to the Radeon?
- even though your power supply is rated at 550 watts, it may not be strong enough in current to satisfy the demand at a specific voltage - post your power supply current ratings for each voltage
- check if your fans are creating airflow through the case by pulling in at one end and pushing out at the other: if they're all blowing in, that's no good
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Author Comment

by:jonnyhippo
ID: 10906665
Thanks for your help Callandor....

I dont think i have this shut down function in my BIOS, however i will double check

I made especially sure the heatsink and fan were seated nicely on the chip when i replaced the old and puny one..

The extra power connector is attached and comes direct from the PSU

My current voltages are
+12.1    -12.1
+5.08    -5.04
Core 0  1.62  
Core 1  1.62
Case Temp 26
CPU temp  36
My fans are running at their nominal speed
To be honest im not sure i understand the significance of these voltages but i know thart they havent changed much with the addition of the new 9800 pro
The 550wts psu is fairly new and ive checked for dust clogging fans and so forth.

in the case i have 2 80mm fans pulling air in thefront , one in the side window going out, one at the rear going out, the arctic vga cooler is exhausting straight out the back, i have two very powerful fans(60mm) positioned aiming right at my mobo plus the cpu coolermaster is at max speed (jet engine like!) and off course the psu has two fans aswell...phew.

Ill check the bios as you said...thanks for your help, i see i have THE pro on my case which is reassuring!

jonathan
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Author Comment

by:jonnyhippo
ID: 10906759
Hi again,

Just checked the bios and told it to ignore all voltages and temps...when i test on 3dmark03 on the mother nature level it lasted about 20 seconds as usual. However i noticed that it plays the first three games tests fine. So i thought, aaagh, maybe there are things going on in the mother nature game test that the vga card has difficulty with so i thought, ok, i will turn on all anisotropic filtering and anti aliasing on the first three game tests to see if i could shut down the pooter but although it was very slow, it got through them. I have had this problem on Vice City, Call of Duty, Colin Mcrae rally 04, medal of Honour and KOTOR so do you think its the games use of a particular shader type or something that causes my blackouts. The fact that it battled through the other tests at frame rates like 7-8fp/s and it didnt shut down is curious cause it kind of leads me to beleive that its not cooling!

what do you think guys?
0
 

Author Comment

by:jonnyhippo
ID: 10908203
Been busy!!

Ok, i underclocked my Radeon 9800 pro back to 337/297 as opposed to 378/337 and lo and behold, it made it through the mother nature test, so i played for a good 20 minutes on CM rally4 flat out until it hung..not turned off but hung. This was a vey similar situation that i had on occasions with my 9600xt in demanding 3d games so....could it be that my mobo cannot handle the amount of data coming from the card into it. If so, is there anything i can do other than get an upgraded mobo. Would upping the AGP voltage help here?? Would decreasing the AGP apertur help...bearing in mind the reason i wanted a 9800 pro is so i could use it to its full potential???

anybody??
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 10913643
I actually wanted the current rating for each voltage from the power supply - it should be on a sticker on the side of the unit.

What version of DirectX are you running?  9b is the latest:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=141d5f9e-07c1-462a-baef-5eab5c851cf5&displaylang=en
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Author Comment

by:jonnyhippo
ID: 10913807
I am running that direct x, ill thry to find those voltages for you...thanks
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:mingtze
ID: 10938596
Try this, unplug your SB Live 5.1 :) Sounds totally unrelated, but if you've tried all Callandor has suggested you might as well give this a shot.
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Expert Comment

by:mingtze
ID: 10938656
Sorry for the unelaborated answer. Basically I have found SB sound cards in the modern day to be unreliable some times. My proof? I have none. It works perfectly for some yet gives nightmares to others.

If possible you can also try putting the 9600 back in, does it work perfectly as before? Or try the 9800 on a different PC.
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Author Comment

by:jonnyhippo
ID: 10943190
Thanks for your help mingtze, im going to replace the live 5.1 anyway because on some games i get intermittent distortion which really bugs me. Ill do this , thanks for the advice...ive learnt that how ever improbable, it always seems the most unlikely thing that is the problem (sherlock holmes was wrong), unfortunately i sold my 9600 the day i got the 9800...doh

cheers
jon
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Author Comment

by:jonnyhippo
ID: 10943251
also, i increased the core voltage to the cpu up .15 of a volt ( i think) and it is more stable although not perfect, still goes down after a while...any ideas on this....i think were talking motherboard here arent we??
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 10944519
I wanted to hear what the current ratings were on your power supply.
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Author Comment

by:jonnyhippo
ID: 10961767
Ok Callandor, here are the ratings...

Peak Watts 285
+ 3.3  
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Author Comment

by:jonnyhippo
ID: 10961768
Ok Callandor, here are the ratings...

Peak Watts 285
+ 3.3  
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Author Comment

by:jonnyhippo
ID: 10961800
ignore that last post!!!

Peak watts 285

+3.3  peak 30A  Max  20A
+5    peak  40A  max 35A
+12   peak 20A  Max  14A
-5     peak 1.0A    Max  .5A
-12   Peak  1.0A   .5A

There, thats jibberish to me, hope you can make sense of it....by the way, i took out the soundblaster live and it still did it.
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 10965226
Do you also have a whole bunch of drives (hard disks and opticals)?
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Author Comment

by:jonnyhippo
ID: 10966508
just a dvd/cdrw combo and a cd rom drive, floppy and thats it
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 10967645
When running your benchmark (where it hangs), can you leave the case open, so that you can physically feel the cpu heatsink and video card heatsink at the point it hangs?  It sounds heat-related, and this will help determine that.
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Author Comment

by:jonnyhippo
ID: 10968023
I do this yes, i feel the northbridge and although warm it is not hot to touch with bare skin, are there other places on the motherboard i should be checking?
Im currently running drivers 3.4 as these dont feature the overclock feature and still the thing goes down although my frame rates are higher!! :) i notive that just before the crash, frame rates drop off very slightly by about 5 - 10 fps....maybe significant. Iver reinstalled the agp drivers and no change..im running out od ideas.
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Author Comment

by:jonnyhippo
ID: 10968038
just thinking, the most effective ways of delaying the crash are increasing cpu core voltage and underclocking the vga card...if it was cooling, why would increasing cpu heat, the by product of increasing core voltage be the remedy...also, could it be the integral temperature sensing utility in my mobo which is at fault (C.O.P.S  cpu overheating protection system or summink like that) if so i wonder how you turn it off.
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 10968150
If you delay the crash by increasing cpu core voltage, that is what you do when you overclock, which is strange, since you are not overclocking.

It is not the Northbridge chipset that is critical, although that is important, it is the cpu and video card.  Check the heat on both those heatsinks, to see if they are hot.
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Author Comment

by:jonnyhippo
ID: 10968661
The cpu heatsink is not hot and neither is the vga particularly...strange.....current temps 39 cpu   mobo  24...cpu goes up to about 55 in games
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 10968988
You might need to run a memory check, in case something is happening there - download and run the diagnostic program from www.memtest86.com - let it run for several full cycles.
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Author Comment

by:jonnyhippo
ID: 10969414
I took out one stick of my ram and ran the benchmark with the other...it crashed, then ran the other stick...then crashed...so it isnt stick related i dont think, unless its the mobo in the ram area if you know what i mean. I ran the windows ram test thing and they checked out but will try memtest...although when i tried it before i couldnt get it to run
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Author Comment

by:jonnyhippo
ID: 10971085
just made 9 passes on memtest with no errors.....
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Accepted Solution

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Callandor earned 125 total points
ID: 10973356
It could very well be that the motherboard is faulty and the RAM is ok.  A pass on memtest86 could be a false positive, and it would take a swap with memory that you know works to verify that.  You should probably keep that in mind, and check out the other stuff that could cause a shutdown, and come back to this if everything else tests out ok.  Swap out your power supply next.  I would also swap out the video card, in case that is bad (if you can't, that will remain as a variable that might cause the problem).
0
 

Author Comment

by:jonnyhippo
ID: 10975833
Thanks for all your help mate, but i think ive nailed it. I tested the radeon in my other computer(music studio) and it was fine so then i swapped psu's and even though the rating of the other one was 350watts when in my games pc it ran the benchmarks and far cry with no hitch, so i assume it was the qtec 550 watt psu at fault. I guess thats what you get when you buy budget hardware evn though its rated at 550 watts!!
Many thanks,
the points are yours!!
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 10977356
Glad I could help.  Those Qtecs are pretty bad, I have heard others had problems with them also.
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