Help! New computer shuts off.

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Vlad D, Apr 11, 2005.

  1. Vlad D

    Vlad D Screenwriter

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    Ok, I put together my new system this weekend, which went fairly without incident. So, last night my computer is built and so far running fine. I'm playing FarCry and after about 30-40 mins, in the middle of playing, my computer shuts-off. I freaked!!! I tried the power button and nothing. I unplugged everything and opened it up, checked all connections, nothing was loose. I tried turning in back on and this time it powered up. I couldn't figure out what happened, except that my UPS's battery needs to be replaced so I figured that might be the culprit, maybe there was a power fluctuation. So I removed it and connected everything to a Monster Cable surge protector I had lying around. Everything was fine. I left the computer running all night and all day today. I came home from work today installed a few apps and then played some more FarCry and after about 20-25 mins the same thing happened. I can't figure it out. After letting it "sit" for about 15 mins I was able to turn it back on. I'm using it right now.

    I checked the CPU temp and it was 42C, it usually runs around 36-38C (right now its at 38C, it's about an hour since this happened). Do you guys think my CPU might be overheating? Could it be my power supply? Beside the Zalman fan, my case comes with 2 120mm fans (front and back of case), also my PSU has a 120mm fan. And the 6800 GTOC has 2 small fans.

    Could it be my graphics card? Could it be the game? I did notice that it shut down at the same point in the game. My brother-in-law said he played FarCry late last night for about an hour and nothing happened, but he's at a different point in the game. But that seems far fetched.

    Here are my specs.

    ASUS A8V mobo
    AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Winchester 90nm core
    WD Raptor 74GB 10,000RPM SATA
    WD 200GB 7200RPM SATA
    Sound Blaster Audigy2 ZS
    BFG GeForce 6800 GT OC AGP
    2 Corsair Value Select 1GB DDR PC-3200
    NEC 16X Double Layer DVD±RW Drive
    Lite-On 16X DVD-ROM Drive
    Fortron Blue Storm 500W ATX12V V2.0 PSU
    Thermaltake SOPRANO Case
    Zalman CNPS7000B LED CPU fan
    Windows XP Pro SP2

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Vlad
     
  2. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    But that could be just because you reached the same part of the game in about the same time. [​IMG]

    Whenever I hear about a PC shutting down after a 40 minutes to an hour, I always think "temperature". One or more of your fans may not be working properly, or you may not have enough empty space around the PC for proper airflow. I'd suggest taking the cover or the side panels (depending on the kind of case you have) and try using it that way. If it works fine for a couple of hours than you'll know the problem is heat related. If not, you'll know it isn't. Either way you'll know more about the situation than you do now.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  3. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    My first thought was the same as Joe's, but I'm not so sure now. 42C is a very acceptable temperature. Not great, but certainly not overheating. Is this reading from while you were playing or just after or just before?

    It seems unlikely that temperature is an issue at 42C, but I may be wrong if you didn't take this during the game. My next thought was your power supply, but it seems like it would be plenty able to handle your components, so I'm really not sure.
     
  4. Vlad D

    Vlad D Screenwriter

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    The temp reading of 42C was taken right after I powered back up, but that is also after I let the computer "sit" for 15 mins. Right now the temp is 38C, but I'm not running anything except Firefox.

    I'll open the case and move it to another location and play the game again to see if the same thing happens.

    A few more questions. When I installed the Zalman CPU fan, the instructions stated to put a "thin layer" of thermal paste. I'm wondering if maybe I put too thin of a layer. Could that be a cause of the CPU overheating?

    My BIOS has an option to enable CPU and chassis fan control. Right now it is disabled. But if I enable them it then prompts me to set the fan speed ratio, and I don't understand what that is. The options are 11/16, 12/16, 13/16, 14/16, and 15/16. Could this be the problem?
     
  5. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    I'm going with the "heat" problem. Maybe at that point in the game, the CPU works a little more to crank the temperature up.

    I don't know about AMD, but Intel wants their 90nm chips to run at 38C, They've even designed an air duct which vents in cool air to between 12-20mm of the CPU. It's under the TAC 1.1 specs. (You can Google that).

    But this is based on a 68 degree F room temp. Maybe you could turn a fan on at the case and try it out that way too?

    Glenn
     
  6. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    It may not necessarily be the CPU that is having the heat problem. Another component overheating could cause the shut-down. I'd still try it with no cover or the side panels off and go from there.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  7. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    The AMD 90nm processor normally runs -very- cool, even with very little cooling mechanism; I've seen several with passive blocks and a rear 80mm keep a processor down to just fine (40C and below) which works for HTPC applications.

    So, as long as your CPU fan looks like it's spinning..

    But I have another heat related item: your 6800 GT OC card. I know, I know, the card ships out of the box overclocked. And they do that because they are pretty confident. However, high stress games will push them, and card heat can cause exactly what you're talking about, or an overage of voltage pull that can result in a shutdown. Your Fortron PSU is a good one, and should be plenty so I'm not as worried about that as I am heat output from your graphics card. It's worth a check.
     
  8. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Google Coolbits and underclock your 6800GT some. Maybe BFG gave you some unstable ram, or one of the heatsinks isn't touching.
     
  9. Vlad D

    Vlad D Screenwriter

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    How would I check if my graphics card is overheating?
     
  10. Mike_J_Potter

    Mike_J_Potter Second Unit

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    Try going into the Nvidia dispaly menu by right clicking the desktop and choosing that option. I know the was disabled on some cards due to sli issues, but to my knowledge it was only the 6600GT cards. Even if temp monitoring is disabled you may be able to hack the bios and turn it back on. You shouldn't be having heat issues with that system, those zalmans work great? When I had stability issues with my old amd64 system it turned out to be the power supply. I am running the same cpu as you overclocked to 2400 mhz and it idles at about 37C with a arctic cooling heatsink. I also have a 6600Gt overclocked and all I am running are two 80mm fans at 1700RPM and I have no heat issues I have played doom3 and half life 2 for over a hour with no crashing. Though you do have a few more components in the case. Also have you ran a memtest on it with memtest86 or anything to make sure the ram is good and stable?
     
  11. Vlad D

    Vlad D Screenwriter

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    My case fans are running at 1400RPM front, 1300RPM back. CPU fan is at 2300RPM. As I mentioned earlier the BIOS has some setting to enable fan control, but I don't know what the different settings (fan speed ratio: 11/16, 12/16, 13/16, 14/16, and 15/16) mean. Do you have any idea?
     
  12. Mike_J_Potter

    Mike_J_Potter Second Unit

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    At least from my understanding is that the ratio indicates how much the fans speed up as temperatures increase. I would try diabling the cool and quiet and run the fans at normal speed. Or get a fan controller and adjust the speed to the noise level you like.
     
  13. Vlad D

    Vlad D Screenwriter

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    I did this yesterday, and the GPU temp was 67C. I don't know if this is normal.

    I haven't had a chance yet (have a four month old) to open up the case and run FarCry to see if it happens again. But my brother-in-law played yesterday (with case closed) and it happened again. Just wondering if the sudden shut down can cause any other damage?

    Another question. I just realized that the Zalman fan weighs 755g and the maximum weight for my CPU 450g. Could this pose a future problem? Zalman has another similar fan, which is aluminum and copper (my current is all copper) which weighs 438g. Should I exchange my fan?
     
  14. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    If that's an idle temperature (nothing 3d running) then it's way, way too high.
     
  15. Christo Ramo

    Christo Ramo Stunt Coordinator

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    Try popping in another card, if possible, also, maybe try reducing your ram, may be a bad stick.
     
  16. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    My computer would turn on, when there was a clap of thunder.
    I mentioned it to the repairman at the store that built it for me. He had never heard of this happening. He only knew about them turning off and/or rebooting, which he said, was almost always the motherboard.
     
  17. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Well, that's what you get for hooking it up to The Clapper! [​IMG]

    Joe
     
  18. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    It just requires 1.1 Gigawatts of power. Dear god, how could I have been so foolish!
     
  19. Vlad D

    Vlad D Screenwriter

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    Yes that was an idle temp. So could this be the culprit? Maybe I should call BFG tech support.
     
  20. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    If that is your idle temp, then yeah, it's way to high.

    Idle temp on the 6800GT -should- be between 48C and 55C. Anything over 55C is considered "out of the norm" an idle temp of 67C is bad.

    What driver rev are you running on the 6800GT? Some of the drivers misreport temperature, so this may not be accurate.. but if it is close to accurate, it's not good.. anything over about 75C under load (which, if you're really getting 67C in idle) is a good way to cause your PC to shutdown.
     

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