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is this a powersupply problem? or video card?

by Rahde / November 15, 2005 5:02 PM PST

A few days ago, I put together my first computer. I'm having a problem with my computer shutting itself down when I start to play a video game (World of Warcraft). It happens within a few minutes of starting the game. My guess is that the video card (Gigabyte Geforce 6600 AGP) is drawing too much power from the PSU. Regular websurfing seem to be fine.

Not sure if this makes a difference but, when I was playing around with the AGP settings, turning the AGP speed from 8x to 4x, the computer restarted, instead of shutting down.

When I put my hand over the back of the case closest to the PSU, it is hot. So is the heatsink on the video card. I'm not sure which one is causing the problem. I'm leaning toward the PSU because the entire case/psu was $33. If anyone can assert with a high level of confidence that it is the PSU causing the problem, I'll spring for a new one ASAP. however, I'm not too knowledgable about this issue so I don't want to spring the money right away.

CPU temperature seems to be between 44C and 57C. Motherboard temp is ~38C. Mobo CPU thermal throttle is set at 70C.

Here's my current system
Video Card - Gigabyte Geforce 6600 AGP 256MB, GV-N66256DP
Case - Broadway Com 450W Mid Tower, PSU OKIA P4-450W
Motherboard - ASRock 775V88 Socket T (LGA 775) VIA PT880
CPU - Intel Pentium 4 550 Prescott 800MHz FSB LGA 775
RAM - 1GB DDR400 Generic
HD - Maxtor Diamondmax 10, 160gb
dvd-rom drive, cd-rw drive
OS - Windows 2000 SP2

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by Olds / November 16, 2005 3:54 AM PST

First thing that you can check is to go into your BIOS when the computer starts and see what the voltage outputs of the power supply are. You'll find this on the H/W monitor tab. If the the voltages look too far off this is probably your problem.

Next thing that you can try is running a burn-in program on your system. You can use something like SiSoft Sandra for this, you can download a free version. If your computer shuts down, it's probably the power supply.

Next thing you can try is a graghics benchmarking program such as 3DMark05 If your system crashes with this test I would say your video card is the culprit.

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i wonder
by compgeek7889 / November 17, 2005 9:50 AM PST
In reply to: HMMMMM.......

i am wondering is your psu powerful enough to handle it, the recommended psu for a gaming system , think is around 400

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First things first
by Eddiefromalienwarecomps / November 16, 2005 4:50 AM PST

You never gave us the total wattage of your PSU. Is it a 500 watt psu? 350? etc. I wouldn't think that your video card is the problem because it a good video card capable of handling World of Warcraft. Since you changed it to 4x it probably drew less power and that is why it restarts. I highly advise you get a PSU that can handle more watts (I say you get the 500 wat PSU). With a good video card you will need a good PSU, since the video card hogs up the PSU.

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by jackintucson / November 16, 2005 6:15 AM PST

The more you ask the processor to do the hotter it gets. Make sure you properly installed the compound between the CPU and the heat sink. I have found this to be the problem on many DIY systems.

and life goes on...


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with that pentium 4 + gfx card
by nerdyboy1234 / November 16, 2005 6:52 AM PST

definitely get a better psu as probably not enough power

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deciding between 2 psus
by Rahde / November 16, 2005 11:30 AM PST

thanks for all your help. As of now, my computer will not even turn on. I hit the power button, the fans spin for about 2 seconds and stops. That's about it. Am I correct to make the assumption that the power supply died?

I'm looking into 2 psus
1. the 520W from ASPIRE

2. the 520W from OCZ

Although they have the same voltage, there is a big gap in price. Keep in mind that I'm a college student and the $80 difference is a lot to me. I'm wondering if there is a big difference in performance between the two. I'm guessing that 520W is enough for me. However, should I spend the extra money for the more expensive one? or should the cheaper one be good enough?

Thanks for all your help

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Power supplies just supply power
by Eddiefromalienwarecomps / November 16, 2005 11:48 AM PST

I would say get the cheaper one. I mean every power supply does its job and delivers the power. It's not the case with graphics cards, as where if you spend more you get the better card. If you spend more money on a PSU, you won't get better performance (but probably better reliability).

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get this has dual 12v
by nerdyboy1234 / November 16, 2005 1:13 PM PST
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dual 12v?
by Rahde / November 16, 2005 1:21 PM PST

what is dual 12v and what does it do? Is it more reliable?

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Dual 12v rails = more stable voltage
by Olds / November 17, 2005 2:24 AM PST
In reply to: dual 12v?

More and more of the new mother boards are adopting the ATX Ver. 2.0 standard. These boards have a 24 pin ATX power connector that helps keep the 12v supply stable. This is more important for systems that have PCI Express.

The board that you have only has a 20 pin ATX power connector and no PCI Express so you don't absolutely need to get a PSU with dual 12 v rails. But that doen't really matter because the PSU that Nerdyboy1234 posted:

doesn't have dual 12v rails anyway.

Here's a good way to choose a good power supply:

1: Know this, you get what you pay for. Don't buy the cheapest one you can.

2: Figure out how much you can spend and make a list of a few supplies in your price range.

3: Search for reviews and user opinions online, and get a feel for the over all opinion of each one.

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thanks for all the help
by Rahde / November 18, 2005 5:07 AM PST

I'm about 90% sure now that it's the PSU that was causing the problem. When it was working a few days ago, it was really hot when I put my hand on it. In retrospect, I really shouldn't have cheaped out on the case/psu but at that time, I didn't know how important the psu was.

I've decided to go with a 600watt psu from xion.
it's got dual 12v and the reviews seem to be good, although I do realize that 9 reviews is not enough to get an accurate description of its quality.

Again, thank you guys for all the help. I really appriciate it.

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by damasta55r / November 18, 2005 5:51 AM PST
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Oh. FOrgot
by damasta55r / November 18, 2005 5:52 AM PST
In reply to: RE:

Are you sure its not the card artifacting because its overheating? No offense, but i do remember some problems with the gigabyte heatsink and fan.


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by Rahde / November 18, 2005 6:59 AM PST
In reply to: Oh. FOrgot

It's probably a 10% chance it's the video card.
However, although most of the times it shut down while running a game, there was one time where it shut down running a virus scan which makes me believe it's not related to the video card. also, is there any reason why you would have went with that psu?
I didn't think 500w would be enough because I'm also running 3 harddrives,1 dvd-rom, 1 cd-rw, 3 case fans, and 1 very powerful cpu fan

On a related question, I know that I should never try to use up 100% of total watts. What's a safe percentage range that I should stay between?

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Let's see
by Eddiefromalienwarecomps / November 19, 2005 3:20 AM PST
In reply to: question

In your situation 500 watts is plenty. If you want, you can get more watts, up to you. Or get a liquid cooling system which can effectively cool your GPU and your CPU. In my opinion the total wattage you should stay between is 75%-90%

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