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New self-build keeps on restarting

by Skipster / October 29, 2005 12:10 AM PDT


I have just built my own computer (my third self built PC). I have done all the usual - install XP, install SP2, Anti-virus, media players etc.

The computer has been restarting (or powering off and on very quickly) a couple of times. Here are the times it has restarted 1. 3D Mark 05 - Half way through third test (later on I managed to complete the first two) and
2. End of an installation for a game demo.

It has also been crashing (i.e. quits the program/game and displays error reporting tool). I couldn't make much out of the error report except one time when it mentioned a DirectX 9 DLL file. It crashes during games, 3D Mark 05 and PC Mark 05 at similar points.

I have installed the latest DirectX 9 and ATI Drivers.

The specs -
Micro ATX - Sapphire ATI Radeon Xpress 200P Motherboard
On board AC 97' Realtek sound
AMD 3200+ Athlon64 (Venice - 939) not overclocked and using retail fan and heatsink
Sapphire ATI Radeon X800GT 128mb
Samsung 80gb SATA Hard Drive
Kingston 2

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Power supply....I'd say yes
by TONI H / October 29, 2005 1:06 AM PDT

in that with all that power under the hood, it isn't strong enough to pull the train. I would have used one with at least 500Watts with all that new hardware. (Great choices BTW....)

Others may find other issues instead though so hang on for more responses.


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I vote with Toni. That 270 watt supply
by Ray Harinec / October 29, 2005 1:58 AM PDT

was fine for a typical MicroATX mobo because they are intended for using on board sound and video. When one goes to discrete cards, one needs more power and margin.

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No longer restarting - just crashing on games
by Skipster / October 29, 2005 3:20 AM PDT

Could it be the heat of the graphics card?

It no longer is restarting but it is crashing on almost every game.

Battlefield 2, 3DMark 05, Far Cry (gives an EXCEPTION_ACCESS_VIOLATION memory read/write error) except UT2004 which seems to run fine.

Far Cry wouldn't even fully load until I dropped the resolution.

The power supply does seem to be giving out a lot of hot air.

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Had the same problem
by ikjadoon / October 29, 2005 3:45 AM PDT

for like 5 years, replacing memory, GPU, CPU, etc. Finally I had the mobo replaced, problems vanished.. But that isn't really related to your problem.. First off, maybe get a larger PSU, as the others mentioned. Also, I think that the restarts may be BSOD's. To check:
Start, Settings, Control Panel, System, Advanced Tab, Click Settings under Startup & Recovery, then under System Failure Un-Check Automatically Restart. Run your benchmarks again, and when it restarts does a blue screen come up? If so, switch Power Supply, then maybe try switching the memory, moving around the slots, or taking out one piece. If not, just try switching the PSU. hth
P.S. You don't have any unneeded peripherals like printers, USB Hubs, or things like that?

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Try this suggestion
by TONI H / October 29, 2005 5:10 AM PDT

right click the .exe or shortcut that you use for the games, choose Properties, and then the Compatability tab. Change it to W98 from the drop down list and see if that fixes it. I've found that lots of times with games that XP's stuff is too powerful to get the games to work properly (crashing, freezing, skipping sound, jerky video), but tossing the game backwards to W98 works nearly every time.


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starving computer
by linkit / October 29, 2005 5:25 AM PDT

It is not about the PSU ''giving out a lot of hot air'' or overheating. It's that the PSU doesn't give out enough Watts.

The Idea is not to match the Wattage calculator. The idea is to far exceed the Wattage calculator. A PSU with a 270W MAXIMUM power rating may only give out 240W consistently. Over time the consistent Wattage output will drop. The different voltage rails may not put out enough amps, either.

Bite the bullet and get a good 450W+ PSU. Your computer is starving. Sad

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RE: Listen up...replace the power supply
by krazyken44 / October 29, 2005 5:49 AM PDT

I build PCs for myself and customers. I don't know what power calc. you used, but it's wrong..if it said that PS was ok. Heck, your CPU alone is most likely drawing 60+ watts and the video, hmmm... will draw... a lot.I saw it requires a 350watt PS. Yep, ATI version of this card does, so yours does too.
Spend a few more bucks and get a good power supply and allow 25-35% for extra. You'll be happy in the end.....

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Micro ATX power supplies
by Skipster / October 29, 2005 6:00 AM PDT

I have searched round and struggled to find Micro-ATX power supplies more powerful than my current one. I have found one which is 300 watts and I think i may have come across a 350watt one, is there any PSU's more powerful available for Micro-ATX cases?

Would 300 watts or 350 do the job?

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(NT) (NT) Standard ATX supplies fit in Micro ATX cases.
by Ray Harinec / October 29, 2005 6:39 AM PDT
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Probably should have said
by Ray Harinec / October 29, 2005 6:44 AM PDT

Most MicroATX cases. There are always exceptions.

Note whether you need the 20 pin or 24 pin connector to the mobo. [for Micro, most likely 20 pin.

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Oh no, SFX size!
by Skipster / October 30, 2005 1:01 AM PDT

Turns out it needs a smaller power supply.

SFX size apparently

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Holy cow
by TONI H / October 30, 2005 2:37 AM PST
In reply to: Oh no, SFX size!

if you already have a 270W unit, it's about the most you're gonna get....This site gives specs and they appear to go with AMD64bit cpus....but I can't for the life of me figure out how.


Ray is the one with the expertise regarding power supplies so I would expect he'll be in here with some explanations about it. It's way over my head trying to understand that aspect of it.


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by Skipster / October 30, 2005 3:05 AM PST
In reply to: Holy cow

Would 320 watts satisfy my system?

My other computer has similar specs except it has an X800XL and runs fine with 350 watts.

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If the SFX power supplies pack extra ooomph
by TONI H / October 30, 2005 3:31 AM PST
In reply to: 320watts??

into them, then 50 extra watts (if that's the most you were able to find for your system) will probably be what you need. I don't know how they do this, but if I'm remembering something Ray mentioned not long ago correctly, the SFX powersupplies are 'numbered' less than 3/4 of the same equivilant ATX supplies are, so I would think that with a 320Watt SFX it would be around slightly less than 500Watts in an ATX, and should do you.

He'll be around soon (we email frequently)...some football game must be on that's got his attention right now. lol


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I think that Toni has mixed up some remarks that
by Ray Harinec / October 30, 2005 6:12 AM PST

I have posted elsewhere about power supply efficiency and inadvertantly tied it into this discussion.

The wattage rating for the output power is based on the same thing for both type supplies. However with the ATX a few of the watts will be related to the minus 5 volt power [very low value], while the SFX supply has no such output.

The power supply efficiency will determine how much line power in one needs to give the specified DC output power. Example, is supply is 65% efficient divide the output wattage by 0.65 to determine the input power. {Of course this is assuming that one is really drawing [using] the maximum output power]

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Skipster, how certain are you that
by Ray Harinec / October 30, 2005 3:52 AM PST
In reply to: Oh no, SFX size!

an ATX supply will not work. I have put ATX's in two.

Read this link


Which clearly says that ATX's will work in general. The SFX spec was deveiloped to reduce wasted internal power rails. ATX supplies all still have the minus 5 volt rail although no systems use it. Thus it wastes the costs of the ps -5V circuitry etc.

I think that you should make some measurements of your supply and case. Note that the mounting screw locations for the SFX are the same as for the ATX. The killer might be if your case uses one of those where the Fan cage sticks up above.

For actual dimensions of the supplies you would have to go to the website of the specific mfr to get the dimensions for the model that you choose.

Which case did you use??? Can it be seen on Newegg?

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ATX power supplies are too wide
by Skipster / October 30, 2005 6:09 AM PST
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Yep, that is one of the marginal sized
by Ray Harinec / October 30, 2005 9:10 AM PST

MocroATX. They simpler are not designed to allow much in the way of added performance. You may even have problems keeping your system cool with a high p[ower video card, more memory, another drive. They all consume/dissipate heat.

One thing if you really want to get into gaming or other power user things, new cases are cheap. Under $60 at newegg with 400 Watt or 450 watt supply in it.

Simply get a mid tower. They have the mounting holes for a MicroATX mobo, lots of room to add things and keep the system cool.

I even wonder if your CPU temp readings are valid.

I really have nothing else to add.

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The power supply
by Skipster / October 30, 2005 7:27 AM PST
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