General discussion

Random Shut Downs

OS: Windows XP 64-bit SP2

Hardware:

Case: Apevia X-telstar ATX Full
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?Sku=A107-1108

PSU: Ultra 650-Watt
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?Sku=ULT-LSP650

GPU: EVGA GTX 285
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?Sku=E145-285

CPU: Intel Q9400 Quad Core 2.66Ghz
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?Sku=CP1-DUO-Q9400

Motherboard: EVGA nForce 790i Ultra
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?Sku=E145-2037

RAM: OCZ 2x1024MB 2000MHz
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?Sku=E145-2037

The Issue: While gaming (many different games) my screen will completely freeze. However it is clear that it is not the game or internet freezing, as I cannot move my mouse either. When I hit caps lock, the light on the keyboard does not go on/off so it acts as if the PC is off. However the light on the bottom of the mouse is still on, any keyboard/case lights are still on, case/CPU/GPU fans are still on, so power is still going throughout the system.
This has been happening since I built this system a little over a year ago and it can happen once a week or 4 times a day. Within two weeks of building the PC I experienced this problem. I initially thought it was my GPU so I RMA'd it back and used an old card I had ( I don't remember what it was ). I did not experience this issue for the week or two while I waited for a new 285. Once I got the 285, the issue persisted. Recently, I decided to upgrade to the GTX 470 as well as getting new RAM and power supply, hoping that any one of these hardware pieces was the problem.
After installing the new RAM/PSU, I still experienced the issue the same as before. However after installing the GTX 470, I still had the same problem only it happened more often. The 470 seemed to amplify the problem, as the issue would sometimes occur if I was not even in a game. Recently I have been playing Starcraft II, which is a newer and I think more PC intensive game than the other games I had played in the past (WoW, Left for Dead 2, League of Legends, etc). I have noticed that the issue seems to occur more often when I am playing this newer game compared to when I was playing the others. Also of note, I have tried opening up the case and using a large floor fan to blow air directly into the open case. I have also tried using an air conditioner to keep the room cooler if it was hot outside. These did seem to help in that the issue seemed to happen less, however it could still occur and with the newer card/game it still happens frequently. Since the cooler air did sometimes seem to help, and when I visited a family member over the summer, the issue happened nonstop (no Air Conditioning, very hot outside) so it seems to be heat related. I had tried different drivers for the GTX 285, which did not help. After trying new hardware (see below) I am not sure what to do. Any suggestions?

new Hardware:

PSU: Corsair TX850W
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?Sku=C13-2508

GPU: GTX 470
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6075095&CatId=3669

RAM: Corsair Dominator DHX
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4837612&CatId=4527

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Comments
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Random Shut Downs

One other thing I forgot to mention, I do run EVGA precision which tracks GPU temperature, right now while typing this I have the fan speed at 100% and I the temp is 48 Celsius degrees. I sometimes check this temp while gaming and I don't think I have really seem it go above the low 60s, again Celsius. I also run Core Temp which tracks CPU temperatures, right now each of the four cores is between 41-44 Celsius degrees. While gaming it usually goes up to the low 50s. I don't believe either of these temperatures are high enough to warrant a shut down.

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One Way To Test..

First, I would hunt down and install the latest driver for your new graphics card.. It's surprising how updated drivers can cure such..

Next, although I understand your temperature readings, it's entirely possible that the processor is overheating and causing the shutdown. As such, I would remove the old and reapply new thermal paste on the processor/heatsink. If that doesn't improve the situation, open the case cover and point a house fan at the innards, then run the machine.. If things get better, then you can be assured there is a heat issue somewhere.

Hope this helps.

Grif

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