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Old 08-06-2014, 04:49 PM   #1
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Computer shuts down when running games

I'm taking my old puter to a service guy tomorrow, but I thought I'd ask anyway, since there are some tech-savvy people on DLP.

Situation is thus: stuff works fine. Internet, my music, I can play Solitaire, even if it's slow-going (though that could be a trojan or something, I'm looking into a new anti-malware program).

Then I turn on a game, it runs for some time, then shuts down. I've been having this problem for a few weeks. I'm only going to have the stuff properly checked now because it stopped for a while and came back last weekend. I've tested it on the 3 games I have currently installed. I ran one of them through Origin and without it, results were the same.

Just realized I need to explain the "shuts down" part. It beeps, blinks, the PC goes dead, then there's a message on the screen saying something about a Power Saving Mode.

In the beginning, it would only be a few minutes before the shut-down came. Now it lasts about 20-ish minutes on average (I have no idea if the times matter).

If it was a problem with a graphics card, I think everything would be effed up, though I'm just grasping at straws here. I'm no tech expert. My googlefu revealed other peoples' problems similar to my own (Power Saving Mode) that seemed to be tied to LG monitors. I'm using one.

This started occurring about a month ago. When I used the computer previously in early April, everything worked fine. In the meantime, it had been stored in a dusty spot in the attic. My best guesses right now are that it's just filthy inside and the cooling fan can't handle it when I run games (I don't have the necessary tools to open it up, so I can't clean it out myself) or that there's something wrong with the power source.

So, any ideas?
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:38 PM   #2
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I don't know that much about it, but I encountered somewhat similar problem while playing skyrim on my laptop. If I were you, I would try to install some temperature monitoring software and check core temperature while playing.

As I understand it, when computer is overheating, there is some... I don't know what the word is in english... an insurance that computer won't be damaged by heat. It always makes some sound before it shuts a computer down.

I don't think that its problem with power distribution, but I can be wrong, of course. My father once assembled some computer and he connected wrong wire to a graphic card. When he turned the computer on, there was a pop-up window that graphic card has not enough power, or something similar.

Also, I once played games on my old computer that had faulty fan on a graphic card. When I played, everything become disorted afted a few minutes of playing, but it never suddenly shut down without some forewarning.

My conclusion is that it is not likely that there is something wrong with power, but my assumptions can be incorrect.

Last edited by Radmar; 08-06-2014 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:41 PM   #3
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Could be a few things, but my first suspect would be overheating. Make sure your fans work and download one of the many freeware programs that allows you to monitor your temps and fan speeds. That will quickly tell you if it is overheating.

You don't have a screw driver? That's really all you need to open a desktop.
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:49 PM   #4
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Could be a few things, but my first suspect would be overheating. Make sure all your fans work and download one of the many freeware programs that allows you to monitor your temps and fan speeds. That will quickly tell you if it is overheating.

You don't have a screw driver? That's really all you need to open a desktop.
I don't suffer from a lack of screwdrivers, but my computer case has some freaking fancy bolts. Anyway guys, thanks for your insight. It would seem you're right about overheating. I've been hearing some strange-ass sounds from the fan.
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Old 08-06-2014, 06:30 PM   #5
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Overheating would be my first guess too. The next one would be insufficient power. As for why it happens only when playing games: That's when you have the system under full load, so you get the maximum amount of waste heat (and have the highest power consumption). During idle (which is nowadays basically everything but gaming), it might just be working out.

Do what Radmar said and monitor your temperatures, e.g. with coretemp. I'd expect numbers of 30-40ish C idle and up to 70ish loaded, but it depends on your system (and ambient temp, obviously). Anything above that, and I'd look for explanations. And if you found the problem and fixed it, loop a 3D benchmark for one night or so, and see whether the system remains stable.
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Old 08-12-2014, 03:26 PM   #6
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Sudden shutdown is most likely the PSU.
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Old 08-12-2014, 04:01 PM   #7
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No idea what a PSU is, but I found out yesterday that I may need to get a new motherboard.
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Old 08-12-2014, 05:10 PM   #8
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No idea what a PSU is, but I found out yesterday that I may need to get a new motherboard.
PSU = Power Supply Unit. The box that sits at the bottom of your case (or top, in some) and has an electrical plug attached to it, and then all those wires coming out the other end.

A board can/will act really strange if the PSU is messed up. But, at least in my experience, if a PSU shuts off a system, it might start back up two or three times, but then it's done. Period. Of course, others may have had different experiences with them.
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Old 08-12-2014, 06:25 PM   #9
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Yes, the one I mentioned. An undersized PSU for the new graphics adapter I had installed. So it worked fine as long as I wasn't doing anything, but as soon as I started gaming, i.e. the GA went into full load and sucked a fuckton of power, more than the PSU could supply, it shut down.

@ScottPress: Did you do what we said? "I need a new motherboard" is the most expensive problem to fix. If my car doesn't start, I'll want to be damn sure I checked the battery and the cables, before I throw away the engine.
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She shuddered, even as we were descending, but when we dismounted, there was no sadness, no grief. Her ice blue eyes burned in boundless fury, a look so piercing it went clean through me. It was simultaneously the most beautiful and most terrifying thing I had ever seen on her face.

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Old 08-13-2014, 12:56 AM   #10
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"I need a new motherboard" is the most expensive problem to fix.
Not really, at least if his CPU is relatively new. Of course it also depends on what features he wants on the motherboard. For example, there are socket 1150 motherboards for as low as $60 if he doesn't need SLI and doesn't plan on overclocking. If he wants those two features the price goes up to about $80-$100. If his CPU is older, like from 2009 for example, then he would have a problem since socket 1156 motherboards are hard to come by these days.

But generally, if we talk about relatively new hardware (like 2-3 years old), the motherboard is not that expensive to replace. The most expensive components to replace will then be the CPU and GPU, at least if we talk about a gaming pc, since gaming GPUs start at about $200 and go up from there, and CPUs (assuming one of the better i5s) also start at about $200 and go up from there.
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Old 08-13-2014, 01:17 AM   #11
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I'm going to see the guy who's been taking my PC apart today to see what he came up with. My power source has never shown any problems before and the motherboard is old, so I can only guess for the moment. I really appreciate all the advice guys.
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Old 08-13-2014, 06:34 AM   #12
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~snip
I wouldn't want a $60 board. But nevermind that: $60 > cleaning the fan or re-applying heat sink paste, which was all I said
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She shuddered, even as we were descending, but when we dismounted, there was no sadness, no grief. Her ice blue eyes burned in boundless fury, a look so piercing it went clean through me. It was simultaneously the most beautiful and most terrifying thing I had ever seen on her face.

“Someone is going to pay.”

Kairos

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I heard that you like the bad girls, honey,
Is that true?
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Old 08-13-2014, 08:09 AM   #13
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Well, the PC is back, it got thoroughly cleaned in all possible ways and so far it's working okay. I consider the thread closed. Thanks for the input, everyone.
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:11 PM   #14
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Yes, the one I mentioned. An undersized PSU for the new graphics adapter I had installed. So it worked fine as long as I wasn't doing anything, but as soon as I started gaming, i.e. the GA went into full load and sucked a fuckton of power, more than the PSU could supply, it shut down.
Damn.

I had a 650 watt PSU driving a board, a GTX 280 card (been a few years ago, can you tell?) and the first gen I7 940 overclocked. About three two years after I built it, my PSU went out and took my MB with it. Bought a Asus MB and a 1200 watt PSU. Hadn't had a problem since.


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Well, the PC is back, it got thoroughly cleaned in all possible ways and so far it's working okay. I consider the thread closed. Thanks for the input, everyone.
Just remember, in the future, a can of compressed air is probably much cheaper.
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