TechSpot

Computer Restarts while Gaming:(

By SPARTA
May 28, 2007
  1. Hey all,

    Whenever i play a game ( Counter Strike-Source & Far Cry ) my computer restarts. I can be playing for 10 minutes or several hours. This is extremely frustrating!
    Could somebody please help me fix this problem. I don't know that much about computers.

    Intel P-4 630 3.0Ghz/800Mhz FSB LGA-775 2MB
    Gigabyte Ga-8i915P-DUO Intel 915X Chipset Mainboard DDR-ll, ATX
    Kingston 512MB DDR2 PC4200/533Mhz Dimm
    Seagate Barracuda V 80GB SATA, 7200rpm, 8MB IDE Hard Disk
    XFX nVidia Geforce 6600GT 256MB DDR-3 PCI-e, DVI, SLI
    400W PSU
    My computer is just over a year old


    Thankyou


    -SPARTA
     
  2. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 6,504   +6

    Sounds like something is overheating to me.....

    Its significant that you see these problems when the system is under heavy load, but don't see it when you are just using Internet, etc, and the load on the system is far lesser.

    You might also want to update the drivers on your system, particularly for the graphics card. Its perhaps the case that there is a fixed bug in the drivers that you are presently encountering. When the graphics card only has to draw the desktop its fine, but when you are playing a game and more advanced features are being used, that's when there is an issue.

    These are just guesses, but the temp and the drivers would be a first port of call to check.
     
  3. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,291   +25

    This sort of problem has four main causes, either of which may apply to your situation:
    1) An inadequate\dying PSU (Power Supply Unit).
    2) A faulty video card.
    3) An overheating component
    4) Buggy drivers

    The first three are very commonly seen around here.
    You can check the PSU's +12V rail by going into the BIOS and using the hardware monitoring utility there to check the amount of voltage on the +12V rail. Ideally, it should be between 12.1 and 11.8 and be stable too. If the voltage is too low i.e. below 11.75 or if it fluctuates too much, you need a new PSU.
    The CPU and GPU temperatures can be checked using the BIOS and NVIDIA's Control Panel respectively.
    Try installing NVIDIA's latest drivers if you haven't already. If you're still getting problems, try downloading and installing older drivers. I recommend the 81.98 set. All these are available from www.Guru3D.com
    If the video card seems to be the culprit, replace it with another one or run the PC on onboard video if you have any and see if you still get restarts.
    Good luck and keep us posted. :)
     
  4. SPARTA

    SPARTA TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Thanks for the reply phantom66 & Rage,

    I have change the graphics card drivers twice now since this problem began!
    Dumb question but...what other drivers are there?? ( I really don't know much about computers )
    This is my second power supply, the first 1 blew up/ fizzed out. The one i have now only feels warn/hot. If i was to get a new power supply which 1 would you recommend thats not too expensive?
    I'll try what you said Rage about checking the temps.

    Do you think it would be wise for me to take it to a computer shop?? My gaming friends have advised against this cause of all the bad experiences they have had in the past. Riped off/ problem still there!


    -SPARTA
     
  5. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,291   +25

    First see if you really need a new PSU by doing what I suggested. No sense in spending money needlessly, is there? Also, I'd recommend against going to a computer shop unless we're absolutely sure nothing else can be done. As for the drivers, check on Guru3D for NVIDIA's Forceware drivers version 81.98 and download and install those drivers and see if your problem goes away.
     
  6. SPARTA

    SPARTA TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    How do i get into the BIOS? Sorry for the dumb question, again i know nothing about computers.




    -SPARTA
     
  7. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 6,504   +6

    You get into the BIOS by rebooting your machine, and pressing the key that gets you into setup, commonly F2, F10, ESC, DEL, etc. It will tell you which key to press, but watch out because the message is quick. Hopefully no one set a password on it.

    You get new drivers for your graphics card by visiting the website of the company that made the card ; there are links to downloads and drivers there. Generally its no harder to update a driver than it is to install software.

    Did your problems start when you upgraded the PSU? Or did it start recently? Or has it been happening from the start?

    Don't spend any money at this stage on anything.
     
  8. SPARTA

    SPARTA TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    There was no hadware monitoring uitilty. This is the closest i could find.
    PC Health status
    Vcore - ok
    DDRV -ok
    + 3.3V -ok
    + 12V - ok
    current CPU temp - 52c/ 53c
    Current fan speed - 2636
    Current fan speed - 0 RPM
    Current system fan speed - 0 RPM
    Before Now
    CPU warning temp - Disabled - Enabled - 60c/ 140c
    CPU fan fail warning- Disabled - Enabled
    Power fan fail warning - Disabled
    System fan fail warning - Disabled
    CPU smart fan control - Enabled
    CPU smart fan mode - Auto



    The problems started after the new PSU, but not sure how long it was, would of been more than a few months after. The first time it restarted, if i remember correctly was in december. Most days i'd have no problems at all other than the occasional restart. Now it restart frequently & my game play also suffers after the restart ie, laggy!


    EDIT: I just downloaded EVEREST
    Voltages Values
    + 12V - 11.78V - 11.84V - 11.71V - 11.65V
    Mainly stays on 11.78V




    -SPARTA
     
  9. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,291   +25

    I think you need a new PSU. That's even confirmed by the fact that the problem intensified after you changed your PSU. Your current one is dying. Reliable PSUs brands include Antec, Thermaltake, OCZ, Corsair, FSP Fortron, Seasonic, PC Power & Cooling and Enermax.
     
  10. SPARTA

    SPARTA TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    ok thanks guys for your help!:)

    1 last question should i get a PSU over 400W ?

    Are PSU easy to install myself ?







    -SPARTA
     
  11. Bad Cyborg

    Bad Cyborg TS Rookie

    Hello Sydney Australia. How is your room temp? Is it warm this time of year? I imagine above 27 degrees, maybe more. Room temp can raise hell with your PC. My CPU temp sometimes swing from 50 to 54 depending on the time of day. Adding to that, it appears you either don't have a heat-sensing system fan or don't have any period. Is there any other fan inside your rig besides the heatsink one that is moving air around? If not, you need a nice big blower seeing as you have a 6600. I find that when a system reboots in mid-game, it's usually the CPU. So here's what you might want to do. Lie down your PC. Leave the side door open. Direct a big fan at the CPU. Now play your game and see if it still reboots. If it doesn't, you've found the problem. Time to replace that infernal Intel heatsink. I'd get one with heatpipe, say, this one.
     
     
  12. SPARTA

    SPARTA TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Hey Bad Cyborg,

    Room temp is fine, it is actually winter time in Australia. I'm freezing :(. My computer is in the coolest room in the house. In summer time going of my Viper gaming box temp guage, it hits 35 Degrees C. Currently its at 24 Degrees C

    I have another fan directly opposite the thing that says "Intel" (i'm guessing thats the Heatsink) on it attached to the mother board (sorry i'm not good at explaining about computer stuff). Also 1 fan at the front lower part of the case.

    Is a new Heatsink expensive?

    Should i just add another fan? I have room for another fan.

    Should i still replace my power supply?

    I'll just add last nite i played for hours & my computer didnt crash at all, WEIRD. But when i started my comp up this morning it restarted before everthing loaded.



    EDIT: I changed my temp settings up to 70Dc using the gigabite Easy tuna(was 60Dc before), as soon as i started playin css it statred making a buzzing sound/warning sound. As soon as i turned css off it stoped! Does this help anyone know what my problem mite be??
    Thanks in advance:)




    -SPARTA
     
  13. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,291   +25

    What exactly do you mean by the above statement?
    Anyways, I still think you'd need a new PSU. A 450W one from the brands I suggested before would be enough since you don't have a particularly power-hungry system. You really need only 400W but the extra wattage will give you some headroom to upgrade your system if you want to. Your temperatures are fine since the CPU is a Prescott, which usually run pretty hot, so you don't need a new heatsink.
     
  14. SPARTA

    SPARTA TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    ok i will get a new PSU. Thanks.

    lol Not sure really, i just changed my temp settings to higher. I'm just really confused.

    Thanks again & i'll let you know if getting a new PSU fixes it.



    -SPARTA
     
  15. SPARTA

    SPARTA TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    UPDATE:

    Hey Again,
    Well i finally took my comp to a shop. Turns out it was my cpu overheating. Temp was at 54c with nothing running. They added a large fan/heatsink (Gigabyte 3D Rocket II Cooler Support AMD AM2 Series) Temp now running at 35c.yay! Worst thing is now it is a little more noisey (16dBA when fan running on high) & Its also very cold being close to my comp:(. They also pulled my comp to bits & cleaned all the dust out!
    total cost for this was only $145!:)

    Thankyou all for your help:D :D
     
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