PC unstable after CPU upgrade

By nissanman
May 14, 2009
  1. Hi all. I have a bit of a problem here.

    I have just upgraded my old Pentium 4 1.8Ghz to a 3Ghz Pentium 4 and for some reason, my computer seems to be running a bit unstable.

    The thing is, i seem to get random errors popping up (mainly when windows has just finished starting) that say something along the lines of that it failed to load a file properly. The errors do not appear all the time but that is only part of the problem. I also get alot of BSoD's stating that my video driver is at fault but sometimes it doesnt say anything about a file at all. The system also seems to lock up alot. Temps seem to be fine and my motherboard and bios support this type of cpu just fine.

    So what do you guys think might be causing this? The Power Supply? or maybe something else? Id really like to get this sorted quickly as i am going to a LAN in a few weeks time. Another thing too, after about 10mins of gameplay in games, artifacts begin to appear. The video cards temp appears to be fine and i have a nice 120mm fan blowing air directly onto it. The artifacts did not happen with my old CPU. Which leads me to believe my power supply is the culprit.

    Thanks, Nissanman
  2. nissanman

    nissanman TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 247


    The power supply is a generic 430watt by the way with 18amps on the 12v rail. It is made by Thermaltake. Reviewers say that this power supply isnt a 430watt and that tests show that its actually a 300watt with up to 17amps on the 12v rail.
  3. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,463   +1,760

    You should check at the board manufacturers site for the CPU compatibility chart. You might require a BIOS update to run the faster CPU.

    The difference between the current draw of your old CPU and the new one shouldn't be enough to destabilize the system. It seems more likely that if it was the PSU, the problems might occur during a game or other high CPU activities. (This is just a semi-educated guess).

    It never hurts to have a fresh PSU, and especially one that meets spec. If yours is more than 1 1/2 to 2 years old, it probably wouldn't meet spec anyway.
  4. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,115   +9

    did you put a better cooler on the 3.0ghz cpu? i mean not use the old one those cpus are notorious to be very hot.
  5. nissanman

    nissanman TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 247

    well, i forgot to mention that i only get the bsod's in games. Same with the artifacting. As for the cooler, yeah, ive got the Thermaltake Volcano 7 with fresh silver thermal grease. Also, i bought this power supply about mid last year. I asked my friend if i could try his old computers power supply (quite a good 460watt one) but he really doesnt wanna pull apart his computers.
  6. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 475

    As others said cheek bios and compatibility I'm kind of suppriesed your board could make the jump from 1.8 to 3 ghz since most boards can't handle the upgrade. If I remember correctly that PSU is actually OEMed by HEC a relatively low quality manufacture and is an old design that has been reworked to sorta meet modern specs. Here is a good write up on it
    I would reccomend replaceing it.
    Any of these would be good options

    something like bios could be the issue (also make sure the clock speed/FSB is set correctly in bios) but an average system with a 3ghz P4 would be pushing that PSU close to or over it's limits (not any where near the 430w that the label claims but certinly at or above the 300w or so it can actually deliver). and remember capacitors deteriate with age so if it's over a year old it will output somewhat less power than when it was new.

    edit: just saw your last post since it is mainly in games that would lead me to believe that the PSU could be a primary issue
  7. nissanman

    nissanman TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 247

    well, i know its not the motherboard. This motherboard is for Prescott Pentium 4's with an 800Mhz bus. Exactly like this CPU. I just used a crappy 1.8 northwood coz i didnt have anything else at the time.

    Unfortunately, I live in New Zealand and i dont think Newegg ships here (or maybe it does?). I but i was looking around at some online computer stores here and found this

    Is that a good PSU?
  8. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 475

    Not the worst but certainly not the best and not much better than the one you are replaceing. From that site this seems to be the best cost/benefit wise:
    Antec 500w OEMed by FSP a good company. It's not as quiet or efficent as the higherend antec earthwatts series but it is reliable and capible of delivering what it is rated at.
    If you don't mind spending more money these are good options as well:
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