Is it the psu or the cpu?

By drink_jones ยท 4 replies
Aug 25, 2005
  1. ok, so recently I decided it was time for me to build a computer, so I bought all of the parts and peices put it together and everything ran just as it should (with the exception of some video card problems). less than a moth later, I'm playing Halo and all of a sudden everything shuts off. my first thought was my 450 watt power supply went screwy, so I switched that out with a 400, and the computer stared to boot. once I got to where I choose wich OS to use, the computer shuts off again. I turn it on once more and about 7 seconds later it shut off. so I thought that maybe I was trying to get too much power... out goes one of the video cards. when booting this time, a voice says "system failure due to cpu overclocking." so now I'm really worried that my cpu is fried or something. I think back to what I changed when reinstalling the other PSU and I remember tightening the heatsink and fan down a bit more than before so i loosen that up a bit just to see what happens... no good, as you might have guessed. I also noticed that the thermal grease that came with my heatsink and fan had completely disappeared (why I tightened it more). so now I'm out of ideas. I'm getting a 500 watt power supply from and arctic silver 5 thermal grease from in a few days and see of those two fix the problem. if anyone has any ideas that may help, it would be greatly appreciated.

    My system:

    Asus P5ND2-SLI Deluxe mobo
    4 1GB sticks of pqi DDR2 667 RAM
    Intel P4 3.6Ghz 64 bit ready
    dual EVGA 6800GT
    Western Digital 320 GB hard drive
    Pioneer DVD burner
    win xp home
    win xp 64

    thanks a lot
  2. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    Welcome to Techspot!
    I do not know how you can tell if the thermal paste had "comepletely disappeared" when the only area of the paste that does anything is the area Between the Heatsink & processor and the only way to see that is too seperate them ,in which case you would have to clean and reapplyto those surfaces.
    Tightening and loosening the clamps is a mistake .
    When you your parts properly installed. Clear the CMOS before you boot up.Then go right to BIOS setup and make the proper settings for your system, set the CPU and Ram for Stock and see how your system behaves .
    Intel's run very hot at this level.I hope you have extreme cooloing in place if you are going to OverClk.
    Also did you confirm any BIOS settings that may conflict from XP 64 to 32 bit in a Dual Boot system?
  3. drink_jones

    drink_jones TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    Thanks for the warm welcome!

    I had to remove the heatsink and fan in order to switch psu's, that's when i noticed that the thermal paste was gone. i'm not sure why it was gone, my best guess was that it was because it was just the cheap stuff that came with the HS and Fan. i could see a very little bit on the cpu, but nowhere near enough to do any good.
    Also, i tried clearing the cmos, and the bios has no problem dual booting 64 and 32. if i were able to get into the bios, i would look it over more carefully. it had been running fine until yesterday when everything shut down.
    As for overclocking, i haven't even attempted to do so.
    What i think may have happened was the cpu just got way to hot (at boot i've seen this thing get up to 78 celsius, and it idles around 60) and somehow tricked the system into thinking it was overclocking. liquid cooling is a must for these things, as i'm finding out.

    so it is bad to have the fan on to tight? i wasn't sure, so i was fairly nervous tightening it.

    oh and why did my psu short out if it's the cpu that's all screwy?

    thanks a bunch, Liquidlen!
    i appreciate it, man. :grinthumb
  4. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    First of all 78 C is too hot My P4 3.06 default shutdown is 75C.
    You should not need more than Stock Heatsink fan that comes with retail Intel-no-ovrclck CPU's(Although I always step up to Zalman /or Premium Cooling-not Liquid)My cpu runs at 52C Max load,Case 38C with the Zalman .Make sure you have enuff case cooling the heat in the case is just as important as the CPu temps.Your 3.6 will be a bit hotter than mine Stock.
    I am not sure about a thermal paste that disappears-Make sure when your Artic silver shows up ,you clean the surfaces well and apply a thin even layer to the cpu then re attach.
    The Heatsink clamps should be firm/stiff to close by hand,(thats all) not so much pressure that you are flexing the Mb (cracking sound as you tighen is very bad)
    I am not sure your PSU is the culprit, I suspect Heat.Remember Intel's will shutdown from internal heat sensor at a pre set threshold.You can confirm this at their website.
    Deal with what is noted above ,makes sure you have some decent case cooling and hopefully the CPU is not damaged.
    Let us know.
  5. drink_jones

    drink_jones TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    Ok, so I applied the arctic silver 5 and now my boot temp is around 68-69 C and at idle it gets as low as 47-49 C. I think it's still pretty warm, but it's better than what it was doing. My case temp is 34 C right now, too.

    thanks a lot for your help!

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