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Other Folding PC no longer works

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by badsector, 6 Jul 2010.

  1. badsector

    badsector i7

    17 Apr 2010
    Likes Received:
    I recently bought all the parts for a new core i7 PC. There was an intermittant fault, and in order to diagnose it I bought replacement parts to figure out which component was faulty. Turns out it was the motherboard. I then had enough spare parts to put together two core i7 PCs. One runs Win7, the other Vista. I then decided to have a play with folding, and quickly got hooked as my score increased. One GFX card was a 9800 GTX+ which was good for folding, but I only had a feeble 9400 for the Vista PC. So I bought a GTX260 for the Win7 PC and moved the 9800 to the Vista PC.

    I started folding only during the evening when I was at home. At a local computer faire I picked up another 9800 GTX+ for £80 and installed it in the Vista PC. All was well. The Vista PC had a Maplin iCute 400W PSU, which was good enough to power the Vista PC with both GFX cards folding (not yet cased), but since I was worried to trust a no-name brand I bought an Antec TP550 (the Antec TP650 came out top in a CPC test of PSUs).

    The Vista mb and PSU was installed in a case and it was folding in the evening and overnight. I did notice that the GPU cards got extremely hot to the touch, and due to the positioning of the PCI-e slots, one GFX card had the fan too close to the case wall. More recently I have left it folding 24-7. This clocked up some good points. With the recent warm weather I found that the Vista machine had crashed overnight. Another time the screen was corrupted as if the card was overclocked. This told me that the GFX card had got so warm that although it was running stock speed, the silicon had slowed down to below standard specification due to the heat.

    I used a main power meter and checked that the power taken (by the dual GFX card Vista PC) was below the 550W rating of the PSU. I can't remember the figure, but it was less than 400W.

    Then the big problem happened. The Vista PC crashed and when re-booted would crash again. I removed one of the 9800 cards. The Vista PC would boot, but when I started folding on the remaining GPU, it would crash pretty quickly. I am at a loss to explain whether the problem is with the PSU or GFX card. CPU only folding runs A-OK.

    With CPU folding the power drawn is 138W. With GPU folding the power drawn is 205W. I used GPUZ to monitor the GPU temperature having started CPU folding. The temperature rose steadily from around 67C to 71C over a few minutes, before the PC locked up/crashed (no video, jusy whirring fans). I couldn't access the Vista PC over the network suggesting that the CPU had also crashed.

    Before this happened I setup my spare components in a 3rd PC to get extra folding points. I had a cheap Foxcomm mb with Celeron (not sure which type) and used the 9400 GFX card. It was powered by the iCute 400W PSU. All was well although the setup didn't generate too many points. When I removed the 9800 from the Vista PC, it was immediately installed in the Foxconn mb replacing the 9400. Much to my surprise this system now also crashes just like the Vista system. This system draws 245W when doing GPU folding.

    Both the Vista and the 3rd system boot OK and start to run folding. Any ideas what is causing them to crash?
    The PSUs appear to be operating well in specification.



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