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PSU How do I know if my PSU is dying?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Minitoz, 1 Mar 2012.

  1. Minitoz

    Minitoz New Member

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    Hi,

    Recently whilst I have been gaming, the games have started to either freeze or shutdown (with no warning, just goes from game to desktop with no explanation) completely. The main culprits for this are SW:ToR and CoH:ToV, although it happens on Crysis 2 as well. At first, I thought it was my GPU getting too hot so I checked Catalyst Control Center and turned the fan speed up to 45%, but the problem is still there. I installed HWMonitor and even though I play the above mentioned games on either High or Ultra my CPU and GPU temp hardly go above 60 degrees C.

    Could it be that my PSU is starting to die?? When I open the case it smells as if something is burning or has been burning, but not overpowering.

    Its also worth mentioning that the shutdown sometimes happens when I watch Blu-ray movies, but not very often.

    In case you need to know, I have the following set up:

    Intel i5-750 (no-overclock)
    Gigabyte H55M-UD2H
    8 GB Crucial Ballistix RAM
    Sapphire Radeon HD 5850
    Scythe Shuriken Cooler
    Be Quiet 600W PSU


    Any advice with the above will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Blogins

    Blogins Panda have Guns

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    This is not good. I would suggest giving the PC some TLC, maybe even replace the CPU/GPU TIM.

    When I took my GTX 460 apart a few months ago I was amazed how thin the TIM had become over the course of a single year. I use Arctic Silver 5 and in my experience this needs to be cleaned off the GPU and refreshed once a year to maintain decent temperatures. In your case I'd be tempted to clean the motherboard with some Isopropanol. My friends PC used to burn and just needed a swab down with Isopropanol because it was so so dusty. Problem solved!
     
  3. Fizzban

    Fizzban Man of Many Typos

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    Buy a can of compressed air and blow the dust out of the psu. And anywhere else that might need it. Make sure it is unplugged of course, and use short bursts of air. I can't promise this is a fix, but it can't hurt to try.
     
  4. Minitoz

    Minitoz New Member

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    Thanks for your input guys, I'll try both suggestions. I've just ordered a new CPU cooler so I'll wait until it arrives before I use new TIM.
     
  5. Taniniver

    Taniniver Member

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    It drops from the game to the desktop? I'd say that's not very likely to be the power supply then. I could be wrong of course, but this is the experience I had with a friends PC -

    We had upgraded the graphics card to a more powerful one (a GeForce GTX 280) and initially everything seemed fine, even playing games. When we came to something especially demanding in terms of graphics power though (the fire explosion in the intro section of Dragon Age 2, in this case), the PC would simply power off. That is, turn itself off, completely and instantly, with no warning, and not reboot, it stays off.

    We replaced his PSU with a more powerful one and then it was fine.

    So, based on that, if your PSU was the culprit I'd think it would turn off entirely, not crash to the desktop. The burning smell though is odd, if your graphics card isn't getting above 60 that's not very hot at all.
     
  6. feathers

    feathers Well-Known Member

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    The smell is a sign that a part is on it's way out or overheating. Put your hand over the back of the PSU exhaust and feel if the air is hot or cool. I have a 625w PSU, 2 x 560Ti SLI, i5k currently at 4.9ghz, 16gb ram and even in BF3 the PSU is barely warm to the touch. Sniff the PSU exhaust, does the slightly worrying smell come from there? Is the air hot?
     
  7. Minitoz

    Minitoz New Member

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    @Taniniver ..... It sometimes goes from game to desktop, sometimes the computer is completely shutting down and restarting. When the latter happens, the fan in the GPU goes very fast for about 5 secs then slows back down to normal.

    @Feathers ...... the air coming from the back of the PSU is cool.

    The new cooler still hasn't arrived (damn you overclockers) so no news on that side of things yet.
     
  8. Minitoz

    Minitoz New Member

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    Should also mention that I have all the current drivers for all hardware.
     
  9. N17 dizzi

    N17 dizzi Well-Known Member

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    Slightly unrelated but now you have 20 posts on the forum, you are eligible for free next day delivery with Scan.

    I find Scan to be generally cheaper than Overclockers and provide a better service. There are exceptions tho, sometimes OC can be cheaper.
     
  10. Minitoz

    Minitoz New Member

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    Right, I need to apologise for being a complete IDIOT!!! So, Sorry.

    Made a few discoveries ......
    1. I'm a dick.
    2. Although I set fan speed in CCC to 45%, I didn't press apply so things were still getting very hot, tonight I set fan speed to 75% and when I play SW:ToR on medium and low settings, the GPU clock is still hitting anywhere between 45 - 75C and usage is hovering around 95% constantly.
    3. After around 40 mins of playing SW:ToR my computer shutdown completely and restarted, when this happened, I felt the PSU exhaust and it was fairly warm. I take it that this is due to the GPU usage being so high???

    Am I right in thinking then that I do indeed need a better PSU or do I just need better cooling for my GPU/case? Incidentally, CPU temps never go above 55C.
     
  11. Tangster

    Tangster Butt-kicking for goodness!

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    Get a decently powerful fan and aim it at the GPU, then see if you can game with it. If you can then you need to clean your GPU cooler and/or reTIM the cooler.

    Otherwise, it might be the PSU.
    Fairly warm is very subjective, can you put a thermometer next to the PSU exhaust and also provide the ambient temp of your room?
     
  12. Minitoz

    Minitoz New Member

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    Got everything sorted now, turns out dust is bad. But hey, the computers running fine now. After I got dust out of everything. Going to upgrade GPU cooler and get the Silerstone Raven 3 to sort out cooling, then everything should be hunky dorey.

    Thanks for all the input, its greatly appreciated.
     
  13. Taniniver

    Taniniver Member

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    Interesting, and thanks for letting us know!

    I know dust can be an issue but I haven't encountered it getting to the point where it would cause a crash to desktop - useful info to encourage people I know who never clean their PCs to do it occasionally :D
     

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