Computer shuts off playing games - Techist - Tech Forum

Go Back   Techist - Tech Forum > Computer Hardware > Hardware Repairs and Troubleshooting
Click Here to Login
Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 01-03-2007, 11:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
Newb Techie
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5
Default Computer shuts off playing games

Hi there, I stumbled across this forum searching for a similiar problem I am having. I am at a loss for words on how to fix it and its very annoying. I bought an Alienware PC in May of 2006 and have had no problems until I moved. I wasn't playing many games but once I started to after 30-45 minutes, and sometimes as long as 2+ hours my computer just turns off. There is no warning, no errors when booting up either. It just turns off. Here is the computer in question:

Processor: Intel® Pentium® D Processor 950 w/ Dual Core Technology 3.4GHz 800MHz FSB
Operating System: Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition with Service Pack 2
Power Supply: Alienware® 650 Watt ATX 2.0 Power Supply with Active PFC
Motherboard: Alienware® NVidia nForce™4 SLI™ X16 Motherboard
Graphics Processor: 256MB PCI-Express x16 NVIDIA® GeForce™ 7800 GT
Memory: 2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz - 2 x 1024MB
System Drive: High Performance - 160GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s 7,200 RPM w/ NCQ & 8MB Cache
Storage Drive: High Performance - 160GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s 7,200 RPM w/ NCQ & 8MB Cache
Primary CD ROM/DVD ROM: 16x Dual Layer DVD±R/W Drive
Secondary CD ROM/DVD ROM: 52x32x52x CD-RW Drive
Sound Card: Alienware® Edition Sound Blaster® X-Fi® High Definition 7.1 Audio with XRAM Technology
Primary Display: Samsung SyncMaster 1100DF 21" CRT Display - Black


What is really worrying is that it does this while playing Rainbow Six: Vegas and while running Everest my GPU temp approaches 80+ very quickly. The fan works and everything also. I can't understand why it would be doing this while playing very low load games like Quake 3 though but its happening virtually any game I play for a while.

I will just be happily blasting away and all of a sudden monitor goes black computer makes a loud shutdown noise, everything goes silent. I get no problems afterwards when I boot up or anything but i'm worried I might be damaging the hardware letting this continue. I've had about 10-15 crashes in the past week and I need to hang up my gaming pants until I can fix it. The sad thing is my warranty is void (only purchased the 90 day one) and I don't wanna have to spend a ton of money to fix the problem.

Thank you for reading this and I look forward to finding out any solutions!
__________________

steve_urkel2 is offline  
Old 01-03-2007, 11:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
Wizard Techie
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Delaware
Posts: 3,475
Default

Sounds like your PSU is going bad. Video cards draw a lot of power.
__________________

turtile is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 12:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
Newb Techie
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5
Default

How can I test if thats the problem exactly? I don't see how the PSU could be going bad so quickly into this computers lifespan but that is definitely a problem I didn't even consider.

Opening up this computer is kind of a chore, theres a big plastic thing surrounding half the hardware (PSU included I believe) and i'm not sure exactly how I would test if thats the exact problem. I don't have another one on hand to test if thats the issue but I appreciate the consideration and i'll look into it.

Also I noticed at boot up on my bios screen that my computer idle was running:

CPU: 67 C
MB: 71 C

Is that normal? I saw someone mention that a good idle bios temp was about 25 ... I don't see that happening with the way my computer is set up.
steve_urkel2 is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 12:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
Junior Techie
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 45
Default

Bad PSU...

Not a computer, but I've had a Stewart 200 Watt amp that's powered my speakers for forever....until two days ago. Now it shuts off after less than a minute since it overheats.

Maybe your computer and my DVD player should get together...it shuts off halfway through every DVD.
__________________
Nihil est facile; nihil est gratuitum
Instrumediatech is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 01:06 AM   #5 (permalink)
Newb Techie
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5
Default

Ok so if the problem isn't GPU overheating and its the PSU ... I have a little question. Well, I won't be having the money or the means for a few weeks to replace the PSU.

Am I damaging the system by letting this problem persist?

I want to play games during my free time right now but if its going to damage the hardware than I should probably back off. If the problem is just the PSU is it going to damage my machine by letting this continue to happen? It just turns everything off and i've had no errors but I have no idea if anything is going to get damaged letting this happen. It doesn't seem like a very clean way to shut off...
steve_urkel2 is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 01:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
Master Techie
 
Shumway's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: London - Ontario - Canada
Posts: 2,729
Default

Sound's like the cpu is over heating,Have you tried cleaning your heat sink out or making sure it's seated properly still? Maybe it got bumped some how during your move
Shumway is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 01:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
Newb Techie
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5
Default

I'm really not sure all I know is that my GPU is running at 90 C while playing Rainbow Six Vegas right now and that worries me. I am alt tabbed out right now and it dropped down to 60 ... it doesn't make much sense. I wish I knew more people out here with the proper hardware to diagnose this because I have no spare parts or money to afford to test different options. I sprayed some compressed air the other day and cleaned out some of the dust but I haven't opened up the plastic thing to get to the PSU and whatever else is hiding in there.

If the PSU was the problem would it only crash during games though? I mean I can leave this thing on for a week straight just doing casual things but I can't play any games for more than an hour or two. Its really unusual that Quake 3 would be having the same effects as Vegas and Quake 4 though. I don't see how my PSU is drawing too much power from a game from 1999.

I appreciate all the suggestions and if anyone has any more solutions please help me out this is very frustrating. I ran memtest and it came out good also since I thought that might be a possible factor so its not the memory and my fans are all spinning. I used to play games 16 hours straight w/ no crashes at all so this is very bizzare.
steve_urkel2 is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 01:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
Wizard Techie
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Delaware
Posts: 3,475
Default

If its a good PSU, it shouldn't damage the components but it still could.

Isn't your comp still under warranty?
turtile is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 01:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
Newb Techie
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5
Default

I don't think so, according to the email I only had a 90 day warranty ...

I am wondering if it should be running as hot as it says, I was running a log while playing Vegas a minute ago and here are the temperatures I was receiving. Granted I know nothing of computer temperatures this just seems a little bit high. The CPU is staying around 66 and the MB exactly 45 ... but the GPU averages anywhere from 68 to 90 and the GPU diode 73-94 C.

I would imagine the PSU if it were bad would be causing the problems while not just playing games considering I run Reason, Traktor and Photoshop quite a bit also and have had no problems and they seem to be high load bearing programs.

I know that you say that graphics card draw a lot of power but shouldn't a 650w PSU be able to run Quake 3 w/o it crashing out on me?

Is there any other things I could try or a logging program that could explain what is happening when the crash occurs? I get no BSOD or anything so I don't see how I could. It just turns off, monitor stays on, speakers stay on, modem stays on so I know its not the outlet i'm using (I wish it was!).
steve_urkel2 is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 03:30 AM   #10 (permalink)
Ultra Techie
 
Dexaroni's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 551
Send a message via AIM to Dexaroni Send a message via MSN to Dexaroni
Default

The GPU is a tad too hot, and the CPU is WAY too hot. Make sure the heatsinks are properly seated, and clean, and also make sure there is good airflow going through your case.

Open up the computer, and look to see if the heatsinks are held securely to the computer parts.
__________________

__________________
Dexaroni is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:19 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.