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Old 04-26-2014, 05:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Is my PSU causing random shutdowns?

Hello everyone,

About two to 3 months ago, I upgraded my PSU and my GPU. Since then, the system works fine except for one problem. It will randomly shut down immediately without warning (black screen then turns off). Strangely enough, the PC doesn't shut down under heavy load. Just yesterday, It crashed while playing Mount and Blade: Warband, which is more than capable of running on my PC. However, a few weeks before, It crashed while simply idle or editing a document.

Edit: It just crashed twice today and I realized that 5 seconds before the crash, a fan in my PC (not sure which one) gets really loud and starts to spin faster. However, I didn't see any temp changes, which is strange.

The system has (surprisingly), never crashed while playing intensive games such as Battlefield 3 and 4 or Far Cry 3. The crashes are really random, and have no warning such as fps drops or any error. I have already tried to disable restart on system failure, but there are no logs or errors to be seen when I start it up again.

However, when I look through Windows Event Manager, I see around 19 critical error logs with the tag being Kernel-Power. Most of the errors are exactly the same, except for a few that have a different powerbutton timestamp value (most are 0), and one log has a BootAppStatus of "3221226513". I will attach screenshots of the errors in case they will help.

My PSU is powerful enough IMO and also according to most PSU calulators (which give me a ~350W minimum, which is way off IMO). Instead, my GPU (XFX 7870 GHz DD) says 500W minimum. I have a 550W PSU, so I have no idea if its faulty or is its a problem with my house's power. In case you need them, my specs are:

-1-- NZXT HALE82-N 550W PSU (Non- Modular)
-1-- ASRock B75-DGS Motherboard
-1-- i7 3770 CPU
-1-- XFX R7870 GHz DD Edition
-1-- Toshiba 1TB HDD
-1-- DVD/CD drive
-1-- 12 in 1 USB/memory card reader
-2-- 4GB (DDR3) RAM sticks (8GB total)
-4-- Fans (120mm?) (1 intake, 2 exhaust, 1 cpu)


I'd appreciate your help! Thank you!

SCREENSHOTS



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Old 04-26-2014, 09:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is my PSU causing random shutdowns?

Your machine should only take about 200w total, with a max of like 250w.

Use Prime95 and Coretemp standalone to monitor CPU temps. Use MSI Kombustor to monitor the GPU. Report back.

While this is going on keep your hand behind the PSU (back of the case) to feel for warm air.
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Old 04-27-2014, 10:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is my PSU causing random shutdowns?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PP Mguire View Post
Your machine should only take about 200w total, with a max of like 250w.

Use Prime95 and Coretemp standalone to monitor CPU temps. Use MSI Kombustor to monitor the GPU. Report back.

While this is going on keep your hand behind the PSU (back of the case) to feel for warm air.
Thanks for the advice, I'm currently running Memtest to see if y memory is defective. However, I have already done some Prime95 testing in the past. At a 400mhz OC, (3.4ghz to 3.8ghz), the max temp was a little over 80C (on only on of the cores, the rest stayed high 70's or 80).

Also, about the PSU wattage, I have no idea why the calculators give me 300W, you give me 200W, but my GPU says 500W. I'm pretty sure my system wouldnt run on 200W, even my older one.

I haven't checked for hot air at the back of my PSU though so thank you for telling me that. Also, these issues have occurred with and without the Overclock, as i took off the overclock as soon as i realized there was a problem, as i said, they are seemingly random.

I'll report back after the Memtest is done

Thank you
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Old 04-27-2014, 12:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is my PSU causing random shutdowns?

You can't overclock that CPU, and 3.8GHz is turbo speed. If you're running 80c then you are running hot. I would look into getting some aftermarket cooling or at the least clean and repaste your current solution.

Calculators give you a margin of error because a lot of people like to go with cheap PSUs. Cheap PSUs give you max/peak rating. Like a Raidmax 700w probably has a max continuous rating of 550w (that's giving it credit), and if you pulled 700w real watts through it, itwould blow. Good quality units like a Seasonic S1211 620w are rated at their continuous wattage and pulling 550w through it all day is perfectly fine. Very good quality units also have quite a bit of headroom so you could peak 700-750w on the 620w PSU every once in a while and be ok. Just don't keep doing that or she will blow.

That being said calculators add up the tiny wattages and then give you a base line with a margin of error. Your CPUs and GPUs are the heaviest hitters in any machine. Calculate their wattage and you can figure out how much power you need. The rest like HDDs and fans take minimal amounts of juice if you have very few. A single HDD can take like 10w tops and fans less. You only need to worry about those when you start getting into large amounts of storage drives or very high end fans like Delta's that can take 35+w a piece.

The GPU wattage requirement is a based on assumed total system consumption again with margin of error. Saying you need 500w on a small system gives you plenty of room if your machine only takes 200w.

A 7870 takes about 150w and a 3770 can take about 60-70w without the IGP being used. So if you're gaming you won't be using 100% of the CPU giving you about 200w worth of usage (giving margin of error on factory GPU OC).

To get to your problem at hand, your PSU should be really decent so I don't think it's that unless you've had any power browns to your house or surges from storms. What you could have made a mistake on is if you have tried OCing your CPU by raising the BCLK. If you have, you could have damaged something if you went over 107MHz on the BCLK.
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Old 04-27-2014, 01:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is my PSU causing random shutdowns?

Thanks for the explanation, i think i understand now. As for the PSU testing, I just ran Prime 95 for around an hour or two. There was no hot air at all, so i don't know what the problem is. Do you know if NZXT is a good quality brand? I haven't heard any bad things from them.

As for the OC, i know that non-K processors can't OC. But i learned you can adjust the clock ratio by 400Mhz max, which is what i had done, but then i removed the OC because i thought that might be causing the problem. Also, could you explain what "BLCK" is and why it could damage my system?

Edit: Memtest ran fine without errors

To clear up the temps, the 80C+ was only achieved at 100% load with max OC (+400Mhz), without OC it stays in the high 60's-70's. I have already re-pasted the CPU a while ago because the stock paste wasn't doing the job as well, my temps dropped about 10C after the new paste (Ceramique 2).

Could it have been because i didn't clean the CPU properly? I did not use any alcohol, but only a tissue to get the majority off then a lint-free cloth to finish up. (I was afraid of damaging my MOBO) Also, i was confused on how to put on the CPU paste, as the ArcticSilver page told me to put a vertical line across the CPU while every other website tells me to simply put a dot (I did the line method).

About the house power, do you think that changing the location of my PC in the house would help? (As in putting it into a different outlet in another room). And there were definitely no power outages or surges from storms. Also, how do i test for browned-out house power? Would it be apparent?

Thank you for your help.

Edit: I read on another thread that the Kernel-Power error could be due to conflicting audio drivers, SATA, and a list of other things. I searched around in BIOS and my device manager and started to take out these issues, so I'll see if these are the problems.
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Old 04-27-2014, 02:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is my PSU causing random shutdowns?

Quote:
Thanks for the explanation, i think i understand now. As for the PSU testing, I just ran Prime 95 for around an hour or two. There was no hot air at all, so i don't know what the problem is. Do you know if NZXT is a good quality brand? I haven't heard any bad things from them.
NZXT use good OEMs for their units so although I don't personally recommend them it shouldn't be an issue.

Quote:
As for the OC, i know that non-K processors can't OC. But i learned you can adjust the clock ratio by 400Mhz max, which is what i had done, but then i removed the OC because i thought that might be causing the problem. Also, could you explain what "BLCK" is and why it could damage my system?
Depends on what you mean by "clock ratio". If you mean the multiplier then you are just adjusting the turbo. BCLK x CPU multiplier give you the CPU clock speed. The base clock or BCLK or "FSB" for old school folk is the base clock that everything runs off of. Intel made the switch to this setup for their 2nd gen Core i series and have stuck with it. By everything I mean, SATA, PCI-E, ect. Raising the BCLK above 107MHz can cause some serious corruption issues and makes PCI-E go real wonky.

So if you're raising a number starting with "34" to "38" that is the multiplier. If you're raising a number starting with 100 that is a no no.

Quote:
To clear up the temps, the 80C+ was only achieved at 100% load with max OC (+400Mhz), without OC it stays in the high 60's-70's. I have already re-pasted the CPU a while ago because the stock paste wasn't doing the job as well, my temps dropped about 10C after the new paste (Ceramique 2).

Could it have been because i didn't clean the CPU properly? I did not use any alcohol, but only a tissue to get the majority off then a lint-free cloth to finish up. (I was afraid of damaging my MOBO) Also, i was confused on how to put on the CPU paste, as the ArcticSilver page told me to put a vertical line across the CPU while every other website tells me to simply put a dot (I did the line method).
That is still warm although normal with the stock cooler. I suggest not messing with the clocks anymore. If you wanted to OC you should have got a Z board and a K CPU.

91% isopropyl alcohol will not damage your motherboard. It will just evaporate after a while. The easiest way to properly clean a CPU and heatsink is by using Qtips. Dip the Qtip in the alcohol aways from your parts then clean. Use a coffee filter to wipe off the majority of the paste. The proper way is the grain of rice sized amount, do not spread. Putting a line is too much.

Quote:
About the house power, do you think that changing the location of my PC in the house would help? (As in putting it into a different outlet in another room). And there were definitely no power outages or surges from storms. Also, how do i test for browned-out house power? Would it be apparent?
Browns are less apparent than surges. A power brown is typically also caused in storms during high wind, if an idiot hits a power pole nearby (which can cause a surge too), or if a transformer blows on your block. If your power company is good and quick the result can cause a slight dip or raise in voltage or just a complete power outage. A brown is when the voltage to your house (or in your case socket) drops below 110v for US peeps. A good PSU can usually take care of this quite a few times before it's an issue. If you don't live anywhere in the country or a city location where this is normal then odds have it you can ignore this. Changing sockets probably won't help.

My last bit of advice is going to be make sure Cstates and Intel Speedstep are ALL enabled if you're using WIndows 8 or 8.1.
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Old 04-27-2014, 05:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is my PSU causing random shutdowns?

Ok thank you for clearing the BCLK up for me. And just to confirm, I was not changing any numbers from 100, only from 34 to 38, so i guess that was ok. About the house power, would a Backup Power Supply/Uninterruptable Power Supply help if the house were the problem?

Also, I figured out that I had unparked all of my CPU cores, which might be part of the problem. Lastly, why would C-State and Speedstep help on Windows 8 specifically? (I have Windows 8).

Thank you for your help
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Old 04-27-2014, 05:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is my PSU causing random shutdowns?

Quote:
Ok thank you for clearing the BCLK up for me. And just to confirm, I was not changing any numbers from 100, only from 34 to 38, so i guess that was ok. About the house power, would a Backup Power Supply/Uninterruptable Power Supply help if the house were the problem?
Yes it would, but if the house power was actually a problem it would tear up the UPS over time too. Cheapest and easiest way is to buy one of those 5 dollar outlet testers from Home Depot or Lowes.

Quote:
Also, I figured out that I had unparked all of my CPU cores, which might be part of the problem. Lastly, why would C-State and Speedstep help on Windows 8 specifically? (I have Windows 8).
Turn all your CPU power features back to auto. I'm not sure why, but that causes the Kernel Power error. It could be causing your issues as it was causing me a BSOD as well. You can also try a bios update if your board has one.
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Old 04-27-2014, 06:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is my PSU causing random shutdowns?

I would re-seat the CPU itself again. Physically and carefully lift it out, then carefully put it back in. Clean it off again using 91% IPA. Smooth it off again with alcohol and coffee filters (a few daps of alcohol on the filters is fine). I use a + pattern with grease on the CPU, but a very small plus - basically two grain sized. Set bios to optimized defaults, but disable turbo. Leave C-States alone. Turbo raises and lowers the CPU multi and voltages like crazy for power saving, but you do not (no one does actually) needs Turbo enabled to get proper power saving. If you disable Turbo you will still have power saving when on desktop (EG your Multi will drop down @ 800 MHz and voltages way down) but the processor will only max-even @ the proper 3.5 Ghz and remain even (this is important) during gaming or stressing. If you leave turbo on it's going constantly up and down even during gaming and this is unnecessary even during gaming or overclocking. Basically when I'm saying is that the wildly fluctuating voltages and clocks caused by Turbo mode are not handled well by every motherboard. On all builds I do and even on my own personal machines I disable Turbo.
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Old 04-27-2014, 07:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is my PSU causing random shutdowns?

Turbo only is enabled during heavy load on 1 or 2 cores. When 3 and 4 are loaded up it levels back to stock. Speedstep is what causes the crazy clocks to go up and down and Cstates control the power. On certain board/CPU combos apparently Windows 8 can have an issue when these are all disabled which is why I said to put everything back to default to see if it alleviates his issue. This is sounding like the exact problem I was having for like ever trying to use Windows 8 because I disable all that **** to keep a solid 3.3GHz clock.
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