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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My System:

  • ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD Motherboard
  • EVGA 256-P2-N376-AX GeForce 6800GT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 SATA NCQ ST3160827AS 160GB 7200 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive
  • AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Winchester 2.2GHz Socket 939 Processor Model
  • APEVIA X-Navigator ATXA8NW-AL/500 Silver/Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply

This is the first and only computer I've ever assembled myself. I bought the components off Newegg almost 2 years ago, in March of '05.



The Problem:

There are a lot of major problems with my comp, so I'll go chronologically:
  • A few months after I bought my comp, I noticed a funny sound coming from it every now and then. It turns out the chipset fan was stuttering, and soon thereafter it died completely. Just stopped spinning, I looked online and it turns out that a lot of other people with my mobo had the same problem, but I just let it go and never replaced it or sent it back.
  • About 6 months ago, graphical errors/glitches started popping up in EVE online, but only after I'd been playing for longer than about an hour or so. World of WarCraft, the other game I played at the time, I was fine.
  • 3 months ago: any 3d game I opened started experiencing graphical errors almost immediately. If I didn't close it after a few minutes, my monitors would shut off. My computer was still on, but nothing I pressed on my keyboard / mouse / monitors would turn my monitors back on. I assumed this meant my video card had shut itself off.
  • Shortly after that: any 3d app whatsoever, even a screensaver, would shut my video card off. Same with full screen video. My CPU and HD, which have their temperatures monitored by my case, would always shoot up about 5-7 degrees Celsius right before the shut offs, though the highest I ever saw them go was about 38 degrees Celsius.
  • Now: I've installed Vista. Probably a bad choice, but I did. The video card shut off when I tried using a 3d feature from the new Aero ui, so I turned off all the graphical options and it's worked perfectly fine the past 2-3 days. Until today. I opened Firefox, went to a website, and my entire shut off completely. Then when I tried to boot back up, it continually shut off right after or before the login screen for Windows. If I leave it for a while, I can get back into Vista, but if I try opening IE or Firefox then it shuts off again.
  • My friend looked inside my case and said I need a PSU with a 24 pin connector to support my mobo/vid card, and that the PSU that came with my case was ****ty and only had 20 pins. He said this was a problem, but wasn't sure if it was THE problem.


Help?

So, can anyone offer some advice? At first I was thinking about buying a new video card, but now I realize the mobo can be damaged (and also doesn't have a working chipset fan) and my power supply is a piece of crap.

Do I need an entirely new computer, or just 1-2 new components? Is there any way to test which components, specifically, are messed up?

I managed to do a system restore back to right after I installed Vista. I got into the OS okay, and opened up Internet Explorer. A screen popped up named "Problem Reports and Solutions" telling me I had a video hardware error. I clicked on it and it said a lot of stuff, but the problem event name was "LiveKernelEvent", the Locale ID was "1033", and the BCCode was "117'. (I don't actually know what any of that means.) Since then I've downloaded a driver from Nvidia but I haven't gone back into dual monitor mode or anything. It's been running okay without crashes.
 

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That ntec has some great features, but may be pushing it when it comes to wattage. It'll work, but doesn't allow much room for beefier upgrades.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You really think 550W isn't enough? What wattage do you recommend?

I'm going to upgrade my video card some time during the next year or so, though I'm not planning to go for SLI.

its the psu and it might have damaged some of you systems hardware
Is there a surefire way for me to tell if any hardware is damaged? I've removed my video card and inspected it: nothing looks amiss. My motherboard also looks fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I went ahead with the $88 Antec PSU. I just can't afford a PSU that costs twice as much, especially with the risk that it might not be the only expenditure I need to make.

I ordered the new PSU last week, and it came in today. I just finished installing it, and it works great, but I still have the same problem. The Nvidia Control Panel, SpeedFan, Nvidia Monitor, and SensorsView Pro are all telling me that my video card is running at 126 degrees Celsius.

The video card honestly does not feel that hot and the fan on it is spinning. I have the case open with a desk fan blowing directly into it. I can't imagine it being over 120 degrees Celsius, but then again I can't imagine 4 separate programs lying to me.

Do I just need to replace it or what? And should I replace my motherboard too, because of the dead chipset fan?
 
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