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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I have a 3 year old computer (was hand built by me in Jan of 2007).

A week ago my system shut off due to heat. At this point I checked the fans in the case and, let me tell you, WOW A LOT OF DUST! I cleaned everything out and expected life to return to normal. This was not the case.

I continued to have complete shut downs throughout this week. I would recieve no blue screen or any warning. It would just cut out like someone turned the back power switch off.
Sometimes it would cut out during windows XP booting. Or it would cut out at the login screen for XP. Or just idling on the desktop doing nothing. Or when I was playing a game. Other times, it would be fine and I could play games (WoW, Dragon Age, Hearts of Iron 3 and EQ2) without crashing (EQ2 did crash once, though) or run other intensive programs. I monitored the GPU idling (Nvidia Control Panel) and it sits around 58-60 C for up to 8 hours without crashing. The CPU heat hovers around 28-38 C (I got this from the BIOS). The BIOS does not have the exact voltage displays. It only says OK for them.

Generally, the way things usually go is I will have a spurt of shutdowns (say 1-5 within 2 hours initially when I try to use the machine[say when I come home from work]) and then it'll be fine or it'll not have any problems initially (it would start up and work fine when I got home from work). For example, I did not use my computer Thursday night, and I played Hearts of Iron 3 for about 4 hours on Friday morning with no issues. I actually had no problems on Friday. On Wednesday, it crashed right away 3 times after I got home from work, but was just fine for the rest of the evening.

All the temperatures I have access to look to be stable and not spiking. So this leads me to the power supply. It is almost three years old and it may be degrading and cannot handle my system anymore. My video card is a power hungry monster (8800 GTX). Would this be a reasonable assumption based on what I have described? I have wondered if it was my heat sink either on my GPU or CPU going. But wouldn't the temperatures displayed them growing steadily?


Here are my specs complete with new egg links:
PROCESSOR
AMD FX-62
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819103861

RAM
Kingston HyperX 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820134125

MOTHERBOARD
GIGABYTE GA-M59SLI-S5 Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813128011

HARD DRIVE
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620AS (Perpendicular Recording Technology) 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822148140

VIDEO CARD
eVGA 768-P2-N831-AR GeForce 8800GTX 768MB 384-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814130072


POWER SUPPLY
Antec True Power Trio TP3-650 ATX12V 650W Power Supply with Three 12V Rails 100 - 240 V UL, CUL, FCC, TUV, CE, C-tick, CCC, CB – Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817371001

CASE
Thermaltake Armor Series VA8000BWS Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811133154

OPTICAL DRIVES
#1:
SONY 16X DVD±R DVD Burner With 5X DVD-RAM Write Black IDE Model DRU120C - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16827131039

#2:
LITE-ON Black 16X DVD-ROM 52X CD-R 32X CD-RW 52X CD-ROM 1.5MB Cache IDE Combo Drive - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16827106992

MONITOR
NEC Display Solutions 90GX2-BK Black 19" 4ms DVI LCD Monitor 400 cd/m2 700:1 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16824002129


Thanks for your help.
 

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While you have a power supply that is big enough, the model and brand name have had some real issues with these units. That model is simply not a very good supply and not the highest quality. Adding that to the age of the supply and you have real concern.

Therefore, I suspect that as the problem child. Do you know someone who has another supply you can try in there?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hmm, I guess I just had a few years worth of some good luck then.

Well, it's a moot point because I think it just blew my hard drive. When it cut out the last time, my hard drive made some lovely grinding noise and now doesn't boot at all. I did get everything backed on on an external drive (I'm moving that data to my laptop atm). No one to blame but myself.

What brands do you suggest? I'm going to have to get a new box now (On a side note, we are in the process of buying a house...kinda funny how all these things converge on the same point).

Thanks for your help. :smile:
 

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When it rains, it pours...this past week I found out I needed 4 new tires for my truck. What the heck is $500 bucks anyhow?

Back to your issue. If you want a power supply for just this card with no head room for growth, you could slide by with a Corsair 550. However, I recommend that you compare prices with the Corsair 650 and/or the Corsair 750 to permit you some room should you decide to get a nicer video card in the near future.

Here is the 650 and the 750 is only ten dollars more which is a heck of a deal:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...05&cm_re=corsair_power-_-17-139-005-_-Product

The 550 will pull it and it is cheaper as mentioned, but I don't ever recommend buying a basic supply if you plan on keeping a computer and doing any kind of upgrades in the near future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
When it rains, it pours...this past week I found out I needed 4 new tires for my truck. What the heck is $500 bucks anyhow?
Haha, this is TRUE!!!! It is really funny (when you get through it and look back upon things) how everything happens at around the same time.

Back to your issue. If you want a power supply for just this card with no head room for growth, you could slide by with a Corsair 550. However, I recommend that you compare prices with the Corsair 650 and/or the Corsair 750 to permit you some room should you decide to get a nicer video card in the near future.

Here is the 650 and the 750 is only ten dollars more which is a heck of a deal:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...05&cm_re=corsair_power-_-17-139-005-_-Product
I think I am just going to get an entirely new machine. I do not know the damage caused by this and I don't want to play the "keep replacing parts until I get a working machine" game. Since I'm on a limited budget, I was thinking of this card:

NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 1GB 16X PCI Express

Can you suggest a good PSU for this card?

Thanks a lot again - you (and the others who reply to threads on this forum) are a great bunch of helpful guys.
 

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Just so you know, we can't guarantee that is the issue, but things point that way. If you know someone who has one you could try then you could narrow it down. However, there sure have been some problems with those Antec models. You may even have more than one issue, computers do that to you some times. Let us know how it goes.
 

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Unless there is something wrong with the video card, don't replace an 8800GTX with a GTS250, it isn't a big leap. The 250 is essentially a rebranded 9800GTX+. Anything less than 3 levels for a performance jump just isn't worth it.

If there is something with the card, I hope you registered it when you got it, lifetime warranty in that case.
 

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The GTS250 is just an 8800GTX with slightly lowered power consumption.

8800GTX was rebranded to 9800GTX+ with minimal changes. 9800GTX+ was rebranded to GTS250 with an improved PCB layout and some core changes for lower power requirement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hmm, this is good information to know.

I haven't looked at parts in 3 years (pretty obvious, huh? lol) and it seems Nvidia has changed their naming scheme.

Anyways, I looked at some benchmarks at tomshardware and it seems that the 250 and 8800 GTX behave almost the same. The 260 seems to be a more noticeable jump from those two cards. The 275 seems to be a huge jump from the 250 and a smaller, but still noticeable, from the 260.

So, I'm gathering from these, that I should probably go with the 260 or 275. Would the recommended power supply still handle both of these cards or should I get a larger one?

Thanks for the help again guys.

PS: If there is a "Build" forum here, I can start posting my questions/builds up there in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So I have been playing around with my box a bit.

I had my machine on (Hard drive decided to work the next day) without my mouse plugged into the USB port. I decided to plug the machine in when it was at the windows XP log in. However, I missed the plug and the USB connector on the mouse touched the back of the metal plate on the motherboard section of case, at which point, the machine SHUT DOWN immediately.

I thought: "Hmm that was very odd..." so I unplugged the machine and started checking things. Turns out half of my motherboard screws were very loose. I also moved my video card to the initial location I had it in. I tightened them up and restarted the computer. I haven't had a problem since (2-3 days). I've been able to play HoI3 and EQ2 without crashing. So I think I had some metal touching metal somewhere and it was causing erratic shutdowns.
 
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