Go Back   Hardware Canucks > PC BUILDERS & TWEAKERS CORNER > Troubleshooting

    
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old September 21, 2013, 04:39 PM
Rookie
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Boisbriand, Québec, Canada
Posts: 17
Default Power supply dying?

Hello,

I believe my power supply might be dying. This post is long, but I tried to describe the problem as best as I could, so thanks for reading :).

A year ago I bought a fairly powerful computer. Here are the specs :

CPU : Intel Core i7-3770k
GPU-1 : GeForce GTX 680 2GB
GPU-2 : GeForce GTX 680 2GB
RAM : G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 16GB DDR3-2133
MOBO : ASUS Sabertooth Z77
PSU : Corsair HX750

I've been running this setup for over a year and never had any single problem; however, about one month ago, I've been experimenting various crashes especially while playing demanding games. It all started when I was playing Metro 2033 and sometimes my computer would just freeze and black screen; I had to restart every single time.

At first I thought there were issues with the game, because I had never experienced such a problem with other games such as Crysis 3, Bioshock Infinite, and even 3DMark11 on loop.

Eventually, I started having even more problems. Last week, I installed Metro : Last Light and as I was benchmarking the game, it would shutdown by itself after a couple of minutes, and restart the computer. No BSOD, no black screen, nothing. Moreover, I couldn't even finish a round of 3DMark11 this time, as it was also shutting down, and sometimes just starting a video would make the NVIDIA driver crash and recover. Also, strangely, after restarting the computer, sometimes it would fail to detect the Wireless Adapter in the USB slot, but that's pretty much it.

So here's what I did to try to troubleshoot the problem :

1- I knew it probably wasn't the CPU, but I still tried running Prime95 for 4 hours. Didn't run into any problem or crash.

2- I thought it probably wasn't the RAM either, but I still tried memtest86+. I didn't run into any errors.

3- My three hard disks are showing 100% health and 100% performance on HDSentinel (whatever that means), so I don't think that's problematic either.

So I think the CPU, RAM and Hard Disks are not the root of the problem. However :

4- I do not run into any shutdown or crash if I benchmark a single highly overclocked GTX 680 (1300+ MHz core, 7000 MHz memory) in any PCIe x16 slot (tested with both cards, one at a time). However, the power % reading in EVGA Precision would spike for about a second at almost 200% several times during the benchmarks (it is actually set not to exceed 132%). I don't recall seeing this power spike ever before.

Running two GTX 680 at once - even when they are not overclocked - causes a shutdown less than one minute after starting a game or just benchmarking. Ever since I have this computer, this never happened, until just one month ago.

So my question is : how can I make sure that it's the power supply that's dying? How likely would it be that the motherboard is actually the culprit and not the power supply?

Thanks for reading :)
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old September 21, 2013, 06:32 PM
maverick_brent's Avatar
MVP
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 463

My System Specs

Default

try a friends psu or try your psu in his computer if you can. you can also do some research and learn how to do volt measurments on the psu while its running, they will give you a good indication on how the psu is performing.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old September 21, 2013, 07:58 PM
Hall Of Fame
F@H
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Fort St. John, BC
Posts: 1,217

My System Specs

Default

Still could be a GPU problem... it is much harder to track down GPU problems... There is a chance your motherboard could be causing the issue by not providing enough voltage to the GPU "controller" (on my i7-930 it was the IOH core, not sure if the same exists on ivy). PSU problems are extremely hard to find/test for without just having another PSU (there are some tests if you google it).
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old September 22, 2013, 02:15 AM
trodas's Avatar
MVP
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Czech republic
Posts: 352

My System Specs

Default

Only one really reliable PSU test is to measure the voltage it provide (mainly the 12V rail) with quality scope. Nothing else could let anyone see if there are spikes and excessive ripple (dying PSU) or not. Because this is a progressive thing, it almost surely dying the caps in PSU. Get another one to test/usage.

Remember, that bad PSU could easily kill all your components as we speak. Check there:
Horrible pictures of dead caps
__________________
"It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong." - Voltaire
...just keep folding, just keep folding... :) my config
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old September 22, 2013, 05:22 AM
Hall Of Fame
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,846

My System Specs

Default

I assume you have tried both gtx 680 individually (you said it doesn't crash with one, but did you test each individually)?

If you have done that it pretty much brings you down to power supply, or motherboard.

The motherboard issue you could try to test by running a card in each of the PCIe slots (if you haven't already) to make sure each slot is working correctly.

If that all checks out there is no guarantee that it is not one of the previous components, but there is a good chance it could be the PSU. The easiest way to test that would be if you could borrow a suitable PSU and see how that works out.
__________________
Desktop: Antec Three Hundred, Z77-D3H, 3570K undervolt @4.1ghz with Zalman Optima Cooler, Corsair Vengeance 2x4gb@1866mhz, MSI Cyclone GTX 460, Seasonic S12II 500W, WD Black 1TB, Intel 530 120GB
Away from home light Gamer: Acer Aspire 15.6", A8-3500m undervolt and OC to 2Ghz, 2x4gb Corsair Vengeance, Crucial M500 240gb
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old September 22, 2013, 08:59 AM
Hall Of Fame
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Calgary
Posts: 1,364

My System Specs

Default

most computer stores will allow you to return items within 7 days. Just ask them what their return policy is before you purchase it. Test it and see if the problem goes away. Like someone mentioned before it could also be a mobo problem.
__________________
__________________________________________________ __________
"Lesson's cost money... good ones costs lots" -Tony Beets (gold rush)
__________________________________________________ __________
Mah Rig now
Mah Rig before
My stuff for sale.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old September 22, 2013, 03:04 PM
Rookie
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Boisbriand, Québec, Canada
Posts: 17
Default

Thanks for the replies :).
Alright, I'll try to borrow my friend's power supply so I can test my rig before anything else.
If the problem is still there, I suppose I'll try to borrow his motherboard afterwards too!
Let's just hope he won't find me annoying for making him disassemble his PC!
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old September 22, 2013, 06:41 PM
MVP
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 426

My System Specs

Default

with that build I don't see an HX750 liking it much for an extended period mine gets quite warm even with dual 7870s, hate to say it but try declocking especially if the psu has been used for awhile they do degrade with time especially under high load conditions or warmer intake air.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old September 23, 2013, 07:55 AM
Rookie
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Boisbriand, Québec, Canada
Posts: 17
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonstongue View Post
with that build I don't see an HX750 liking it much for an extended period mine gets quite warm even with dual 7870s, hate to say it but try declocking especially if the psu has been used for awhile they do degrade with time especially under high load conditions or warmer intake air.
That makes sense, as 750w is the minimum wattage for GTX 680 SLI on NVIDIA's website, and as I also have a dedicated sound card, three hard disks, two dvd burners and a bunch of fans...

Since I can't borrow my friend's PSU until the weekend, I tried downclocking both videocard by about 100 MHz and removing the sound card, and now I can run games without having my computer shutdown; however, I'm still having Power Target spikes in EVGA Precision.

Even though it is set at 100%, for some reason it will spike between 120%-160% for about a second and go back to 90%-100% when stress testing. On the other hand, running both software at the same time, the maximum power target reported by GPU-Z doesn't exceed 103%, so I suppose it could simply be a software inaccuracy.

I don't really feel safe running my setup on a 750w anymore, so I guess I'll just go to the store and buy a more powerful power supply as soon as possible, even though there's still a slight chance that it's the motherboard causing all these issues.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old September 23, 2013, 08:05 AM
Hall Of Fame
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,846

My System Specs

Default

You won't be going wrong getting a new power supply, though as you said, it may or may not be the problem. Given that the downclock seems to have helped I would be more willing to say that is your issue though. A quality 850w would do the trick.
__________________
Desktop: Antec Three Hundred, Z77-D3H, 3570K undervolt @4.1ghz with Zalman Optima Cooler, Corsair Vengeance 2x4gb@1866mhz, MSI Cyclone GTX 460, Seasonic S12II 500W, WD Black 1TB, Intel 530 120GB
Away from home light Gamer: Acer Aspire 15.6", A8-3500m undervolt and OC to 2Ghz, 2x4gb Corsair Vengeance, Crucial M500 240gb
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Power supply surges detected during the previous power on. Asus Anti-Surge was trigge Varroa Power Supplies 7 December 18, 2012 05:50 AM
OCZ Technology Unveils the PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III Power Supply Series Sam_Reynolds Press Releases & Tech News 8 November 9, 2011 07:48 PM
PC Power & Cooling Unveils New 760W Silencer Power Supply FiXT Press Releases & Tech News 3 December 18, 2010 03:53 PM