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could intermittent glitches be PSU?

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lizardmeat

Registered
Joined
May 15, 2003
Hello All! This is my first post though I have been browsing the forums for months.
Heres my problem: I have seemingly random freezes and occasionally (though much rarer then locking-up) my system will re-boot itself for no apparent reason.
I am running:
1800+ pally
soyo dragon ultra platinum
512 ddr mushkin 2700
radeon 9700pro
western digital 80 gig hd
PSU Enermax eg 351 350 watt (3.3+5 = 160 watts)

I am not currently OCd as my system is obviously not stable.
I fold 24/7 but problems occur almost entirely while gaming.
I have tried everything I can think of and searched through many different posts but have not yet found anything that works. After much research it is starting to seem to me that the PS might be the problem. I am wondering about the problems that can occur from an underpowered system. (I have found only one thread on this topic)

If anybody has any info, please help!
 

star882

Disabled
Joined
Jan 6, 2003
I am running the following on a stock Dell 250w(the Britney Spears of PSUs):
P4 2.4GHz
640MB DDR SDRAM
GeForce 4 MX 420
2x 7200RPM 60GB Western Digital HDs
PCTV Pro
48x24x48x CD-RW
16x DVD-ROM
System is stable even with both CD drives going, distributed.net running(I crack RC5-72 for OCAU), and HDTV open(nothing overclocked).
Voltages(measured with a radioshack DMM):
12v: 11.99
5v: 5.02
3.3v: 3.30
Besides the rails being almost perfect, the PSU is very quiet(I cannot hear it over the CPU fan(which is very quiet, too)), so I think the Dell PSU is a modified Antec(it is WTX instead of ATX).
BTW, I reverse engineered an old dell supply from a p133.
That dell supply used a LITEON power transformer(at first, I thought they only made CD-ROM drives).
There is only one switching transistor(well, only one big primary transistor, as there is a smaller transistor in the 5VFP supply, and several big transistors on the secondary side), but it is a high-power IGBT(20A, 900v) in a TO-3 case.
The primary caps are 680uF each, for a total of 1360uF(most PC power supplies have only 2 470uF, or 940uF total)!
 
OP
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lizardmeat

Registered
Joined
May 15, 2003
Hmm, well from your setup it definitely sounds like I have enough juice. It's just that I am going crazy trying to figure out what the heck is causing this. The only consitancy is that it seems to happen most often under heavy load. I have no problems with older games, but with newer games like splinter cell and c&c generals it happens almost every time I play.
I have been trying to research all possibilities, but the problem is that so many different things can cause these issues. In the very few articles I have been able to find about PSU problems, it seems that not enough power can cause these type of inconsistant freezes and re-boots.
I appreciate all suggestions and info.
 

star882

Disabled
Joined
Jan 6, 2003
Heat?
I once had my PCTV Pro next to my GF, the GF's heatsink gets too hot to touch if I play Descent 2 or watch Fear Factor.
I moved the PCTV Pro one slot down, and the heatsink is now only warm.
 

bigben2k

Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2002
Location
Texas
Try re-seating the mobo's power connector. In fact, take a minute to make sure the pins are clean ;)

Check your positive voltages, under idle, then under load: if they're all still within 5%, you should be OK there.

This could be anything, even a software problem.
 
OP
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lizardmeat

Registered
Joined
May 15, 2003
I do not believe heat to be the issue. My cpu temps are never more then 38* underload and ambient temps are usually in the 26*-32* range
 
OP
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lizardmeat

Registered
Joined
May 15, 2003
bigben, I will do as you suggest, and I am aware that there could be many issues affecting this including software compatibility issues. That is why this is so frusterating. There are so many variables and the inconsistancy of the problem makes it very tough to narrow it down
 

star882

Disabled
Joined
Jan 6, 2003
"I do not believe heat to be the issue. My cpu temps are never more then 38* underload and ambient temps are usually in the 26*-32* range"
"I fold 24/7 but problems occur almost entirely while gaming."
It's probably the GPU overheating.
How I stress-test a comp is to run distributed.net(to load the CPU) and Fear Factor(to stress the GPU) at the same time.
If it runs for an hour without crashing, I consider it stable.
 
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lizardmeat

Registered
Joined
May 15, 2003
Sometimes I can game for a while with no problems.
But other times it will lock up loading the game or at the start screen. This is before the GPU even has a chance to get warm.
 
OP
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lizardmeat

Registered
Joined
May 15, 2003
perhaps, though I ran memtest all night up to about 8000% and there were no errors. This weekend I reformatted and reinstalled windows and thus far it seems to have taken care of the freezes, although I've only had about a day to play around.
However, it did reboot once of its own volition after the reformat which could be coincidence, but still leads me to believe that it is a hardware issue. Outside of that though, like I said, everything else seems to be running much more smoothly.