awyeah

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I recently had some motherboard issues, so I went out and bought a new motherboard, a cpu and some ram. Since then, I've had issues while playing games, after only ten minutes or so of playing. I've tried pretty much everything software-related: I've reinstalled Windows, tried a bunch of different drivers and settings, bios update, memtest86, as well as tweaking tools, etc.

I keep getting different errors. Sometimes I crash to desktop, sometimes I get BSOD. Sometimes it's related to my audio drivers (viahduaa.sys), sometimes to my nvidia drivers (nv4_disp.dll) and the latest crash referenced a DirectX-dll. Because the crashes vary so, I'm thinking it could be one of two things: either my motherboard is faulty, or my PSU is too old and weak.

My setup is: AMD X2 250 CPU, Asus M4A78 Pro motherboard, 2GB DDR2 (Kingston, one DIMM), one sata hdd, one optical drive and a Gigabyte 9600GT. The PSU is a generic 520W, perhaps a year, or maybe two, old.

I don't really know anything about electricty and stuff. But it seems a bit tricky to find out for certain if my PSU is enough. According to eXtreme Power Supply Calculator* it's more than enough. Other sources claim that my hardware is more power hungry. A Tom's Hardware list** says my graphics card needs about 200W, for instance. Xbit Labs*** claims my cpu requires about as much.

Could this be the reason? Is a somewhat old, generic 520W PSU too measly for the rest of my hardware? I don't want to shell out for a new PSU if it's more likely a motherboard issue (which is under warranty). At the same time, if it could be the cause, I'm pretty sure the store will want me to try a newer PSU before they go through all the hassle of testing my motherboard or giving me a new one.

Any and all replies or insights are very appreciated. I'm pretty much out of ideas. Thanks!


* http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp
** http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-radeon-power,2122-3.html
*** http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/phenom-athlon-ii-x2_12.html
 
You should post your power supply specs. I use ocz, but antec, seasonic, corsair, pc power and cooling, and enermax are all good brands. You may also have a defective video card, or it may be overheating. Do you have any good case fans? The power supply will also overheat if it's old. I use a canned air product to clean the ps fans at least once a year.
 

awyeah

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I forgot to mention that, thanks!

Temperatures are overall pretty good. Idle temperature for the graphics card is usually around 50 degrees C, and it rarely goes above 60. CPU is usually around 40 degrees.

I'm not sure what the PSU specs are. There are a few figures on it, I'll post those:

AC Input 230VAC 10A 50-60 Hz.
DC Output max: +3.3V 28A, +5V 35A, +12V 25A, -5V 0.5A, -12V 0.8A, +5VSB 2.5A.

And hidden under the chassis I found the brand name as well: COLORSit.

I should mention that before my recent upgrade I never had any problems whatsoever (until the motherboard failed). I suppose it's possible that event broke my graphics card though. I'm not sure how to check that. However, since some of the crashes are related to my audio driver, it seems less likely, to me, to be a faulty graphics card.
 
Colorsit isn't a great brand of ps. Did you rma your old board to asus? Try requesting an rma and see if asus will replace it. If you get a new board, that's also a good time to replace the ps. You won't need more than 500w with your system, but get a quality brand of ps, such as the brands I mentioned.
 

awyeah

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Thanks for the replies!

So my PSU is a piece of crap, regardless of whether it's causing the crashes or not. I've looked around a bit and found a unit that seems to have gotten decent reviews: OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W.

It seems pretty affordable as well. I'm not sure if it works for my computer though, but I'm new at this. Let's see if I understand correctly. The OCZ PSU can deliver 18A per 12V rail. If I use one of those for my graphics card, it delivers a theoretical maximum of 216W (25A * 12V). There are tests that suggest that this particular card needs about 209W at full load. If this is true, it works. But only at the theoretical maximum. In reality, it'll have a lower output - making it less than ideal for my setup. Is this reasoning correct?
 

awyeah

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1. Yeah. It didn't make a difference, unfortunately.

2. Yeah. Most temperatures stay below 50 at all times, excepting the GPU. That idles at 51 and peaks at about 75.

3. I have now. I got some pretty interesting results. OCCT was unable to detect anything to do with 12V, so I ran Asus Probe concurrently. These values seemed stable enough. The GPU test didn't really give me anything either. The CPU test, on the other hand, didn't run for more than a minute before it gave an error. Three times in a row, on different cores.

4. Yeah. Even a somewhat pessimistic calculation deems my PSU more than enough according to that calculator. I have a 520W PSU, and my hardware requires 338W at most.

The OCCT test seems to indicate that something is wrong with either CPU or motherboard. I'm not sure how I could tell which is broken though, but it seems to exclude PSU errors.

Thanks for the suggestion! It certainly narrowed down wherein the problem lies.
 


The OCCT tests produce graphs at the end....the quick CPU failure points to a likely memory issue. On a Intel board, I would drop the CPU multiplier to its lowest and then run memtest at rated memory speed.....if it failed, I'd do one module at a time.

PS...sorry for the delayed response.