Question Need help diagnosing cause of multiple problems

Jul 20, 2021
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I wasn't sure where to post this thread but this place seems fine enough.

For a while I've been experiencing problems with my PC but larger problems have arisen recently. My GPU (In the past 2 months or so) began overheating massively such that, when doing very non-taxing tasks, it would reach its heat capacity very quickly unless I had MSI afterburner open and even with it open games that I could run easily just days before would come dangerously close to overheating and crashing my pc.

I assumed this to be a problem with my GPU (a GTX 1060 6gb) which I had definitely pushed to its limits on some games before (DOOM ETERNAL and The Witcher 3 primarily) so I thought that I needed a new Graphics Card. I didn't want to spend too much and so I did something against my best interests and bought a used GTX 970 (It was much cheaper than other types of cards with similar performance).

I get the card, it struggles to fit in my smaller case but in the end I manage, I have a bit of trouble getting it to work but nothing catastrophic and then it finally turns on, I tried a game that I knew for a fact my 1060 would have crashed on and I eagerly monitor my MSI afterburner's temperature statistic and find it has the exact same problem. At this point I am met with two possibilities either A: I bought a faulty card from a vendor who scammed me and thus I have wasted my money. Or B: The graphics card wasn't the problem and so I didn't need a new one and thus I have wasted my money. B was still the preferable option as it meant that the component causing the problems would likely be cheaper than a new graphics card so I pressed on hoping that B was the reason. (I also thought that it was unlikely that I had bought a faulty graphics card that had the exact same problems as mine).

I looked on the internet and, to me, only two possibilities made sense: The PSU or Motherboard. I looked into it further and it seemed like a faulty PSU could absolutely cause problems for a GPU and I couldn't get a solid answer on whether a faulty Motherboard could affect a GPU, only threads upon threads of people saying that a better motherboard wont improve game performance directly, which didn't answer my question. At this point I was left in a state of limbo I didn't want to buy both a new PSU and Motherboard but had nothing to confirm either theory. Then out of the blue one day my 1060's (Which I had switched back to as its size was more convenient) fan didnt start upon startup for some reason, only starting when I opened MSI afterburner. I tried swapping out for my 970, which I had not relisted due to my being unsure as to whether it was faulty or not, and, sure enough, its fans also did not work upon startup.

This confirmed theory B, that it was some other component that was causing the issue and also made me think it was more likely to be the Motherboard as I did not see why a faulty PSU would cause certain parts of a GPU to not start especially when it was not causing problems for any other parts that are powered by it. It seemed to only make sense that it was the motherboard and this theory was strengthened by recent problems Ive had where my keyboard, mouse and other input devices are sometimes not recognised or do not turn on or connect during startup which, based on my limited knowledge, seems like a problem with BIOS. BIOS is, as far as I'm aware, handled by the motherboard so it seemed like the only option.

This entire thread amounts to a question of whether any of you who know more than me would also attribute this to a faulty motherboard? Or is there's some other explanation, as I don't want to buy a new motherboard and go through the hassle of installing it just for it to have done nothing.

Specs for if they are needed:
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600x
RAM: 16 GB Corsair DDR4-2400 mhz
PSU: Seasonic 80+ Gold 550W
GPU: MSI GTX 970/ ZOTAC GTX 1060 6b MINI
Storage: 1TB HDD
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
This:

"I did not see why a faulty PSU would cause certain parts of a GPU to not start especially when it was not causing problems for any other parts that are powered by it "

Remember that a PSU provides different voltages (3, 5, 12) to various components. So if the PSU's ability to provide the proper voltage and/or wattage to any given component is impaired then the entire system is affected. And that can be even more confusing if the problem is intermittent - e.g., a loose connection. Multiple problems....

Look in Reliability History and Event Viewer. Numerous and varying errors make the PSU a suspect.

If you have a multi-meter and know how to use it (or know someone who does) a PSU can be tested to some extent.

https://www.lifewire.com/how-to-manually-test-a-power-supply-with-a-multimeter-2626158

Not a full test because the PSU is not under load. However, any voltages out of tolerance would make the PSU the prime suspect for the described problems.

Another suggestion:

Best Power Supplies of 2021 - Top PSUs for Gaming PCs | Tom's Hardware

Not with the immediate intent to purchase a new PSU. Use the calculators to determine if your current PSU is correctly sized for your build. Try two or three of them to obtain a wattage consensus. Do your own manual total as well. If a component provides a wattage range then use the high wattage value.

Your GPU alone has a recommended PSU of 400 watts.

May well be that that 550 Watt Seasonic PSU is nearing its' designed in EOL (End of Life).
 
Jul 20, 2021
2
0
10
0
This:

"I did not see why a faulty PSU would cause certain parts of a GPU to not start especially when it was not causing problems for any other parts that are powered by it "

Remember that a PSU provides different voltages (3, 5, 12) to various components. So if the PSU's ability to provide the proper voltage and/or wattage to any given component is impaired then the entire system is affected. And that can be even more confusing if the problem is intermittent - e.g., a loose connection. Multiple problems....

Look in Reliability History and Event Viewer. Numerous and varying errors make the PSU a suspect.

If you have a multi-meter and know how to use it (or know someone who does) a PSU can be tested to some extent.

https://www.lifewire.com/how-to-manually-test-a-power-supply-with-a-multimeter-2626158

Not a full test because the PSU is not under load. However, any voltages out of tolerance would make the PSU the prime suspect for the described problems.

Another suggestion:

Best Power Supplies of 2021 - Top PSUs for Gaming PCs | Tom's Hardware

Not with the immediate intent to purchase a new PSU. Use the calculators to determine if your current PSU is correctly sized for your build. Try two or three of them to obtain a wattage consensus. Do your own manual total as well. If a component provides a wattage range then use the high wattage value.

Your GPU alone has a recommended PSU of 400 watts.

May well be that that 550 Watt Seasonic PSU is nearing its' designed in EOL (End of Life).
So I saw your reply and it seemed to make a lot of sense and I checked all of the things you told me to that I was able to and they seemed to point towards the PSU based on what you told me so I decided to buy a new PSU and sure enough it didn't change anything. Luckily it doesn't matter I can get a full refund from the retailer then I guess I'll go ahead with the motherboard theory unless theres some other explanation you can think of?

Edit: I should say the new PSU had was 650W which smashed the necessary amount and was also 80+ gold.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Just for the record: mew/tested PSU - make and model? Source?

The problem may indeed be narrowing down to the motherboard.

Take another closer look at Reliability History and Event Viewer. You may well notice something that was previously overlooked or the errors may have changed in some manner while the new PSU was installed.
 

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