Question PC crash during gaming - - possible old PSU issue?

Apr 26, 2019
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Hello. I have a more irregular issue I believe so here goes.

I got me an rx580 nitro+ Special Edition. I have been gaming nicely with it AAA games from 2018-2019 - no probs.
Then I tried an older game, pillars of eternity. The gist of it is that when I do a lot of stuff on the screen and pause the game, right then, my entire system crashes. It restarts itself after 2secs.

I have tried this with 2 seperate identical RX 580s with the same result. I am trying to pin down the issue. I don't think it's the GPU because I tried 2 of them - unless there is a possibilty that the card isn't fitted properly? yea it's a little bit too big for my case, but I can fit it in the PCI-e and screw it on tight.

My temps are good during the crash, both cpu and gpu around ~60C. What I have noticed is the Wattage though.

I use an older no-name 700W PSU - which probably has/had an effective 550W output. Pillars (the only game which crashes the system) runs my GPU at around 70-80W. When I pause the game in flashy moments, the W can spike to 120-140W in an instant. I noticed these are the times when my system crashes.
Other games run my GPU at 150W+ constant so it seems weird to me that this happens only with this older game.

My hypothesis is that during said key moments, when I pause, I cause a spike in wattage through my system (but still very well within regular limits). Having an older PSU, this very sudden spike might be too much for it and it forces the system to crash in order to protect my components because it can't handle this surge.

Again, if this is of any relevance, the PC doesn't stay shut down, it restarts itself.

Some other info: I had a gtx 560 before and then an rx560 with this system. Both ran the game without problems. The RX560 though never went above 90-100W. The RX580 can reach 200W, though I got it at 190W max (no crash).

My current specs:
i5 4690k on an ASRock Z97 Pro3 motherboard
RX 580 Sapphire Nitro+ Special Edition 8gb GPU
Intertech? 700W PSU - this is also the oldest component which I kept from my previous system and the most likely culprit.
None of the components is OCed.

Now, before I go and buy another power unit (a quality one this time around), I'd like some advice from you fellow techies, if I should check anything else out. Like I mentioned, the GPU is very big for my case and cable management is very tight around it, but it ultimately fits, and I tried this with 2 seperate RX580s in order to pinpoint the issue.

I've been as thorough as I possibly could, but I might have missed stuff. Does my "Watts spike" logic make sense? Maybe it doesn't work that way and I'm way off my assessment, I'm not that tech-savvy and bad with electronics, so anything I might have overlooked, please be kind and point it out. I can provide any extra info I might have missed. This forum helped me so much during the past with more common issues, but this seemed specific enough to make a separate thread. Here's hoping it comes through again :)
 
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Murissokah

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Aug 12, 2007
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It does make sense. A quick rise in load would provoke a considerable transient and a more humble PSU could have bad transient response. The thing is why is it happening. Just to be sure I got this right, you get 150w of GPU power consumption when pausing in-game? It's not when alt+tabbing or something like that, right? Weird. 150W pretty high. You could try to run the game in Windowed Fullscreen (or Fullscreen if you are already running Windowed).

From what I gathered, if your PSU is the one below, it should provide 500W combined in the 12V rails, but no more than 25A per rail. You could try changing the rail and see if that helps. It also looks like it has over-current protection, which definitely would account for the reboot.

https://www.inter-tech.de/en/products/psu/atx/sl-700
 
Apr 26, 2019
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It does make sense. A quick rise in load would provoke a considerable transient and a more humble PSU could have bad transient response. The thing is why is it happening. Just to be sure I got this right, you get 150w of GPU power consumption when pausing in-game? It's not when alt+tabbing or something like that, right? Weird. 150W pretty high. You could try to run the game in Windowed Fullscreen (or Fullscreen if you are already running Windowed).

From what I gathered, if your PSU is the one below, it should provide 500W combined in the 12V rails, but no more than 25A per rail. You could try changing the rail and see if that helps. It also looks like it has over-current protection, which definitely would account for the reboot.

https://www.inter-tech.de/en/products/psu/atx/sl-700
Thanks for the fast reply :) I didn't know about this transient response.

To elaborate: game is running smoothly during fights, but when there are a lot of particle effects on screen and I pause the game, it lags and drops to 20-30 fps - due to game optimization issue - this is when the game is under the heaviest load, during pause. While going real time the effects don't last on screen so it is smoother. I had this lag on my older gpus, just no crashes.

The Watts during fights for the gpu hover around 60-70. Now when I try to force the issue, pausing with the most number of lights & particles in big fights I can reach upwards of 100W in a very short time span, max I got was 140W this way. PC crashes right about now.

For your suggested fixes: game is running in fullscreen, that seems fine.

The PSU you linked is the correct one. It's around 6-7 years old I'd say, but had 0 issues until now. The rails you are mentioning I believe are under the PSU case? I never went that deep so if you really think it can fix this I could venture further if you elaborate, but again, I have never done this so if I risk frying it, I'd rather not until I have a replacement :)
 

Murissokah

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For your suggested fixes: game is running in fullscreen, that seems fine.

The PSU you linked is the correct one. It's around 6-7 years old I'd say, but had 0 issues until now. The rails you are mentioning I believe are under the PSU case? I never went that deep so if you really think it can fix this I could venture further if you elaborate, but again, I have never done this so if I risk frying it, I'd rather not until I have a replacement :)
The idea of changing between fullscreen and windowed fullscreen was that video drivers treat those cases differently, and it could be the case that this change would prevent the sudden spike. Not very likely, but might as well try it.

The rails are just the way the PSU is divided internally. It has multiple 12V outputs, but internally they are divided amongst a number of conversion circuits, in this case two of them. Because of this, the way we arrange the load is relevant. If that PSU has more than one PCI-E connector, try the other one as it should be fed from a different rail. If it doesn't, you would need an adapter (2xMolex to PCI-E) to connect the card to the other rail. In case its the latter, it might be worth it to go for a new PSU.

If you decide to go for a new PSU, bear in mind that many brands outsource production to different OEMs based on market segment (corsair, EVGA, XFX), making quality vary greatly between models. Some others like Seasonic, Enermax, Silverstone and Antec are more committed to this market and won't sell a PSU that isn't at least decent. Both this very site and jonnyguru are good sources to check if a particular model is good.
 
Apr 26, 2019
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alright, i will first try the fullscreen/windowed, but unless I post for results, it means it didn't work.

If by PCI-e connector you mean the 6+2/6 pin connectors, the gpu uses both an 8 and a 6 pin connector. I can switch them around, but I doubt this will get me anywhere either.

If it doesn't work I will eventually get another PSU because it means this one is getting defective. But it's not really a priority until i get issues for other games as well. As long as it's just pillars of eternity, i'll skip the game for the time being :)
 

Murissokah

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alright, i will first try the fullscreen/windowed, but unless I post for results, it means it didn't work.

If by PCI-e connector you mean the 6+2/6 pin connectors, the gpu uses both an 8 and a 6 pin connector. I can switch them around, but I doubt this will get me anywhere either.

If it doesn't work I will eventually get another PSU because it means this one is getting defective. But it's not really a priority until i get issues for other games as well. As long as it's just pillars of eternity, i'll skip the game for the time being :)
Sounds like a plan. You could also investigate using a GPU manager like Sapphire Trixx to create a profile with a limited power budget for games with this kind of behaviour.
 
Apr 26, 2019
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Sounds like a plan. You could also investigate using a GPU manager like Sapphire Trixx to create a profile with a limited power budget for games with this kind of behaviour.
I have already tried this out but the wattage usage was exactly the same with same outcome.
I have tried using my integrated intel HD graphics to run the game and I had absolutely no issues (except the fact that it was obviously laggy).
So I am almost assured that it's a PSU issue. I thank you for all the advice and assistance! :)
 
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