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Question PC Crashing Under Load

Jul 12, 2020
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Hi,

Back in May i built my first PC. Everything was absolutely fine at first- booted first time, no issues. But I was using a cooler that I'd had laying around the house for 6 years, which just wasn't cutting it. I was playing Control in DX12 mode and couldn't hear the game because the fans were running too loud.
After I replaced that cooler I've been dealing with full computer crashes under certain circumstances. What happens is the entire screen just goes black, the sound continues playing. The fans speed up to full eventually my monitor will say it has no signal, and the only way to fix the computer is to simply power it down and turn it back on again. When it turns back on, either the screen is completely fine but Windows 10 comes up saying "display driver failed to start" in the notification log (which I'm guessing is from the crash), or the computer is acting like the GPU drivers weren't installed at all (and therefore it needs another restart).
Thing is- not all games cause this. Control on Direct X 12 mode was the first game where I saw this... but Direct X 11 mode isn't affected. I ran Tropico 6 for 8 hours straight without any issue. But the longest I've managed to run Heaven benchmark for is 15 minutes before a crash.

All the information I could google for similar crashes was a PSU problem. I'd kinda picked a brand I hadn't really heard of because I didn't have much choice. But I managed to snag a Corsair RM850x back in June. I replaced it, rewired everything, and nothing changed. I've still got the crashes.
Since they started happening after the cooler change, I decided to get a third cooler. I fitted that last week, and nothings changed.
I used HWiNFO64 with Heaven running, trying to see what my temperatures were when a crash occurred. Nothing looked too high when the crash occurred, but I wasn't recording them to look back on or post here.

Today I tried to see if I screwed up the PCI-E port somehow, and moved the GPU to the other port. This was the first time I actually timed things and it was just under 5 minutes before the crash. So the port can't be the problem.

So far, the only thing that seems to have had any impact in increasing the time Heaven runs is removing everything from the extension lead BUT the PSU, computer speakers and monitor. I'm using a UK Masterplug 6 socket 2m extension lead, if that helps at all. Around the 5 minute mark is where most of my crashes occur, but having just those 3 things plugged in gave me that nearly-15-minute time.

Another interesting thing that did happen was one day I had turned on my PC, then later went to play a game on my PS4 Pro. Both are plugged into the same extension lead, both output to the same monitor. When I went to swap the monitor back to my PC, it was just... black. The PC had clearly had one of these crashes, or something similar, but the fans weren't running at full speed. But I had done this previously with no issues.


http://speccy.piriform.com/results/4DbzC0XuvjEwRvoo4jlUdAo
Since it doesn't look to actually be listed on speccy:
PSU- Corsair RM 850x.
Cooler - Arctic Liquid Freezer II 240mm.

The only thing I haven't tried yet is changing the GPU. I've got the GTX 970 from my old rig ripped out ready to plug in, but honestly... I've just not been motivated enough to try it yet. That and it uses 2 6 pin connectors, whereas the 2080 Super uses 2 8 pin connectors. So if the problem is gone, I can't necessarily blame the 2080 Super for it.


Basically, I'm just looking for any ideas on what might be causing this and any suggestions on how to fix it, or any way to more accurately troubleshoot to narrow the problem down more
I've got 2 remaining theories myself:
GPUs screwed
Or I'm potentially not getting enough power from the extension cord.

But I'm very new to this, and am not even sure if my theories are anywhere near correct. I could have just had 2 bad PSUs one after the other. Nothing I do seems to have any impact, so I need another opinion.

Hopefully this is enough information, but please let me know if theres anything else you might need (and how to grab it)
I'll try and do the GPU swap at some point, but yeah... I've messed around with it enough today and the motivation just isn't there anymore 😫
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
FIrst, you don't EVER use an extension cord OR a power strip, to plug your PSU into. Your PSU should only EVER be plugged into one of two things.

The wall outlet.

OR

A UPS battery backup device.

Power strips are generally ok-ish, for things like your monitor, printers, etc., but your power supply should not be plugged into one unless it's absolutely impossible for it to not be, and THEN, it should ONLY be a very high quality model like those sold by Tripp Lite, Eaton, Leviton, GE industrial, etc. Since most people are cheap, and won't spend the kind of money necessary for a high quality power strip, then they should generally plug them into the wall.

Secondly, this sounds a lot more like a problem with a bent pin on the motherboard CPU socket or a faulty graphics card. I realize you didn't have this problem before, but you changed coolers, and what might have been a minimal bent pin that was not causing problems might have been altered to a more damaging position after the cooler was changed. I'd get some thermal paste and remove the Cooler AND CPU, to eliminate that possibility.

If that is all good, then I'd stop being lazy and try the other graphics card. I've seen a lot of faulty graphics cards act exactly like yours is. You might actually want to simply remove your memory, and reseat it, and remove your graphics card, and reseat it as well. Often that is all it takes to eliminate a problem. Probably not going to be the case here but it is ALWAYS worth trying.

And get rid of the extension cord.
 
Jul 12, 2020
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Thanks for the response!

FIrst, you don't EVER use an extension cord OR a power strip, to plug your PSU into. Your PSU should only EVER be plugged into one of two things.

The wall outlet.

OR

A UPS battery backup device.

Power strips are generally ok-ish, for things like your monitor, printers, etc., but your power supply should not be plugged into one unless it's absolutely impossible for it to not be, and THEN, it should ONLY be a very high quality model like those sold by Tripp Lite, Eaton, Leviton, GE industrial, etc. Since most people are cheap, and won't spend the kind of money necessary for a high quality power strip, then they should generally plug them into the wall.
Unfortunately, its not possible for me to plug my PC directly into the wall- the wall outlet is just too far away. However I'm looking into the brands you've mentioned, and i'm struggling to find ones with UK outlets. Just to make it clear- I do live in the UK.
Not against getting a much higher quality power strip to protect this rig (the current one I have was one of the few surge protected ones I could get quickly), but it does need to be for the UK.

I'll add your suggestions to my list of things to do to try and narrow this problem down though. Kinda didn't want to post anything without changing the GPU and trying it first, but at the same time I wanted someone more knowledgeable to look at the problem to see if i had missed something else that might be causing it instead. Going to look like a right idiot if it really is the GPU though 🤦‍♀️
I'll try and mess around tonight, after I've finished my work shift.
 
Thanks for the response!



Unfortunately, its not possible for me to plug my PC directly into the wall- the wall outlet is just too far away. However I'm looking into the brands you've mentioned, and i'm struggling to find ones with UK outlets. Just to make it clear- I do live in the UK.
Not against getting a much higher quality power strip to protect this rig (the current one I have was one of the few surge protected ones I could get quickly), but it does need to be for the UK.

I'll add your suggestions to my list of things to do to try and narrow this problem down though. Kinda didn't want to post anything without changing the GPU and trying it first, but at the same time I wanted someone more knowledgeable to look at the problem to see if i had missed something else that might be causing it instead. Going to look like a right idiot if it really is the GPU though 🤦‍♀️
I'll try and mess around tonight, after I've finished my work shift.
I must ask what your objection to power strips is? Im only asking about the use of a single and not about stacking them. From both observation and practical thinking I don’t see what the reason might be.

From observation I have always used power strips with my own setups without an issue and I know others that use them. Also our multiple offices use them for every desk that uses either a desktop or laptop and they pass annual safety inspections.

From a practical point of view I agree always use good quality but that applies to anything electrical in my view. A good power strip adds additional surge protection and thermal cutout. A power strip in the UK will normally be rated at 3KW or more and use a 13A fuse at 240v so a home pc will use a fraction of the rated power. There is nothing that special about the wiring of a wall sockets from what I see that makes them any better than a power strip, normally the wires are just held in place with a single screw and use basic tracks to route to the socket.

I did also review the instructions of the Seasonic Prime GX 1000 encase there are warnings I missed but there wasn’t anything. I know you are very knowledgeable but on this point I could not see the reasoning for such a harsh view of power strips. I am happy to be enlightened encase I have missed something.
 
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Jul 12, 2020
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Ok, did the gpu replacement. After 54 minutes I stopped running Heaven because it seemed to be fine....

I am confirmed idiot who should have just done that a few days ago 🤦‍♀️

I'll start the RMA process and see if someone else can replicate the problem and hopefully get a replacement sorted.
 

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