Question PC restarts after prolonged use - GPU/PSU issue?

Nov 16, 2021
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CPU: Intel Core i5 - 9400F
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650
PSU: Coolermaster MWE 550 80+ Bronze

Recently my PC started restarting randomly, especially when gaming or using PS Remote Play + OBS.

I do not have a spare motherboard to hook these up to component by component and test it out, or a spare PSU to replace the one on my machine. Whatever I'll have to do I will have to buy one and then try it out, so I thought of giving this a try instead of directly buying something to test.

I've run OCCT on my machine to monitor the voltages and usage, I know software readings are not the best or the most accurate. But here is what I've noticed-

+12V rail has a minimum of 12.024V and a maximum of 12.168V when idle.

When I start using the GPU (Gaming/OBS/Remote Play), the voltage starts to drop. The lowest I've been able to record (without the PC restarting) is 11.376V.

I would like to think that the PSU is faulty and not the GPU. Is this enough information for me to go and buy another PSU? Or is there something else I could give a try to narrow down the problem?

Also is the PSU I've mentioned good enough? A friend of mine built this for me, so I am not an expert in this and due to the pandemic I've relocated to a different place so cannot have the friend come over to have a look. The reason I ask is, if I were to buy a new PSU I am planning to buy the same one unless its trash, in which case I can buy a different PSU.
 

AntonyLovric

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The PSU is not great, but 550 Watts should be enough. 11.376 is just under the ATX Spec min voltage. Is there anything in the event logs (windows event viewer) under the 'System' category? (Aside from 'previous shutdown unexpected.)

If the PSU is relatively clean (not too much dust ) and without more information I would be inclined to think the PSU is failing. If you do purchase another PSU there are better models but they cost a little more. (I think that PSU is in Tier 'D': PSU Tier List - Power Supplies - Linus Tech Tips )

Cheers
Antony

From: Power Supply Voltage Tolerances (lifewire.com)

PSU Tolerance Table
Voltage RailToleranceMinimum VoltageMaximum Voltage
+3.3VDC± 5%+3.135 VDC+3.465 VDC
+5VDC± 5%+4.750 VDC+5.250 VDC
+5VSB± 5%+4.750 VDC+5.250 VDC
-5VDC (if used)± 10%-4.500 VDC-5.500 VDC
+12VDC± 5%+11.400 VDC+12.600 VDC
-12VDC± 10%-10.800 VDC- 13.200 VDC
 
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Vic 40

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Nov 16, 2021
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The PSU is not great, but 550 Watts should be enough. 11.376 is just under the ATX Spec min voltage. Is there anything in the event logs (windows event viewer) under the 'System' category? (Aside from 'previous shutdown unexpected.)

If the PSU is relatively clean (not too much dust ) and without more information I would be inclined to think the PSU is failing. If you do purchase another PSU there are better models but they cost a little more. (I think that PSU is in Tier 'D': PSU Tier List - Power Supplies - Linus Tech Tips )
Thanks AntonyLovric, I checked the event viewer and did not notice anything on it under System from when the restarts happened. Is there a PSU you'd recommend up to about 200 USD? I cannot spend more than that, I'd ideally spend 100 USD, but if everything under 100 USD is bad then I can shell out 100 more considering it to work for at least 4-5 years. The current PSU (Cooler Master MWE 550W) is about 60-70 USD.

Also when I get a new PSU (eventually would have to, I guess) is the voltage expected to always stay above 12V when under load, or is a certain level of tolerance expected, like maybe 11.5V to 12V?

This shouldn't happen so if even remotely correct does it seem to be a psu problem. Do you or someone you know have a multimeter? Can test the voltages by using a spare molex connector and see what the voltages really are when stressing the pc.

▶ Manually Test a (PSU) Power Supply With a Multimeter by Britec - YouTube

gives an idea about how to do that.
I should be able to get a local electrician to help me with this. I assume that he should have a multimeter, but certainly, a voltmeter, which I think would be enough too. I am increasingly convinced that it is the PSU but since I do not have spares for anything to mix and match to test things out I am stuck with guessing so far. Thanks, I'll let you know how this goes if I manage to test it at all.

I asked this to Antony, but I'll also ask you, if and when I get a new PSU is the voltage expected to always stay above 12V even under load, or is a certain level of tolerance expected, like maybe 11.5V to 12V? What would be a minimum I can expect a brand new PSU to hit when it is under load? I saw the ATX specification posted by Antony said 11.4 V, so are we expecting a brand new PSU to tread close to that number?
 
Thanks AntonyLovric, I checked the event viewer and did not notice anything on it under System from when the restarts happened. Is there a PSU you'd recommend up to about 200 USD? I cannot spend more than that, I'd ideally spend 100 USD, but if everything under 100 USD is bad then I can shell out 100 more considering it to work for at least 4-5 years. The current PSU (Cooler Master MWE 550W) is about 60-70 USD.

Also when I get a new PSU (eventually would have to, I guess) is the voltage expected to always stay above 12V when under load, or is a certain level of tolerance expected, like maybe 11.5V to 12V?



I should be able to get a local electrician to help me with this. I assume that he should have a multimeter, but certainly, a voltmeter, which I think would be enough too. I am increasingly convinced that it is the PSU but since I do not have spares for anything to mix and match to test things out I am stuck with guessing so far. Thanks, I'll let you know how this goes if I manage to test it at all.

I asked this to Antony, but I'll also ask you, if and when I get a new PSU is the voltage expected to always stay above 12V even under load, or is a certain level of tolerance expected, like maybe 11.5V to 12V? What would be a minimum I can expect a brand new PSU to hit when it is under load? I saw the ATX specification posted by Antony said 11.4 V, so are we expecting a brand new PSU to tread close to that number?
actually I want to make it clear.. Even lower but stable 12v rail is good... But fluctuations in 12v rail is really Really bad.. I personally have Very good experience with Coolermaster PSUs.. I think this cheap one Got really unlucky.. and causing problems... See.. if your PSUs voltage is fluctuating as you stated.. I will remove that PSU immediately.. Lower voltage isn't actually a big Issue to be honest.. I have used one PSU with 10.8v Voltage for 12v rail.. while still serving amazingly... But Fluctuating one.. is really crap... Get new PSU..
I Guess that PSU isn't really responding to Transient responses.. that's causing Shutdowns..
 

AntonyLovric

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I asked this to Antony, but I'll also ask you, if and when I get a new PSU is the voltage expected to always stay above 12V even under load, or is a certain level of tolerance expected, like maybe 11.5V to 12V? What would be a minimum I can expect a brand new PSU to hit when it is under load? I saw the ATX specification posted by Antony said 11.4 V, so are we expecting a brand new PSU to tread close to that number?

Voltage usually always drops a little under load, as long as the PSU is able to keep the 12v within the range (+/- 5%) it should be ok. If the power supply is unable to deliver the amount of current needed, then the voltage will drop below the acceptable range. I haven't bought a new PSU in a couple years, I just keep fixing ones that have died. Look at the Tier list above, get on that it the right size for your needs or a little over (+100 watts) and don't be afraid to spend a little. Better PSUs are a little heavier, quieter, etc.,
 

Vic 40

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if and when I get a new PSU is the voltage expected to always stay above 12V even under load, or is a certain level of tolerance expected, like maybe 11.5V to 12V? What would be a minimum I can expect a brand new PSU to hit when it is under load? I saw the ATX specification posted by Antony said 11.4 V, so are we expecting a brand new PSU to tread close to that number?
Well 11.5V <-> 12V is a big swing and not good, but 12.1->11.9 would be fine to me. A new psu shouldn't drop to 11.4V no, just above 12V would be nice, like in the range between 12V and 12.2V. A new psu ussually wil be in that range to begin with, well that is my experience, but i don't buy crap psu's to begin with.

With problems shown and voltage levels given you likely need a new psu as suggested, but software tools are not always too accurate so why i suggested the multimeter. If you decide to buy a new one make sure to look at quality. Can start a new thread to ask for help if you don't know what psu to get.
 

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