PC shuts down while gaming


Apr 16, 2010

A few months back, I had a friend built my new desktop that I intended to use for gaming. Here's the thing, though: everytime I start playing a game (and when the graphics card is needed) my computer will shut down after a few hours of gameplay, sometimes a few minutes!

I'm in no way a hardware specialist, but from what I could find, it can be overheating or the power supply that's not good enough.

It would be great to at least know what's wrong so I can take care of it... This thing wasn't free and I can't even use it for gaming, that's pretty frustrating. Here are the specs:

CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650
Casing: Cooler Master HAF 922
Graph Card: ATI Radeon HD 4850 X2
PSU: Super Flower 550W
RAM: 2 x 2048Mb DDRII (Corsair)
Sony Optiarc DVD drive

Do you think the PSU might be the problem? The cooling seems fine but as I said, I'm no hardware guru.

Any help would be very appreciated, thanks in advance!


Oct 15, 2009
You're running crossfire 4850's on a really crappy 550w psu, that's your problem! ;)

It's worth spending that bit more and getting a decent quality supply, Corsairs are a firm favourite with most people.

Agreed. But I would like to see the PSU model number.

Corsairs are a favorite because Corsairs are consistently awesome. Fantastic quality and fantastic price. But there are plenty that would fit the bill.

Have you monitored temperatures during your gaming sessions? What were the readings? If not, then download CoreTemp and Realtemp for free. Run both utilities while playing games and post the results.

Your current power supply is not a high quality psu.

The general rule of thumb is a high quality 500 to 550 watt power supply with sufficient current (amps) on the +12 volt rail(s) can easily power an overclocked system with any single video card made. A high quality 700 to 750 watt power supply with sufficient current (amps) on the +12 volt rail(s) can power an overclocked system with two video cards operating in dual mode. There are a few exceptions like the new ATI Radeon HD 5000 series cards which use less power due to their energy efficiency. On the other hand the top of the line 5970 video card uses more power.

A high quality 500 to 550 watt psu will have a +12 volt rail rated at 40 amps. A high quality 700 to 750 watt psu will have a +12 volt rail rated at 60 amps.

In addition the power supply should be at least 80+ Bronze certified for energy efficiency. There are some models available which have achieved 80+ Silver and 80+ Gold Certifications.

Corsair and Seasonic are two brands that have a reputation for high quality power supplies that consistently earn high marks in technical reviews. They are reliable, stable, and come with a 5 year warranty. Some of the newer models come with a 7 year warranty.

shovenose - Check your link. That Silverstone power supply is no longer available at newegg.com