System reboots constantly


Mar 2, 2009
I built a new system a year or so ago and it has never worked correctly. I have an AMD Athlon 64 3800+ CPU, a Gigabyte GA-M55Plus-s3G mobo and 1G of DDR2 800 RAM. I use the onboard graphics and sound. I do not game and only use this for basic computing needs but do burn DVD's and edit videos shot with my HD camcorder. I was thinking of upgrading the memory and/or CPU, but I think I might want to start over (and have someone else build this one!!!).

What happens is while I am surfing the web or editing videos two problems occur quite frequently:

1) IE 7 says it has encountered an error and is shutting down. This will happen 3-4 times in a few hour window. I know the video files I am working with are large so more RAM will probably help, but I don't know if that will help item #2.

2) What is more troubling is the computer just reboots randomly. Just last night it rebooted 2 times on me while on the internet over a 1 hour period. I was literally reading the posts on Tom's Hardware and poof, the computer screen goes black and the system reboots.

Any suggestions as to what is causing this? Is this an AMD (or mobo BIOS) issue and I would be better served with an Intel system?

Any suggestions on a new build that I can do for under $500? I like the Intel Dual Core 2 processors, but which mobo chip is the best for them?

I know lot's of questions so feel free to answer what you want. Thank you.

Assuming you can re-use your old case, this is what I'd get with your budget:

AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor - Retail $144.99

GIGABYTE GA-MA790GP-UD4H AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $138.99

G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail $44.99

CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail $59.99 - $10.00 MIR + 20% promo code "Mar20", ends 3/31

WESTERN DIGITAL WD3200AAKS 320GB SATA 7200 RPM 16MB Hard Drive $51.99

Total - $440.95 - $10 MIR + 20% off PSU which will put you right around $420

You should also get a 64-bit OS so you can fully use all 4GB of RAM.

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit English for System Builders 1pk DSP OEI DVD - OEM $99.99

The Phenom II 720 is getting great reviews and the extra core should come in handy with your video editing.

If you need to get the price down a little to fit the OS, you could go with a motherboard like this instead:

GIGABYTE GA-MA780G-UD3H AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $89.99