Power issues- running out of ideas! Help!

To be filled by o.e.m. / To be filled by o.e.m.
May 4, 2011 at 12:34:58
Specs: Windows 7, 2.8 GHz / 4095 MB
One of my neighbors built me a computer about a year ago, and since then I've been having some major issues with it. I know computers fairly well and I can build one myself now, but I've gone to my neighbor, my nerdy guy friends, the random tech guy at the Best Buy, and my school's tech support. They apparently either can't help me or want $100 for their help. Balls.

Occasionally, my computer seems to shut down completely. It usually happens when I'm running a game such as League of Legends, World of Warcraft, or Portal, but it also seems to happen even if I just leave the computer running (although it seems to run longer if I don't run a game). At its worst, my computer couldn't even get through the initial loading screen.

I originally thought it would be a heating issue, so I went in and ran a program called Speedfan. Everything was sitting at a toasty 40ish degrees, except for something that said AUX. I still have no clue what AUX is, and it's a bit worrisome, especially since Speedfan reads AUX at 92 degrees... yikes. Despite looking it up for a year, I have no clue what AUX is.

So I defaulted to the next likely thing- maybe my motherboard's having issues. My PCI-e video card wasn't reading properly either, so I had both the video card and the motherboard recently RMAed. I gleefully got my motherboard back the other day and put my computer back together. You can imagine the rage when it shut down within 30 seconds of loading League of Legends.

The next thing that could possibly malfunction is the PSU. It's running at 400w, so I can't possibly imagine that I need any more power in the machine.

It's odd though. When my computer decides to go kablooey, it does one of two things:
1- I can hear/see all the fans running. The thing is still obviously on. Too bad my keyboard has no power going through it (or the lights just turn off, I have no clue) and my monitor just reads "No Signal" at me.
2- Everything entirely powers down, including the fans. When this happens I have to remove the power cord for at least 5 seconds, plug it back it, then start up the computer again. This happens much less frequently. The last time this happened, I was running Portal on full graphics just to try and see if using too much processing power was killing my computer.

I figured it's also possible that things just aren't plugged in correctly, seeing as how I'm a bit new to building (in my case, rebuilding) computers, but I've already triple checked all the plugs, my RAM, video card, etc.

I realize this is a wall of text, but thank you so much if you read through all of it. I'm just tired of systematically RMAing parts of my computer and wasting money I don't have on shipping. I've already RMAed my motherboard and my video card, and seeing as how I'm a semi-broke college student, I'm not looking forward to replacing my PSU...

Here are the specs to my computer:

Phenom II X6 2.8 GHz
AS Rock 880GXH/USB3 Motherboard
4 GB G.Skill DDR3 1600
XFX Radeon 5770 graphics card
Corsair 400w PSU

Save me, please!

See More: Power issues- running out of ideas! Help!

Report •

May 4, 2011 at 13:12:40
1- I can hear/see all the fans running. The thing is still obviously on. Too bad my keyboard has no power going through it (or the lights just turn off, I have no clue) and my monitor just reads "No Signal" at me.

Normally when I see this I almost always suspect the power supply is failing or has failed. How many fans are you running including the cpu fan? How many harddrives and dvd/cd rom drives? It could be that the 400 watt psu is not quite enough. Everything takes a chunk of power. I am thinking the most taken by the cpu and the video card which take a bit more when running programs like games especially video intensive games. I am guessing without looking anything up that 400 watts is the minimum required for that system which is to say that it will boot and run idle.

Cpu's normally do not partially fail meaning if it doesn't work now it won't work later. You have already swaped the MB and Vid card all that I see left is the PSU. I would recomend 500 or more watts with a single 12v rail.


Report •

May 4, 2011 at 13:29:25
Your power supply is probably the issue. That card is pretty power hungry. Below are two links with charts for the idle and full load power in watts. To figure the load in Amps divide the chart number by 12 (for 12V).


Any way you cut it the card is drawing between 17 &22 Amps off the 12V rail. Add to that your CPU at 125W (10+Amps on 12V) Then you have fans and drives also using 12V.

I recommend a single rail PSU with at least 40A on the +12V rail. Look at the link below.


More power is good for future builds. As said 40A @12V

Report •

May 4, 2011 at 13:34:21
For starters, don't trust Speedfan. Your system & CPU temp are monitored in the BIOS, that's where you should be looking. Or you can give HWMonitor a try:


Randomly RMA'ing components is a poor way of troubleshooting. When you reinstalled the CPU & heatsink on the new board, what type of thermal compound did you use & how did you apply it? AMD CPUs use the "middle dot" method. That means a tiny dab of paste in the center of the CPU, then the heatsink is installed & locked down. No spreading of the paste is necessary, in fact, doing so may negatively affect the heat transfer into the heatsink & cause the CPU to overheat. This picture shows all you need, if you did it differently, you did it incorrectly:



Have you tested the RAM by running memtest86 or memtest86+? Did you manually configured your BIOS settings or did you simply accept the defaults? Have you disabled the auto-restart feature so that an error message will be displayed rather than a random reboot?


The PSU is another possibility but Corsair is usually pretty reliable. Of course, no manufacturer is ever "lemon free" so it's possible that yours is defective.


Report •

Related Solutions

May 4, 2011 at 13:35:50
I stand corrected. Looks like you'll need at least 600 watt psu.


Report •

May 4, 2011 at 13:40:19
The newegg PSU calculator puts the wattage at 434W, so I guess the problem may be the PSU afterall:


Report •

May 5, 2011 at 17:43:47
Wow, thanks for the fast responses, people!

The only reason why I'm a little iffy on immediately claiming it's the PSU is because I've taken out my beefy video card before and it still powers down. I managed to play Portal for a while today after taking it out and just using my onboard one, and it stayed on for quite a while. Unfortunately, it restarted while I was working on something on Microsoft Word. I was running no games and the only things I had open were MSN, AIM, and a google chrome window.

@mickliq: I don't have any paste on it at the moment. I've disabled auto-restart and I manually configured things through the BIOS. And yes, Corsair is usually pretty reliable. The only things I can possibly think of other than the PSU though is my RAM, MoBo, or maybe my video card overheating. I honestly have no idea, otherwise I wouldn't have systematically begun RMAing things.

Thanks, folks!!

Report •

Ask Question