Crappy Machine

Dear Lazyweb, I need your help. My main desktop has started falling over under heavy load. That’s when playing games and when encoding video or some other computationally intensive task. It switches off, the monitor goes black and all parts stop spinning/whirring, though the power light is still on.

I tried a PSU tester and it shows no fault. I tried memtest86 but it switches off after a short time. I don’t think I have suitable spare RAM to hand and I don’t have a spare motherboard or CPU. I may be able to lay my hands on some but I think they may be borked.

I’m normally excellent at identifying hardware faults but this time I need your suggestions.

5 thoughts on “Crappy Machine

  1. Could be processor over heating… happened to machine at work once. CPU fan died and the sensor cable triggered a shutdown. Just a thought

  2. I’d go with Félim tbh. If it’s turning off after being under load for some time, rather than as load occurs it’s more likely to be a heat-related issue than a lack of power.

  3. I agree its probably heat related if this is only happening under load. If you have any thermal monitoring software setup, you can set that running, set an intensive task going and keep an eye on the temperature read out to see what happens.

  4. Can I be the 4th to say “heat problem”. I had exactly the same problem, and this is what it turned out to be.

    Check that all your fans are still working, and clean all your heatsinks of dust, and see if that helps.

    (FWIW in my case it seemed to be that my gfx card was running very hot, and causing the processor to overheat)

  5. Yes, it looks like you were all right. Thanks guys.

    I opened it up and checked all the fans and the CPU heatsink was almost completely covered by thick dust underneath the fan.

    I had thought of this, but I clean things out every few months so assumed this wouldn’t be the problem. I was surprised how much dust had been accumulated. Must get someone other than me to hoover more often…

    Cleaned it out and it hasn’t gone down since. Thanks again.

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