PC randomly shuts down, even after swapping PSU and other components

As the title says, I am having issues diagnosing why my PC shuts down unexpectedly. The issues occurs most frequently while attempting to play Cities: Skylines, but it has also occurred while casually web browsing, etc.

Full System Specs:
• Operating System - Windows 7 Pro
• CPU - Intel Core i7 4690k (stock heatsink)
• RAM - 32 GB DDR3-1866 - Crucial Ballistix Sport XT
• Video Card - AMD Radeon R9 200 series (SAPPHIRE DUAL-X R9 270X 2GB)
• Power Supply - Corsair HX850
• Primary HD - 1 TB Samsung 840 EVO SSD
• Other HDs - 4 TB HGST Deskstar NAS, 2 TB Hitachi
• I have 4 120 mm fans on the case
• No Overclocking

I have tried a number of different things to troubleshoot the issue.

Originally, the issue first started while playing Cities: Skylines (although I played for 20-30 hours before the first time it shut down like that) and then started occurring was some regularity, no matter what I was doing. It got to the point where it was a challenge just to get it to boot up.

At the time, I was running different MOBO and PSU - ASRock Z97 Extreme 4 and Corsair CS650M. I had a hunch that the MOBO had gone bad as I had found some threads for that MOBO with users complaining of the same start up issues (plus I had had one go bad already), but I also suspected that my PSU was slightly underpowered so I went ahead and swapped that out too as most unexpected shutdown issues seem to point back to the PSU going bad.

Initially, that seemed to fix the issue. I went a few weeks with no unexpected shutdowns and could play Cities: Skylines as long as I liked. But then the issue started occurring again.

I am not getting a BSOD or any errors, the system just shuts down and restarts. I tried disabling the auto restart functionality, but it keeps doing it anyway. When I look in the event logs all I see if a "system unexpectedly shut down" message.

Since the issue popped back up, I have tried the following:
• Ensured all drivers are up to date
• Ran SFC to ensure Windows was not corrupted
• Adjusted the Overdrive settings in AMD Catalyst Control to turn down the GPU / RAM clock speeds.
• Disabled the Intel integrated graphics service (can't recall the exact name)
• Ran HWInfo64 to monitor system temps
• Tried playing with the video settings in Cities:Skylines to see if that made any difference

Some changes seemed to make a difference temporarily, but the issue keeps coming back.

Regarding CPU temps, when I am playing Cities: Skylines, the temp gets into the high 70s to mid 80s. But, like I said earlier, I have also seen it shut down unexpectedly while simply clicking a link on a webpage when the CPU is running in the low 40s.

The last two things I can think of are replacing the CPU heatsink and/or replacing the video card, but I would like to explore other ideas before going that route.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
3 answers Last reply
More about randomly shuts swapping psu components
  1. I'm having the same problem
    today i swapped my psu with my friend's with is more powerful than mine,the issue seems to be resolved for 5-6 hrs but then again while playing games it restarted on its own.
    I have also tried everything but still cant find any solution, according to me the video card is drawing too much power or there is a problem with the cpu or motherboard.These are the last options we have
  2. Last night, I got fed up and swapped out the stock heatsink with a CM Hyper 212 EVO and replaced my case with a Corsair Carbide Air 540. So far (knock on wood), everything has been stable.
  3. A bit delayed, but back again. The heatsink and case change seemed to fix the issue temporarily, but now the unexpected shutdowns have started happening again. This past weekend, I swapped out my 270x with a Geforce 750 Ti - thinking the videocard had to be the issue as that was the only component that I had no swapped out - but the shutdowns are still happening.

    I have been monitoring temps pretty religiously and the temps have been great since I swapped the CPU heatsink and moved to the bigger case. I am confident overheating is not the issue.

    My hunch is that one these factors is the culprit, but I am open to any and all advice:
    - I just had really bad luck and got another bum PSU.
    - There is something off in the power management (at the Windows/Bios level in conjunction with the device's settings) that is causing red flags when utilization suddenly jumps.

    The reason I mention the last point is the shutdowns most frequently occur during the following scenarios:
    - Clicking something right after system has been idling for some period of time (sleep/hibernate is turned off, HD etc are set to never turn off)
    - Opening a new tab that is trying to load numerous images
    - Playing a 1080p video (through VLC)
    - Playing a 720p video + opening a new tab in the browser.
    (I haven't tried to play a game lately since things have been so unstable.)

    I did play around with the Windows Power Management settings for the CPU by setting it to 100%, but that seemed to only make things more unstable. I suppose if there are power savings in the Z97-AR bios that are defaulted to "On" then those could be overriding the Windows settings and causing issues. To date, I have not been able to find good documentation that goes through the various bios options in detail so I could make educated guesses while troubleshooting those settings.
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