Computer Shuts Down While Playing Games

I've been trying to find a solution for this, and I've checked some things, but I feel I need to come right out and ask directly for advice:

When I play certain games, my computer will shut off. There is no crash to desktop, no blue screen; it's as if someone just pulled the plug out of the wall. It will stay off for a few seconds, then boot back up again, saying that Windows wasn't shut down correctly. The games that have caused this are Skyrim, StarCraft 2, and (oddly enough) Chess Titans. Conversely, Minecraft and FTL: Faster Than Light do not cause this issue. Alternatively, I can leave the computer on for weeks at a time, browsing the internet and watching streaming videos and have no issues.

I have cleaned out the vents and the fans, and run temperature monitors, and I am satisfied that nothing is overheating. The last crash happened with my GPU at 43 C and the CPU cores between 45-50 C, with mild loads (less than 50%) on each. I have also run Memtest86, and through 2 iterations no errors were found.

I have both rolled back the video card drivers and updated them to the newest version, and the same thing happens. Thinking of the last thing I changed in the computer, I removed the sound card to see if that had somehow affected things. The first time I played Skyrim after this I was able to play for around 10 minutes (longer than had been normal), but then the same thing happened.

I am leaning towards this either being a power supply issue or a GPU issue. I will list the entirety of my system below, and I am using a Thermaltake Smart M Series 750W 80 Bronze Plus power supply and an ASUS GTX 660 Ti graphics card. The 750W power supply should be plenty for what I need, and the GTX 660 Ti, while older, is adequate for the games I play.

Besides zeroing in on what I *think* is the problem, I'm not sure how to go about finding out for sure or how to fix the issue. My next step was to test the power supply with a multimeter, but I don't know if I'll understand the results well enough to pin the issue to this.

Any advice or similar experiences would be greatly appreciated!

The computer was built new in March of 2014, and this issue first appeared in the summer of 2015. My specs:
Tower - NZXT Phantom 410 mid tower
Motherboard - ASRock Z77 Pro3 LGA 1155
CPU - i5-3570K
RAM - 4x 4GB (16GB total) Corsair Vengeance DDR3, 1600MHz
PSU - Thermaltake Smart M Series 750W 80 Plus Bronze
Sound - ASUS XONAR Essence STX
HDD - Seagate Barracuda 3TB
SSD - Crucial 128GB
OS - Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Have you tested the memory?
  2. jediTT said:
    Have you tested the memory?

    As I wrote in the first message, I have run Memtest86 and the results were negative.
  3. Best answer
    Might be might not be the issue but thats a pretty bad psu. Its a tier 4 unit not designed for gaming.
  4. galeener said:
    Might be might not be the issue but thats a pretty bad psu. Its a tier 4 unit not designed for gaming.

    So, based on this it seems most likely that my PSU is on the way out and should be replaced?
  5. Could be if it is still under warranty I would give them a call. If you had a spare psu you could install it and see if it worked over the one that you have. I know a lot of people dont have a spare though. Thermaltake psu are not really that good for gaming or over clocking I think the only good well resonably good ones they make are the toughpower grand ones.
  6. Based on this I have replaced my PSU with an EVGA Supernova 750 G2.

    The first day with it has been good so far, with no more of those odd crashes. Hopefully it lasts more than the 20 months that the last PSU did.

    I will consider this solved for now, thanks for the help.
  7. Good luck and thats an excellent psu you bought should give you more than a few years of no issues.
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