PC shuts down during intensive gaming (despite low temps and quality PSU)

My gaming PC shuts down during "intensive" gaming.

Example: If I play Portal 2 or GRID (the original) without vsync, it always shuts down after about 5 minutes. However, if I enable vsync, it doesn't shut down. Because time and load* both play a factor (*load is decreased with vsync because the PC only computes 60 frames per second), I suspect the issue to be temperature-related.

However, my CPU with integrated GPU (AMD A10 7870k, not overclocked) is always below 50° C and the system temperature is never higher than 32° C. Because of these very low temperatures, I suspected the RAM may be overheating because the DDR3 modules (2 x 4 GB G.Skill Ares DDR3-2400 DIMM CL11-13-13-31) run at 2400 Mhz (factory overclock) and are heavily stressed by the iGPU. However, I switched to RAM modules with larger heat sinks (2 x 4 GB G.Skill TridentX DDR3-2400 DIMM CL10) and have a strong air flow passing the modules in my case and the shutdowns still continue.

Next, I suspected the mainboard (ASRock FM2A88M-HD+ R2.0) chipset may be overheating. However, I placed a 120 mm fan with spacers on the bottom of the case that provides strong and direct airflow to the chipset heatsink and the shutdowns still occur as before.

The PSU is the 300 W be quiet! System Power 7. I would be very surprised if it is the culprit because it is both of a "good" manufacturer" and overpowered because I don't use a discrete graphics card and the entire system shouldn't draw much more than 100 W maximum, therefore not nearly pushing the PSU to its limits.

My suspicion now is that some component of the mainboard is of poor quality and overheating. Therefore, unless, you can offer better advice, I would next buy a higher-quality mainboard to replace my current budget one and see if it solves the problem.

I appreciate your help.

Full system specs
Fractal Design Core 1100
300 W be quiet! System Power 7
ASRock FM2A88M-HD+ R2.0
AMD A10 7870k (cooled by Thermalright True Spirit 120 M BW Rev. A)
2 x 4 GB G.Skill TridentX DDR3-2400 DIMM CL10
1000GB WD Green WD10EZRX
2 case fans (1 x 120 mm intake and 1 x 92 mm exhause)
19 answers Last reply
More about shuts intensive gaming low temps quality psu
  1. usually in these types of cases, it's the psu's fault. just because it is from a (relatively) good manufacturer does not mean that some of their products couldn't suffer from any form of defect.
    i suggest you try running the game with a different psu.
  2. Usually in these types of cases...your GPU is overheating. The stats you post point to this
  3. joshyboy82 said:
    Usually in these types of cases...your GPU is overheating. The stats you post point to this


    i don't think he even has a gpu
  4. Although I think its unlikely to be heat related there is no harm in monitoring your temps and reporting back. Usually heat issues will lead to thermal throttling in modern equipment long before they shut down completely.

    After a shutdown does event viewer have a kernel power warning? I suspect psu
  5. sizzling said:
    Although I think its unlikely to be heat related there is no harm in monitoring your temps and reporting back. Usually heat issues will lead to thermal throttling in modern equipment long before they shut down completely.

    After a shutdown does event viewer have a kernel power warning? I suspect psu


    I agree, I would look at this to rule out the PSU.

    It doesn't look temperature related, but you should use something like afterburner with Riva Statistics, it will log the temps and you can see what the temp is at the moment of failure, just in case there is a spike for some reason.
  6. Thanks for your replies so far.

    No, my PC has no discrete graphics card (which I explicitly stated in my original post).

    And no, there are no spikes beyond the temperatures I mentioned above (CPU/iGPU always < 50° C, system always <= 32° C).

    As to the Event Viewer, it displays an "Event 41, Kernel-Power" for each shutdown I experienced in the past. Details:

    "- EventData

    BugcheckCode 0
    BugcheckParameter1 0x0
    BugcheckParameter2 0x0
    BugcheckParameter3 0x0
    BugcheckParameter4 0x0
    SleepInProgress false
    PowerButtonTimestamp 0"
  7. Ok if its not overheating, you're not overclocking, you've swapped in alternate memory (and it has the same problem with both), then your power supply is failing.

    Kernel power 41 can be caused by all of those things, but they have all been ruled out, leaving sudden loss of power. Unless you are pulling the plug or hitting the power switch in the middle of a game, your PSU is clipping out.

    For backup Microsoft identifies this problem as well, see Scenario 3:

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2028504

    Time to buy a new PSU.
  8. Ok, I will test the high-end PSU of my friend and then report back.
  9. Apparantly, your predictions that the PSU must be the culprit seem to be wrong. I bought and installed a new Corsair CX 450M and the PC shut down after playing Portal 2 for about 5 minutes, just as it did before with the 300 W be quiet! System Power 7. Since there is no discrete GPU and I have already switched RAM and the PSU, it must be the mainboard or the APU (after all, I highly doubt the hard drive is responsible).

    What do you think?
  10. comzostruto said:
    Apparantly, your predictions that the PSU must be the culprit seem to be wrong. I bought and installed a new Corsair CX 450M and the PC shut down after playing Portal 2 for about 5 minutes, just as it did before with the 300 W be quiet! System Power 7. Since there is no discrete GPU and I have already switched RAM and the PSU, it must be the mainboard or the APU (after all, I highly doubt the hard drive is responsible).

    What do you think?


    Hard drive wouldn't cause that issue, nor would the processor unless it was overheating which it is not.

    The only other piece to the equation would be a power issue in the motherboard. If the VRMs are blinking out, it could cause crashes like that yes. Its a really really rare type of failure, usually it just causes throttling not shutdowns. Which is why the PSU makes more sense.
  11. Since my last post, I also replaced the mainboard - but the PC is still crashing as before. However, if I maximise fan speeds (which makes the fans unbearably loud), it doesn't crash. I find this weird since my normal fan speeds give me a already low temps of < 32 °C (case) and < 50 °C (CPU). Maybe the AMD A88X chipset tends to overheat. At least the small heatsink on it got hot on both mainboards I tested. Anyway, I don't want to spend any more time on this issue. I will sell the PC in parts and return to gaming on my main computer (a Mac). I prefer the simplicity of having only one computer (and operating system) anyway.
  12. How exactly are you measuring CPU temps??

    Only AMD overdrive is capable of proper temp monitoring on FM2+ boards.
  13. I measure the temps with HWMonitor (www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html). The values the app showed seemed realistic given the very large CPU cooler and the morer than adequate case cooling.
  14. ok, this issue seems to be quite complicated.
    try going through this

    *i know your pc can boot just fine, but the steps covered there are applicable here as well.

    also, madmatt30 had a point when he said to use amd overdrive. try reading this

    nevertheless, if you choose to throw in the towel, it is up to you
  15. Thanks for your replies, Thineswar and madmatt30. They will probably help someone with a similar problem. I, however, won't spend any more time or money on this issue. The fact that I dislike Windows and that I experienced problems with AMD's graphics drivers (flickering in many games, except with the driver from December 2014) are other factors.
  16. comzostruto said:
    Thanks for your replies, Thineswar and madmatt30. They will probably help someone with a similar problem. I, however, won't spend any more time or money on this issue. The fact that I dislike Windows and that I experienced problems with AMD's graphics drivers (flickering in many games, except with the driver from December 2014) are other factors.


    thats fair enough,i had a proper look at your specs though & my conclusion personally is its down to the asrock board & its very likely poor vrm component quality.

    asrock dont make a good budget board & the vrm's generally crap out at around 60c
    whilke your thermalright cooler does a grand job with cpu temps it offers absolutely no airflow over the vrm setup (these are the black chokes directly behind the cpu socket)
    These need fast & hard direct airflow to keep stable & are very likely the reason for lockups & shutdowns.
    I think youre giving up a littel too easily personally,id take your original stock amd cooler ,remove the fan from it & wedge or fix it directly above the vrm setup whichever may you can
  17. Thanks for your answer, madmatt30. You seem very knowledgeable in this area. I considered the possibility that the ASRock board is the culprit. That's why my last attempt was replacing it with the Gigabyte board I mentioned (which, as I wrote, didn't help).

    As I said above, the facts that I dislike Windows, that I have experienced considerable problems with AMD's drivers and that I prefer the simplicity of having only one computer are also factors why I intend to to sell the PC in parts. Also, I mostly play 2D games.
  18. Might comb through the BIOS settings to ensure there isn't a low shutdown temperature set somewhere.

    Might consider setting the CPU's Maximum Processor State in Windows Power Management lower than 100% to rule out excessive VRM draw from the motherboard.
  19. Thanks again for all your answers. However, I have started to sell the PC in pieces have returned to a Mac- and macOS-only setup. I will unsubscribe from this thread now.
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