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Originally posted by TheScavenger I know Civ 4 isn't intensive. Its an ancient game lol. I put it there as an example of a game without any problems, and I listed games I've played thus far with problems. I'm not dumb :P I just put there to show that a game old and not intensive doesn't have any problems. Anyway, my system is 5 years or so old. Only my hard drive is new. I have a Geforce 260GTX 896MB as I said A crappy i5 CPU 3.3 Ghz ( Same exact motherboard and age as my dads motherboard that is having problems as well, but his problems right now are different than mine but a bit similar) 8 gig DDR 3 ram (Windows 7 64bit) 1.3 GB harddrive, not an SSD or anything special (it is pretty new, installed Windows on it about a month or two ago when I first reinstalled my PC) (edit: Forgot what my PSU is, but its kinda a crappy one. It was plenty enough wattage to power my system, but it isn't really a high end or high quality one)
You'd better find out what power supply you have, as a bad power supply can cause all sorts of weird problems. If you have to open up the case and read the label, then do it. While we're at it, which motherboard do you have?
I'd also like to know what case you have, but that's more a matter of airflow.
By the time the first 3.3 GHz Core i5 processor launched (Core i5-2500 in 2011), the GeForce GTX 260 was long gone and made no sense at all to buy unless you found it really cheap used. There was a 3.33 GHz Core i5-660 that launched a year earlier, but if you bought that, then you really goofed, as it's two cores for the price of four. And if you have a Core i5-750 or some such and overclocked it to 3.2 GHz, then you should first try undoing the overclock.
Considering that neither Windows 7 nor the first Core i5 processor nor any motherboard that can take any Core i5 processor was even on the market 4 years ago, I'm somewhat skeptical that your computer is 5 years old.
Well, my memory is that of a gold fish :P So dates, not very good to me. Maybe its 4 years old, but I thought it was 5. But maybe that is too long. I remember running into a problem running into a certain game, so since I had money, I upgraded. If I remember the game, I can know about how old my PC is. I know my surround sound I got specifically for Elder Scrolls Oblivion, but that was in 2006. I guess dates don't matter that much, maybe it was 2009. It wasn't 2010 though. It was definitely before the housing bubble though, and I forgot what date that was. Cause my dad was pretty much out of a job after that crashed, he only lasted a year after that. And so I couldn't have upgraded after, since money tanked for us. And my dad didn't spend anything during the housing bubble, because he said it was obvious it was gonna tank and we had to save our money.
Wasn't Windows 7 released in 2008? Maybe I had to upgrade for Oblivion, but that seems weird as that was 2006. I know oblivion came out and my pc couldn't run it at all. So I know I upgraded when that was released. But maybe I upgraded sometime after for another game.
Anyway, date aside that probably doesn't matter really...
Nothing is overclocked, its all standard settings.
My PSU is Cooler Master GX 750 wats.
The motherboard is more complicated though, dad doesn't remember what it was and doesn't want to take my pc apart to find what it is. Its an asus, and its an i5. However, if I remember...there is something it has that made it run on my upgraded system when I got all my parts. I think I really needed an i7 or something for this system (or were those not even out?) Other i5 motherboards wouldn't run my current system or something, but this one is more of a crappy one that runs my current setup. Honestly not sure what it was, but its a really really crappy motherboard. Its a low end i5 that was barely suitable to run this system. That is what my dad describes it as...so without him taking it apart just to see what it is, that is best I acn do.
(edit: OHHH! I remember. The motherboard supported my DDR3 ram, while other ones didn't. I think this was it. So it was specifically made for this ram or something, but its a crappy low end one.)
Your power supply is a piece of junk. You should replace it and hope that it hasn't already damaged something else.
"The Cooler Master GX 650W is a mediocre power supply for couple of years ago, and an outright failure today. The Build Quality of the unit is nothing to write home about (unless it is a warning), the topology is old and outdated, and the exterior is flash over substance. Coupled with this we have mediocre voltage, poor by today's standards efficiency, and out of specification DC Output Quality. One upping this poor showing is that fact that the unit was completely unable to complete our load tests at 100v AC input. That makes the GX 650W not just a failure by our standards, but rather a double failure and an ugly one at that. Making matters worse is the fact that this unit is priced at up to $100 in retail and $70 online. (Users can pick up the much better Seasonic M12II-620Bronze from Amazon with Free Prime Shipping for $98.29). As it stands, there really is not anyone that this unit would be a good fit for that we can think of, and certainly not for its intended crowd of "gamers." Cooler Master should be ashamed and owes all gamers and hardware enthusiasts an apology."
Yes, that's a review of the 650 W version, not 750 W. But the 750 W version isn't likely to be of higher quality.
This should get the job done for you:
Or if you're willing to pay somewhat more for higher end quality:
If your power supply has already damaged other components, you could be looking at replacing more stuff to fix the problem--or possibly giving up entirely and having to replace the system outright. But if you replace the power supply now and that doesn't fix things, then you can at least keep it for use in your next computer.
Originally posted by TheScavenger (edit: OHHH! I remember. The motherboard supported my DDR3 ram, while other ones didn't. I think this was it. So it was specifically made for this ram or something, but its a crappy low end one.)
All Core i5 processors use DDR3 memory exclusively. So all motherboards with a CPU socket that can take a Core i5 processor use DDR3 memory exclusively.
My dad prefers Frys Electronics that is near us, that way if something is wrong, he said he can easily take it back. But he said thanks for the two newegg links, but that if something was wrong with them, he said its too hard to take it back.
So with that said. He wanted me to ask you, what do you think of (he doesn't know much about power supplies, but he found some brands that looked good. Not linkable on the site (Frys Electronics just as a generic site link instead of a link to the actual product (at least that is how it shows when my dad is viewing them), but...). He is a computer programmer, but hardware I guess isn't his fortay, at least in regards to power supplies.
What do you think of these brands of PSU?
Corsair, ANtec, RaidMax, FSP, EVGA, ThermalTake
The games that you mentioned you can play are mostly CPU heavy while the ones you mentioned you can't are more GPU bound or at least enough to cause the aforementioned problems if your GPU was having issues. Given the age of the system or at least some of the important hardware in it you might want to consider it's time to save up for a new one. If you that just isn't an option then I'd suggest at least spending enough to replace the GPU to something more modern (doesn't have to be high end to stomp your current card) as well as a new PSU like Quiz has suggested. ESPECIALLY if the PSU is as old as the system.
Regarding the question you posed about PSU's, the majority of the brands you listed do not make their own PSU and instead rebrand the OEM versions under their name instead. It even goes a step further in that within a single brand the different product lines can all come from various OEM's. That is why it is important to know the EXACT model of the PSU you are considering. I generally trust Seasonic (they are an OEM) though not all their PSU's are excellent, like others they sell low end products as well. With that said their "80 plus" line of PSU's are generally considered a good buy. The two listed by Quiz are both excellent value for the money.
This is an older article but it was recently updated earlier this year and is relevant to your questions regarding PSU brands.
Please be aware not all OEM's are created equal if you know what I mean. If I couldn't purchase a Seasonic made PSU I would look for a Super Flower one instead, though they are usually a lot harder to come by in the US.
Another great site:
ah okay. Well my dad said he would look up reviews and see what is said. Guess it all varies in these brands that I mentioned.
The PSU will be the first thing I replace in any case.
As for the GPU, I'd feel like its wasted money (even if mine is cheap now, I haven't looked) just to get the same one or a slight improvement. I'd kinda want to go all out on it, which would require a bunch of new stuff. My system doesn't support the new graphics cards. But I kinda wouldn't want to just skimp out on that. If I had money, I'd go for a 2gb video card, since Skyrim (with mods) and Witcher 2 (with mods, I'm in a beta mod for it with their new mod kit tool) require pretty much a 2gb video card to run it. But in this case, it isn't just buying a GPU, but a new case (mine wouldn't fit the new graphics cards) and everything else.
But a PSU is definitely doable, and I need a new one anyway for when I eventually upgrade.
(edit: My dad ended up liking this one the best that was linked the last page after doing some research.
So thank you for that suggestion. The ones at fry's he realized weren't that great, and while convienant, none of them were really high quality.
Well, it isn't a heating issue. My room is much cooler than it was yesterday, and I had just turned the pc on. Went to play RIFT, and it locked up. It actually locked up as soon as I entered the game.
I got out of it, went to play Warband to try it. Played about 15 min, so not really an extensive test. Did some small bandit battles (had 60 troops, they had 30 or so) and roamed around the map, and my computer seemed to handle that fine. But again, Warband isn't really intensive and the engine is kinda old looking. I'll have to play for about an hour or so sometime today, and see. But, it seems Warband works fine at first glance.
(edit: Well in any case, I'll be ordering a PSU on Monday (if work goes as expected). I'll just take it easy till then.
I think it actually is the PSU in this case. Especially since its a crappy one. And when my computer starts using more power, it starts causing problems. My graphics card should last far longer than 4 or 5 years. And I'm hoping that isn't what is going on, as that is a more intensive replacement. Especially since I don't want to skimp on a new GPU. GPUs are usually pretty unlikely to go bad though from what I understand of them. So, hopefully its just the crappy PSU I have.
I'll just play games that don't use up so much power and graphics. I can play Civ 4 (well fall from heaven, kinda same thing in this example) and maybe warband. So its not like I can't do anything :P and watching youtube and doing basic stuff doesn't cause problems at all.
Well, that was weird. Haven't had that problem before. Drivers same drivers I've been using for a while. (edit: for about a month)
Screen went black (was just browsing the internet, was on mmorpg.com when this happened and had a youtube tab open) for a couple/few seconds and then it said something like Nvidia Kernal mode Driver stopped responding and then recovered.
And the event viewer just says:
Display driver nvlddmkm stopped responding and has successfully recovered.
I found something about a trojan called iehighutil.exe when I searched for the error. A bunch of people I guess are getting the same error. Only two so far said they had that trojan. But I don't have any trojan as far as I can tell. This is pretty much on a brand new install, as my backup was made as soon as I installed my necessary programs. Plus, the guy that said he had it, his GPU spiked to 99/100 percent every once in a while as the trojan mines for bitcoins or something and mine stays pretty consistent. And I searched the registry and looked at my startup items, and nothing points to having a virus or trojan of that type.
Not sure what PCB is in MSI afterburner, but its temp is 41. My GPU temp is 50. Fan speed is 40. My GPU usage goes to around 12 percent when I'm browsing websites, otherwise stays below 10.
That means your video card did something really wrong, and had to reset the driver.
It doesn't necessarily mean a virus.
The most likely culprits: video card is failing hardware-wise, or corrupt video driver file.
First thing to try: completely uninstall your video drivers, and re-install from the latest directly from nVidia
If that still hangs/reboots/does weird things: your video card is likely dying. Strongly consider replacing the PSU along with the GPU.
I wasn't actually running a game when they crashed. I had a youtube video up in one tab, but it wasn't running and the video was already long processed. And was browsing MMORPG.com in another tab. And it randomly crashed. No other program was running, except for steam and raptr in the background.
Maybe it was just a once time thing. Unless its a bad sign that it crashed when just browsing the internet.
Out of curiousity, as I can't afford an upgrade so this is more to see what the average price is. A PSU is rather pushing it as it is, but I pretty much have no choice on that one. But I think I may find some ways to earn extra money and see if they don't help me afford a new PC.
What would be the average price for a modern system? Not the most expensive mind you (so probably not like the newest of the new), but something that be suitable to run games like Skyrim/Witcher 2 and GTA all heavily modded. I know a Skyrim total overhaul mod I have, requires at minimum a 1.5 GB graphics card (and the guy strongly recommends 2 gb). My current system can barely run Witcher 2 as it is, let alone the mod I'm sorta helping test that probably also requires a 2gb graphics card.
My i5 probably isn't up for it, as there are i7s out there. I need a new motherboard anyway since mine is crap. My power supply is better, so as you can see, my motherboard is ultra crap. Dunno about my ram, but ram tends to be really cheap anyway.
I'd need a new case as well, as my GTX 260 (896mb) just very barely fits into it lol...so I already know a 2gb graphics card would be far too big lol.
I'd get a SSD drive too, since every modern PC should have one.
Anyway I just will take my system easy for now. I don't think anyone can really say for sure if its a PSU problem or a GPU problem or both. So once I get the PSU in the mail, I'll see if that doesn't do anything. Until then, guess its all up in the air.
If you want advice on hardware replacement, then you need to say exactly what hardware you have. For example, saying that you have a "Core i5" processor doesn't really say much. All that it really tells you is the relative performance at a particular TDP and within a given generation of Intel parts. The "at a particular TDP" is huge, as you can get vastly more performance out of a chip that is allowed to burn 95 W than one that has to stay inside of 13 W.
If you don't know what hardware you have, then try running DxDiag and see what it tells you.
Not really sure what here is important info or not. But.
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5 CPU 660 @ 3.33GHz (4 CPUs) , ~ 3.3GHz
Memory: 8192m RAM (its DDR3)
Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 (896 MB)
That looks like the important stuff. Doesn't tell me anything else about the CPU except that. And there is some other info in the display tab of DXdiag, like approx memory, DAC type, but not sure what those are.
Would this power supply you linked (I'll link it again)
Be good for a future, modern computer? For when I eventually upgrade? My dad is curious if you linked that one for just the system I have now, or if its good for newer computers too?
(edit: As for price range of a up to date PC, my dad said he probably expects something around the 1500 dollar range or so. Probably something like the latest, kinda opposite of what I said earlier today.)
Originally posted by TheScavenger Would this power supply you linked (I'll link it again) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151119 Be good for a future, modern computer? For when I eventually upgrade? My dad is curious if you linked that one for just the system I have now, or if its good for newer computers too? (edit: As for price range of a up to date PC, my dad said he probably expects something around the 1500 dollar range or so. Probably something like the latest, kinda opposite of what I said earlier today.)
$1500 would get you a fairly high end gaming rig. Something modern that is roughly equivalent to what you have now would go for about $600.
So long as you continue to use a single video card and leave everything at stock speeds, that power supply should last you for many years to come.
Seasonic actually just launched their G series recently; the basic principle of it seems to be to deliver nearly as high of end of quality as some of their previous high end power supplies (X-series, then more recently Platinum) while bringing the cost down quite a bit. The Seasonic G series also offers lower wattages, starting as low as 360 W; being able to get a high end power supply for a low power system (e.g., an office computer) for $60 rather than having to spend $200 to get a ridiculous 1000 W unit if you want high end quality is certainly a welcome development.
Remember that power supplies are based on physical components, not microchips, so they don't scale with anything similar to Moore's Law and have no notion of die shrinks. Thus power supplies, like cases, can last a long time.
I see no reason to replace a Core i5-660 anytime soon unless either the CPU or the motherboard is damaged. The processor is probably fine, as they're pretty resilient especially at stock speeds. The motherboard is more of a concern.
Meanwhile, when you do upgrade to a new high end video card, it probably won't use that much power power than the GeForce GTX 260 that you have now. At the high end, video cards are limited more by power consumption than die space, and that's going to be true further down the chain as well in future generations. If you wanted to double your performance by getting, say, a Radeon HD 7850, it would actually use considerably less power than your current card.
Thank you for all this help. It is great to get tech advice, and actually talk to someone who (well seems) to know what he is talking about. I'd probably stick with a single card like I have been, two seems too much for what I do and one as always been fine.
My dad isn't really in the tech business anymore, not up to date on what is good or not.
Have any recommendations for both the 1500 range? He isn't really sure of what is good or not, but we'd probably go the newegg route or whatever gets us a good price and what not. He said he prefer to go all out if we upgrade, and go with the high end stuff. So 600 range is out.
As for power supply, I copy pasted what you said (among your other text) and emailed the post to my dad. That way he can read your advice as well.
If you're looking to replace the whole system, I'd wait until you are ready to buy and then come back to ask again. Prices bounce around a lot, and I think New Egg makes a good chunk of their profit off of people who buy something based on old information because it was a good deal the day that someone linked it and is no longer a good deal when someone sees the post a month later and buys it.
If two parts are equivalent except that one costs $80 today and the other costs $100 today, then you want the $80 part. If their prices swap by the time you're ready to buy something in two weeks, then you want the part that is $80 the day you're ready to buy, not the part that was $80 now and would cost $100 then.
For PC's, I would say about $700 gets you something "entry level" - in that it can play all games with at least medium settings at 1080p well, and MAX MAX out many older titles. $1500 gets you nearly top of the line, with diminishing returns getting very steep after that point. And there are all price points in between.
Could have been my power supply, but it looks like it was my graphics card. Played civ 4, hard crash. Wouldn't boot up no matter what I did. Dad looked at it, and agreed it was likely my graphics card that died and he had seen the same symptoms before with dead graphics card. He said its still possible it was my power supply and it wasn't getting enough power, so I'll see tomorrow.
But as of now, looks like my graphics card is at fault
If it is, I'm using an old low end, tiny graphics card. An nvidia geforce 210! WOOO! Its barely larger than the palm of my hand rofl.
Won't be playing any games on this, except text and browser games.