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  Can a PSU overheat and shut down? 
 Date Written 
nick gibson Apr 01, 2010, 06:50pm EDT Report Abuse
Hi, I've been building PCs (for myself) for almost 20 years now but have begun to experience a very unusual problem with random power loss to my current rig.

I have ruled out CPU, system and GPU overheating as the cause both through temp monitoring software and my use of aftermarket fan/heatsinks which keep everything cool even at load.

The powerdowns are at complete random and do not appear to be related to load; i can play Bad Company 2 or Mass Effect 2 for hours without problems but get the sudden power loss whilst using Outlook or Word or a game. I cannot work out any commonality between each one.

I have a high quality PSU (650W BeQuiet Pro) which, when i bought it, was one of the highest rated and most expensive on the market. it is modular and supports configurations considerably more demanding than mine.

however, someone suggested to me that it could be the PSU overheating. I currently have a substantial heatsink on the CPU which blocks one of the PSU fans (it has two) and was wondering whether a PSU can overheat and shut off as a result.



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Dr. Peaceful Apr 01, 2010, 07:17pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Can a PSU overheat and shut down?
To answer your question, Yes. I used to have a SSF (small form factor) PC, which used a custom size small PSU. The PSU heats up like a toaster, no kidding. It's hot to the touch after running games for a while. Compounded by the already cramp interior and poor air flow, the PC had unexpected shutdowns from heat. I had modded the PC to install extra fans to improve air flow, including one mounted outside the back grill of the PSU. The PC cooled better, but the PSU remained to be the culprit.

After I moved all drives, memory, CPU, and GPU into a standard ATX box with a standard PSU, all run well without problem. I opened up the small PSU one time, there were many capacitors soldered very close to each other, hardly any room to breath. In fact they applied tons of silicone paste in between some of caps, to insulate them and prevent them from touching each other.

Yours is a standard PSU, it should, technically cools / ventilate better, though...

Dublin_Gunner Apr 01, 2010, 07:31pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Can a PSU overheat and shut down?
It is possible for it to overheat and shutdown, yes, however in a standard ATX case (even with a heatink close to the PSU) this is very unlikely.

Do you live in a very warm climate?

As the shutdowns are competely random, I would point to this being maybe unstable ram, unstable PSU (possibly faulty) or maybe even unstabe power to the supply itself from the wall.

To rule out the PSU overheating, simply run it outside of the chassis.

If you continue to experience the shutdowns, you can rule out PSU heat as the cause anyway...

Lancool PC K62
Phenom II x3 @ 3.5Ghz
4GB DDR2-800
nick gibson Apr 02, 2010, 04:52am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Can a PSU overheat and shut down?
Thanks for the quick responses. All valid points. In fact, the power failed twice during a cold (left off overnight) boot which would now appear to rule out overheating as the problem. Having checked all the connections, by process of elimination it can only be something defective within the PSU. RMA time methinks. Thanks anyway.



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