PC Crashes or reboots when almost any program I feel it's GPU?

Amd fx 8150 black edition
XFX RADEON DOUBLE DISSIPATION 6870 VIDEO CARD
corsair 750m PSU
gigabyte ga-78lmt-s2 ultra durable 4 mobo
8 gb corsair  vengeance ram

used rig I purchased all drivers upto date
i know that mobo GPU TDP on this board is 95w and CPU calls for 125w
bios underclocks CPU to 2.8 ghz I have OC'd and tested with out fail to 3.2 by multiplier
I have OC'd GPU with AMD ccc a little but always maintained low temps case has excellent ventilation and a CPU COOLER   
Recently  aprox 50 hrs of intense gameplay without fail a cpl games would cause reboot or black screen only to come back ok
recently it has started these crashes ALOT won't even open browsers without crash will run CPU / mobo testing software (hotCPU) for hrs no errors found GPU STRESS TEST WILL NOT RUN  I have cleared CSMOS and reinstalled  GPU drivers and reset all to default no OC'Ing still crashes removed GPU no signs of overheat runs fine off onboard VGA please advise as to what may be failure or how to further test

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Take the side panel off of the power supply and check to see if the tops of any of the electrolytic capacitors on the circuit board are bulging or rusty looking. (Google "bad electrolytic capacitors" and check out the pictures if you are unsure of what to look for). This is the most common problem with computers displaying the symptoms you described. If you are handy with a soldering iron you can replace every capacitor in there for less than $5.

bwrussell2 years ago

As Vyger said the problem is either in the GPU or PSU. Unless you have a replacement on hand for either the power supply or GPU then my first step would be to breakdown the GPU, clean everything, and replace the thermal paste under the heatsink. If this doesn't work then you're going to have to decide where you think the problem is between the gpu and power supply.

I would start with the PSU because 1) Its cheaper and 2) I've had similar issues and it was a failing PSU which actually ended up popping some capacitors on my mobo in one case.

sean.collar (author)  bwrussell2 years ago

As I expected problems came back I'm really frustrated at this point the only GPU I had was a older Radeon 240 PCI e 256 mb the machine ran without failure however I don't believe this was a good test being that there was probably little to no load on either PSU or MOBO I'm not sure if if it was a case of pin tension or oxidation the reason the machine was ok for a little while after the swapping of parts I'm leaning towards PSU or MOBO now though I don't have a machine with a PSU capable of running this GPU to try the card in unfortunately. What I was saying is this MOBO gigabyte ultra durable 4 ga-78lmt-s2 doesn't support this CPU from the time I got this machine on startup I would get a message stating CPU not supported and underclocked for stability however machine ran great for about a week before problems arose. I researched to find that the fx 8150 CPU has a TDP 125w and the mobo only supports 95w TDP which is why it underclocked GPU I was just wondering if this could be a potentials a concern. It's just odd that my son had aprox 30-40 hrs with out failure

I would check check the capacitors on your mobo to make sure they aren't showing signs of damage (swelling, particularly out the top).

If the PSU is more than a few years old it would be one of my prime suspects from past experiance but first off I'd probably get a new mobo that supports the proper power for the CPU. Not only could it be causing the problems, like Vyger stated (although I don't know why it would be sudden onset), you aren't getting anywhere near the full potential out of the CPU. Either that or replace the CPU with one that can run at full power.

Vyger2 years ago

Test the voltages of the power supply. If the power to the board is marginal it could cause some of the problems you are describing. Or if you have a spare one plug that one in a see if it improves anything.

Vyger Vyger2 years ago

Actually if you can get, or do have, spare parts try swapping them in and out and see what happens. This includes the ram. To swap out the processor you need to have heat sink compound since you need to put it on fresh if you change the heat sink which you would have to do. And watch out for static. It is a problem more in the winter when its dry. Changing a processor can be an adventure if you have never done it but if you follow the directions carefully you should be able to do it.

sean.collar (author)  Vyger2 years ago

Thank you and I swapped things around and not sure what happened but things appear to be somewhat stable I have crashed when playing high demand games on high settings but seems to be relatively stable ..., now mY CPU is 125w TDP this board is only rated for 95w TDP bios underclocks could this cause problems? Like I said I didn't build this rig I bought it this way

On occasion the contacts in the slots can get a little corrosion on them. Since PC boards run on low voltage even a little bit of oxidation can act as an insulator. So pulling parts out and putting them back in will sometimes solve those kinds of problems. It can be likened to rebooting only on a physical level.

Overclocking can cause lots of problems but it is rare that someone underclocks since the idea is usually to try and get the maximum performance possible. I suppose it could cause problems but I don't really know for certain. Running a processor at a lower power level could cause it to not perform correctly. Unlike a light bulb which will just put out less light a processor deals with threshold situations. It turns functions on and off when certain levels are reached. Ones and zero's are binary, on or off. determining which is which is determined by the threshold of the variable. Lower voltages could effect those variables. At least that is the way I am seeing it. So it could be a factor.

I would look for an updated BIOS from the manufacturer and after installing that I would try setting it to normal levels and see what happens. Just keep track of the changes you make so you can revert back if things go wrong. And remember making BIOS changes always carries a slight risk of making a board unbootable. That is why they usually recomend against it if things are working good. But in this case, things are not good, so you don't have much to loosse.

Vyger2 years ago

And yes swap out the video card with a spare and see what difference that makes.