The computer shuts down in the game: reasons and remedies
Quite often games throw unexpected surprises. Can notably “burn” when a player loses to a weak opponent or too much is at stake. It’s almost impossible to win when a gamer is not only opposed by a virtual enemy, but also by the one who has to help – the computer. The PC can be cut down at the most inopportune moment, right during a shootout or some kind of global event. It is unrealistic to insure against such a problem, usually shutdown is unpredictable. What could be the cause and how to fix it? Read about all this further.
Table of Contents
Why does my computer turn off while playing a game?
According to my own little research, there are 3 main reasons for a sudden shutdown of a PC:
- Overheating of the processor or video card. During the game, there are times when the load on the equipment increases to the limit. Running at maximum frequency generates a lot of heat. If the cooling system cannot handle this heat, the equipment continues to heat up. At a certain moment, the temperature reaches peak levels, which are set by the manufacturer as maximum. Shutdown is a way to protect against burning cards;
- There is not enough electricity, there may still be power outages. It also often causes shutdown when starting games. Most likely, the power supply unit is incorrectly selected or it has a malfunction;
- An accidental video driver crash has occurred. Usually the system tries to fix such problems, but this time it clearly failed. Windows has shut down in emergency mode.
It may also be that the problem is related to viruses that damaged the software environment.
Now let’s talk about everything in turn.
The computer is overheated
Protective reaction of the PC – shutdown if one of the boards exceeds the maximum permissible temperature. At first glance, the reaction resembles the one when the electricity suddenly disappeared or the plug was pulled out of the socket. Thermal protection is not a problem, but only a consequence.
All computers have a temperature monitoring system. It is built on the basis of temperature sensors and controllers. Diodes and resistors send data about the current temperature of the equipment to the controller. The latter, based on the data obtained, adjusts the rotational speed of the cooler. Only as a last resort, when heated to a high temperature, the controller makes an emergency decision to turn off the computer.
Two types of sensors are used to monitor the CPU temperature:
- Built-in, which are directly in the processor;
- External, installed directly on the motherboard. They can be found nearby with the processor socket.
It is for this reason that applications for displaying the temperature of the processor display a pair of values for all nodes. This is totally normal.
What is the algorithm for emergency temperature lowering? Everything happens in 2 stages:
- The first measure occurs after the first emergency temperature threshold has been passed (usually lower, by about 10 ° C). In this case, the processor starts to skip some clock cycles or throttling appears. By lowering the performance, it is usually possible to lower the temperature of the crystal. After resuming the normal temperature, the CPU starts to work normally.
- The second threshold is already critical. It is he who leads to a complete shutdown of the system.
An illustrative diagram of the generation of signals generated by the controller after passing through both stages of heating. Throttling activates the PROCHOT signal, and for an instant shutdown of the PC – THERMTRIP.
What causes overheating?
It’s time to take a closer look at the root causes of the appearance of these signals:
- Low power of the cooling system. The processor and the cooler above it have a couple of similar parameters. They must be indicated in the technical parameters of both equipment. Called: power dissipation and TDP. These characteristics indicate the processor’s demand for heat dissipation and the cooler’s cooling capabilities. When choosing a cooler, make sure that the TDP of the fan is necessarily higher (at least equal) to the TDP of the CPU. If you plan to overclock the processor, the amount of heat generated also increases, but the shutdown thresholds are maintained. In this case, you need to install more powerful coolers;
- There is a lot of dust in the cooling system or clogged ventilation holes in the case. The system cannot remove heat normally if the holes are small or completely clogged with debris;
- Incorrect installation of the cooling system. There is a possibility that a gap has formed between the heatsink base and the processor surface during assembly. Another situation is that the thermal paste has dried out or squeezed out of the gap. By the way, an excessively thick layer of paste also has a negative effect on heat removal;
- The cooling system is damaged. Main faults: faults in the radiator sole, overwhelmed, dry heat pipes, non-working cooler, etc.
- Temperature monitoring malfunctions. Sensors may transmit high temperatures or the controller is processing signals incorrectly. Less common, but problems can be created by converters and piping.
How to diagnose and fix overheating?
It is usually very easy to determine if your computer is overheating. To do this, it is enough to show a little care.
How to determine strong heating without third-party programs:
- The cooler starts to work loudly;
- Hot (relatively) air blows from the ventilation holes;
- A lot of bullets on the cooler and heatsink.
The most accurate method involves using temperature monitoring applications. Popular software: HWiNFO, AIDA 64, Everest. Overheating can be difficult to diagnose in cases where the monitoring system is out of order or there is a problem with thermal grease.
To restore normal operation of the computer, you will have to first determine the cause of the malfunction. The solution method directly depends on the root cause. An effective way to fix it, which will definitely not hurt – cleaning the dust, checking the correct installation of the cooling system. If the thermal paste has not changed for a long time, it is also useful to do this.
After cleaning the computer, keep an eye on the cooler. It should pick up speed easily and not stop, but change the rotation speed depending on the load. If the cooler starts to work harder during the launch of demanding applications, then everything is in order with it. You can simply try to increase the rotational speed of the cooler. The BIOS has the ability to set the maximum rotation speed throughout the entire time.
If the shutdown began to appear after overclocking the processor or video card, you will have to roll back the overclocking. At least this should be done until a more efficient cooler is installed.
It is extremely rare for a PC to shutdown due to a strong increase in the chipset temperature. The problem occurs exclusively on computers with outdated motherboards equipped with a server bridge. Some models suffer from overheating more often than others, this is due to the unfortunate location of the north bridge. It may be difficult to remove heat from it by other devices.
How to determine if the problem is with the power supply?
Key signs that the shutdown is due to the power supply:
- Shutdown occurs unexpectedly and abruptly. Most often during a heavy load on the system;
- According to data from special utilities (such as OSST), it can be determined that the main consumers receive less food by more than 5% of what is required. First of all, you need to pay attention to 12 V consumers;
- The computer turns off when you touch the devices inside the system unit or cables. This indicates faulty or poor quality connectors;
- The problem occurs when the cable between the power supply and the outlet is touched.
It is important to understand that utilities do not always display voltage correctly. To eliminate the risk of errors, it is better to check the results with a voltmeter.
How to choose a power supply?
The computer can be compared to people. Those of us who once sat on a strict diet know that there is simply no energy for entertainment. Likewise, a computer with an insufficient power supply unit. The video card and processor start to consume a lot more electricity when running games, and the power supply simply does not give them the electricity they need. The protective reaction of the computer is shutdown. Otherwise, the power supply would have burned out.
What should be a PSU for a gaming PC:
- Powerful. The power of the power supply unit must necessarily exceed the demand of the entire system. Therefore, when assembling your computer, you need to calculate the power consumption of all components. The power reserve should be at least 20%, and better – 30%. The gap must be made, because the real power of the power supply often corresponds to the nameplate;
- High quality. The quality is judged by the price. Cheap PSUs cannot be of high quality by default. Of course, there is usually no need to buy the best and most expensive model. Normal PSUs mostly cost 10-20% more than the average price for similar models;
- Fully equipped with all cables and connectors for attaching and connecting to other computer equipment.
Healthy! One of the good ways to determine the quality of a PSU is to have an 80 Plus certification. It is assigned to power supplies whose efficiency is not less than the specified value under three test loads: 20, 50 and 100%.
This certificate has 5 varieties: bronze, silver, gold, platinum and titanium. A model with a bronze certificate has an energy efficiency of at least 82% of the declared one and higher. If the power supply unit has received a titanium certificate, its efficiency is higher than 91%. The higher the efficiency, the more electricity is spent on powering the equipment and less – wasted. Energy efficient efficiencies are less prone to heat, are virtually inaudible and have a longer service life.
What else could trigger a shutdown?
Not always a power shortage is due to a problem with the power supply. In some cases, the problem lies in the power converters. They are responsible for the transport and adaptation of energy.
Converters include a ton of electrical control components. Malfunctions in some components lead to a drop in the quality of the power supply. This may cause the computer to shut down. There is a risk that the problem is in the voltage regulation system. Usually it is reflected on the PC by its complete freezes, you have to hard restart the computer. Less common, but may show up with BSOD errors or shutdowns.
Other problem devices are capable of consuming electricity that is intended for important parts of the PC. Only in extreme cases does a short circuit occur, but then the computer will no longer turn on. Mild forms of malfunction, such as broken capacitors, are more common. The computer continues to work, but is unstable. Until the problem is fixed, the PC will stand out in every possible way.
Systemic causes of the problem
Not always a hardware failure is the culprit for shutting down the computer, Windows can also cook this pod.
What else is worth paying attention to:
- Poor adaptation of the game for a given system or a specific set of computers. There is a possibility that the reason is a conflict between different software;
- Drivers, mainly for the video card. Why does it turn off only in the game? It’s simple, in game mode, those technologies are launched that are not involved in the standard operation of the system;
- Virus infection, in particular trojans for mining cryptocurrency. They spend system resources to earn cryptocurrency, and start a chain of events – overheating and shutdown;
- Abnormal system shutdown can cause other system failures.
A distinctive feature of software disconnections from hardware disconnections is different manifestations of the problem. At one time it can become a blue screen, at another time it can turn off or restart the system. True, the blue screen of death can also be triggered by a malfunction of the equipment, so it will not work to make a rule out of this. All cases are individual.
How do I fix system problems? First, you need to carefully examine when and under what conditions the problem occurs. Based on this data, the source of the problem should be determined. If the game crashes, reinstalling or updating should fix the problem. In the case of drivers, you can also reinstall, update the software, but rollback to the previous stable version often helps. If you suspect that a virus is in the system, an antivirus application should help. It also often helps to roll Windows back to a place when the system was working properly. Only in extreme cases will you have to reinstall the system.