Sometimes when I start up my computer, my computer shuts down and then restarts and my bios configurations will "reset to default." I have to change my bios settings each time this happens. (Happens about 1-2x/week).
A few months ago, there was a power outage while my computer was running and when the power came back, I turned my computer back on and my computer started to "stutter" or pause on and off, but this went away after 30 minutes or so. It happened a few times after that but seems to be working fine now.
Are all these problems related to my power supply?
I have an Intel DZ68BC Z68 Motherboard:
I have an antec earthwatts 380 watts power supply:
I am using 8GB Ram - 1.5V
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233186 Newegg.com - CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB &# 40;2 x 4GB&# 41; 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 &# 40;PC3 12800&# 41; Low Profile Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9
My motherboard requires an 8 pin connector and i've been using a 4 pin (since my power supply only has a 4 pin- "12V(P4)"). My computer also should be using well under 380 watts using a power calculator.
Section 2.5.1 of the DZ68BC technical product specification document rev8 (see download page) lists the recommended power supply. In the example in that section a PSU of 460W is recommended for a complete system. On the other hand my DZ68BC only uses 80W (measured a while ago) during normal operation
The two 12V connectors need to provide 16A each: total 32A. Your power supply can only provide 17A on 1 connector.
You didn't list you CPU, Sandy Bridge use more power then Ivy Bridge. Some video cards also use a lot of power, but you didn't mentioned the type of video card.
If you are now not using the PCI-E 6 pin express connector. There are adapters to a 4pin atx 12V, which could be a cheap solution.
Be aware that revision G30742-401 (AA number) of the DZ68BC had problems with certain PSU models (mainly during startup). These were corrected with revison G30742-402. The AA number can be found on the board and in the BIOS.
I am also using a Sandy i5-2500K CPU + only using the built-in video card that comes with the motherboard:
So basically, if I am not using the PCI-E 6 pin, I can using a "4 to 8 pin converter" on my 4 pin connector and connect this to the 8 pin slot? I am not using the converter on the PCI-E 6 pin correct?
Would something like this work?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812201005 Newegg.com - APEVIA Model CVT48 9.5&# 34; 4 Pin P4 &# 47;12V to 8 Pin P8 &# 47;12V Power Supply Converter Cable
Would this be risky for my computer using this converter long term since it was designed for 4 pin and not 8 pin? I am assuming that if I am not using the PCI-E 6 pin, that it should be safe long term?
It is good news that you have a G30742-402 revision. This means that you don't have the PSU power on problem of the earlier revision of the DZ68BC.
The CPU power connection needs 2 * 4 PIN connectors. Your PSU (according to the screenshot of the sticker on the link in your initial post) has 2 12V outputs that can provide 17 A: it seems one for the 4 PIN CPU power and one for the 6 PCIe power (the picture of the wires and connectors is not very clear).
My proposal is to use an PCIe 6 to ATX 4 power adapter like:
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=21636 6-Pin PCI Express to ATX 4-PIN 12V Adapter Cable - Sleeved Products Model: PCIX-2-ATX4 [PCIX-2-ATX4-C] : Performance-PCs.com, ... sleeve it and they will come
(this link is just an example, I assume that many shops sell these things)
and connect this 12V power line additional to the current 4 pin power connector.
On my PSU I have two 4 pin connectors that could be connected to each other to create a 8 pin connector. This is however just a convenience.
Tip: If your still on BIOS 0028 I would be careful or even not upgrade to a 003X BIOS revision. A lot of BIOS issues have been reported in combination with sandy bridge CPUs (just search this forum)
Get a new power supply. Power consumption varies at times, particularly at start-up and with a separate video card. There is no reason to risk a system failure. The other possibility is that the capacitors in the monitor are failing which can affect start-up, particularly after cold nights. That is much less likely given your sequence of events.
Thank you all for the replies.
Vbaderks, I will check if my 6 pin PCIe cord is indeed a 12v, and if it is not, should I abandon the converter, and just get a new power supply?
Once I confirm my 6 pin PCIe cord is 12v, here is what I am planning to do:
I will purchase a power meter to measure how much watts my computer is using on an average day:
If my power usage is very low as Vbaderks, then I will use the converter. If it is high, I will get a new PSU. Maybe the Antec 430 Watts? (as opposed to the 380), this one comes with a 4+4 pin
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371006 Newegg.com - Antec earthwatts EA430 430W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.0 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
Does this sound like a good plan?
Seems like a plan.
Your 6 pin PCIe power cord should be 12V:
it would be very weird if it isn't.
Trying the 6 to 4 adapter first would be cheapest solution. Of course there is still the possibility that your PSU got damaged during the power outage you mentioned and only a new PSU will solve the problem. The EA430 PSU you mentioned has however only one 4 pin ATX 12V connector but you can re-use the 6 2 4 adapter.
If you are planning to buy an external Video card in the future or want to keep that option open then I would select a replacement PSU with a 8 pin ATX CPU power output (or 2 * 4 pin) and a PCIe power output.
a) Didn't try 6 pin PCIe to 4pin converter for a 4+4pin connection to the 8 pin slot. Both Intel support and Antec strongly urged me not to do this. They suggested I go the 4 to 8 pin route instead (below). I have to admit that I am no expert and had no idea what I was doing so I had to abort this route, even if their suggestions were ultra conservative.
b) Tried 4pin to 8pin converter for a 4+4pin connection to the 8 pin slot. Didnt work. (same problems)
c) My memory settings have been incorrect- 1600mhz with 10-10-10-15 timings (wrong). The correct timings were 9 9 9 24.
Intel support said 1333 mhz is better so I've changed them back to default 1333 mhz 10 10 10 15 timings. I've noticed that my Bios's settings will even "reset" more now. (Maybe 3 times/week instead of 1). The first few days it reset every morning. (I turn off my PSU's power switch and surge protector every night...)
Is 1333mhz settings better than 1600mhz?
Next Step: I think I will get a new PSU next and hopefully the issue resolves.
Anyone have any more ideas? This issue has been such a headache...
My systems and knowledge are several years behind but I would suggest searching Power Supply 101 on the web. Power supply manufacture is outsourced to several manufactures by nearly every name brand so it can help to read about (even explicit listing) of the actual manufactures, available from sites such as Tom's Hardware and Anandtech. Antec and Enermax are good. Some manufacturers use a benign "catfish" rebate policy.
Everything being equal the slower speed and higher latency should be less demanding on the supply so the problem should not get worse. With an aging supply every change could make things worse. A clean operating system install helps nearly every problem, even when seemingly unrelated.
Power supplies are poluters but you can waste hundreds of hours before finding the real problem. I don't recommend swapping most parts, excepting things like optical drives. I've had problems with connection adapters, even damage from a video card specific adapter used directly on the motherboard.
Memory is a common problem but newer systems are offering an extraordinary range of potential speeds. The specific brand or model of memory is usually the problem.