Alienware 17 R4 2017 review
I've had ongoing problems with my home PC for the last few months. it started with the dreaded event ID 4101 "gfx driver stopped responding error" causing system crashes, so I replaced my graphics card and everything's seemed fine for a few months after.
However, the other day these problems started again and after going away from my desk for a while I returned to find the computer off. I thought nothing of it, as it is set to hibernate after a while. However, when I tried turning it back on, it started for about 2 seconds, the shut off, then started again for 2 seconds. It kept doing this until I turned off the PSU on the back of the unit. I then switched it back on again and the machine was running properly again.
Knowing that random weird PC behaviour can be down to a faulty PSU, I decided to download some software tools to look at voltage. I notice that my vcore voltage is fluctuating every second to values between 1.008 and 1.216 (even at idle). I'm pretty sure this isn't good, as I compared it to my friends PC and his was only fluctuating by about +/- 0.008 (even under load). Kinda annoying though because I have a OCZ branded PSU which from what I can tell is a pretty good one (although I have had a good quality Antec PSU in my previous build, which died completely after 2 years of use).
I'm thinking that these voltage fluctuations could well be the cause for the TDR (timeout detection recovery in Windows 7) causing the random gfx driver crashes.
Please could anyone advise as to whether this is normal PSU behaviour or should alarm bells be ringing. I've used tools such as OCCT, Speedfan and HWmonitor to monitor the voltages and they all say the same stuff. What are others' vcore readings?
We had a similar problem with one of my son's PC's a little while ago. The fluctuating voltages lead me to believe it was the PSU but changing that made very little difference whatsoever. I had already cleaned the CPU & fan and applied new paste in case that was the problem but finally ended up changing the motherboard. It must have been a component breakdown on the motherboard as the voltages then became stable with both the PSU's that were tried when the instability was showing.
I wouldn't worry too much about it, mines always gone up and down like a yo-yo I don't think it makes any difference.
@woodchip - harddrive is already set to Never Power Down. I'd doubt the CPU is dodgy, they're usually fairly reliable from experience, but I guess I could check it.
@canarieslover - that was my other suspect device. However, bit of a mission changing the motherboard, so I'd prefer to test other devices first.
Cheers guys :)
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