I'll try to make this long story as short as I can.
Here are the current specs of a custom tower I got about a week ago (I will be using it mostly for video editing and graphics work, with occasional bouts of Need For Speed thrown in):
PROCESSOR: Intel Core I5-2320 Sandy Bridge 3.0GHz (3.3GHz Turbo Boost) 1MB L2 Cache & 6MB L3 Cache Socket LGA 1155 Quad-Core Processor
MOTHERBOARD: Biostar H61MGC LGA 1155 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
4 x Rear USB 2.0 ports
2 x PCI-E x1 Slot
VIDEO: PNY Nvidia Geforce 430 GT (Fermi) 1GB DDR3 128-bit PCI Express Graphics Card
1xVGA Port, 1xDVI Port, 1xHDMI Port
Core Clock: 700Mhz
Shader Clock: 1400Mhz
MEMORY: 8GB (2x4gb) Team Elite DDR3 1333 Gaming/High Performance RAM
HARD DRIVE: 1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM 16MB Cache
OPERATING SYSTEM: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit (my copy)
OPTICAL DRIVE: Samsung Multiformat DVD Burner
2xUSB Ports, 2xAudio Ports
POWER SUPPLY: Corsair CX500 V2 80-Plus Bronze 500-Watt
MONITOR: BenQ GW2450 24" LCD
The original PSU was a Raidmax RX-450K. The issue was that, every time I loaded the NVidia Drivers, they would stutter, stop, restart, and eventually either freeze the computer (something I never had a problem with with my Gateway P7805 laptop), or blue screen it with a message that the video driver could not restore itself before Windows "timed out."
The consensus on the other forums I've visited was that, though the NVidia card could be the problem, the PSU--which was pretty universally hated--was the more likely issue. With that in mind, I bought and replaced the Raidmax PSU with a CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified this afternoon.
The addition of the CX500 has
made a substantial difference: where the computer was starting up and running no faster than my dual-core laptop, it is now booting, shutting down and getting to where I want to go with suitable alacrity.
Unfortunately, the display drivers again began going black as soon as I plugged in my WD 1.5TB external drive to begin loading the programs I that are the reason I bought this box. They do so, so long as the external drive is plugged in, every three to four minutes. The computer went to blue screen once as well, and had to be shut down via the whack-a-button method.
Here is my question: can it be that the items I have and am using with this tower (including the external drive) are too much for the PSU? Is it more likely that the issue really is the video card? Could something else be going on, say, with the mobo?
HWMonitor shows the temperatures for everything maxing out at about 40C... which on my laptop, at least, would be considered a heavenly temperature range. I'm too new to desktops to know if that is good or bad, however. There is also a fan FANPWM0, that is running at 99%, while its partners (assuming they exist), FANPWM1 and 2 show 0%, but that means nothing to me. I have attached the HWMonitor Log that was running while the external drive was still on, for anyone who may be able to translate it.
HWMonitor 9-7-12 9-46PM.txt 29.72KB
I don't mind replacing the video card if need be, and have had some good suggestions on replacements... but I don't want to spend the money if the issue is still basically one of power.
Any ideas/answers/suggestions would be greatly appreciated; I'm losing work time and money because of this problem.