PC Shuts Down While Gaming? Here’s How to Fix It
Experiencing sudden and unexpected computer shutdowns during gaming can be a frustrating issue. These abrupt power-offs are often triggered by heat-related problems within your computer. When a crucial component, like the CPU, surpasses its safe operating temperature, the system goes into self-preservation mode, resulting in seemingly random shutdowns to prevent overheating and potential damage. This issue is particularly prevalent during intensive tasks like PC gaming, and it’s crucial to address. Here’s what you can do to troubleshoot and potentially resolve this issue:
1. Monitor CPU Temperatures
Before your computer’s temperature becomes critical, it’s essential to monitor the processor’s temperature. Record these temperature readings in a log to help diagnose the problem later. You can use the free program Hwinfo to log this information in a file. Typically, CPU cores should operate between 45 and 60 degrees Celsius, and problems can arise when temperatures exceed 80 degrees Celsius. While some processors can withstand temperatures up to 100 degrees Celsius, it’s not ideal to run them at such high temperatures.
If you suspect that your CPU is overheating, here are some countermeasures to consider:
- Ensure your computer case is dust-free and provides adequate airflow. Proper ventilation is vital for cooling, even with the best CPU coolers.
- Check and reapply thermal paste for your CPU cooler, as well as ensuring it is correctly mounted. High-quality thermal paste can significantly improve cooling efficiency.
- If these measures don’t resolve the issue, consider investing in a better CPU cooler, especially if you are still using the stock cooler that came with your CPU. Spend between 50 and 150 euros on a quality cooler that fits your case.
2. Monitor GPU Temperatures
The graphics card is another crucial component to consider when experiencing random shutdowns during gaming. As it handles graphics-intensive tasks, it generates significant heat. Monitoring the GPU temperature is important, and you can use Hwinfo’s logging feature for this purpose. Under heavy loads, such as gaming or video rendering, normal GPU temperatures typically range between 65 and 85 degrees Celsius, with different cards having varying temperature limits.
To prevent overheating issues with your graphics card:
- Ensure your computer case has proper airflow and is free from dust and debris.
- Consider adding more case fans or even changing your PC case to improve airflow and cooling.
Issues with the power supply unit can also lead to sudden power loss. Your PSU might not be supplying enough power, especially when running demanding games or upgrading to a more powerful graphics card. You can use an online calculator like Seasonic’s Wattage Calculator to estimate your system’s power requirements. If your current PSU falls short of the recommendations, upgrading to a more powerful unit may resolve the issue.
4. Update Device Drivers
Outdated or corrupted device drivers can cause desktop crashes and visual errors. To address this, remove the old driver completely before installing a new one. You can do this in Windows through the device manager. Uninstall the driver by right-clicking on the graphics processor under “Display adapter” in the device manager and selecting “Uninstall Device.” For a more thorough driver removal, you can use tools like Display Driver Uninstaller.
Once your drivers are uninstalled, download the appropriate GPU utility (GeForce Experience for Nvidia, AMD Adrenalin for AMD, or the latest Intel Arc drivers) for a clean reinstall.
Addressing these common causes of random PC shutdowns during gaming can help ensure a more stable and enjoyable gaming experience. By monitoring temperatures, improving airflow, upgrading hardware, and maintaining up-to-date drivers, you can minimize the risk of overheating and other potential issues that lead to unexpected shutdowns.