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PC crash (heat? PSU? Windows? Don't know)
#1
Hi Gents, I am having a rather peculiar issue and thought that some of you folks may be able to help...

The problem:
The system crashes during a few games like Assetto Corsa and the Witcher 3. After sifting through logs and troubleshooting for a week, I deduced that the system simply lost power (System logs said so, from kernel-power). Now, this led me to look at the UPS and the PSU. The UPS also powers my NAS, speakers, monitor and gaming peripherals, and those were fine when my PC lost power. This problem initially appeared a few months ago when there was a power fluctuation on the main line. I blamed the UPS and got APC to look at it. The guy said that I needed an online UPS to be able to handle fluctuations. I argued that the UPS had an AVR built-in and it wasn't working fine. Anyway, I got my main line changed to a different phase through the power company engineers and it was fine for a few months, but then this problem again manifested itself when the PC was simply under load. And I am not even talking about stress.

I had been monitoring system temperatures, GPU power usage, fan speeds (through MSI Afterburner) earlier but after studying online, I have started tracking the rail voltages (through MSI Control Center). I am not doing any overclocking and the only changes I made, were to increase the fan speeds so that I could keep the temperatures below 70C for the processor and the GPU.

So far, the temperatures are within limits. I even reduced the graphics settings in the Witcher 3 to keep the GPU temperature below 60C (or low 60s, at worst). I also cleaned the hardware today; the PSU had accumulated some dust within the past 5 months (I go for a bi-annual cleanup otherwise, and a CPU thermal paste renewal annually, before the summer season).

Anyway, I have observed that the voltage on the 12V rail drops to 11.712 (within the 5% tolerance limit set by the ATX 2 standard) during games like Arkham Knight. I tried it during Assetto Corsa but it crashed too soon and I didn't get the voltage update. During normal operation, I have only seen it jump to 12.096V, but no further. Seeing this... I am inclined to think that the PSU may simply be overheating, but I have no means of checking the real-time temperatures. During normal running, the PSU cover felt cool to touch (don't worry, I was safely insulated from grounding). There is no exhaust, but simply an intake at the bottom. So, the exhaust speed was low, and I couldn't guess whether it was hot.

DCS, DCS 2, MGSV, Skyrim, GTA V work fine... Regular usage is also safe, but rarely, it can die during normal use as well. Could it be Windows? the PSU? something else?

The rest of the voltages are:
VCore ... 0.92V, but can go at ~1.3
3.3V ... 3.36V
5V ... 5.12~5.5V
12V ... 12V (ranges from 11.808 ~ 12.096 ... Assetto Corsa causes drop to 11.712, likely due to higher load)
GT ... 0V (is this expected?)
DRAM ... 1.2V
CPU IO ... 0.968V
CPU SA ... 1.112V

The hardware...
MSI Z170A Gaming M3 motherboard
Intel i7 6700K @4.0 GHz
MSI GTX970 Gaming G4
Corsair Vengeance 16 GB RAM (2 x 8 GB sticks)
CoolerMaster Chassis with CoolerMaster Seidon 120V liquid-cooling for the processor
CoolerMaster B600 (600W) PSU

Windows 7 x64


Thoughts?

Edited: Updated low voltage observation
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