XFX R7970 Black edition crashing computer

Hey new to the forum but looking for a bit of help :D

I've recently purchased a new 7970 GPU and installed it in my system exchanging with a HD 5870. Only problem is that I'm experiencing instant crashes in some games. The entire system shuts down with no warnings and the only error message is win7 telling me that it didnt shut down correct.

Motherboard ASUS P5Q Turbo

PSU is a 500 watt from chieftech, can't find the model number.


I'm not entirely shure, but seems to only crash in directX 10-11 games, not DX9 games. I have tried stessing the system using AIDA64 Extreme edition trail version, stressing everything except local storage. Used IntelBurn test to stress CPU and ran 

3dmark11 which runs till a physics test where the program crashes (not a system crash).


The only abnormal temperature reading i've noticed is that my motherboard seems to think that my CPU heatsink is around 110 celcius, but the CPU itself reads around 50-60 under full load.


Any idea on what this could be? I'm thinking PSU problems but would like to get some input before running out and buying a new one.

If it crashes before showing anything, it sounds more driver side. Update your BIOS and GPU drivers.

What are your full specs on your PC? it sounds like a PSU power draw issue. might not have enough power.

All of the games start up fine, and can even play for a bit before the system shuts down. I've noticed that this has only happened in DX 11 games so gonna try running Saints Row 3 in DX9 mode and see if the system still crashes. My GPU drivers are up to date but BIOS might be outdated, i'll try and check it when i get home.

Well the BIOS update seemed to have messed up my windows install, so almost done with a fresh install now. All drivers should be up to date :D


Motherboard: Asus P5Q Turbo

CPU: QuadCore Inttel Core 2 Quad Q8200, 2333 MHz (7x333)

RAM: 4 gb Kingston, no idea about model or anything

PSU: 500w from Chieftech

HDD: 5 sata drives from different companies

optical: 1 DVD writer

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium


Hope that's enough info, it should be noted that the system has been functioning without any trouble using the previous GPU but when running sniper elite V2 i got grafix errors and the AMD controle center gave me an error message about resetting driver to default or something like that, thats why i decided to get a new card.


Minimum Wattage PSU with your setup is 750W. Youre pulling around 700W on a 500W PSU. You really need to upgrade. Blame your beefy Radeon ;D

I was leaning towards that conclusion myself, but it just doesnt fit with the fact that i can run a stress test on my system. Both on the CPU, GPU, memory and tried with disks as well and it can run for ages without crashing but once i fire up sniper elite it takes me about 5 min max before the game crashes. (the radeon package says 500w PSU as minimum)

Take into consideration the power inefficiencies of your CPU and running 5 HDDs. when you do a stress test, it only uses 1 drive unless specified to use all simultaniously. Also, the power draw of running DX11 is much higher than both DX9 and 10. Your card probably wasnt even at full load to play those. Explains it pretty well. But thats just me.

What software were you using to stress test? Furmark? (Furmark will shut down your computer if you dont have enough power as it uses BOTH the CPU and GPU at the same time as well as the host drive. Best test you can do for stability checks.) If it crashes, get  an 800W power supply. You wont have to replace it for a long time afterwards.

Well here are the results :p

Geeks3D FurMark v.1.10.1 burn-in score 4124 on the 15 min stresstest.

I even tried using AIDA64 extreme to run a stress test on CPU, FPU, cache, system memory and local disks (notice the plural) while at the same time running the furmark GPU stress test. The system runs fine with these things. I dont get it, my PSU knows when its a real game that is running and is just trolling me!! :p

And just for the overkill experiment. Just ran Furmark burn-in test in a window while running the AIDA64 stress test for all of the above as well as GPU stress test, and just for the fun of it I had Heaven DX11 demo running at full details in full screen. System did not crash, im thinking a specific driver issue or something with the games mentioned (Sniper Elite V2, Saints row 3 and Payday the heist)

PSU is a 500 watt from chieftech, can't find the model number.<<<<<<here is your problem, psu good enough to run only when the card is not stressed, and if it is the only thing there pulling  power.   Your ram is minimal to run the game and the vidoe card, it stresses the system by having to write to much data to the hard drive cashe , I.E. virtual memory.

I suggest upping your memory with 8 gigs of quality memory and an 800 watt minimum power supply.  By quality memory I mean memory meant for gaming , I.E. Corsair or other..Using cheaper memory will only frustrate your gaming experience and cost more down the road...

Also use a quality gaming power supply, not a power supply meant for business machines....Modular preferred here but your useages will vary.

I am not a sage on Intel processors like my brother was, He was an engineer in Intel, But yours is more than powerful enough for the games today where the gpu is stressed more over the cpu, so carry on with that one.

Have you tried putting the vid card in a known good machine and see if the same thing happens?


"psu good enough to run only when the card is not stressed"

Ohh thats why my system doesnt crash when running stresstests on all of the hardware at once...

I agree that this is a typical sign of a bad PSU, but then the system should crash under all kinds of high stress not just when gaming and this doesnt happen.

Also it doesnt explain why I can run Skyrim DX9 in full detail for ages, never having it crash but Saints row 3 run in DX9 mode at low detail crashes within like 5 min.

Have you tried putting the vid card in a known good machine and see if the same thing happens?


Unfortunately I dont have access to another system to test it in, but i've decided to get a sea sonic PSU and try it out and if I still have trouble I'm leaning towards just upgrading my entire system and THEN if it doesnt work i'll return the GPU and get a new one :p

From what i can understand, the card is fine. Its just his PSU is too weak to take the full power draw of the GPU. When you play an older DX9 game, the engine isnt fully optimized at its time, so it wont pull as much resources at it should. But in a newer DX9 capable game, it can utilize the full power of the card. Explains the crashes. My computer had the same issue for a while back when i had a 9500GT in my computer. Ended up frying the card because my PSU shorted from the power draw. Makes a decent coaster after removing the fan from the heatsink ;D Still havent gotten around to getting a new PSU. stupid OEM dell... might as well just build a new computer at this point. This thing is 7 years old now. Conroe Core 2 Duo E6600. The thing chokes so badly on youtube now that i want to just take my hard drive out and go full out office space on the thing...

Ok let me try and repeat myself.

Stress test = no crash

That is the only thing that doesnt make sense to me. Even when running a dx11 benchmark alongside 2 stress test programs, stressing ALL OF THE SYSTEM the system do not crash. Now are you telling me that the readout of 99-100% stress on CPU, mem, disks and GPU is not equivalent to running a dx11 game, because if not, i really dont get why they call it a stress test.

Hey sorry for the late update.

Switched to the new PSU and so far everything seems to be working, still no idea why the old system only crashed during gameplay and not with stress tests, but thanks for the help in here :D

looks to me like its your psu is the problem the one i was looking at only provides 36 amps on the 12v rails and your gpu requires 40+ amps  even more if its factory oc you system wont use more then 300w but its the 12v rails that cant handle it thats why it crashes when you play direct x 10 11  

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The chieftech psu will be the cause, replace it with a seasonic, corsair, evga or another reliable brand.

Also if you can afford it you should consider building a new system with the 7970.

Your CPU is a bottleneck and 4GB of ram isn't enough.