I've been trying to build computer but I experience random shut downs when I use it and can't seem to pinpoint the problem:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core Processor 4600+ AM2 (w/ standard AM2 cooling fan)
ASUS M2N-MX SE PLUS Motherboard
4GB DDR-2 800MHZ PC-6400
320GB SATA2 7200rpm 16MB CACHE
nVidia GeForce 8400GS 512MB PCI-Express Card
also installed 3 additional fans in case

Sent back and replaced the graphics card, motherboard, and psu, still same problems. Everything's been reseated and double checked. Problem can be seen immediately after a fresh OS install, so I'm guessing hardware issue. If I leave the unit alone for awhile and come back I find that it has shut off, or if I am using for let's say 2 hours. All the fans seems to be working and is in a well ventilated area. Any advice?

going by the book, that should be your fans that you should double check. Most likely the problem has to do with the computer overheating.

hmm thanks for the reply.. the fan on cpu, psu, and 3 in the case all seem to be working normally. So if I look into overheating, some questions arise:

If it's overheating then its really due to cpu, or not necessarily?
Which devices have overheating safeguards, is it only the cpu?
Is there a program(free) that I can leave with my computer running(idly) and then it will print
out cpu core temperatures over time to like a log or something so I can view the change and see if its overheating?

Hi is there any harware that you're installed lately. IF so remove the HW and startup without it. Alternatively remove all none- essential HW that excludes CPU, OS Harddrive, RAM one stick. Use Onboard GFX and startup. If this works than install the othert HW one at a time performing a restart after each HW install to see witch part is causing you're machine to restart.

Is it possible that too many fans in the case can interrupt the smooth airflow within
And thus actually cause overheating?

Proper airflow is req specially for overclocking, But in general I dont think thats possible. Unless you want to look at it in a more scientific way.
In a nutshell thats not most likely

I think if it would it would be insignificant.

Anyway, from the bios menu I found out my cpu is overheating to 80 degrees celsius(by sensor) which seems ridiculous and everything else seems cool to the touch in the case. The heatsink is firmly attached and should be capable for this particular cpu. My question is , is it possible for the cpu itself, if its malfunctioning, to be causing this? Or should I just look into getting a new heatsink or what?

Two things I would check. Make sure that you have put the right amount of thermal grease between the CPU and the Heatsink/Fan. Only a little will do the trick. That is if you believe the CPU is over heating.

I once had a customers PC just shut off while doing anything after a few minutes or even after an hour or so. As it turned out, its was just a bad video driver causing the random shutdowns. I upgraded the video driver and it ran normally with shutdowns.
So check your video drivers.

Also bad or non compatible memory sticks will also do the same thing too. Check your memory out and make sure they are correct for your motherboard.

Hey There
80 Degrees is far to high for standard CPU temperature. Apply some termal grease/ paste as 'starfireone' suggested and see if it makes any difference.

I updated the drivers, and my computer shut down while running memtest, which suggests overheating. When you apply thermal grease, is a little like spread out thinly across cpu, can the quality of the grease make a significant difference? I tried reseating the cpu w/ new grease but same problems, although the comp doesn't shut down as quickly as before(slightly better). Cpu's not high-end/ overclocked or anything so the standard heat sink should work right?

Is the fan seated properly/ providing enough cooling cos clearly you're CPU is eighter not getting enough cooling or is going bad.

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