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Thread: Z87 OC machine restarts by itself under minimal load




  1. #1
    KDMatt is offline Junior Member
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    Angry Z87 OC machine restarts by itself under minimal load

    Hi folks, I hope I'm not being rude by making my first post a plea for help, but I'm having a mind-numbingly frustrating challenge with my new setup.

    First off, the basics:

    I'm using a Z87 OC mobo, with an Intel 4770k.
    For the moment, I have a PNY GeForce 210 video card and 16 gigs of RAM, running in Dual Channel mode.
    I'm using an Adata solid state as my OS hard drive, with two WD 500 gb Blue drives in a RAID config as my data/storage drive.
    I have a NZXT case, with NZXT 850-watt power supply.
    I've also got Dual 24-inch displays - a couple of older, but still really nice Asus LCD's carried over from previous builds.

    This was constructed, primarily, to be a music production PC, so I'm using a MOTU 24 I/O soundcard/interface.

    I also have quite a few USB peripherals, but only a couple of them are powered by the system bus.

    I'm also running Windows 8.1

    Here's the problem:

    The machine has a nasty habit of restarting itself when I'm in the middle of something. The error log in Windows simply says "Kernel Power" error.

    This initially led me to suspect I didn't have a beefy enough power supply, so I upgraded from a kind of cheap 550w Rosewill unit to the 850w NZXT unit I now have. The problem has not gone away.

    I then suspected that perhaps my video card was giving me issues as well, so I swapped my HD7770 for something a bit less beefy, which is why I now have the cheapie GeForce 210 -- this hasn't changed a thing.

    After a bit of googling I've found other people, on other forums having this "restart issue" with this motherboard and i7 CPU's. This leads me to believe it has something to do with Windows power management and this motherboard.

    In fact, I can pinpoint the issue as part of Windows power management. I prefer to run my music rigs in "High Performance" mode so as to optimize the CPU's performance (this way the minimum CPU power is set to "100%" so the power output never varies,) and it is in this mode that I suffer from this restart issue. It goes away under a "Balanced" profile (where the minimum CPU power is set to 5%), but under this profile I begin to notice audio artifacts.

    I've tried playing with this setting manually, and even when set as low as 20%, I get issues with restarting and "Kernel Power" issues in the system log.

    I've updated to the latest version of the BIOS available on the ASRock website and still nothing has changed about this behavior.

    What can I do? I'm at my wit's end with a brand new machine. Any help someone can point me to would be tremendously appreciated.

  2. #2
    parsec's Avatar
    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Z87 OC machine restarts by itself under minimal load

    Most of the first posts in this forum are a plea for help so not to worry. It is rude when someone provides a response that might help, and then we never again hear from the person asking for help.

    I assume you have a Z87 OC Formula, and not a Z87M OC Formula? Not that it matters much.

    There can be problems similar to yours with the new Haswell processors like yours and some power supplies. But given your system, I don't think that is your problem. Haswell processors can use almost zero power at idle, which is derived from the 12V rail of the PSU. Some PSU's lose stability on the 12V rail when its load is very low. The 12V rail's voltage tends to fluctuate outside of its normal range which causes restarts and shutdowns. But you have a video card that uses 12V power and so do your HDDs and probably the sound card too, so your 12V rail should never see a very low load. Just mentioning this FYI and if others tell you it is a Haswell PSU issue.

    The fix I want you to try is changing some settings in the BIOS. In the Advanced section, CPU Configuration. Find the options that start with "CPU C States Support", and C1E, C3, C6, C7, and Package C State Support. If set to Auto or Enabled, set all of them to Disabled for a start. Disabling the first one, CPU C States Support, may disable or remove the other options from the screen. If this works, you can try enabling some of the "higher" C states like C1E for some power savings and CPU temperature reduction, if you care.

    Another power saving feature called SpeedStep is found in the OC Tweaker screen. You can disable that too if you like, or do that if disabling C-States fails.

    The C States are power saving options that progressively shut down processors cores to increasingly greater degrees. Having these active is the cause of the artifacts you are having IMO. Disabling them will also allow you to set the Windows "CPU power" as you called it to 100%.

    Keep in mind that disabling the power saving options will increase the processor temperature at idle as well as power consumption.

    Actually the settings you refer to as CPU power, and setting it to "100%" so the power output never varies...", is not really correct. These are the settings you mentioned:

    Z87 OC machine restarts by itself under minimal load-power-op-screen-jpg

    Note that it is called minimum and maximum processor state. That is the speed or frequency the processor is operating at, and while that does affect the amount of power used, it does so indirectly. The CPU can be running at 3.6GHz on all cores, but if the load on the CPU is low the amount of power used is also low. The only way you can control power input to a CPU is by increasing the core voltage and turning on or off the CPU power saving features.

    BTW, given your MOTU PCI-E card, open your Windows Power plan and in the Advanced section, find the entry for PCI Express. Check the Link State Power Management option, set it to Off.

    Let us know if this works for you.

  3. #3
    KDMatt is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Z87 OC machine restarts by itself under minimal load

    Parsec, thank you for that thoughtful and thorough reply, and yes it is the Z87 OC Formula.

    I regret to report that, after following all of your suggestions, I'm still having having the same issue.

    The only thing I found any success with altering the maximum processor state to 90% in Windows.

    Any more thoughts?

  4. #4
    parsec's Avatar
    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Z87 OC machine restarts by itself under minimal load

    Any idea what model of your NZXT PSU is?

    How about any other BIOS settings? Running stock or any OC? Not that either is good or bad, just asking.

    Have you ever run a hardware monitoring program, like Formula Drive for your board from ASRock? I'm wondering about CPU temps, for example.

    How did you install drivers for your board, from the board's disk or downloading them from ASR?

    NVIDIA has had some really poor drivers lately, are you using the latest release or a beta version?

    Do you have any entries in Device Manager with a yellow '!' next to them?

  5. #5
    KDMatt is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Z87 OC machine restarts by itself under minimal load

    Thanks again for your reply, parsec

    The PSU is the NZXT Hale 90 v2, rated to 850 watts, as I mentioned before

    The BIOS should be on completely stock settings -- that is to say I haven't molested it at all, save for the changes you suggested I try.

    The CPU temps should be pretty reasonable -- I have a big aftermarket cooler on my processor (cheap insurance, afterall), and the temps, whenever I've been looking at them are below 50 degrees centigrade.

    I installed the drivers for the mobo from the disc that came with it.

    As for the GeForce, I'm using the drivers that came with the card. When I had my Radeon in there, I was using the most up-to-date ones.

    The only device with a "!" next to it in the device manager is the onboard wifi adapter, which has not worked properly, ever, since the rig was built last month. No driver from ASR has gotten it to function, not even the ones supplied on the disc. It's not a huge deal to me, so I've just been using a USB wi-fi adapter. A bit of googling revealed that I was not the only person with this issue either.

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