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I've had this laptop (Samsung NP700z7c-S01UK - for reference) for a couple of months now, but it has only just developed this problem. The problem does not persist under regular non-gaming use. While playing games that seem to require a heavier load than usual, the machine simply shuts off, no BSOD, no warning, it just cuts out. Almost like power would cut out if it were fusing.

I haven't changed any drivers or as far as I can remember any software that would affect this kind of issue, so I'm stumped.

I have downloaded Intel Extreme Tuning and done extended stress tests on the graphics, CPU, and memory (separately, it won't let you do them simultaneously), without issue. So I'm assuming the issue is something to do with power. I'm guessing maybe it is not being supplied with enough power when the system is under load (this review seems to say this too - http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Samsung-Series-7-Chronos-700Z7C-Notebook.76839.0.html). The power adapter is 90W, and during the stress tests I saw the CPU go up to 38W at peak, and the memory was about 32W at peak, then adding the GPU to this, it is getting on for the 90W maximum, not including the screen and everything else!

The laptop does seem to get warm, but not excessively so. It feels and sounds like it is coping very well with the load! The frame-rate in-game is also consistent.

Thanks.

EDIT: So after extensive testing - I tried to play the game not connected to the power adapter and it played fine for the duration of the 80% charge of the battery, then when I plugged it in and tried again it cut out after a few minutes.

From deduction I think the problem is power related, so I am going to purchase a 120W adapter and see if the problem resolves itself and turns out to be simply a case of not getting enough current to charge the battery/keep it charged and run all the hardware sufficiently.

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2 Answers

While I agree with JustinD's diagnosis, I disagree with the solution and the omission of important info.

That is indicative of overheating - so that is probably the first thing to check.

However, thermal-paste alone wouldn't likely fix the issue, and may void the warranty (an important consideration for some people). It also makes sense to verify that it's a heating issue before going to this extent.

  1. Get a can of compressed air and blow out the vents as much as possible. Dust tends to be the #1 factor with heat issues. Get the fan blades clear and the 'blades' of the copper radiators (generally copper). Also blow out your keyboard, it looks like that is an air-draw in that model.
  2. Be sure to use your computer somewhere where it can have airflow. Specifically, don't game on your lap, the floor, bed, etc. Set your computer on a hard & flat surface. Or better yet, try a cooling pad with fans cranked during gaming.
  3. Download SpeedFAN and game for a bit to watch your temps. Your max temp is 105*C (on the CPU), of course as a protection it would probably kill itself around 95-100 at the most.
  4. If you still have issues, yes - I would consider re-applying the thermalpaste. However, this option likely voids your warranty and should be weighed in your decision accordingly.
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Will the thermal paste of already been destroyed in under 2 months of use though? And will dust of accumilated significantly by then? I've already voided the warranty by replacing the HDD with an SDD, so that is a possible option... Nevertheless, I've downloaded SpeedFAN and have been doing stresstests such as Prime95 for half an hour and monitored the CPU temperatures - they gradually increased to about the 80-85 degrees range. Peaking at 90 (only saw that one though), and usually dipping down to 75 before going back up. I've been testing games again, and the GPU hovers around 80. –  Dan Dec 10 '12 at 20:19
    
I've also been monitoring the power usage via some Samsung software that I have installed (bloatware I know, but needed to use F-keys) - the power fluctuates significantly between 45-80W, I saw one peak at 93W, and the adapter is only meant for 90W - this could be a potential problem? I have been testing Supreme Commander, as this is one of the games that the problem persists, but have had to play it windowed (albeit, full-screen windowed (1080p display)), to see these changes on the fly. Is there some way I can try and disable the system from turning off when the CPU overheats? –  Dan Dec 10 '12 at 20:24
    
... As dangerous as that may be. I have already turned off TurboBoost to minimise power consumption. –  Dan Dec 10 '12 at 20:25
    
@Dan Unlikely on the Thermalpaste, the only reason for that is because they tend to ship with crap paste instead of something nice like Arctic Silver 5 or the newer diamond stuff. Power draw could possibly do it... Not sure how to truly help that one other than your turning off boost. I wouldn't do that or suggest it, but you could look into it more... –  nerdwaller Dec 10 '12 at 20:35
    
I'm going to continue exploring avenues, might as well resinstall Windows just as a double check it isn't software related. Thanks for the help! –  Dan Dec 10 '12 at 20:37
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I'm gonna say that your CPU is overheating. When gaming, it pulls a lot from your CPU and your graphics.

If your CPU gets too hot, it is set to automatically shut down your computer. Most likely, the fan and ventilation are clogged with dust and you'll need to take it apart enough to clean it out. But you may also need to to access the processor and see how the thermal paste looks. If it is hard at all or kind of old looking then you may need to apply some new thermal paste.

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I've been running multiple CPU and GPU stress tests - Intel Extreme Tuning CPU stress test (cores went between 80-90 degreesC) and Folding@Home for the GPU stresstest, which produced 99-100% GPU load and temperatures went to about 90 degrees sometimes up to 95 degreesC. Ran these both for half an hour and no problems. As soon as I go full-screen and play a game however, a few minutes into Supreme Commander and it loses power straight away! Absolutely baffled now. I've tried everything. The power consumption didn't seem to be OTT either. –  Dan Dec 10 '12 at 22:57
    
I checked the logs for the CPU and GPU temps before it shutdown playing the game, and they were at the same limits of when I was doing Folding@Home. What on earth could it be!? –  Dan Dec 10 '12 at 22:58
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