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I am currently trying to diagnose the following problem with my computer: Without warning or pattern the computer shuts down automatically, then restarts automatically and BIOS displays the following message:

Power Supply Surges detected during previous power on. ASUS Anti-Surge was triggered to protect system from unstable power supply unit!

After a restart, the computer is normal again.

Unfortunately, this error is difficult to reproduce. I know for certain that in Starcraft II, Heart of the Swarm, the Mission "The Infected" always produces this error after 3-15 min. In this particular SC2 mission you are on a ship and, from time to time, gas is released, i.e. there are lots of particle effects and the FPS go down a bit. Judging from the sound of the graphics card, these particle effects cause the cooling system of the graphics card to switch from some medium noise mode to maximum performance (hence draws maximum power). This does not instantly cause the crash, but I have the feeling it has something to do with that.

I sent the computer back to my hardware vendor to claim warranty, but the vendor just said that the HDD the application was installed on (which was admittedly very old and had no warranty anymore) caused the problem. They exchanged the HDD, let me pay for a new one, claimed that this fixed the problem and sent the system back to me. Of course this did not fix the problem. The error still occurs and it does not matter, on which HDD the application is installed. Unfortunately, I also do not have any games other than SC2 that are sufficiently demanding to reproduce the error.

I need to find a way to prove to the vendor that the system is still defective. My questions therefore are:

1) Do you know any benchmark tool that could be used to better reproduce this error? It has to be a benchmark tool that brings the GPU into maximum performance mode and which probably uses particle effects similiar to the one in this SC2 mission. I know for certain that "Furmark" and "Heaven Benchmark" do not produce the error (these are the tools my hardware vendor uses).

2) What do you think is the cause of this problem? On the one hand, I consider it quite obvious that the PSU is damaged. On the other hand, it could be a problem with Asus Anti-Surge, i.e. the Mainboard, or maybe somthing is wrong with the GPU?

3) How would you proceed in this matter? What would you do if the vendor claims that according to their tests, the system is fine and refuses to replace the PSU?

My system specifications are:

PSU: Antec High Current Gamer HCG-620

Mainboard: Asus P8Z77-V

Graphics Card: XFX Radeon HD7850 Core

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K

RAM: Corsair DIMM 8 GB DDR3-1600

HDD: ADATA SSD 120 GB (and 2 additional 2 TB SATA HDDs)

OS: Win7 Prof 64bit

EDIT: To ensure that the problem is not caused by a defective power cable or power adapter I tried several power cables connected directly to various sockets. The error persists. :(

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I would just replace the PSU myself. –  Ramhound May 6 '13 at 10:43

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