Howdy. I picked up an i3 550 a few months ago with the rest of a new system, however since plugging it in i've been having inexplicable hard crashes, as in no bsod, no errors or anything that would hint at what the problem is. The machine simply dies as if the PSU was tripped. I put up with this problem as it only seemed to occur when the cpu was under heavy load, typically when i am rendering video. 5 months later and i'm now getting a little frustrated with it and decide to make a concerted effort to figure out what is causing this. In my search to find the root of the problem i ran memtest 86 and Overclock Checking Tool as well as monitoring my temps and voltages. Ram appears to be fine. Temps are stable at a chilly 30c for the motherboard and 35c-40c for the CPU. Voltages sitting at CPUv-0.92v 3.3v-3.42v 5v-5.02v 12v-11.99v. I'm not the most technically savy person but this all appeared normal to me but when it came to stress testing the CPU in OCCT i was able to recreate the issue with the system always dying within the first 10secs of the test. I went on to load some of the newer, resource intensive videogames onto the computer for further testing and found that while the games ran perfectly fine (for about 2 whole minutes) it would inevitable cause the system to die just like in the CPU stress test and when rendering video.
After a lot of fruitless investigation and messing about in the bios i discovered that by disabling the second core i was able to prevent the sudden shutdowns. A fairly nice temporary solution as i can now do my video rendering without problem, play all those games and complete the CPU stress test, albeit a hell of a lot slower. I'm at my wits end here and suspect that the issue is a faulty core i3 550, i will most likely be sending it back under warranty for testing but before i do i thought i might as well get some other opinions, as like i mentioned earlier, i'm not the most experienced when it comes to this sort of thing and could very well be wrong.
500g sata HDD
Nvidia GTX 460
Intel core i3-550
Kingston 4GB 1333mhz
Asus P7H55-M Motherboard
650w Coolermaster Power plus
Windows 7 32bit
here's the full c/p of my dxdiag http://pastebin.com/UAGLKiQQ
I should also mention that this system is entirely stock, i have not overclocked anything.