Apologies for the radio silence. Since my last post I burned out the power supply on my main rig for a 3rd time, this time playing Star Trek Online rather than Champions Online. I finally realized I need a bigger power supply if I intend to play any Cryptic games.
What threw me was that nothing else has given me problems at maxed or nearly maxed settings, including Age of Conan. In the last year I haven't had any issues with my rig, and I kind of assumed it was simply an odd coincidence my system died twice while I was playing CO. However, three times while playing games using the Cryptic engine seems like more than a coincidence. Further, thinking back, the CO era Cryptic engine is at least a year younger than the engine of anything else I normally play. My theory is that it pushes my quad core in a way that most MMOs don't and the power supplies I've been using can't keep up with.
I'm upping my power supply to 530, in theory 110 watts more than my system needs according to calculators I've found. It also seems to be the sweet spot on performance versus cost at newegg. Hopefully this will be the last time I post about a Cryptic game exploding my PC. In the mean time, I've been playing a lot of WoW on my backup PC. To give you the short short version of my next post, archaeology was a pleasant surprise.