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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having a beast of a computer isn't all that. So here's the story ...

Yesterday morning I wake up at around 4am (why I dunno) But anyways, I left my computer on all night as I usually do to let my larger downloads go. So I go in the office to check up on them and boom, the computers off and it smells almost like something was burning. Like electronics burning. Well damn I go to turn my computer on and no power is going to anything. I open the case, nothing's on fire, I check the power, everything is on so I have a serious problem on my hands. :(

Since no power is going to the computer my first guess is that it is the power supply that has bonked. The motherboard is another poissibility, and the CPU is unlikely but maybe so.

My conclusion is that my computer overheated, maybe one of the fans failed? So one of the components (a major one) burnt out and I need to replace it.

If you guys have any input on what you think it is, how to fix it and maybe reccomend me some better cooling ideas, I am begging you for your help.

Right now I only have my laptop which keeps me connected with the world, but I can't play games or do any photoshopping or anything multimedia wise.

Anyways for those who help I really appreciate it!
 

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sounds like its either ur psu, cpu or mobo that died. i would suggest you pick up a new psu if u dont have one laying around.
 

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If possible, test the PSU in another system. A PSU I received recently (that was fried) made a popping noise, followed by smoke and a strong burning smell. Fortunately, it wasnt my PSU, but I had to have it replaced anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm installing a 300W PSU right now. Taking out extra HDD's and other power hungry upgrades as well of course. So i'll report back ASAP.
 

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i hope that its only the PSU...replacing a mobo would suck..
you could always remove the side panel, thats what i do in the summer (during winter its always closed).
 

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Swap out the PSU to start with, and see if things start working for you. What brand/wattage of PSU did you have in there?

If that doesn't help, you need to test out each component individually in a machine that is known to work properly. Local computer shops often have a wide selection of relatively new hardware, and are often able to test out most newish components for you (usually for a small fee).


About PSUs in general, you have to remember that your PSU is the heart of your computer, quality counts more with a PSU then with any other component in your machine.

A generic "600W" PSU is typically far inferior to a high quality brand-name 450W unit. Different manufacturers determine their PSU's average output using different standards - often different units have ratings determined at drastically different ambient temperatures, which wildly skues quality between brands, and makes comparing units based on the wattage rating an excercise in pointlessness.

When buying a replacement PSU, look for a well-known brand name (Fortron, Antec, OCZ, PCP&C, Sparkle) unit with at least 28A on the 12VDC rail.
 

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felinusz said:
When buying a replacement PSU, look for a well-known brand name (Fortron, Antec, OCZ, PCP&C, Sparkle) unit with at least 28A on the 12VDC rail.
Is it a particularly bad thing if the PSU doesn't have 28 amps on the 12 volt rail?
 

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Is it a particularly bad thing if the PSU doesn't have 28 amps on the 12 volt rail?
Not really an extremely bad thing, but something that can cause problems in a more power-hungry system. For an older Socket A machine at stock speeds, a weaker +12VDC rail is not a huge problem at all. Remember that the +12VDC rail in particular is important, because processor Vcore is drawn from it, putting a consistantly high load on this rail during heavy use. A high current draw is usually present on this rail, making it a very good idea to pick a PSU with a beefy +12VDC.

On a newer A64 system, or in a very power-hungry machine (Like Razor Blade's machine), a strong +12VDC rail is very important. Redundancy does not hurt either; a 28A +12VDC rail is slight overkill for almost any un-overclocked machine, leaving some mileage in your PSU unit, and future-proofing your PSU purchase.

My philosophy when it comes to PSUs, is to future-proof as much as is possible within your budget. My OCZ Powerstream 600W has 38A on the combined +12VDC rails, which seems like a lot, but becomes entirely neccessary when overclocking a high-end machine right to the nines with very large 24/7 overvolts on everything.
 

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I've been overclocking my CPU for a while and my PSU only has 26A on the 12v rail and it's been pretty good stability wise, even after getting my new video card and overclocking that occasionally :p. I also let my computer run [email protected] 24/7 and I haven't had any problems with that either. I'll probably get a more powerful PSU with my next computer though, something that hopefully won't sag on almost all of its rails like mine does :(.
 

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I've been overclocking my CPU for a while and my PSU only has 26A on the 12v rail and it's been pretty good stability wise, even after getting my new video card and overclocking that occasionally . I also let my computer run [email protected] 24/7 and I haven't had any problems with that either. I'll probably get a more powerful PSU with my next computer though, something that hopefully won't sag on almost all of its rails like mine does .
Remember that you video card draws from the +3.3VDC rail, and the +5VDC rail, not the +12VDC - so when you start overclocking and overvolting everything, all three of your PSU's rails get strained a good deal. Voltage droop on the rails can be a very bad thing, although a +- ~5% is perfectly safe. Check your rails with a multimeter, as most software voltage monitering is wildly innacurate (This includes Motherboard Moniter 5, ASUS probe, Speedfan, etc. etc.) because of cheap monitering hardware, no industry standard for voltage and temperature monitering, and software manipulation of the numbers.

As for stability, and thorough stability testing to ensure a solidly overclocked machine, you might want to check this out: http://www.ocforums.com/showthread.php?t=335813 :)
 

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I didn't know that video cards don't use the 12v rail, thanks for the heads up :). I'll try running Prime95 again, this time setting it to priority 10 like what was mentioned in your thread. I've ran it twice with my CPU at this speed and both times it passed but that was with the standard priority. The weird thing about my PSU is that the rails sag regardless of the speed I'm running at. They're almost exactly the same when I'm running at 1.83 GHz as it is at 2.3 GHz.
 

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*gasp* I have a measly 13A on my +12V rail.. been contemplating a new PSU anyway though.. been getting some nasty voltages and instability.. 10.9V under load O_O.. although that's from SpeedFan and I don't entirely trust it.. but hey. I need a new PSU regardless.

I have a 350W Aspire btw.
 

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10.9v? thats not the worst ive seen, my old PSU dropped down to 6V. I think it put 12 or 15 amps on +12V rail? Died out when I swapped my DVD-rom for my new 120GB HD. My new PSU puts out 21A i think, and its stable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Okay after extensive testing and cleaning of my case (My god was it ever dusty!) My PSU was to blame as I had suspected. I am currently using a 300Watt PSU (I know, I know!) But am running only minimal parts with an 80GB HDD, Video Card and CPU. All my other parts are out of my case just to be safe so I know the PSU can handle the watts it puts out.

My CPU is running at a cool 28-30 Degrees C right now idle which is a great leap from the old temps of 45+ Degrees C idle. The case is at 25 Degrees Celcius which is also very good and an improvement. Because of this little scare i'm making sure it won't happen again by buying some new parts. Now to answer a question and explain ...

What brand/wattage of PSU did you have in there?
I had an Antec True Blue 380Watt PSU, which is a very good PSU with great reviews everywhere. The PSU must have failed at some point by either getting too hot or was just a b ad peice of hardware with a limited life expectancy. Either way it is dead now.

I will be getting a new one, either Antec or Enermax and upsizing it to a 420Watt or higher. I will also be purchasing a new Heatsink; the Zalman CNPS7700-CU and some Artic Silver 5 paste. So everything will be running very cool :) And hopefully nto sounding like a jet :p

Thanks for your guys help in this. This was just one case where it was really no one's fault, but more-so faulty hardware. I'm not sure the deal on my warranty for the PSU yet, but if it is still legit I might get it and put it in another computer as it actually is a good PSU - Just not my particular peice. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm just looking for something to stay cool and with either fan speed control or something relatively quiet. I heard many good things about Enermax and Antec so I think i'll go with them. Plus prices aren't too high either ;)
 

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Those Antec Neopowers look enticing. I saw one for relatively cheap at Fry's a couple weeks ago, 480 watt for $99! Boy, that sure is a discount. And in case you didnt know, the Neopowers are very similar to the Modstreams from OCZ in functionability...or is it functionality? One of those.
 
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