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Time for new PSU?

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October 5, 2003 2:16:21 AM

I installed a new HSF and ever since(not right after but shortly after) my computer has started randomly rebooting. The PSU is an Antec 400 watt(model: SL400) that i got with the case. 2 80mm fans, AeroFlow VA4-C7040 HSF, athlon xp2200+(no OC), 1 80 gig hdd, GF4200, 1 cd burner, 1 dvd reader, audigy gamer. The 3.3V in the BIOS and on Asus probe is reading at about 2.94 which is ~12% off. I tried installing XP pro again in addition to win98, both still did it. So i'm assuming it's hardware related. My IDE cables or the PSU are the only things i could imagine it being. Anyone know what's wrong? Thanks in advance for your help.

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October 5, 2003 2:58:19 AM

It might be worse than you thought! Most Asus boards default the 3.3v line to 3.4v to add stability. Now, 3.4v at 2.94v is TRUELY HORRIBLE at ~16% off!

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October 5, 2003 5:19:02 PM

what would cause my PSU's 3.3v to run at 2.94? I unplugged one of my case fans and it was 2.96 for a while then my computer re-booted, just for fun apparently, and it was 2.90. I have only had the PSU for 13 months. Was it something i did that caused the PSU to run at those voltages or is their something i can do to "fix" it? My cpu temp is ~34-38c no load, load respectively. Case temp usually around 30c. Just looked at all the voltages, VCORE is 1.66/1.68, 3.3V is 2.94/2.92, 5V is 4.81/4.78, 12V is 12.30/12.36. I am assuming i will most likely end up purchasing a new PSU. I looked through the posts on this forum and saw the name Fortron pop up numerous times. What are your guys opinion(s) of Fortron?
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October 5, 2003 10:43:55 PM

Fortron typically outputs around 10-20% more power than the Antec "True Power" supplies, which are Antec's best. Fortrons also cost much less than Antec's True power series.

I don't even want to discuss Antec's budget power supplies as I've had nothing but trouble with them.

Many budget power supplies are rated at their "peak output" when they actually crap out. Some of the better cheap supplies have a circuit breaker that pops off when this happens to prevent damage. But a common problem is that the parts are so poorly made that the power supply begins dropping voltage at a lower load, typically around 70%.

Now, line noise on your power grid can cause voltage drops, but if your voltage is always low, or drops predictably (such as when you put a heavy load on the CPU, access a drive, etc), it's usually time to replace it.

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October 6, 2003 4:28:44 PM

Thanks for the information on Fortron when i buy a new PSU it's definetlly ganna be from fortron. But one thing i dont get is why the old one crapped out. Is there any reason it did it, or was it just to annoy me? thanks again for your help
October 10, 2003 4:35:52 AM

Sometimes things just die.
Its allways been the case with consumer electronics.

Though in the case of power supplies, the closer the load is to 100% of that unit, the shorter the PSU lifespan.

Also, the quality of mains power can have an effect too.

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October 10, 2003 8:07:51 PM

Just a note.

You guys do realize that Fortron and Sparkle high end PSUs use the same core.

The difference is that in the US that sell them as Sparkle and outside the US they sell them as Fortron.

One other note, I have had pretty good luck with the high end Antec TruePower Power Supplies. I find myself reccomending them a lot because of the fact that in many cases they are more availaible locally than other brands if you don't want to buy one from the Internet.

Enermax is another brand that I have had pretty good luck with as well. While I just had one of the 365 Watt units fail, it is the only one. In my lab, we are pretty much Antec, Enermax, and Fortron/Sparkle. I don't use much beyond those brands.

Again, note the fact when I suggest those brands understand that I am talking about their highend products, not their mainstream stuff.
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