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My Antec Aria PSU

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August 16, 2005 1:16:40 AM

Hi,
I just bought new parts for my college computer. It's designed to be easily transportable in my suitcase, and be able to play games and handle my computer science projects. So I bought:

-an Antec Aria case because of its smallness and its customizability (any mATX mobo instead of barebones model like Shuttel's XPC with a proprietary motherboard. It has a 300W power supply with a 120mm fan.

- Winfast nForce 4 motherboard

- AMD 64 939 3000+ Winchester

- 512 mb Corsair XMS Ultra Low Latency

- 200gb SATA 150 Seagate HD

- 40x CD-ROM

Okay, so I built it fine and I installed windows without problem. I updated all the drivers, and installed DX9.0c.

The problem occured (seemingly randomly) while I was playing this game that came with the video card, Painkiller. I had played Madden '05 with no problems prior to this, and only played like 20 mins of the game. Then when I went to quit, the computer shut off and the monitor went blank. I figured it had overheated, because my room is warm and the case is small and there isnt a lot of cooling ( I have a stock CPU fan, the 120mm psu fan, and a system blower pointed at the cpu). When i tried to turn it on again, however, the fans all turned on but nothing showed on the screen. This has persisted for two days, and I have tried clearing the CMOS to no avail. Now, I think the problem might be in the power supply, because maybe it is not strong enough. It is an Antec power supply, but only 20 pins instead of 24 that my motherboard reccommends. Could it be that the system overtaxed the power supply? I think it may have short circuited the motherboard or fried it somehow because now it stuff still powers on, but nothing boots. I only have another 300w power supply to test it with. I'm assuming that the motherboard is dead, but any suggestions/ comments would be really appreciated. If you all think that the power supply is insufficient, I guess I will have to return it and get a different case setup, maybe an XPC (though I'd prefer not to!). Thanks in advance for any help!

More about : antec aria psu

August 16, 2005 7:02:16 AM

I assume the green light on the mobo lit up (right?). What was the normal (idle and throttled) temperature of the CPU and mobo? What kind of video card is it?

The first thing I'd do is check the physical connections, inside and outside of the case. Make sure nothing came loose for some unusual reason (amazingly, it's happened). Also, check the innards for damage (i.e. blown caps, burnt silicon). Was there any smoke? Did you detect a strange odor eminating from the rig?

Afterwards, disconnect all boot devices (optical, FDD, HDD, etc.), then reseat the RAM and discrete video card and fire it up. Nothing? The next order of business - in no particular order - is the PSU, RAM, and mobo. The CPU is the least likely, as it's very resistant to shorts, but that doesn't rule it out completely. Does the asus board feature voice diagnostics (this is where the speaker announces what's the error, unlike the cold, cryptic beep codes?

Do the easy stuff first, working your way down to the harder, more irritating troubleshoots.

If it makes you feel any better, I have a similar problem with one of my computers. It's not exactly the best thing since sliced bread. There's nothing I'd rather do then spend hours fixing boot-errant computers (sarcastic). Unfortunately, some of us don't have spare parts lying around that can replace any single faulty one, unlike a CompUSA or Microcenter.

Oh, to be safe, I'd recommend using a 4-pin adapter for the 24-pin molex connector on the mobo in the future, unless you purchase an ATX 2.01 PSU.
August 16, 2005 8:18:07 AM

woah...sorry. You know, Coolermaster has a Micro ATX desktop that's around 5 inches wider and 3 inches shorter that would more easily fit into suitcases...and uses a full-sized power supply.

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August 16, 2005 5:41:21 PM

Hi, Thanks a lot for both of those posts. With regards to poly4life, I don't think there is an indicator light on the mobo (I know, it's kind of alarming.) . The CPU and mobo temps weren't that high, low 40s for both. I thought I smelled something burning, but my room fan does that a lot and I wasn't sure which it was. I removed everything from the case and tried turning it on with just RAM and video, then just RAM, then nothing. The problem is, I don't think the Aria has a speaker. Nothing beeps, and nothing lights up- so my motherboard is useless in terms of communication. The fans still all turn on, however, including the northbridge, the cpu, and the video card's own (which connects through the PCIe slot NOT a direct connection to the psu). I called Antec just now, and the guy said that I probably was drawing too much power from the 300w supply, and that since it was only a 20pin psu that the PCIe card was not getting the extra power that a 24 pin supply gives. What I'm going to do, is return my Antec case and get that Coolermaster case and a 520 watt power supply. Hopefully, my motherboard isn't broken, but if it is I'm going to get another of the same make (unless anyone knows of another nForce 4 mobo under $100). Thanks a lot for your help!
August 16, 2005 8:19:52 PM

Of course! If I'm not mistaken, the 24-pin connector supports the 75W necessary for PCIe. Yes, Crashman's suggestion is an excellent one. Good luck.
August 21, 2005 5:22:07 AM

The rest of your components should be fine. I actually had the same thing happen to me recently. Upgraded my motherboard to a DFI Lanparty UT Ultra-d. The board can use 4 power connectors (24pin, 4pin, molex and FDD) though the manual specifically states you don't need the molex and FDD unless you use 2 video cards. I put it together using the 24/4 pin and it ran for a few hours. Out of nowhere it shut down and couldn't get it back up, fans just spun. I was worried my cpu (x2 4400) and whatever else went with it. I got a new PSU and all was fine, now I'm using all 4 connectors too.
August 21, 2005 8:07:59 AM

Given such negligence on the part of DFI, DFI is not at the top of my trusted manufacture shopping list; they're at the midpoint. The LEAST DFI can do is update their online manual to reflect this contemptibility.
August 21, 2005 4:15:41 PM

Yes I would've thought I could've taken the manual at it's word, but apparently you can't anymore. Though I'm very happy it was only a $120 psu as opposed to a cpu, video card, etc. Once I realized it was the psu I thought for sure everything else was gone. I just ended up blowing the 12v line in the psu.
August 25, 2005 3:59:56 PM

So I bought the Coolermaster case and a 520W PSU, and switched everything into that. It still just powered on the motherboard and fans but did not boot to bios. So I assumed the motherboard was dead, and bought another one. It exhibited the same traits, fans on bios not. Now I think it is the CPU, and I ordered another one (Venice this time cause the Winchester went up in price :( ). I really hope that this does the trick, as this has been such a messy ordeal. If it's not the CPU, it has to be the video card, because I have tested the RAM and it works...
!