Next step in Troubleshooting

Hi. Maybe you might remember my problem from before, its been a couple weeks since I posted (2 weeks to RMA my processor).

I ordered these parts from Newegg:

AMD Athlon 64 3700+
2x512mb Corsair XMS
ATI x1900XT
Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Music
Windows XP Home, SP2
500W Fortran Source (FSP Group) Blue Storm Power Supply.

Here is a rough timeline:

Day 1: Worked Fine
Day 2: Began shutting off while playing games, like a total power loss
Could play games for about 20 minutes before shutdown, no error
Ran Prime95 to see if it was video card, crashed on Prime95
Day 3: System won't boot up anymore, get blue screen with random errors
each time.
Attempt re-install of Windows, get consecutive blue screens during
during file copy (either repairing or fresh installing without
Swap out all memory modules (running 1 of each of my old sticks
and new sticks, same crash on attempting to install)
Day 4: Run out and buy a new mobo (DFI LanParty NForce4 Ultra)
Hook it all up, reinstall windows, reinstall runs fine, computer begins
working again.
Day 5: Same shutdowns as before, fits same previous profile. Before it
gets to the point that it will not boot-up, I RMA the processor to AMD
Day 6-20: AMD processes RMA including shipping there and back
Day 21: Get new processor, this time a Newcastle core 3800+. Pretty
pieved about the different core, I paid for the 90nm die and 1g
cache so I feel a bit cheated. Open it up anyways, maybe it was
a flaw in the core design interfacing with...well who knows.
I hook it up to the old A8N5X I originally ordered (as its half the price of the DFI Lanparty and I wish to return that since that is not the problem)
Crashes when I attempt to sign into Windows XP, blue screen.
Attempt to reinstall windows, get blue screen wether I attempt a repair or a fresh install (without reformatting)

I'm about to RMA the PSU (if its not outside the RMA time period). Any other ideas? Maybe a bad controller screwing up the HDD or a bad HDD?

I'm all out of ideas and if the PSU RMA doesn't work then I don't know what I'm gonna do.

Any ideas, input, and suggestions would be greatly appreciated before I kick off another 2 week fiasco RMAing the PSU.

FTR, the PSU has TWO 15A +12V rails, so +12V power supply shouldn't be the issue.

Thanks in advance,
4 answers Last reply
More about next step troubleshooting
  1. Quote:
    ATI x1900XT
    PSU has TWO 15A +12V rails, so +12V power supply shouldn't be the issue.

    I think your 15A on the 12V isn't going to cut it.

    x1900XT Requirements - off NewEgg:

    PCI Express™ based PC is required with one x16 lane graphics slot available on the motherboard.
    Connection to the system power supply is required:
    450-Watt power supply or greater, 30 Amps on 12 volt rail recommended (assumes fully loaded system)
    PCI Express compliant power supply required. Connect directly to the power supply with a 6 pin PCI Express power connector
    For CrossFire™: 550 watt power supply or greater, 38 Amps on 12 volt rail
    Installation software requires CD-ROM drive
    DVD playback requires DVD drive and decoder software (not included)
  2. Did you run MEMTEST86 on the RAM? Individually and together?

    Are you sure that you have no grounds on the mobo installs? Reset CMOS on the installs?

    Did you Google the BSOD errors? <-- Research what the PC is telling you on the errors!

    I seriously doubt that the PSU's power is insufficient for your system...let us know about the above items and we will continue T/S.
  3. Rugger,

    Just curious... why do you say 15A on the 12V rail is going to be enough, when Newegg, as well as the ATI site show a requirement of 30A (well recommended) on the 12V rail? (for x1900)

    For me.. as far as PSU selection, I'd look for at least an 18A 12V rail, min, with sufficient power behind it. I understand that the 30A is an over kill for users that add allot of devices on the system, and quite frankly, isn't a common spec to find in 450W PSU. (at least when I was looking)

    My take on AMPS is, that is what drives the flow of power. You can have 700Watts of power, but if your amperage is low, you will start to have problems when you don't have the driving force behind it. Kinda like a river that got a dam in it.

    Thought it would be interesting to hear you side of it.


    Perhaps I'm over looking something, with dual 12V rails? Even though it says 15A, do those dual rail support up to 20A?

    PSU makers' specs are misleading in that thay rate the current capacity of each 12V rail independently. What really matters is the total 12V current: Generally, up to 20A is available on any one 12V line assuming the total 12V current capacity of the PSU is not exceed.

    What the above means is that you don't need to worry about imbalances in power draw on the 12V lines —as long as no single rail is asked to deliver more than 20A. PSU makers seem to mark each line for max current on a purely arbitrary basis, probably more for marketing reasons than any other. A PSU rated for 32A max on the 12V lines can be labelled many different ways:

    12V1: 18A, 12V2: 14A
    12V1: 17A, 12V2: 15A
    12V1: 16A, 12V2: 16A
    12V1: 15A, 12V2: 17A
    12V1: 14A, 12V2: 18A

    After reading that.. I guess I'm just learning new tricks.. heh, though it confuses the hell out of me.. :oops:
  4. If you look at the PSU label, you will see that 12V1 is 15A and 12V2 is 16A. Although the ATX 12V V2.0 and later specified 2 separate 12V rails, PSU mfrs have not made the rails completely independent of each other. As a general rule you can add the Amps from the two rails and subtract two to get a good idea of max amps for the PSU. Based on the edit to your last post, you were getting around to that realization anyway. Using that general guideline gives you around 29A as max amps for that PSU. Considering that the FSP Blue Storm is a very good PSU that is underrated, it should not have a problem with that rig.
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