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"Crackling" coming from PSU, worse with older games?

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April 13, 2009 9:55:05 AM

Hello,

I realise this is a long post, but I'm slowly going crazy with confusion.

I'm hoping someone may be able to shed some light on a frustrating and strange issue I've been experiencing since i decided to replay some Infinity Engine classics like Planescape: Torment and Baldur's Gate.

I have noticed the sound during newer 3d games, but to a much lesser degree. It is fairly electrical in nature, sort of like static combined with HDD access noises.

I've unplugged everything but the power and the sound still occurs, but only during certain moments, like opening the character screen, or a constant crackle when scrolling dialogue is presented. In fact in Baldur's Gate it only seems to occur in interface screens, but not during actual game play.

I've isolated the sound to my power supply, although i was originally sure it was my hard drive or video card.

It is definitely not a fan hitting anything, due to its intermittent yet controllable nature (I've also noticed the fan speed doesn't change during this time).

Although i doubt there will be a "fix" as such, i was just looking for any input available, or anyone who has ever had a similar problem.

I've pretty much resigned myself to buying a new PSU to see if that solves the problem, as far as that goes I've heard good things about Corsair, Seasonic and certain Antec models.

System Specs:
Gigabyte 965P-DS3
Core 2 Duo 6600
Radeon x1950pro
2Gb Ram
Seagate HD
DVD-RW
Floppy
Fans that came with case.

Antec Sonata II Case w/ Smartpower 2.0 450w (afaik)

Thanks to anyone to bothers to read let alone reply.
April 13, 2009 10:51:44 AM

In my opinion sounds like you should replace your PSU, crackling is never a good sign, although most PSU's will shut themselves down before something bad happens. I have used enermax PSU's for a few years now and they always seem to come out well in many group tests. Hope this helps
April 13, 2009 12:27:46 PM

Thanks a lot for the input,
I've heard good things about enermax too but cant seem to find any around my area.

Looks like its PSU shopping time. woo.
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April 13, 2009 12:28:19 PM

I have a friend who had a psu that created this exact sound you are describing which usually happens a few moments before his whole pc would reboot or power off. He was using a 500w Hyena psu that happened to be very cheap 1st hand.

He ended up getting a new psu and pretty much all of his stability problems vanished. His 8800GTS 320MB died after about 1 year of non-overclocked use (possibly unrelated). He also experienced corruption and even more instability when he was using RAID.

If there is one thing I've learnt its that the cheapest power supplies are the worst value for money. Personally I'd probably aim for enermax and corsair from now on.
April 13, 2009 12:39:45 PM

Bad/dying transformers. Or it could be bad/dying capacitors... either calls for a new PSU.
April 13, 2009 3:49:48 PM

Just wanted to ask for any opinions on

Seasonic S12 II 430w @ $93 AU
Corsair VX-450 450w @ $127 AU

They are from different stores, wondering if anyone thinks the Corsair is definitely worth the extra money, or if its even worth worrying about.

Bed time for me, but thanks a lot everyone :) 
April 13, 2009 4:59:50 PM

Jqamp said:
Thanks a lot for the input,
I've heard good things about enermax too but cant seem to find any around my area.

Looks like its PSU shopping time. woo.

ROFL. :lol:  Nothing beats hunting through forums late at night, looking for good PSUs! I'd save your money and go for the Seasonic. Hey, I live in Australia, and I'm still up! Going to bed at 1:00AM? Tsk tsk tsk...
!