I turned my computer on yesterday and after about 5 minutes of use it abruptly shut off. After checking the wall connection and the back of the power supply i figured that i had a faulty psu. But before i just replaced the psu i did the paper clip test and the fan did spin so i hooked everything back up and tried powering it back up but got no response. I unplugged everything from the psu except the motherboard and it powered up no problem. I then figured out that i could plug everything in except the video card. When i try turning on the computer with the video card plugged in i can hear a noise that sounds like a spark and the fans spin for 2 seconds then nothing.
the reason why i was a bit uneasy about replacing the psu is because i had recently just done the same thing to another older psu on the same computer. The older psu had worked fine until i upgraded to windows 7 and then after a week it went out. so i upgraded my psu from 450 watts to 550 watts thinking that since i had set the power options in windows 7 to high performance i just needed to add a bit more juice. But now i run into a similar problem.
my system specs are
amd dual core
bfg 550 watt psu
4 gigs of ram
More about :psu powers computer video card unplugged
Was that one of the older BFG PSUs with a little red voltage switch on it? When you select a new PSU, choose one with full range active PFC (no little voltage switch) and 80+ certification. You can get an Antec Earthwatts or Neo Eco without spending an arm and a leg. A 380W Earthwatts could run your rig, but not leave much headroom; you don't need any more than 500 watts unless you might want to Crossfire, in which case get 650W.
my old psu was stock with the case i bought and was pretty terrible. The new bfg psu i bought does have the little red switch on the back.
dont plan on doing crossfire but 380 w seems a bit low.
but i guess the question i meant to ask is that its my psu that is bad and not my video card sitting on a bad slot (only one pcie 16 on my mobo or i would have switched) or something else causing the problem?
Those older BFG PSUs are crappy. Yours probably croaked. Being able to power on with minimal load doesn't really give much information.
Just pick up a 500W Antec Earthwatts or Corsair VX-450 and have done with it.