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PC died :(

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May 16, 2010 8:18:00 PM

Hi
Just a few minutes ago I was happily playing a 3D graphics intensive game on my PC (GTA IV), and suddenly my PC just shut off. I thought it was the cable (loose connection), but no it seems that the PC just shut itself off.

Now I'm fairly certain that it's my PSU that died. It's a Thermaltake 420W PSU and these are the devices that were connected at the time of the incident (had recently added a DVDRW drive and 2 PCI cards, maybe it was near to the limit and those were the last straws?):

Gigabyte GA-M52L-S3 Mobo
AMD Phenom II X4 940 125W TDP CPU stock voltages/speeds
2x2GB DDR2 @ CAS5, stock voltages/speeds
NV Geforce 9800GT 512MB graphics card (1 PCIe power connector, 6 pin)
750GB Samsung hard drive (SATAII, 7200RPM)
250GB Maxtor hard drive (SATAII, 7200 RPM)
2x DVD+-RW drives
USB + Firewire PCI card
USB PCI card
2x 120mm fans

I realize now that I was overstressing my poor 420 watt-rated PSU and am prepared to buy another one (learnt my lesson), the main thing I'm worried about is: do you think that when the PSU died, it brought with it other components in the system. I really hope that it didn't, and I'm pretty sure it didn't (could be wishful thinking), as I didn't smell any burning, see any flashes, or anything when it suddenly broke down (actually there was a very slight pop but it could easily have just been the PSU - in fact that was the only noise so it must have been...?), and also thermaltake is quite reputable isn't it? I heard it was only the cheap PSUs that killed stuff :) . Anyway it would be handy to put my mind at rest....or the opposite :( 

Thanks very much

More about : died

a b ) Power supply
May 16, 2010 8:25:08 PM

The official minimum recommended system power based on your GPU is 400W. As you can see you were pushing close to this so it does seem likely that your PSU died particularly when you mentioned you were playing an intense game.

The fact that Thermaltake are a known brand, although not of the highest reputation for quality PSUs, does make me think that you may be lucky and the PSU would have knocked itself off before it did any damage to the rest of your system.

For your new PSU, you know what wattage you now require. A good 500-550W unit would suit you fine with your current setup. Recommended brands are Corsair, Seasonic and some of the newer Antec models. Good luck!
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a b ) Power supply
May 16, 2010 8:41:47 PM

srynznfyra said:
Cheers, yeah right now I'm looking at the Arctic Power 500W PSU as it's cheap (very low budget), here's a link: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/124922

"No. Bad. Bad idea. Awful. Don't do it."
a b ) Power supply
May 16, 2010 8:44:35 PM

I know it's a bit more expensive but have a look at the Corsair 550VX. It's an excellent , heavy duty PSU that would be more than enough for your needs. Going for a cheaper PSU may cost you less right now but imagine if your PSU died again and this time took some components with it. It would cost you much more in the long run. The PSU I mentioned will last you several builds and comes with a 5 year warranty. It's well worth considering...a PSU is not the place to save money on.

I have always found Microdirect to have very competitive prices here in the UK and their delivery times are spot on.

http://www.microdirect.co.uk/Home/Product/31045/Corsair...
a b ) Power supply
May 16, 2010 8:51:30 PM

Your PSU probably just died. are you going to now go out and buy another cheap unit that might die on you as well?
a b ) Power supply
May 16, 2010 9:48:16 PM

corsair 550w will easily power your system!
May 16, 2010 10:31:32 PM

OK the message seems to be, get a nice sturdy not-cheap PSU. How about http://www.ebuyer.com/product/159924

It's Antec, 430W and will easily power my system if my thermaltake 420W powered it until I added a couple of PCI cards and an extra DVD drive. What d'you think? If you really think I need 500 watts, how about http://www.ebuyer.com/product/202771 ? It's thermaltake and 500W...should be OK no?

EDIT: both PSUs say they have over-voltage and over-load protection.
a b ) Power supply
May 17, 2010 12:01:23 AM

To answer your question it is possible for a faulty power supply to damage other components when it fails. You will have to be quite unlucky for this to happen but I have seen this happen any times. Normally the only part that is damaged when this happens is the motherboard.
a b ) Power supply
May 17, 2010 3:02:38 AM

srynznfyra said:
OK the message seems to be, get a nice sturdy not-cheap PSU. How about http://www.ebuyer.com/product/159924

It's Antec, 430W and will easily power my system if my thermaltake 420W powered it until I added a couple of PCI cards and an extra DVD drive. What d'you think? If you really think I need 500 watts, how about http://www.ebuyer.com/product/202771 ? It's thermaltake and 500W...should be OK no?

EDIT: both PSUs say they have over-voltage and over-load protection.

"No. Bad. Bad idea. Awful. Don't do it."


FALC0N said:
Were I in your shoes, I would get this guy:

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/131052

Yes.
a b ) Power supply
May 17, 2010 12:41:06 PM

I have that same Corsair VX450 powering an overclocked i7 920 system without missing a beat.

+1000 for the VX450
May 17, 2010 1:39:07 PM

Alright, I'll get the corsair.

BTW, an update: today I tried running something else with the same power cord that used to connect to my PC (the one that died), and it didn't work (I knew the device wasn't faulty). So I reasoned that the cause must be a blown fuse in the plug. Keeping this in mind, I plugged another (known to work) power cord into my old PSU, with the green and black (15+16 or whatever it is) pins shorted. There was a bang and a flash of light, so if it wasn't dead before it certainly is now. So maybe when the PC shut off it was the fuse blowing, and not the PSU - or maybe the PSU was about to die and took a large spike of power which blew the fuse? Either way I don't think my other PC components are dead :) 
May 17, 2010 3:34:44 PM

enzo matrix said:
"No. Bad. Bad idea. Awful. Don't do it."


what's wrong with the thermaltake?
a b ) Power supply
May 17, 2010 5:04:46 PM

srynznfyra said:
what's wrong with the thermaltake?


The Corsair is a much more solid and reliable PSU. Even a 450W Corsair would handle your system easily due to its build quality.
May 17, 2010 8:17:09 PM

moody89 said:
The Corsair is a much more solid and reliable PSU. Even a 450W Corsair would handle your system easily due to its build quality.


OK, I'd love to be able to get anything I wanted to but money is tight. I don't exactly need a very strong PSU, just one that will keep my system afloat and not damage components if it dies. Of course I'd rather get the corsair but the 10 pound difference between that and the "500W" thermaltake might make the decision for me come the time when I buy it.

Thanks a ton for all the help
a b ) Power supply
May 17, 2010 8:32:35 PM

Seriously you don't want to skimp on a PSU - if money is tight then drop something else. You've already had a PSU die on you and feared that other components had gone with it. What if they had died too? You'd be facing a bigger cash outlay than you are now.

The VX450 could easily be rated as a 550W unit, but Corsair are being conservative, so it's going to be a good investment and peace of mind for the future.

But ultimately it's your system and your choice
May 17, 2010 8:47:13 PM

GET THE DARN CORSSAIR 450W PSU!
May 17, 2010 9:20:05 PM

lol...I'm 14 don't earn any money am doing exams PSUs aren't the biggest worry in my life ATM. I'll think about getting the Corsair OK? lol

cheers
a b ) Power supply
May 17, 2010 11:51:27 PM

jeez dude if you ca nafford the specs you have then the psu should be important to u to! lol i know i dont like bothering with the psu quality either (i bought a coolmax psu lol)
May 18, 2010 4:28:07 PM

shovenose said:
jeez dude if you ca nafford the specs you have then the psu should be important to u to! lol i know i dont like bothering with the psu quality either (i bought a coolmax psu lol)


It took me a year to save up enough cash for all those specs. Truth is alot of it was birthday money :S
a b ) Power supply
May 19, 2010 2:27:02 AM

lol yeah thats how i buy stuff too: bday + christmas $$$
a b ) Power supply
May 19, 2010 7:55:58 AM

srynznfyra said:
OK, I'd love to be able to get anything I wanted to but money is tight. I don't exactly need a very strong PSU, just one that will keep my system afloat and not damage components if it dies. Of course I'd rather get the corsair but the 10 pound difference between that and the "500W" thermaltake might make the decision for me come the time when I buy it.

Thanks a ton for all the help


The reason everone is all up ons when it comes to the corsair is they produce consistent reliable quality. That 450 will produce a sustained 450 watts that you can count on. And its one of the few PSU's in this price range to include Japanese caps.

Thermaltake is better than their reputation, but they are not as consistent. They throw out an overrated junker from time to time. For example, they had a "750 watt" unit a while backs that topped out at 550 watts when tested. Not good.

Bottom line is Corsair doesn't cut corners. Every single unit they have released to date exceeds specs comfortably.

Odds are, you would be happy with the thermaltake. But odds are BETTER that you would be happier with the Corsair.
a b ) Power supply
May 21, 2010 1:05:37 PM

its definitely an ok psu but it not as good as the corsairs.
May 21, 2010 1:16:39 PM

Cool, I'll get that one. I'm not running a supercomputer, to justify getting the corsair I'd also need to have a teraflop/s GPU, 32GiB of fully buffered error checked RAM, a hexa core nehalem CPU (actually 4 on a quad server board) and 24 SSDs in RAID 0 on 6Gb/s SATA (although that would be far too slow for the boot drive, I'd need a DDR3 RAM disk for that)

Cheers =)
a b ) Power supply
May 22, 2010 3:46:34 AM

:) 
May 24, 2010 1:38:44 AM

Corsair TX series. Antec Earthwatts Series. At least 600W.
May 24, 2010 10:42:34 AM

coasterman said:
Corsair TX series. Antec Earthwatts Series. At least 600W.

ALready solved he went with the ModExtreme 500W from OCZ.
May 28, 2010 4:47:13 PM

Userremoved said:
ALready solved he went with the ModExtreme 500W from OCZ.


Not yet haven't bought any yet - don't have the cash. Probs gonna go with either the corsair VX450w or the OCZ 500W - depends on funds.
a b ) Power supply
May 29, 2010 1:00:25 AM

antec vx450? i think u mean corsair :)  in any case the antec/corsair is better than the ocz 500w
May 29, 2010 10:23:13 PM

Yes I meant Corsair, thanks for the correction! Anyway posted to say I'VE GONE WITH THE CORSAIR. Lol. Apparently (well according to hardwaresecrets.com) the VX450 can handle up to 570 watts (contrary to its label) so there should be no worries - even if I decide to upgrade the video card. Yay :D 

CHEERS!!!
a b ) Power supply
May 30, 2010 2:13:28 PM

good choice!
the thing with psus is that cheap psus are listed by their PEAK power (the max they could run at, even though most cheap psus cant even do it), and good psus are listed by their CONTINOUS power, the power they can run at for eterneity,so the peak will be more.
!