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Building a new comp, smell burning plastic, think it's my PS, help

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March 11, 2010 6:52:37 PM

Today when I was finished putting together my new PC rig for the first time I powered it up time and the case fan / CPU fans spun for a half second or so and then nothing, no leds turned on, etc.

On about my twentieth trouble shooting step, which involved resetting the CMOS, I flipped the power switch once again and as usual the fans spun for a second, a strange whirring noise emitted from the PS, and I smelled burning plastic. I couldn't tell if the smell came from the PS or the CPU but it was definitely from one of those two.

I'm about to RMA the PS to NewEgg but before I do I'd like to know if anyone on TomHW has any experience with this sort of problem. Any ideas?

Thanks!
a b B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2010 6:59:18 PM

A complete description of your components is required if you have any hope of getting a useful response.
There is also a sticky of troubleshooting steps that is likely to be helpful.
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March 11, 2010 7:12:31 PM

CPU: Penom II X2 555 BE

Mobo: ASRock M3A785GHX

RAM: 2x2gig G Skill DDR3 1600(PC12800) dual channel

Secondary Storage: WD Caviar Black 5001AALS

Optical Drive: Samsung 22X DVD-R

Power Supply: CoolMax CU 700-B 700W ATX 12V

I've gone through dozens of trouble shooting steps so far and have narrowed it down to either the mobo or the PS. I'm leaning towards it being the PS as half the reviews on Newegg claim that this PS arrives DOA consistently.
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2010 7:15:16 PM

I'm betting on the PSU. That ones a POS.

You could just stick your nose right up to both parts and see which smells worse...
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March 11, 2010 7:20:42 PM

MadAdmiral said:
I'm betting on the PSU. That ones a POS.

You could just stick your nose right up to both parts and see which smells worse...


My nose confirmed that it was the PS. I belive it was you Admiral that cautioned me against buying that particular PS in the first place. Damn I wish I'd have listened to you. Oh well, I guess lesson learned.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2010 7:22:35 PM

There's a reason why nobody here suggests trying to save a buck on the PSU. Now you can only hope that POS didn't take any components with it when it died. :( 
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March 11, 2010 7:29:34 PM

I guess now would be a good time to ask what you guys/gals think about power supplies. What would give me the best bang for my buck for under $50 and would allow me to later throw a video card on my mobo a few months down the line?
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2010 7:32:58 PM

Your kidding right? Right after we tell you not to skimp on the PSU, you want to buy a bargain bin unit?

The cheapest unit I can recommend is the Corsair 400W. It's $40 after rebate. Whether or not it could power a GPU is questionable, but it should.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2010 7:41:12 PM

Yes, the 550VX is a nice PSU, but I'm pretty sure $80 > $50.
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2010 7:42:15 PM

Or $70 > $50, if you count the rebate, which Corsair has been pretty good about in my experience.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2010 7:51:29 PM

Usually one or another of the Antec Earthwatts PSUs is <$50; right now it is the 380W model, but a few weeks ago the 430W version was also <$50. Either of those would be able to power a HD5750; probably a HD5770.

But yeah, Coolmax = Chokemax; I think Jonnyguru found an exception, but it wasn't that one.
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March 11, 2010 8:01:23 PM

I'm realizing now that I'm going to be spending around $70 - $80 for something worthwhile. I'm ok with that so long as it runs well and I never have to think about it again once I install the thing. Thanks for all of your replies!
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2010 8:07:39 PM

Here's an even better PSU than the Corsair 550VX. It's $10 more before MIR (the same price after MIR), but has free shipping which saves $6.

Antec TruePower New TP-550 550W 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply $89.99 - $20 MIR

If that's stretching the budget, here's a couple more options:

Antec earthwatts EA500 500W 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply $69.99

SeaSonic SS-500ET Bronze 500W ATX12V v2.31 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply $67.99

This OCZ unit isn't quite up to the same quality standard as Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, Seasonic, or Antec, but it's light years ahead of that CoolMax.

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply $64.99 - $25 MIR
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2010 8:33:21 PM

Yes, Antec EarthWatts PSU's are good. Don't forget to use the EMCYPYX48 promo code for an extra $10 off which brings the price down to $69.99.
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March 11, 2010 8:36:48 PM

I just purchased it. $70 + free shipping ain't bad, t's only $10 more than I'd paid for the Coolmax.
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