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Help choosing PSU for Gigabyte GA-P55-UD3

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February 26, 2011 10:37:58 PM

Hey. I'm trying to

I currently own a Cooler Master RS500-PCARA3-US (aka RS-500-PCAR-A3). I am having a bizarrely consistent difficulty getting Memtest to pass only after booting from Windows. I always pass Memtest if my PREVIOUS boot was to Ubuntu Live CD, BIOS, Memtest, or if I turn OFF my PSU (shutting down the pc and leaving it overnight doesn't help).

See my other post here for details on this nightmare. The current last post has details on what causes the fail and what doesn't.

Anyway, I've tested many different sticks in different slots, and see the same behavior. So I am guessing it's the mobo, but I'd like to try the PSU first before I tear down the whole thing (I had a terrible time getting the heatsink on and dread making matter worse if it turns out the mobo wasn't the problem).

So - anyway have any ideas on what might be causing the issue? Or, can anyone suggest a PSU available from Microcenter (I want to be able to return it easily, so NewEgg etc are out) that is compatible with my board and would have enough power for a basic setup with several USB devices. I used several power calculators and they all put me under 400W. But I think I'd like to try a 600W or more in case that's the issue.

I am considering either a Thermaltake W0388RU, or the 600W Cooler Master which is similar to my last one, which is either good b/c I have a good chance of being able to hook everything up without any nasty surprises, or bad because it's maybe not a good brand for me, it's ATX v2.2 (does a non-overclocker care?) Or how bout this Antec BP550 Plus 550W ATX Modular Power

Any thoughts? Is it worth the effort to try a new PSU (at least Microcenter is close) or do I need to RMA the board to Gigabyte? What PSU (from Microcenter) would you suggest? Any ideas what could cause the bizarre behavior in that other post? I'll repost part here:

Quote:
Below are some more sequences that I've tested several times - enough to be satisfied that I can cause Memtest to pass or fail consistently with any of the below sequences. (I put the result first for readability, although I realize that's kind of confusing - so "FAIL" can be read as: "Memtest will FAIL if I do the following:")

1. FAIL: Boot into Windows. Shutdown. Boot into Memtest.
2. FAIL: Boot into Windows. Shutdown and leave over night. Boot into Memtest.
3. PASS: Boot into Windows. Shutdown. Shut off PSU. Boot into Memtest
4. PASS: Boot into Memtest. Restart or shutdown. Boot into Memtest.
5. PASS: Boot into Ubuntu off LiveCD. Restart. Boot into Memtest.
6. FAIL: Boot into Windows. Shutdown. Disconnect Hard Drive. Boot into Memtest.
7. PASS: Boot into BIOS. Restart into Memtest.

So basically, any time I reboot FROM Memtest or Ubuntu INTO Memtest, I pass. Any time I reboot FROM Windows INTO Memtest, I fail, unless I have switched off the PSU.


EDIT: I thought I'd summarize my questions for easier quoting:

1. Do my symptoms point to any likely causes?
2. Do they rule anything out (besides RAM)?
3. Is testing a new PSU the best next step? If not, what other steps should I take?
4. Thoughts on the two PSU's I posted? Or are there better options for my board? Do I care about ATX v2.2?
5. Those are all good brands, right?
6. How much wattage is enough for a basic system, low-end graphics card, 1 optical, 2 HDD, 3 fans, maybe 6 USB's drawing power
max, i7-860 with a decent Cooler Master heatsink?

Thanks so much in advance! I've been months trying to resolve this, and it's my first build. Never again... :( 
a c 701 ) Power supply
February 27, 2011 1:07:28 PM

1 have you tested the ram successfully? (windows issues could point to bad ram or mobo)
2 no
3 not sure but if you can return the PSU why not
4 The ANTEC BP550 got good reviews and is the only one I would consider
5 Antec is the best brand CM and TT are hit and miss brands in PSU's
6 A system like yours would run on a quality 300watt psu with a HD5670
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February 27, 2011 1:52:30 PM

rolli59 said:
1 have you tested the ram successfully? (windows issues could point to bad ram or mobo)

Not quite sure what you mean here. I have replicated the behavior I described using at least 3 different sticks of RAM (singly, in matched pairs, etc), including two different brands which are both recommended for my mobo.

I have spent a ton of time trying to tweak timings and test that RAM (see my other post), since that seemed like the most likely cause of issues, but now that I see the same behavior with 3-4 different sticks of different brands, it seems like I have successfully ruled out "faulty RAM" as the cause (unless I happen to coincidentally purchased 4 bad sticks). I have gotten to the point where I finally see the pattern of what can make it fail or succeed a Memtest.
rolli59 said:
5 Antec is the best brand CM and TT are hit and miss brands in PSU's

I thought I'd read that TT was supposed to be quality. What other brands would you recommend besides Antec? Enermax (this is the only option at MC Chicagoland: ECO80 II EES400AWT II ATX12V & EPS12V Power Supply) or Corsair (they only have higher end ones, like the Corsair GS600 Gaming one and the TX 650)?
rolli59 said:
6 A system like yours would run on a quality 300watt psu with a HD5670

OK, so no reason to feel like I have to go up to 600W, right? (The GPU is an Nvidia GT 240, btw). I am just trying to eliminate any variables like "not quite enough power."

Thanks!
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Related resources
a c 274 ) Power supply
February 27, 2011 2:01:30 PM

^+1 i agree with rolli59 on this.
Stay away from low-end CM and Thermaltake TR2 RX psu's.
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Cooler-Master-eX...
The Antec unit is good as is this unit which is modular.
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/936
Btw the OZC ModX 500W is also good.
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/OCZ-ModXStream-P...
Personally been running the 600W unit for 10months trouble free,nice unit for the money imo.
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a c 701 ) Power supply
February 27, 2011 2:02:18 PM

I agree it is unlikely that you get 4 bad sticks of ram, points to motherboard issues (can be power but more likely regulation on the motherboard than the PSU).
Enermax is a good brand and the ECO80+ 400 has strong ratings on their rails, other brands I would recommend is Seasonic, Corsair and XFX.
The GT240 would be similar in power consumption to the HD5670 so really no need for a 600watt PSU.
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February 27, 2011 5:02:09 PM

Great, thanks guys. That HW secrets link also linked directly to a review of my current PSU, which sounds like a sketchy one. Let's hope that could be the source of my difficulties, although I am not counting on it.
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February 28, 2011 2:22:20 PM

It was not the PSU. Bought a quality Antec 550W and had the same behavior. Any suggestions besides RMA'ing the motherboard? Or is that the only thing left at this point...?
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a c 701 ) Power supply
February 28, 2011 8:25:25 PM

Motherboard would have been my first guess.
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!