Power Loop after a month of steady performance

Slightly over a month ago I built a new system with the following specifications:

PSU: Seasonic X650 - 650 watt
RAM: Gskills Ripjawx 8gb
Motherboard: MSI-P67A-G45
Video Card: 560 ti (factory overclocked)
CPU: i5-2500k
SSD: Kingston V+100
HD: Seagate Barracuda
Heatsink + Fan: Coolermaster 212+
Some generic DVD rom

I put in about 60 hours of Skyrim, 30 hours of witcher 2, played some other games and browsed the internet for a month. I had overclocked the CPU using the multiplier in the bios. I had it running steady at 4.2 Ghz. Maximum core temps were at ~50 C under the most strenuous load. GPU had a similar temperature profile, perhaps slightly higher. Voltages looked good, though I cannot remember their exact values.

Christmas morning I played skyrim, let the computer go to sleep while starting the dinner, came back to look up a recipe and then it happened: Powered on, powered off, and so on, accompanied by a burnt electronic smell.

So here is what I've done to troubleshoot:

Using the MSI-p67 Motherboard
I tried using one stick of ram at a time, or no ram at all - same function. Same smell
I checked the Pinouts on the PSU motherboard connection - voltages all looked good. I did not check CPU pin outs (don't know what is what).
I tried breadboarding everything. At this point I see in the corner of my eye a flash - like a spark. Could be an led, but I doubt it. Same smell, same function.

At this point I feel that the motherboard is the problem, so I have RMA'd it. I suppose it could be Ram or CPU or still PSU.

Now I try with a different motherboard:

Using the ASUS p8Z68-V LE Motherboard
System still fails, power turns on for longer, then goes off. No smell.
When no ram is present, system does not cycle - it stays on (but does not POST). No smell.
Breadboard - Same deal

So at this point I am lost and thinking about just RMA'ing everything. Very frustrated. I also bent a pin on my old motherboard (before RMA'ing!) trying to reseat the CPU. New motherboard should be fine. CPU fan is in the correct place and all that...

Would Ram or CPU make a burnt electronic smell? Is it unusual for a CPU or RAM to work fine for a month and then stop working?

Beep Codes ad LEDs
I did plug in a case speaker, but I never heard any beeps. On the old motherboard, the phase leds all lit up. The new one has a memory check LED which does not go off. It is supposed to go off if there are no problems, but I don't know if that requires the motherboard to POST.
9 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    Sounds like the PSU to me. That would be the first thing I test. You are not getting a POST and no beeps so it sounds as if the PSU is not recognizing the correct voltages and shutting itself off.
  2. I got an RMA quickly from Seasonic (great customer service). Went ahead and shipped it. Noticed some blackened metallic stuff inside the PSU right before I shipped it (through the fan grate). Ive got a feeling you are right. We should know soon!
  3. Good to hear. I have heard Seasonic makes quality products haven't owned any myself. Although I do have a Corsair HX750 which I think is essentially a re-branded Seasonic, I can say so far it has been of superior quality no problems with my system. I bought it because of the warranty myself (7 years). Anyways get back to us when you solve (or don't solve) the issue.

    Oh and just for reference I would assume since they are electrical components both RAM and a CPU could have a burnt electronic smell. Although from my experience it is unusual. But a bad power supply can ruin other components as well. Often it is an overlooked piece of a quality build but can save lots of hassle in the long run if you choose a reputable brand rather than trying to save a few bucks.
  4. I'll get back to the thread when the PSU is returned. The ram and CPU don't seem like they should give that smell unless something terribly wrong has happened... they aren't high power throughput devices, right?
  5. No, very low voltage. But as I said if a power supply goes it could take out other components. Although you did buy a reputable brand PSU so I doubt that would happen in your case. More than likely just a bad power supply and it should be fixed very easily with the replacement.
  6. Hello again,

    I've received the replacement power supply, probably a refurbished unit. The pc still powers on and then off again, but when it comes back on it stays on. Still no POST, no beep codes from case speaker... Any advice? Playing shuffling memory in the mean time.
  7. You're not alone, I'm having the exact same problem!:
    I hope somebody can shed some light on this.
  8. Best answer selected by Kudaros.
  9. I finally ended up taking the computer to get diagnosed at a shop. My CPU was bad. So it looks like the power supply destroyed both the CPU and Motherboard when it went out. I've got another CPU on the way and already have the replacement motherboard.

    The ram and video card are still good I suppose, though Im not sure if the shop tested those individually or not.
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