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Am I in danger of damaging components?

Last response: in Components
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May 4, 2012 3:25:31 AM

Hello,

I recently upgraded my system by adding a second video card and everything seems to be working fine. However, I've been told that I may be on the edge in terms of power requirements, that my PSU is just barely big enough for what I have. Now, I don't even want to say what the components are because I'm not looking for argument over whether the PSU is big enough or not, etc. I just need to know this: if my PSU is "just cutting it," then am I in danger of frying components or damaging my system if I bring the TDP of my system up at some point, say by overclocking, putting components under extreme load, etc.? Nothing has happened so far; I would just like to make sure I'm not in any danger if I were to increase OCs or something.
Essentially, I want to know if trying to draw more power than a PSU is capable of providing can potentially damage components.

Thanks a lot, everyone.

-Charlie
a b ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
May 4, 2012 3:36:20 AM

What is the hardware in your system, and how big is your power supply?
a c 104 ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
May 4, 2012 5:19:57 AM

Yes, if you try to exceed what the Psu can safely supply then you risk the system dying and components being damaged
Moto
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a c 1104 ) Power supply
a c 502 U Graphics card
May 4, 2012 5:38:43 AM

It depends a lot on the quality of the power supply.

Some of the crappy ones will generate a lot of electrical noise and ripple when you draw more than 80% of its labeled capacity. High ripple will degrade the electrolytic capacitors on your motherboard, graphics cards and the PSU itself leading to erratic system behavior and eventual failure of the motherboard or graphics card or PSU.

On the decent PSUs you will most like trip one of the protection circuits causing the PSU to shut down.
a b ) Power supply
May 4, 2012 10:09:30 AM

+1 to ko888

with a cheaper PSU there is a risk, with a quality PSU it will most probably shut down without sending any surges of power or ripple to the rest of the PC (as if you had pulled the plug from the wall) and should not damage the components.
a b U Graphics card
May 4, 2012 10:24:26 AM

The PSU is the one thing you cant be cheap on when you build a PC. If you do, which apparently you did, you are at risk of blowing out your entire PC. Buy a better PSU.
a c 158 ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
May 4, 2012 11:50:47 AM

+1 on ko888
May 4, 2012 1:08:48 PM

vrumor said:
The PSU is the one thing you cant be cheap on when you build a PC. If you do, which apparently you did, you are at risk of blowing out your entire PC. Buy a better PSU.

When did I say I bought a cheap PSU? I didn't. I still want to know if using too much power could be dangerous.
May 4, 2012 1:09:47 PM

OK, so my PSU is a Corsair TX650 V2. That's considered a good PSU, correct? Meaning I shouldn't be at risk?
a c 158 ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
May 4, 2012 1:23:30 PM

cskoler said:
OK, so my PSU is a Corsair TX650 V2. That's considered a good PSU, correct? Meaning I shouldn't be at risk?

The Corsair TX650 is an excellent PSU. If your PC gets in a situation where you are trying to draw too much power from the PSU, then I am confident that the built-in protection features will power-down the PC prior to damaging parts. That's a beefy PSU that will easily power any single-GPU PC and most CF/SLI rigs. What's your PC build?
May 4, 2012 2:03:19 PM

Your question is pointless as you refuse to name the parts

Yes its not good to run your PSU at maximum anyone can tell you that but how do you know its at maximum output?
Have you tested it to see what its drawing?
Have you checked the demands of all the parts in amps and watts?
Have you compared that to your PSU?
Have you then allowed for aging on the PSU?
Who told you its on the edge?
some guy down the pub?
voices in your head?
Darth Vader?
etc etc etc

Arrogantly refusing to name your parts means your just going to get the answer a trained Chimp could give which is "yes its bad to run something constantly at or over its specified load"
May 4, 2012 2:31:48 PM

wr6133 said:
Your question is pointless as you refuse to name the parts

Yes its not good to run your PSU at maximum anyone can tell you that but how do you know its at maximum output?
Have you tested it to see what its drawing?
Have you checked the demands of all the parts in amps and watts?
Have you compared that to your PSU?
Have you then allowed for aging on the PSU?
Who told you its on the edge?
some guy down the pub?
voices in your head?
Darth Vader?
etc etc etc

Arrogantly refusing to name your parts means your just going to get the answer a trained Chimp could give which is "yes its bad to run something constantly at or over its specified load"

Alright, calm down. The purpose of not saying my components was to not start arguments over whether my PSU actually is powerful enough. I just wanted it to be assumed that the PSU was just barely enough and ask a general question. If you really want to know, though, then fine.

i5-2500K @ 4.4GHz (Corsair A70 HSF)
GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3
8GB Corsair Vengeance RAM @ 1333
2x Sapphire 6950 2GB @ 840/1325
Corsair TX650 V2
a b U Graphics card
May 4, 2012 2:50:07 PM

I wouldnt run 2 6950s on a 650 watt PSU no matter who made it. But thats my opinion.
May 4, 2012 2:50:19 PM

Well your question was a bit pointless its common knowledge PSU's are at most efficient in the middle 1/3rd of their range. Its common sense that running anything at 100% will wear it out faster and that running over 100% of a recommended load will likely be harmful.

As to your system specifically I doubt very much it is running that PSU at 100% load(making the entire question redundant unless your trying to get us to answer your homework),I'd venture to bet its drawing under 600W and as long as the ratings on the 12V rails are in spec for the GPU's (and actually perform to their claimed spec which with your good PSU we can assume they do) then all is good.
a c 158 ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
May 4, 2012 3:18:55 PM

If you want to get a really good feel for the load you're putting on your PSU, then get a Kill-a-Watt meter and measure your system's power consumption while running a stress test (Prime95 and Furmark at the same time). Take the watts measured by the meter and multiply by the estimated efficiency of the PSU to figure out how much power your rig is actually using.
May 4, 2012 3:23:44 PM

wr6133 said:
Well your question was a bit pointless its common knowledge PSU's are at most efficient in the middle 1/3rd of their range. Its common sense that running anything at 100% will wear it out faster and that running over 100% of a recommended load will likely be harmful.

As to your system specifically I doubt very much it is running that PSU at 100% load(making the entire question redundant unless your trying to get us to answer your homework),I'd venture to bet its drawing under 600W and as long as the ratings on the 12V rails are in spec for the GPU's (and actually perform to their claimed spec which with your good PSU we can assume they do) then all is good.

Well you say it's common knowledge but I wouldn't be so sure. Really all I want to know is whether actual harm could be done to my system by exceeding its “limit."
a b U Graphics card
May 4, 2012 3:49:02 PM

Yes.
a c 1104 ) Power supply
a c 502 U Graphics card
May 4, 2012 5:08:26 PM

The harm may not be immediately catastrophic but it may be gradual if none of the protection circuits kick in.

The large amount of heat generated, when operating the power supply near its limits, will accelerate the evaporation of the liquid electrolyte in the electrolytic capacitors. That will lead to the power supply outputting a higher level of ripple.
a c 243 ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
May 4, 2012 5:30:01 PM

cskoler said:
Alright, calm down. The purpose of not saying my components was to not start arguments over whether my PSU actually is powerful enough. I just wanted it to be assumed that the PSU was just barely enough and ask a general question. If you really want to know, though, then fine.

i5-2500K @ 4.4GHz (Corsair A70 HSF)
GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3
8GB Corsair Vengeance RAM @ 1333
2x Sapphire 6950 2GB @ 840/1325
Corsair TX650 V2

Similar system
http://vr-zone.com/articles/2-way-and-3-way-amd-crossfi...
~86% efficient psu ( not yours, the one in the review )
~442 watt DC load running Furmark

~68% load on your psu, just outside that middle range , when running a power virus, probably put you 1% away from your psu's "peak efficiency" of 85% ( couldn't cut it for a Bronze rating at full load )

As far as "aging", one of our mods ( mousemonkey ) runs his overclocked 65nm quad and a pair of overclocked 560Ti's on his 6 year old Corsair 620, that combo draws as much power as your system
560Ti's under load draw a good deal more than the 6950's
http://techreport.com/articles.x/20537/11


That's not to say that spit doesn't/can't happen, just much less of a worry with good quality power supplies




May 4, 2012 8:08:16 PM

delluser1 said:
Similar system
http://vr-zone.com/articles/2-way-and-3-way-amd-crossfi...
~86% efficient psu ( not yours, the one in the review )
~442 watt DC load running Furmark

~68% load on your psu, just outside that middle range , when running a power virus, probably put you 1% away from your psu's "peak efficiency" of 85% ( couldn't cut it for a Bronze rating at full load )

As far as "aging", one of our mods ( mousemonkey ) runs his overclocked 65nm quad and a pair of overclocked 560Ti's on his 6 year old Corsair 620, that combo draws as much power as your system
560Ti's under load draw a good deal more than the 6950's
http://techreport.com/articles.x/20537/11


That's not to say that spit doesn't/can't happen, just much less of a worry with good quality power supplies

Wow. Impressive (mousemonkey's system). I was told by a bunch of people here at TH that I might have trouble running my stuff on a 650W, but if he can do that then this shouldn't be any problem.
!