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PSU making buzzing/popping noise, crackling

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June 10, 2012 9:11:25 PM

The past few days, I've noticed my psu making a buzzing and crackling noise while on, almost like meat being fried. My first thought was a wire hitting a fan, but upon inspection there were no places where it was hitting one.

I looked into it with a flashlight but saw no obvious problems through the mesh. I don't think it's the fan because the noise persists even if the computer is off. The only way to make it stop is to unplug it completely, where it will then make a sound the grows in pitch then disappears.

It has caused a blue screen and has been noticeably running hotter than before. The psu is bottom mounted on about a half inch standoff on carpet.

I don't think any parts are broken, as before I noticed the noise I was playing some graphics intensive games, but did notice artifacts which were solved with a reboot. It was a fairly hot day.

My pc specs are
Anted basiq bp 550w plus
As rock miniatx board
Eva sc gtx 460 1 gb
i5 2400
8 gb ram

It's really spooking me, and I think rma is the way to go. Its still covered under Antecs 3 yr limited warranty I believe. Also, I have stopped use of the computer for now. Still, any insight on whats happening would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for any help
Uighur

More about : psu making buzzing popping noise crackling

a c 716 ) Power supply
June 10, 2012 9:25:36 PM

I think that RMA is in order but it is not to have bottom mounted PSU standing on a carpet, might introduce more dust and lint than normal!
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a b ) Power supply
June 10, 2012 9:30:03 PM

The Antec Basiq line of PSUs is completely worthless. That is probably what the problem is.

I would replace the PSU if I were you. I wouldn't trust the current one at all, not even a little bit. I wouldn't want to have a new one of that kind either.

The problems you are describing are common from overloaded PSUs and if you get a new one of the same kind it should probably be equally as overloaded as that one sounds like it is.
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a c 716 ) Power supply
June 10, 2012 9:32:32 PM

Raiddinn said:
The Antec Basiq line of PSUs is completely worthless. That is probably what the problem is.

I would replace the PSU if I were you. I wouldn't trust the current one at all, not even a little bit. I wouldn't want to have a new one of that kind either.

The problems you are describing are common from overloaded PSUs and if you get a new one of the same kind it should probably be equally as overloaded as that one sounds like it is.

That specific PSU got great reviews everywhere!
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June 10, 2012 9:35:21 PM

Those rice krispie gnomes or whatever they are have paid a visit to your PSU. That computer should not be pulling more than 300W from the wall, so I doubt overloading is your problem. That PSU has 3 12V rails, have you made sure to distribute the load evenly over them?
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June 10, 2012 9:47:32 PM

What do you mean by splitting it evenly over the rails?
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a b ) Power supply
June 10, 2012 9:47:41 PM

The delta models are slightly better than the FSP models, but I wouldn't trust either one.

Maybe they have a FSP model now and if they RMA then they will get another FSP from Antec as a replacement?

Not like I like to play "see who can get by with a bad OEM and model line" or anything.

Best case scenario that PSU is massively overrated. Less than 400w on the 12vs means it should be labelled less than 400w, not more than 500w.

This is a 460w we are talking about too. Not that it is an energy devouring beast, but it is no slouch either in terms of how much juice it can suck down. Each one of those rails is at best worth 260w so its also possible load balancing is a problem.

The i5-2400 is going to take its 95w cut out of that under 400w max. The motherboard, RAM, and hard drives are going to take another 50+W cut out of it.

Tackle the problem how you want, but I am blaming the PSU.

Get the computer off the carpet and you may have some hope of it working, but my guess is still not much. Not much for an RMA replacement too.

The rule of thumb I developed over time is to avoid Basiqs. YMMV.
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a b ) Power supply
June 10, 2012 9:53:03 PM

uighur said:
What do you mean by splitting it evenly over the rails?


He is referring to a load balancing problem.

What that means is that each cable that gives 12v power (there are more than 1) can only give out 22A. 22a x 12v = 264w. If you try to take more than 264w from the same 12v line, the computer will experience stability problems.

If you, say, take out the PCIE cables that are in the video card and put in some other set of PCIE cables (if another set is available) that would take the power the video card is pulling from those cables and offload it onto a different cable. Potentially, if you were overloading the 264w available on one of the 12vs and splitting it into 2 different cables, that could alleviate the stability issues.

If you are just plain pulling more than the PSU can provide, though, you would experience no change from doing the above.

If you only have 1 set of PCIE cables, then you obviously couldn't do anything different.

If all the PCIE cables are on the same 12v line, changing them around would also not do anything different.

In general, such problems are only rarely seen in the wild. The much more common problem is that the PSU just plain isn't good enough to handle what is required of it.
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June 10, 2012 10:13:21 PM

I haven't experienced any stability problems, as the computer works fine. I think all the parts pull about 360 W from the wall at peak load. It's just the crackling noise, which almost sounds like an arc of electricity or oil bubbling is coming from it (by the way I don't think there's an arc inside it, I see no light coming from it).

Not to mention, would it still be safe to use, albeit for short periods of time (5-20 minutes) without frying my hardware or catching on fire or something? There are some things I would need to take off while I RMA it.

Also, if I asked for a different model of PSU, do you think I would be able to get it? Or really, any replacement at all?
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Best solution

a b ) Power supply
June 10, 2012 11:05:44 PM

If it is covered by a warranty they should honor a replacement request.

I doubt they would honor a substitution request, though.

Anyway, I would never turn a computer on I heard crackling noises coming out of the PSU in it. The danger to internal components is great in such situations. I would disconnect it immediately and seek a replacement right away.

It may work if you try to use it, but you do so at your own risk.
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June 10, 2012 11:10:32 PM

Best answer selected by uighur.
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June 10, 2012 11:11:03 PM

Thanks for all the help. I guess I'll just RMA as soon as possible... and blame everything on the cleaners, I guess.
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June 10, 2012 11:12:50 PM

it sounds like its arcing i had the same issue with a extension cable, have you made sure that it plugged in properly.
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