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HELP! Motherboard / PSU not responsive mystery

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May 11, 2012 12:06:10 AM

Please help me avoid pulling my hair out:

1. Have been running Abit NF7 with a Athlon XP processor and 430W PSU for a number of years now and finally decided to upgrade.

2. Bought ASRock iCafe mobo, i3 processor, 2 x 4gb patriot ram sticks and put them in my existing case. Had some trouble booting off of my PCI RAID card but it at least started and I could get into the Bios. Then, it stopped booting.

3. I hit the power button and nothing happened, no fans, no post, no beeps, no video, nothing. EXECEPT, I could hear a faint whine from the PSU. When I killed the power to the PSU, after a few seconds the whine would stop and the system fans would lurch forward (I'm assuming this is a capacitor discharging?).

4. Put my old motherboard and processor back in and it ran fine so I RMA'ed the board. During the weeklong RMA processor my old rig ran fine with the exception of the speaker wire burning and smoking but otherwise fine.

5. Got a replacement board tonite and I connected the bear minimum. Processor, fan, 20 pin connector, 4 pin connector, Ram sticks, keyboard, video cable (onboard video), power switch connector. SAME PROBLEM.

6. Took the motherboard out of the case, just in case the case was grounding somewhere. Set it on some cardboard and tried to boot it. No change. Took out the RAM, no change.

What am I missing?
a b B Homebuilt system
May 11, 2012 1:38:19 AM

Powersupplies are one of the easiest components in a PC to manufacture and as such there are a LOT of really bad ones on the market because any idiot with a PCB mill can manufacture one. HardOCP reviews them all the time and some of the ones they review aren't only not up to the task, they're a safety hazard.

On the same note, power supplies degrade heavily over time and are more likely to suffer from hardware failure than any other component except hard drives. It seems that your power supply just isn't up to the task of powering your new components and believe me when I say that it's better for you to find this out now rather than later when voltage distortion causes all sorts of stability problems or even damages your brand new hardware.
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May 11, 2012 1:43:59 AM

I appreicate the insight.

It amazes me that the (admittedly older) 430w psu can still power an older mobo / video card / sound card and 4 drive without any problem but it can't run the new mobo / processor with no video card or drives attached.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 11, 2012 2:02:31 AM

Please check how many AMPS are on the 12 volt rail. Older systems did not use the 12 volt rail as much as modern systems.

Modern systems take 12 volts and regulated it to what is needed for almost every part.

It is not so much about needing lots of power as it is about needing the right amount on the rails you will be using.

The case you link has a power supply listed as having 300 watts on its 12 volt rail.

In general Diablotek is not known for quality power supplies and is a bit risky, but your system may not need much power anyway.

I DO recommend looking at some better power supplies(Antec/Corsair/Seasonic/XFX ect you get what you pay for. FSP is just fine by my books) or if you want a case/power supply combo, check out what Antec is offering(Antec is generally considered to be quite good.).

EDIT. i would guess anything 350 and up is more then enough for you(with some extra).

My media center with a I5 750/5770/2 hard drives(later dropped to 1 since 2 was too loud for me)/2 sticks of memory runs just fine on a FSP 300 watt unit(and never pulls too much power about 180 watts from the wall MAX 140 peak gaming and under 40 dead idle).
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 11, 2012 2:07:25 AM

oh god that looks horrible. 29.99 on another site, avoid it like the plague. Those are the kinds of PSUs that cause fires.

I'm going to recommend a few from Seasonic and Enermax, they make the best PSUs in the world. They come at a slight price premium but are well worth the money


My preferred pick:

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Another good one

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Those two are both 80 PLUS GOLD which means they're more electrically efficient and thus produce less waste heat and last longer

Here's one from Enermax that's only Bronze but it is a bit cheaper

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Here's one from Corsair (it's actually manufactured by SeaSonic, so it's good)

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

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May 11, 2012 2:11:16 AM

Current (at least 5 - 10 year old) Antec 430W PSU puts 20A to the +12V. It has a 4 pin, not the 8 pin that I've got plugged into the board (board says it can support 4 pin & 20 pin).

I'm just using the system to encode movies and burn them, no gaming so I'm hoping that PSU will be sufficient (newegg says I only need like 230W for my application). The cheapest Antec combo is about $100 shipped.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 11, 2012 2:19:23 AM

Does it work without the raid card, maybe it is not compatible with the new board?

Tight for money, will this work for you? It is very basic but has the power(30 amps 360 watts. so more of a 400 watt unit to be honest compared to some other power supplies) you need and then some.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I am sure you can find many units to look at.
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May 11, 2012 2:20:18 AM

5. Got a replacement board tonite and I connected the bare minimum. Processor, fan, 20 pin connector, 4 pin connector, Ram sticks, keyboard, video cable (onboard video), power switch connector. SAME PROBLEM.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 11, 2012 2:30:17 AM

Sorry, did not see that. my bad
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 11, 2012 2:32:46 AM

Motherboard power requires a 20 pin plus a 4 pin right beside it (same plug, these are only separated for legacy purposes) as well as a 4/8 pin auxiliary power which is usually very close to the CPU socket. You need to have both plugged in with an 8 pin auxiliary supply being recommended for quad core processors
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 11, 2012 4:16:23 AM

Power delivery is far more complicated than simply having the bare minimum number of connections. Try it with a different power supply and see if it works
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May 11, 2012 12:20:09 PM

will do. Thanks!
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!