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PSU Keeping Dying/Burning Out

Last response: in Components
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December 27, 2012 2:58:21 AM

Hello Community,

I've been having a terrible experience with PSUs lately.

I've gone through 3 PSUs in the last 2 years.

My current system spec

Mobo: AsRock P67 Pro3
CPU: Intel 2500k (Not Overclocked)
Memory: 4 Sticks of 4 GB total of 16 GB
GPU: Nvidia GTX 550 TI
HDD: 3 7200 RPM 1 TB SeaGate Drives (Not Green) Running Raid 5 (Onboard)
SSD: 1 Corsair 120GB
ODD: Standard DVD/R Drive
Case Fans: 7 120 MM Fans Standard No LED:
Water Cooling System: I got that lower end Corsair Self Contained System
PSU: Corsair GS 700 (12 V Raid 56A)
Tower: Full HAF 913 I believe.
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit.

Now the configuration is I keep my OS on the SSD and everything else on the Raid 5 Array. The problems seem to start manifesting themself in the form of hal.dll and Ntvrol.dll something like that blue screens when I start playing games on Steam. I updated the Nvidia Drivers ect just to reduce a point of failure, my computer then starts shutting off randomly. At first it would shut off once every 4 hours, then it became 2 hours, now its down to every 10 min, and it gets harder and harder for the computer to start up with each consecutive random shut off. Now this is total power failure not a boot down.

With my system I first had a 600 Watt gaming PS I think it was Cool Master or something and I ended up replacing 2 of these in a year. Then I said its definetly gotta be a problem with low Wattage so I got the Corsair GS 700 and that lasted 11 months without a problem, it's now failing.

So now out of fustration I just bought a 1000 Watt Gold Certified 90% efficent Power supply and I said if im going to go that big I should just get another Graphics card and go SLI.

So I have a couple questions for the community.

1: Does my system require more from my PSU especially since I'm running Hardware Raid that is intergrated into the Mobo? Also since I run all my games and problems off the Raid Array you have 3 Drives running at full power quite often. I could see that being a strain on the PSU.

2: Is running SLI with 550 TI cards with my current setup with the difference of a 1000 Watt PSU acceptable or will the SLI be too much with my current setup even for a 1000 Watt PSU?

3: Is something else all together causing my PSU to fail? It's a fresh Windows 7 Install, it's been kinda cold here lately nothing like up north but in the low 50's. Could that cause damage to the PSU if it was off?

I've used a lot of PSU calculators and they say I should have a PSU between 500 Watt to 670 Watt. I don't know if that number is after the reduction of your suppose to take into consideration for the PSU's inefficency.

I also have a battery backup APC I believe and the VA or what ever its called is high enough that the system gets like an hour of backup time when the power goes out.

I'll really appreciate a resolution to this mystery issue i've been having, but most importantly if it is PSU's just failing could I run SLI 550 TI with my current setup and a 1000 Watt Power Supply?

Update of what I've done so far.

I have been running Prime95 with 1 RAM stick at a time at a time performing the last torture test that uses a lot of memory and I've had no issues or instability with that. But when all 4 RAM sticks are in I have major instability.

I've run Memtest86 with all 4 memory sticks in and got zero errors, I've tested them one by one and also got zero errors.

For some reason when all 4 memory sticks are present and I run Prime95 with the Torture test that uses a lot of memory CPU cores start to fail after only the 2nd test.

No matter the memory configuration whenever I run the Torture test that doesn't use the RAM and only the CPU I have no issues.

So is it safe to assume the CPU is not at fault here ?
December 27, 2012 3:08:48 AM

You do not need a higher watt PSU, and it should run fine with dual SLI.

What i would suggest is to start your computer in safe mode and see if that problem still occurs. If it does not occur then a virus or other malware program might of infected your computer, try a virus scan of your system. If your computer still shuts off then you might have a faulty piece of hardware, if that is the case your CPU, PSU, and Mobo may be the problem. The PSU is probably not the problem if you have recently replaced it. If you have not replaced it since it started acting strange then i would replace it after you do the safe mode thing i previously stated.

Hope this helped
-calder
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December 27, 2012 11:46:02 AM

Is there anyway to test the CPU and Mobo, any kind of diagnostic tests ?
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December 28, 2012 3:23:06 PM

Here is another update of what I've done that has signifigantly increased stability.

I manually entered the specifications of the memory in the bios, I no longer let the bios figure it out manually. I could then reduce the LLC down to level 5 and the computer was able to run the full torture test with Prime95 with no issues at all. So now I know its not the Memory, or the CPU. But I had a random shutdown after about 18 hours of straight run time.

I now went into the bios and manually set the specifications of the CPU manually and changed LLC to level 2. I am now testing how long the PC will stay on with this configuration.

I'm suspecting it's the voltage controls on the Mobo that are at fault possibly the capacitors if thats the same thing, because the slightest big of overclocking of the processor from the Mobo causes major instability and random shut offs and blue screens.

What does everyone else think?
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December 28, 2012 5:26:40 PM

Update of recent discover, machine suddenly shut down after only a few hours. I then went into the BIOS to see what may have caused it, and the computer suddenly shut off after only 5 min of being on and in the bios.

I then rebooted went back into the bios and after only 1 min it suddenly lost power while booting.

I can only deduce from this that the issue is infact with the Mobo or the PSU, but I can't believe i'd had such bad luck with PSU's that i've had to replace 3 in just under 2 years.

I use to only put cheap generic PSU's in my builds and they never gave me problems like this. That's why I feel it could also be the Mobo.

What is everyone elses take on this?
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Best solution

a b ) Power supply
December 28, 2012 8:18:44 PM

If your PSU has active PFC its probably not compatible with the APC. Please check into that.
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December 28, 2012 8:29:41 PM

Best answer selected by mcatanio.
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December 28, 2012 8:31:48 PM

My gosh man, your a genious. That is the exact problem, all the PSU's i've had have Active PFC and they've had horrible instability.

Now, does this mean my PSU is damaged and I need to get another, or just remove the battery backup and everything will be fine?
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a b ) Power supply
December 28, 2012 9:15:42 PM

mcatanio said:
Now, does this mean my PSU is damaged and I need to get another, or just remove the battery backup and everything will be fine?

Try it and see, simplest way to find out and it shouldn't make things any worse than they already were.

Your pre-SLI configuration should have been fine even with a 450W PSU... a 3-HDD RAID5 array uses around 45W peak during seeks and 15-20W while idle. Not that much of a 'strain' for any half-decent PSU unless you were treading its limits but at 700+W, you were nowhere near that point.
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