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PSU fails after 4 months

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  • Power Supplies
  • Components
Last response: in Components
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February 3, 2013 9:59:37 PM

For around 2 years I ran my PC in its current location in its current configuration without issue with a 500W PSU that is still functioning in another PC.

In April of last year I bought an HD7950 video card and replaced the PSU with a 750W Thermaltake. I'm running an Intel quad core and the HD7950 and nothing else unusual.

In August, the PC started shutting off at random times, no error just power down. It was not getting hot and I could start it right back up. The event log just said there was an unexpected shutdown such as loss of power. The shutdowns increased in frequency and eventually the PC would not start. I sent the power supply back and received a replacement and it ran fine for about the same amount of time (4-5 months). Then I had another unexpected shutdown with nothing strange in the event log. This has happened two nights in a row.

I have been told maybe I have dirty power on that circuit (then why did the 500W run fine for years? Why have the two 750W PSUs run fine for 4 months before failing?). Nothing else on that circuit has had an issue.

I have been told that maybe the PSU should be a gold- or silver-rated one instead of the bronze-rated unit I have. Again, it runs fine for 4-5 months. Could I just have gotten 2 bad units in a row?

I have been told maybe I have failing capacitors on the motherboard.

I feel like there should be an answer to this but I'm not sure how to figure out what my actual problem is.

More about : psu fails months

a b ) Power supply
February 3, 2013 10:47:21 PM

can u rma ur ps.

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a b ) Power supply
February 3, 2013 11:27:11 PM

rockhpi said:
For around 2 years I ran my PC in its current location in its current configuration without issue with a 500W PSU that is still functioning in another PC.

In April of last year I bought an HD7950 video card and replaced the PSU with a 750W Thermaltake. I'm running an Intel quad core and the HD7950 and nothing else unusual.

In August, the PC started shutting off at random times, no error just power down. It was not getting hot and I could start it right back up. The event log just said there was an unexpected shutdown such as loss of power. The shutdowns increased in frequency and eventually the PC would not start. I sent the power supply back and received a replacement and it ran fine for about the same amount of time (4-5 months). Then I had another unexpected shutdown with nothing strange in the event log. This has happened two nights in a row.

I have been told maybe I have dirty power on that circuit (then why did the 500W run fine for years? Why have the two 750W PSUs run fine for 4 months before failing?). Nothing else on that circuit has had an issue.

I have been told that maybe the PSU should be a gold- or silver-rated one instead of the bronze-rated unit I have. Again, it runs fine for 4-5 months. Could I just have gotten 2 bad units in a row?

I have been told maybe I have failing capacitors on the motherboard.

I feel like there should be an answer to this but I'm not sure how to figure out what my actual problem is.


It is difficult to figure out these. You definitely could have gotten 2 bad psus from TT. They have not been doing so well lately. I would stick with Seasonic, Corsair, XFX or Antec. All except Antec are Seasonic psus.

You could have be getting dirty power. Your 500W wasn't asked to do as much so it might not show it.

You could have capicitors failing.

Now unless they are telling you that the psu tests fine (with more than a simple volt tester) than I would stick with the psu as the problem. RMA it and get a better brand.

You didn't mention it. Do you have an UPS connected to this system? The UPS is good for filtering out the dirty power.
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Related resources
a b ) Power supply
February 4, 2013 1:55:12 AM

jnkweaver said:
It is difficult to figure out these. You definitely could have gotten 2 bad psus from TT. They have not been doing so well lately. I would stick with Seasonic, Corsair, XFX or Antec. All except Antec are Seasonic psus.

It's possible you got two bad PSUs but it's unlikely, even if they were poor quality. The bit in bold is rubbish, most manufacturers use multiple OEMs to make PSUs. Corsairs cheaper PSUs (CX series) are CWT (Channel Well). The Thermaltake Smart 750M....also CWT. It's true a lot of Thermaltake PSUs are garbage but its likely that one is fairly solid, even if there isn't much info to be found about it.

80Plus Bronze/Silver/Gold/Plantinium is very unlikely to make a difference in terms of how easily a PSU fails, it's simply a measure of the PSUs efficiency at an increasing variety of load levels. Of course, a PSU built of higher quality components to meet these demands may have the side effect of increasing longevity.

More likely is some sort of external factor such as a lack of PSU airflow, or a questionable incoming power source which is gradually causing these components to fail prematurely. As previously mentioned, a UPS might help with the latter. In the case of airflow, I had a friend who was having odd shutdowns and asked me to help, turned out the people who had built his PC had put in the PSU upside down, facing downwards but in a case without a vent in this location. Add a slightly poor PSU, and it was just heating up and shutting down under load. I'm not suggesting it'll be as simple in your case, but it's definitely worth checking things which seem trivial or insignificant.
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a c 86 ) Power supply
February 4, 2013 2:11:28 AM

CWT even makes the Corsair HX850 :)  It kept running in a 75 volt brown out. I still shut it down damn fast(My EA650 went down instantly and my 300 watt FSP was on UPS power so it did not care.).

Anyway. bad luck can happen. Most bad caps show up as they will puff up and even leak. Most boards now use solid caps and those should outlast the systems usefulness.

If you are worried about bad power in the are, getting a UPS is more then worth it. Cyberpower has some PFC series UPSes that work with newer power supplies well and also let you shut down a system in a power out vs just outright shutting off. They will also kick in under many bad power conditions to prevent damage to your power supply.
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a b ) Power supply
February 4, 2013 2:29:25 AM

that TT psu is an established pile of crap

i would never risk my hardware on one
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a b ) Power supply
February 4, 2013 2:56:32 AM

eh what u gonna do. not everyone is educated on quality psu. i in the past have bought crappy powersupplies, and have my share of baddies.

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February 4, 2013 12:41:49 PM

Thanks for the responses. My issue is that all of these options are expensive and we still aren't sure which option is the problem.

I could get a replacement Thermaltake for free or I could buy a different PSU and be out ~$120. A couple of folks here seem to be down on Thermaltake, elsewhere I'm told they are a reputable brand.

I could get a UPS for ~$200, but if no other components on the same circuit are experiencing issues, is dirty power really the problem?

Given the power supply requirements of the HD7950, is the 750W Thermaltake the correct PSU to use? (I've seen a lot of posts for other peoples' issues about "Well you have a XXXW power supply but only YYYW to the 12 volt rail", etc. but I'll be honest, I don't quite get what they're looking at to know if that's my issue).

"So shut up and just choose a direction..." You're right. If there is no reason to believe that this power supply isn't right for my setup (12-volt rails and so on), I'm tempted to RMA the one I have and put a UPS on. If the third one fails, I'll know it isn't dirty power and I'll be be out the UPS money. I think...
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a b ) Power supply
February 4, 2013 1:33:56 PM

yep

corsair has a lil thing called quality control, because they care about their reputation.

thermaltake does not.

http://www.amazon.com/Thermaltake-Series-Certified-Cont...
http://www.overclock.net/t/398702/thermaltake-850w-died...
http://www.funkykit.com/component/content/article/8639-...
"not enough solder on a couple leads" again, lack of quality control
http://forums.anandtech.com/archive/index.php/t-2277460...

and on and on and on

it does well in reviews because it theoretically is a good power supply. the parts in it are good, when theyre put together right.

i simply do not trust thermaltakes quality control, at all.

op shouldnt either, he has gone through TWO
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a b ) Power supply
February 4, 2013 8:01:12 PM

only powersupply from thermaltake i like are these.

Toughpower Grand Series

thats it.

also i stick with corsair, antec, seasonic, pc power and cooling, coolermaster silentpro gold.

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a b ) Power supply
February 4, 2013 10:08:35 PM

Issue I have with Thermaltake is that their brand is rubbish. They have quite a few PSUs which are made by decent companies and are pretty well reviewed, but PSUs in the same range and era can be made by different OEMs and of totally different quality. All it does is undermine any confidence people have in them.

For example, the TR2 series is still thought of as genuinely terrible (because it was) but the recent units, which bear very similar names, are actually pretty solid and quite cheap.
The Toughpower Grand series iceclock mentioned is another good culprit. Across the full Toughpower range there's at least 4 OEMs and reviews range from solid to highly questionable. It's also worth mentioning that Coolermaster are another brand with very hit and miss offerings.
None of the links neon neophyte posted really support a PSU that terrible; amazon reviews are unreliable, the funkyit review is pretty positive, the overclock.net is about a different PSU and the anandtech one involves firstly a Seasonic dead PSU and no resolution. Simply googling something to prove a point doesn't make it factually accurate.

That said, I kinda agree with the sentiment. Would I ever buy a Thermaltake PSU, or recommend one? Unlikely.

I still find it hard to believe that two PSUs failing that rapidly, and consistently, is 100% related to the PSU itself. More likely is that some external factor (such as heat) is causing them to fail when a better PSU would not. The fault itself (power losses followed by eventual dead PSU) suggests something deteriorating.
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a b ) Power supply
February 4, 2013 10:13:39 PM

stick with what u know. corsair. seasonic. teagan. be quiet. certain rosewills. antecs. coolmaster pros silent gold. theres more but i usually stick with this.

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