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Motherboard overheating + Smoking

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February 16, 2013 11:45:48 PM

Hi there!
About a month ago I over clocked my CPU to 3.8Ghz and everything was going fine, no BSOD, no random shutdowns, nothing but last night I went to go open up Google Chrome, and my computer started to make a popping sound. I didn't think much of it, but I did turn it off, open up the case and turn on a fan to let it air out over night. When I woke up, I went to go turn on my computer it went fine then about 3 hours after I turned it on I saw a spike in the CPU usage (30% to 91%). Then, I smelt burning plastic and the display shut off. I ripped the power cord out and let it air out again, I tried smelling around my computer trying to find the source. Sadly I couldn't find one... The back of the motherboard (where the CPU is) felt just warm, heat sink was warm, GPU was warm, ram was warmish. Nothing seemed out of the odd. I pulled off the heat sink for the CPU, no black spots or anything odd. I pulled out the GPU, nothing. The ram was fine same with the motherboard. I thought that maybe the overclock was making it over heat, so I took out the little battery on the motherboard, waited an hour put it back in and booted up (showed the stock Ghz). This is what happens: when I turn the computer on, it boots normally and goes to the Windows login screen, but as soon as you login and hit enter the display shuts off and you can smell a strong scent of burning plastic. I have the following parts: Biostar A780L3C AMD 760G AM3 MATX Motherboard , AMD Athlon II X3 450 3.2ghz AM3 CPU , 2x4gb Kingston1600MHz 9-9-9 DDR3 HyperX ram and a Coolmax I-400 400W PSU. I'm not sure if it's the motherboard or if it's the CPU. Thanks in advance!

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a b à CPUs
February 16, 2013 11:53:01 PM

Chances are its your Power Supply Unit. Just by the look of a picture of your PSU I looked up already looks *ghetto*
http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=PS-I400

Just check your PSU and maybe replace it. Be careful when overclocking with cheap parts.
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February 16, 2013 11:57:56 PM

First I'm going to recommend going into BIOS and resetting defaults, then do your boot order and all the normal BIOS stuff but no overclock, no unlocked cores no voltage changes. Then I'm going to point my finger at the PSU being the issue. Coolmax is not a brand that comes to mind when we think of quality PSU's - they're inexpensive (cheap) for a reason.
If you have a multimeter, you can check the voltages from the PSU but I'm thinking that probably isn't neccesary. If you have access to a different PSU, I will suggest trying that.
Hope it helps
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February 17, 2013 1:33:20 AM

Thanks for all the quick responses! Ya, i'll probably just end up changing the PSU. Is Raidmax a good company for PSU? I was thinking about replacing it with the Raidmax Hybrid 530W ATX12V/EPS12V Power Supply RX-530SS anyways, but I would like your input on it.
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February 17, 2013 4:18:36 AM

Oh, we'll there goes that idea. How much would a good quality (preferably braided cabling) minimum 400watts cost? Also if you have any suggestions, that would be great!
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February 17, 2013 12:12:15 PM

The number of amps available on the +12V rail is more important than total wattage, but I'm not sure how many amps you need, because your initial message implies you have a discrete gpu, but you didn't specify it.
However, here's a 400W power supply that's in Tier 2:
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/antec-power-supply-hcg400
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a b à CPUs
February 18, 2013 1:00:55 AM

Quick note: go for known to be trusted manufacturers like corsair and antec...
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a c 135 à CPUs
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February 18, 2013 1:08:58 AM

that really doesnt sound good. make shur to have a fire extinguisher near by if needed.

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February 19, 2013 4:33:18 AM

Wow, guess all of you were right. The 4 pin CPU header plug (from the power supply) just melted... I think it's time for a new power supply.... I don't think i'll be buying another Coolmax PSU. I guess i've learned my lesson from cheaping out on the power supply.
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February 19, 2013 8:12:48 AM

well atleast you learned your lesson without any sacrifice...I lost a HDD and tons of work to a stupid PSU which ironically would not kill itself but surely any HDD connected to it (yes, I was stupid enough to reconnect the HDD that came from an RMA to it and it got killed too).

Never ever cheap out on a psu.
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February 19, 2013 2:00:47 PM

In nearly every thread someone gives the "don't go cheap on the power supply" advice, it will burn down your neighborhood.

Maybe I've just been really lucky because in 25+ years of working and gaming on the PC I've never had one power supply go bad even the cheapest of the cheap, and certainly never seen one catch on fire.

I'm curious to know the ratio of A+ brands to chepo brand failure, I'd guess it's fairly similar. I'm not saying there aren't entirely bad product lines, or defective individual units, just saying why pay a name premium?
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February 19, 2013 10:00:47 PM

number one rule of computing. dont use cheap parts. and if u do assume the burning smell and 911 calls.

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February 19, 2013 10:31:54 PM

iceclock said:
number one rule of computing. dont use cheap parts. and if u do assume the burning smell and 911 calls.

Well, don't buy cheap brands (like Coolmax). You can be as cheap as you like, as long as you go with known trusted brands. I have a AMD Athlon II X3 450, it's not the greatest. But it is only $65. If you do go the cheap route, always remember you get what you pay for.
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February 19, 2013 10:35:50 PM

bjaminnyc said:
In nearly every thread someone gives the "don't go cheap on the power supply" advice, it will burn down your neighborhood.

Maybe I've just been really lucky because in 25+ years of working and gaming on the PC I've never had one power supply go bad even the cheapest of the cheap, and certainly never seen one catch on fire.

I'm curious to know the ratio of A+ brands to chepo brand failure, I'd guess it's fairly similar. I'm not saying there aren't entirely bad product lines, or defective individual units, just saying why pay a name premium?

There will be some good ones and some bad ones. The cheap PSU probably don't have as good of quality control as big brands such as Corsair or Rosewill. You might get lucky and get a cheap PSU and not have it start smoking (unlike me). Most of the cheaper PSU companies don't have any type of warranty, so if that power supply takes out your motherboard and/or your CPU. Don't expect them to replace it.
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February 19, 2013 10:41:42 PM

MauveCloud said:
The number of amps available on the +12V rail is more important than total wattage, but I'm not sure how many amps you need, because your initial message implies you have a discrete gpu, but you didn't specify it.
However, here's a 400W power supply that's in Tier 2:
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/antec-power-supply-hcg400

I might actually go for a Corsair PSU as they seem more trusted and i've used there products before. They seem to last a lot longer than this power supply (I've only had it for 2 months...)

th3_ory said:
Quick note: go for known to be trusted manufacturers like corsair and antec...

Yep, wish I would have known that before all of this went down... Oh well, I guess we live and learn.
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February 19, 2013 10:42:15 PM

Best answer selected by skybucks100.
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February 19, 2013 10:46:58 PM

simple cheappower supplies have bad internal parts. and are prone to frying and shorting ur inner of ur pc. not more complicated than that,

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February 19, 2013 10:58:16 PM

iceclock said:
simple cheappower supplies have bad internal parts. and are prone to frying and shorting ur inner of ur pc. not more complicated than that,

Agreed, but like I said, if they do fry your internals they won't "warranty" anything.
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February 20, 2013 1:12:11 AM

skybucks100 said:
Hi there!
About a month ago I over clocked my CPU to 3.8Ghz and everything was going fine, no BSOD, no random shutdowns, nothing but last night I went to go open up Google Chrome, and my computer started to make a popping sound. I didn't think much of it, but I did turn it off, open up the case and turn on a fan to let it air out over night. When I woke up, I went to go turn on my computer it went fine then about 3 hours after I turned it on I saw a spike in the CPU usage (30% to 91%). Then, I smelt burning plastic and the display shut off. I ripped the power cord out and let it air out again, I tried smelling around my computer trying to find the source. Sadly I couldn't find one... The back of the motherboard (where the CPU is) felt just warm, heat sink was warm, GPU was warm, ram was warmish. Nothing seemed out of the odd. I pulled off the heat sink for the CPU, no black spots or anything odd. I pulled out the GPU, nothing. The ram was fine same with the motherboard. I thought that maybe the overclock was making it over heat, so I took out the little battery on the motherboard, waited an hour put it back in and booted up (showed the stock Ghz). This is what happens: when I turn the computer on, it boots normally and goes to the Windows login screen, but as soon as you login and hit enter the display shuts off and you can smell a strong scent of burning plastic. I have the following parts: Biostar A780L3C AMD 760G AM3 MATX Motherboard , AMD Athlon II X3 450 3.2ghz AM3 CPU , 2x4gb Kingston1600MHz 9-9-9 DDR3 HyperX ram and a Coolmax I-400 400W PSU. I'm not sure if it's the motherboard or if it's the CPU. Thanks in advance!


Popping is usually a capacitor gone bad, usually in the PSU. This would cause burning either in the PSU itself or the MOSFET/Power Delivery modules around the CPU.

Smell the CPU and PSU, if it's in either I'd change the PSU to a better one, Raidmax is a very bad brand, good ones are Seasonic, Corsair, and PC Power&Cooling.
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February 20, 2013 1:32:43 AM

seasonic or pc powerand cooling

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