POST only with GPU removed, GPU burnt or possibly PSU?

I was recently playing a game when the screen went grey for 10 seconds, with game still functioning in the background and then the entire computer shut down. I smelled a burning smell coming from the case, strong enough to fill the room with my door closed, and pressing the power button does nothing (the first time the PSU fan twitched); it won't even enter POST. There is no visible damage on the exterior of any component. The mobo power and reset buttons are still lit at all times.

After further testing, I've determined that the PSU still works under no load with the paper clip test. Also, the computer will enter POST and all the fans will spin up and appear to be running for an indefinite period of time if I remove the GPU. Is there a way for me to tell whether the problem is that the GPU is burnt out or that something burnt in power supply, so it doesn't have maximum output anymore? If the GPU is burnt, would it stop the PSU from working when it's installed?

Caveats that might matter: I don't have a multimeter to test the PSU or a system warning speaker from my NZXT case, so the only way I'm guessing that post is happening is that the mobo lights up when the GPU is removed and never shuts down. Also, there's no integrated graphics on the mobo, so I can't actually boot up without the GPU.

Relevant Specs (all components are about 3.5 years old):
Nvidia GTX285 GPU
Intel Core i7 920 CPU
Corsair 650W TX PSU
Asus P6T Deluxe V2 Motherboard

Can I go ahead and replace the GPU, or do I need to do further tests somehow? Is there someway to isolate the problem further? Thanks.
8 answers Last reply
More about post removed burnt possibly
  1. It's probably pretty safe to say your video card went poof.

    I would put in a spare video card if you have one. Or you can simply test the voltage / amperage of the PSU using a voltmeter.
  2. A quality power supply should shut down if something overloads or shorts it out.

    Chances are its the video card, but you should smell this burning smell on the video card or even the power supply if it failed and shut down.

    It sucks to not have a meter because it makes testing much more easy.
  3. The GPU could be bad and short the PSU, causing it to not start. The PSU could be bad and have blown out the 12V rail. They could have both destroyed each other. There is no way to tell without swapping parts
  4. Welcome to the club...
    I just had the same thing happen to me with my BFG GTX285....
    It is now just a useless
    Bought a gt610 for 40 bucks and my system is back online but..I'll be buying a new gamming card when I can afford it..
    mine was about the same age as yours...BFG went under so no lifetime warranty...
    I took my psu to get tested and it worked I powered up without the gpu and it spun up fine... Put the card back in and the same as twitched first time and then nothing..
    Hope this helps...JQ
  5. Thanks, guys. Follow-up question: Would installing the GPU in another person's PC to test it have any chance of damaging their system? I can't steal any of their parts to bring to mine but I can take mine over to theirs, and it's something I'd need to be able to carry on the metro (i.e. not my whole tower).
  6. You could damage their psu if it's a cheap one...
    Trust me your symtoms are exactly the same as mine..
    I was watching a movie and fell asleep and when I woke to go to the washroom..I noticed my pc was off.
    So I tapped the mouse on the way out and when I came back it was still out..
    Hit the power button and nothing...
  7. Almost insane that you had the exact same issue.

    I feel lucky to have never had a video card failure that was not just failing video ram or core. Never the smell of burning.
  8. I had heard about the 285s having some sort of power supply problem...but never thought I'ld get stuck with a 400.00 paper
    My new card will most likely be a 660ti if I can get a decent deal...
    Thing is there was no smoke or smell of burning parts and it always ran nice and cool...
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