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I can feel the power supply's heat over the casing


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#1
chickmazta

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I just moved from the "Game" category regarding crysis 2 graphics card support. There's no problem regarding the game. but somethings not right. When I power the pc on and leave it idle for about 30 minutes, I can already feel power supply's heat from the top cover of the case. I didn't have this kind of issue on my own rig, I could play 10 hours straight but feel less heat. Could there be something wrong with the power supply? The computer is stable I guess... because it does not freeze or shuts off, no lags or blinks. and also the voltage is normal. Is the fan dying out?
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#2
Digerati

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You should be able feel out the back of the PSU if the fan is working.

Unplug from the wall, open the side panel, and inspect for dust buildup and ensure cables are routed to minimize restricting front to back air flow.

What other case fans are there?

What are your temps?
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#3
chickmazta

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Thanks Sir Dig! Yes I can feel an airflow at the back of the psu. I already cleaned the psu fan and did some cable management. I've got 3 casing fans. 1 80mm front intake, 1 120mm side intake and 1 80mm backpanel exhaust, There's also processor fan, psu,hard disk and the video card. About the temps not really sure, can I post a speedfan screenshot? and what program would you recommend to read voltages? I'm just using the bios readings.

here's the spec:

Amd Athlon 64 X2 4800+
Msi K9N NEOF v3
4GB DDR2 800 (2x2GB) (installed yesterday)
500Gb SATA HDD
320 IDE HDD
Sapphire Radeon HD 5750 1GB DDR5 (installed yesterday)
Hec Raptor 500 watts

I'll post my SS on my next reply,tnx!
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#4
Digerati

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Voltages in the BIOS are fine but HWMonitor from CPUz is nice too. Temps in the BIOS are not reliable readings as viewing the BIOS Menu is just about the easiest task we can ask of a computer. I use CoreTemp.
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#5
chickmazta

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Sorry for the very late reply I have been out for a while here's the screenshot, I have used what you have suggested Sir Digerati

Posted Image

hope this helps and we also encountered an error that states "VPU Recover has reset your graphics accelerator as it was no longer responding to graphics driver commands"

tnx in advance!

Edited by chickmazta, 04 May 2011 - 05:00 AM.

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#6
Digerati

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Well, the +12V reading only +6.58V immediately causes me concern. That said, I have a hard time imagining the computer would work at all if that is correct. The drive motors, for example, need +12V to spin. So I am guessing the sensor is bad. But, if me, I would still want to verify my PSU was working properly. Here is my canned text on testing PSUs:

To properly and conclusively test a power supply unit (PSU), it must be tested under various realistic "loads" then analyzed for excessive ripple and other anomalies. This is done by a qualified technician using an oscilloscope or power analyzer - sophisticated (and expensive) electronic test equipment requiring special training to operate, and a basic knowledge of electronics theory to understand the results. Therefore, conclusively testing a power supply is done in properly equipped electronic repair facilities.

Fortunately, there are other options that are almost as good. I keep a FrozenCPU Ultimate PSU Tester in my tool bag when I am "in the field" and don't have a good spare power supply to swap in. While not a certain test, they are better than nothing. The advantage of this model is that it has an LCD readout of the voltage. With an actual voltage readout, you have a better chance of detecting a "failing" PSU, or one barely within specified ATX Form Factor Standard tolerances. Lesser models use LEDs to indicate the voltage is just within some "range". These are less informative, considerably cheaper, but still useful for detecting PSUs that have already "failed". Newegg has several testers to choose from. All these testers contain a "dummy load" to fool the PSU into thinking it is connected to a motherboard, and therefore allows the PSU to power on, if able, without being attached to a motherboard - great for testing fans, but again, it is not a true load or suitable for conclusive testing.

Note the required voltage tolerance ranges:

Posted Image
NOTE: Disregard the -5VDC reading. It is no longer used.


Swapping in a known good supply is a tried and true method of troubleshooting used for years, even by pros. If you have access to a suitably sized, spare power supply, carefully remove the suspect supply and replace it with the known good one, and see if the problem goes away.

I do not recommend using a multimeter to test power supplies. To do it properly, that is, under a realistic load, the voltages on all the pins must be measured while the PSU is attached to the motherboard and the computer powered on. This requires poking (with some considerable force) two hard and sharp, highly conductive meter probes into the main power connector, deep in the heart of the computer. One tiny slip can destroy the motherboard, and everything plugged into it. It is not worth the risk considering most multimeters, like plug-in testers, do not measure, or reveal any unwanted and potentially disruptive AC components to the DC voltages.

Note the ATX Form Factor standard does not "require" specific color coding for power supply connector wiring. It has recommendations but manufacturers often do not follow them. Sadly, many testing guides or tutorials will refer to wire color only and that can lead to improper testing.

The voltages can be checked in the BIOS Setup Menus of most motherboards but they do not reveal ripple or other anomalies either. And of course, booting into the BIOS Setup Menu requires a working PSU.

As always, before working in the interior of the computer case, take necessary ESD precautions to ensure static buildup in your body does not discharge through and destroy any sensitive devices. Unplug from the wall and touch bare metal of the case before reaching in. And remember, anything that plugs into the wall can kill. Do not open the power supply's case unless you are a qualified electronics technician. There are NO user-serviceable parts inside a power supply. If you do not have a tester or a suitable spare to swap in, take the PSU to a qualified technician for testing.


Oh, and note I was enlisted. So it's "Digerati, Sir" and not "Sir Digerati"! :) :unsure:
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#7
chickmazta

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Thats a very nice tool. I surely want to have one. I've already used different tools and methods to test the power supply, its the same result +12v is still a bit lower. I think we need to purchase a new one. The power supply is reaching its third year on september. I guess we really need some replacement. Can you suggest any PSU's aside from Corsair? We all know that Corsair is a good brand in terms of everything, but its very expensive here in our country. I need some alternative for the moment.

HEC is the only brand I've been using since 2007. I've purchased it over 50+ times for my friends and family members, I didn't have any problems with it. but I've heard some negative feedbacks about it though. Here are some brands that I know, but haven't tried yet. Its available here in our country.

FSP, ACBel, Thermaltake, Coolermaster, Huntkey, Gigabyte, Antec etc... And how many watts do you suggest? Thank you very much for replying to me.

Edited by chickmazta, 05 May 2011 - 10:23 PM.

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#8
Digerati

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I do like Corsairs, but another RAM maker, Mushkin, makes good PSUs too. And I have always liked Antec, although for a while there, some of their supplies had trouble - but their warranty services made up for it. Below is my canned text on sizing and selecting a new PSU.

Use the eXtreme PSU Calculator Lite to determine the minimum and recommended power supply unit (PSU) requirements. Plan ahead and plug in all the hardware you think you might have in 2 or 3 years (extra drives, bigger or 2nd video card, more RAM, etc.). Be sure to read and heed the notes at the bottom of the calculator page. I recommend setting Capacitor Aging to 30% (see my note below), and if you participate in distributive computing projects (e.g. BOINC or Folding@Home) or extreme 3D animated gaming, I recommend setting both TDP and system load to 100%. These steps ensure the supply has adequate head room for stress free (and perhaps quieter) operation, as well as future hardware demands. Research your video card and pay particular attention to the power supply requirements for your card listed on your video card maker's website. If not listed, check a comparable card (same graphics engine and RAM) from a different maker. The key specifications, in order of importance are:

  • Current (amperage or amps) on the +12V rail,
  • Efficiency,
  • Total wattage.
Don’t try to save a few dollars by getting a cheap supply! Digital electronics, including CPUs, RAM, and today's advanced graphics cards, need clean, stable power. A good, well chosen supply will provide years of service and upgrade wiggle room. Look for power supply brands listed under the "Good" column of PC Mech's PSU Reference List. Another excellent read is Tom’s Hardware, Who’s Who In Power supplies: Brands, Labels, And OEMs. Note that some case retailers “toss in” a generic or inadequate PSU just to make the case sale. Be prepared to “toss out” that supply for a good one with sufficient power.

Most PSUs have an efficiency rating of around 70%. This means for every 100 watts of power a PSU draws from the wall, only 70 watts is delivered to the motherboard, with the rest wasted in the form of heat. The best supplies are 85 to 90% efficient, and as expected, cost more. I strongly recommend you pick a quality supply with an efficiency rating equal to or greater than 80%. Look for 80 PLUS and EnergyStar Compliant labels. 80 PLUS PSUs are required to have fairly linear efficiencies. This is important to ensure the PSU is running at or near peak efficiency regardless the load or power demands. Non-linear PSUs typically are most efficient when the load is in a narrow range between 70 and 90% of the PSU’s capacity and the efficiency may drop dramatically above and below those amounts.

Too big of a PSU hurts nothing but your budget. Your computer will draw from the PSU only what it needs, not what the PSU is capable of delivering. If a computer needs 300 watts it will draw 300 watts regardless if the PSU is a 400W, 650W, or 1000W PSU. In turn, the PSU, regardless its size will draw from the wall only what it needs to support the computer. In this example, it will draw 300 watts, plus another 45 – 90 watts, depending on the PSU’s inefficiency.

As noted, the eXtreme Calculator determines minimum and recommended requirements. If the calculator (with the changes I suggested) recommends a 400 watt minimum, a quality 400W supply will serve you just fine. However, a quality 550W – 600W supply will have, among other things, larger heat sinks to dissipate potentially more heat. It might have a larger fan too. The 400W supply will run most of the time closer to capacity, while the larger supply will be loafing along, rarely breaking a sweat. To help the smaller heat sinks get rid of the wasted 80 watts (20% of 400) of heat, the fan in the 400W supply may need to run full speed, while the fan in the larger supply, with bigger sinks just loafs along too – but in near silence. Also, it is typical for manufacturers to use higher quality parts, design, and manufacturing techniques in their higher power supplies.

Note: Capacitor Aging. All electronics “age” over time. Electrons flowing through components bang around and create friction and heat causing wear and tear, altering the electrical characteristics of the device. Over time, this weakens the device resulting in eventual failure. Power supplies have always suffered profoundly from aging effects resulting in a loss of capacity. In recent years, capacitor technologies have improved. The best PSUs use the best (and most expensive) capacitors which suffer less from aging effects than older capacitor types. If planning on buying a new, high-end PSU, setting capacitor aging to 10% may result in a more realistic recommendation. However, headroom “buffer” will be significantly reduced. You can expect your PSU to last 5 years or longer. Since it is better to buy too big rather than too small, and since it is hard to predict what your power requirements will be in 3 years, using 30% for Capacitor Aging ensures you have enough headroom for virtually any upgrade.

Don't forget to budget for a good UPS with AVR (automatic voltage regulation). Surge and spike protectors are inadequate and little more than fancy, expensive extension cords.


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#9
chickmazta

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My bad.. my friend decided to purchase a HEC COUGAR CMX 700 without me knowing. Is this ok or he made a mistake? Never had any problems with hec though

Edited by chickmazta, 16 May 2011 - 04:03 AM.

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#10
Digerati

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It should be fine. Not my favorite brand, but it does not seem to be a bad brand.
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