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A PSU with wattage lower than the recommended smells


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#1
StefaneS

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Can a PSU with a wattage lower than recommended for my PC be the reason why my computer smells of burned plastic?

1,5 month ago lightning struck near my house and it caused my PSU to burn out. I took my PC to a friend and he changed the PSU but with one that is of lower wattage than mine. I don't know for sure, but i think my old supply was 600W. He replaced it with a 450W PSU and said that it should run fine, but that i need to change it as soon as possible. 2 weeks ago i still hadn't changed the PSU, when my PC started to smell of burnt plastic. I turned it off immediately. 1 week after that i had a need of my computer for a task that i couldn't skip, so i had to turn it on for an hour. During that hour i noticed that my PC doesn't smell anymore. So the next day i let my brother play games on the PC, when i again noticed the smells. 2 days ago, my mum brought another PSU, but with the same wattage: 450W. We changed it and again the PC didn't smell. Just yesterday it started to smell again. Today, i opened it and inspected the capacitors of the motherboard and the video card and i noticed no faulty ones. So before i get it serviced, i am asking if the lower than recommended wattage could be the reason for the smell( according to my nose the smell is coming from the PSU), and should i try with a higher wattage supply and skip the payment for the service. Maybe somehow the supply overheats since the components drawing power are too much for it to handle.

Edited by StefaneS, 17 December 2013 - 05:55 AM.

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#2
Kemasa

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Yes, if you try to draw more power than the power supply is designed to handle there can be a problem. The power usage is not constant, so it might work at times. Playing games can cause the video board to draw more current as it has more work to do.

The smell is most likely coming from the power supply, not the other components, but you could end up with other problems.
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#3
phillpower2

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Hello StefaneS

In addition to what Kemasa has previously advised, not all PSUs can produce anywhere near the output claimed by the manufacturer and so it is vital that you only use a proven brand such as Antec, Corsair, OCZ or Seasonic, also keep in mind that add on video cards can be power hungry so you must ensure not only the minimum power the add on video card requires but also how many amps the card requires on the PSUs +12V rail.

Please provide information about your computer, this includes is it a custom build or brand name such as Dell or HP, if it is a brand name provide the model name or series number (not serial) if a custom build post the brand and model name or number of the add on video card, the CPU, the amount of Ram, the number of HDDs and optical drives and finally the PSU brand and model name or number, providing these details will enable us to better assist you.
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#4
StefaneS

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O.K. Thanks for the answers. Anyway the computers is custom made. Here are the specs:
(since i canno't check them now since my PC is off, here is what i know)

Video Card: NVIDIA GEforce 9800 gt
Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 (i'm not sure of the frequency, somewhere between 2.0 and 2.4GHz i think, not sure)
RAM: 4GB( i don't know the brand)(2x2GB actually)
HHD: 1x1TB Western Digital
1 Optical Drive
PSU: the one that is not suitable and that smells is DELUX model ATX-450W P4
and a a bit down in the right side of a table (on the PSU) it says

230V-50Hz 4a
Please Selsect right voltage

and in the left side of the table

+5V -5V +12V -12V +3.3V +5VSB
30A 0.5A 18A 0.8A 20A 1.5A


I've also calculated needed wattage for my PC on a website and it says recommended 500W. If you provide more assistance (since you asked for specs) i will be grateful, otherwise i will buy a 600W PSU of one of the brands you recommended. Thanks again.
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#5
phillpower2

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Thanks for the update StefaneS :thumbsup:

The brand of PSU is not only questionable it is also underpowered and predominantly on the +12V rail that powers the 9800 GT video card, please see the two attached links which state what the required amps on the +12V rail need to be for the 512MB and the 1GB version of your card, 512MB version and the 1GB version.

We will be happy to help you choose a suitable PSU, to help with this please tell us what type of case you have as in a full tower, mid tower or SFF (small form factor) in which country you will be making the purchase and finally your maximum budget (an example $45 after mail in rebate)
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#6
StefaneS

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Well thank you for all of your help, but i think i'm not gonna make a purchase via internet. I will purchase the PSU from one of the local companies in my country (Macedonia). I will certainly look for one of the brands you suggested. The link you provided for the video card(i forgot to mention 1GB) says minimum 450W or greater system power supply (with a minimum current rating of 24A). Only i don't know if 500W will leave enough power for the other components or should i look for a SPU with even greater wattage. This site tells me that 550W is recommended (after i add 3 fans 2 USB devices and 2 PCIs). I will also keep in mind that the 12V current rating should be 24A whereas mine is with 18A.

Edited by StefaneS, 19 December 2013 - 09:43 AM.

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#7
phillpower2

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You are most welcome StefaneS :)

Fully understand your decision regarding from where you will purchase the new PSU :thumbsup:

Please refer to my canned text below to help you with making your selection, the PSU database is particularily helpful as it also tells you what the amps are on the PSUs +12V rail (if the PSU is listed that is, this because no named brands will not be on the list).

Please note that there is one thing that is possibly worse than using a known poor quality brand of PSU and that is using one that is unheard of, for brands of PSU to trust and brands to avoid please refer to the attached links http://www.10stripe....d/psu/brand.php and http://www.pcmech.co...ad.php?t=208143

PSU database http://www.realhardt...vos/Page541.htm

Before purchasing a new PSU it is advisable that you measure the dimensions of the present PSU and ensure that the new PSU has the correct power connections for the MB, HDDs, optical drives, FDDs or add on cards such as a video card if one is fitted.

Quality brands include Antec, Corsair, OCZ and Seasonic.


Let us know when you have made your choice and most certainly please ask any questions that you may have.
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