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Standard User nredwood
(knowledge is power) Tue 15-Mar-11 15:39:33
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PC hardware advice


[link to this post]
 
I have a rather aging PC with a Gigabyte GA-8GEM667 motherboard

One of the hard drives was showing signs of failure, so bought a replacement and replaced yesterday

I'd also been intending to upgrade the processor from Celeron 2.2Ghz to Pentium 4 2.8Ghz Northwood Socket 478, so took the opportunity as the PC was opened up to do this at the same time. All checked as supported by mobo manufacturer
As the previous heatsink also needed replacing, I fitted a Super Silent 4 Ultra PC heatsink / fan

Upon turning the PC back on, got post error and found the issue was with the power for the heatsink / fan wasn't seated correctly

At that point I noticed that the fan on the PSU (X-Power GTX Lite 580W) wasn't running, but was lit up blue still. The Super Silent appeared to be running OK at this point after properly connecting and no more high frequency constant beeping
Unplugged one of the hard drives thinking may be not enough power - still no fan running on PSU

System also has DVD writer, CD-ROM, 2 IDE hard drives, floppy drive, AGP graphics card (SAPPHIRE ATI RADEON X1300 256MB)

More testing later and the PSU went bang, therefore thinking this is just a simple PSU failure issue, but a little concerned that there may be an issue with the CPU or heatsink.
Never having replaced a CPU or heatsink before, I'm not sure what I should be looking for if there is a problem. Prior to the PSU failure, the PC just wouldn't start up, nothing displayed on screen which to me suggests a power supply issue

I'm in the process of sourcing a replacement PSU - any suggestions welcome. I Liked the GTX Lite, so will likely replace with the same

Thanks

Nicola

Be* Unlimited
Standard User camieabz
(legend) Tue 15-Mar-11 16:18:45
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Re: PC hardware advice


[re: nredwood] [link to this post]
 
If there's a fan on the heatsink it should spin on power up. If not, you can always wait a little and see if the heatsink gets warm (might not get very warm).

Based on what you've said a replacement PSU is in order anyway, so wait to see what happens then. If not sure about the whole thing, just try a barebones boot up (CPU, mem, gfx) to see if you get BIOS/POST screens. It helps eliminate everything else if there's a problem at that stage.

Did you reset the BIOS to a low setting prior to the CPU change? Older setups didn't always have mobo safetys built in, and your 2.8 might have been booting at the 2.2 settings (which doesn't necessarily mean anything bad, but might).

A 2.8GHz Northwood draws about 20% or more than a 2.2 celery. Althought the PSU might have been rated at 580w at one time, age will have degraded its abilities to provide that kind of power, especially if said PSU was not built to provide 'x' power to the rail the CPU uses.


See:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_supply_unit_%28co...

* There is a popular misconception that a greater power capacity (watt output capacity) is always better. Since supplies are self-certified, a manufacturer's claims may be double or more what is actually provided.[6][7] Although a too-large power supply will have an extra margin of safety as far as not over-loading, a larger unit is often less efficient at lower loads (under 20% of its total capability) and therefore will waste more electricity than a more appropriately sized unit. Additionally, computer power supplies generally do not function properly if they are too lightly loaded. (less than about 15% of the total load.) Under no-load conditions they may shut down or malfunction.For this reason the no-load protection was introduced in some power supplies.

* Another popular misconception is that the greater the total watt capacity is, the more suitable the power supply becomes for higher-end graphics cards. The most important factor for judging a PSUs suitability for certain graphics cards is the PSUs total 12V output, as it is that voltage on which modern graphics cards operate. If the total 12V output stated on the PSU is higher than the suggested minimum of the card, then that PSU can fully supply the card. It is however recommended that a PSU should not just cover the graphics cards' demands, as there are other components in the PC that depend on the 12V output, including the CPU , disk drives and optical drives.


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Standard User AEP
(fountain of knowledge) Tue 15-Mar-11 16:32:02
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Re: PC hardware advice


[re: nredwood] [link to this post]
 
From what I can find out (and it's not a lot) that PSU doesn't have a particularly good repuatation, and it does seem to be very cheap. With PSUs you get what you pay for. Personally, as you have to buy a new one, I would pay a little more and get one from a reputable manufacturer - Corsair, Antec, and CoolerMaster are all pretty highly aclaimed.


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Standard User nredwood
(knowledge is power) Tue 15-Mar-11 16:47:45
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Re: PC hardware advice


[re: AEP] [link to this post]
 
Was an emergency replacement just over 3 years ago from a Maplin store and choice was very limited at the time
I was also concerned at buying something which either didn't have enough power connectors or the right ones

Be* Unlimited
Standard User camieabz
(legend) Tue 15-Mar-11 16:50:53
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Re: PC hardware advice


[re: AEP] [link to this post]
 
Also OCZ for me. PSUs are like HDDs and memory. Everyone has had good and bad luck with different brands.

To the OP:


Using:

http://www.antec.outervision.com/PSUEngine

Have specced a PSU assuming:

2.8 Nthwd
2 x sticks DDR RAM *
x1300 gfx
2 x 7200rpm IDE *
1 x CD ROM
1 x DVD RW
1 x FDD
2 x 80mm fans *
2 x PCI cards *

* Had to guess at these a bit.

The spec includes a capacitor ageing of 40% (3 years use). Comes back as 394w. Normally I would recommend at least a 450w on that basis, but you have to balance two things. Will you be adding to the system? If so, plan ahead. How long do you intend to run this system assuming it still works? It's made up of older parts, and you might end up spending cash on a PSU to power a series of breakdowns. Just something to keep in mind.

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Standard User GeeTee
(member) Tue 15-Mar-11 17:05:14
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Re: PC hardware advice


[re: camieabz] [link to this post]
 
+1 Vote for OCZ from me. Really solid pieces of kit.

I like their modular offerings e.g. http://www.ebuyer.com/product/152008 particularly as they can help cut down on unnecessary cables.

Always read the specs carefully in regards to what connectors a PSU comes with particularly if running higher end GFX cards. e.g. my NVidia GTS250 requires 2 6pin PCI-E connectors. So I found a PSU that could provide that from 2 separate power rails.
Standard User camieabz
(legend) Tue 15-Mar-11 17:11:25
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Re: PC hardware advice


[re: GeeTee] [link to this post]
 
I have the Stealth XStream 700w one. Non-modular. So far, so good.

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Standard User nredwood
(knowledge is power) Tue 15-Mar-11 17:16:43
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Re: PC hardware advice


[re: camieabz] [link to this post]
 
Thanks Camieabz

That's an excellent link and not bad guesswork

The only PCI card I have in the system is a 56k PCI modem. The NIC is onboard
I think one of the drives is 5400rpm - the new one is a WD 7200rpm.
2 x 512MB DDR RAM
Other than that, I can have up to 6 USB devices plugged in at a time, although that does vary somewhat

I've been looking to replace with a 600W PSU to future proof a little

Be* Unlimited
Standard User GeeTee
(member) Tue 15-Mar-11 17:19:11
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Re: PC hardware advice


[re: camieabz] [link to this post]
 
Very similar, although that looks to be slightly deeper / chunkier. Not the cheapest PSUs out there, but peace of mind is priceless to me. I've used various OCZs in half a dozen boxes now and no problems to date at all. (Famous last words!).
Standard User nredwood
(knowledge is power) Tue 15-Mar-11 17:32:15
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Re: PC hardware advice


[re: GeeTee] [link to this post]
 
I was considering modular - it's a really packed system, so getting rid of the unneeded cables has it's pro's

In my case, it's more a case of support for the AGP gfx. I've since discovered a multitude of adaptors, so not so much of an issue

Be* Unlimited
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