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Question PC seems to be letting off toxic smell.

wicked1001

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Hey all,

Recently for the last 3 weeks, my PC has been giving off fumes that aren't pleasant to breathe in. I took advise from people on here and upgraded and replaced my PSU. Was fine for a week before it started happening again. Where else could this smell be coming from? From an eye inspection everything looks fine, so it's quite alarming. I'm hoping it's just because I am using the PC more due to the virus going on.

i7 7700
GTX 1080 ftw evga
16gb 2133mhz ram
msi h11om pro-vd motherboard

Any advise would be appreciated!

Thanks
 

Phillip Corcoran

Titan
Moderator
It's not a brand we would ever recommend so it could very well be the source of the smell if heavily used long periods especially gaming.

If you took advice from these forums when you replaced previous one, I'm surprised you chose that.
 

wicked1001

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It's not a brand we would ever recommend so it could very well be the source of the smell if heavily used long periods especially gaming.

If you took advice from these forums when you replaced previous one, I'm surprised you chose that.
Fair enough, but the problem was before I upgraded to this power supply, and currently no smells have come from the PSU.
 

wicked1001

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So if you're confident it's not the PSU I suggest you give your PC innards a thorough inspection (including mobo) for any signs of scorching, bulging capacitors etc.
Okay, so took apart the GPU (slightly warm, but nothing alarming or smelling) and I took off the CPU cooler, everything looked really good. Couldn't find anything that had a smell after everything was turned off in parts aswell.. Is this normal?
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
I think what is being proposed is that 'we need more information from you' in order to determine what is going on.

As mentioned, the power supply you installed is not likely anything that knowledgeable members from this forum would likely recommend....ever. Do you have a link to that thread? I'd be curious as to who recommended it...unless the end-result was 'just get a good PSU of x-number of supported wattage'....and this is what you purchased.

What do the fumes smell like? Do they occur at both idle and load or are they only present under loads?
Does it smell like burning plastic?
Does it smell like burning wiring or solder?
If not familiar with these smells....what can it be described like?
Are there any strange noises?
What other details can be provided?
 

wicked1001

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I think what is being proposed is that 'we need more information from you' in order to determine what is going on.

As mentioned, the power supply you installed is not likely anything that knowledgeable members from this forum would likely recommend....ever. Do you have a link to that thread? I'd be curious as to who recommended it...unless the end-result was 'just get a good PSU of x-number of supported wattage'....and this is what you purchased.

What do the fumes smell like? Do they occur at both idle and load or are they only present under loads?
Does it smell like burning plastic?
Does it smell like burning wiring or solder?
If not familiar with these smells....what can it be described like?
Are there any strange noises?
What other details can be provided?
Was proposed by a person on here yes. I don't know whats good for PSUs so I trusted.
The smell can be a faint burning plastic/wiring, but nothing is overheating.
If I'm honest I've been tempted to upgrade parts for months, so may do this.
CPU, RAM and motherboard. I'll add in a recommended PSU too if you have any ideas?
Sorry If I sound stupid!
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
Can you link the thread where it was recommended? I would also like to recommend that if someone does offer advice to also double-check this with your own investigation to determine if what was mentioned is valid or a load of crap.

Trust me - I've seen so many people 'recommend' watercooling setups to people who then blindly went and bought what was suggested...and immediately turned around and had all sorts of issues.

Come to find out, what was recommended was from someone who had no experience in what they were saying at all, causing 1) extreme confusion, 2) misplaced trust and 3) making for a poor new-user experience.

I've watercooled for 18 years and I still recommend that people take the information given and learn what they need for themselves. It's one thing to trust what some moron working at Best Buy says to buy (you can always take it back) but on forums, there isn't accountability or a warranty to cover you. Much like online reviews are often misleading, don't blindly take purchase advice without fact-checking. Don't let someone else dictate how you spend YOUR MONEY.
 
Smells can be hard to pin down without being on site and experiencing it.

It's not uncommon for a slight smell to come off new components the first few times they get hot. I would assume this unit is past that. The new PSU could be the source of that. Beyond that, dust burning off in a computer that isn't cleaned regularly will smell badly. You might check to make sure your wall socket and cords aren't overloaded- we have no idea what else is plugged in.

I would also mention vaping and things like incense. They will produce strange smells after building up in components as well.
 

wicked1001

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Was proposed by a person on here yes. I don't know whats good for PSUs so I trusted.
The smell can be a faint burning plastic/wiring, but nothing is overheating.
If I'm honest I've been tempted to upgrade parts for months, so may do this.
CPU, RAM and motherboard. I'll add in a recommended PSU too if you have any ideas?
Sorry If I sound stupid!
https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/chemical-smell-coming-from-power-supply.3594050/#post-21701545

So it's both our faults. His for linking with that PSU and mine for not looking further.
But like I said, no smells from PSU.
Nothing is overheating, and its really bugging me now >.<
 

wicked1001

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Smells can be hard to pin down without being on site and experiencing it.

It's not uncommon for a slight smell to come off new components the first few times they get hot. I would assume this unit is past that. The new PSU could be the source of that. Beyond that, dust burning off in a computer that isn't cleaned regularly will smell badly. You might check to make sure your wall socket and cords aren't overloaded- we have no idea what else is plugged in.

I would also mention vaping and things like incense. They will produce strange smells after building up in components as well.
Wires are all fine, directly plugged into the wall.
I cleaned it alot recently, no dust should be giving off this smell anymore.
I did think it was my GPU for a moment as fans stopped spinning, but they do that when idle.. I'm kinda out of ideas! My CPU and board looked good and cool when taken apart, GPU was warm but not hot. Could it be storage issues?
Worth noting I use a mini motherboard in a mid tower from Thermaltake, 3 corsair fans and a be quiet CPU cooler with single exhuast/fan combo.
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
So, actually FSP not FCP.

FSP is an OEM like Super Flower and Seassonic - they build units that get re-branded and sold as other models with other manufacturer names. These can sometimes be fantastic, sometimes they can be junk, most of it depends on which model is specifically used in any instance...so here is where some follow up can help if you are not 100%.

So, in knowing we're talking FSP here and not 'FCP', there is a good chance that your power supply might not actually be to blame, but it also doesn't mean it isn't, either.

So, with the given timeline:

  1. The scent was not noticed before the power supply was changed?
  2. The scent was noticed after the power supply was changed, then again for a while it was gone, then back again?
  3. Is there any possibility that there is something else causing this: anything in your home, a neighbor, nearby factory/plant/place of manufacture? This is assuming this smell has never been an issue before.
  4. Are there any other indicators - time of day, duration each day, does the smell increase or decrease in strength?
  5. Is the smell ever witnessed if the PC is turned off?
 

wicked1001

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So, actually FSP not FCP.

FSP is an OEM like Super Flower and Seassonic - they build units that get re-branded and sold as other models with other manufacturer names. These can sometimes be fantastic, sometimes they can be junk, most of it depends on which model is specifically used in any instance...so here is where some follow up can help if you are not 100%.

So, in knowing we're talking FSP here and not 'FCP', there is a good chance that your power supply might not actually be to blame, but it also doesn't mean it isn't, either.

So, with the given timeline:

  1. The scent was not noticed before the power supply was changed?
  2. The scent was noticed after the power supply was changed, then again for a while it was gone, then back again?
  3. Is there any possibility that there is something else causing this: anything in your home, a neighbor, nearby factory/plant/place of manufacture? This is assuming this smell has never been an issue before.
  4. Are there any other indicators - time of day, duration each day, does the smell increase or decrease in strength?
  5. Is the smell ever witnessed if the PC is turned off?
Ah some hope, nice.

  1. I changed because of the previous corsair I had, which I could smell heavily.
  2. I swapped out the PSU and I thought was okay, but the smell stayed.
  3. The smell is only from my PC area (girlfriend can't smell it a few metres away)
  4. The smell is consistent when using (I tend to use quite hard with whats happening).
No major games being played right now (Old school runescape and maybe league of legends)
5. PC is fine when off, and it was hard to figure out the smell when I turned off and took parts out.
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
Is there a difference when the PC is under load and being used vs. when it is powered on, but idle?

This might sound very strange, but if you have a tube, like from a roll of paper towel or something, you can orient one end directly at specific components while smelling through the other end in attempt to focus the scent specifically where you want. Ideally, you would also want to make sure to have minimal air gap on the end your nose is sniffing from :).

First places I would check would be exhaust of the PSU vent, around the base of your CPU cooler, around the small, components on your motherboard like capacitors and other power delivery components (like the heatsink on your motherboard above your CPU cooler).
 

wicked1001

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Jun 6, 2012
45
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18,535
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Is there a difference when the PC is under load and being used vs. when it is powered on, but idle?

This might sound very strange, but if you have a tube, like from a roll of paper towel or something, you can orient one end directly at specific components while smelling through the other end in attempt to focus the scent specifically where you want. Ideally, you would also want to make sure to have minimal air gap on the end your nose is sniffing from :).

First places I would check would be exhaust of the PSU vent, around the base of your CPU cooler, around the small, components on your motherboard like capacitors and other power delivery components (like the heatsink on your motherboard above your CPU cooler).
I'd say its more noticeable when gaming yeah.

I did this earlier as I saw a post on it, the places I got more smell than others was the exhaust of the PSU and the gap at the back of the case between the PSU and graphics card. Presumably where the air is being pushed. Sorry if this is hard to understand! I do appreciate the help very much.
 

wicked1001

Distinguished
Jun 6, 2012
45
1
18,535
0
Is there a difference when the PC is under load and being used vs. when it is powered on, but idle?

This might sound very strange, but if you have a tube, like from a roll of paper towel or something, you can orient one end directly at specific components while smelling through the other end in attempt to focus the scent specifically where you want. Ideally, you would also want to make sure to have minimal air gap on the end your nose is sniffing from :).

First places I would check would be exhaust of the PSU vent, around the base of your CPU cooler, around the small, components on your motherboard like capacitors and other power delivery components (like the heatsink on your motherboard above your CPU cooler).
Looking further, the GPU seems to give off heavier smell under load. Or is this normal? (This is about a year old). I took it out of the case and ran the PC. I couldn't detect any smell after that. Even when smelling the GPU after taking it out, its barely got a smell to it, just warm to touch.
 
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