[SOLVED] PSU blew up after installing 2nd stick of ram

Dec 22, 2020
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So I went ahead and got a second stick of RAM today (I had 1x8, upgrading to 2x8). Admittedly, I did not unplug the power cable, only merely flipped the switch off. I quickly slotted the stick in, flipped the on switch, and upon pressing the power button, POOF! A loud bang and flash as the house's power surges and I have to reactivate the fuse.

No smoke, but the PSU reeks of burnt plastic. Opening it up, I believe I saw a few capacitors defected, as well it's fuse.
I checked for burnt capacitors on the motherboard, I don't see any.

The PSU was an old Coolermaster GX 500W, possibly 5+ years old.

My question is -
I believe that the RAM has no correlation with the death of the PSU.
Is it probable that it's just because of its old age? Or because I did not unplug the cable while installing RAM? Or could it be the power current (I had a lot of stuff plugged into that extender, as well as a heater that has caused power surges before)?

From what I've read on other threads, PSU's have protection and in these scenarios a new PSU fixes the job. I'm going to go buy one first thing in the morning.

However, I am very concerned about the possibility that it wasn't the PSU's age, but some other factor that blew it up. I'd hate spending money and having them instantly blown up. Do you suppose something else has caused this and could it instantly do it again?
 
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Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Are you sure that is a Cooler master PSU, because I'm not familiar with any CM GX500, only Antec. CM has a GX bronze 500w review, but there are FEW related links to this unit other than the CM website, and no reviews that I can see.

Is the model of your unit MPX-5001-ACAAB ?

Either way, and in any case, Cooler master has historically had FEW really decent units, and even fewer that were actually "good", and while there are some, this one was probably, not certainly, due to the lack of information, but probably, not one of them.

I don't even see any discussions of this unit on the jonnyguru forums, and usually there is at least something, somewhere, even for some of the really crappy models, but I'm seeing a really distinct lack of anything on this which tells me that it is probably a very bottom of the barrel unit and that you are likely incredibly lucky it lasted this long without blowing up previously.

Also, it's 100% possible that the addition of memory was the trigger point, if this unit was barely riding the razor edge between what it could actually support and getting into "well, I give up" territory.

Obviously it is always possible that the fault was yours (Or ANY persons) since you made changes to the hardware but the addition of RAM is something that is normally not problematic, even when done wrong, at least not in a way that would affect the power supply and on any decent unit there would normally be protections in place to prevent exactly this sort of reaction so it's likely that the PSU itself was simply faulty but you're really in a spot where it's going to be impossible to know that without replacing it unless there are visible and obvious indications of a problem elsewhere such as bulging or blown capacitors on the motherboard, burnt traces on the motherboard, something melted on the motherboard, or some other indications of an electrical issue elsewhere on other hardware or on the motherboard.

If you installed the RAM backwards, for example, or tried installing the RAM while the system was powered on, then it could obviously be your fault, but aside from that the reality is that you probably simply had a cheap PSU that gave up the ghost due to age or the additional load imposed by the installation of new hardware. I'd just replace it and go from there.

This time though, it might be wise to try and source a higher quality unit even though right now power supplies are almost historically at an all time high price, now and over the course of the last five months or so. It is what it is. Other hardware is expensive right now as well. I'd recommend that you bite the bullet and not cheap out unless this is a system you aren't particularly fond of. If nothing else got damaged, you might consider yourself extremely lucky this time. Next time, you might not be so lucky.

 
Reactions: Evomatter

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Are you sure that is a Cooler master PSU, because I'm not familiar with any CM GX500, only Antec. CM has a GX bronze 500w review, but there are FEW related links to this unit other than the CM website, and no reviews that I can see.

Is the model of your unit MPX-5001-ACAAB ?

Either way, and in any case, Cooler master has historically had FEW really decent units, and even fewer that were actually "good", and while there are some, this one was probably, not certainly, due to the lack of information, but probably, not one of them.

I don't even see any discussions of this unit on the jonnyguru forums, and usually there is at least something, somewhere, even for some of the really crappy models, but I'm seeing a really distinct lack of anything on this which tells me that it is probably a very bottom of the barrel unit and that you are likely incredibly lucky it lasted this long without blowing up previously.

Also, it's 100% possible that the addition of memory was the trigger point, if this unit was barely riding the razor edge between what it could actually support and getting into "well, I give up" territory.

Obviously it is always possible that the fault was yours (Or ANY persons) since you made changes to the hardware but the addition of RAM is something that is normally not problematic, even when done wrong, at least not in a way that would affect the power supply and on any decent unit there would normally be protections in place to prevent exactly this sort of reaction so it's likely that the PSU itself was simply faulty but you're really in a spot where it's going to be impossible to know that without replacing it unless there are visible and obvious indications of a problem elsewhere such as bulging or blown capacitors on the motherboard, burnt traces on the motherboard, something melted on the motherboard, or some other indications of an electrical issue elsewhere on other hardware or on the motherboard.

If you installed the RAM backwards, for example, or tried installing the RAM while the system was powered on, then it could obviously be your fault, but aside from that the reality is that you probably simply had a cheap PSU that gave up the ghost due to age or the additional load imposed by the installation of new hardware. I'd just replace it and go from there.

This time though, it might be wise to try and source a higher quality unit even though right now power supplies are almost historically at an all time high price, now and over the course of the last five months or so. It is what it is. Other hardware is expensive right now as well. I'd recommend that you bite the bullet and not cheap out unless this is a system you aren't particularly fond of. If nothing else got damaged, you might consider yourself extremely lucky this time. Next time, you might not be so lucky.

 
Reactions: Evomatter
Dec 22, 2020
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10
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Are you sure that is a Cooler master PSU, because I'm not familiar with any CM GX500, only Antec. CM has a GX bronze 500w review, but there are FEW related links to this unit other than the CM website, and no reviews that I can see.

Is the model of your unit MPX-5001-ACAAB ?

Either way, and in any case, Cooler master has historically had FEW really decent units, and even fewer that were actually "good", and while there are some, this one was probably, not certainly, due to the lack of information, but probably, not one of them.

I don't even see any discussions of this unit on the jonnyguru forums, and usually there is at least something, somewhere, even for some of the really crappy models, but I'm seeing a really distinct lack of anything on this which tells me that it is probably a very bottom of the barrel unit and that you are likely incredibly lucky it lasted this long without blowing up previously.

Also, it's 100% possible that the addition of memory was the trigger point, if this unit was barely riding the razor edge between what it could actually support and getting into "well, I give up" territory.

Obviously it is always possible that the fault was yours (Or ANY persons) since you made changes to the hardware but the addition of RAM is something that is normally not problematic, even when done wrong, at least not in a way that would affect the power supply and on any decent unit there would normally be protections in place to prevent exactly this sort of reaction so it's likely that the PSU itself was simply faulty but you're really in a spot where it's going to be impossible to know that without replacing it unless there are visible and obvious indications of a problem elsewhere such as bulging or blown capacitors on the motherboard, burnt traces on the motherboard, something melted on the motherboard, or some other indications of an electrical issue elsewhere on other hardware or on the motherboard.

If you installed the RAM backwards, for example, or tried installing the RAM while the system was powered on, then it could obviously be your fault, but aside from that the reality is that you probably simply had a cheap PSU that gave up the ghost due to age or the additional load imposed by the installation of new hardware. I'd just replace it and go from there.

This time though, it might be wise to try and source a higher quality unit even though right now power supplies are almost historically at an all time high price, now and over the course of the last five months or so. It is what it is. Other hardware is expensive right now as well. I'd recommend that you bite the bullet and not cheap out unless this is a system you aren't particularly fond of. If nothing else got damaged, you might consider yourself extremely lucky this time. Next time, you might not be so lucky.

Thank you for the reply.

The model is actually Coolermaster GX LITE 500w, I believe.

I will go ahead and purchase a new PSU tomorrow, I have an emergency fund so the price will be fine. Fingers crossed it's just the PSU!

EDIT: I quintuple checked and there are no visible defects on the RAM/motherboard/graphics card or other components.

In addition, here's the dead PSU'S Label: View: https://imgur.com/4vITGHn
 
Last edited:

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
In the future, don't EVER buy ANY power supply with "Lite" in the name. "Lite" pretty much ALWAYS denotes a SUPER cheap unit when it comes to PC hardware.

Light on component quality. Light on build quality. Light on features and warranty. Light on everything that substantially makes a unit acceptable. Therefore, "lite". It pretty much holds true across the board, without exception. So if you see "lite" in the name of a PC component, it's probably best to avoid it entirely unless there are reputable professional reviews that indicate the component is decent or ok.

I'd replace the unit with a quality model and go from there. You're "probably" ok. It probably simply decided now was a good time to die.
 
Reactions: John Chesterfield
Or could it be the power current (I had a lot of stuff plugged into that extender, as well as a heater that has caused power surges before)?
By "plugged into that extender" are you saying you have a heater plugged into a power strip with your computer? Or even just on the same breaker? Because that doesn't sound like a good idea, seeing as some heaters by themselves can draw near the maximum amount of power that a typical outlet is rated to provide.

So I went ahead and got a second stick of RAM today (I had 18, upgrading to 28).
Not that it's likely relevant to the problem, but how does that work out? RAM doesn't tend to come in either 18 or 10GB sticks. <_< Maybe you are counting your graphics card's VRAM in there or something?
 
Dec 22, 2020
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By "plugged into that extender" are you saying you have a heater plugged into a power strip with your computer? Or even just on the same breaker? Because that doesn't sound like a good idea, seeing as some heaters by themselves can draw near the maximum amount of power that a typical outlet is rated to provide.
Yeah, I'm not going to be doing that anymore.

Not that it's likely relevant to the problem, but how does that work out? RAM doesn't tend to come in either 18 or 10GB sticks. <_< Maybe you are counting your graphics card's VRAM in there or something?
It was meant to be 1x8 and 2x8 respectively, but the star (*) just makes things italic.

Good deal man. Glad it worked out that way for you. Have a great Christmas.
Thank you! Have a great Christmas as well!
 

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