Question Repeated PSU failures

Oct 22, 2021
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Good morning all. I’m hoping some of you may be able to give me some insight on an issue I’m having. I built a budget gaming rig approx 3years ago now for my son. It’s an i7-3770 with 16gb ddr3 and a GTX 680oc. Also have 2 120GB SSD’s in raid and a 1TB 3.5” HDD. Approx 18 months ago the PSU failed and I purchased a lower priced,(lower quality), 750w PSU. Around 2 weeks ago it gave up on me, (intermittently it just wouldn’t turn on, eventually it wouldn’t turn in at all and it failed the paper clip test). So I found locally somebody selling a corsair CX600, bought it, fitted it and everything was working great. Until yesterday. Son goes to turn on his pc, nothing. Tried shorting them power supply pins on the motherboard, tried disconnecting everything but the cpu & ram. Still dead. Tried the paper clip test again with the HDD plugged in and it still won’t power on. Obviously I’ve also ruled out the lead and the plug socket. It appears that this PSU has also now died, but my question really is a) could a component such as the gpu be the cause of repeated failures? And b) best way to diagnose what could be happening here. Might be worth noting that according to corsairs online PSU calculator the system requires 400w, so I went with higher rated supplies for the headroom. Thanks in advance guys.
 

DSzymborski

Titan
Moderator
Yeah, the problem here is more likely a result of using junk PSUs. If a decade-old, low-quality, used Corsair CX 600W -- the recent versions do not have a 600W -- is the best of these PSUs, I shudder to think just how bad the worst of them is.

Not sure why a gaming rig has SSDs in RAID is an...interesting...choice, but not part of this problem.

OP, one of the issues here is the confusion of wattage spec with quality. Low-quality PSUs with high listed wattages frequently can't do anywhere near their wattage in +12V power or safely. Just the other day, I encountered a "700W" PSU which was basically just a fake 264W PSU. The paper clip test's only use is confirming if a PSU is completely dead.

It's better to buy a good PSU once rather than a junk PSU repeatedly.
 
Oct 22, 2021
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Poor quality psu and then came a second hand unit. Not coincidence but maybe poor judgement. Don't know how old the CX is or if it's green label, either scenario wouldn't have a reliable outcome. Quality over wattage.

https://www.newegg.com/super-flower-leadex-iii-sf-550f14hg-550w/p/1HU-024C-00008
Im hoping this is the issue, I mean I’ve little option other than to get a new PSU and hope there’s not an underlying problem . I guess you’d suggest a PSU from a reputable brand? Get something 80plus certified, and would you think that around the 600w rating should suffice? I mean if money was no issue I’d happily splash out on a fully modular 1000w PSU with all the bells and whistles 🤣 I really need to get something reliable that won’t break the bank.
 

DSzymborski

Titan
Moderator
Don't need 1000W. Again, don't confuse wattage with quality! A good 550W would be just fine with your specs unless you have visions of getting a high-end RTX GPU.

While you have a budget system -- and Ivy Bridge has aged well! -- the GPU can get north of 175W and a factory overclocked one will likely near or break 200W. So a decent PSU is in order.

We house a curated PSU list here which, while not perfect, is a good starting point. I wouldn't go below Tier B with your components. You can see what's in your budget at your location.

 
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boju

Titan
Ambassador
Super Flower, the psu i listed is top Tier and mentioned it because it's on special currently for 550w model. Super Flower have frequent specials at Newegg ranging between 550w to 750w, this week is 550w's turn and it's actually a better special deal than I've seen it advertise previously.

Quality 550w is enough but can always reference other psus from list DSzymborski shared.
 

DSzymborski

Titan
Moderator
Oh, I like Super Flower! I have a Super Flower in my main rig and my EVGA G3 has retired to one of the servers (and the old Rosewill Capstone I have in another server is basically a Super Flower Golden Green). I just wanted to give the OP a wide variety of choices.
 

boju

Titan
Ambassador
Oh, I like Super Flower! I have a Super Flower in my main rig and my EVGA G3 has retired to one of the servers (and the old Rosewill Capstone I have in another server is basically a Super Flower Golden Green). I just wanted to give the OP a wide variety of choices.
Ohhh i know, my post wasn't directed at you my apologies. Should have quoted op in my reply.
 
Oct 22, 2021
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Yeah, the problem here is more likely a result of using junk PSUs. If a decade-old, low-quality, used Corsair CX 600W -- the recent versions do not have a 600W -- is the best of these PSUs, I shudder to think just how bad the worst of them is.

Not sure why a gaming rig has SSDs in RAID is an...interesting...choice, but not part of this problem.

OP, one of the issues here is the confusion of wattage spec with quality. Low-quality PSUs with high listed wattages frequently can't do anywhere near their wattage in +12V power or safely. Just the other day, I encountered a "700W" PSU which was basically just a fake 264W PSU. The paper clip test's only use is confirming if a PSU is completely dead.

It's better to buy a good PSU once rather than a junk PSU repeatedly.
Thanks for the info, I’ve got to admit I was always dubious about the first PSU, and the second hand Corsair is obviously has an unknown history. Have you any recommendations on brands? I’ve found a Corsair TX550m that’s rated as 80+gold, or there’s an EVGA B5 but that’s 80+bronze, both that would fit my budget for him. Both are 550w so ‘should’ be enough for his rig.
(SSD’s aren’t actually raid but just a combined drive to be fair. You’d be amazed how much disk space Roblox eats up with its cache, let alone Fortnite and it’s updates 😅).
 

DSzymborski

Titan
Moderator
Thanks for the info, I’ve got to admit I was always dubious about the first PSU, and the second hand Corsair is obviously has an unknown history. Have you any recommendations on brands? I’ve found a Corsair TX550m that’s rated as 80+gold, or there’s an EVGA B5 but that’s 80+bronze, both that would fit my budget for him. Both are 550w so ‘should’ be enough for his rig.
(SSD’s aren’t actually raid but just a combined drive to be fair. You’d be amazed how much disk space Roblox eats up with its cache, let alone Fortnite and it’s updates 😅).
The TX550M is just fine for your build. The B5 is as well; I'm not super-crazy about that platform, but again, it's acceptable for this build, but the Corsair is better. These aren't also used, are they? This is safety equipment, after all, so a PSU with an unknown history ought to be downgraded by at least tier because of the added risk.

Glad to hear it's not a RAID and just a spanned drive. We get a lot of people who have RAID problems here. While that's fine -- a lot of the purpose of this forum is to help fix problems -- it can be frustrating because RAID is likely to cause more problems than it solves for something like 99% of consumer use cases. So kind of like your doctor might take a look at a mole they see during a checkup for another problem, when I see a RAID (and an SSD RAID, which has less of a benefit!), I do feel the need to say something to head off future problems before they become problems.
 
Oct 22, 2021
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The TX550M is just fine for your build. The B5 is as well; I'm not super-crazy about that platform, but again, it's acceptable for this build, but the Corsair is better. These aren't also used, are they? This is safety equipment, after all, so a PSU with an unknown history ought to be downgraded by at least tier because of the added risk.

Glad to hear it's not a RAID and just a spanned drive. We get a lot of people who have RAID problems here. While that's fine -- a lot of the purpose of this forum is to help fix problems -- it can be frustrating because RAID is likely to cause more problems than it solves for something like 99% of consumer use cases. So kind of like your doctor might take a look at a mole they see during a checkup for another problem, when I see a RAID (and an SSD RAID, which has less of a benefit!), I do feel the need to say something to head off future problems before they become problems.
I get you, my trades hard enough to diagnose problems without customers unwittingly creating more problems for you on the way 😅
I’m gonna have a good read through your list you linked. And no, definitely won’t be looking for second hand again 😅 lesson learnt here. I really appreciate your help and input here guys, from both yourself and boju.
Ill do some research/looking around this evening and get something that fits the build and budget. Then I guess I’d better find some chores around the house to get lad to do to earn his new PSU! 🤣
Thanks again guys, really appreciate it 👍
 
I would like to add one more thing.. since you have blown 3 PSUs... I would suggest you to check if your other appliances are working well too? Cause PSU can die due to Surge, Sag also... And if there is nothing wrong.. I want to add some cheap units too.. (I have inspected them by their design amd component selection...
Coolermaster MWE 550v2 80+ Bronze.. (it's a good one with decent design . And from customer reviews.. I can say it serves well... (Don't go for v1 they look same )

Corsair CX 550 80+ bronze.. I don't need to say anything about it..

Deepcool DQ750M V2 Gold.. good one

Lastly.. NZXT C7 750 (same made by seasonic)
 
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