Blown Power Supply

1. Jan 25, 2005

Macgyver

With a loud pop and a puff of smoke my 300 W ATX power supply died last night and I find myself looking to quickly buy a new one. I was wondering if I should replace it with a higher power one. I ran this one for 3 year with most of this hardware without any noticeable problems. Rather than taking the time to total the individual wattages of my hardware (and trying to figure out the power consumption of my cards), I thought I would turn to my fellow geeks.

Just for reference (in more detail than is probably necessary), I am running:
Msi k7 pro 2 motherboard
AMD Atholon 1900+ processor
Thermaltake K6 CPU fan
3 80mm fans (not including the one in the power supply)
3 40mm(?) bay fans
2 optical drives
1 hard dive
1 zip drive
1 floppy drive

And
Gforce 3 video card
Lan card
WLan card
Firewire card(3port)
Sound card
Wireless mouse (USB)

When it blew I wasn’t running anything extra. It blew about 1 minute after booting to windows after restarting. I normally leave it running all the time.

I’m sure that is much more info than is needed but, I feel proud of my once high performance PC.

I would appreciate any advice any of you have. I will probably buy a higher wattage supply just because they aren’t much more expensive.

Thanks

2. Jan 25, 2005

dduardo

Staff Emeritus
3. Jan 25, 2005

The_Professional

Macgyver, just curious; were you using one of those generic no name cheap power supply? they're not recommended. You're better off getting a brand name like Antec. You can at least be assured of the higher quality of the components and it won't blow up on you. I've had one in my desktop for years now with no problems. And get at least a 450+ watts minimum

They're price anywhere between $30-$150

Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
4. Jan 25, 2005

Staff: Mentor

After having a no-name PSU blow-up on me while supplying a fraction of its rated power, I couldn't agree more. And every now and then a blown PSU can take your motherboard and processor with it. Its worth it to spend an extra \$20 or so and get a brand-name.

Macgyver, you've got a lot of fans there - are you overclocking...?

Last edited: Jan 25, 2005
5. Jan 25, 2005

Macgyver

Thanks for the quick responses.

I did build my computer myself but I didn’t think to buy a better power supply so I just went with the one that came with my case. It was an Enermax.

I’m not overclocking, but video editing makes my computer run hot. And I am a poor college student that tries not to use much air conditioning in the summer, so some extra airflow was in order.

I am probably going to buy either an Antec or a Thermaltake power supply both are 480 W. I figure whenever i have some money to build a new computer i can build it around that supply.

6. Jan 25, 2005

Integral

Staff Emeritus
I would not consider an Enernax to be a no name....But just for the record I also had an Enermax die. It did not go a bang, but with a whimper. I also recommend Antec, thought do not think that you need over 400W.

7. Jan 25, 2005

Sirus

I agree, not for that system. I also recommend Antec, OCZ, and Fortron, but be prepared to pay the premium for top-notch reliability.

8. Jan 25, 2005

The_Professional

The GeForce3 card is a very good videocard in it's time. Too bad Nvidia pushed right ahead with the GeForce 4 not giving the 3 proper time and credit to be used in games. I believe the GF3 is similar to the Xbox's video card. Some say, it's actually a GeForce 3

Thanks for providing the details MacGyver. Geeks love details! :!!)
Looking through the specs of your system: with a total of 6 fans + CPU fan, 2 optical drives, hard drive, zip drive, etc. 300 watts is really not enough which explains the result

Last edited: Jan 25, 2005
9. Jan 26, 2005

gazzo

the bigger power supplies arn't that much more. Mmm... make sure you get one with two fans in it!

I accidently blew a production server's power supply when we forgot to move the transformer thingy with it and plugged it into 230V mains. Thank goodness for compressed air!!

Can you get cheap case/powersupply combos over there?

10. Jan 26, 2005

Sirus

One 120-mm fan may be quieter.

11. Jan 26, 2005

Integral

Staff Emeritus
I once worked on a "tool" which had its computer plugged into 220 (it was CE ready), all you had to do was flip the PS slider to 220 and it worked fine... BUT... The guys down in the IT shop who maintained our OS did not have a 220 line so when they worked on the computer they slid the slider to 110... naturally when they brought the system back to the tool, they did NOT slide it BACK. We found that a PS set for 110 makes a big pop and immediately all of the smoke escapes. Of course everyone knows that when you let the smoke out of any piece of electronics it ceases to function. I think we only lost 2 PS that way before we learned our lesson.

12. Jan 29, 2005

Argentum Vulpes

I agree that you should be looking for a 350W-400W Power supply unit. This is a list of PSU's that I've used or had freinds use and have had good results with them

Antec
Astec
AOpen
Channel Well
Enermax
Enlight
Fortron Source (Sparkle)
HEC
Hi-Power
Jeantech
NSpire
PC Power & Cooling
PowerMan
Seasonic
SilenX
Tagan
Thermaltake
TTGI/SuperFlower
Vantec
Verax
Zalman

As for a good place to buy a PSU online I'd sugest you look over at Newegg.com

13. Feb 1, 2005

Wardw

One other thing people, nobody seems to have addressed is fans, I've had them stop. most of even these "good" brands may still use cheap fans. No matter what you buy, check out thye fan and if it looks like crap, replace it with one that has good bearings, not the nylon crap that now seems to be everywhere. Also MacGyver, if your MB has the ability to deal with "intelligent fans" spend the extra and buy one so your MB can monitor revs and heat and shutdown if need be, before it pops. And that goes for all fans if your buget permits, if the MB permits, add an extra fan, most time there is facility for an extra one on the back of the PC case.
Hope it helps.