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Thread: Have I blown my PSU, GPU or both? :(

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    Default Have I blown my PSU, GPU or both? :(

    I bought a brand new CX600 PSU.

    It seemed to run everything pretty well. World of Warcraft played on Ultra with my ATI R9 280 with no issues at all.

    Then I bought a new case, a Sonata 500. Installed everything very carefully, made sure that no wires were touching anything, or in the way of fans etc.

    Randomly whilst the machine was running whilst installing some software, the PSU fan started to make an annoying ticking sound. I thought maybe it was because I had turned on CE1 and some other power saving modes in the BIOS. I read here in the forums that I should turn off all sorts of power saving modes etc. in the BIOS. I did so and it didn't change anything. Everything else is seriously whisper quiet, except the PSU fan.

    Being the dumb mother***** I am, to my ever lasting shame, I took a small key and proceeded to try and jab the PSU fan gently to get it to stop making this annoying noise. I dropped the key on-top of my GPU and was presented with a tiny red spark as the key made contact with some of the small little metal protrusions on the reverse side of the card.

    The PC rebooted, and presented me with an infinite cursor loop.
    However after pressing the reset button. The PC booted fine.

    I didn't get to test if the current setup in this computer case (which was no different from the older case) could actually play any games or etc. before this happened. However when I tried to run FurMark at even the lowest setting (with the newest AMD graphics drivers installed)

    There was a loud pop from inside my case and then a bad burning/electric smell that sounded like a blown capacitor/etc. I couldn't locate where exactly that it came from, but it did seem to smell like it came from inside the PSU when I put my nose to the back of the vent.

    The thing is, the computer still boots fine... well... almost always. Sometimes it seems to hang on the flashing cursor just before booting to Windows. I checked and double checked my connections and everything seems to be connected up fine, and out of the way of touching any metal or anything. It can't be a connector issue or anything else, because the computer only seems to fail when I try and pull actual power out of the PSU for games/benchmarks. If it was something shorting out, then it would short out the moment the power turns on.

    Is my PSU faulty/dead, or did I just fry my GPU... I mean the PSU seems to be able to provide enough power to boot my PC. Though when I try and pull any load from it, it just gives up. The PC seems to be still 'on' but the screen shows some solid colour/graphical artefact or the screen goes completely black and I have to reset the machine.

    I ran a benchmark once more with the case open to try and see which component would spark, and the moment I ran FurMark, there was a smaller pop again, plus the same solid screen artefact colour and the PC required a reset... I guess I don't need to test it a third time. I don't want to further damage the rest of my computer if that is what it is doing.

    Both the PSU and GPU were bought on the same day (less than a week ago) and both worked fine (I didn't do a FurMark test though but they ran fine, (PSU making no noise and GPU ran WoW at Ultra on 1920x1080).

    So what have I blown, so I can cross my fingers and RMA the right thing...

    EDIT: I only just stupidly realised that some manufacturers suggest a MINIMUM of 750W PSU.. which is obviously 150W under the one I am currently using...

    So another question. Should I be worried I blew something, or do I just simply not have the power required to run a FurMark test... (as it's going to pull the full draw from my card). I mean I DID hear at least 2 pop's and my PC did require 2 reboots...

    What are your suggestions?

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    I will let others tell you if you have fried your PSU or your GPU, but might I suggest that in future, do remember that gravity is your friend. Your description suggests (only suggests, mind you) that in your PSU, the grill faced up. In such circumstances, best practice is to remove the unit, turn it upside down and give it a shake. If something is loose, it will fall out. If you must probe, do so with the power unplugged and use a wooden stick, like a skewer or a fireplace matchstick or even a tongue blade.

    Good luck. Snaps, crackles and odd smells do not sound promising.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leijonasisu View Post
    So what have I blown, so I can cross my fingers and RMA the right thing...
    LOL, so you drop a metal key onto the back side of your graphics card to cause a short circuit and then you RMA it afterwards?


    The PSU is way overrated for a 280X, that is not the problem. You destroyed the gfx card, that is all, I would guess.

    If your Mainboard/CPU combo has onboad/on-die graphics, remove the 280X and try the onboard thing. I am confident the computer will run fine and will even run WoW ok-ish.

    A 280X is complete overkill for WoW.

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    I wouldn't trust a PSU that smells like something burned inside it. I would buy a replacement, also something better then your current PSU, a quality 550 W is fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ehume View Post
    I will let others tell you if you have fried your PSU or your GPU, but might I suggest that in future, do remember that gravity is your friend. Your description suggests (only suggests, mind you) that in your PSU, the grill faced up. In such circumstances, best practice is to remove the unit, turn it upside down and give it a shake. If something is loose, it will fall out. If you must probe, do so with the power unplugged and use a wooden stick, like a skewer or a fireplace matchstick or even a tongue blade.

    Good luck. Snaps, crackles and odd smells do not sound promising.
    The PSU is mounted like this:



    Bear in mind that this is the only way the screw holes in the case allow me to mount the PSU. So I cannot change it in any way.

    I took the PSU out, gave it a shake and nothing seems to be rattling at all. There's nothing loose in it. In addition I've shined a torch into the PSU and I cannot see any blown caps, burn marks or anything else that looks remotely out of the ordinary. Except that the PSU has this ridiculous looking plastic 'sheet' that covers part of the area behind the fan. I have no idea wtf the purpose of that is but I couldn't remove it without opening the PSU and whilst it looks like it's actually counter-productive by blocking airflow from the fan. It's probably got some reason for being there.

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisdsh View Post
    LOL, so you drop a metal key onto the back side of your graphics card to cause a short circuit and then you RMA it afterwards?


    The PSU is way overrated for a 280X, that is not the problem. You destroyed the gfx card, that is all, I would guess.

    If your Mainboard/CPU combo has onboad/on-die graphics, remove the 280X and try the onboard thing. I am confident the computer will run fine and will even run WoW ok-ish.

    A 280X is complete overkill for WoW.
    God where to start with your post...
    1. Yeah I made a mistake, and I did something stupid. So you've never made a blunder whilst using your PC? Dropped something, stuck your fingers into it whilst it was running, poked around with the AC power on, and just in general done things you know you shouldn't have? Sure mate.
    2. My card isn't a 280X... did you even read my post properly? It's just an R9 280. Plus I am going to be playing a lot more than just WoW on the card. By the way, in a full realm, in a capital city with everything at Ultra, you still need almost a Crossfire/SLI setup to keep WoW at 60fps... same goes for heavy raiding.
    3. What does checking the internal Intel graphics have to do at all with testing if my PSU or Graphics card are blown? I can't pull any power out of my PSU with just that intel graphics, no matter what I do... so I can't test the PSU's stability. Plus that won't tell me if my GPU is broken as it won't be plugged in.

    Thanks for your 'advice'

    Quote Originally Posted by -The_Mask- View Post
    I wouldn't trust a PSU that smells like something burned inside it. I would buy a replacement, also something better then your current PSU, a quality 550 W is fine.
    Neither would I. But see there's an important thing here. I'm getting mixed messages about what kind of power I need to run this card at full load.

    I get third-party manufacturer sites telling me that 750W is minimum. But sure I know they like to cover themselves.
    I get other calculator sites saying with my setup that 400W minimum, 500W+ = no sweat.
    I get other people like you and some others telling me that this Corsair CX series are actually really crap/cheap PSUs and that better quality 550W PSUs would be a better choice...

    So my question is... can this darn PSU run my card or not? I'm at a position where I just want to find out what the issue is with my PC. Is the PSU dead, or is the GPU dead or in the very rare case, are both of them dead.

    I will RMA either one (or both), as there is no physical damage, that anyone could tell without some sort special testing or whatever. I highly doubt that anyone could prove that I have damaged the cards myself, and I am in no position to buy more of the same components (especially the Corsair CX600) when I am now getting such mixed messages about it. I've already spent 2 of my paycheques on this new PC.

    Lastly, forgive the stress in my writing and I realise that building a computer isn't exactly 'plug and play'. I'd just like to know a way on how to narrow down what component is playing up, so I can RMA/return it to the store.
    Last edited by Leijonasisu; 09-05-2014 at 07:07 AM.

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    I also thought that perhaps neither of the components were broken and that basically I was just expecting too much power out of the card than what it was able to give. The same way that if you try and increase an overclock too much, without increasing the amount of power the card is allowed to have. Then the system will just halt.

    However after taking everything apart today, making sure that the Mobo isn't mounted on any extra stand-on screws. Checking the writing, seeing if I could flip the PSU the other way (I couldn't as I explained before) and just in general testing everything else.

    I booted the PC with the case side off. Checked temps. GPU running at 34'C -CPU running at 32'C. Nothing abnormal there...
    I hadn't even opened FurMark or ran any sort of 3D testing for that matter. But the moment I double clicked Firefox, the screen cut to a solid colour followed by another small 'snap' sound from inside the case.

    The only other PSU that I have to test with is a 500W Antec Earthwatts. Which I doubt could run the card at full load in FurMark or something else, that would allow me to stress test the computer for reliability.

    Otherwise I have no other GPU to test the power draw stability of the PSU.
    And no other PSU (save the 500W Earthwatts) to test the GPU under full load.

    Guys.. seriously please, all bs aside. What are my options in sorting out what is causing my issues, and/or which component(s) I need to RMA/return?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leijonasisu View Post
    But the moment I double clicked Firefox, the screen cut to a solid colour followed by another small 'snap' sound from inside the case.
    BUT why did you run your test that way? Given that you tear apart any piece, then run any test with every parts lying on a cardboard (well, just the mobo should need, the PSU should be facing downwards raised a bit from the shelf with some suitable supports under the edges).
    So that you can better hear any noise, and maybe see any arc (at least on the mobo & graphics).


    Quote Originally Posted by Leijonasisu View Post
    The only other PSU that I have to test with is a 500W Antec Earthwatts. Which I doubt could run the card at full load in FurMark or something else, that would allow me to stress test the computer for reliability.
    Unless it's too much time that you're storing that PSU on a shelf, the EA500 should run fine your GPU even under FurMark/OCCT.


    Quote Originally Posted by Leijonasisu View Post
    Guys.. seriously please, all bs aside. What are my options in sorting out what is causing my issues, and/or which component(s) I need to RMA/return?
    Given that you didn't really test nothing up to now, re-test (everything outside the case) the GPU with the EA500 using FurMark, re-test (still everything outside the case) the PSU with the IGP using OCCT PSU test. If you can, do not use your OS drive (or any important piece of storage).

    I hope you may thank your lucky star!

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    Hey thanks a lot for your reply mate.

    I just want to ask. What's the point of just taking it all out of the case and putting it on cardboard? I can't mount the PSU any other way at all in the case anyway and all the other connectors and components aren't touching or interfering with anything else.

    I'll test it open case. I just personally think it's more damaging to move the pieces around so much in and out of the case and I don't see the difference between testing them inside the case.

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    Putting it all on cardboard removes any grounding/ short issues via the case.

    Turning the PSU upside down on the cardboard (sit it on something - a couple of pencils so it gets air) is to help you identify if the snap, pop, crackle is coming from the PSU or the VGA / Mobo.

    These guys are trying to help you properly diagnose your problem. Testing with the side off the case doesn't tell anyone anything. You need to start from minimal and then add one piece at a time till you find the culprit. So listen to what they say before they take offense to your lack of listening and quit trying to help you.

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    It was just an innocent question. I said I'd do it anyway... I'm not saying that I wouldn't take the advice you guys are giving me.

    So I'll take it all apart. Test it with the CX600 and then with the EW500.

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