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Thread: bad source power + noise or ripple? Corsair PSU advice

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    Default bad source power + noise or ripple? Corsair PSU advice

    This may be kind of long.

    In the summer I built a new rig (core i3-530, Asus P7H57-D EVO, no discrete graphics). I was short on cash, so I went with a Thermaltake TR2 600W PSU (wattage is high because I'm hoping to add discrete graphics someday).

    The system before that died, I think, because of bad power (it was gradual, one component after another, sometimes randomly, and quite inconsistently). There's always one light bulb bursting somewhere in our house every two or three months. In the past I had a surge protector, but when I got the new rig I decided to get a UPS (Cyberpower 900; i would have preferred a double conversion unit / pure sine wave, but those cost an arm and a leg). The UPS kicks in every now and again (you hear a beep) - like once every two weeks or month, so I think it detects some glitch in the line, which is imperceptible to me (the lights don't dim or anything).

    About a month after that purchase, I noticed whenever I plugged in a second or third hard drive, they would vibrate tremendously and loudly, to the point of even shaking the computer case (I know it's the drive because I actually put my hand on it). The CPU fan also gets loud. Like in cycles (about 5 minutes, at the middle it would vibrate the most). Now when I only have one drive (any of them), there's no vibrations. (When I first built the rig, I could use 3 or 4 hard drives + DVD with no vibrations). Anyway nowadays I just use one drive, unless I need to make backups or need to retrieve stuff from the other drives.

    if this is relevant: I use laptop power settings on XP, so the 2.93 GHz core i3 usually runs at 1.2 GHz (enhanced speedstep). the UPS software says my power usage is 63 watts, WITH LCD monitor, and 110 watts when prime95'ing with full brightness LCD. The main hard drive is a 2.5" laptop drive, the DVD drive is usually unplugged, and the only extra is a PCI IDE card.
    voltages seem within ATX specs. see attachment. that was hwinfo after running prime95 for 3 minutes, then letting things cool for 2 minutes. the only notable thing is during prime95, 5V goes to 5.09 and 12V goes to 11.93 (when idle it's 5.06 and 11.88 - always); CPU voltage goes up most (0.93 -> 1.22) because it's running at 2.93 GHz again (normal).

    since voltages seemed normal, i looked elsewhere. reading on various forums suggests that this is ripple? or noise? unfortunately I don't have an oscilloscope to test my stuff with. I read some articles from jonnyguru and was impressed with the corsair VX550's oscilloscope graphs (I mean those waves sure were pretty).

    problem is the VX550 isn't sold much anywhere anymore. i'm kind afraid of buying an outdated unit (would there be wear on capacitors? i'm very ignorant about these things)
    in any case, now they have gs, tx, and cx series (i'm eyeing the gs600, tx650, and cx600); the hx and vx series seem to have been phased out. jonnyguru only made a review on the cx430, but on the forum some people voiced concerns that they weren't made by seasonic.
    to add to the confusion, jonnyguru said they made some invisible changes in the lineups (see http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php...Story&reid=218 )
    now they have tx v2, which I don't even know whether it's different from the original tx.


    short version: need advice for corsair PSU with good ripple and noise suppression. or best PSU around 500 watts for ripple and noise suppression.
    also, if you have any knowledge as to whether ripple or noise damage regular (non-SSD) hard drives over time, mention it.

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    oops! I forgot my attachments

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    Well, I let others more qualified give an opinion of whether any of your symptoms are actually caused by low wattage cross-loading.

    However, for $110 delivered, this is one of best available. (As compared to the $95 you have listed for the Corsair TX)

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817151088

    PS, Perhaps we should have a Sticky on the forums encouraging posters to state their home market.

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    oh sorry. I'm in virginia near DC. I have best buy and micro center nearby, and of course anything online like newegg is also available.

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    Agreed, if you were planning on spending $95 on the 650TX, +1 on taking the Seasonic X-650. If not, then, for the n-th time I recommend the TP-650...
    Careful what you wish for... You just might get it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bob1234 View Post
    The system before that died, I think, because of bad power (it was gradual, one component after another, sometimes randomly, and quite inconsistently). There's always one light bulb bursting somewhere in our house every two or three months. In the past I had a surge protector, but when I got the new rig I decided to get a UPS (Cyberpower 900; i would have preferred a double conversion unit / pure sine wave, but those cost an arm and a leg). The UPS kicks in every now and again (you hear a beep) - like once every two weeks or month, so I think it detects some glitch in the line, which is imperceptible to me (the lights don't dim or anything).
    Random failures - usually caused by bad power supply (where the problem is the power supply itself and not the AC input) or insufficient case cooling

    CFLs blow up due to bad manufacture quality or water ingress. They are not very sensitive to minor line glitches

    Incandescents usually blow up from bad quality or touching something cold (water ?) when working. Sometimes can blow if the line voltage is too high but its rare. Computer PSUs, like CFLs, are less sensitive to over voltages. If you have enough over voltage to damage the PSU, you'd see your lightbulbs light really strong and burn up very fast

    Surge protectors cut off surges which are 2 - 3 times the correct line voltage. They have nothing to do with line glitches

    Offline UPS (what you probably have) does not filter the line at all - what you put in is what you get out. It only gives backup power when main power goes out

    If the UPS is combined with AVR, it will limit the possible overvoltage on the line (by reducing the voltage) hopefully to a safe value for the PSU. Yet if you use incandescents and they dont light up noticably too bright or too dim, you have correct voltage

    Line is not very clean and sometimes can have a tiny interruption now and then to which the UPS reacts. Unless it repeats quickly over and over it is unlikely to damage anything. CFLs often dont react to those interruptions at all so you can see no interruptions in the light

    Quote Originally Posted by bob1234 View Post
    About a month after that purchase, I noticed whenever I plugged in a second or third hard drive, they would vibrate tremendously and loudly, to the point of even shaking the computer case (I know it's the drive because I actually put my hand on it). The CPU fan also gets loud. Like in cycles (about 5 minutes, at the middle it would vibrate the most). Now when I only have one drive (any of them), there's no vibrations. (When I first built the rig, I could use 3 or 4 hard drives + DVD with no vibrations). Anyway nowadays I just use one drive, unless I need to make backups or need to retrieve stuff from the other drives.
    Looks to me like case vibrations (hard drives kicking the case or their vibrations syncing up in resonance). Add plastic pads to the screws that hold the drives and secure everything else in the case

    Variations in the load on the PSU can cause its voltages to change slightly, and fan speed to change slightly as result. It is possible that the fan vibrates strongly only at some certain speed

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ash View Post
    Random failures - usually caused by bad power supply (where the problem is the power supply itself and not the AC input) or insufficient case cooling
    you can rule out the case cooling because I always leave my case open.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ash View Post
    CFLs blow up due to bad manufacture quality or water ingress. They are not very sensitive to minor line glitches
    Incandescents usually blow up from bad quality or touching something cold (water ?) when working. Sometimes can blow if the line voltage is too high but its rare. Computer PSUs, like CFLs, are less sensitive to over voltages. If you have enough over voltage to damage the PSU, you'd see your lightbulbs light really strong and burn up very fast
    well the light bulbs that do blow up are incandescent. i've tested out a few CFLs (about a third of the house so far) and they've lasted since I've put them in, but I still haven't phased out the incandescents yet (waiting for the rest of them to burst haha).

    Quote Originally Posted by Ash View Post
    Offline UPS (what you probably have) does not filter the line at all - what you put in is what you get out. It only gives backup power when main power goes out
    If the UPS is combined with AVR, it will limit the possible overvoltage on the line (by reducing the voltage) hopefully to a safe value for the PSU. Yet if you use incandescents and they dont light up noticably too bright or too dim, you have correct voltage
    Line is not very clean and sometimes can have a tiny interruption now and then to which the UPS reacts. Unless it repeats quickly over and over it is unlikely to damage anything. CFLs often dont react to those interruptions at all so you can see no interruptions in the light
    actually the cyberpower 900 does have AVR
    unfortunately the room I'm in currently has CFLs, so no dimming or brightnening noticed when the UPS kicks in (the beep). I bought the UPS long after I replaced the bulbs in this room.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ash View Post
    Looks to me like case vibrations (hard drives kicking the case or their vibrations syncing up in resonance). Add plastic pads to the screws that hold the drives and secure everything else in the case
    actually it also happens when I plug the drive outside. like I said my case is open, and sometimes I can't be bothered to put the mounting screws and so on. so I put the drive on an antistatic bag, I pull the SATA cables and power cables out (just adjacent to the case), and I just plug it in. it still vibrates the desk like crazy.
    I have an antec sonata (the first one), and the mounting trays for the hard drives have rubber padding where the screws go in, both on top and on the bottom. I attached a few pics (shamelessly stolen from google images)
    like i said, and despite these, the vibration is so bad the whole case shakes, even my desk does. i KNOW it's the drives, because i put my hand on them and feel it. it goes in cycles (meaning it's not always vibrating)

    I didn't put all these details in the original topic because I felt it'd make the post too long. But it is a mystery I would like to know the answer to.

    While I'm at it, the LCD monitor does emit a small whine when it's on. Since it's from 2005 (Samsung Syncmaster 9030B), it could be just age (HDMI is dead, but VGA works), but I thought I'd add that just in case it could be bad current, or someone thinks it could affect my PC (it's plugged into the same UPS).

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    here's a shot of plugging the drive externally using the old webcam (from 2000) taken a few minutes ago. You can see the drive on the bottom left. it's vibrating slightly. not as bad as normally, but it can either quiet down or worsen over time depending on its mood.

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    bob1234,

    I have to say that it is difficult to take your posts seriously.

    HD spin at 5400 to 10,000 RPM.
    They spin faster or slower depending on the load.
    An internal arm moves back and forth across the face of the spinning platter.

    All these things will cause a HD to vibrate. They always have.
    They are not intended to be placed on an anti-static bag.
    It could be that running your drives unattached to anything has caused them to become badly out of balance. If this is the case they will certain solve your vibration problem by stopping to work completely. (It is hard to imagine that they are still working from 2000 with this kind of abuse.)

    EDIT: OK the webcam is from 2000, not the HD.


    Your only solution to avoid all HD vibration is to go with SSD. (no moving parts)

    (secure mounting will certainly help with existing HD)
    Last edited by mdk777; 03-27-2011 at 02:51 PM.

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    Hard drive can be damaged when it can kick at something. For example if you put it on hard surface but dont mount it with screws, so that it makes the loud vibration noise. A mounted hard drive may vibrate the case, but it's noise will not be as sharp and it won't damage the drive

    When I connect drives temporarily I put them on antistatic bag too, never damaged a drive this way. I think its ok

    You can try suspension - like here http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/sho...php?t=17697441

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