The short of it is that I have reason to believe that my blown Corsair PSU (bought from E-Buyer, now RMA’d and confirmed as DOA) has killed one or multiple of the internal components (all bought from Scan) in my recently upgraded rig and I would like some advice please on my next course of action.
I upgraded my ancient AGP/Athlon XP rig nearly three months ago with a number of components sourced from Scan, including a 780G motherboard, Athlon X2, 4GB RAM and Radeon 4850. Owing to good reviews, I decided to get the Corsair 550W VX PSU (bought from E-buyer) instead of going for my usual choice of Enermax, which have always served me well in DIY builds over the last 10 years.
All the components were housed within a full tower ATX case with decent airflow and cooling, and run at stock speeds. The system was operating normally until last Monday, when while using the system there was a sudden restart and an immediate metallic burning smell. I quickly looked under the desk to my floor standing tower and saw grey smoke and sparks flying out of the rear of the tower at the point where the PSU was situated. I then immediately switched off the power at the socket. The smell was extremely pungent at this point and only cleared from the room completely four days later.
Not wanting to risk further damage to the components I did not attempt to restart as it seemed fairly clear that the PSU had failed spectacularly. With power removed and ESD strap on, I went about disconnecting and removing the PSU from the system. I then placed an order with Scan for an Enermax 525W Pro 82+ PSU (which arrived last Wednesday) and went about arranging an RMA with E-Buyer, who have since confirmed that the Corsair was faulty and have despatched a direct replacement to me.
When the Enermax arrived I installed it, but to my horror it became evident that the Corsair’s death throes had likely taken one or more of my other components with it. I rechecked all the PSU connections, but powering up the system did nothing… no boot, no post, nothing. Unfortunately I don’t have access to any other AM2 systems to check/isolate each component against to determine whether it is just the motherboard that has been damaged or the mobo and CPU or RAM, etc. What are my options here, as all these components are less than 3 months old? Can I return the mobo, cpu, ram and graphics card to Scan for testing and if any one or all have been damaged will they be repaired/replaced under warranty? Or does the offending PSU having been purchased elsewhere cause problems in this regard?
Suffice it to say that I will not be purchasing another Corsair Power Supply for a long time to come, if ever, after this experience. Looking around now, there seems to be quite a few incidences of the same thing happening to others with Corsair PSUs on a few forums I’ve searched through. It really is quite debilitating when something like this occurs: potentially weeks of non-use while waiting for RMA's, loss of non-backed up data (not critical, but still inconvenient) and the worry about having to replace all the components -- possibly at one's own cost -- due to a shoddy PSU. Having a 5 year warranty doesn't ameliorate this!
And one other thing, when I ordered the Enermax PSU from Scan last week I also picked up the Akasa Vortex NEO cooler for my 4850. However, despite careful application, one of the screw heads on the metal retention bracket holding the stock 4850 cooler in place completely disintegrated within one revolution of the screwdriver as can be seen below. As a result I was not able to remove the stock cooler. I've fitted various Arctic Coolers before and while this isn't the fault of the Vortex, it is unfortunate. If anyone has advice for loosening such a screw, I’d be very interested to hear it.
Thanks for reading.