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Thread: How can I tell if I'm overloading my PSU?

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    How can I tell if I'm overloading my PSU?

    I have a strange problem with my Audigy Platinum EX. The external box keeps stopping working. If I take the card out and switch the PC back on then power down again and then re-install the card all seems well.

    Then, a while later, I find it's stopped working again.

    Could I be overloading the PSU?

    I am running a Prescott 3.0Ghz, an ATI 9800Pro, a TV card and the sound card, along with 2 HDs and 2 optical drives (DVD re-writer and CD re-writer).

    Both the sound card and graphics card have power connected to them.

    What power would you recommend? I'm running a 350watt.

    Dave

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    I'm running a 350 Watt with a higher power system than that (6800GT, 3500+ Etc..)

    Unless its a no name PSU?

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    Thanks, I suppose that's good and bad news then!

    It's a good quality PSU (Cost about £45) so it looks like it could be a broken external box. I've replaced the actual sound card and get the same problem.

    Dave

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    I wouldn't class a £45 PSU as good quality... its middle of the road.

    I would say that your system is underpowered and really you should be looking at least 400minimum and 450w recommended of a named brand (ie Tagan or OCZ)

    What make PSU is it and what amps does it have on the rails?
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    I have a memory like a sieve but I think it's an Antec Silent. The PC is not easy to get at as it's used as an HCPC.

    Looks like I'll have to swap out the PSU next then.

    Thanks

    Dave

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    I have found the thread where I bought the PSU from and its a Antec TruePower 380 watt so it's just over 350w.

    Is there any software that can show what power the PSU is giving out?

    I'm more inclined to think that it's the Audigy external box that is at fault. If it was the PSU I would have thought that it would have failed immediately rather than running for a while before giving up the ghost.

    Dave

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    Get a program such as motherboard monitor or speed fan. If the voltage readings are low then the PSU may be struggling. For more accurate readings, use a multimeter.
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    Quote Originally Posted by davejp
    I have found the thread where I bought the PSU from and its a Antec TruePower 380 watt so it's just over 350w.

    Is there any software that can show what power the PSU is giving out?

    I'm more inclined to think that it's the Audigy external box that is at fault. If it was the PSU I would have thought that it would have failed immediately rather than running for a while before giving up the ghost.

    Dave
    Not at all, I have had PSUs that appear to be fine BUT once loading them up they've just caved in and restart the system. You'll find that the PSU doesn't have the amps required to run a Prescott space heater, 9800 Pro, TV Card, Audigy (these suck a fair few amps, specially the plats) along with other devices such as HDDs
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    Nox
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    My good quality psu cost around £200! There are a couple of sites around that can calculate (roughly) the psu requirement for a system, just wish I could remember them... do you get the message up saying the exterrnal box isn't connected when its not working? or does it just 'not work' ?

    Nox

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    Thanks guys, I have checked speedfan and it gives the following:

    +12v = 11.86
    3.3v = 3.18
    Vcc = 4.85
    5Vsb = 4.93

    That's with the EX box disconnected. I'll re-connect tonight and take the readings again

    Dave

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    Looks like your psu is definitely struggling. Get a more powerful one for sure.

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    Those figures are a bit low, so I'd say your PSU was having a hard time of it. I'm with marlyred.
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    They look fine to me, 11.86V on the 12V line is nothing to worry about even if it is accurate, which coming from MBM, it's not guaranteed to be. If connecting the breakout box causes a noticeable sag though, you'll know it's the culprit.

    I find a good way of telling whether a PSU is overloaded is to connect a loud 12V fan up to a spare molex, then put it next to your ear while you fire up CPU Burn (and/or 3DMark01). If it slows down appreciably then the PSU is stuggling.

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    Nox
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    All of those voltages are lower than spec, but still within tolerances.

    try here, and see what you your rig is (VERY roughly) requiring:

    http://www.jscustompcs.com/power_supply/

    Then look at your psu. Remember a good brand 350w psu will likely be better than a 600w from an 'cheap' manufacturer.

    Nox

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nox
    All of those voltages are lower than spec, but still within tolerances.

    try here, and see what you your rig is (VERY roughly) requiring:

    http://www.jscustompcs.com/power_supply/

    Then look at your psu. Remember a good brand 350w psu will likely be better than a 600w from an 'cheap' manufacturer.

    Nox
    Thanks for the link, I have ticked a few boxes and it comes back with a figure of 360W!

    I have in my spares box a Jeantech JNP-500AP, which is a 500W. Details Here so the question is: Is this 500W cheap PSU better or worse than my existing one?

    TBH it's a lot of hard work to swap them over so I need to know if it will be worth while!

    Thanks again for all your advice guys

    Dave

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    Nox
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      • Motherboard:
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    Quote Originally Posted by davejp
    Here[/URL] so the question is: Is this 500W cheap PSU better or worse than my existing one?
    Luck of the draw mate see if you can find reviews that stress test em both, I would trust (as example) an enermax 350w to power a system requiring 350w, but some with some manufacturers 350w is the max SAFE load, any higher and they are up in flames!!!

    There is a lot of good advice on PSU's on these forums, particularly brands, I think scan were doing a rebadged enermax at one point (quality and cheapish) but i don't recal the exact name - its far too early! This was a while ago though, so i don't know if they still stock them.

    Nox

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