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Old 06-09-2004, 03:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Power Supply problem

Okay, this is really two questions thrown into one post, both relating to the same issue.

First off, I have a 300w HEC power supply in my computer at the moment. I'm running a Soyo KT400 and the that cheesey VB made monitoring software it comes with is telling me that the 3.3v rail is running at 3.8. Now, this is the second PC I've built, so I'm not too bad when it comes to hardware, but power supply specifics aren't my thing. I don't really know what the 3.3v rail does specifically, but I do know that 3.8 is about half a volt too high. So, is this going to cause any problems? Am I running the risk of potentially damaging other components by using this power supply? Does this mean the power supply is dying? Any information regarding this alone would be great.

Now, because of my worries regarding the above issue, I borrowed an Antec 350w supply from my friend to test the voltage readings while using it. He used it for a week, and then bought a case that came with an Antec 400w supply, so naturally he opted to use the one that came in the case. So, this one's been packed up in the original box ever since. He dug it out for me, and as far as I can tell, it's dead.

But, not entirely. The Soyo has a light on the board, and once the Antec was plugged in properly the light turned on. Obviously power was getting into the supply and into the board. However, when the soft power on the case is pressed, the fans spin maybe once and then nothing. No beeps. Nothing. It's a momentary passing of power and then that's it. I know that power supplies won't allow full power if there's a grounding issue, or so I've read, so could it just be something like that? Or is this supply really dead?

Thanks in advance!


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Old 06-09-2004, 05:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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So your original power supply works under the same conditions but the Antec doesn't? I would think thats a dead power supply but the LED is indicating its getting power, have you tried testing the power supply out of case with bare minimum components only?
The 3.3v rail seems high to me, what Components are on the board? Any PCI cards and if so what kind? Also try lowering your FSB and see if that makes a difference.

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Old 06-09-2004, 05:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Go to CompUSA,BestBuy,Circuit City pick up a power supply voltage tester or take it to 1 of them Comp USA is your best option they can check it for ya .
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Old 06-09-2004, 05:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The original power supply works under the same conditions, yes. I tried again right after realizing the Antec seemed dead.

I also tried the Antec (and my power supply, as well) with no load except the motherboard. (ie: only the ATX cable used, no peripherals) Still no juice.

I thought about the FSB, but I've been running this system under these conditions for a year or more. Only in the past couple of weeks has the 3.3v rail been reading signs that are higher than normal. I could lower it to see if it has an effect, but I'd certainly rather use the FSB I paid for (266).

As far as components..

The only cards on the mobo are the video card and the sound card. An old geForce256 running on the AGP slot and a SB Live running on a PCI.

The entire system is as follows:

1.73ghz Athlon XP 2100+
Soyo KT400 Dragon Ultra
512MB DDR400 ram
geForce 256
SB Live 5.1 Gamer
80gig ATA133 Maxtor
40gig ATA133 Maxtor
24x CD-RW
6x DVD rom

That should be everything drawing power, except the mouse running off of USB..

I've basically concluded the Antec is "dead", but I can't help but think it's still good except for maybe some small problem. Wiring maybe? It's a shame. I could have used the dual fan in my system.

If you could assure me that the 3.3v rail isn't damaging anything, I'd at least be appeased until I could throw together the cash to get myself a new one.

Thanks much,

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Old 06-09-2004, 05:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It seems safe if its still running without problems. The 3.3v rail on most motherboards powers PCI slots and Sound Chipsets, and on some boards the RAM, and if indeed that board is using the 3.3v rail to power the RAM; that DDR400 might be a hefty load for that power supply. If all is well don't mess with a good thing. For the Antec I recommend getting a PSU tester and see if you get OK readings, but if your friend doesn't mind being blown out some cash over a bad Power supply then I wouldn't bother.
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Old 06-09-2004, 06:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well thank you for the input. I'll replace this psu as soon as I get some cash. Until then, hopefully nothing catches fire =P (I just read the post about the poor guy whose computer actually caught fire because of the hard drive)

Oh, one last thing, how much would a psu tester cost me? The only computer store around here is Circuit City. The Best Buy isn't built yet. :l

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