PSU too hot

PSUs: The source of DC power for all components in the PC & often a big noise source.

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Hifi Nuke
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 4:00 am
Location: Switzerland

PSU too hot

Post by Hifi Nuke » Wed Nov 16, 2005 4:31 am

Hello everyone!
First of all i'd to thank you folks for all the advices brought on the site and forum, which were very useful to me to build my HTPC.

My configuration:
Silverstone LC11 case with monted 240W PSU (from Silverstone)
Biostar M7NCG 400 v 7.2 mobo
Barton xp M 2600
2X 512 Kingston value ram
3X 7200 rpm Pata HD
1X NEC 3520 DVD drive
1X Hauppauge PVR 500 MCE TV card
1X Radeon 9600 XT
1X SB Live Platinium sound card
2X Papst 80mm fans (in replacement of the original)
1X Papst 60mm (for HD cooling)
Window XP pro SP2
MediaPortal 1.3

I've been using above (with only 1 HB, the 2 other were added 2 days ago) system for about 6 month without encontering any major problem. 2 days ago, i added 2 more HD. One day later (actualy i did not pay attention to it before), i got a strange plastic smell, which did not draw my attention immediately. I started to worry and realised that my PSU was overheating, only when my pc would not boot anymore, until the PSU cooled down. Indeed, i opened the case and realised that i could have easily fried eggs on it, as it was so hot.

So my questions are:

1. Do you think that with now 2 more HD, my PSu would not be powerful enough to handle all the components listed above, and for that reason would be overheating (by the way, is overheating the consequence of a lack of PSU power?)? Or is my PSU overheating because it is defective?

2. I planned to swap the graphic card, as the Radeon 9600Xt as an active cooling system which makes it way too noisy. I was thinking of taking a Gforce 6200 fanless, as it is supposed to be ideal for Home theater. My concern is that on the manufacturer website, they recommand at least a 350W PSU, but the strongest TFX (the only form factor which fits in my case) i've found on the net is 300W. Therefore, do you think that such a PSU would be strong enough to handle my components with a 6200 passive grafic card? If yes, would it be any 300W TFX PSu which you would recommand to me more than another, and do you think that a 300W PSU would solve my overheating concern (if the reason is a lack of power)?

Thanks alot in advance for your replies and recommandations.


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Post by erikt » Wed Nov 16, 2005 7:27 am

A decent 240W PSU shouldn't have any trouble powering this system. I
ran a P4 3.0GHz with 6600GT system on a Seasonic 200W for a while...

That said, I'm guessing this isn't a great PSU....


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Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 7:39 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Post by BrianE » Wed Nov 16, 2005 1:35 pm

If you don't have a lot of case ventilation (I don't know how well the air flows in that case, or what kind of case temps you are getting), the problem may be that your PSU is either overheating or simply becoming overloaded because the power rating of a PSU goes down as temperatures rise.

If the PSU is rated at 240W, and you're pulling a fair amount of power, and you have a poorly cooled case, I'm wondering if that would be enough to cause a shutdown...

That is just an idea though. Can you tell how good the airflow is out the exhaust fans and out of the PSU, and what the temperature of the air is like?

Hifi Nuke
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 4:00 am
Location: Switzerland

PSU too hot

Post by Hifi Nuke » Wed Nov 16, 2005 3:17 pm

thanks to the both of u for your reply¨.

Hello BrianE,

Well the case ventilation is supposed to be fair, even though i swapped the mounted fan for quieter ones. Well, i wouldn't know what to tell you about the temps, except the CPu which was running between 38C and 50C during this summer (quite hot here in Switzerland). But during this overheating problem, the case temp was probaly between 60 and 80C, and the PSU between 80 and 100C!

Well, i don't really know what happened, as i opened the case and put it upside down, as you have to do so in order to open it, the CPU temp did not exceed 30C and the PSU was warm but not hot, after 20 minutes. Furthermore, I noticed a strong slow down during the boot up process, and the desktop wallpaper hold for about 1 minute, before the display the icons. Do you think that a windows problem could make the PSU run hot? Personally i don't think so, but i will make a clean install, and i'll see whether my problem will disappear.

Another question, do you think that a 240W PSU could handle my configuration with a Gefore 6200 Passive? Same opinion as erikt?


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Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Post by Devonavar » Wed Nov 16, 2005 7:29 pm

I'd blame the failure on inadequate cooling through the case. Adding two more hard drives (where did you manage to fit them, BTW?) could certainly restrict airflow enough that cooling wasn't adequate any more. That in turn would lead to overheating. I doubt that the extra 20W load from the extra drives was enough to cause the failure on its own.

Before putting a new PSU in, I'd take a very close look at airflow paths around the PSU, since it is a main exhaust for the case. Make sure that cables etc. are neatly out of the way, especially IDE cables.

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