Computer Advice - PSU went boom

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PolarBlues

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A week ago, as I turned on my computer something shorted out, tripped my home circuit breaker and all. When I went to reset it, the computer seemed dead. I replaced the PSU with a like for like model and everything is back working as it should. I've been running this computer ragged for 6 years, I suppose I can't really complain about the odd tantrum.

The thing that is bugging. About a month ago, I got hold of a graphic card, a fanless GeForce GT 1030. I'd been using the on-board Intel till then; I am not much of a gamer. As far I understand, the GT1030 should be compatible with my 300 W PSU, but on the odd chance that the extra load of the card is what cause the old PSU go boom, I have not reinstalled it yet.

So my question, is it in any way likely the new graphic card caused the PSU to short out or is it more likely it's just old kit eventually giving up the ghost?
 

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A week ago, as I turned on my computer something shorted out, tripped my home circuit breaker and all. When I went to reset it, the computer seemed dead. I replaced the PSU with a like for like model and everything is back working as it should. I've been running this computer ragged for 6 years, I suppose I can't really complain about the odd tantrum.

The thing that is bugging. About a month ago, I got hold of a graphic card, a fanless GeForce GT 1030. I'd been using the on-board Intel till then; I am not much of a gamer. As far I understand, the GT1030 should be compatible with my 300 W PSU, but on the odd chance that the extra load of the card is what cause the old PSU go boom, I have not reinstalled it yet.

So my question, is it in any way likely the new graphic card caused the PSU to short out or is it more likely it's just old kit eventually giving up the ghost?
Here's the thing, you are using a PS that's the minimum recommended for the Nvidia GT 1030. So depending on load I could see it easily seeing the PS shutting down depending on what you're doing. Also the level of dependency and efficiently of the PS matters as well in this case. Running a Bronze Certified? Might have run into problems under load.

I always go for upgraded PS's when I build or buy systems. I'm running a Gold Certified 850 PS with my GTX 1080 TI GPU. The 1080 recommends a min of a 600 watt PS. You'd think I'd be fine under serious load but with a bunch of other things running the 850 PS is just adequate. I might have been better off with a 1000 watt PS when I'm running a game at max settings.

I'm rusty on this stuff anymore, and tend to just buy a system that someone else builds these days so there is that. Though I do list everything I want and expect from the system. (I do spend more than I need to on systems but I can afford it and it's something I want done in a way that it just flat out fucking works) I'd recommend though that you'd upgrade to a 450 PS. Not sure the size/shape of your case, but something like this would work well for most standard case designs if I'm recalling and definitely get the job done.
Corsair Power Supply
 

Nobby-W

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A week ago, as I turned on my computer something shorted out, tripped my home circuit breaker and all. When I went to reset it, the computer seemed dead. I replaced the PSU with a like for like model and everything is back working as it should. I've been running this computer ragged for 6 years, I suppose I can't really complain about the odd tantrum.

The thing that is bugging. About a month ago, I got hold of a graphic card, a fanless GeForce GT 1030. I'd been using the on-board Intel till then; I am not much of a gamer. As far I understand, the GT1030 should be compatible with my 300 W PSU, but on the odd chance that the extra load of the card is what cause the old PSU go boom, I have not reinstalled it yet.

So my question, is it in any way likely the new graphic card caused the PSU to short out or is it more likely it's just old kit eventually giving up the ghost?
More likely cheap capacitors in the PSU giving up the ghost. A GT1030 pulls about 25-30 watts, and a PCI-e slot is rated up to 40w or 75w (depending on the motherboard) without external power. It that tipped your PSU then the PSU was probably a bit dodgy anyway.

Get a good quality PSU if it's not too late. That's one of the parts that can die and a decent one isn't all that expensive.
 

Acmegamer

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Nobby-W Nobby-W it can pull more than 30 watts Nobby. At least from what I noted reading through Tom's Hardware at a glance. the 30 watts is what Nvidia lists. I never trust that as the absolute ceiling, my experiences over the decades have shown me that it's only a guideline. The dodgy PS though is probably the bigger problem though, I agree.
 

PolarBlues

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It's was a "bronze" PSU (SilverStone SST-ST30SF 300 W). I kind of see how adding the graphic card might have pushed the power usage over what the PSU could cope with, but would that cause it to short out on start up?
 

Nobby-W

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It's was a "bronze" PSU (SilverStone SST-ST30SF 300 W). I kind of see how adding the graphic card might have pushed the power usage over what the PSU could cope with, but would that cause it to short out on start up?
Most likely a capacitor dying - the rush current on start up can overload electrical components. Capacitors are one of the main things that electronics suppliers cheap out on. If it was on the way out then switching it on combined with the additional load from the card could have tipped it over the edge.

If it's a standard ATX power supply then buying a higher spec one will put it under less load as well.
 

PolarBlues

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Most likely a capacitor dying - the rush current on start up can overload electrical components. Capacitors are one of the main things that electronics suppliers cheap out on. If it was on the way out then switching it on combined with the additional load from the card could have tipped it over the edge.

If it's a standard ATX power supply then buying a higher spec one will put it under less load as well.

Thanks, I guess I won't risk it then.

Follow up question. Is it worth installing the now spare GT1030 on another computer that's got AMD Ryzen 7 with onboard APU Radeon Graphics 8 (with lots of RAM to spare) or is the difference marginal?
 

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When I still built systems, I recall Silverstone being solid power supplies. Not sure how they rate nowadays. Maybe Nobby knows. As an aside I can't speak in regards to the AMD stuff, I've just not been a fan of their hardware or software for about 20 years. hehe. So I can't say for sure. Though I'm glad in recent years AMD has done a good turnaround, so much so that I'd be tempted to go with their cpus and gpus for the next system.
 

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Nobby-W

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When I still built systems, I recall Silverstone being solid power supplies. Not sure how they rate nowadays. Maybe Nobby knows. As an aside I can't speak in regards to the AMD stuff, I've just not been a fan of their hardware or software for about 20 years. hehe. So I can't say for sure. Though I'm glad in recent years AMD has done a good turnaround, so much so that I'd be tempted to go with their cpus and gpus for the next system.

Hard to say. These days there have been a few online stinks about supposedly reputable brands shipping stuff with crappy components (Corsair maybe?). As a rule of thumb, unless the manufacturer is lying through their teeth (which does happen sometimes) you get what you pay for.

Today, I think Ryzen CPUs are likely the best bang for buck if you're building a PC from scratch or buying something from a white box vendor. NVidia vs. AMD GPUs are hard to say in most cases. My PC has an NVidia card but that's because I bought it secondhand and that's what it came with, which has been the case for most machines I bought in the past 15 years or so. At one point in the early 2000's I went through a phase of being a Matrox fanboy, mainly due to having good Linux drivers for the G200 and G400/450 family and being ahead of the curve on multi-monitor support. I don't think I've ever had a machine with an AMD graphics card.

Bear in mind that the last time I scratch built PCs in quantity was the early-mid 2000's and pretty much everything I've done in the past 15 years or so started life as an HP or IBM workstation or a laptop.
 
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PolarBlues

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According to the interwebs the GT1030 is a bit faster.


Yeah, the little research I did suggested as much, I just have no handle that translates to just on paper difference or an noticable improved experience. My gut feeling is it probably won't make much difference so I probably won't bother installing it.

As for the PSU, it had a good run, I have no complaints.
 

Nobby-W

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Yeah, the little research I did suggested as much, I just have no handle that translates to just on paper difference or an noticable improved experience. My gut feeling is it probably won't make much difference so I probably won't bother installing it.

As for the PSU, it had a good run, I have no complaints.

Probably not significant, I should think, maybe unless you were running a GPU-bound game and needed a boost on the frame rate.

I have a laptop with a Quadro MX150 chip on it, which is a derivative of the GT1030, but I haven't done anything with it that would stress the graphics capabilities of the machine. Adobe Illustrator ran just fine on a Thinkpad T430 with the onboard graphics on the enormous map I was doing on the design sub-forum.
 
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