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Broken PSU (probably)

Martine

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#1
Well I have a LC5550 PSU and when I start my computer, the PSU starts to emmm... purr. A very loud purr or a quiet growling and after a minute it stops until I start to play games or start to do some hard work on it. So I am asking what could be wrong and if I should replace it? An if so, what would be a good PSU? As you can see from my system specs I don't need much (550 to max 650).
 

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#2
It could be the fan thats going on it. I would open the PSU up. blast it with an air duster and use a drop of 3 in 1 oil on the fan. afterwards it should be fine.


Ive not heard of that brand of PSU before so i dont know if its a good one or not.
 
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#3
Well if this is recent and hasn't happened before I'd say it's a sign of growing age. Stick with a 550+ PSU should be fine with your specs. Not like your running sli or anything. go 600 to be safe if you want, but anything beyond that is overkill imo.

I'd try rewiring things to see if that's an issue. The saying "if it ain't broke don't fix it" comes to mind..lol..

It could be the fan thats going on it. I would open the PSU up. blast it with an air duster and use a drop of 3 in 1 oil on the fan. afterwards it should be fine.


Ive not heard of that brand of PSU before so i dont know if its a good one or not.
+1
 
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#4
Hi

General Advise
Never open up a PSU unless you are qualified to do so, you risk injury and or worse; some of the power pack's available today can delivery a leathal shock. By all means unplug the PSU and remove it from your PC and use an air duster to blast the dust from it.

Replace your PSU
you are right to be concerned about the noise, your PSU may be on the way out and if it fails it may/could take out some other components.

Antec TruePower TP-550 Power Supply Unit (550 Watt)

OCZ 550W Fatal1ty Modular Power Supply

Cooler Master GX-Series 550W Power Supply Unit

there are cheaper options available on the market today, but it is best not to cheap out on a PSU

If anyone else has any experience with the PSU's listed and wish to share your views I'ed welcome any constructive comments

atb

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#5
It could be the fan, but that PSU definitely looks very cheap and it is probably not 550 watts as the label claims (I bet it would probably pop at 300-400 watts). I would consider looking into getting a new PSU from a reputable brand such as Corsair, Enermax, Seasonic, Topower, etc. A good PSU will be a nice investment, especially if you upgrade your system later on. The PSU is probably still alive because of your stock clocked E8500 Dual core processor and 9600 GT are not consuming a lot of power. A GOOD 550w unit is probably overkill for that computer as it is, but will leave some headroom for upgrades.
 
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#6
I found this for your PSU.

http://www.littlebit.ch/Library/ProductInfo/Documents/LCP-LC5550_D.pdf

It has rather low amps for the 12v rails, 12v1 15A, 12v2 10A. I'm not sure what wires go to what rail on that psu (or any for that matter, which is why i prefer a single powerful 12v)

how long have you had this PSU and have you always had the same hardware with it? err how long has your GFX card been running with it? if this is recent I'd say it could be the fan making noise. considering the wide opening with the 120mm fan i wouldn't worry about taking the psu apart to get at it with a can of compressed air, however you may need to so you can apply the 3 in 1 oil to the fan motor. So long as the fan is the only thing you touch you should be fine. also try spining the fan with your finger, it its real stiff or rough i'd probably replace it. you can wire a new fan (or plug in one, depending on design) in place of it.

that said it should be enough for your 9600GT. I ran mine on a 400watt psu for a long time with an overclocked PentD (power hungry those Pent. Ds)
 

Martine

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#7
Yes you have found the right one :)
how long have you had this PSU and have you always had the same hardware with it?
I have had this PSU and the whole computer for about 3 years and I am going to cverclock it and buy (i'm not decided yet) GTX550 Ti
After another 3 years I am going to replace all components
 
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#9
^ agreed since you've had it as long as you have

the current PSU should handle a GTX550TI fine. nVidia lists a minimum 400watt psu requirement and states on their website that the card draws at most 116w ( / 12 = 9.7A). So if they put that pci-e connector on the 15A rail you should be fine.

on a personal note... i hate split rails. even more when they don't say which one powers what.
 
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#10
Speaking from experience, I'm counting the days until mine also does that. To me, it also sounds like it's the fan that is failing. No reason to go run and buy a new one, only if you let that one overheat if the fan fails eventually. These PSUs aren't high-quality parts, truth be said, but they're not that bad either, as long as you don't abuse them. These PSUs do have yate loon fans with sleeve-bearings, and positioned horizontally, so it's no surprise that with heat + 3 years of work the fan will show it's age.
Just like Law-II said, if you don't know how to handle a PSU, don't open it up, or you might get really hurt. Just take it out and try to blow the dust out of it. But you can change the fan by another one, with ball-bearings or fluid-bearings that will last longer, even at higher temperatures. I can't remember if the fan is welded to the board, in these PSUs, or connected. If it's connected, it will be relatively easy to replace. You just need to get a new fan and change the connectors. If it soldered, it's more complicated, but doable. If you don't feel comfortable, try to find someone that know how to weld, so that you can replace the fans.
 
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#11
I doubt the caps in the PSU hold enough charge to be lethal. Caps can hold a pretty big charge tho, we used to charge the big ones up and go around shocking people in electronics lab, the really big ones hurt like a mofo and leave little blisters.

In all honesty, if you have an ounce of common sense replacing a fan inside a psu really shouldn't be too big a deal. if you are ademant that you're not to open it, then strap a fan on the outside blowing air in.

Put some money aside for a new psu in the long run tho, they are sound investments and should last longer than any other component in your pc if you buy a reputable brand.
 
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#12
I doubt the caps in the PSU hold enough charge to be lethal.
The caps in the input filter can leave you pretty messed up. IIRC, it's usually 400v caps.
 
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#13
ok it was really bugging me so i did some research. found an ATX standard thingy here http://www.formfactors.org/developer/specs/PSU_DG_rev_1_1.pdf and looked at the v2.3 standards for ATX. P.69, Table 53, note 3 states "12V2DC supports processor power requirements and must have a separate current limit and provide 16.5 A
peak current for 10 ms; minimum voltage during peak is > 10.8 VDC."

With that said 15A on 12v1 should be enough for a GTX550TI. a single hard drive shouldn't use more than 1A, and an optical drive shouldn't need more than 2A. not sure how efficient that psu is.
 
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#14
The OP's PSU applies to the ATX standard v2.0.
Mine is v2.2 and LC-Power only started manufacturing v2.3 PSUs early this year, IIRC.
 
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#15
The caps in the input filter can leave you pretty messed up. IIRC, it's usually 400v caps.
more like 400kV, They "hold" a massive potential difference across the plates, but it ain't the voltage that is dangerous.

Edit - ok, not 400kv, (actually a lot less as i'm thinking of big ass van der graff generators, which work on the same principal) :) but the point is still the same. the voltage rating is how much voltage it can withstand, not the actual voltage across the plates.. if that makes any sense?
 
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#16

Martine

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#17
Well now I have opened it, cleaned it and SURVIVED:rockout: Works fine now.
Put some money aside for a new psu in the long run tho, they are sound investments and should last longer than any other component in your pc if you buy a reputable brand.
I agree but I don't know it's 3 years old, should I replace it right now or should I wait for another 3 years when I'm going to buy a new computer?
P.S. Thanks for all the explanation, that was very informative :respect:
 
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#18
I've never heard of your brand of PSU, you might wanna do some research into them. If you can't find any reviews giving it a decent rating you may want to swap it out sooner rather than later. If it's got any decent reviews, then there nothing really stopping you from keeping it, just keep your eye on the fan.
 
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#19
more like 400kV, They "hold" a massive potential difference across the plates, but it ain't the voltage that is dangerous.

Edit - ok, not 400kv, (actually a lot less as i'm thinking of big ass van der graff generators, which work on the same principal) :) but the point is still the same. the voltage rating is how much voltage it can withstand, not the actual voltage across the plates.. if that makes any sense?
No, that does not make sense:), but I think you are referring to energy amount inside of caps. They really are holding big charge. Volts are as stated, but current is massive.
 
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#20
No, that does not make sense:), but I think you are referring to energy amount inside of caps. They really are holding big charge. Volts are as stated, but current is massive.
no, the voltage is the input voltage that the dielectric material can withstand without current breaking across it.
The p.d. across a capacitor is something like charge/capacitance, as capacitors are generally in the micro farad range, this makes the p.d. pretty huge.

Edit - actually, the current is pretty big too, as current is the rate at which they discharge. I'm thinking about the total amount of energy they contain. The reeeally big ones can kill you (heart attack) but you wouldn;t want to be shocked by one in a psu either, prolly not deadly, but painful.
 

Martine

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#21
If it's got any decent reviews, then there nothing really stopping you from keeping it
Well I can't find any reviews but I think I saw once that it isn't good. I don't know if I should change it
P.S. Voltage doesn't matter, it's the current that kills you
 
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#22
Well I can't find any reviews but I think I saw once that it isn't good. I don't know if I should change it
P.S. Voltage doesn't matter, it's the current that kills you
if in doubt, you should go for a new one. there is no point putting those expensive new components at risk.

Yup, current does kill you, but it isn't the full story. it's the reason 900kV Van De Graph generators just give you a nasty shock, even though they output a large current when discharged.
 

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#23
I was thinking about:
-Corsair Professional Series HX 650W - 80+ Bronze
-Cooler Master GX 550W - 80+
-Corsair Gaming Series GS600W - 80+
 
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#24
I was thinking about:
-Corsair Professional Series HX 650W - 80+ Bronze
-Cooler Master GX 550W - 80+
-Corsair Gaming Series GS600W - 80+
Hi

Corsair are not so good at the moment for PSU's, quite a few are failing

atb

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#25
no, the voltage is the input voltage that the dielectric material can withstand without current breaking across it.
The p.d. across a capacitor is something like charge/capacitance, as capacitors are generally in the micro farad range, this makes the p.d. pretty huge.

Edit - actually, the current is pretty big too, as current is the rate at which they discharge. I'm thinking about the total amount of energy they contain. The reeeally big ones can kill you (heart attack) but you wouldn;t want to be shocked by one in a psu either, prolly not deadly, but painful.
I completely agree with you with this, but I simply cannot agree with you on point where you say that capacitor somehow outputs higher voltage than voltage at which it has charged up.

It seems you are mixing potential difference (which is voltage) with charge, measured in culons.


Edit - ok, not 400kv, (actually a lot less as i'm thinking of big ass van der graff generators, which work on the same principal) :)
Except that there is no metal ball that accumulates charge and that way gets bigger difference of potential across electrodes, thus, bigger voltage.