Do PSUs run warmer when they're near death?

Antec Nsk 4480b ii mini tower case with...
September 4, 2009 at 22:11:24
Specs: Windows XP, Athlon 4600+ 3GB
Recently, my Antec Earthwatts 380W power supply started running louder and hotter. When I run a program that pushes the CPU, the PS fan spins at twice the speed--LOUD--and the air that it pushes out feels almost hot. It started doing this only a few weeks ago. I haven't made any hardware changes, and the CPU temperature is still at a normal 30-42. The only two major power hogs in my system are the Athlon X2 4600+ and the AGP Radeon X1950 Pro. Is my PSU gonna blow?

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September 5, 2009 at 07:03:04
When's the last time you blew the dust out of it?

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September 5, 2009 at 07:24:54
PUS dont necesserily run warmer when they are near death but running hot can cause death. In other words, running hot is a cause, not an effect.


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September 5, 2009 at 08:17:59
I blew dust out of the computer just a few days ago, hoping that would fix the problem.

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Related Solutions

September 5, 2009 at 13:20:29
Blowing the dust out of the computer dows nothing for the power supply. You need to blow it out from BOTH ends. Verify the fan/s in the PSU are turning as they should. That PSU may have a variable speed fan.

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September 5, 2009 at 13:43:26
You are overloading your power supply!!!

It WILL fail eventually when you have this video card installed!

You need one with more capacity!

Your power supply must have at least the minimum capacity required to support a system with the graphics card you are using installed, or the max graphics card you might install in the future.
(Onboard video - video built into the mboard - IS NOT A CARD!)
You can go to the video card maker's web site and look up the specs for the model - often under system requirements - the minimum PS wattage, and, more important, the minimum amperage the PS must supply at 12v is stated. If you don't find that, any card with the same video chipset including any letters after the model number has very similar minimum PS requirements.

For Radeon X1950 Pro AGP, this is typical:

Visiontek Radeon X1950 Pro / 256MB GDDR3 / AGP 8x / DL Dual DVI / HDTV / Video Card

"450 Watt power supply or greater recommended" !!!

You can usually replace it with any decent standard sized standard ATX PS.

Standard (PS/2) power supply size - 86mm high, 150mm wide, 140mm deep, or 3 3/8" h x 5 7/8" w x 5 1/2" d , or very close to that, though the depth can be more or less for some PSs.

Don't buy an el-cheapo PS.
See response 3 in this:

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September 5, 2009 at 22:42:18
thanks for the info, Tubesandwires.

When I purchased the x1950 Pro over a year ago, I assumed that my PS could handle it. I read several reviews stating that the EarthWatts 380 could run an nvidia 8800GT, so I thought it would easily power a x1950 Pro. I didn't even know my card needed a 450 till today. I will look for another PSU. Thanks again.

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September 6, 2009 at 06:41:43
The only reason many manufacturer's push the "recommended wattage" for their cards is because they know the average consumer is too stupid to understand amperage. There's no guarantee a 450W PSU will be any better than your Antec 380W unless you know what to look for in the amperage specs.

Power Supply Myths Exposed!

Everything You Need to Know About Power Supplies

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September 6, 2009 at 07:32:58
You can often find the minimum PS capacity a particular video chipset needs simply by searching with the name of the chipset
e.g. search using: 8800GT minimum watts
but that often does not find you the minimum amps at 12v, and often in order to find that you need to go to the website of the manufacturer of a card with the chipset to find the minimum amps.

""I read several reviews stating that the EarthWatts 380 could run an nvidia 8800GT"

Search using: 8800GT minimum watts

Minimum of a 400 Watt power supply.
(Minimum recommended power supply with +12 Volt current rating of 22 Amp Amps.)
Minimum 450 Watt for SLI mode system.
(Minimum recommended power supply with +12 Volt current rating of 24 Amp Amps.) "

SLI mode ~ two cards, or two of the same chipset on one card, the second one requiring 50 watts more, minimum.

Antec has a reputation for slightly under rating the PS capacity, and their amp rating at 12v is what it should be rather than a lie , so, yes, the 380 watt PS capacity would have just barely handled a single 8800GT card, or in any case 380 watts would have been just barely enough if you had a minimal number of hard and optical drives and USB devices connected, but 70 watts more minimum being required by the x1950 Pro is too much beyond the 380 watt rating and your PS is trying to put out well over it's max capacity 100% of the time the computer is running when that card is installed.
Most better quality PSs, including Enermax and Antec's more expensive lines, have overcurrent protection and the PS will shut off automatically when the current being drawn is more than a certain small percentage above the max rating.

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