High Quality PSU's

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  03 March 2003
High Quality PSU's

Hey Guys,

I just had another psu blow up at work. (Older machine, enlight 300 watt). If for some reason any of you are running generic, or cheap powersupply's (you'll know this to be true if you didn't expend any money on a psu when buying your machine), you might want to consider replacing it before something bad happens.

I've had four go in the past 3 months. (I'm an admin). One gateway, one dell, one 3rd party, and one enlight. In the later case (the enlight) the psu actually EXPLODED internally. Upon opening the unit there was black char visible on a variety of componets, and one of the resistors had actually embedded itself into the top of the psu. Other misc components were loose and extremely charred.

Just wanted to drop a line, cause I know many people (like the owners of these machines) don't consider the power supply to be a vital part of their machine. Well here's a reminder. No power, no computer.

(Examples of good supplies. Antec Truepower, Sparkle, Enermax...)
  03 March 2003
damn thats really scary... I have a crappy generic 300 W PSU, and I always think about something like that happening. I took out my sound blaster audigy because it was making some weird clicking sounds (as if maybe it wasn't getting enough juice) after putting in a second video card. So now i'm using my on-board sound and hoping something doesn't fry. I better get one soon, thanks for the tip.
  03 March 2003
True that. There's no excuse to go shoddy on the most important component in the case when its bringing in 300-500watts of AC juice and regulating it to DC.. Stick to the name brands cause dying PSUs can affect everything in your case. Bad spikes can fry everything. I had two die last year and one die last week on an HP Refurb I was getting ready to sell off.
That Sieb Guy..
  03 March 2003
is Q-Tec a good make? i currently have an eagle 350W that came with my case, and am thinking of getting may be a 450W Q-Tec dual fan PSU... 21 is extremely cheap compared to antec truepower and the like, but it looks like quite a good psu, the only thing is that it has shorter than normal cables but that shouldnt bother me... i just recently unnecessarily bought a myriad of molex y-splitters... so... anyone have any knowledge of Q-Tec PSUs? hunches arent good enough, first hand info or reviews (oh, i think i'll go on google now actually...) would be useful..

EDIT: bah, spelling!
Jussi "DeathCarrot" Kosunen
  03 March 2003
Q-Tec 550W review: http://www.bit-tech.net/review/123/ seems like a good PSU
Jussi "DeathCarrot" Kosunen
  03 March 2003
I think it could be good if people would open the PSU and remove dust with an pressurized air can. It lowers the dB of the psu and ensure it a longer lifetime.
  03 March 2003
greg, I think you might want to reconsider your stance on enermax. I've seen too many folks having problems with them to recommend them anymore. (including myself). It seems that when they are good, they are good, but their QA seems kind of spotty. I've also seen some complaints of the quaqlity of the +5v lines in some of their higher ends being a bit dirty.

I haven't heard much in the way of gripes about antec, vantec stealths, pcpower and cooling, or sparkle (well a few for sparkle, but no pattern of badness).
  03 March 2003
I've encountered the +5v line problem myself. (Just RMA'd one in fact). But that was one out of 30 or so psu's.

But I haven't had one explode in my face, like the enlight just did on friday. Also had an LG something or other die just today.

I have however started to move them farther down the list...moving antec truepowers as my primary recommendation, then sparkle, then enermax.

Last edited by GregHess : 03 March 2003 at 06:45 PM.
  03 March 2003
Here come the pictures. This was today's death...

This was taken out of an "erol's" pc.
  03 March 2003
This was out of a generic enlight case. Its a 300 watt, enlight PSU, about 4 months old.

You'll note from the pictures that in one case, I'm holding the top cover of the psu, facing downwards. You'll see something is circled there. Yes thats right, this psu physically exploded, sending random electrical parts flying around. I found a few resistors actually loose in the case, and quite a bit of char.

  03 March 2003
ohh man. Talk about exploding!!

hahaha i like the part that is stuck to the roof of the PSU. It made a mess of the pcb, all black and stuff.
  03 March 2003
speak of the devil

man what a crazy coincidence. yesterday my power supply blew up as well. I was surfin the net after class and my power supply made a loud pop and emitted a small puff of smelly smoke. Scared the crap out of me. I swapped out my psu from my other machine so that my better machine still works. I also went and bought a cheapo generic 13 dollar psu online. I know its a bad idea but as a student i dont have 50 bucks to drop on a better one. As long as it lasts at least a year and doesnt take anything with it when it dies I will consider it a worthwhile buy. My pc is dying anyways so hopefully there wont be any crazy power spikes or anything.

Question: with todays psu technology, even on the generics, arent they pretty much given to work well? i mean the only difference might be operating temps and longevity right? I could be wrong

  03 March 2003
doh, brain fart. I thought it was an enermax that exploded. I still don't recommend enermax, but never had thought much of enlite power supplies. Never had one in any enlite case I owned.
  03 March 2003
Re: speak of the devil

Question: with todays psu technology, even on the generics, arent they pretty much given to work well? i mean the only difference might be operating temps and longevity right? I could be wrong

Is a hyundai built the same way as a VW? A BMW? Anytime you make a sacrifice in cost, your making a sacrifice in build quality.

With a PSU the cost cuts hit the most important components...electrical. A Cheap PSU uses the most inexpensive components available, in some cases even though which may or may not be rated for the amount of wattage going through the system. This usually results in subtle variances in voltage which can...

1) Increase the chance of a psu overvolt/boom (as shown in the photos)
[One of those psu's was only 4 months old]
2) Decrease system stability and longevity.
3) In rare cases cause voltage spikes, destroying system components, or the entire computer.

Good PSU's usually use much higher quality components. (Larger capacitors, more capacitors, backup capacitors, larger cooling apparatus's, more fans, quieter operation, additional fuse mechanisms to prevent system damage in an overvolt situation)

Remember if you want a good, long lasting, stable machine, always invest highly in cooling, power, and ram. Its these three that determine the difference between aggravation and blissful peace.

Also since powersupplies (USUALLY) tend to outlast the system their originally put in, investing in a good one will usually last through a machine or two. (The 400 watt sparkle I originally bought for my Dual 450 has been used in six different systems, and is still running without issues).


From the looks of the enlight, it sure looks like a higher quality psu over the LG...can't quite figure out what caused it to explode. That system got replaced with a 330 watt Antec Truepower, so hopefully it won't happen again. Just ordered another four as backups. Luckily the Dell's at work aren't new, so I can still swap their PSU's in and out....don't try it with a new dell though, KABOOM.
  01 January 2006
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