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Could GPU overclock have blown PSU?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by HangTime, 14 Jun 2021.

  1. HangTime

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 25 Oct 2002

    Posts: 29,309

    Location: Hampshire

    Ok here's the deal. I recently put an old HD7950 into my son's PC. Because it's a weak card relative to the CPU (Ryzen 1600) I decided to overclock it and bumped up the core yesterday from 800 to 950. I haven't previously overclocked this GPU in this system. My son played a bit yesterday and apparently left the game running when he finished.

    I went to turn on the machine today and to my surprise it was completely dead. No beeps, no lights, no fans, no nothing. I tried removing all the devices including GPU to reduce power consumption, still dead. Interestingly after I tried another power lead, when I flipped the psu switch back on, it let out a brief flash/spark at the back of the PSU. To be fair I've seen this once or twice in the past from other PSUs without any issues arising.

    I know that the 7950 is a power-hungry card (1x8pin 1x6pin) so when overclocked I assume it draws even more power, even though I didn't touch the voltage yet. The PSU is a OCZ Powerstream 470W, about 15 years old although it's only had light usage for the past 10 years or so (not in my main rig). It doesn't have any PCI-E connectors so I have it rigged up with with molex adapters and also only has 2x SATA power so again I have 1 adapter for the 3rd SATA drive. Basically it's a bit Heath Robinson, but never had any issues when it was running an RX480 (single 6pin power).

    I tried the PSU in another machine that works fine with a weaker PSU, completely dead. So I'm fairly sure the PSU is knackered. What I don't yet know is whether any other components are damaged, as I don't really want to tear down my main PC to put the PSU from that in it. So I've got a replacement PSU coming tomorrow, the OCZ whilst a pretty decent unit for its time was probably due replacement anyway for something a bit more modern.

    The one piece of the puzzle I'm unsure about is whether the GPU overclock was the cause or just a co-incidence. Has anyone seen something similar?
     
  2. JRS

    Capodecina

    Joined: 6 Jun 2004

    Posts: 17,615

    Location: Burton-on-Trent

    Yes, it could have. Especially if the PSU was marginal to begin with (and at ~15 years old that's a fair bet).
     
  3. JohnG7

    Perma Banned

    Joined: 22 Jul 2020

    Posts: 2,904

    :(
     
  4. aimless

    Gangster

    Joined: 10 Aug 2018

    Posts: 115

    Reset the motherboard via the cmos jumper
     
  5. HangTime

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 25 Oct 2002

    Posts: 29,309

    Location: Hampshire

    New Psu installed and it works, seemingly no damage to other components thankfully.

    Was a bit worrying though, when I first hit the switch nothing happened, figured it may have blown the fuse in the plug so swapped the kettle lead for the new one and it was OK.
     
  6. JohnG7

    Perma Banned

    Joined: 22 Jul 2020

    Posts: 2,904

    :)
     
  7. JRS

    Capodecina

    Joined: 6 Jun 2004

    Posts: 17,615

    Location: Burton-on-Trent

    Excellent :)
     
  8. liamstears

    Gangster

    Joined: 13 Sep 2012

    Posts: 122

    A lot of people seem to underestimate the importance of a PSU, an underrated or cheap power supply can easily blow up and take other components with it, yours being a lower power 470w unit and 15 years old it doesn't surprise me, it's had its life by the sounds of it

    Glad you sorted it, what PSU did you replace it with?
     
  9. SypherSage

    Associate

    Joined: 11 Jun 2021

    Posts: 30

    Location: Bexley

    Make sure to take at a list of recommended power supplies and to go for known brands, efficiency rating doesn't really tell the full story about whether a PSU is good quality or not, I've had some friends go with an EVGA power supply, bronze rated, and it blew after a couple months of usage. Although it had a respectable efficiency rating while from a notable brand, there multiple instances of this power supply being at fault.
     
  10. liamstears

    Gangster

    Joined: 13 Sep 2012

    Posts: 122

    Exactly this, I always read up on reviews before making any PSU decisions as even some of the better brands have bad units
     
  11. HangTime

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 25 Oct 2002

    Posts: 29,309

    Location: Hampshire

    Technically I'm not sure the PSU was officially underpowered or particularly cheap, an online calculator suggests I need a 345W PSU to run that system (maybe a bit optimistic, let's say 400W as the GPU alone has 200W TDP) and it had an RRP of $130 back in 2004 which is the equivalent of $185 today. The 12v rail is also rated the same as a the 520W model. Also has these dials on the back that let you adjust the 12v/5v/3.3v rails to keep them in tolerance under load. Heavy unit, frequently recommended on these forums, I really don't think it was that bad back in its day.... but its day has passed, and it is perhaps unreasonable to expect a unit of that age to cope with more modern components :) Part of me wonders if the real issue was the lack of dedicated PCI-E power, routing through adapters always feels a bit of a compromise and maybe that's what pushed it over the edge.

    For my main rig I am a bit more fussy (after a bad experience with a NorthQ 850W unit that literally went pop with a loud bang in 2009 - ironically I only got that PSU because I was concerned about the 470W PSU running my upgraded system!), but in secondary systems I'll put in budget PSUs within reason.
     
  12. Game

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Aug 2009

    Posts: 1,117

    the ocz power supply is what did in one of my old computers many moons ago

    I also had a ocz vertex ssd bricked its self many many moon ago

    dont think they exist anymore I could be wrong
     
  13. t31os

    Mobster

    Joined: 24 May 2006

    Posts: 3,632

    Location: Surrey - UK

    I'm glad one of my systems survived a hiper PSU, anyone remember those? (it just went quietly for me, thankfully). I always go gold rated these days and make up the difference in savings on the electric and not needing a new one as often (+ a decent warranty). It's reasonably anecdotal but i've not been swapping out and replacing PSUs across family members and friends systems every couple of years since i insisted they buy gold rated or not ask me to sort it out (i'm not installing cheap crap for people, because they'll still expect me to fix it when it goes poof just because i was the one installing it).