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Nicolas
2007-Jul-30, 08:55 AM
Dell intel 3GHz HT (1Mb cache IIRC), 1Gb ram, ati radeon 9800 pro, win XP SP2.

My computer has stability problems. These show in basically 2 ways:

-sometimes during booting, the computer will stop in the "welcome" screen. He stops before turning num lock on. I can still move the mouse, but the PC will never proceed to subsequent stages and only reset will help.

-sometimes during running, the PC simply crashes, total lockup. Mouse also frozen, if sound plays it hangs like TTTTTIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII. In some cases this happens during surfing or just working in windows, but in most cases it's in 3D games. I also often see graphics glitches right before lockup. Glitches look like some static on the screen. One example: when opening Counter Strike Source, you've got this menu to look for servers. When opening this menu, I already sometimes see the glitches. When that happens, I can be sure that the system will freeze the moment the 3D action starts.

One more thing to note: already when my system was new, I tried to overclock the graphics card, but even the least amount of overclocking triggered these glitches. So I never overclocked it.

Now, what can be the cause? Probably there's loads of dust in my PC (load of dust ON it, and the fans seem to work more than in the past). Could that be the cause? Could it be that the power supply or motherboard don't give enough power to the graphics card? can the graphics card be broken (there's quite some elco's on that thing, maybe they broke due to heat?) Or can it just be a software issue?

Anyway, now I'm still writing my thesis so i don't go into PC adventures just yet. Not even opening, removing dust, refitting connectors. I NEED that PC now (yes, I do have proper backups for everything, but still).

After my thesis, we'll have 2 almost identical PC's, so we'll check and replace and keep the best one, and sell the other one, which will be in essence mine (but sans sound card and possibly with a different graphics card if the other one is better). So then I'll completely format and undust this PC anyway. But of course that will not solve bad PSU, MB, graphics cards. So my question is, anyone got a clue what might be going on? I don't want to sell a PC with faulty hardware, nor do I feel like spending money on new mobo, PSU, etc...

Note that in the first years, the PC did not have these issues and has played the very games it blocks on now perfect in these years. Also sometimes, I still have no trouble for several days, also when playing these games, so it's a problem that only shows about half of the time.

Whatever happens, this PC now has an audigy2 sound cards which will be removed, so that will already save a bit of the power budget and heat sources.

Nicolas
2007-Jul-30, 09:02 AM
I have one theory about what might be going on, but it's as good as any guess:

from the beginning, the graphics card had only a minimum of power. Evidenced by the glitches the moment I did even a ridiculous minimum of overclocking.

With dust, the heat increases. This makes the card less stable, and the fans work harder, draining more power from the system.

The extra sound card is an extra source of heat and power drain.

result: system runs too hot and on too few power.

Solution: get the dust and sound card out, full format, and clean install. Optionally install larger PSU or better mobo, but as said I don't want to do that.


Alternative possibliity: the graphics card was only marginally stable from the beginning, and the dust or wear has made it more unstable. Removing dust might solve it, otherwise she might just be worn out and needs to be replaced.

Nicolas
2007-Jul-30, 09:05 AM
Side question.

In comparing which PC would be best to keep, mostly the graphics card is the issue. The sound card will go to the PC we'll keep, and both are 3GHZ HT cpu's, 1Gb ram dell dimensions. Marginally different, but very comparable I guess. (both have 1mb cache on the processor to name just one possible difference, I thought the rest also was very comparable).

So, graphics cards.

In the left corner, ati radeon 9800 pro, I think 128 MB version.
In the right corcer, ati X600 256 MB hypermemory (128 own memory, 128 shared)

Which one would perform best (3d games, 2D office and graphics programs).

This would make clear which PC to keep, but of course won't solve the problems of the other PC in itself :).

Van Rijn
2007-Jul-30, 09:19 AM
result: system runs too hot and on too few power.


Heat was my first guess. Before you go much further, use SpeedFan or some other utility and check the CPU temperature. If it's way over normal range, stop using the computer until you can resolve the problem.

Check the airflow. Is it good? Is the temperature in the house high right now? Are the CPU (and other) fans okay? Have you changed anything recently? I've had systems with marginal cooling, and this sounds familiar.

I'd also look at the power supply. A marginal supply could cause problems.

Maksutov
2007-Jul-30, 10:29 AM
Same here re heat.

I've been using MBM (or equivalent) ever since moving to Pentiums.

Plus you might want to go into your BIOS settings and see where the CPU temperature alarm is set. It shouldn't be much more than 65C.

Nicolas
2007-Jul-30, 10:48 AM
So go into bios and check temperature alarm (do all PC's have this option?)
Download a temperature program such as speedfan, MBM. (do all PC's work with this?)

And if anything seems not OK, stop using and resolve heat issue first.

I'll try that.

2 more things that came to mind:

-my current location suffers from often too low voltage from the sockets, plus occasional high currents. Light bulbs tend to live short here.

-my current location does not have grounded sockets.

-my current location has only one power group for basically everything. Stereo, fridge, computer, lights...

-problems started the day I bought a new stereo tuner (separate, unrelated to PC but placed quite close to it). This may be a coincidence though, as I also get lockups when the tuner is off, and I thinks its power switch is placed even before the transformer.

Anyway, I'll monitor the temperature -I think it's way above 65° often- and see what needs to be done.

One last thing re temperature though. Could it really rise that fast? Because the welcome screen is after like 1 minute PC running time max, and already there sometimes I get lockups. Now I guess, but it's a guess only, that this problem actually might be unrelated and be a software issue. Because since years, I've also had a problem with the office toolbar at startup. So at the moment, I consider the total lockup (mouse freeze) and welcome screen ( no mouse freeze) issues unrelated, and see the latter as software trouble that should be solved after a format. Games can block very fast too, but I guess that if the graphics chip starts out too hot due to heat, it really takes just a second to make it unstable and hot.

I fear the amount of dust I'll find inside the PC :D. (I have no other choice than to place it in my bedroom with carpet, where it's been for 3 years)

Nicolas
2007-Jul-30, 11:10 AM
I'll make a separate topic for the graphics card comparison question.

Donnie B.
2007-Jul-30, 11:10 AM
I recently upgraded my computer, and I had a host of problems with stability. It turned out to be caused by incompatible RAM. Since changing to a different brand of DDR2 I've been stable. Possibly you have a RAM stick that's getting flaky.

The heat issue is also possible. Check to make sure your processor cooler (fan) is still working; if it has failed, the chip could heat up very quickly. Have you noticed any loss of speed/performance? Some motherboards will downshift the processor clock if they detect overheating.

I know it's out of your control, but your low line voltage could be contributing to heat issues. The power supply will draw more line current at low voltage, and higher current translates into greater heat dissipation. However, if you're on a 220V system and the supply is "universal" (doesn't require a switch to change between 120/220) you'll still be drawing far less current than the supply was designed for.

Another thing to try is to remove any resident software, in case there's bad code in there. I'd start with the office toolbar. You should also check for driver updates for all your peripheral devices. If you're up to date, and you started having issues around the time you last updated a driver, try backing down to a lower version.

Good luck. Stability problems can be the most frustrating to track down.

astromark
2007-Jul-30, 11:31 AM
Stop messing about with a stuffed PC. If it will not run and you have good graphics card and reloaded program after complete delete. Replace it.
Replace it with a NEW PC. Plenty of grunt, speed and clean. No more problems. And keep it clean. Delete junk regularly. We are often guilty of keeping far to much. ( That is a unsupported leap of faith.) I work under the rule...If I am not using it it gets dumped or written to disk. Sadly I suspect none of this will help you...
It seems to me that no amount of fixing will cure your overheating PC. Its done its dash, Knackard, As much use as a plastic knife. Some times you just have to spend the money. Replace it.
If you can you should make an effort to secure a reliable power supply. No PC can function properly with fluctuating voltages or impedance variations. You have some very serious problems,. Get professional help.

Nicolas
2007-Jul-30, 11:41 AM
Somehow I'm that strange guy who doesn't have money to replace a PC every 3 years. Things I'll already need to buy next month:

-appartment
-car
-freezer
-washing machine
-suits
-microwave oven
-etc

Oh and I don't have a job.

If anyone should have further questions on why I don't want to buy a new PC or parts right now... :D

Now the good news in all this is that I will have a far better mains supply WITH grounding within 2 months. And I won't be needing that PC for a while then, in fact I will have to format it anyway. So I'll be able to completely format it, undust it (which I'll also try this week if I find time, very carfully :), but format is out of the question right now), reseat every part in case it's loose, get the sound card out, and test it.

And I don't want to accept that this PC should just go in the trash because it has an issue right now. At least I'd like to know which part causes it, because it is stuffed with good hardware (hence in any case i could still use the rest). Sure, not the newest of the newest, but you cannot call my PC an old sneal by any stretch of the imagination :).

And I don't want to sell a bad PC to others, so I want to go to the bottom of this :).

(on a sidenote, I like the natural self protection of a processor that runs too hot and blocks, well at least that's how it goes in most cases, fortunately)

Laguna
2007-Jul-30, 11:48 AM
As it freezes even at startup when the PC should be cool, I would guess its a defective RAM module. If you have multiple modules, remove one and try to work with the remaining. If it still freezes, try using the other module. If even this does not help, get it to a professional.

Anyhow,
cleaning the interior and checking if every fan is running should come first.

EDITED.
Oh,and since you mentioned overclocking the graphics card...
Is your CPU overclocked too? If yes set it on standard speed.
Pushing it too much, can lead to a defective CPU.

Nicolas
2007-Jul-30, 11:50 AM
OK. I have 1GB, but I fear it's a single stick of RAM, so no way to check that.

But I'll start with interior and fans. Certainly some fans are still working, as it tends to sound like a 747 at times.

Question though, why would faulty ram cause graphics glitches? Why only when starting 3D applications? My Radeon does not share graphics memory, so I don't see how faulty ram could cause graphics glitches ("static"). That's why I looked in the chain mains-PSU-MoBo-graphics card.

The startup problem is something different altogether of course, that could be faulty ram or simply a software thing.

re overclocking: nothing is overclocked in my PC, never has been. Except for trying to do the graphics card once, but the moment I shifted the clock slider 1 position to the right (which would be something like from 360 to 360.7MHz) I saw glitches, so I never overclocked it. The PC was new when I tried that, and worked good for about 2 years after that, so I didn't damage it with that trial :). It may be an indication that the graphics card ran, for whatever reason but likely not dust back then, at the edge of its stability. I also saw the glitches in just windows desktop when I tried that, something I have not seen with my current problems though :).

Laguna
2007-Jul-30, 11:57 AM
When it only occures when using 3D applications, clean the graphics card or you might even try to replace it with another card, just to be sure.
Maybe a friend of you has an old card, that you could use, in his drawer...

Nicolas
2007-Jul-30, 12:09 PM
The total lockup including frozen mouse only occurs very rarely in regular applications (desktop, office...). Almost always within seconds after starting a 3D scene, and also sometimes in the 2D menu (with transparency and the like) of CS:source. So I assume that issue is related to the graphics card.

I could simply check with the onboard GFX card (I think it has one, at least. it certainly has onboard sound too :)) and see if the problem remains.

But this check, or checking with another card, might not give the right clue when the problem is not with the radeon card but with a lack of power it gets (which still may be enough power for another card though).

Anyway, first step: de-dust and check fans :).

I won't do hardware magic other than removing dust and maybe pushing the coneectors firmly in place until I finished my thesis :).

Nicolas
2007-Jul-31, 11:26 AM
I just did the following (after the monitor programs failed to work :))

-open case
-remove tons of dust
-remove airflow channel from top of cpu
-clean fans, airflow holes as good as possible
-remove cover from graphics card cover
-remove dust inthere too

All flow inlets and outlets of the case were closed off by dust. Even worse, the gaps in the cooling fins over teh cpu and gpu were blocked off by dust too, these effectively got no airflow at all.

End result: for the first time in about a week, I could run CS:source again. I tried 3dmark05 before, but it blocked. Now it ran perfectly. Problem solved! Full format should solve the rest.

My PC hasn't been this quiet in years.

Laguna
2007-Jul-31, 01:26 PM
Tons of dust? Wow. Either your machine runs 24/7, or your room.... :silenced:
No, your PC runs 24/7, does it? ;)

Nicolas
2007-Jul-31, 01:33 PM
The PC in question runs 5 days per week, 7 hours per day. (I work on multiple machines, so my online time is slightly larger :))

But this particular PC -my own PC- has been standing in my student room for all its life (3 years). In particular, this means rooms with carpet on the floor and a bed in them, and for the first 1.5 years not even the possibility to open a window.

This type of room is very, very dusty. And the computer shows :).

I hope all stays well now, if it gets enough air it seems to get enough power to stay stable.

Nicolas
2007-Aug-22, 07:57 PM
Question: does any ATX PSU fit in a dimension 4600?

Some people on the internet say it does, but I heard others talk about different pin orders and not everything being compatible...

It's just that now that the dust is out, the graphics card is perfect, but sometimes I still lockup on boot and the 4600 has known PSu issues. So I'd like to know whether I can buy any normal shaped, not too high ATX PSU (300W or more of course) or I have to look for certain pin orders/connectors/whatever in order for it to be compatible.

edit: I found a source where people got deep into it, and it appears the 4600 mobo uses the standard atc layout. YES! The casing can be a bit difficult, but a file and cutters should solve that.

So I could buy a cheap yet powerful (compared to the 250W nonsense, there's a radeon9800pro in that thing!!) standard anybrand ATX supply if I'd like to. I guess. Before I blow up my mobo, comments are appreciated :).

(For 30€ I buy a 420W Trust ATC 20/24 pins,, that would be a nice upgradde since a) 250W is way too little and b)2003 dimension4600 PSU's are known to be very, very faulty. I guess 20/24 pins means it would work at many dells, also those using not the standard 20 pin ATX which the dimension4600 does)

Van Rijn
2007-Aug-22, 08:05 PM
I googled and found a link for the power supply pinout for that model:

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim4600/en/4600/sm/techov.htm#1084976

I don't have time right now to double check it, but according to a couple of sites, that's a standard pinout. I know DELL did change their pinout for some machines, though I am no expert on their machines. In any event, you can just google for companies that sell power supplies for DELL computers. One that tends to be a bit more expensive, but also (in my experience) sells good products is PC Power & Cooling. They have a model listed, but it may be more (especially with shipping) than you want to pay for an old machine (and you might have a voltage issue - I think it will work on your voltage, but you'd want to verify that). Here it is:

http://www.pcpower.com/products/viewproduct.php?show=S41D2

Nicolas
2007-Aug-22, 08:16 PM
Hi Van Rijn. I really appreciate your help. I heard the name PC P&C before, but problem is that most of these companies are located in the USA.

If you look at my edit above, I can buy Trust (a cheap brand which I do appreciate for delivering quality) 420W ATX with both 20 and 24 pin possibility for just 30€. That would be the deal if it fits and is compatible. Sure, for 30€ I won't get 30A on the 12V bus, but hey it will certainly "run around the 250W PSU in circles". That one has 16A max, I assume the Trust puts at least 20.

It's the Trust 5250. As far as I understand, they're fully compatible, it will simply have the 4 pin adapter next to the 20 pin adapter of the trust unused. I think that everything is colour coded, so as long as I place identical connectors as the original PSU, I can't do anything wrong?

I'm comparing them now, but I can't see the P4 and P7 connector of the Dell on the Trust. Is that a problem?

Edit: I guess P7 is for the floppy drive? Trust says the PSU has 2 floppy drive connectors, so I guess that's OK (I assume trust uses addon cables starting at regular connectors and ending in diskette station pins). Just the P4 then. P4 is connected to a wire that certainly has 1 end in SATA hard disc, as far as I can identify these things. The Trust has SATA from its own, so that should be OK without a P4. Now I just need to see where the other part of P4 goes to. Edit: as could be predicted, a second SATA. Unused, and the Trust has one anyway.

So I didn't see a floppy connector on the trust but it claims to have two.

If the dimensions fit, I think that the Trust is fully compatible. Nice!

Nicolas
2007-Aug-23, 07:25 AM
Found the physical dimensions of the Trust PSU, identical to the current Dell one. So with maybe some limited filing, it will fit.

Remaining question: what to do with fan position. The two pics will illustrate my question.

The way I see it now, I'll have to install the PSU with the big fan blowing downwards, in the space above the green cpu cooling duct. The Trust sticker is upside down in that position. I don't care about the sticker, but is that the way to do things?

If I'd install it the other way around, I'd have to cut out the top of the case, which I obviously don't want to do. Would it matter for the PSU to be installed the way I describe?

Van Rijn
2007-Aug-23, 07:35 AM
The PSU won't care what direction it is in, as long as it fits and the airflow is okay. You might have an airflow issue there.

Nicolas
2007-Aug-23, 07:59 AM
Another person also said the direction an sich doesn't matter for the PSU, so I'll believe you guys on that :-). Airflow does matter of course. Is the big fan on the trust PSU a fan that blows air out of the PSU or sucks air into the PSU? I assume blowing out, given it ends inside the casing. That would make airflow ok, any overpressure will force the "hot" air from the PSU into the rest of the computer case. Where, after some circulation, it will exit via the main cooler as it is supposed to do and the current supplu also does.

Nicolas
2007-Aug-23, 08:03 AM
btw amazon.co.uk claims the following dimensions for this psu:


Dimensions (WxDxH): 150 cm x 140 cm x 85 cm

Still having problems going metric, or is this PSU kingsize? :D

Van Rijn
2007-Aug-23, 08:26 AM
Another person also said the direction an sich doesn't matter for the PSU, so I'll believe you guys on that :-).


There isn't much in a PSU to care, and anyway, PCs are sometimes stood up, set sideways, etc.



Airflow does matter of course. Is the big fan on the trust PSU a fan that blows air out of the PSU or sucks air into the PSU? I assume blowing out, given it ends inside the casing.

I doubt you would need to, but you could probably remove the fan and put it back in reversed if it came to it.

Van Rijn
2007-Aug-23, 08:31 AM
btw amazon.co.uk claims the following dimensions for this psu:
Still having problems going metric, or is this PSU kingsize? :D

That would be about right for a mainframe power supply. By the way, how high are shipping costs from the U.S. versus the U.K.?

Nicolas
2007-Aug-23, 08:37 AM
I don't know about shipping costs. The only thing I know is that shipping a 20g oil bottle from the US is 30€ in shipping.

But I buy the trust PSU at bicycle distance, so that's no prob.

I assume the airflow will be just fine in its standard blowing way.

I just thought about the other pc, the dimension 5100 in which I'd want to put a X1650pro card. Apparently that one doesn't need any PSU connector, so I won't have any compatibility problems with the dimension 5100 PSU. Nice.

EDIT: I'm not too sure now. I see that some companies give power cables with different connectors in the package, so I'd have to ask at the shop before buying. And make an inventory of what's available in the dimension5100 beforehand :).

mugaliens
2007-Aug-23, 11:05 AM
Gah, Nicolas - upgrade something!

If it's a lockup, it's likely a video card driver. Upgrade the driver. No workee? Upgrade the video card.

Sooner or later you'll wind up with a system that's perfectly suited.

Neverfly
2007-Aug-23, 11:34 AM
Gah, Nicolas - upgrade something!

If it's a lockup, it's likely a video card driver. Upgrade the driver. No workee? Upgrade the video card.

Sooner or later you'll wind up with a system that's perfectly suited.

after spending....$$$$$$ :whistle:

Nicolas
2007-Aug-23, 11:53 AM
Gah, Nicolas - upgrade something!

If it's a lockup, it's likely a video card driver. Upgrade the driver. No workee? Upgrade the video card.

Sooner or later you'll wind up with a system that's perfectly suited.

I think you've got the current state of affairs slightly wrong.

PC1: dimension 5100. Never had a problem, I just want a better graphics card in it (X 1650 pro). Don't know whether the PSU has the right connectors though.

PC2: dimension 4600. USed to lock up in 3D games or just when running an awful lot. Dusted off, problem solved. Still locks during boot sometimes, but I blame it on software and will format it in a few weeks. As I'll sell it and the 4600 PSU has a bad rep, I'll put a new one in it which I'll buy in the coming weeks, now that I found out the Trust one fits.

Given all that, your post doesn't really apply :).

Nicolas
2007-Aug-23, 11:54 AM
after spending....$$$$$$ :whistle:

both PC's work now, after spending 0€. I'll put a new PSU in this PC, 29.95€.

I'll put an improved gfx card (just to play games better) in the other pc, 89€. Safe bets, given the PC's are functioning now so there's no problem to solve.

Alan G. Archer
2007-Aug-23, 05:10 PM
Nicolas, the Radeon X1650 Pro for your Dimension 5100 does indeed gets all of it's power from the PCI-Express slot. As for your Dimension 4600, make sure that the 4-pin Molex power connector cable being used for the Radeon 9800 Pro has no other device plugged into the same cable.

Does your Dimension 4600 have a PCI card installed in the uppermost PCI slot like the one seen in the photo you posted? If so, that could be hindering effective cooling of the Radeon. In my machine, my Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic PCI card is installed in the bottommost slot (PCI3) to give my video card plenty of room for ventilation. There is also a 120mm fan mounted on the hard drive cage in my Antec Sonata case that keeps air constantly moving over both cards.

I'm under the impression that PSUs with a bottom-mounted 120-140mm fan draws air from inside the computer case and exhausts it out the back of the PSU. My Antec TruePower Trio 650 does this. For my next PC build, using the Antec P180B case which has a bottom PSU chamber, I selected the PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 510 SLI PSU, which has a rear-mounted 80mm fan.

What is the +12V rail rating on the 420W Trust PSU? I can't locate that piece in info. The 450W Cooler Master PSU I mentioned in your other thread (http://www.bautforum.com/off-topic-babbling/62746-graphics-card-keep-x600-radeon9800pro.html) has a continuous +12V output of 22A (combining both +12V rails). And PC Power & Cooling's 410W Dell solution has a single +12V rail rated at 23A. Anyway, the Trust unit should be OK for the 9800 Pro.

Nicolas
2007-Aug-23, 06:04 PM
Hi Alan, thanks for the input.

When I sell the computer, I'll put out the sound card so all PCI slots will be free. (will still have onboard sound)

Re the power towards the radeon9800pro: I'll check it with the new PSU. In the current PSU the situation appears to be as follows: connector that ends in radeon9800 has 3 more empty splits and a split into the P4 which splits into 2 sata, one empty and one onto the HD. In short, also the HD is on the line having the 9800Pro. Now I thought that the Trust PSU had separate sata and molex lines, so I'll just have to check not to put another apparatus on a split of the power line towards the 9800pro. This whole PSU thing is rather new to me, but I think I understand :).

As for the X1650pro: great, no PSU connector issues there.

As for the fans: sucking or blowing, as long as it keeps cool :).

Re the 12V rail rating of the Trust 5250: I couldn't find it. For the current dell PSU, it's a pathetic 16A. The Trust ain't expensive, so it won't be a 30A PSU. But I assume it can give at least 20. It can't be less than 16, on which the 9800pro runs fine as long as you don't overclock. Amazing.

The X1650pro will run on the 305W PSU of the dimension5100, but it is claimed that this PSU is underrated, which is also amazing since it's coming from Dell :). Anyway, loads of people run the X1650pro in the dim5100 and it works fine (you could even buy it like that) evne though the X1650 has 350W recommended, so as long as you don't SLI that PSU should be fine. Funny thing, SLI (crossfire) returning, hadn't seen that technology since the days of the Voodoo².

When I install the new PSU in the 4600, I may make a question, photo and answer session here in case I'm not sure what I'm doing. Installing the X1650pro should be no problem at all. Uninstall X600, PC off, X600 out and X1650 in, PC on, install X1650, done.

Nicolas
2007-Aug-28, 01:50 PM
I bought the Trust PW-5250 and foud some info. Comparison with the original Dell PSU:

Dell PSU:
+12 VDC: 14A
+5 VDC: 22A
+3.3 VDC: 18A
–12 VDC: 1A
+5 VFP: 2A
250W, max 200WDC continuous

Trust PSU:
+12 VDC: 16A
+5 VDC: 30A
+3.3 VDC: 20A
–12 VDC: 1A
+5 VFP: not specified; -5V is 1A
420W, nothing specified but appears to be continuous

So at the 12V it's still only 16A (for 29.95€ you shouldn't expect a PSU that resembles a welding machine :D), but that's more than 14A anyway and in combination with other loads, it will be able to keep delivering that load. The 5 and 3.3 currents are also significantly larger.

I'll install the PSU in a few weeks time I think, atm I really need the PC so I won't start doing magic inside it :).

Neverfly
2007-Aug-28, 01:53 PM
both PC's work now, after spending 0€. I'll put a new PSU in this PC, 29.95€.

I'll put an improved gfx card (just to play games better) in the other pc, 89€. Safe bets, given the PC's are functioning now so there's no problem to solve.

I recall you squinting at your screen...
...when the backlight went out...:p

Nicolas
2007-Aug-28, 01:55 PM
Yup, and even though that one was out of warranty, Dell gave me a replacement one for free, delivered at home. But I also bought an Acer AL1952 (drooooool) back then, so on the LCD front I'm quite settled :D.

Alan G. Archer
2007-Aug-29, 02:05 PM
I bought the Trust PW-5250 and foud some info. Comparison with the original Dell PSU:

Dell PSU:
+12 VDC: 14A
+5 VDC: 22A
+3.3 VDC: 18A
–12 VDC: 1A
+5 VFP: 2A
250W, max 200WDC continuous

Trust PSU:
+12 VDC: 16A
+5 VDC: 30A
+3.3 VDC: 20A
–12 VDC: 1A
+5 VFP: not specified; -5V is 1A
420W, nothing specified but appears to be continuous

So at the 12V it's still only 16A (for 29.95€ you shouldn't expect a PSU that resembles a welding machine :D), but that's more than 14A anyway and in combination with other loads, it will be able to keep delivering that load. The 5 and 3.3 currents are also significantly larger.

I'll install the PSU in a few weeks time I think, atm I really need the PC so I won't start doing magic inside it :).

Does the Trust PSU have Active Power Factor Correction?

Some more comparisons:

Astec Model SA147-3505 PSU:
+12V: 4.2A maximum
+5V: 18A
+3.3V: 13A
-12V: 0.8A
+5VSB: 0.1A
145W continuous
No Active Power Factor Correction
Very light in weight so it's easy to carry around all day.
Powered a 233MHz Pentium HP box for nine years and still works.

Allied AL-A350ATX REV:B PSU:
+12V: 12A (peak output)
+5 V: 35A
+3.3V: 24A
–12V: 0.8A
+5VSB: 2A
350W maximum
No Active Power Factor Correction
A true waste of refined metal.

Cooler Master Real Power RS-450-ACLY PSU:
+12V1: 18A/12A (peak output (60S)/continuous output)
+12V2: 16A/10A
+5V: 35A/25A
+3.3V: 30A/20A
-12V: 1A
+5 VSB: 2.5A/2A
450W continuous
Active Power Factor Correction
About 47€ after MIR in 2005.
Now powering my nephew's PC.

Antec TruePower Trio 650 PSU:
+12V1: 19A (maximum output)
+12V2: 19A
+12V3: 19A
+5V: 30A
+3.3V: 24A
-12V: 0.8A
+5VSB: 3A
650W maximum
Active Power Factor Correction
About 88€.
In current use.

PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 510 SLI PSU:
+12V: 34A/38A
+5V: 40A
+3.3V: 30A
-12V: 2A
+5VSB: 3A
510W continuous, 650W peak
Active Power Factor Correction
About 140€.
For future PC build (<2008).

OK, make room...

Miller XMT 300 PC (http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=384)
+12V: 375A (peak @ 4,500W)
10,000W maximum
Active Power Factor Correction
About 2,584€ (or about 18 Turbo-Cool PSUs).
Resembles a welding machine. :D

Nicolas
2007-Aug-29, 02:38 PM
it says it has "passive power factor correction". What does it mean?

Neverfly
2007-Aug-29, 02:45 PM
it says it has "passive power factor correction". What does it mean?

It means it will correct the power factor but doesn't want to argue or fight about it.

Nicolas
2007-Aug-29, 02:47 PM
Good dog. Have a cookie. ;)

Serenitude
2007-Aug-29, 02:51 PM
Nicolas, I can sympathize. I just had to remove the GeForce MX4000 from my Dell 3000 the other day, as the 250 watt PSU just couldn't take it, and while it didn't shut the system down, I had lot's of little errors in both (shudders) Windows and Linux, all of which were solved by removing the card. It seems the strain on the juice was just enough to wig things out somewhat :(

Nicolas
2007-Aug-29, 02:57 PM
Instead of removing the gfx card I will change the PSU and keep the card :). All set, just need to wait until the PC is less critical (thesis...) and then I'll replace it. I've already bought the new PSU.

PFC seems to be making the complex PC load more like a resistive one, but what does it mean for the PSU in practice? Can it deliver more power, is it more efficient, does it last longer, does it smell nicer?

Alan G. Archer
2007-Aug-29, 03:44 PM
Silentpcreview.com has an article by Mike Chin, "Power Supply Fundamentals (http://www.silentpcreview.com/article28-page5.html)," that gives a non-technical explanation of Power Factor Correction.

Nicolas
2007-Sep-13, 07:50 PM
Question regarding windows XP. Thanks to a lovely action (NOT!) by Dell, we have only on one of both Dell PC's a windows Xp installation CD, and that one is specific for the dell 4600. The other PC is a dell 5100, comparable hardware but different mobo to start with. My question: could we use the dell 4600 CD to reinstall XP on the 5100, and would we get into problems with the "microsoft genuine" thing on our copy of XP?

Nicolas
2007-Sep-16, 09:43 PM
Solved, Dell sent the CD :).