Need PSU recommendation for "Serious Hardware Error"

Discussion in 'Benchmarks & Performance' started by ray_gillespie, Jan 13, 2007.

  1. ray_gillespie

    ray_gillespie Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    Following on from this post about the Machine Check Error that my computer has been experiencing lately, I have an idea of what the problem could be.

    Essentially, I was getting this error once a fortnight or even once a month, until today. We had a powercut while my PC was on, and then before I could unplug it the power came back on and off very quickly and then finall stayed on. Since that happened, I have been getting the 'Machine Check Error' every five minutes which just completely reboots my whole computer. I forgot to mention in my previous post that the computer reboots, I think I just said that I have the error.

    So, I think the problem is with my PSU. Can anyone recommend me a really good top spec PSU that will be good enough to use in my next build too, which will hopefully be within 12 months.

    Reps for any help :)
     
  2. LordOfLA

    LordOfLA Godlike!

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    Tagan, OCZ :)

    Overclockers.co.uk
     
  3. David_L6

    David_L6 OSNN Addict

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    A UPS may be of more benefit to you than a new PSU....???

    I prefer PC P&C PSU's. I don't know if you can get them where you are at a reasonable price or not though.
     
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  4. LordOfLA

    LordOfLA Godlike!

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    I@ve not seen PC p&C psu's over here in the uk. the brands I've listed though use nice big capacitors to smooth power though. Should weather most spiikes/brownouts
     
  5. ray_gillespie

    ray_gillespie Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    Cool, any particular model/spec recommendation? I think around 600W should suffice or is this overkill? Anything else I should look for? I assume any decent one should have an adequate 12V rail.

    Thanks.

    Oh, and I'll look into surge protectors!
     
  6. LordOfLA

    LordOfLA Godlike!

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    got a tagan 550W modular in my pc. After frying two power cables (litterally - they crumbled to touch) after somehow getting 2 of the power pins on my floppy drive into the same hole its still going strong with no other effects other than I had to buy a new floppy drive.

    Seriously justified its cost to me that day :)
     
  7. ray_gillespie

    ray_gillespie Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    Last edited: Jan 14, 2007
  8. LordOfLA

    LordOfLA Godlike!

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    I'd jump for the 600W tagan. Corsair only recently entered the psu market so they need time to build a reputation and the 800W is a touch of overkill :)
     
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  9. ray_gillespie

    ray_gillespie Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    Cool, thanks for all the help and advice. I've ordered the 600W Tagan PSU, it was £99 on Dabs after postage (it was about £103 on Overclockers with postage).

    Should be here in 1-3 days, I'll post back with how I get on.

    Reps going out now...
     
  10. ray_gillespie

    ray_gillespie Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    Well, I've just firmly touched some wood, but I've been up and running for 20 mins so far...

    EDIT:

    Crisis of crises!! It just happened again, though it managed to stay on for 35 minutes instead of 5 :( :(

    Oh woe is me!

    What can I do now? I just spent £100 on a PSU that has helped but not solved the problem.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2007
  11. LordOfLA

    LordOfLA Godlike!

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    Well I'll list what usually causes a cpu to generate an MCE:

    Failing RAM
    Failing CPU

    And exceedingly rare: Failing Motherboard.

    Edit: That PSU was not a waste of money however :)
     
  12. mlakrid

    mlakrid OSNN BASSMASTER Political User Folding Team

    Well as I understand it Lord, the Tagan is to you in the UK what the PCP&C is here in the US.

    The problem with that is it didnt fix his problem; so even though he has a quality PSU it was not needed if his problem still exists... I.E. wasted $$$

    :(
     
  13. ray_gillespie

    ray_gillespie Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    Yeah I'm still quite pleased with the new PSU, it'll tide me over for quite a while and has a 3yr guarantee. I'm just gutted that I still have this problem. I can't quite work out why it seems to be better though, the first time it held out for about 30 mins and this time it's been on for 36 and counting...

    EDIT: 55 mins and counting...

    EDIT 2: I got just over an hour out of it before it rebooted. Question is, do I wager £50 on a new CPU? If that's the problem then I'm fine. If it's not, I've just wasted £50 :(
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2007
  14. mlakrid

    mlakrid OSNN BASSMASTER Political User Folding Team

    Ray I would check the local PC parts places, Im sure you have some that will do the same...

    You take what defective parts/pieces I.E. CPU, memory, etc...
    and they will test them for you...

    Heres where they get you, you can either:
    A) pay them to test it or
    B) have them test and then the rebate you the test provided you buy the replacement from them, and sometimes they will install it etc for free..

    YEA YEA I know you would want to do it yourself... figured I would just throw it out there...

    Good luck, keep us posted!

    Mike A!
     
  15. LordOfLA

    LordOfLA Godlike!

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    I'd take a trip up to OCuK in Stoke and have them test the cpu and ram, then you can buy what you need while you're at their shop.
     
  16. LeeJend

    LeeJend Moderator

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    I went back and re-read the original post. You tested the RAM but never tested the CPU. So download sisoft sandra lite (free edition) and run the CPU burn in tests.

    It will monitor MB and CPU temperature while the test runs. Set it to run and watch it until the temperature stabilizes (about 20-30 minutes). If the CPU temp goes above 60 deg C stop running and blow out the HS fins. If that doesn't help the temp then lift the HS, clean off the old paste and apply new. If it has a thermal pad find the threads for proper removal of the thermal pad before applying paste.

    If the CPU test passes for a couple hours then it's down to the MB or possiby a plug in card. I had a sound card that caused me crash hell for 4 months until I accidentally found it was bad. Pull anything that is not required for basic operation and run for a couple hours. If you have a video card and no on board video you won't be able to test the video.

    If you have no plug in cards try disabling on board sound and lan and run for an hour or 2 to see if the crashes continue. If they clear up it's the MB.

    Ask around at work or school to see if anyone has parts they loan out to do system testing with. I'm the local geek with the spare parts hoard where I work and loan out parts regularly or bring stuff home to test in my test rig.

    PS The PSU was not a waste. Without a good quality PSU any other testing you perform is a waste of time. And in the USA repair shop rates would quickly exceed the cost of that PSU and you still have to buy the parts from them at an excessive price.
     
  17. ray_gillespie

    ray_gillespie Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    Ok, I ran the Sandra Lite system report, and the only problem it identified was "Warning 236: Vcore higher than rated maximum. Check Vcore setting!".

    It identifies an overclocked CPU as a possible cause. As I don't overclock at all, could it be a faulty CPU?

    I can't really change the Vcore settings in my BIOS either. I think the most I can change the CPU voltage is by 0.1V, which made no difference.

    Reps for any help as usual :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2007
  18. ray_gillespie

    ray_gillespie Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    Anyone??????????????????????
     
  19. LeeJend

    LeeJend Moderator

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    How high is the Vcore reading? Check it in bios as well as Sandra.

    Sometimes utility programs read the wrong adreess and get really scary numbers.

    My Athlon XP 3500 is running at:
    -Bouncing between 1.408 and 1.424V with CPUz
    -Sandra Lite 2007 says 1.42V
    It has always been a little high. Cheap MB...

    I think 1.35V is the standard setting, if it doesn't run too hot 1.45V is a common overclockers setting.
     
  20. ray_gillespie

    ray_gillespie Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    Ooh also I now have this from Sandra:


    ***** Start of Report *****
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    <<< Computer Overview >>>
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Warning 100: Large memory sizes should be made of
    Registered/Buffered memory.
    Tip 2546: Large memory modules should be ECC/Parity.
    Notice 5901: CD 1x= 150kB/s; Exercise caution when
    comparing measured versus published ratings.
    Notice 5902: DVD 1x= 11.08Mbps Exercise caution when
    comparing measured versus published ratings.
    <<< Mainboard >>>
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Notice 224: SMBIOS/DMI information may be inaccurate.
    Tip 2511: Some memory slots are free so the memory can
    be easily upgraded.
    Warning 2541: FSB exceeds Chipset rated speed. Reduce FSB.
    Warning 100: Large memory sizes should be made of
    Registered/Buffered memory.
    Tip 2546: Large memory modules should be ECC/Parity.
    <<< Mainboard Configuration >>>
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Notice 224: System BIOS : SMBIOS/DMI information may be
    inaccurate.
    Tip 207: System BIOS : A SMBIOS/DMI 2.3 or later
    compliant BIOS is recommended. Check for a
    BIOS update.
    Tip 212: System BIOS : BIOS can be shadowed so check
    whether it is.
    Tip 211: System BIOS : BIOS is flash-able and socketed
    so it can be upgraded when needed.
    <<< Processors >>>
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tip 210: CPU 1 [Processor 0, Core 0, Thread 0] :
    Mainboard supports faster CPUs, so the CPU
    can be upgraded when needed.
    Notice 224: CPU 1 [Processor 0, Core 0, Thread 0] :
    SMBIOS/DMI information may be inaccurate.
    Warning 236: CPU 1 [Processor 0, Core 0, Thread 0] : Vcore
    higher than rated maximum. Check Vcore
    setting!
    <<< Buses and Devices >>>
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tip 1202: PCI Bus 0 (1/1x PCIClk) : Advanced Micro
    Devices (AMD) Athlon 64 / Opteron
    HyperTransport Technology Configuration :
    Device does not support bus mastering.
    Tip 1202: PCI Bus 0 (1/1x PCIClk) : Advanced Micro
    Devices (AMD) Athlon 64 / Opteron Address Map
    : Device does not support bus mastering.
    Tip 1202: PCI Bus 0 (1/1x PCIClk) : Advanced Micro
    Devices (AMD) Athlon 64 / Opteron DRAM
    Controller : Device does not support bus
    mastering.
    Tip 1202: PCI Bus 0 (1/1x PCIClk) : Advanced Micro
    Devices (AMD) Athlon 64 / Opteron
    Miscellaneous Control : Device does not
    support bus mastering.
    <<< Power Management >>>
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Notice 224: SMBIOS/DMI information may be inaccurate.
    <<< Displays and Display Adapters >>>
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tip 319: Video Adapter : Primary Display Driver
    (display) : A refresh rate of at least 75Hz
    is recommended. Increase it if possible.
    Tip 323: Video Adapter : Primary Display Driver
    (display) : Remove the desktop wallpaper to
    save memory and improve performance.
    <<< Physical Disks >>>
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Warning 3100: ST3320620AS (ATA) : S.M.A.R.T not enabled;
    consider enabling for safety.
    <<< Printers and Faxes >>>
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    <<< Ports >>>
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    <<< Audio Devices >>>
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    <<< Mice and Track-balls >>>
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    <<< Keyboards and Tablets >>>
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    <<< Network Adapters >>>
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Warning 503: Services & Routing : Simple IP services (Echo,
    DayTime, etc) enabled, check this is
    required.
    <<< Operating System >>>
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tip 1300: Enter your company name or "Home" instead of
    "Unknown".
    Warning 1316: This copy of Windows contains Product
    Activation Technology.
    <<< Memory Usage >>>
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    <<< Processes >>>
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tip 1601: iexplore : Program consumes a large amount of
    memory.
    Tip 1601: iexplore : Program consumes a large amount of
    memory.
    <<< Modules >>>
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    <<< Services and Drivers >>>
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tip 2130: Computer Browser : Service may be disabled on
    Home/Professional OS version.
    Tip 2130: Error Reporting Service : Service may be
    disabled on Home/Professional OS version.
    Tip 2130: Help and Support : Service may be disabled on
    Home/Professional OS version.
    Tip 2130: TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper : Service may be
    disabled on Home/Professional OS version.
    Tip 2130: IPSEC Services : Service may be disabled on
    Home/Professional OS version.
    Tip 2130: Remote Registry : Service may be disabled on
    Home/Professional OS version.
    Tip 2130: Secondary Logon : Service may be disabled on
    Home/Professional OS version.
    <<< Fonts >>>
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    <<< Media Devices >>>
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    <<< DirectX >>>
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    <<< OpenGL >>>
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    <<< Logical Drives >>>
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tip 1821: Hard Disk (C:) : Label (name) drive.
    Warning: CD-ROM/DVD (D:) : Cannot obtain drive
    information; check that a disk is in the
    drive and it is correctly formatted.
    Warning: Removable Drive (G:) : Cannot obtain drive
    information; check that a disk is in the
    drive and it is correctly formatted.
    <<< File Types >>>
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    <<< Environment Variables >>>
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ***** End of Report *****