Random Tech Questions you want answered.

Yes for the most part if it is a regular size case. The non-modular ones tend to be slightly smaller than modular ones (for the same wattage) so if room is tight in the case that will save an inch or two.

Rykin wrote:

Yes for the most part if it is a regular size case. The non-modular ones tend to be slightly smaller than modular ones (for the same wattage) so if room is tight in the case that will save an inch or two.

It's a huge case with lots of fans (which is probably why the current PSU isn't overheating, so space is not a problem. I was concerned if the cables still had the same connections to the various components, or if those had changed to something different.

Yeah same cables. The modular are nicer because you can plug in only the cables you actually use so you don't have a bunch of dead cables floating around in your case. Most half-decent power supplies are modular these days.

If you are concerned about compatibility you can post a picture of your current case with power supply, or post their make/model.

Yup. That's the nice thing about power supplies, the connections really haven't changed much in forever. Personally I tend to stick with semi-modular because they're a little cheaper than fully modular, and there's no situation in my personal use where I wouldn't be using the 24-pin that comes hardwired into the semi-modular.

I'm running a Corsair 750W 80+ Bronze that I've really liked. I have two crap PSUs in my boys' computers that I'll upgrade to similar PSUs when they crap out.

bekkilyn wrote:
Rykin wrote:

Yes for the most part if it is a regular size case. The non-modular ones tend to be slightly smaller than modular ones (for the same wattage) so if room is tight in the case that will save an inch or two.

It's a huge case with lots of fans (which is probably why the current PSU isn't overheating, so space is not a problem. I was concerned if the cables still had the same connections to the various components, or if those had changed to something different.

Very little has changed in ATX power supplies in the past 15 years. The Pentium 4 era saw the 4-pin 12V connector added, and that grew into an 8-pin 12V connector in the Core 2 days. Anything from mid-2000s on is going to be using the same power supply connections as a brand new system.

If I got modular or semi-modular, would I need to buy the cables in addition to the power supply?

Thanks for all the answers and responses so far...it's been ages since I've done anything with the insides of the computer so I feel very out of date.

Shouldn't need to. They should come in the box with the power supply.

bekkilyn wrote:

If I got modular or semi-modular, would I need to buy the cables in addition to the power supply?

Nope, they're a part of the package. The only downside to going modular/semi-modular is that they usually cost more, although that amount seems to have shrunken considerably in recent years.

bekkilyn wrote:

If I got modular or semi-modular, would I need to buy the cables in addition to the power supply?

Thanks for all the answers and responses so far...it's been ages since I've done anything with the insides of the computer so I feel very out of date. :)

Nope, you're good. Just keep in mind that you need to store the cables you're not using so that you don't lose them. AFAIK, they're not standardized, and the ones you get with the supply are the only ones you can use. You might be able to get replacements from the manufacturer, but Best Buy isn't likely to have any.

Cheaper supplies just provide them loose. One of my better supplies included a cloth bag. What I like to do is put them in a really small cardboard box, and tape the box to the inside bottom of the case, or anywhere with room.

Non-modular supplies are kind of a pain to work with, but you can't lose the cables.

Malor wrote:

Nope, you're good. Just keep in mind that you need to store the cables you're not using so that you don't lose them. AFAIK, they're not standardized, and the ones you get with the supply are the only ones you can use. You might be able to get replacements from the manufacturer, but Best Buy isn't likely to have any.

It is actually very easy to get replacements and shorter/longer cables if needed thanks to places like CableMod. I have personally been using Corsair PSUs for years and I have a nice collection of left over cables from 3 different ones including the main cables from when I had to replace the PSU in my Hackintosh after my apartment flooded.

I decided to order this one:

Seasonic Focus Plus 850 Gold SSR-850FX 850W 80+ Gold ATX12V & EPS12V Full Modular 120mm FDB Fan 10 Year Warranty Compact 140 mm Size Power Supply

I really liked the full modular option for less cables, and this one also comes with a bag so no cable should (theoretically) get lost!

Yeah, it's a little pricey up front, but that very well may last you several builds.

Yeah, that's likely to last a long time. You could easily get fifteen years out of it.

bekkilyn wrote:

I decided to order this one:

Seasonic Focus Plus 850 Gold SSR-850FX 850W 80+ Gold ATX12V & EPS12V Full Modular 120mm FDB Fan 10 Year Warranty Compact 140 mm Size Power Supply

I really liked the full modular option for less cables, and this one also comes with a bag so no cable should (theoretically) get lost!

Can't complain about this choice, it's the exact PSU in my main system. The little bag is very nice for keeping the extra cables together.

Hey gang... so I dug my old PC out of storage with the idea to figure out its problem(s).

My knowledge is kind of limited. But the CPU temp jumps out immediately.

This fans are also irritatingly loud. Open Hardware Monitor report in the spoiler.

Not sure if this thing is worth salvaging or not. For years now I've been using a cheap laptop for non-gaming stuff and just console gaming, but I felt a renewed curiosity about this thing...

Spoiler:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/uZJh4ia.jpg)

Yeah, CPU temp is way too high. The first thing I'd do is pull the cooler, clean out the paste that was on it, and apply new paste. Most likely it's dried up and not passing heat properly to the heat sink. Instead of transferring that heat from the CPU like it should, it's acting like a big blanket on top of the CPU, holding that heat in. That is causing your motherboard to go ape-sh*t and ramp the fans up because it thinks your CPU is trying to commit suicide, while your CPU is throttling itself because it can't pass the heat off properly. I'd imagine it's running like crap too, really slow to load while sounding like a jet engine.

All in all you should be able to revive that system (assuming I'm right) for the cost of a tube of thermal paste, and some alcohol and swabs to clean the old paste off the heat sink and CPU.

PurEvil wrote:

Yeah, CPU temp is way too high.

That's an understatement. 90 C at idle? Is there even a cooler on it?

Do not run that system again until thoroughly checking the CPU cooler. Make sure the fan runs when the system powers on.

Yeah, wow! Was it in storage because of a move? If so my first guess would be one of the pins on the heat sink jostled loose and the cooler is barely making contact with the CPU.

My CPU hit those temps when my water pump died.

*Legion* wrote:
PurEvil wrote:

Yeah, CPU temp is way too high.

That's an understatement.

What I imagine the inside of the CPU is like:

Spoiler:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/mNYzefI.gif?1)

EvilDead wrote:

Yeah, wow! Was it in storage because of a move? If so my first guess would be one of the pins on the heat sink jostled loose and the cooler is barely making contact with the CPU.

My CPU hit those temps when my water pump died.

Or warped and it pulled the cooler away from the CPU. Either way the process is the same, you just inspect the cooler before you put it back on.

Thanks for the responses. The CPU fan does run when it turns on, but clearly something isn’t right under there.

Well, the pins on the heatsink all seemed secure. I’ve never messed around with GPUs really. But that looks like some pretty dry paste?

Spoiler:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/EY309eV.jpg)
IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/qtvQgeF.jpg)

Definitely clean and reapply thermal paste, and make sure there isn't any dust built up in the fins of the cooler.

If the fan was turning, then poor contact inhibiting heat transfer is about the only other likely candidate.

Not to mention, that's stock paste on a CPU released nearly a decade ago.

Yeah... to be clear, I’m not hoping this’ll be my new gaming rig or something. More of a curiosity, learning experience of figuring out what’s up with it since I have it to mess with.

Oh yeah, I get that. I used to find old broken equipment to troubleshoot to learn how to fix things. That's how I taught myself how to solder in components. It's always better to learn on stuff that has little value rather than hoping you get it right the first time on something expensive or hard to replace.

My point was more to the fact that because it's stock paste, and because it's almost a decade old, it's just so much more likely that it's dried out rather than anything else. That basically guarantees the paste has never been changed. And while stock paste isn't exactly crap, that's a long time for it to hold up.

PurEvil wrote:

And while stock paste isn't exactly crap...

Opinions vary greatly on that

What is the best way nowadays for cleaning dust out of the system? Figured if I'm going to be swapping the PSU out, I may as well give it all an extra good cleaning out too.

bekkilyn wrote:

What is the best way nowadays for cleaning dust out of the system? Figured if I'm going to be swapping the PSU out, I may as well give it all an extra good cleaning out too.

Compressed air is good. It can get in between the tiny fins of the heat sinks. Motherboards hold an unbelievable amount of dust, so doing it in the garage or basement is worth the trouble.

bekkilyn wrote:

What is the best way nowadays for cleaning dust out of the system? Figured if I'm going to be swapping the PSU out, I may as well give it all an extra good cleaning out too.

One of these. I will never not own one of these again.

A couple cans of compressed air are cheaper, but for the price of about 10 cans, it solves the problem forever. (Or at least as long as the motor lasts)

So I cleaned the fan with compressed air, cleaned off the old thermal paste and put some new Corsair paste on.

Fan started off really quiet and CPU was in the 50s-60s, but after running a little while, it’s climbing up into the 70s. Not great, I gather.

This has been interesting anyway. CPUs were the one thing I was afraid to touch in the past.

Amusing to see what’s on the system. Battle.net client was a beta version.