VOGONS


Reply 40 of 65, by SodaSuccubus

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Iv had 2 AT PSUs die, one tripped the breaker in my house once, but iv never lost any actual components from either thankfully.

Same with ESD (as it was being mentioned earlier).
Very aware that it exists but iv never, to my knowledge, had a single computer component modern or old die from it specifically. Iv had most parts die from old age, which maybe ESD contributed a bit too. But that's it.

Reply 41 of 65, by gerry

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PSUs have always been reliable from my perspective so I'd say no

of course its possible, I imagine, that a faulty by apparently functional PSU might damage components over time without it being obvious

having said that the oldest PSU I have is circa 1997, not sure if that puts it in the modern category in terms of relative safety

Reply 42 of 65, by Oetker

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Tetrium wrote on 2021-03-18, 20:11:

Tagan

I don't know if this brand even exists anymore, at the time they were supposed to be high quality but I've seen two of them fail. Came with nice braided power cords though. Also had a Corsair fail, and interestingly have never had shitty 300w units fail back when I was using those in the Athlon XP era. Nothing other than the PSU was ever damaged, though.

Reply 43 of 65, by mpe

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I haven't had any hardware damaged by old PSU. At least not knowingly.

But surely I had a number of hardware pieces saved by using ATX2AT adaptor with overcurrent protection.

As I often handle old hardware, doing repairs, etc. it is easy to install CPU, SRAM chip or EEPROM, power connector, etc. wrong way. By the time you notice the smoke a damage is usually done.

Such as a 486 CPU I installed 90° clockwise two weeks ago.The protection kicked-in, I immediately noticed, fixed without any blue smoke. This would be certainly a disaster with direct AT-style PSU or perhaps even with unprotected ATX with passive adaptor.

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Reply 44 of 65, by Tetrium

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Oetker wrote on 2021-03-19, 10:06:
Tetrium wrote on 2021-03-18, 20:11:

Tagan

I don't know if this brand even exists anymore, at the time they were supposed to be high quality but I've seen two of them fail. Came with nice braided power cords though. Also had a Corsair fail, and interestingly have never had shitty 300w units fail back when I was using those in the Athlon XP era. Nothing other than the PSU was ever damaged, though.

Iirc mine was this unit talked about here:
https://www.badcaps.net/forum/showthread.php?t=3065

Mine worked fine for several years, but it tended to run hot so adding a case fan was really a necessity so the little air it would intake was at least cool. It has rather low airflow combined with quite densely packed insides.

What I did like about this PSU is its good 5v and good 12v rails, I could basically use any graphics card with the Barton 3200+. It replaced an FSP PSU which I thought had somewhat poor 12v lines and I wanted to upgrade the graphics card for one final upgrade.

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Reply 45 of 65, by rojovision

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ODwilly wrote on 2021-03-19, 07:00:

Take a look at the big PSU build quality thread (I cant remember the name) and check out some posts. Super informative and in depth, then check out some Johnny Guru psu reviews, especially some older PSU reviews with internal breakdowns and hardware tests are really handy to get a decent idea of components and what they are rated for.

I'll look around for that, thanks.

Oetker wrote on 2021-03-19, 10:06:
Tetrium wrote on 2021-03-18, 20:11:

Tagan

I don't know if this brand even exists anymore, at the time they were supposed to be high quality but I've seen two of them fail. Came with nice braided power cords though. Also had a Corsair fail, and interestingly have never had shitty 300w units fail back when I was using those in the Athlon XP era. Nothing other than the PSU was ever damaged, though.

I have a Tagan ITZ700 that I used for a machine I built back in 2008. Currently reads "HH" every few seconds on the 3.3V rail according to my cheap PSU tester, and then goes back down to within tolerance. I thought it might be because of the turbo switch in the back, but that didn't have any effect. Come to think of it, the motherboard it was plugged in to doesn't post anymore, though I can't say with 100% certainty it was the PSU. Either way I don't trust it, but it looks cool with a shiny blue exterior so I'll probably keep it.

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Reply 46 of 65, by ODwilly

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A tale od two PSU's! Just remembered.

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Reply 47 of 65, by retardware

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Just found this thread while searching...
I guess PSU ripple and overvoltage has something in common with ESD.
The damage is not immediate, but gradually worsens over time, until finally components fail.
And people think of all possible reasons, but do not consider the actual reasons.

There was a recent thread with a guy asking why his motherboards keep dying, and this reminded me of taking out of service a PSU long ago after wondering about strange hardware defects repeating on just this computer (mobos, cards and HDDs instabilities and occasional deaths).

Reply 48 of 65, by cyclone3d

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I don't remember if it was AT or ATX, but back in the day I did repair a few computers where the power cables with the molex connectors melted the insulation off from something shorting out. Pretty sure one or two of those had the drives die when that happened.

They probably were cheapo ATX power supplies.

I will also note that with good PSUs adapted to AT, the soundcard output is generally very clean.

Makes sense as the power output is going to be a whole lot cleaner and voltages should generally be more stable as well.

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Reply 49 of 65, by BitWrangler

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Personal experience...

One "unknown provenance" 250W ATX blew a puff of smoke out the back at first power up, fans just got time to twitch then it was dead, when connected to a Socket A KT133 board, board 100% okay and powered up fine with the next 250W.

Two instances of "slow death" power brownout at high load, leading to BSDs and crashes on 250W and 300W ATX CPUs, no damage, but could potentially cause data corruption.

One case I'm not sure was the PSU's fault or what, HP system powered on, was just hitting peak HDD speed then "CLACK" it went off and the lights flashed, things reset. IDK if it was a self heal short on the input cap that momentarily dumped voltage in the house, or the voltage TO the house that had a large spike or dropped. No smoke, smell or other indication from the HP machine. Result was damaged hardware though, the hard drive nuked it's system area, the track -1 where it stores it's settings, (No, not the one you can fdisk /mbr) rest of system apparently unaffected, PSU still powers it.

Oh and I think way back when, first half of 90s I n00bed the IDE cable hookup, shorting 5V to ground and 200W AT supply spat a small flash out of all holes as the 5V reg assploded. I wanna say everything survived, but I seem to remember retiring a Prime 2C I/O card the year after that had gone flaky, but I didn't keep track of which one I did it to.

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Reply 50 of 65, by Rikintosh

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My experience:

-Very old AT PSU: I never had problems, I open them periodically to clean and check the capacitors. I was careless once and wired the on and off switch the wrong way, and the power supply blew up, but that was my fault.

-ATX power supplies: Any ATX power supply produced between 98 and 2007 is at serious risk, at that time the defective capacitors were manufactured (search google about it)

My recommendation: Whenever possible, change your PSU to a PSU, there are no disadvantages, only advantages, the modernization allowed the construction of more robust sources, which make less noise, generate less heat, are more energy efficient, and much more safe.

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Reply 51 of 65, by 386SX

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Imho the point is that modern PSU beside the very good ones that are probably designed to (also) have the same quaity they have on the +12V rails even on the other ones, most might not have the best +5V and others rails design, not only on the power wattage but how clean that line might be (peaks, ripples or whatever) on these forgotten voltages. And even without the absolute need for it on some Athlon power demanding config, still a cheap PSU modern into an old config might be a risk as well. Surely the money on good PSU are always the best investment in any config but for a retro one it seems not always easy. From a certain point of view a perfect functional high end AT psu (only few usually found in those config) seems had a good point cause they were much simpler and with much less components (I've got a couple of them very well built) while some ATX P4 oriented had more protections or whatever but often too many components that might break and eventually results in who knows what imho.
So I suppose the only solution might be to search for a PSU where reviews tested the quality of old low voltage rails plus an ATX to AT adapter with the -5V (I know it's said only few cards requires it but I'm of the opinion even some mainboard might requires it too, at least the 80386 config I have without the -5V doesn't work correctly even with just the vga only).

Reply 52 of 65, by retardware

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Rikintosh wrote on 2021-09-09, 04:30:

My recommendation: Whenever possible, change your PSU to a PSU, there are no disadvantages, only advantages, the modernization allowed the construction of more robust sources, which make less noise, generate less heat, are more energy efficient, and much more safe.

Probably even exploding Gigabyte power supplies are better than this old crud.
Notice the two DC converters in the left that deliver stable, crossloading-resistent +5 and +3.3V.

Reply 53 of 65, by drosse1meyer

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Namrok wrote on 2021-03-16, 14:31:

Back in college, so I think around 2003, I had an old Antec 300W blow out in my old LAN Party Pentium 2/3 (I don't remember), Geforce 2 GTS system that went off to school with me. It did... weird things. One of the hard drives that must have gotten a shock could only correctly read data. I was probably torrenting anime or something at the time. All the data that wrote to it after the PSU blow was corrupted. The network adapter built into the motherboard died. And the fan on the GPU quit working. I replaced the PSU, borrowed a network adapter, and limped through the last month or two of the school year. Laptops were required for students, so I ended up doing most of my work on that, despite preferring desktops generally.

This is all approaching 20 years ago, so take my recollection with a grain of salt.

Yea IIRC those early to mid 2000s Antec PSUs were... not the best. I had one too and it died but didn't kill anything at least.

Oetker wrote on 2021-03-19, 10:06:

I don't know if this brand even exists anymore, at the time they were supposed to be high quality but I've seen two of them fail. Came with nice braided power cords though. Also had a Corsair fail, and interestingly have never had shitty 300w units fail back when I was using those in the Athlon XP era. Nothing other than the PSU was ever damaged, though.

Yea corsairs had some capxon cap issues 🙁

Last edited by drosse1meyer on 2021-09-10, 01:10. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 54 of 65, by drosse1meyer

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retardware wrote on 2021-09-09, 18:55:
Rikintosh wrote on 2021-09-09, 04:30:

My recommendation: Whenever possible, change your PSU to a PSU, there are no disadvantages, only advantages, the modernization allowed the construction of more robust sources, which make less noise, generate less heat, are more energy efficient, and much more safe.

Probably even exploding Gigabyte power supplies are better than this old crud.
Notice the two DC converters in the left that deliver stable, crossloading-resistent +5 and +3.3V.

I like gamersnexus, they have thorough reviews without the bs that other hw channels are drowning in

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Reply 55 of 65, by canthearu

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drosse1meyer wrote on 2021-09-10, 01:04:

Yea IIRC those early to mid 2000s Antec PSUs were... not the best. I had one too and it died but didn't kill anything at least.

I actually love those power supplies ... but ONLY after they have been recapped. Use a 380W Smartpower 2.0 PSU as my computer test supply, will power anything up.

Good designs, ruined by penny pinching capacitor choice.

Reply 56 of 65, by cyclone3d

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drosse1meyer wrote on 2021-09-10, 01:06:
retardware wrote on 2021-09-09, 18:55:
Rikintosh wrote on 2021-09-09, 04:30:

My recommendation: Whenever possible, change your PSU to a PSU, there are no disadvantages, only advantages, the modernization allowed the construction of more robust sources, which make less noise, generate less heat, are more energy efficient, and much more safe.

Probably even exploding Gigabyte power supplies are better than this old crud.
Notice the two DC converters in the left that deliver stable, crossloading-resistent +5 and +3.3V.

I like gamersnexus, they have thorough reviews without the bs that other hw channels are drowning in

You ever look at johhnyguru or hardocp ? They had the best reviews back in the day. Hardocp is now only the forums. A few people from the old staff started a new review site - www.thefpsreview.com

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Reply 57 of 65, by drosse1meyer

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cyclone3d wrote on 2021-09-10, 04:12:
drosse1meyer wrote on 2021-09-10, 01:06:
retardware wrote on 2021-09-09, 18:55:

Probably even exploding Gigabyte power supplies are better than this old crud.
Notice the two DC converters in the left that deliver stable, crossloading-resistent +5 and +3.3V.

I like gamersnexus, they have thorough reviews without the bs that other hw channels are drowning in

You ever look at johhnyguru or hardocp ? They had the best reviews back in the day. Hardocp is now only the forums. A few people from the old staff started a new review site - www.thefpsreview.com

Yes! I remember both those sites. Will have to check out fpsreview.

Just did quick search and apparently Jonny now works at Corsair. At least according to this. https://www.reddit.com/r/hardware/comments/lb … web2x&context=3

canthearu wrote on 2021-09-10, 02:01:

I actually love those power supplies ... but ONLY after they have been recapped. Use a 380W Smartpower 2.0 PSU as my computer test supply, will power anything up.

Good designs, ruined by penny pinching capacitor choice.

Victims of the capacitor scourge of the 2000s I suppose?

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Reply 58 of 65, by canthearu

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drosse1meyer wrote on 2021-09-10, 11:12:

Victims of the capacitor scourge of the 2000s I suppose?

Kinda.

The original capacitor plague was due to clones of the Ultra Low ESR motherboard capacitors using a particularly bad copy of the electrolyte formula. This really only directly affected capacitors that sat on the CPU VRMs of motherboards at that time. Capacitors in PSUs of that time (and up until really recently) never used those series of capacitors, and should never have had bulging problems.

But I figure the combination of computers that started to actually significantly more power (as CPUs and 3d Video cards started actually using a lot of power), along with poor PSU cooling design, along with just going full out bottom of the barrel capacitor choice, just doomed a lot of PSUs before we learned to design them better and to use better quality capacitors.

* If CPUs and video cards had stayed at the Pentium 200 MMX and s3 Trio levels of power usage, Antec would never have been designing 500W power supplies on a tight budget, nor would they be trying to dump all the waste heat from supplying that much power, we might never have had a PSU capacitor plauge.
* If Antec really properly understood how much heat these PSUs were going to be dealing with, they probably would have designed their PSUs to allow better cooling of critical components, like secondary side capacitors. Fixing this poor design might have allowed even the crap, bottom of the barrel capacitors they used, live quite a bit longer.
* If Antec just used better capacitors, they would be able to resist the heat from computers at the time and their poor thermal design to not really have too many capacitor problems.

So while I do love the Antec PSUs, and they certainly work well after a recap, I can't just blame capacitor choice ONLY for why these PSUs were so brittle.

Reply 59 of 65, by Rikintosh

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canthearu wrote on 2021-09-10, 12:07:
Kinda. […]
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drosse1meyer wrote on 2021-09-10, 11:12:

Victims of the capacitor scourge of the 2000s I suppose?

Kinda.

The original capacitor plague was due to clones of the Ultra Low ESR motherboard capacitors using a particularly bad copy of the electrolyte formula. This really only directly affected capacitors that sat on the CPU VRMs of motherboards at that time. Capacitors in PSUs of that time (and up until really recently) never used those series of capacitors, and should never have had bulging problems.

But I figure the combination of computers that started to actually significantly more power (as CPUs and 3d Video cards started actually using a lot of power), along with poor PSU cooling design, along with just going full out bottom of the barrel capacitor choice, just doomed a lot of PSUs before we learned to design them better and to use better quality capacitors.

* If CPUs and video cards had stayed at the Pentium 200 MMX and s3 Trio levels of power usage, Antec would never have been designing 500W power supplies on a tight budget, nor would they be trying to dump all the waste heat from supplying that much power, we might never have had a PSU capacitor plauge.
* If Antec really properly understood how much heat these PSUs were going to be dealing with, they probably would have designed their PSUs to allow better cooling of critical components, like secondary side capacitors. Fixing this poor design might have allowed even the crap, bottom of the barrel capacitors they used, live quite a bit longer.
* If Antec just used better capacitors, they would be able to resist the heat from computers at the time and their poor thermal design to not really have too many capacitor problems.

So while I do love the Antec PSUs, and they certainly work well after a recap, I can't just blame capacitor choice ONLY for why these PSUs were so brittle.

In fact, they were used in PSU, I've already caught several PSU's with capacitors that leaked, and even exploded, but all were of dubious quality.

I believe that for those of you who live in the US, it must be less likely, as Chinese manufacturers may not be successful in offering their shit to a public that can pay for quality, but here in Brazil, they unload their shit, and Brazilians buys them with a smile on his face.

In the early 2000s, a revolution happened when a brand called PC Chips emerged, I believe it sold little in the US and in developed countries, but it was a success in third world countries like Brazil. Result: Motherboards that made an Athlon have the same performance as a Duron, boards that were defective under warranty, and sometimes came with factory defect, instabilities and frequent BSODs (until then users thought it was just operating system problems or virus). The quality was so low, that a motherboard with a 100mhz fsb couldn't reach 100mhz, and used to operate at 80mhz.

Nowadays it's hard to find old hardware around here, because due to the excess of hardware with bad capacitors, and low quality products, few have survived to this day. And even today, there is still a flood of Chinese bootlegs that sell well around here, with false specifications.

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