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  #1  
Old 05-07-12, 06:21
robert707 robert707 is offline
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Arrow how does a pc get 'fried'

I'm wondering if some one could describe for me what
kind of damage happens to your PC/mother board when you
install a graphics card that's too powerful for your
power supply to handle and some sort of damage does
occur. Like hypothetically something like
putting in a card that needs 40 amps into a system where the power supply only gives out 17...or if the CPU isn't enough.

I've read people describing how that could
potentially 'fry' your system.

I assume that means the mother board or is it the power
supply that gets taxed? Or both? Does doing something
like that damage components like hard-drive or CPU too?
I'm sure there are varrying degrees of potenial damage
but would like to know what and how that damage might
happen.

Thanks.
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Old 05-07-12, 07:01
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Default Re: how does a pc get 'fried'

I did exactly that. I put a PSU with 28 amps on the 12 volt rail, into this PC, along with a GTX470 that requires 35 amps.
No damage. Also no video. Fans spun up, card got warm, but no video, and the troubleshooting LEDs said there was video trouble.
After getting a new PSU, everything worked fine.
BUT, I was probably lucky or damage doesn't happen every time. I have a friend that is very knowledgeable about GPU's and PSU's, and he claims some major damage can occur from PSU's that are too low powered for a system. And the damage can vary.
The PSU could take the worse of it or it can send surges through the board. Whatever is the weakest and most vulnerable to those surges is going to get damaged.
Hard drives, optical drives are probably safe, but anything on the main board could be affected. That means CPU, RAM, video and sound.

From my experience, you can do something to one PC and you will have no damage.
Do the same thing to another and you have a brick.
I think it depends on the PC gods.
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  #3  
Old 05-07-12, 12:43
robert707 robert707 is offline
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Arrow Re: how does a pc get 'fried'

@gloozit...if your still here!

Thanks alot, I ask because I installed an Asus GTX550ti 'Dirrect CU' card into my Intel G31 Express Chipset Motherboard. My Power supply is ATX12V 450, and my CPU is Intel Dual 2.5. The cards needs 40 amps but the PSU only gives 17.

Since then the PC seems to work but I swear I call feel this sort of heat coming off the system...only it's more like electrical waves kind of heat, like sitting too close to the TV or microwave kind of feeling x 10. It feels very wrong so I turned it off right away. I was trying to figure out if just switching the power supply would save it but from what you say something must be coming off the board.

I thought I should know more about what's going on before testing.
It is dangerous to put a working power supply into a partially 'fried' system/mother board?
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Old 05-07-12, 16:51
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Default Re: how does a pc get 'fried'

GTX 550ti does take a lot of juice i have one its a GTX 550 Ti Factory Overclocked

These Video cards can Take a like of power + throw alot of heat as well.
I would get a power supply that is 550watt or higher.

Use MSI Afterburner to adjust your fan speeds i would adjust them too 65% or a little bit higher the Fan speed is really loud at 100% if you don't mind the noise then go for it.

MSI After Burner
http://majorgeeks.com/MSI_Afterburner_d6254.html

I can play all of my Games i have on High or very high most games i play i can get 60FPS plus with this card its worth the money.
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Old 05-07-12, 17:24
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Default Re: how does a pc get 'fried'

All depends on the quality of the power supply,mainly the quality of its overload and overheat protection.

Ideally if you overload a PSU it should suffer no damage whatsoever,the PSU should detect the over current and shutdown,if the PSU is running too hot it should again shutdown. I've tested this with numerous PSU's,I've never come across one that doesn't shutdown in an over current situation,I've even practically bridged the 12V on many PSU's for high current projects which should damage PSU but it hasn't they just shutdown.

So I conclude is difficult if nigh on impossible to damage a "half decent" power supply with faulty components that draw too much current BUT heat causes unpredictable failures as Gloozit said.

There is one problem that the PSU can't protect against and that's overloading of an output wire,if too much current is drawn through a single output wire and the wire isn't designed to handle it the wire will become hot and dump that heat into your system,in certain circumstances the wire or wires can burn and set on fire.

Your 450w PSU is still under powered for that card that's where the heat will be coming from, minimum for 550ti is 400W with at least 24amps on the 12V rail EDIT but get one that's higher to give yourself some headroom.
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Old 05-07-12, 17:38
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Default Re: how does a pc get 'fried'

Preheat oil to 350F. Using tongs, carefully drop PC into oil and cook for 45 minutes.

Oh, wait...never mind...that's the recipe for frying the Thanksgiving turkey.
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Old 05-07-12, 18:16
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Default Re: how does a pc get 'fried'

Quote:
Originally Posted by gman863 View Post
Preheat oil to 350F. Using tongs, carefully drop PC into oil and cook for 45 minutes.

Oh, wait...never mind...that's the recipe for frying the Thanksgiving turkey.

LoL i have a friend that really did that stuck a MOB in a Baking pan and put cooking oil in it with the mob and made some French fry's lol i laughed so freaking hard.
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Old 05-07-12, 19:28
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Arrow Re: how does a pc get 'fried'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rikky View Post
All depends on the quality of the power supply,mainly the quality of its overload and overheat protection....

There is one problem that the PSU can't protect against and that's overloading of an output wire,if too much current is drawn through a single output wire and the wire isn't designed to handle it the wire will become hot and dump that heat into your system,.
My mistake, I forgot to mention I took out the card and the heat is still there. First I installed the card that needed 40 amps with a PSU that only gave out 17, then I turned it on and like I said in my second post I could feel this sort of electrical heat coming off the system. Like standing too close to the microwave x10 kind feeling which was really weird. BUT the thing is I took the card out and when I turned on the system again there was still that electrical heat kind of feeling....

So I'm not trying to get the card to work at this point 'cause the heat is still comming out of the system even without the card, which is why I'm trying to figure out the source of what's f-ed up. But from the above quote and from what Glozit said...I think I've shorted out the wires on the board and will have to replace my system.
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Old 05-07-12, 20:07
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Default Re: how does a pc get 'fried'

When was the last time the fan's where cleaned.You might need to Air hose out every thing.
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Old 05-07-12, 20:10
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Default Re: how does a pc get 'fried'

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert707 View Post
My mistake, I forgot to mention I took out the card and the heat is still there. First I installed the card that needed 40 amps with a PSU that only gave out 17, then I turned it on and like I said in my second post I could feel this sort of electrical heat coming off the system. Like standing too close to the microwave x10 kind feeling which was really weird. BUT the thing is I took the card out and when I turned on the system again there was still that electrical heat kind of feeling....

So I'm not trying to get the card to work at this point 'cause the heat is still comming out of the system even without the card, which is why I'm trying to figure out the source of what's f-ed up. But from the above quote and from what Glozit said...I think I've shorted out the wires on the board and will have to replace my system.
The card doesn't a need 40amps on the 12V rail,it draws a maximum 120watts which is 12amps real power consumption,so a good start for a minimum power supply is a 400watt with 24amps on the 12V line and what Nvidia recommends,I recommend 450-500 though with at least 30-34amps on the 12V 'in total'

Are you sure your 450watt power supply doesn't have two 12V rails both at 17A giving you 34 amps in total? This would be typical of a 450watt PSU and should power your system fine unless you have an excessive amount ancillary components.Can you post the model?

For testing I've remove all add in components,hard drive,turn the computer on,with the side of the case off check all your fans are spinning,go into bios and check your CPU and system temp in the health menu,make sure the motherboard power connector in connected!

If your temps are fine leave the computer on in BIOS and feel where the heat is coming from,feel the side of the power supply,touch the CPU heatsink,touch the system heatsink,feel the wires from your PSU see how each feels to the touch,after a few minutes they should feel warm apart from the wires which should feel cool,you should be able to hold your fingers on each component.

If you built the computer yourself you may want to disassemble and reassemble to check for shorts.
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Old 05-07-12, 21:27
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Default Re: how does a pc get 'fried'

My Power supply is ATX12V 450..

Yeah I was wondering about going into the BIOS..I'll check the Health menue, I'm not sure I saw that there first time I went in there but I'll check.

I'll look at my mother board but if I unplugged something I think i would have remembered that, but I'll check again...all this will involve closing my browser
for now.

Uhh...is it safe to feel around the inside of your PC while it's on? Does being in BIOS make it safe?
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Old 05-07-12, 23:47
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Default Re: how does a pc get 'fried'

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert707 View Post
My Power supply is ATX12V 450..

Yeah I was wondering about going into the BIOS..I'll check the Health menue, I'm not sure I saw that there first time I went in there but I'll check.

I'll look at my mother board but if I unplugged something I think i would have remembered that, but I'll check again...all this will involve closing my browser
for now.

Uhh...is it safe to feel around the inside of your PC while it's on? Does being in BIOS make it safe?
I meant the manufacturer and model of your power supply it will be written on the side,ATX is the form factor,12V is simply the voltage of one of the rails there are a couple of different voltages written on the side in a chart.

Well its all low voltage so you can't get electrocuted,the biggest danger is touching something you shouldn't and killing it with static so touch part of the case before you do to discharge static,pulling something out accidentally or breaking something,don't stick your fingers into any fans.

Safe is relative,I work on computers all the time while they are turned on but I don't want to tell you its safe then you end up hurting yourself or damaging your computer so my reply has to be,be careful, just touch the heatsinks or see if you can feel where the heat is coming from,from a distance. If you don't like the idea leave it running for 20 mins or until you think its warm,turn off,disconnect from power then feel the temp of various components,maybe that is the best way if your inexperienced inside PC's but it will be harder as the compoents will cool down

Leaving the computer in bios means there's no load on it so if something is overheating there's little chance of any damage being done,it doesn't offer an extra protection with the aforementioned 'accidents.'
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  #13  
Old 05-08-12, 06:11
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Default Re: how does a pc get 'fried'

When you say heat is coming off it, where is it coming from? Out the fans or off the board?
You can check voltages and temps with this. Don't know why I didn't give you this yesterday.
http://majorgeeks.com/HWMonitor_d5842.html

I run my GTX470 @75% fan power while playing games with full settings, I touch 80c occasionally, which is normal for this card. You want to talk about hot exhaust. :D

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rikky
Safe is relative,I work on computers all the time while they are turned on but I don't want to tell you its safe then you end up hurting yourself or damaging your computer
Good statement Rikky, I do that also,you need to at times, but I don't recommend it either, I try to always tell them to power off and unplug.
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Old 05-08-12, 10:12
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Default Re: how does a pc get 'fried'

Quote:
I'm wondering if some one could describe for me what
kind of damage happens to your PC/mother board when you
install a graphics card that's too powerful for your
power supply to handle and some sort of damage does
occur. Like hypothetically something like
putting in a card that needs 40 amps into a system where the power supply only gives out 17...or if the CPU isn't enough.
There are too many variables with quality, as Rikky first noted, being paramount. But so is design and other features, as well as the other connected devices and their interaction with the supply.

But note quality and budget are not mutually exclusive. You can have a quality, well designed budget supply that delivers excellent power. But that does not mean it is excellent at fault tolerance - features typically found in higher end PSUs. PSUs are only required to meet certain fire codes - though I wonder how many of the no-name generics do even that!

In your scenario of using a graphics card that demands more than the PSU can deliver, ideally pretty much nothing will happen - that is, the PSU won't even turn on, or immediately turns off when it senses too great a demand. But we don't live in an ideal world and electricity does not always behave as our understanding of the Laws of Physics would have us believe. Things can go wrong, not as expected and until Man can create perfection 100% of the time, no device even from the most reputable maker using the purest possible raw products and the best assembly techniques is immune from failure - and it is inevitable some of those failures will be catastrophic - where one thing takes out everything connected too it - not good.

Another scenario is this - your PSU is just barely adequate for the specified demands. But it is a warm day and it has been a couple months since you cleaned the interior of heat-trapping dust. You are gaming - about the most demanding task we can ask of our computers and suddenly your stressed PSU hiccups and shuts down out of self-preservation. Hopefully - no damage.

However, even if no electrical damage, whenever you suddenly remove power from a disk drive - especially the boot drive, you risk corrupting the disk and operating system. And if you are not the lucky type - catastrophically with total data loss.

Bottom line - research your power demands. Check your graphics card's power requirements at the card maker's website. NEVER upgrade hardware without FIRST ensure you have enough good, clean power to support it. And always use a quality PSU from a reputable maker.

****
Quote:
Uhh...is it safe to feel around the inside of your PC while it's on?
Remember too - ANYTHING that plugs into the wall can kill! Never open the case of the PSU - there are no user-serviceable parts inside. While there are no deadly voltages inside the PC case (assuming it is not a $5 PSU from China that was dropped a couple times), you do have totally destructive static potentials (voltages) in your body that can easily destroy your ESD sensitive devices (CPUs, memory modules, and other integrated devices) without you even being aware a discharge occured. So ALWAYS touch bare metal of the case interior to discharge your body of static BEFORE reaching in and touching anything else.

Quote:
Does being in BIOS make it safe?
Running the BIOS Setup Menu, compared to gaming, is about the least demanding task we can ask of our computers. So "safe" is again, relative. Even a part that has failed prematurely or been damaged may be able to tolerate those minimal stresses.
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Old 05-10-12, 21:02
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Arrow Re: how does a pc get 'fried'

@rikky
@gloozit

I couldn't find the 'health' menue in the BIOS. Is there a seperat BIOS for your PSU?

My power supply is Startech.com, but I switched it in for a previous PSU and
the electrical heat feeling didn't change so I don't think it's a PSU prob.

I wasn't comfortable putting my hand in the running computer to see what's hottest, but I ran my hand along the outside of the case. The side that doesn't have the motherboard attached is less effected. On the motherboard side it's definitely stronger. Especially along the bottom front side which is where the hard drive is and on the schematic of my motherboard it's right around the 'Intel ICH7' which is this metal spiked square thingy. Though I have to say it's also exactly where the PCE_e1 port where I put the card in is...so maybe that has something to do with it. (see post #3 as this thread has run long)

I need to re-iterate though it isn't a build up of normal 'heat'..it's more like an electrical waves kind of feeling, like I'm feeling it in my nerves in my arm and hand when I run it close to the case or just sitting too close I can feel it. I've NEVER felt this way around a PC before , it's a really weird kind of feeling that just feels like something is really wrong.

I downloaded and ran the Voltage monitor program HWMonitor...all temps
fell within the min-max listed...I saved monitor txt. but there is way more there then I think anyone would want to look through. I'll attach it anyway if it's old hat to Gloozit.

Looks like a mystery. It's probably too rare a thing for people to know what I'm talking about maybe.
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