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PSU problem?


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#1 qvcatullus

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 05:03 PM

Setup:
I have put together a computer based around an ASUS P6T motherboard. The computer runs Vista 64. Other potentially useful information -- it is running a pentium i7 core and a GeForce GTX 260, which are probably the main power draws. It's also got a 1 gig HD, 2 DVD drives, an ultra case with 3 fans, etc... I don't think I'm running an insane level of power draw, but I yield to experience. I can share anything else if there's something I'm overlooking here.
Also no doubt important here is that I am using an Ultra LSP 750W power supply. It came with the package I bought containing the CPU, mobo, and case.

Problem:
Now, I have had occasional difficulties which have grown more frequent with 2 major issues: a continuous-beep error code (AMI bios) on startup occasionally, which can usually be remedied by turning off and back on; the computer will boot while making the noise, but it seems like a poor idea to use it while it is making that noise :flowers: -- and also the computer will restart (no warning) or lock up (making a static-y noise from the speakers -- thought it might be a driver issue but updated drivers and switched audio cards to test), usually while playing a game -- Mass Effect makes it cry, and that's not precisely a brand-new game.

Fix attempt 1:
Because the mobo was making the beeps, I contacted ASUS, who were very friendly and sent me a replacement BIOS chip. I replaced this and the computer came back on, yay. Loaded a game and after playing about an hour it rebooted, boo. Turned it back on and it made the same continuous-beep error code, double boo. Turn off and back on, and here I am posting this. Have not yet contacted ASUS about this; I can if it might be helpful.

My thoughts:
A little more research and I'm thinking it might be a PSU issue -- especially because I read a website saying that insufficient power often looks like driver issues to the uninformed (like me). Now, I am using the PSU that came with the kit that I bought, and I was thinking that 750W sounded like a whole bunch (other similar kits had 650 watts), but that's me reading ads, not facts. I suppose the video card and processor might be power-intensive; they seem pretty good to me but they're not ridiculously good or anything. I did some more reading and found that some folks who sound like they know what they are talking about don't like the ultra psu's; haven't found any very good reviews but haven't looked that long. In particular, the dual rail thing sounds like a problem with distributing voltage.
Should I:
A) see if I can get the psu replaced? should this unit be able to run my machine and maybe I got a bad one? Should still be under warranty.
:thumbsup: get a new psu -- stick with the 750w but find a 'better' brand? What is a better brand? Note -- I do not like spending money, but I do not like a half-functional PC.
C) get a new psu that is more than 750w?

Or am I crazy and this is not a PSU issue at all? I appreciate any help that anyone can offer. This is the first time I have tried to build my own system from a kit, and while I love the price and the fun of it, this issue is making me sad on the inside.

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 06:46 PM

Beep codes are meant to be informative, not to be considered nuisances to be eliminated.

Until you get past that one...I see no point in attempting to speculate further.

Your motherboard manual should cover the code you receive...if not, then the motherboard manufacturer's website.

IMO, the fact that Asus sent you a replacement BIOS chip...is rather strange.

Louis

#3 Moby Purple

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 06:54 PM

First, I don't think it is lacking for power, 750w should be more than enough. Not saying the PSU is not bad, but it should supply sufficient power if working correctly.

I would try two things: (1) check the specs on the memory and make sure it is in the right slots, and (2) remove the video card and reseat it, making sure it seats properly.

I just read Louis' reply and I took the beeping to be continuous.

Edited by Moby Purple, 29 July 2009 - 06:58 PM.


#4 qvcatullus

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 07:05 PM

Well, right. I'd like to eliminate the beep codes by fixing the problem that's causing them. Does my method of tracking it down make sense? I'll be more explicit with my reasoning and sorry if I give the wrong impression.

As far as I can understand, ASUS appeared to think that the BIOS chip was faulty and the post codes were not indicative of a real problem but with a fault in the chip. They did not explain a great deal to me; they just said that another chip should solve it. It did not.

It is also my understanding (from being corrected before) that the beep codes are not actually linked to the motherboard per se but to the BIOS. As mentioned, I have AMI bios. Now, when I look up what continuous short beeps mean on AMI, I find a bunch of lists that don't mention that code as an AMI code (which are generally 1-11 beeps, not on and on and on), which is I think part of what concerned the ASUS folks, or I found a website somewhere that said it could be a power supply problem or a problem with the keyboard or something.
Now, since the other issue has been the reboots and lockups, which I have also read could be from the power supply, I was thinking it might be the PSU, so I'm looking for a way to resolve the underlying issue to make the beeps and the problems disappear. If I just didn't like the beeps, I'd put a pillow on the computer.

So that leads me back to my original post... does this make sense as the issue? If someone else has a better idea as to what could be causing the problems on my machine, including the beeps, please let me know. The best answer I can come up with is the power supply.

Edit: Moby posted while I was writing. I will address that in an edit instead of double-posting.

I have played with pulling most things out and putting them back in, including the video card. Also, the video output is working fine; even with the beep error it starts up and everything, it just makes a beeping noise and is apparently unhappy; since the video works I didn't think it was a video issue, but I don't suppose it would hurt to give it another go.

As for the memory: 6x Patriot 2GB PC10666; 2 kits of http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/se...p?EdpNo=4282860 -- there are only six total slots in the motherboard for memory and they are all populated.

Edited by qvcatullus, 29 July 2009 - 07:24 PM.


#5 hamluis

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 07:38 PM

Well...here's the way I look at it :thumbsup:.

If I have a new motherboard that isn't functioning properly...I would RMA the board. It would be very hard for anyone to convince me that replacing a BIOS chip on a board that I've purchased...is the cure for anything. It's the board that isn't functioning...it's the board I would want replaced.

And...if the board is good....why would they send a BIOS chip? If it was something strictly with the BIOS...it would seem that a BIOS update should be able to solve it. The fact that they sent a hardware item...would have me wondering...how they could determine that hardware item was what I needed. The fact that this (apparently) did not resolve the situation...well...I don't draw pictures, just conclusions :flowers:.

The fact that they sent you a component of the motherboard...as a way of solving things...would reinforce my attitude about the board. To me, that's kind of an admission that there may be more issues with that board. BTW...have you googled to see if other persons with that board...have posted anything about similar experiences?

As for the beep code...what is the code that you are hearing...supposed to represent, according to Asus?

Louis

#6 dpunisher

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 08:13 PM

I went through a very similar problem with my EX58-UD4P. Started out overclocked at 3.5ghz, stock voltage, 65C loaded, RAM at 1.64v. Eventually I backed the clocks off and had some stability, but eventually even at default I was getting problems. Sometimes a no start, constant beeping, and the system would shut down without warning, never had a BSOD. Long story short, I swapped, moved, played with RAM/CPU voltages, memory dividers etc. PSU tested OK (had my Fluke on it constantly). I disabled hyperthreading, no change.

Finally started to disable cores, and that fixed it. On 2 cores it made it 12+ hours straight with Orthos and the Intel stability tester. Waiting on another CPU. I hate typing on my lappy.

Edited by dpunisher, 29 July 2009 - 08:14 PM.

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#7 qvcatullus

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 07:16 PM

For what it's worth, here's the followup, in case this is useful to anyone else, or for documentation if my problem comes back:

I played with reseating cards etc. To check the memory, I tried running memtest86+ a few times, but it kept freezing after only 5-7% done; not always in the same place. The problem had gotten pretty bad and the computer was freezing if I managed to get it on after about 10-20 minutes probably, on average.
I got Ultra to send me a replacement psu (they were very easy to deal with, btw; 4 stars for customer service) which arrived today. I put in the new supply. Now, I have turned it on exactly once, but there were no beeps and it hasn't frozen yet after about half an hour. Hopefully it was a bad psu and I have fixed it. Crossing my fingers that it doesn't go to hell.




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