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power supply heat


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#1 millipede

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 11:15 AM

I'm working on two computers for a friend of family in our homeschool group. She has these two computers for her kids. They're both Dell optiplex Gx270... one is 2.4ghz, the other 2.6 I believe.
They both come with a 160 watt power supply. My project was/is to update their XP to SP3 and install a free antivirus program as theirs had expired. (they don't do very much online as they're still on dialup... )
anyway... One of them shut off on me and wouldn't turn back on for a while... the other one, there was one time I touched the power supply and I literally could not hold my finger on their for more than a second. Now that one seems to have a loose connection where the plug goes and I'm not sure the fan turns as fast as it should. Both of them, the fan is on the inside end of the power supply sucking air from inside the computer... no fan on the side of the power supply that the air escapes out the back... poor design?
Anyway... while one of them is hotter than the other... BOTH of them are very hot. The feel like they've been sitting in the sun for a while or something. Since they are both like this I am wondering if this particular power supply just runs hot?
The lady is now thinking about just getting new computers... new as in, old. At the moment she's looking at some on tiger dirct for about 99 bucks but some of the ones I saw on there are these exact computers. Personally I think we can find a better deal on craigslist getting something locally...
regardless... I'm just wondering about the heat if it signifies any chance of the power supplies going. Replacement power supplies would be about $20 or so each and while that's cheaper than a new computer, I personally wouldn't find it worth it for these things.
I ran an older, free version of Everest and the only sensor reading it displayed was for the HD... so, I don't know quite how hot it is. I don't believe they're supposed to get that hot as most power supplies I've worked with have never gotten that hot...but, I don't know for sure.

any thoughts on that? If the power supplies are okay and wont break down tomorrow, I'd rather not suggest new computers to her. I think if she could afford new ones she would have something better than this already.
back to updating.....

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#2 scurvychef

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 11:59 AM

I just touched my (gx240). cool to the touch and it has been on for days. My fan blows out the back though? the air actually escapes higher up but does have a vent.

#3 lti

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 04:10 PM

I had a Dell power supply with the same problem. On mine, the fan didn't spin at all. When I opened the power supply, I discovered that the thermal sensor that is used to control the fan had pulled away from the heatsink.

The thermal sensor is a blue or green round device with two leads. It should be touching the heatsink (some power supplies have a clip that holds it against the heatsink).

If that is not the problem, the fan may be bad. Most power supplies have the fan soldered to the circuit board.

Those $99 computers at Tiger Direct are very old. Some are even older than the computers you currently have.

#4 MrBruce1959

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 04:13 PM

The sad thing about some Dell computer systems is they do not incorporate a power supply sensor into the system, so that why you are not getting any for the power supply, they simply just do not exist in these systems.

I am trying to guess just how hot is hot here, if you have some type of thermometer that ranges at least from 50 to 120 degrees Celsius, if it is a mercury type, try getting the bulb as close to the power as possible and note the reading.

There is a way to add a cooling fan to this power supply as than exhaust fan, you would have to use extreme caution not to touch the area where the large capacitors are located.

Some of these power supplies used by Dell use the white wire for +12 volts and most fans of this type use 12 volts, the other wire would be any black wire going to the main wiring harness.

Here is a fan suggestion to get you headed in the right direction, you can brighten the computer up by adding fans with colored LEDS such as this blue one> http://www.staples.com/Antec-Blue-LED-80mm-Fan/product_505840

or this one http://www.staples.com/Antec-80mm-TriCool-DBB-Fan/product_584884

Newegg or tiger direct would have the same type of antec cooling fans a available if you prefer to use them instead.

Bruce.
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#5 lti

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 04:54 PM

There aren't very many power supplies that can report their internal temperature to the computer.

If it runs that hot, there is a problem with the power supply's cooling system. There should be an internal fan controller that changes the speed of the fan as a heatsink in the power supply heats up or cools down. Power supplies usually use generic sleeve bearing fans that don't last very long. There are a few with ball bearing fans, but they are hard to find. The fan controller circuit could have failed, it may not be measuring the temperature properly (the sensor is not touching the heatsink), or the fan could have failed.

#6 rotor123

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 05:05 PM

On those Dell power supplies how hot depends one the design. The air should be blowing out the back as the fan brings case air in and the exhaust is the holes around where the power plug, plugs in.

On some of them they actually use the case of the power supply as the heat sink for the workings of the power supply unlike normal ATX where they have a big heat sink inside.

They should not be running over 105c temperature as that is the temp ratings omn the capacitors in them. and they should be running cool enough you can keep your hand on them. They can get uncomfortably warm to the touch however.

The fan should be running and turn freely.

Good Luck

BTW if they don't care about the looks of the computer all the power supply connectors are standard and you can use a regular power supply. We did that one time for a customer when Dell was backordered. Also you could use a Micro-ATX power supply and it won't be real unsightly.

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#7 rotor123

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 05:21 PM

The sad thing about some Dell computer systems is they do not incorporate a power supply sensor into the system, so that why you are not getting any for the power supply, they simply just do not exist in these systems.

I am trying to guess just how hot is hot here, if you have some type of thermometer that ranges at least from 50 to 120 degrees Celsius, if it is a mercury type, try getting the bulb as close to the power as possible and note the reading.

There is a way to add a cooling fan to this power supply as than exhaust fan, you would have to use extreme caution not to touch the area where the large capacitors are located.

Some of these power supplies used by Dell use the white wire for +12 volts and most fans of this type use 12 volts, the other wire would be any black wire going to the main wiring harness.

Here is a fan suggestion to get you headed in the right direction, you can brighten the computer up by adding fans with colored LEDS such as this blue one> http://www.staples.com/Antec-Blue-LED-80mm-Fan/product_505840

or this one http://www.staples.com/Antec-80mm-TriCool-DBB-Fan/product_584884

Newegg or tiger direct would have the same type of antec cooling fans a available if you prefer to use them instead.

Bruce.


Mr Bruce, I'm pretty sure those are Small Form Factor at best (largest) I have a GX280 here that is 13"D by 12+" H by 3.5"wide and the larger one is 15" by 17" by 4"
For future reference I attached a picture of the Dell 160w power supply, No room for bigger fans in it or the case.

Edited by rotor123, 02 August 2011 - 05:24 PM.

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#8 millipede

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 06:12 PM

On some of them they actually use the case of the power supply as the heat sink for the workings of the power supply unlike normal ATX where they have a big heat sink inside.

That has me wondering.

Bruce, were you saying you could put a fan IN the power supply?
rotor123 is right about the size. The model no. in these is slight different (ps-5161-1D1S) but looks JUST like that picture.

I was just looking in here thinking, it's too bad all motherboards are not created equally... I have other cases in my house, with power supplies. Would be nice if I could just pop this stuff out and into another tower...
Then I was looking... the power supply actually covers up a slot of some sort. I'm looking at google images and not sure it matches what I'm seeing... maybe pcie x16 or something. Regardless, that's a weird spot for a lot... right under the power supply.

#9 MrBruce1959

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 06:50 PM

Bruce, were you saying you could put a fan IN the power supply?
rotor123 is right about the size. The model no. in these is slight different (ps-5161-1D1S) but looks JUST like that picture.

Exactly what size is the cooling fan that is already installed in your power supply?

Roto123's PS looks like the fan is 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 inches.

There has to be a commercially available replacement fan for this unit.

Bruce.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 02 August 2011 - 06:53 PM.

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#10 caperjac

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 07:18 PM

im working a 260 right now ,and the psu does run hot ,and the fan is 2x2" in size,and there is a pci and agp video slot right above the psu .
i own a slightly newer Dell model[620 i think ] same type and it ran so hot in that same area i drilled a bunch of hole in the side case cover to let the heat out .

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#11 millipede

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 07:25 PM

leaning over with a measuring tape, I'd have to guess it was about 2.5".. well, this would depend on where you measure... I THINK the diameter of the blades would be 2". But the whole fan is bigger than that.

#12 MrBruce1959

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 08:27 PM

I replaced cooling fans in power supplies many times just for the sake of adding the cool blue LED type and those fans I linked to above fit just fine in most of the ones I had the pleasure of replacing.

There is a larger 120mm fan available as well at staples, newegg and tiger direct.

Bruce.
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#13 MrBruce1959

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 08:31 PM

Oh,I forgot to mention those Antec cooling fans come with a HI-LO switch, so if you need the xtra RPMS the fans can speed up and force more air.

Bruce.
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#14 lti

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 08:44 PM

Based on those measurements, it could be a 60mm or 70mm fan. To get an accurate measurement, you will need to remove the cover and measure the frame size of the fan. Measure from one edge of the frame to the other, then measure the thickness of the frame.

#15 millipede

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 08:44 PM

LEDs would be cool... but as I mentioned before, this fan is located at the end of the power supply that is way inside the case. Nobody would see it.
I could get a picture of the whole setup if that was helpful.

Would I be correct in my assumption that, the graphics cards in those aren't really necessary and probably not worth the added load to those 160 watt power supplies? The cards are 64mb.. well, at least one of them is. The other doesn't have much info on it... looks quite generic.




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