power supply failures


Tech Monkey
A 2nd OCZ 600 W SLI PSU failed a about 1 1/2 months ago. Two identical OCZ PSUs were purchased at the same time 3+ years ago. The 1st OCZ PSU died 6 months ago. The systems they powered pulled 300 to 400 watts. These PSUs have 3 LEDs on the back indicating primary voltages. On mine, they never needed adjusting & have always been green. These were not performance systems tho they were rarely shut off. Yes, they failed very close together.

Another & my 1st PSU failed 1 1/2 years ago & I do not remember the brand, but it was not OCZ. Lets call that PSU "PSU X". PSU X was 3 years old at that time. With that failure I bought the FrozenCPU PSU Tester. It is cheap & how else do you tell whether the PSU or mother board is kaput? This system is my primary number cruncher with 2 Opteron 290s 16 GB RAM & will often be crunching with all 4 cores maxxed for hours to days ... a wonderous and very warming thing. (This is a system that will soon be augmented (not replaced) with a i7 920 or 975 .... still thinking about that.)

The PSU checker confirmed that the PSU had failed. As I vaguely recall it was completely dead with the checker. In getting the new PSU & the system back up, it turned out that the Supermicro Server mobo was not working right. It was a H8DC8. I replaced it with a H8DCE. The net seemed to be replete with many complaints abut the H8DC8 & the H8DCE is a little newer with better reviews. So that got that back up & with minimal reinstall of software given the similarity of the boards.

Back to OCZ PSUs. Coincidental with the OCZ system failure 6 mos ago, the motherboard also failed, completely. There are no coincidences in electronics and being the suspicious sort not to mention the H8DC8 problems, I wondered which one may have caused the other to fail ... not "if", but "which". In getting that system back up, the HDD failed ... mmmm.

On to the 2nd OCZ PSU failure. Actually this started with the HDD failing in this machine. At just the hint of it failing, I got a Samsung 1 TB HDD from NE. With it installed I started getting erratic power ups. Not erratic boots, just powering up ... finally almost nothing. :mad: The OCZ idiot lights lit up (green), the system fans made a jolt (as normal), and the mobo LED lit. BUT, no tomale with the system power switch. I can't say how long I spent making sure that i had the correct front panel connections made correctly to the mother board (like I haven't been there before:eek:). I bought from Newegg an Antec TP-550 w/o even testing the installed OCZ PSU.

Finally after getting tired of seeing the new PSU sit on the desk collecting dust, 2 days ago I launched into diagnosing exactly what what was wrong with "OCZ #2 system". Unplugging all of the cables to test with the woopteedo PSU tester (this system had the Noctua 12U heatsink with 2 fans) and disassembling half the computer so I could get the CPU fans off the heatsink ... so I could get to the 2 connections under each fan, the PSU 5 V rail was fluctuating. Normally you plug the big connector into the tester & everything is rock solid. Not so with this PSU. For sanity check I plugged the new Antec into the tester, and YES, I am sane ... the 5 V line is rock solid. The OCZ PSU 5 V line varied from ~4 V to 5 V, FWIW.

Assembling everything with the Antec & things are now 100%. The old drive is recoverable & the data is getting xcopy-ed to the new drive as I write.

I used to have access to plenty of test equipment but not at the moment. Never-the-less, my conclusion from the experiences of the past 1 1/2 years, is that these PSUs have been killing my systems. In the last OCZ PSU I think the DC filtering failed on the 5V DC line & the fluctuation is an AC voltage which likely peaks somewhat over 5 V or even 6V ... high enough to start killing electronics in an older HD. The OCZ that failed 6 months ago is completely dead so no telling, but that system did not have a sudden death. It also behaved erratically before complete failure.

Relative to my sanity ... I have found that a friend that apparently only I can see is now answering many of the question I ask outloud. :confused:


Tech Monkey
I am listening, as in all ears! I think it interesting that the Thermltake site i posted (in its own thread) had a couple of derating factors, aging capacitors for instance.

I will study Corsair & Cooler Master ... isn't this sort of like owning a house? I mean, did you ever imagine that you (as a home owner) would know anything about fixing a toilet?:eek::confused::(

Opinions are quite welcome at this point. I am all about building a new system & the PSU is the most difficult component.

Perhaps the system builders out there are appreciating this & are saying to them selves, "THIS is why you pay *me* to build and maintain your system!" If not, then they could. Only there is no one near me, even along the US NorthEast corridor that I can find who understands any of this. I probably couldn't afford them anyway. And I am starting to think that could be me! NOT! The public is a PITA to deal with.

I am thinking about developing a another new PC product. An affordable PSU voltage quality meter. Call it a PVQM. mmmm, need something a bit snappier than that. Other acronyms I think of involved cursing. Anyway, it would have storage to compare original ripple to current supply line ripple.


Tech Monkey
fumbling thru the net, as usual, I found this 80+.

Click on the company names & you see the products that they sell. Another week or so & I can possibly figure out who actually makes the particular PSU. :rolleyes:

And, I think I noticed a trend of 50% load on the PSUs has best efficiency. But, I looked at 2 ... Cooler Master & Crosair. :)


We already went over that. It's actually kinda easy to do...


This link accompanies the above post:


Psi, I do enjoy your angst-ridden posts. They convey a heart-wrenching frustration that sucks you in and before the reader realizes, he's halfway done with your multi-page ramblings.. Ever consider you're in the wrong profession? :)

All I can say is, we hear you and we understand.

I would say that you're right in being skeptical of your twin OCZ's. There are more reliable brands out there as Doomsday has suggested.

Cooler Master generally makes better products, but there's also Corsair. I would even suggest Be Quiet! Dark Power Pro if you have a liking to dark horses. Only downside to this product (besides the price) is that the manufacturer is in Germany, though with the reviews I've read so far, you won't be needing them within the 3 years the warranty lasts.

Comparison tests for 500-700W PSU (Seasonic makes Corsair):
Trusted Reviews PSU Comparison Test

Be Quiet! Dark Power Pro Reviews:
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Tech Monkey
thanks for the links

haha! angst-ridden and heart-wrenching ... I crank these out while waiting on my dated but currently reliable Opteron box continues to number crunch. I have learned to do something/anything else while it runs as poking around in it tends to crash the program. Now that is angst-ridden & heart-wrenching feeling especially when a couple of days of run time can be lost.

On the link info ... Be Quiet! Dark Power Pro does not appear to be available in the US. Testing is, of course, only about new product & the designs change quite frequencly. My OCZs probably lasted the 3 year warranty. Just.

I am now leaning towards a little more heft than the immediate need ... SeaSonic X750 or the X650 depending on availability. I am a sucker for power factor & efficiency. The case could get an extra couple of drives & possibly 2 video cards depending the OS.

Rob Williams

Staff member
Psi* said:
A 2nd OCZ 600 W SLI PSU failed a about 1 1/2 months ago.

I've been hearing this a lot lately, unfortunately. A friend on Facebook the other night made the comment, "<em>2 dead OCZ PSUs in a row, unacceptable</em>." I had a GameXStream die on me earlier this year (in all fairness, the Antec I replaced it with died two months later as well... huge irony). When I first built a machine for my friend in 2005, I had him purchase an OCZ power supply, and it also died within the first year, and he's the furthest thing from a power user, so he never pushed it hard.

OCZ's PC Power & Cooling acquisition was long ago... I would have hoped to have seen the benefits of that relationship a lot sooner, but it seems like even the company's recent PSUs are failing far too fast.

Psi* said:
With that failure I bought the FrozenCPU PSU Tester. It is cheap & how else do you tell whether the PSU or mother board is kaput?

You use a paperclip :p

In all seriousness, I'm not sure what to say. It's really unfortunate that you had to deal with these problems, and subsequently have your hardware fail at the hands of a poor PSU. I've had the same thing happen before... it's not something I'd consider joyful.

As for PSU recommendations, I've been rocking Corsair for a while and haven't had a real problem. Had an issue with a whiny component, in the launch HX620, but I haven't had a single issue since (have three Corsair PSUs here). Of course, PC Power & Cooling's own products are rock-solid as well.

Oh, and sorry for being so late to reply to this. I've been meaning to for the past week.