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so quiet it's weird

There were a few crappy things that happened to my PC after I upgraded the processor, but I unintentionally planned for the future and had it all fixed, which I'll explain in a moment.

Okay, so what happened is that I get my new CPU in the mail and I'm all happy about it. I install the thing and then my PC starts going nuts. So nuts that I think there's something seriously wrong with it.

At first I thought it was a software issue because Steam and Flash were going bonkers, resulting in a blue screen. Yes, that kind of blue screen. Twice.

I flashed my BIOS to the latest version, then reinstalled my video drivers. I blue-screened again, so I was sure it was a bad RAM stick at that point.

I Memtest86 my RAM and the result comes back some of it is bad. That was just ducky. Now I have to find out which stick is bad and replace it. I test all 4 sticks (2GB a piece) individually but, surprise surprise, none of them fail. When I put all 4 back in, the failure occurred again. When I put in 2 or 3, they passed.

It was at that point I knew my power supply was the problem. The new CPU I installed was drawing more power than the last one, and it was just enough to get the RAM to become non-accessible at random.

Fortunately I'd planned ahead for this, albeit unintentionally.

My power supply was a cheap piece of crap. It was what I qualify as barely-adequate. The watt rating is 580, which sounds awesome but this thing couldn't push out even 400 on its best day. Probably not even 350.

Anyway, the fan on this PSU started to fail. Every so often it would make a rrr-rrr-rrr type of noise. A quick whap to the fan plate "fixed" it, but I knew it had to go so I figured as long as I bought a new CPU, I might as well buy a new power supply. As it happens, that was the exact correct thing to do because the PSU couldn't handle my 8GB RAM and the new CPU at the same time without failing.

The CPU and PSU weren't bought at the same time. First was the CPU and then the PSU a few days later.

The new PSU arrived today and I installed it. After that I did another Memtest86 test. Everything passed, so all is back on track now.

What surprises me more than anything else is how quiet my new PSU is. It's almost 100% silent because it has one of those auto-adjusting fans in it that only kicks in when the temperature gets hot - but given my box runs really cool to begin with, it barely has to run at all.

Even so, I'm running slightly hotter than before:


This is more than okay since my CPU has to be up to 72.4°C before meltdown, and I'm nowhere near that. Even if I had a ton of stuff running I would still be nowhere near 72.

At this point there are only two things I'm considering getting to make my computer box "done". The first is a faster graphics card and the second a huge hard drive, but both those purchases are definitely in the 'later' category. For the time being I've spent enough with the CPU and PSU. 🙂


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