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A 2 year old HX650 started to smell...


Ivan Kovacevic

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I've had this power supply since around Jan 2010 if I remember correctly (warranty not handy to check exact date), and it's been running fine since then. It's been powering an i5-750 with a GTX460 since then, and lately an i5-2500K with the same graphics card.

 

As of this summer (July 2011) it's been mounted in an Obsidian 700D along with a water cooling loop for the CPU and the GPU. It's always been kinda warm under full load (not really hot, just warm) and I was told it's normal - but as of yesterday, it started emitting quite a distinctive smell of transformer lacquer/paint (anyone who's ever worked with a transformer will know exactly what I'm talking about). Basically, after an hour of gaming - it would stink up the entire room. The room temperature is between 24*C and 28*C most of the time.

 

This is something that started happening YESTERDAY, and I haven't changed any hardware for months (last one was the i5-2500K and mobo in February), so I don't really know what might be the cause of this behavior.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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I would check to see what your voltages are in the BIOS. A multimeter would be better, but BIOS is a good start.

 

Your not seeing any smoke are you?And are you sure it's coming from the PSU and not the GPU since you said it only happens when you are gaming.

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It's a very distinctive smell - it's not burnt electronics, it's that transformer paint (which is used to 'separate' the layers of the transformer's inner metal body to reduce Eddy currents which heat up the core).

 

Also, I smell it on the OUTSIDE of the case near the PSU exhaust, nowhere inside the case, and certainly nowhere near the GPU.

 

The PC is working fine, there are no restarts, lockups or anything - just the smell.

One of my guesses would be a deteriorating condition, which might not be causing problems right now, but may lead to problems soon.

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After doing some more testing today I've found the following:

 

a) Room temperature is around 26*C

b) Exhaust air temperature from the PSU = 35*C

c) Temperature near the top left corner of the PSU grill (where the ferrite coil is located) is 80+*C (second stage of transient filter?)

d) There's very little (if any) airflow from the PSU even while gaming.

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