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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My grandson brought me an interesting issue. He put a new power supply in his gaming computer in preparation for a kick-*** video card that's on it's way. The machine couldn't power up! I plugged the P/S into my little tester, and it fired right up. One of the suggestions was to clear the CMOS when installing a new P/S. Now, I couldn't see how this was going to change anything, but we did it anyway, no joy. Put the old P/S back into the machine, all was well.

The new supply was an Apevia ATX-PR800W.

What am I missing? I thought that this should be a simple PnP.
 

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MOBO lights flashing? If, so probably bad PSU connection-------- cabling issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No lights or fans at all, and I'm 100% sure there's no cabling issue. For my test, all I connected was the 24-pin cable and the 8-pin cable for MB power. I can do the exact same connections with the old power supply and the MB powers up fine. With the new P/S, nothing. No other cables were disturbed except removing all power supply cables from the disk. The GPU was removed for this exercise, I just wanted to get the MB to fire up first, and I didn't want to be fooling around with GPU power. The object of the exercise was to get the 800W P/S installed in preparation for a new and much more power hungry GPU.
 

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Off the wall ideas. Check compatibility of PSU to MOBO. Some proprietary ones from the big assemblers don't work together with "outside" manufacturers'. Also set I/O switch to off. Turn back to I and wait a few seconds before re-powering.
 

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Unless proprietary motherboard as Corday suggested, a standard ATX supply should be plug n play - assuming all the necessary motherboard and graphics cards (if applicable) connections are fine.

Those little testers are great to verify a PSU is bad, but they don't conclusively test a supply to make sure it is good. That is, they only put a small (typically 10Ω) load on the supply and not a variety of realistic loads. They also don't test for ripple suppression. Nor do most test for proper voltages on "all" of the connectors.

One last thing - ensure you are not confusing the secondary motherboard power connector with a graphics card connector.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I realize the tester isn't a conclusive test, I only drag it out to see if a P/S is truly dead. In this case, it seemed at least to be alive when stimulated. As far as the I/O switch, are you talking about the P/S power switch? I've had that on and off many times during the testing. I don't know of any other I/O switch.

This P/S was a generic model from Amazon, hard to believe it's not compatible. FWIW, he assembled the stuff from different sources previously, so there was no special care in selecting the previous P/S.

I have another one coming, if that fails, I'll send it back as well and pick a totally different supply. FWIW, the computer is alive and well with the old P/S.
 

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I realize the tester isn't a conclusive test, I only drag it out to see if a P/S is truly dead.
And for sure, I would have likely done the same thing. I wasn't criticizing it - only speaking to the crowd about their limitations. I keep one in my tool bag for when I make house calls. I have another on my bench I use to trick the PSU to come on when testing fans and drive motors. FTR, this PSU Tester is the one I use. I like it because it has a voltage readout instead of just in indicator LED. With an actual voltage readout, you have a better chance of detecting a "failing" PSU, or one barely within the required ±5% tolerances (at least with the tester’s internal load).

The I/0 switch is the master power switch on the back of the PSU. That is with numbers, a 1 (one) and a 0 (zero) - not to be confused with I/O with letters I and O (commonly used for input/output). It should be noted such a switch is not a requirement so many PSUs don't have one. In that case, you must unplug from the wall to remove all voltage output - again speaking to the crowd.

This P/S was a generic model from Amazon
You mean the old supply, right? Because Apevia is not a generic brand.

Oh, and you were right to assume resetting the BIOS/CMOS was not going to affect anything. If it did, it would be through coincidence and not just because a different PSU was installed.

I can only assume that not all the rails are working properly. You will need to check voltages with every cable. Or, the PSU just cannot hand any load beyond a tiny one. For a test, you could put that new Apevia into a different computer and see what happens. But frankly, I have never considered Apevia a brand I would want near any of my systems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I didn't pick the power supply, my grandson did. He only comes to me when he blows up the computer to borrow some electrical engineering expertise. :D In this case, it was simple to isolate the issue as the old P/S works fine and the new one doesn't.

As far as Apevia not being a "generic" brand, I guess that depends on what you consider "generic" brands. All brands doubtless have some "brand" name, but Apevia isn't a name that pops into my mind when thinking about brand name power supplies. I did a search on the Apevia brand, and I have to agree with your assessment, lots of negative reviews. :) Too bad I wasn't involved in the picking process...
 

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He only comes to me when he blows up the computer to borrow some electrical engineering expertise.
LOL Sounds like my family and neighborhood.

As far as generic, generic by definition means it has no brand name, or it defines a generality. There are many generic products that are perfectly fine, even equal or better than the "brand names". Generic does not automatically imply substandard or poor quality - yet it often gives that perception.

That said, when it comes specifically to power supplies, in many circles, including that of which I am a part of, the impetus is to always go with a quality supply from a reputable brand. Since everything inside the computer case depends on good, clean, stable power, the "hope" is by sticking with a quality supply from a reputable brand, you will be providing that good, clean, stable power.

But of course there is no guarantee that will happen. Even the best models from the best brands can have a unit that is faulty or fails prematurely. Conversely, I have seen "generic" and substandard PSUs still chugging along just fine after 10 years and longer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, he got the replacement supply and exactly the same thing. It powers up on the tester, but dead on the MB. Obviously, for whatever reason, the MB doesn't like this P/S. Case closed, we'll shop for a different supply.
 

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And are you doing this checking or the grandson? That is, are you making sure the grandson is connection all the appropriate motherboard power connections, and connecting them properly?

I don't see where we have learned which motherboard is being used. Is this a factory built computer with a factory supplied motherboard? It sure sounds like some proprietary components are being used here - and that points to the motherboard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I personally connected both supplies. I'm100% sure they were connected properly, I've assembled computers since the 8080 days.

My technique was simple.

Since the full install of the first one didn't work, I removed the video board to minimize the work.

First connect the original 500W supply using only the 24-pin connector and the 8-pin 12V connector. MB powers up just fine, obviously it's annoyed it doesn't have a video card or disks.

Connect the new 800W power supply with the same two connectors, nothing at all. The second supply reacted exactly the same way.

Time to move on and find a better supply. I'm getting involved in the P/S selection this time so we don't have a repeat. ;)
 

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I've assembled computers since the 8080 days.
Well, I won't hold your obvious youthful lack of experience against you but will note even long-time pros can miss something, forget something, or make a mistake. But it is more likely you did not miss anything, compared to young pups, who tend to be in more of a rush.

So we are still back to the unknown as to whether it is a proprietary motherboard and the original PSU was proprietary too - as originally suggested by Corday a couple days ago, but never clarified. :(
 

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I can't imagine why it wouldn't accept any standard ATX motherboard.
Assuming you mean any standard ATX "power supply", then, assuming all connections were properly made, I cannot see why there would be a compatibility issue either. The only thing I can think of, and admittedly, it is a stretch, is if the motherboard's voltage regulation circuits are out of tolerance, and the old PSU is also out of tolerance in the same direction - enough so the 2 wrongs make a right!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Obviously, my top suspect is the Power-Good handshake, that's usually why a P/S won't come up if it's otherwise OK. In any case, we did compatibility lookup for the MSI B450 Tomahawk MAX motherboard and selected Corsair 850 watt model, a brand I'm personally way more comfortable with. It was $60 more than the cheap one he selected, but then you know how well that worked out. :D
 

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my top suspect is the Power-Good handshake, that's usually why a P/S won't come up if it's otherwise OK.
Well, I don't know. Two supplies exhibiting the same fault would be pretty odd.

As for Corsair, it used to be if it said Corsair on it, you could trust it to be a reliable, quality supply. But then they got a bit too big for their britches, venturing into many, perhaps too many products. And they got a bit greedy in the process, at least in my opinion. They changed OEM suppliers for their CX and VS PSU lines, and the quality and reliability suffered. I avoid them completely. But their top tier models are still top notch.

I've had mixed results with their cases too. They tend to have really good designs, but inconsistent product quality, as well as inadequate quality assurance/control. We did a 4-PC build for a client a couple years ago using Corsair cases. Of the 4 cases, 3 had problems. One was not "true". That is, the sheet metal bends were not exactly 90°.This resulted in only 3 of the 4 feet sitting on the floor so the case would wobble. That also resulted in it being very difficult to align and insert or remove the side panel. It also meant the motherboard did not sit flat on all the case standoffs. That caused concern about uneven stress on the board. At least in that case, once the case was loaded up with all the components, the added weight caused all 4 feet to sit. But still... .

Two other cases had unfinished, cut sheet metal edges. Typically the edges are (or should be) finished - as in ground smooth. On some cases, they are rolled to add strength, as well as turning the rough edges safely inwards. But on these two Corsairs, there were several spots of knuckle shredding, jagged edges. Not good, or fun.

If just those 4 cases were the only problems, then I might blame it on a single, faulty production run. But I have seen similar reports with other Corsair case models too. :(

So I recommend being careful about which models you pick.

Having said all that, I have had nothing but outstanding service with Corsair RAM. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, we're getting the Corsair RM850x, 850 Watt supply, and it got good reviews on a number of sites, and it's also listed as compatible with his MB. It also cost about twice what the cheap ones did, hopefully that will yield a better result. If I look hard enough, I can find bad reviews on any product you can name. ;)
 

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John: You got one of the good ones. Bill is correct. Depending on who made them, some Corsair PSUs beginning around 2015 went south. Really tarnished the entire brand.
 

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I realize the tester isn't a conclusive test, I only drag it out to see if a P/S is truly dead. In this case, it seemed at least to be alive when stimulated. As far as the I/O switch, are you talking about the P/S power switch? I've had that on and off many times during the testing. I don't know of any other I/O switch.

This P/S was a generic model from Amazon, hard to believe it's not compatible. FWIW, he assembled the stuff from different sources previously, so there was no special care in selecting the previous P/S.

I have another one coming, if that fails, I'll send it back as well and pick a totally different supply. FWIW, the computer is alive and well with the old P/S.
Generic model? IMHO, never cheap out on a PSU. A good one is more reliable, lasts longer, can much better handle power eating GPU's. And is more efficient.
 
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