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Sparkle 350w PSU Fixed my Problems!!!

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Radelon

Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2002
Wow, what a stressful last 2 weeks. First I thought it was my Albatron Ti4200P Turbo going bad, so I RMA'd it and got another. The new one actually had more problems. So then I got mad and picked up a Radeon 9000 Pro and the problems mostly went away but still existed.

At that point, someone asked me what the rails on my 420w TurboLink PSU were and I replied:
5v = 4.82v
3.3v = 3.1v
1.5v = 1.38v
DDRV = 2.8v (set at 3.0v in bios)

We then figured out that there was a problem here. So I ordered a 350w Sparkle PSU from NewEgg and it arrived today. Here's the rails from it:
5v = 5.02v
3.3v = 3.28v
1.5v = 1.52v
DDRV = 3.0v (set at 3.0v in bios)

So obviously the problem is solved and the computer is running great with the Ti4200P Turbo back in it. Up until the new PSU I was upset that none of the IT7 mod bios' would actually go above 2.8v, seeing that I could set it at 3.2v in bios and 2.8v would still be shown by Winbond. Now that I got the new PSU whatever setting I put on the DDR voltage shows up in Winbond.

Another exciting thing is, I did all my benchmarks and overclocking on a bad psu. Now that I have a new PSU that's working great, I should be able to overclock it higher and possibly get a lot better scores.

I don't think that it was the PSU itselfs fault that it was bad. I had received and had been using a faulty TMD fan. It was supposed to turn 5600rpm, instead it was turning 9500rpm. I came to realize that I had the recalled version of the fan after I started to have all the problems. So it was actually the TMD fan that caused all the problems. I was warned about it so I switched it to the 12v lead from the PSU, and I think thats what started it all.

As for now, I'm using the stock Intel heatsink until my new Sunon Tornado fan comes. It should be here by Friday hopefully.

Thanks to all those that helped me, it's nice to have people out there to help when things go ary. Just goes to show, even Computer Technicians can overlook/get stumped on things sometimes.
 
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Radelon

Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2002
Well, after further review, I forgot to mention that the Sparkle PSU was only giving me a 11.54v on the +12v lead. This kind of had me worried. So I opened the casing on the PSU and found it had a POT adjustment. Now, I went ahead and adjusted it up to 12.29v so that under load it will always stay above 12v.

System Specs (just to give the idea):
P4 1.6a @ 2560 (160fsb @ 1.65v)
Abit IT7 w/ mod AV bios
256mb GeIL PC3200 Ultra (214/428ddr @ 3v)
Albatron Ti4200P Turbo 128mb

My new numbers:

+12v = 12.29v
+5v = 5.32v
+3.3v = 3.28v
+1.5v = 1.52v
DDRV = 2.98v (3.0 in bios)

The only thing I didn't like was that the 5v went up at the same time I adjusted the 12v, but I really don't think that it is much of a problem.

The system is 100% stable at 160fsb w/ Low Strap 3:4 (214/428ddr) now at 1.65v. With the old PSU 150fsb w/ Low Strap 3:4 (200/400ddr) wasn't even stable (even with 1.8v).

One bad thing is, that before the POT adjustment, the system wasn't stable at 170fsb Low Strap 1:1. But that could change, the biggest thing I noticed is that I am able to run the system with less voltage than with the old psu. The old would run the system at 170fsb without a hitch.

But this could also be the fact that I'm now using the stock Intel hs/fan combo instead of the TMD fan/heatsink combo I was using before. The reason I'm not using the TMD fan/heatsink combo I used before is that the TMD fan was one of the recalled ones and it was spinning out of control (9500rpm) and eventually trashed my original psu.

I'll keep you guys updated as I should get my new HS (Thermalright AX-478) tomorrow along with my AS3. For the fan, I bought a Sunon Tornado 80mm (oem version of the Vantec Tornado). Hopefully the new (loud as all heck) air cooling and good hs should allow me to overclock higher. The only thing I'm hoping is that I'm not maxing out my overclock on the Northbridge because I don't have it cooled (just stock hs).
 

larva

Inactive Moderator
Joined
Jul 12, 2002
that is a little low

My sparkle 350 produces 11.91V on the th 12V line, about as far from 12V as I tolerate. My 5V runs 5.13V, and the 3.3 dead on. I would also either rma the supply or try to adjust it at 11.54V. I've not had a sparkle that far off, but I have seen users of just about every supply report the same at one point or another, however dissapointing it may be in terms of quality control. It's good to know there are accesable pots in the 350 even though I am not generally inclined to use them. Fortunately the Sparkle has no warranty stickers to prevent you from having at it.

I think you will love the AX-478. Even with a mild (2900rpm) fan mine lopped off 5C from the max readings as compared to my Intel unit. With a powerhouse like the Sunon/Tornado fan you should see huge drops in temperature.
 
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Radelon

Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2002
Well, the same PSU in a different system had values that were right on. But it's this IT7 board that is robbing the 12v line, so I just adjusted it up until I get a new board.
 

JimmyG

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Location
Michigan
I think you're worrying too much about the 12 volt rail. It runs fans and hard drives. The motors are very tolerant of voltage offset. I would worry more about the 5 volt rail running high. This will cause your mobo parts that run at 5 volts to run hot. Try backing the adjustment back down so that the 5 volt rail is right at 5 volts and see if your FSB runs better.
 

larva

Inactive Moderator
Joined
Jul 12, 2002
hmm

Radelon said:
Well, the same PSU in a different system had values that were right on. But it's this IT7 board that is robbing the 12v line, so I just adjusted it up until I get a new board.

The IT7 is a great board, if you need a place to throw it I have a pile with it's name on it :)

It sounds more likely that the voltage reading is just off in the bios. I might break out the volt-ohm meter and check the voltage against a more absolute standard. Obviously cranking up the pots a little won't kill anything, but I might check to see if the bios wasn't lying to me. In any event the IT7 is top notch hardware, and I would hold onto it. The hardware monitoring in the bios may be off a bit, the supply may be set a bit low, but as long as the board runs stably it's really just academic.
 
D

Dragon_Engineer2

Guest
Newb question here what is a "POT" adjustment?
 
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Radelon

Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2002
hehe, when the new DCDDR chipsets come out, of course I'll be getting one of those.