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I've been gaming for a while now. When playing certain games this PC goes into overdrive. The fan starts to sound like a jet engine it get so busy. Also I have smelt a smell which smells like glue and possibly burning too (lol rhyme) when this has happened. The fuse blew on the 4 socket adapter I was using recently.

On the following thread someone said this could be due to the PSU not being strong enough to handle the load, in what it seems could be a related issue someone had, although the person who posted this question did say that blowing a fan on their PC stopped it crashing in that case:

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/answers/id-2047543/gtx-650-overheating-issue.html.

This is exactly what an answer to this question said:

Your GPU isn't overheating. 70+ before it would shutdown and cause a restart. Make sure your PSU is strong enough to handle your new system at load and possibly run Memtest to check your RAM (although not BSOD'ing and just shutting down points to the PSU).

This (the PSU part) makes more sense to me than it being to do with dust etc, since it seems a more plausible explanation of why the fuse blew.

The PC I've been using has no problems except when playing certain games: i.e. TERA Rising and WoW with add-ons (I think WoW is ok as long as I don't have more than 1 add-on (Healers Have To Die)). I'm just wondering if anyone knows or can suggest what I might be able to do to be able to play these games without this problem occurring.

The PC's spec is this:

  • Display: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650
  • 8GB RAM (6 available)
  • Processor: AMD FX (tm) - 8120 Eight-Core Processor - 3.1 GHz, 4 Cores, 8 Logical Processors

I have read on another post that forcing vsync in the Nvidia Control Panel helped with what seems could be a similar problem, so I plan to see if that solves it, God permitting.

I tried the Vsync thing, and it seems the situation may have improved, although this may be due to something else: i.e. maybe the PC was working harder yesterday, due to just having downloaded a few things or lots of things running. I'm still noticing the funny smell when playing TERA. It's not so much burning: it's more like glue. The smell might have had a burning element to it in the past, but I think it's always had a glue element.

The PSU has this info written on it:

  • ATX Switching Power Supply
  • Model: E-500ATX.
  • 230V
  • Current 10A
  • Frequency 50-60Hz
  • OUTPUT 500W

It also has some other info which I can supply if necessary. Putting the PC plug in the wall socket instead of the power strip seems like it might have reduced the load on the PC quite a bit: I think it sounds less stressed. it has been off for a while whilst I took the side panel off though, so I'll wait to see what happens before getting too excited.

Here's the latest: just playing TERA. The fan's running quite fast again. Hard to tell whether switching to the wall socket has made a difference in terms of strain on the PC: I don't know if one would expect it to. Still seems like it might have helped though. Oh and there didn't seem to be much dust in the PC, although I didn't disconnect any components. I'm still getting the glue type smell. ASIDE: reminds me of someone on a PC near me at the library once who was actually sniffing glue right there in front of everyone while on the PC and he started talking about how he was sniffing glue. lol. That's no joke.

I used this estimator, which estimates the PSU Wattage needed for a given PC:

support.asus.com/powersupply.aspx

I know everything is right unless there is an extra device or two, but I know I got the main stuff right: i.e. processor, VGA card, 2 USB devices and DVD. The Recommended Minimum Power Supply came back as 500W, which is what the PSU's wattage is. An extra device or two does shift it up to 550W, so if there is an extra device or 2 I don't know about, it would be under the minimum.

I've just tried testing the PC's compatibility with TERA and it seems there's a question mark over the OS (Windows 8.1 64 bit), which is not officially supported by TERA.

Here's the link:

http://www.systemrequirementslab.com/cyri/requirements/tera/11264/?p=a

I tested the compatibility with WoW on the same site and it came back as ok, which might explain why WoW is ok without add-ons (I think it's ok, but I'm not sure: I'd need more time to confirm this, God permitting), but TERA definitely isn't OK: not with this OS anyway.

June 12th: Tera might be ok. I've actually just been playing it and it doesn't seem to have been so bad: there has been a slight glue/burning smell, but the PC's activity hasn't skyrocketed as much as at times in the past. It did throw a wobbly at the start, right after I patched it (there was a new patch today). I ended up switching my PC off with the screen frozen. After I switched the PC back on Tera worked fine but google chrome is broken. lol. I've had to switch back to IE. Been playing Tera for a couple of hours or more since though and as I say, it doesn't seem to have been too bad, except for the smell, which has been there somewhat.

June 13th: I've just used Speedfan to check the temps when playing TERA. Within about 5-10 mins of playing (max) the CPU temp moved up to 53-54C and there was a fire sign next to it. Now I've just started the PC up after having it off for a while (about 30 mins) and the CPU temp is 51C with a fire sign next to it even when just using google chrome and Speedfan. Ah, it's dropped to green tick level now. google chrome has risen from the dead.

June 25th: the smell might not have been coming from the PC: I smelt a smell from the neighbour's lawnmower. The PC is out of action now though, but this happened after accidentally disconnecting 1 or more wires inside the PC. I got it working again after reconnecting a couple of things, but now it's stopped working again. I actually stopped playing Tera before the PC stopped working.

July 17th: well the harddrive failed, so I had it replaced and the PC works again. After having it fixed though, the PC shutdown again while I was using it and I thought 'Oh no! Not again.' Thankfully though, it was the power strip: switching to a different one I found that the PC was still ok. I unscrewed the power strip which was marked as 13A and discovered that there didn't seem to be any fuse in there at all. Maybe this was the case for the first power strip too: I haven't been able to get inside that one so I don't know.

Strangely enough, I can't even say for sure that there ever was a smell from the PC as I had thought at one stage. Even if there was, I'm not sure what would prevent this from continuing to happen, so I can't really accept an answer at this stage. I don't want to risk playing Tera at the moment.

The guy at the shop who replaced the hard drive did ask me if I'd looked at surge protection and that power surges can be a problem. I hadn't even menioned that I thought a fuse had blown.


Questions now are:

  • Is the smell something I should sort out (if there is a smell)? (If so, how might I do this?)
  • is it necessary to take any steps to prevent blowing another fuse (and if so which step/s?).
  • Would getting a voltage stabilizer help and if so would this or the purchase of a PSU with a higher wattage be a better first step?
  • Since I've received conflicting advice on the following question (see answers below and note that the estimator link above returns a Recommended Minimum Wattage), I ask it here: would a PSU with a higher wattage improve or worsen the matter (or even have no effect at all)?
  • What is the maximum safe operating temperature that a CPU and a GPU should not exceed for extended periods of time (I read on one post it is as high as 80C, but I have a fire icon showing on Speedfan for 50C+, although I realise I can change the temp at which the fire icon appears in the Speedfan Settings Menu)?
  • Although the Processor is 3.1 GHz, on the site I linked which uses software I downloaded to check the suitability of PCs for various games, it says '3.1 Ghz (rated as 12.4 Ghz' for the Processor (I think it said 12.4 Ghz anway: it definitely said 12.something). How can this be, what are the implications of this and and does it have any implications which are connected with the fuse blowing and/or the glue/burning smell which occurs at CPU temperatures of 51C+?
  • Now that I know I'm using a 13A power strip (I don't know what the amperage of the one blew the fuse was) with nothing but the PC plugged in and I've been told by a superuser user that the highest temperatures the PC's components have reached as a result of playing them have been well within acceptable levels, is it ok to continue playing WoW and Tera, or would it be better not to play either, given that a fuse did blow before I started playing Tera (I had been playing WoW) and I still seem to smell something of a glue/burning smell when playing Tera?
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To address the first question about the smell: Just plug your nose! </joking> –  Canadian Luke Jun 12 at 16:10
    
@Canadian Luke lol –  George Tomlinson Jun 12 at 16:21
    
It seems your original question has been answered - which seems to be about the fuse. If it's been answered, please stop editing and changing the question; doing so turns this from a Q&A and into a forum, which is something all the Stack Exchange sites try to avoid. –  ernie Jun 16 at 16:11
    
@ernie Ok, but it seems rather inefficient (and also inconvenient, at least from my point of view) not to be able to ask all the questions that arise in one post. What's the point in creating a new post and copying and pasting all the relevant information over to it, just to ask a single new question (or even 4 new questions) which arises (arise) from the dialogues in the original post? That seems counterintuitive to me. –  George Tomlinson Jun 16 at 16:48
    
@ernie However, I can see that it doesn't fit with the sites' operations to ask new questions on the same post, given that it does appear that answers are supposed to be to a single question. Of course, old answers could always be edited to answer new questions that have arisen. I think this would make the use of the SE sites easier for the people asking questions, although it may not be the way they operate at present, so thanks for bringing the issue up. –  George Tomlinson Jun 16 at 16:49

6 Answers 6

Your fuse should NEVER blow! What fuse is in the power strip? If you are on 110v with a 1kW PS, you would be drawing around 9amps max.

So if you are using a power strip with a 5amp fuse, yup there it goes. I would STRONGLY recommend that you do NOT use a strip with a powerful PC. Use a wall socket that should allow 13amps.

The blown fuse indicates you are pulling too much power through the wiring which may overheat causing MUCH bigger problems than a blown fuse.

Amps x Volts = Watts

Amps = Watts / Volts

By the way, if you were in the UK, the voltage would be around 230v and so you would be using around 4 amps or so and your fuse wouldn't blow. ;)

UPDATE: Forgot to mention that I don't think US plugs are individually fused as standard? UK plugs are. So in the UK, when plugging diret into a wall socket you still have fuse protection in the cable. Drawing too much power through any wiring can turn it into a fairly effective electric fire - keeps firefighters and hospitals in business but not good for the health. Check the ratings of all cabling.

UPDATE 2:

So, you are in the UK. Clearly this makes a difference, quite a big one actually as I'd assumed you were in the USA. You've stated that you have a 500w supply.

500w / 230v = 2.2amps

So there is no way you should have blown a fuse. It would seem that something is causing the PSU to draw a LOT more than 500w so perhaps you should stop using it until you can get it checked out?

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks for that. I don't know what fuse the power strip was. I think my Dad might have thrown it away now. By the way, I am in the UK and it did blow. lol. I'd like to try your suggestion of switching to the wall socket, but I'm a bit cautious about this as I don't want to blow the fuse in that. I'm thinking of seeing if switching to adaptive vsync improves the situation as my first port of call, before possibly trying other things, but to be honest I don't know if I'll be able to find the time and energy to do anything else. I might just take a gamble on plugging the PC into a wall socket. –  George Tomlinson Jun 11 at 10:22
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You must check the rating for the power strip. This is how house fires start so don't take risks! Plug the PC into a wall socket by preference unless the strip is rated correctly. It can be a double socket as both should be rated fine. –  Julian Knight Jun 11 at 11:11
    
Ok: many thanks for your help. Can I check the rating without unscrewing to look at the fuse amperage? –  George Tomlinson Jun 11 at 11:13
    
Putting the PC plug in the wall socket instead of the power strip seems like it might have reduced the load on the PC quite a bit: I think it sounds less stressed. it has been off for a while whilst I took the side panel off though, so I'll wait to see what happens before getting too excited. hmm. So here's the latest: just playing TERA. The fan's running quite fast again. Hard to tell whether switching to the wall socket has made a difference in terms of strain on the PC: I don't know if one would expect it to. Still seems like it might have helped though. –  George Tomlinson Jun 11 at 14:30
    
If you blow the fuse connected to the wall socket, its not a huge deal, thats just the fuse at the circuit breaker. The PSU I assume is made for the UK? –  Ramhound Jun 11 at 23:46

Did you calculate how much power your computer would draw? You should have over the amount of wattage your computer would use under load. It sounds like you are aware of the PSU being the problem, though.

share|improve this answer
    
No. I'm thinking of seeing if switching to adaptive vsync improves the situation as my first port of call, before possibly trying other things, but to be honest I don't know if I'll be able to find the time and energy to do anything else. Thanks for your input though. +1 for your help. –  George Tomlinson Jun 11 at 10:30
    
I would say that your PSU is marginal, most PSU's, especially cheap ones do not actually cope well with maximum power draw. If you still have a working library close by, you may be able to borrow a power monitor from them as they were made available to all Libraries - at least in England. –  Julian Knight Jun 12 at 15:20
    
@Julian Knight Ok thanks again. –  George Tomlinson Jun 12 at 19:38
    
@AryaW Thanks for the info. I don't know how to calculate this, but I did use an estimator to estimate the minimum PSU wattage I'd need: please see the OP for the results of this. –  George Tomlinson Jun 14 at 9:34

The question you've linked to is from someone who thinks they have an overheating video card due to system instability (system was rebooting).

Your question sounds different in that you've mentioned you blew a fuse and the fans run loudly, not that your computer is unstable (i.e. frequent blue screens, reboots, etc).

If you blew a fuse, that means your system was drawing too much current. A bigger power supply would likely make this worse, as it would draw more current. If you have anything besides the computer on the power strip where you blew the fuse, you should try plugging it in elsewhere, thus reducing the current through the power strip.

If your question is how do you make your system quieter, then you'll need to get better fans and/or cooling.

share|improve this answer
    
Interesting. +1 for your help. In the power strip I've got the PC, the monitor and the modem. Maybe I should plug the PC in to a wall socket. I guess it would be best to use a different wall socket from the one the power strip goes into, which could be possible. –  George Tomlinson Jun 11 at 10:29
    
Putting the PC plug in the wall socket instead of the power strip seems like it might have reduced the load on the PC quite a bit: I think it sounds less stressed. it has been off for a while whilst I took the side panel off though, so I'll wait to see what happens before getting too excited. hmm. So here's the latest: just playing TERA. The fan's running quite fast again. Hard to tell whether switching to the wall socket has made a difference in terms of strain on the PC: I don't know if one would expect it to. Still seems like it might have helped though. –  George Tomlinson Jun 11 at 14:30

There are several issues here.

  • "fan starts to sound like a jet engine": this might be normal, especially if the weather is hot. You should check which fan it is that starts roaring: is it the PSU, the CPU, or the video card? A possibility to be investigated is the status of the thermal compound and/or copper shims on the offending device, and the possibility that the heat exchanger has become clogged by dust. There are utilities (e.g. SpeedFan) that allow checking the temperature of several components such as CPU cores, case and GPU.

I'd run a temperature check first, then blow some compressed air in all exchangers, possibly even Hoover them if the air blow has raised a dust storm, and then I'd invest around 20-30 quid to get the thermal compound checked and relayered.

  • "smell like glue": this is bad. On a new computer it just might be harmless; otherwise any "hot" smell means that some component is seriously overheating. Consider the possibility of installing an additional fan blower (there are centrifugal thermostated fan blowers that are pretty effective and not very noisy), and/or a cool-air in-blower, and consider the smell a big red sign suggesting to check fans, heat exchangers and thermal grease. Also air flow in the case (which has to operate closed); it sometimes happens that flat cables get in the way of the proper air flow.

To further investigate the smell, you can first open the case and give it a good airing :-). Then close it again, drive the PC until it smells, power off everything, open the case again and... lacking a thermal imaging camera, just sniff around. Also run the computer with the case open and verify that the South Bridge chip, if fanned, has a working fan (that fan usually has no sensors, so it can stop without raising any alarm); if it has a heatsink/heat exchanger, verify it isn't too hot nor clogged by dust. A distinct possibility is that the smell comes from the PSU (you'll have to check this with the case open, otherwise the air being blown out would come from the inside of the case, and be obviously loaded with any burning smell generated therein). That would reinforce the suspicion of a faulty PSU; it might be draining excess power and turning it into waste heat.

  • PSU rating: PSU producers routinely cheat and I usually apply a 20% margin on the ratings, i.e., if I have components that purport a maximum consumption of 500 W, I calculate they will probably soak up 550 W, and to really get 550 W I need a PSU rated for at least 600. Redlining a PSU can lead to instability, but it's not dangerous to the hardware. However, until and unless the computer starts randomly rebooting, the PSU is to be considered adequate.

  • Fuse blowing: this may be normal depending on what was attached to the power strip. A 500W PSU running in UK, there's no way it can draw more than around 3A. Actually I expect it to draw 2.3A, and possibly as little as 2.1A. Nothing to blow a fuse over. Of course if you attach another kilowatt or so of appliances to the same power strip, and it's a standard power strip rated for 1500W, and maybe it's shoddily manufactured and it's more like 1400W tops, oh well. Blown fuse coming up, and do you want cooked power strip with that?

If on the other hand there was not a large drain on the power strip, it might just have been defective. The only way to be sure is to check the current with a multimeter; you need a "socket current meter" to do that. You should be able to find one for around £40.

I wouldn't go and purchase UPSes or stabilizers yet, not until you have excluded less expensive problems that would explain your symptoms and that a UPS wouldn't fix anyway.

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Thanks: a very informative answer which sounds like good advice. (+1). I do find it hard to resist the temptation to do nothing and carry on playing the games I enjoy, but I've told my father about it now, so he/we might be taking it to be looked at by some experts on Saturday, God permitting. I just downloaded Speedfan. The hottest temp is 33C (CPU) apart from possibly AUX, which reads -63C, which doesn't make any sense: it can't be negative or positive 63C, surely? Also, I don't know what AUX is. –  George Tomlinson Jun 13 at 8:53
    
I just read a post from someone asking about a strange AUX reading and apparently it's common and just means a failed reading on a temp sensor which doesn't exist, so it can be ignored. I've just used Speedfan to check the temps when playing TERA. Within about 5-10 mins of playing (max) the CPU temp moved up to 53-54C and there was a fire sign next to it, which is obviously not good. –  George Tomlinson Jun 13 at 9:24
    
Now I've just started the PC up after having it off for a while (about 30 mins) and the CPU temp is 51C with a fire sign next to it even when just using google chrome and Speedfan. It dropped fairly quickly though. Playing WoW so far the CPU temp has just stayed within the acceptable limit, at 49C. –  George Tomlinson Jun 13 at 11:29
    
Do you know what the maximum safe operating temperature that a CPU and a GPU should not exceed for extended periods of time is (I read on one post it is as high as 80C, but I have a fire icon showing on Speedfan for 50C+, although I realise I can change the temp at which the fire icon appears in the Speedfan Settings Menu)? –  George Tomlinson Jun 13 at 11:37
    
55 °C is nothing to worry about! SpeedFan comes with VERY conservative defaults; my notebook stays usually around 60 °C CPU, 50 °C GPU when working normally. In summer I get 80 °C CPU very easily. At 100 °C CPU, 90 °C GPU it will reset, and by staying several days above 80 °C GPU (and with a defective GPU heatsink - but I discovered it too late) I managed to need a new GPU :-). Given these temps, it is unlikely you've bad/clogged fans or heat exchangers; I'm starting to suspect you may have a faulty PSU instead, or - conceivably - a defective South Bridge fan/cooler (?). –  lserni Jun 13 at 19:26

From what I red so far, you need a voltage stabilizer (or a more expensive UPS) with surge protection of rated VA multiplied to 0.6 of total drain of all appliances connected, ej: if a PC with power supply (PSU) of 500w plus a lcd monitor with 25w~ totaling 525w divided 0.6 = 875 VA, so you need a voltage stabilizer of at leas 875 VA.

BUT pc don't always use the full capacity of the PSU, so you will have to calculate it with this: http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

After making that calculation, taking note that a pc in idle consumes less that a pc in load. You will see if your PSU is small or not, of course having a bigger PSU as I said before isn't necessarily bad as the PC will draw only what it needs.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks a lot for that. (+1). So would that mean that as things stand at present, if I use the wall socket, there would be a chance of blowing the fuse in there (assuming its 13A)? –  George Tomlinson Jun 12 at 11:12
    
Well I've found this first voltage stabilizer: APC Line-R 1200VA - Automatic voltage regulator ( external ) - AC 220/230/240 V - 1200 VA - 4 Output Connector(s). Would this fit the bill? The PSU has 'OUTPUT 500W' at the bottom so I guess this should be ok. Is the 'External' bit right for me though? –  George Tomlinson Jun 12 at 13:41
    
Yes that voltage stabilizer should do the trick, if not at least you got a surge protection. Reading more carefully your post, your PSU is a generic one, compared of a recognized brand ones those provide less wattage than advertized, so I'd urgently change it for a >=500w brand PSU (ej: corsair, thermalthake), especially if you got a GTX650 –  MauroG Jun 13 at 3:26
    
Ok. Thanks again. –  George Tomlinson Jun 13 at 8:42

Have you considered that your copy of TARA is corrupt? You might want to see if you can download a new version. It might even have more features!

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks for your answer. I hadn't considered this possibility to be honest, no. I've actually just been playing it and it doesn't seem to have been so bad: there has been a slight glue/burning smell, but the PC's activity hasn't skyrocketed as much as at times in the past. It did throw a wobbly at the start, right after I patched it (there was a new patch today). I ended up switching my PC off with the screen frozen. After I switched the PC back on Tera worked fine but google chrome is broken. lol. I've had to switch back to IE. –  George Tomlinson Jun 12 at 21:44
    
Been playing Tera for a couple of hours or more since though and as I say, it doesn't seem to have been too bad, except for the smell, which has been there somewhat. google chrome is back online now. –  George Tomlinson Jun 14 at 9:35

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