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The problem:

Yesterday i started to experience stable shut downs when playing Far Cry 5, which lead me to checking everything power related and thus discovering some sort of damage marks on both the power cable and the power extension cord that comes with the case. I also checked another power cable that i've used with this PC in the past and it also has the same marks on it, which i'm guessing means that this issue has been happening for quite a while now.

IEC plug

IEC socket

Shut downs happen only when playing Far Cry 5 (i imagine other, similarly taxing games may cause this as well, however playing other games like RDR2 in the past have not caused such issues).

I don't think it's to do with overheating, as all the temps are well within limits. Max 78 degrees on the CPU and 75-ish on the GPU.

The PC works and has worked fine under any under load (video rendering, 3D rendering, encoding).

As the first step in diagnosing i decided to bypass the extension cable and connect it straight to the PSU and it seemingly did solve the issue, but i need to run the game some more to be 100% sure.

My question are:

  1. What could have caused this?

  2. How can i prevent it?

  3. What may be the root source of the problem? Can it be the case's cable extension?

  4. How can i rule out the possibility that it's the PSU itself that's the problem? I've had some power related issues with this PC in the past (HDD shutting off) and it kinda seems like these two issues may be related. My model of PSU had a bad batch couple years back and even though my unit is not of that batch i still see people describing very similar issues to mine when using the same PSU.

I know that this is a long and possibly stupid shot, but this case is a demo unit, which means that it spent quite a but of time on a shelf somewhere and i don't know how well it was stored. Could this have lead to some oxidation or some such (i'm not very educated on this) that could have led to this? I'm asking cause i still have the warranty and would love to just replace it if there's even a slight chance that the case itself is the issue.

Setup:

Case: A4-H2O
Mobo: Gigabyte B550I AORUS PRO AX
CPU: Ryzen 7 5700x
GPU: EVGA RTX 3060
PSU: Corsair SF750 Platinum
Storage: Crucial MX500 250Gb
Storage: Samsung 970 PRO 512Gb

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1 Answer 1

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The damage is caused by arcing - sparks jumping across from the plug to the socket because of poor connectivity.*

The plug is badly out of alignment & needs replacing.
The socket pins are melted - and also needs replacing.

It's no good just buying a new IEC cable [kettle plug] because the damage to the socket pins will not allow a clean connection.

The socket is a simple job, but I would advise you take it to a professional to make sure it's done properly. Plug and socket are probably under $£€ 10 for the pair - but ensuring the new components make good connection is best done by a pro. There's also the potential that the existing plug & socket are just sub-standard ultra-economy parts. A repair shop could ensure they are replaced with certified components.

*This is going to cause two issues - the power itself will be slightly intermittent, plus the sparking will cause RFI [Radio Frequency Interference] which will upset delicate electronic components.

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  • 5
    Rather than replace the socket, most PC repair shops in the US are just going to replace the PSU, and likely with their "standard" in-store one, unless the customer asks for something more. Replacing a socket on a PSU isn't something an "average user" could do, or even most DIYers. The capacitors in the PSU make working on the electronics very dangerous, unless you know exactly what you are doing. There's a very good reason why it's taped shut with a "no user serviceable parts inside" sticker on the side, and that goes beyond just warranty reasons. Commented Jun 16, 2023 at 18:45
  • @computercarguy - I get your point, but it's a bit 'here be dragons'. It's not like taking the back off a CRT. Take it to a repair shop & ask for a new IEC socket… you get a new IEC socket. I already said don't DIY it. The OP's question wording says DIY is not the answer.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jun 16, 2023 at 18:53
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    The OP would have to find an electronics repair store, not a computer repair store, to get that socket replaced, and those are pretty rare, in the US at least. Even then, most electronics repair places are only going to replace whole circuit boards, rather than component level replacements. It would take longer and more work to find that than to replace the whole PSU, even if it does save $160. Commented Jun 16, 2023 at 19:01
  • It sounds like OP has a small form factor case with an internal extension cable that runs from the socket on the exterior of the case to the socket on the PSU. Depending which of those sockets is shown in the photo it could be a very simple job to replace the case socket and the internal extension cable (though they may have to order a specific replacement part from the case manufacturer to get one that fits perfectly). Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 2:51
  • @MilesBudnek You are correct, the damage has only been done to the extension cable. The PSU itself is fine and has no marks.
    – Gorchitsa
    Commented Jun 18, 2023 at 8:22

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