So I recently replaced my burned out Power Supply Unit (PSU), and have just started my PC. But I still smell something burned out, although my PC is running fine, what could it be, and what should I do?

I just checked the temperatures, and everything seems fine, at least for me. Just having web browsers and a few other apps open, nothing requiring much.

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3 Answers 3


New power supplies (and other electronics too) some times have a bit of an odor for the first while. I run into this all the time with power supplies, and even monitors. If everything is working fine, I'd let it run for a few days at least and the smell should go away.

  • So all the temperatures is completely fine, noticed the CPU was at 45-50°C while only having Chrome, Steam and a few other programs with almost no usage? Feb 12, 2015 at 13:51
  • 1
    That instead suggests it's time to check the radiator fins on the CPU cooler, and perhaps unmount it, clean the CPU and heatsink, and then apply a very thin film of thermal conductive substance before remounting the heatsink.
    – K7AAY
    Feb 12, 2015 at 14:15

Sounds like your PC is operating fine now, but you are still dealing with the smell.

If your previous PSU actually "burned out", creating a rank smell, it is likely the smell will take some time to dissipate from inside your PC. You still smell it because fans are circulating air.

Smoke leaves a smell that is challenging to remove, especially when it involves the burning of synthetic or plastic materials.

The smell will eventually go away. To reduce the time it takes for the smell to dissipate, you can clean it yourself.

  1. Shut down your PC and disconnect it from power.
  2. Open the case
  3. Carefully wipe the surface of components with a lint free cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol.
  4. Clean out all dust or lint within the PC case, fans and heat sinks. (This material can hang onto the smell.)

This will help remove any smoke residue from when the PSU failed. DO NOT spray any liquids into the PC.

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CPU with no usage at 45-50 is not OK. It would reach 90 or 100 C when used, and it would be a problem.

Check your fans and thermal gel that you put between CPU and CPU fan.

If you are overclocking this temperatures might be likely, but still need to check the temperatures.

  • hmm my bad, must've been because of start-up temperatures is at around 30-40 now, still bad? Feb 12, 2015 at 14:16
  • 30-40 is OK acceptable. But log the temperatures to see if the CPU get overheated while playing a game. The mainboard must have an application for that. Feb 12, 2015 at 14:23
  • I just went into Watch Dogs, will check how the temperatures are. Feb 12, 2015 at 14:30
  • I went into Bioshock: Infinite instead, should require a bit as well. The temperatures is at around 55-65°C Feb 12, 2015 at 14:43
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    55-65 is kind of OK. You can adjust the fans, for better cooling, but still 55-65 is OK. Feb 12, 2015 at 15:00

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