Another CoolMax POOF!

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Another CoolMax POOF!

Postposted on Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:44 pm

Today I had my first ever hardware casualty going up in white smoke! I actually started laughing because with all of the machines I've built and fixed I've never had something actually fry on me. I have a little Q6660 system in the office as a data storage server. When attempting to connect to the mapped drive it wouldn't respond and I couldn't login to the server remotely. The lights were going on the machine so it appeared to be hung up. I force shut it down by holding the power button and gave it a little time to be off. The second I pushed the power button I heard a fizzling sound and could smell it burning, quickly unplugging the power from the machine in-case of fire.

This is just one of many of the CoolMax brand PSUs I've seen bad, but the first I've witnessed die. I already popped the top on the PSU to locate the fried goods which appears to be a transistor actually (not caps like I suspected). The on-board fuse was also blown, little good it did.

The machine was built by another local shop back when the Q6660 was hot stuff, a customer upgraded and left the old machine with me. The case and fans were cleaned on a regular basis and had a very VERY easy life. Just one more reason to stay away from the cheapo low end brands like CoolMax.

Here is to hoping it didn't take anything else with it during the poof of glory.

Model: Coolmax CX-450B
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Re: Another CoolMax POOF!

Postposted on Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:56 pm

I'll bet that a SeaSonic would cost more than that CoolMax - at least until you count the cost of failures.

Note that your "450-watt" CoolMax provides up to 15 Amperes = 180 Watts on the +12 Volt rail. The "360-watt" SeaSonic that I linked provides up to 30 Amperes = 360 Watts on the +12 Volt rail.
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Re: Another CoolMax POOF!

Postposted on Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:08 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:I'll bet that a SeaSonic would cost more than that CoolMax - at least until you count the cost of failures.

Note that your "450-watt" CoolMax provides up to 15 Amperes = 180 Watts on the +12 Volt rail. The "360-watt" SeaSonic that I linked provides up to 30 Amperes = 360 Watts on the +12 Volt rail.


:lol: Yuuup. I've never bought CoolMax power supplies, Corsair for the most part. I sometimes hold onto old broken parts until I can pass them onto a guy who recycles/re-purposes them. But I just checked another dead PSU I recently replaced in a customers machine, was the same exact model. I've yet to crack it open to see if its the same issue. The fried transistor is right next to the heat sink. I'll get a photo posted so you can see the offending part.

My favorite low end PSU is the Corsair CX-430M. 32A on the +12 volt rail for a total of 384w, pretty decent and a modestly rated Bronze 80 Plus PSU. Rock solid thus far, we shall see in 3-4 years.
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Re: Another CoolMax POOF!

Postposted on Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:50 pm

There's Corsair/Seasonic, there's high-end Antec, and then there is a steamy pile of gorilla dung.

You pick.


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Re: Another CoolMax POOF!

Postposted on Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:53 pm

I had a PSU fail catastrophically on me back in the Pentium II era. It made the sound of a small gunshot, and shot some black smoke out the back. My friend was playing a game at the time, and he jumped up in his seat with his eyes wide open.

I knew exactly what happened, but pulled a "WHAT'D JYA DO?!?" like in Tommy Boy. Good times.
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Re: Another CoolMax POOF!

Postposted on Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:31 am

about 2 months ago I had an odd sound come from my system.. kind of a pop - then the system restarted... and I smelled something kind burnt lol. :o to this day, i have no clue what it was. Still running, no smell anymore. Maybe since I cleaned out the dust/dirt? :roll:

I have heard from others also.. CoolMax is just no good.
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Re: Another CoolMax POOF!

Postposted on Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:06 pm

I've actually been looking at PSUs with some interest lately. If one is building a system all the many different brands of PSUs can be confusing. Personally I'm using a CoolerMaster GX650 (the newer version), and I've had mixed experiences with my previous PSU brand, ACBel. The 620w ACBel I bought more than 6 years ago for my Brisbane machine still works fine and I've repurposed it already to an office PC whose PSU had died. However, we've had two other ACBel units die already after just about 2 or 3 years of use. So not sure I'll buy ACBel again. FSP and Seasonic look good, as well as Gigabyte, but I haven't really taken the time to read reviews because I'm not actually gonna buy yet. Other brands I have access to are Aerocool, Cougar, Corsaire, Thermaltake, Huntkey, Enermax, Silverstone, Antec (kinda pricey though), etc. So which of these would you actually trust?
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Re: Another CoolMax POOF!

Postposted on Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:24 pm

Well yeah ;)

12V x 15A, assuming 15A wasn't "stretching the truth" in the same way the 450W sticker was.

I've seen a 500W Q-Tec PSU explode with fire (probably just ignited dust) on a Core2 Duo machine that probably never drew more than 150W peak power.
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Re: Another CoolMax POOF!

Postposted on Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:53 pm

In all honesty Ronch, each individual PSU unit is made differently. Sometimes just going up to a higher watt rating in the same brand and series have very different component qualities. Example being a Corsair HX650 vs Corsair HX750. The 750 (at one point) had high end Japanese capacitors that are considered to be cream of the crop. With revisions and different build dates that could have changed, you just have to know. Some manufacturers will go to others to have their stuff made and brand it with their name, and this can be a good thing if they go to a reputable source.

So far I've been happy with all of the Corsair PSUs I've gotten my hands on, about 6-7 different models ranging from their CX-430 to the HX850. If you need the power the HX 750/850 both can be had for under $100 and sometimes sub $80. Excellent supplies and Corsair has always been good about customer care if anything does go wrong.
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Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

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Re: Another CoolMax POOF!

Postposted on Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:16 pm

so far only used thermaltake they have been reliable for me so far a friend of mine in rocking a toughpower 750w from 2007 i myself am using a 850w version from 2008 on my current system so far no issues what so ever
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Re: Another CoolMax POOF!

Postposted on Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:39 pm

OFF TOPIC
is tr very sluggish today or is it just me?
the loading time is high it gets stuck unless i refresh also
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Re: Another CoolMax POOF!

Postposted on Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:45 pm

ronch wrote:I've actually been looking at PSUs with some interest lately. If one is building a system all the many different brands of PSUs can be confusing. Personally I'm using a CoolerMaster GX650 (the newer version), and I've had mixed experiences with my previous PSU brand, ACBel. The 620w ACBel I bought more than 6 years ago for my Brisbane machine still works fine and I've repurposed it already to an office PC whose PSU had died. However, we've had two other ACBel units die already after just about 2 or 3 years of use. So not sure I'll buy ACBel again. FSP and Seasonic look good, as well as Gigabyte, but I haven't really taken the time to read reviews because I'm not actually gonna buy yet. Other brands I have access to are Aerocool, Cougar, Corsaire, Thermaltake, Huntkey, Enermax, Silverstone, Antec (kinda pricey though), etc. So which of these would you actually trust?

I'm a little bit snobbish with PSUs these days. I only use Seasonic in my own machines, and for others I'll either use Seasonic, Antec, or Corsair; depending on the budget of the build. I'm more liable to use Antec when they're bundled with a case. I may also use Silverstone if they're bundled with the right case at the right price. I've used FSP as low-end OEM replacments and never had any problems. I've also used a handful Enermax's, and they were decent but seemed to die around 5-6 years. So basically:

High-end: Seasonic
Midrange: Seasonic, Corsair
Lower-End: Corsair, FSP
Case Bundle: Antec, Silverstone
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Re: Another CoolMax POOF!

Postposted on Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:12 pm

I knew I saw this somewhere..

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pow ... 913-4.html

its a full list of PSU makers and models and who really makes the unit. Very handy!
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Re: Another CoolMax POOF!

Postposted on Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:41 pm

Seasonic (or Seasonic OEM) or gtfo for me, and for friend and family builds...going on about 5 years now and never an issue. Their OEM-style PSUs are a bargain imo , especially for IGP systems.
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Re: Another CoolMax POOF!

Postposted on Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:48 pm

A note on the Silverstones since you bring them up. I've built probably about 15 machines in the Sugo variants and the 450w PSUs that come with them have been great thus far. I did however have one that came almost DOA. The second I pushed the power button I hear a deep pop sound, no smoke and nothing worked. I quickly used a normal external desktop PSU and everything worked fine. Sent it back and got a replacement and haven't had an issue since. So 1 out of the 15 were bad right off the bat FWIW. I've yet to have a Corsair go bad on me or come DOA, but i'm sure that will happen too.

This is my power supply.
http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews/powe ... dsli_psu/1

Its something I bought years and years ago really cheap on Newegg sales. I based my purchase off of that review because ETASIS was making power supplies for Silverstone which were noted as some of the best PSUs then, right next to Antec and Sparkle. The only downside to the power supply was that when you purchased it you were gambling on whether they through the proper cable ends on to each one, some people got more molex ends than sata and some were given 20 pin power not 20+4 I believe. Mine came with everything it was supposed to. While the materials used in the plastic ends are extremely cheap, the heart of the power supply is rock solid. I'd never buy another supply like it again because i'm more of a supply snob now and anything at all cheap on a PSU is not OK with me. But it serves its function and has all of the high end circuitry for its time to kick ass and take names. Ohhhh quad 12+ volt rails lol.
Last edited by Welch on Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

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Re: Another CoolMax POOF!

Postposted on Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:54 pm

I had a PC Power & Cooling unit die in the middle of the night many years ago, took a couple of WD HDDs with it. Filled the house with horrible acrid smoke, it was a real hoot.

But still, anecdotes is anecdotal, y'know?
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