First, I admit, my computer always break down. I have spent quite a fair bit amount of time and cash to fix them. However, this is not a bad thing. I learnt alot of valuable lesson. Well I will share them here.
I will give a background why I suddenly write this post. Well, my power supply unit died yesterday. I just bought a new one to replace it.
Power supply unit
This is FSP Aurum series CM 550. Does it remind you of transformer? This is actually not my first choice. I wanted to get a Cooler master silent pro 600m. However, it was out of stock. Hence they recommend this.
Well, what is FSP. Never heard before. That is my initial impression. I have seen in forum quite a fair bit of people use it. And also they are oem manufacturer (Basically they sell label-less psu to company like silverstone, antec, thermaltake and these company paste their logo on it and sell to the mass) Hence, I decided to try it.
But that is not the main point.
So what are the lesson I learnt from a power supply unit (psu).
1. Buy a good power supply. period.
Reliable brand, modular, gold rated
I had bad experience with “branded” psu. It is those psu that is bundled with a casing. Guess what. After 6 month of using, my motherboard produce a fragrant. Well, it got toasted. My hard disk got baked.
Hence, lesson learnt. Invest in a good psu and you will reap the ROI.
Then what about modular. This is a good to have. I did not know what is modular. I happen to randomly pick a psu and it is modular and I reap the benefits.
Basically, a psu has seriously alot of massive cable. For a modular one, it means those cable can be plug out from the psu and not fixed to it.
End result: Save space, better airflow
Recent modular psu all have flat cable. Get those. They are less stubborn than those fat round cable.
Lastly, get a gold rated psu. I just learnt it today. Basically, gold rated psu are more energy efficient.
The efficiency of a computer power supply is its output power divided by its input power. The remaining power is converted into heat. For instance, a 600-watt power supply with 60% efficiency running at full load would draw 1000 W from the mains and would therefore waste 400 W as heat. On the other hand a 600-watt power supply with 80% efficiency running at full load would draw 750 W from the mains and would therefore waste only 150 W as heat.
This is the energy efficiency of my newly bought psu. So a decent psu, flat cable and modular and energy efficient psu.
Next, another interesting lesson I learnt by accident. I bought a cooler master casing. I wanted a big one and this casing apparently fit it and I simply bought it. When reach home, I realize one interesting portion. There are dust filters in front.
Dust filters are one of the most wonderful component in my whole pc. Few years down the road since I bought it, there is very very little dust inside the casing.
Dust filters are the way to go. You will never find balls of black dust inside.
They are made from metal. They rust. Period. Once rust, you will face problem using it. Hence, tape over a few unused port. Use the remaining one. Once it rust, take out the tape and use the remaining few.
In this era, your pc is not a pc if it does not spoil. Fact of life. I spend tons of hours trying to fix my pc. One thing I found helpful is a PCI POST indicatior. If your motherboard has a digital POST indicator, this will not be relevant to you.
However, if your motherboard relay on beep beep sound to inform you which component had failed. Just simply screw the beep beep sound. Get one PCI POST indicator. It is way better at pin pointing.
You can easily get one these over at dealextreme or some other stores. It basically show you which stage is the POST test at. So if it struck at a certain stages, for example checking of ram, it is likely there is error in your ram. Here, this is only for reference only. It is not 100% accurate. And you will need to know about post. You can read them over at wiki.
However, if the result show random results, indicating random part had failed. It is more likely that your psu is failing and unable to provide sufficient electricity (or even overloading) to all these parts.
Over these years, I learnt that anything can happen. For example. You thought that graphic card had spoil because there is no display. Check your psu and motherboard. They may be the main culprit.