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Old January 27th, 2012, 02:13 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Reading, PA USA and Athens, Greece
Posts: 269
PSU issue, only with PP CS5

Hello, i have had the same system configuration for over a year now, and suddenly i am having problems with CS5 during render and export sequences, sometimes my graphics driver konks out (same one for 6 months, card works 100% in old system); at no other time do i experience issues. Here is my system specs and breakdown.

Had some tuning stability issues, so i remapped all voltages and have it rock solid at 4.0 Ghz 14xx Mhz RAM.

Asus Rampage III Gene motherboard
IOH 1.14v
ICH 1.18v
IOH PCIe 1.55v
ICH PCIe 1.52v
Intel i7 950 1.4v 1.87 PLL 1.4 QPI/DRAM
Corsair H50 with 2 fans
12GB Corsair RAM @ 1.64v
OCZ Vertex 2 120GB
Seagate 1TB 7200RPM HDD
ARECA ARC-1222 RAID controller
-8 Samsung MP4 500GB 7200RPM 2.5" SATA II HDD's in RAID 5
Galaxy Razor GTX 460 single slot 1GB graphics (underclocked to minimum)
Apevia Aqua 750w PSU

I tested this rig repeatedly at bare minimum specs, and maxed out specs; suddenly i keep losing my RAID array. All parts have been in and in this configuration for over a year now.

I also have a Pioneer blu ray burner, Scythe 4 unit fan controller, and a grand total of 9 fans, 3x230mm 1600RPM, 4x140mm 1600RPM, H50 water pump@1300RPM, and 1x80mm@3000RPM for cooling the IOH/Northbridge, technically 10 if you include the 140mm fan on the PSU itself). This works fantastic in terms of temperatures; at 65 degrees farenheit ambient, on this overclock at 4.0Ghz/1400 Mhz, with only 1 fan on the H50, the water pump for the H50, PSU fan, and onboard fans of the GTX460 and ARC-1222, my temps are as follows...
CPU 38c, 82c at 100% load
RAM 42c, 62c at 100% load
HDD 48c (temp monitoring averaged between all 9 platter type HDD's), 62c at 100% load
MB 38c, 52c at 100% load
ICH 50c, 78c at 100% load
IOH 70c, 92c at 100% load

With all the fans installed and on maximum RPM, my temps, at the same overclock, are VASTLY lower.

CPU 24c, 71c at 100% load
RAM 38c, 55c at 100% load
HDD 39c (temp monitoring averaged between all 9 platter type HDD's), 55c at 100% load
MB 35c, 46c at 100% load
ICH 42c, 67c at 100% load
IOH 46c, 70c at 100% load

I suspect the issue is my RAID array dropping out, which was set to stay on full power and never spin down or idle the HDD's, now i have it set to idle in 20 minutes, low rpm in 10, and stagger power at 3 second intervals, to no avail; i STILL have issues where it drops out (beeps endlessly) and sometimes my graphics driver goes berzerk now.

I tested and checked everything and came to the conclusion my PSU isnt up to par; in fact here are the voltage readouts (averaged between what i personally tested on the probelt and what AI Suite says, which were almost identical)

12V@ 11.86v
5v@ 4.92v
3.3v@ 2.92v (suspect this is the culprit being 12% low)

Right now i have done something i feel horrible about but im in the middle of a project and need to finish by tonight, so i umbilically linked the SATA connectors from my old editing machine (after disconnecting all other SATA devices' power, leaving only a SATA powered Intel SSD, the motherboard, CPU and exhaust fans, and 9800GTX+ card powered on a 400w PSU. I also disconnected all extra fans and accessories on my main rig. Suddenly 3.3v is registering at 3.03v and both my graphics card and RAID card are not on the fritz.

My question is, what size PSU should i go for? I REALLY dont want to spend $150+ on a PSU or get something insane, but i have a feeling 750w isnt cutting it, or this one is bad. I was leaning towards 1000w, but i have no idea what all the 80+ bronze/silver/gold ratings means.

Since i did this hackjob surgery, essentially piggybacking power from a second PSU for half of the RAID array (which i am only doing because i need this project finished ASAP), everything is working fine. I should also say that when simply reviewing media, listening to music, watching shows or movies, or even doing a simple read/write operation, i NEVER have these issues, just in PP/AE CS5, and just recently (i do NOT update this machine at all).
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PSU issue, only with PP CS5-umbilical.jpg  

Last edited by Panagiotis Raris; January 27th, 2012 at 02:19 PM. Reason: added horrible picture of hackjob surgery
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Old January 28th, 2012, 06:52 AM   #2
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Location: Walworth, NY
Posts: 291
Re: PSU issue, only with PP CS5

First off congrats on the MacGyver fix, I never would have thought of it. That said as I started reading your post I was thinking to myself it was the PSU. I would probably go to a 800w or 850w and they do tend to run in the $120 to $150 range, but I don't think you have a lot of choices besides replacement. Unless of course you just go with the "marriage" you have now.

Here is a good explanation of what the terms mean.

80 PLUS - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dave Chilson
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Old January 28th, 2012, 08:06 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: San Jose, California
Posts: 810
Re: PSU issue, only with PP CS5

I'm also leaning towards PSU issues. I had similar trouble a few years back, found out my power supply was defective (it was high-end Mushkin, that was replaced under warranty). I would suggest reading the most issue of CPU Magazine: Digital Edition
They just did a review of power supplies. 850watts is a good start, but it should also be rock-solid and efficient (to generate less heat).
Good luck.
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Old January 31st, 2012, 07:04 AM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Reading, PA USA and Athens, Greece
Posts: 269
Re: PSU issue, only with PP CS5

Well here are the results of a battery of tests i ran before spending cash on a power supply... it was only the 3.3v i was having issues with.

suspected culprits included...
graphics card drawing too much power
RAID array drawing too much power
faulty power supply
faulty motherboard

i used the umbilical procedure to eliminate each possibility (except for a bad motherboard). basically, too many disk drives on this PSU was causing my 3.3v to drop as low as 2.86, and therefor caused graphics issues as well as RAID array issues.

im awaiting a new PSU, in the mean time i am finishing a project with both systems on and sharing power supply duties.
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