This computer was my first PC build, however I am very comfortable opening up computers and adding new components in the past. I have battled with this build for many months now for various issues, however this latest one has me completely stumped, despite hours upon hours of pouring through forums for solutions. I have blown out my Corsair TX650W PSU twice now in one month, and am at a complete loss as to why this is happening. All of our computers in the company are protected through UPS's built by APC. After the first blow out, I tried a different UPS, only to find my computer would not turn on after the weekend, and the new PSU failed the paperclip test again. The first PSU was replaced by Corsair with a brand new one. Our building has very unreliable power (perhaps important to note), hence the UPS's at each desk. No other computer has had an issue with power outages/surges. Every other device plugged into my UPS has been safe as well-- only the PSU has blown out. Inspection of the motherboard reveals no blown/melted capacitors or damage to any pins. During the one month between blown PSU's, the computer has operated wonderfully.
Equally important to note is that this computer gets its butt kicked majorly by CFD sims around the clock. We set up batch runs which take up to two weeks to complete, during which the computer is run 24 hours a day at near peak CPU load. I purchased a Cooler Master CPU cooler after noticing core temperatures beyond 80C (this occurred during a period of broken air conditioning in our office out in the Mojave Desert, ie worst case scenario imaginable). The CPU runs great now at 30-40C and 90%+ CPU load with the new cooler on it, so I am not concerned with temperature despite the near constant CPU load for up to 1-2 weeks straight. I monitor the core temperature regularly, and they never exceed 50C across days and days of CFD sims.
Initially, I was concerned that 650W was not sufficient for the intended operation of this computer. Using the Xtreme PSU calculator however, I am confident that 650W is PLENTY for the components I used (listed below for your reference). A coworker of mine suggested that perhaps the issue is the 12V rail capacity, which can bottleneck your power availability despite the 650W plastered on the side of the PSU case. He also mentioned that the 4-pin power on my mobo may not be sufficient compared to an 8-pin connector, requiring a new and better mobo (not sure if this is legitimate).
Some burning questions I have:
1. Are these two week 24hr batch runs of CFD sims a terrible idea for a computer? Can a computer simply not handle this load for such a long period of time? I would assume software protection would shut the computer down safely if the computer exceeded its operational envelope, as opposed to frying hardware. Is it possible this kind of computing abuse can cause hardware failure (blown PSU)?
2. I have a Corsair Professional Series 850W power supply on the way currently. Will this help in any way? Is there ANY possibility my current Corsair Enthusiast 650W TX PSU is not sufficient? If not, is installing this larger, better PSU a bad idea? I realize it's possible that this new PSU will blow out in the same manner, caused by a yet to be understood reason.
3. I have yet to take apart and reinstall my build, in order to reseat all of the cards/pins for a possible short. Have you heard of a short circuit causing damage to ONLY the PSU? The fact my computer ran great for the month in between PSU's suggests the mobo sustained zero damage, along with the rest of my components.
4. Most importantly, what on earth could be causing this blown PSU issue? I am desperate for advice, as this computer is critical to the company as a CFD workhorse.
Thank you so much for any advice you can give. I have a great track record of troubleshooting computers and researching on forums, and this is one of the few times I have come up empty handed on what's going wrong here.
Details on my build:
GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 ATX Intel Motherboard
Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I72600K
Intel 320 Series SSDSA2CW080G310 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - OEM
Western Digital Caviar Green WD7500AARX 750GB IntelliPower 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
CORSAIR XMS 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Model CMX8GX3M2A1600C9
ATI 100-505606 FirePro V4800 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Workstation Video Card
CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply