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After several hardware failures, could I have "bad power"?

By JohnK93
Jul 10, 2006
  1. Hi all,
    After building my first PC in december, I've had a string of bad luck with hardware failures. On my first video card, an EVGA 7800GT, the fan was dead...not sure if it was ever working, but as soon as I looked at it it was dead. (within a day or two). My second video card (another EVGA 7800GT) starting artifacting and tearing when I unplugged my power strip from the wall, then plugged it back in, about 6 months after running perfectly. I didn't think to turn off the power supply or turn off the power strip at this time. Not sure if the problem is related to the unplug/plug in routine or not. While this card was being RMA'd, I also got a new LCD monitor, a BenQ 20.1" widescreen with an internal power supply. While waiting for my new video card, I turned on the monitor...it showed the BenQ logo, then said no signal and shut down. However, when I got the new card and connected the monitor to the PC, the monitor would no longer power up. Not even a green power-up light, nothing on the screen. That is now being RMA'd for another of the same model.

    So...I'm wondering if all of these failures, particularly the second vid card and the monitor, could be caused be some sort of power surges. I do have them all plugged into an inexpensive grounded, surge protected power strip that I got at Best Buy. My apartment is pretty old, and I'm wondering if the outlet is actually grounded or not...it is the three-pronged only outlet in the room. The rest are two-pronged. Either I'm having a string of bad luck with these, or there is something else causing the problem. Any ideas? I know the sell audio/video equipment to monitor power and ensure a constant 120V supply...when are these necessary?

    John K

    Relevant System spces:
    CPU: AMD 3700 (939)
    PSU: Anted Truepower TP-II 550
    GPU: BFG 7800 GT
    Mobo: Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe
    Monitor: BenQ 20.1" Wide (RMA in process)
  2. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    it sounds like you just had some bad cards. I have heard of many problems like that with the 7900's, however i'm not sure if the 7800's had the same issues or not.

    your PSU is a good quality unit and should not have a problem with stable and sufficient power.

    as far as your house wiring is concerned. even though most of your outlets are two pronged, there's a good chance that the outlet box that their mounted in is still grounded (and that your three prong outlet is in fact grounded as well)

    you can buy an cheap outlet tester like this one to verify that your three prong outlet is grounded. or if you know what you're doing, a multimeter will work as well.

    good luck :)
  3. JohnK93

    JohnK93 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 44

    Thanks for the reply. Hopefully you're right...I just don't understand how the monitor powered up for about a week, then decided not to anymore. I think I'll check my outlets for peace of mind.

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