I went into town today and bought a 70e Antec Neo Eco 620C 620W power supply for my PC. Not too shabby considering a 600W Corsair is about that online with tax and postage.

So far it seems to be keeping it stable under fairly high load (including another build of CM7 n85+) for 4 hours, so hopefully that was the cause of the crashes. I noticed this new one has 48A on the 12V rail whereas my old 550W one had 20A or something stupidly low. The Corsair 800W brute they also had for 104e was 68A!

Its also much heavier, which is usually a sign of quality with PSU’s. There’s actually too many SATA/Molex connectors for my needs, previously I had all sorts of splitters and adaptors. The cables are all sleeved which is nice, plus the ATX cable is the full 8-pin affair, not the 4-pin of the previous one, its also got the 6-pin and 8-pin SLI cables which my old PSU didn’t support at all.

It has a 1 year warranty at the shop and a further 2 years to the manufacturer, so if it fails they’re getting it back. Same as that WD Caviar Black I must remember to RMA.

I just received my torch and powered hub from ebay. Well the so-called waterproof torch doesn’t even have rubber seals on the bits that unscrew for the battery and LED’s. The brightness leaves a lot to be desired, although the laser point is crazy bright, but then it should be with a AA battery powering it – they usually have little watch batteries.

The hub is going to be useful as it means I only have one USB cable coming out the back of the PC and don’t need to keep fumbling around the side to put a flash drive in, I can also pull out the data cable and charge my Kindle3G without it bitching about unmounting the drive and turning it off in a particular way (plus the usual chicken sacrifice of course!) The build quality is pretty naff though – I unplugged a USB cable and practically pulled the thing apart! Plus flicking the switch on the power strip its plugged into caused a bit of a spark, one of those things you definitely want to unplug before you go on holiday.

Right off for a hour’s Urban Terror to give the PSU a good hammering with the GFX card!

Update: well that wasn’t the problem! I’ve just had a crash when I was doing nothing particularly stressing – just surfing the web. So I’ve disconnected the DVD burner again as that seemed to fix the problem on F13, but I’m doubtful. I’m starting to get the horrible dread its the motherboard or something. I could try removing a couple of the memory DIMMs I guess, I don’t have another PCI-e graphics card to test.

I’m running mprime torture test on all four cores at the moment and will try memtest86 overnight. Looks like I wasted 70e 🙁

Update 2: I’ve been looking at my Corsair RAM specs and its seems the voltage for my two CMX4GX3M2A1600C9 kits should be 1.65v not the 1.50v that was being automatically selected for it by my motherboard. So I tried the XMP profile1 which set it to CAS 9-9-9-24-2T @ 1.65v, so hopefully that will help the crashing.

Update 3: I just installed the new F11 BIOS for my motherboard, which seems to use higher voltages for everything, didn’t make any difference.

I’m really starting to think its a Fedora thing, as I ran mprime for 8 hours and memtest86 for 3 or so without a single problem, then I boot into Fedora 15 and the thing can barely stay up! It could the the graphics card I guess. I specced up a new system which I could just add the new PSU, SSD and DVD drives to and have a slightly higher spec PC for 350+VAT.

Or I could use my Q6600 PC as my work box and get replacement parts sent to me to experiment with until I found the culprit – or ended up with a whole new system anyway! Its time and travel though, not just expense.

Update 4: I’ve tried upping my QPI/Vtt and DRAM voltages to 1.2v and 1.65v respectively, but it didn’t help. I did notice that my so-called DDR1600 RAM won’t even POST at anything over DDR1280, so quality there Corsair! Yet again I had 8 hours of 4-core mprime no problem over night (so its 100% not a CPU problem) then this morning I get a crash after about 10mins of use – right in the middle of a Skype call!

One last thing I’m trying now is removing the proprietary Nvidia drivers and going back to the opensource Nouveau drivers, which still seem to have enough 3D to handle Gnome3, I doubt they’d be much fun for Quake3 though, but if they give me a reliable PC I can ditch games. Apparently ATI cards don’t even work with Gnome3, so no use buying a Radeon HD4670.