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Symptoms of a Bad Power Supply?



 
 
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  #1  
Old February 20th 07, 08:13 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
Bill
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 10
Default Symptoms of a Bad Power Supply?

I've been having a little problem with my home-built pc lately.
Sometimes my computer will work fine for days on end... other times it
will freeze either before POST, during the Windows XP load screen, or
shortly after I login to Windows.

After I updated all of my drivers the problem persisted.
When I removed every peripheral (video card, sound card, firewire
card, etc.) the problem persisted.
After running every stick of RAM independently the problem remains
persistent.
When I boot up in safe mode, the computer will still freeze.

I've run memtest86 for hours and end and it returned zero errors
(note: when running memtest86, the computer didn't freeze).

I've narrowed it down to either a bad Power Supply, or a Bad MoBo.
Hopefully it's the PSU, because that's still under warranty for the
next 6 months. Anyhow, I was wondering if anyone has any idea what
problem may be.

From communicating with Antec's tech support, it's obvious that they

really don't want to RMA the PSU. The tech strongly believes that it's
the Mother Board... but when asked why he believes that it's the MoBo
he wouldn't give me a straight answer. He actually said, "Because I'm
a tech support rep, and I think I know better than you do." He really
did say that, before any sarcasm on my part. He wouldn't give me any
other response, other than my MoBo was most likely bad. Total jerk...
but I digress.

I should also mention that this PSU came stock in an Antec Aria SFF
ATX case, so I really can't go out and buy another PSU because this
particular PSU is specially designed for this case.

I'm about 85% sure that it's the PSU, but I'd appreciate any and all
insight pertaining to this matter.

Thank you in advance.

  #2  
Old February 20th 07, 12:49 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
Conor
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 562
Default Symptoms of a Bad Power Supply?

In article .com,
Bill says...
snip
I should also mention that this PSU came stock in an Antec Aria SFF
ATX case, so I really can't go out and buy another PSU because this
particular PSU is specially designed for this case.

I'm about 85% sure that it's the PSU, but I'd appreciate any and all
insight pertaining to this matter.

Thank you in advance.

Check the state of the capacitors on the motherboard around the CPU.

If you google for "bulging capacitor", you'll get a whole list of
useful links.



--
Conor

Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright
until you hear them speak.........
  #3  
Old February 20th 07, 01:54 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
Ken
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 67
Default Symptoms of a Bad Power Supply?

Bill wrote:
I've been having a little problem with my home-built pc lately.
Sometimes my computer will work fine for days on end... other times it
will freeze either before POST, during the Windows XP load screen, or
shortly after I login to Windows.

After I updated all of my drivers the problem persisted.
When I removed every peripheral (video card, sound card, firewire
card, etc.) the problem persisted.
After running every stick of RAM independently the problem remains
persistent.
When I boot up in safe mode, the computer will still freeze.

I've run memtest86 for hours and end and it returned zero errors
(note: when running memtest86, the computer didn't freeze).

I've narrowed it down to either a bad Power Supply, or a Bad MoBo.
Hopefully it's the PSU, because that's still under warranty for the
next 6 months. Anyhow, I was wondering if anyone has any idea what
problem may be.

From communicating with Antec's tech support, it's obvious that they

really don't want to RMA the PSU. The tech strongly believes that it's
the Mother Board... but when asked why he believes that it's the MoBo
he wouldn't give me a straight answer. He actually said, "Because I'm
a tech support rep, and I think I know better than you do." He really
did say that, before any sarcasm on my part. He wouldn't give me any
other response, other than my MoBo was most likely bad. Total jerk...
but I digress.

I should also mention that this PSU came stock in an Antec Aria SFF
ATX case, so I really can't go out and buy another PSU because this
particular PSU is specially designed for this case.

I'm about 85% sure that it's the PSU, but I'd appreciate any and all
insight pertaining to this matter.

Thank you in advance.


Did you run a diagnostic program on your hard drive? Also, if you are
ever able to boot into Windows immediately check out your Device Manager
to see if there are any exclamation marks indicating a piece of hardware
does not have the proper driver or is not working properly.
  #4  
Old February 20th 07, 02:56 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
Paul
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 13,411
Default Symptoms of a Bad Power Supply?

Bill wrote:
I've been having a little problem with my home-built pc lately.
Sometimes my computer will work fine for days on end... other times it
will freeze either before POST, during the Windows XP load screen, or
shortly after I login to Windows.

After I updated all of my drivers the problem persisted.
When I removed every peripheral (video card, sound card, firewire
card, etc.) the problem persisted.
After running every stick of RAM independently the problem remains
persistent.
When I boot up in safe mode, the computer will still freeze.

I've run memtest86 for hours and end and it returned zero errors
(note: when running memtest86, the computer didn't freeze).

I've narrowed it down to either a bad Power Supply, or a Bad MoBo.
Hopefully it's the PSU, because that's still under warranty for the
next 6 months. Anyhow, I was wondering if anyone has any idea what
problem may be.

From communicating with Antec's tech support, it's obvious that they

really don't want to RMA the PSU. The tech strongly believes that it's
the Mother Board... but when asked why he believes that it's the MoBo
he wouldn't give me a straight answer. He actually said, "Because I'm
a tech support rep, and I think I know better than you do." He really
did say that, before any sarcasm on my part. He wouldn't give me any
other response, other than my MoBo was most likely bad. Total jerk...
but I digress.

I should also mention that this PSU came stock in an Antec Aria SFF
ATX case, so I really can't go out and buy another PSU because this
particular PSU is specially designed for this case.

I'm about 85% sure that it's the PSU, but I'd appreciate any and all
insight pertaining to this matter.

Thank you in advance.


It is listed here as a "300W SmartPower"

http://www.antec.com/specs/aria_spe.html
http://www.antec.com/pdf/drawings/ARIA.pdf

http://www.pcmech.com/forum/archive/.../t-112233.html

Power supply may be the same one as the NSK1300.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Custra...82E16811129019

"FYI. The 300w psu has PFC and a 20/24 pin mobo. plug.
The +12V has 18A, +5V has 26A, +3.3V has 27A.
+5V, +3.3V max. output 195W.
5 4pin molex, 1 SATA, and aa 4 pin. mobo. connector."

If you want to prove or disprove the theory, take it
all apart and run it on the bench, using a regular
ATX supply. Then phone the tech back with your test
results. Freezing, as such, does not imply a power
supply problem - if there was a problem in the OS, it
would be more likely to crash or BSOD. Freezing suggests
some other problem. But running it on the bench for
a while, may give you some other ideas.

The Aria is a small box, and the comments in the above
Newegg page, suggest cooling is not the best. Maybe the
hardware you are trying to run in that box, is just too
much for it ? What hardware are you using ?

One problem with small cases like that, is finding
a replacement supply that fits all the requirements
(electrical and mechanical).

Does the motherboard have a hardware monitor page in
the BIOS ? What do the listed voltage levels look
like ? Maybe you'll get lucky, and see something abnormally
low (+/- 5% of nominal). That might help you get a new supply,
if you have some numbers to give the tech.

Give a hardware inventory, for more suggestions.

Paul
  #5  
Old February 20th 07, 11:32 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
Rod Speed
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 8,600
Default Symptoms of a Bad Power Supply?

Bill wrote:
I've been having a little problem with my home-built pc lately.
Sometimes my computer will work fine for days on end... other times it
will freeze either before POST, during the Windows XP load screen, or
shortly after I login to Windows.

After I updated all of my drivers the problem persisted.
When I removed every peripheral (video card, sound card, firewire
card, etc.) the problem persisted.
After running every stick of RAM independently the problem remains
persistent.
When I boot up in safe mode, the computer will still freeze.

I've run memtest86 for hours and end and it returned zero errors
(note: when running memtest86, the computer didn't freeze).

I've narrowed it down to either a bad Power Supply, or a Bad MoBo.
Hopefully it's the PSU, because that's still under warranty for the
next 6 months. Anyhow, I was wondering if anyone has any idea what
problem may be.

From communicating with Antec's tech support, it's obvious that they

really don't want to RMA the PSU. The tech strongly believes that it's
the Mother Board... but when asked why he believes that it's the MoBo
he wouldn't give me a straight answer. He actually said, "Because I'm
a tech support rep, and I think I know better than you do." He really
did say that, before any sarcasm on my part. He wouldn't give me any
other response, other than my MoBo was most likely bad. Total jerk...
but I digress.

I should also mention that this PSU came stock in an Antec Aria SFF
ATX case, so I really can't go out and buy another PSU because this
particular PSU is specially designed for this case.


I'm about 85% sure that it's the PSU,


It'd be unusual for it to be due to the power supply, but possible,
particularly given that its on the low end power wise.

If the problem is that it cant deliver enough power, that's not a warranty problem.

but I'd appreciate any and all insight pertaining to this matter.


With a fault like that, if there isnt any evidence of bad caps on the
motherboard, you have to try the obvious alternatives, and that is
obviously that the power supply isnt adequate. You can try another
bigger power supply without it needing to fit that case.


  #6  
Old February 21st 07, 05:01 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
Bill
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 10
Default Symptoms of a Bad Power Supply?

On Feb 20, 6:49 am, Conor wrote:
In article .com,
Bill says...
snip I should also mention that this PSU came stock in an Antec Aria SFF
ATX case, so I really can't go out and buy another PSU because this
particular PSU is specially designed for this case.


I'm about 85% sure that it's the PSU, but I'd appreciate any and all
insight pertaining to this matter.


Thank you in advance.


Check the state of the capacitors on the motherboard around the CPU.

If you google for "bulging capacitor", you'll get a whole list of
useful links.

--
Conor

Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright
until you hear them speak.........


Inspecting the caps, visually, I haven't found anything out of the
ordinary (no bulging caps, leaking caps, or "blown" caps), but of
course that's only a visual inspection. As of right now, I don't have
the time (nor the equipment) to do any further testing on the mobo.

  #7  
Old February 21st 07, 05:04 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
Bill
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 10
Default Symptoms of a Bad Power Supply?

On Feb 20, 7:54 am, Ken wrote:
Bill wrote:
I've been having a little problem with my home-built pc lately.
Sometimes my computer will work fine for days on end... other times it
will freeze either before POST, during the Windows XP load screen, or
shortly after I login to Windows.


After I updated all of my drivers the problem persisted.
When I removed every peripheral (video card, sound card, firewire
card, etc.) the problem persisted.
After running every stick of RAM independently the problem remains
persistent.
When I boot up in safe mode, the computer will still freeze.


I've run memtest86 for hours and end and it returned zero errors
(note: when running memtest86, the computer didn't freeze).


I've narrowed it down to either a bad Power Supply, or a Bad MoBo.
Hopefully it's the PSU, because that's still under warranty for the
next 6 months. Anyhow, I was wondering if anyone has any idea what
problem may be.


From communicating with Antec's tech support, it's obvious that they

really don't want to RMA the PSU. The tech strongly believes that it's
the Mother Board... but when asked why he believes that it's the MoBo
he wouldn't give me a straight answer. He actually said, "Because I'm
a tech support rep, and I think I know better than you do." He really
did say that, before any sarcasm on my part. He wouldn't give me any
other response, other than my MoBo was most likely bad. Total jerk...
but I digress.


I should also mention that this PSU came stock in an Antec Aria SFF
ATX case, so I really can't go out and buy another PSU because this
particular PSU is specially designed for this case.


I'm about 85% sure that it's the PSU, but I'd appreciate any and all
insight pertaining to this matter.


Thank you in advance.


Did you run a diagnostic program on your hard drive? Also, if you are
ever able to boot into Windows immediately check out your Device Manager
to see if there are any exclamation marks indicating a piece of hardware
does not have the proper driver or is not working properly.


The strange thing is that there aren't any errors listed in the event
viewer. Yes, I have also ran a Seagate diagnosis program (the makers
of my HD) for my drive without any errors either.

  #8  
Old February 21st 07, 05:20 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
Bill
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 10
Default Symptoms of a Bad Power Supply?

On Feb 20, 8:56 am, Paul wrote:
Bill wrote:
I've been having a little problem with my home-built pc lately.
Sometimes my computer will work fine for days on end... other times it
will freeze either before POST, during the Windows XP load screen, or
shortly after I login to Windows.


After I updated all of my drivers the problem persisted.
When I removed every peripheral (video card, sound card, firewire
card, etc.) the problem persisted.
After running every stick of RAM independently the problem remains
persistent.
When I boot up in safe mode, the computer will still freeze.


I've run memtest86 for hours and end and it returned zero errors
(note: when running memtest86, the computer didn't freeze).


I've narrowed it down to either a bad Power Supply, or a Bad MoBo.
Hopefully it's the PSU, because that's still under warranty for the
next 6 months. Anyhow, I was wondering if anyone has any idea what
problem may be.


From communicating with Antec's tech support, it's obvious that they

really don't want to RMA the PSU. The tech strongly believes that it's
the Mother Board... but when asked why he believes that it's the MoBo
he wouldn't give me a straight answer. He actually said, "Because I'm
a tech support rep, and I think I know better than you do." He really
did say that, before any sarcasm on my part. He wouldn't give me any
other response, other than my MoBo was most likely bad. Total jerk...
but I digress.


I should also mention that this PSU came stock in an Antec Aria SFF
ATX case, so I really can't go out and buy another PSU because this
particular PSU is specially designed for this case.


I'm about 85% sure that it's the PSU, but I'd appreciate any and all
insight pertaining to this matter.


Thank you in advance.


It is listed here as a "300W SmartPower"

http://www.antec.com/specs/aria_spe....wings/ARIA.pdf

http://www.pcmech.com/forum/archive/.../t-112233.html

Power supply may be the same one as the NSK1300.http://www.newegg.com/Product/Custra...82E16811129019

"FYI. The 300w psu has PFC and a 20/24 pin mobo. plug.
The +12V has 18A, +5V has 26A, +3.3V has 27A.
+5V, +3.3V max. output 195W.
5 4pin molex, 1 SATA, and aa 4 pin. mobo. connector."

If you want to prove or disprove the theory, take it
all apart and run it on the bench, using a regular
ATX supply. Then phone the tech back with your test
results. Freezing, as such, does not imply a power
supply problem - if there was a problem in the OS, it
would be more likely to crash or BSOD. Freezing suggests
some other problem. But running it on the bench for
a while, may give you some other ideas.

The Aria is a small box, and the comments in the above
Newegg page, suggest cooling is not the best. Maybe the
hardware you are trying to run in that box, is just too
much for it ? What hardware are you using ?

One problem with small cases like that, is finding
a replacement supply that fits all the requirements
(electrical and mechanical).

Does the motherboard have a hardware monitor page in
the BIOS ? What do the listed voltage levels look
like ? Maybe you'll get lucky, and see something abnormally
low (+/- 5% of nominal). That might help you get a new supply,
if you have some numbers to give the tech.

Give a hardware inventory, for more suggestions.

Paul


My setup isn't anything too unbelievably taxing. I've used an online
PSU calculator and my score of 233 watts is well under the 300 watt
psu that was included with the antec.

Antec Aria w/ 300 watt PSU
ASUS P4P800-VM MoBo
Northwood (socket 478) 3.0g P4
Thermaltake Heatsink & Fan (upgraded from Intel's stock aluminum
heatsink and fan)
2 sticks of Kingston 512mb RAM PC3200
2 sticks of Kingston 256mb RAM PC3200
HIS 8xAGP ATI 1650 Pro Graphics Card with cooling fan and heatsink
200gb Seagate SATA HD
DVD-RW drive
Case mounted 8 in 1 card reader (built into case)
Logitech USB mouse
PS/2 Keyboard

The temperature at idle, according to ASUS Probe software is, 33C on
MoBo, 36C CPU.
Under heavy load, on average, 40C on MoBo, 42C CPU... which is
slightly on the warm side, but no where near the P4's maximum
operating temp... but my problem with this machine freezing will occur
even when starting up cold, often first thing in the morning.

  #9  
Old February 21st 07, 05:23 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
Bill
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 10
Default Symptoms of a Bad Power Supply?

On Feb 20, 5:32 pm, "Rod Speed" wrote:
Bill wrote:
I've been having a little problem with my home-built pc lately.
Sometimes my computer will work fine for days on end... other times it
will freeze either before POST, during the Windows XP load screen, or
shortly after I login to Windows.


After I updated all of my drivers the problem persisted.
When I removed every peripheral (video card, sound card, firewire
card, etc.) the problem persisted.
After running every stick of RAM independently the problem remains
persistent.
When I boot up in safe mode, the computer will still freeze.


I've run memtest86 for hours and end and it returned zero errors
(note: when running memtest86, the computer didn't freeze).


I've narrowed it down to either a bad Power Supply, or a Bad MoBo.
Hopefully it's the PSU, because that's still under warranty for the
next 6 months. Anyhow, I was wondering if anyone has any idea what
problem may be.


From communicating with Antec's tech support, it's obvious that they

really don't want to RMA the PSU. The tech strongly believes that it's
the Mother Board... but when asked why he believes that it's the MoBo
he wouldn't give me a straight answer. He actually said, "Because I'm
a tech support rep, and I think I know better than you do." He really
did say that, before any sarcasm on my part. He wouldn't give me any
other response, other than my MoBo was most likely bad. Total jerk...
but I digress.


I should also mention that this PSU came stock in an Antec Aria SFF
ATX case, so I really can't go out and buy another PSU because this
particular PSU is specially designed for this case.
I'm about 85% sure that it's the PSU,


It'd be unusual for it to be due to the power supply, but possible,
particularly given that its on the low end power wise.

If the problem is that it cant deliver enough power, that's not a warranty problem.

but I'd appreciate any and all insight pertaining to this matter.


With a fault like that, if there isnt any evidence of bad caps on the
motherboard, you have to try the obvious alternatives, and that is
obviously that the power supply isnt adequate. You can try another
bigger power supply without it needing to fit that case.


As soon as I can cannibalize another PC for its higher powered PSU,
I'll let you know what I find.

  #10  
Old February 21st 07, 11:31 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
Paul
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 13,411
Default Symptoms of a Bad Power Supply?

Bill wrote:
On Feb 20, 8:56 am, Paul wrote:
Bill wrote:
I've been having a little problem with my home-built pc lately.
Sometimes my computer will work fine for days on end... other times it
will freeze either before POST, during the Windows XP load screen, or
shortly after I login to Windows.
After I updated all of my drivers the problem persisted.
When I removed every peripheral (video card, sound card, firewire
card, etc.) the problem persisted.
After running every stick of RAM independently the problem remains
persistent.
When I boot up in safe mode, the computer will still freeze.
I've run memtest86 for hours and end and it returned zero errors
(note: when running memtest86, the computer didn't freeze).
I've narrowed it down to either a bad Power Supply, or a Bad MoBo.
Hopefully it's the PSU, because that's still under warranty for the
next 6 months. Anyhow, I was wondering if anyone has any idea what
problem may be.
From communicating with Antec's tech support, it's obvious that they
really don't want to RMA the PSU. The tech strongly believes that it's
the Mother Board... but when asked why he believes that it's the MoBo
he wouldn't give me a straight answer. He actually said, "Because I'm
a tech support rep, and I think I know better than you do." He really
did say that, before any sarcasm on my part. He wouldn't give me any
other response, other than my MoBo was most likely bad. Total jerk...
but I digress.
I should also mention that this PSU came stock in an Antec Aria SFF
ATX case, so I really can't go out and buy another PSU because this
particular PSU is specially designed for this case.
I'm about 85% sure that it's the PSU, but I'd appreciate any and all
insight pertaining to this matter.
Thank you in advance.

It is listed here as a "300W SmartPower"

http://www.antec.com/specs/aria_spe....wings/ARIA.pdf

http://www.pcmech.com/forum/archive/.../t-112233.html

Power supply may be the same one as the NSK1300.http://www.newegg.com/Product/Custra...82E16811129019

"FYI. The 300w psu has PFC and a 20/24 pin mobo. plug.
The +12V has 18A, +5V has 26A, +3.3V has 27A.
+5V, +3.3V max. output 195W.
5 4pin molex, 1 SATA, and aa 4 pin. mobo. connector."

If you want to prove or disprove the theory, take it
all apart and run it on the bench, using a regular
ATX supply. Then phone the tech back with your test
results. Freezing, as such, does not imply a power
supply problem - if there was a problem in the OS, it
would be more likely to crash or BSOD. Freezing suggests
some other problem. But running it on the bench for
a while, may give you some other ideas.

The Aria is a small box, and the comments in the above
Newegg page, suggest cooling is not the best. Maybe the
hardware you are trying to run in that box, is just too
much for it ? What hardware are you using ?

One problem with small cases like that, is finding
a replacement supply that fits all the requirements
(electrical and mechanical).

Does the motherboard have a hardware monitor page in
the BIOS ? What do the listed voltage levels look
like ? Maybe you'll get lucky, and see something abnormally
low (+/- 5% of nominal). That might help you get a new supply,
if you have some numbers to give the tech.

Give a hardware inventory, for more suggestions.

Paul


My setup isn't anything too unbelievably taxing. I've used an online
PSU calculator and my score of 233 watts is well under the 300 watt
psu that was included with the antec.

Antec Aria w/ 300 watt PSU
ASUS P4P800-VM MoBo
Northwood (socket 478) 3.0g P4
Thermaltake Heatsink & Fan (upgraded from Intel's stock aluminum
heatsink and fan)
2 sticks of Kingston 512mb RAM PC3200
2 sticks of Kingston 256mb RAM PC3200
HIS 8xAGP ATI 1650 Pro Graphics Card with cooling fan and heatsink
200gb Seagate SATA HD
DVD-RW drive
Case mounted 8 in 1 card reader (built into case)
Logitech USB mouse
PS/2 Keyboard

The temperature at idle, according to ASUS Probe software is, 33C on
MoBo, 36C CPU.
Under heavy load, on average, 40C on MoBo, 42C CPU... which is
slightly on the warm side, but no where near the P4's maximum
operating temp... but my problem with this machine freezing will occur
even when starting up cold, often first thing in the morning.


82W for the processor. 82W/12V * (1/0.90) = 7.6 amps at 90% Vcore efficiency
Sitting in the BIOS, it would draw about half that.
http://processorfinder.intel.com/det...px?sSpec=SL6WK


For the video card, somewhere between 42W and 55W. Looking at the
specs on Newegg, there is a lot of overlap between X1600, X1650
products, so it is hard to say what any of these cards equate to,
with respect to this measurement. All power does come through the
PCI Express slot connector, and 55W is 4.58A.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/vid...x1650xt_4.html

A HDD can draw 2 to 2.5A at spinup, and then settles back to 0.6A
on the 12V rail. The processor current running at about half in the
BIOS, means the peak for the first 10 seconds might not be too
important.

An optical can be 12V @ 1.5A, but probably is not peaking at the
same time as the HDD. With no disc installed, the power should be
a lot lower.

In any case, I don't think the 12V @ 18A is in danger.

And while I cannot calculate the 3.3V and 5V for any motherboard,
I have measured a similar generation board with four DIMMs in it,
and it drew 3.3V @ 14A. (And the measured motherboard 5V was peanuts.)

I make the total somewhere in the ballpark of 12V * (7.6+4.58+0.6+1.5+fans)
+ 50W for the 3.3/5V stuff, which is 230W or so. And when the computer
starts, video 2D idle is 12V @ 2A and processor is maybe 3.8A, and total power
might be about half that, sitting in a BIOS screen, at 10 seconds after
t=0.

No easy answers so far :-(

Checked rail voltage levels ? A power supply can become weak with
age, so it is still possible to be a power problem.

Oh, and since it is a -VM, you could try running it without the
video card, just to see if it will cold start OK without an AGP
installed. That would mean removing the ATI driver, removing the
X1650, and installing a chipset video driver from Intel on the
next boot.

Asus has a forum here, and there is a suggestion to check the
condition of the capacitors around the CPU area:

http://vip.asus.com/forum/view.aspx?...Language=en-us

Paul
 




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