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  1. Thanks for all the tips everyone, sorry I vanished and never got back to you all. Zxian: I've removed the tiny (1", supposedly 7cfm at max speed) fan from the power supply, as you suggested, seeing as it didn't seem to help much anyway. Also, thanks for the great tips about the heatsink, I hadn't thought to check that. I searched online a bit on the subject of heatsink lapping, and came across a slightly different method to check for curvature or air pocket areas (using small panes of glass and very very tiny droplets of water), and the heatsink appears to be relatively flat, no problems there. (Here's a picture. The glass panes are probably a little too small, but they're the best I had at the time. Each one has a very tiny drop of water underneath it that has flowed to the edges of the glass. The heatsink looks dirty, but it's not, I had cleaned it with alcohol prior to doing the glass and water test. I suspect the discolorations are due to the overheating processor, as they weren't there until I had used that heatsink with the daul-core processor.) Anyway, for all I know it could have been due to slight curvatures in the heatsink, though none that I could visibly see (I might have used too much water or the panes of glass were probably too small), as I did eventually figure out what my problem was, and it was indeed the heatsink. I had emailed AMD regarding the problem, with nearly every spec on my system I could gather (from the socket type to BIOS revision) and they recommended dumping the heatsink that came with my Athlon 64 3500+ and getting one that's specifically recommended for the Athlon 64 X2. I'd tried nearly everything (short of lapping the heatsink I had), and figured this last attempt couldn't hurt, so I went ahead and bought a Thermaltake CL-P0075, since it was recommended on AMD's website and supposedly worked fairly well with dual-core processors. Some of the reviews on newegg claimed that the included fan and thermal paste were nothing but junk, so I also purchased a Thermaltake Smartfan 2 and some Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound, just in case. (Newegg also sells the Arctic Silver 5 in a smaller size, but whenever I mess with thermal paste, no matter how careful I am, most of it always manages to end up on my hands, my head, and my shirt...so I went ahead and got the bigger size. ) The new heatsink fixed the problem immediately, even without the use of the Arctic Silver OR the new fan (though I later put the new fan on anyway). I managed to get the processor down to 45C at full load. My guess is that the AMD heatsink that came with my old single-core Athlon 64 just wasn't up to the task when I upgraded to dual-core (either that, or the Dynex Thermal Compound I was using was really terrible). In addition to the new heatsink and fan, just for the heck of it, I also did a few fan rearrangements and whatnot, and I even went so far as to purchase a new tower (which I've been meaning to do for ages anyway). The new Foxconn tower has much better airflow than the old eMachines T1840 case I was using, even for a MicroATX case. Here's a list of what I've changed: Foxconn TLM-776 MicroATX Tower (Has support for a single 80 or 92 mm rear mounted fan, a single 80, 92, or 120 mm front mounted fan, and it's got a side duct.) Thermaltake CL-P0075 Heatsink Thermaltake Smartfan 2 x2 (One I have mounted on the CPU, the other is now on the back of the foxconn tower acting as an output fan. The CPU fan is currently set to operate at 3500RPM, the rear output fan is at 3000RPM.) Dynex 4.7" CPU Cooling Fan (I had my eye on one of these Thermaltake 120mm Smartfans at the time, but newegg ran out of stock at least two times in a row before I had a chance to order them. The Dynex fan is currently located inside the power supply. I replaced the fan that came with the power supply due to the scratching noise I mentioned in the first post. Since getting the new Foxconn tower, I've given the 120mm fan that used to be inside the power supply a thorough cleaning with a compressed air can, and mounted it on the front of the tower as an intake fan. It seems to be working fine now, no more scratching.) At the price of making my computer sound a little like a small jet taking off when you start it up, (the Thermaltake fans aren't even operating at their full speed of 4500RPM...you should hear it when they are, it's insane) I've gotten the processor to idle at 28-31C, and I haven't yet observed it hit 45-50C under full load. Thanks again for all the suggestions, everyone.
  2. I'm 99% sure it's seated alright, I took great care placing the heatsink back on the second time around...I made sure there was enough thermal paste, made sure the heatsink was nice and level... Besides that, the clamps on that heatsink are insane to put on and take off, I doubt latching the thing would be possible if it weren't level. But on the chance that it's not seated properly...do you know how I could check? Is it something you can do easily without taking it off, reapplying the thermal paste, and placing it back on all over again? Or is that the only solution?
  3. I recently purchased a socket 939 AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4200+ processor, (running at 2.2GHz, manufacturer setting, NOT overclocked,) and an EVGA e-GeForce 8600GT PCIEx video card. (I'm running Windows XP, by the way, not Vista.) I decided it was finally time to upgrade from single-core and onboard video. The video card ain't the greatest, but it's one thousand times better than what I had before. After going through the process of upgrading...putting new thermal paste on, putting the stock heatsink and fan from my old single-core Athlon 64 processor (the new processor didn't come with anything) and bolting the motherboard back down...I went straight to the BIOS to check the temperatures, and to make sure I didn't screw something up royally. The computer started at about 30C, I watched it for a few moments, making sure it wouldn't jump on me. Satisfied it was climbing at a relatively slow rate, I left for about an hour to give the computer some time to heat up. When I returned, it was idling at about 40C, a bit higher than my old single-core (it used to idle no higher than 35) but good enough for my liking. My problem: It only idles around 35C or 45C while running the BIOS or a basic OS. Anytime the computer does anything graphically intensive, like running a game, within ten to fifteen minutes the processor's temperature skyrockets to 80C, and the computer shuts down to protect itself. What I find strange is that the processor seems to be the only thing having trouble staying cool. Usually I would think it would be the graphics card that would need to be worried about, but the graphics card seems fine. To date, I haven't observed the graphics card go beyond 80C (it idles at about 60C) but then again, given the abnormally short amount of time I'm allowed to run a game before auto-shut-down, the graphics card may yet prove to be an issue all its own...but I'll worry about that when the time comes. I consulted with my local tech-guy about the problem, he said I might have either applied too much or not enough thermal compound, there's a problem with one of the fans, or worst-case-scenario, I might be looking at a bad processor... So, I re-applied the thermal compound to the CPU, just to fix anything I might have done wrong the first time around, and I also stared messing with the fans in my case (I'm not quite brave enough for water cooling yet, but if I can't find a solution to this, I think that might be my next step...). Right now, in addition to the regular CPU/graphics fan-and-heatsink combos, I've got a single 80mm intake fan on the back, and a 120mm fan in the power supply, sucking the hot air out. Earlier, there was a slight problem with the power supply fan. It would make a strange buzzing noise from time to time. I figured it was on its last leg, (cheap piece of junk...the power supply is only about eight months old, little or no dust from what I can tell) so I replaced the 120mm fan and also added a second, ridiculously tiny 1 inch fan to the back of it to help blow out the hot air that the 120mm takes in. (I tried to fit in an old CPU fan from a dead motherboard, but there wasn't enough room, so I bought the tiny guy from radio shack, hoping every little bit would help.) So, now I have two (rather, one and a half ) fans in my power supply. I also replaced the intake fan on the back of the computer with a higher-quality 80mm fan. (Previously, I was using another old CPU fan for the intake...it didn't even align with the screw-holes properly, so until now I was using twisty-ties to hold it on the back. ) After all this, nothing seems to have helped. I'm running the computer with the side of the case off right now in an attempt to help cool it a bit, and to observe the new fans. Everything seems fine so far, fans are all spinning, BIOS reports the CPU fan at 3000rpm and the "system" (80mm intake) fan at 2500rpm...it all seems good. Idling temperature remains the same, every thing remains the same...it's all fine and dandy as long as I don't do anything involving graphics. So, aside from reducing the noise of my system with two new fans and adding a tiny fan to my power supply, nothing I did seems to have affected anything. Thus has been my first experience with a dual-core CPU. I don't even think I've noticed any real speed improvements yet. If I can't figure this out I'm probably downgrading to my good ol' Athlon 64... So, if you're still reading, (sorry for the lengthy post...I tend to do that a lot) here are my questions... Is this all just due to a new dual-core CPU? Do they really run that much hotter than single-core? Or might there be something wrong with it? What are the possible causes and remedies to this situation? Any ideas? Besides trying water cooling or calling AMD (I doubt they'll help me, I don't think I have any kind of warranty, the CPU was ordered direct, came with nothing but a little plastic case and a cardboard box...) I don't have much of a clue what else I could try...I'm nearly out of ideas. Does anyone think water cooling would even help in my situation? (I know it would decrease idling temperature, but would it be enough to keep the CPU from skyrocketing to 80C after ten minutes of a game?) Was it a good idea, adding that second fan to the power supply? I'm by no means an electrician, I didn't have much of a clue what I was doing, but they're both spinning so apparently I got something right. One question I have regarding that second fan...now that there are two fans in place where previously there was only one, does that mean that each fan is now running at 50% capacity? Is the power being divided among them, or are they both drawing as much as they both need? The reason I ask is because both of them together are much much quieter than the original stock fan was all on its own. If they're operating at 100% efficiency, I'll be impressed. If I find that by adding that tiny fan to the back I've decreased the ability of both, I'll probably just remove it. I'd rather have the 120mm fan pushing every single one of its 70cfm than to have two fans (rather, one and a half fans...) only doing half a job each. Thanks in advance for any tips or suggestions. I'm just so frustrated, I'm not even that much of a PC gamer, but I do like the occasional game or two from time to time. My computer's not even that high-end...it's a budget system for crying out loud, hence my frustration on this overheating issue. This isn't something I think I should be dealing with, but oh well... I'll probably keep tinkering with some of the fans for now. If I get desperate enough before trying water cooling I might even break out the power tools and customize the case with some vents and screw holes for an additional 120mm fan or two...
  4. Nice list! Never thought about searching for cursors, they look nice, can't wait to try 'em out. And those sounds...aren't those the Official "Unofficial" Sounds that have been floating around? I managed to grab the original pack (or what I heard were the originals) from digitalfive.org before they shut down, but this pack has a few new ones I haven't heard before! I'm curious to know where you found them. Anyway, thanks for the links!
  5. I realize it might be a little bit late to be posting this, but for anyone who might still find this useful, I present yet another minor barrier-breaker between Tablet PC and the rest of the XP world. Wow, nice eye candy. Unfortunately, if you've ever tried to install a Tablet PC powertoy or experience pack on a "regular" Windows XP system, in hopes of getting a cool skin, theme, or utility, you know all too well what happens next: Microsoft glares at you with a nice "Tablet PC only!!" error. Bummer. "No Energy Blue Media Player skin for you!!" Not so. It's actually very easy to work around the error and get the Media Player skin you desire. All it requires is three minutes out of your day. If three minutes is too long, a quick Google or Two should land you the Media Player skin, already extracted and ready to go. But for those who feel like taking the slightly geeky route, here's how to go about extracting the Media Player skin manually. (Links within [brackets] indicate screenshots.) Requirements: 1: Windows Media Player version 10. (Version 11 seems to experience problems with the skin.) 2: Microsoft's Experience Pack for Tablet PC 3: If you don't already have it, get Resource Hacker as well. Extracting the Cabinet: Fire up Resource Hacker, open up InstallExperiencePack.exe. [Expand the RCData tree on the left.] Expand the second tree under RCData, the Cabinet tree. Don't click on the Cabinet 1033 resource, as Resource Hacker seems to freeze while trying to display the hex contents of this particular resource. Instead, [right click the RCData tree,] and select "Save [ RCData ] resources". Specify a folder and a file name (doesn't matter what you name it) for the RCData contents to be extracted to. The resource we're after, the Cabinet resource, will be extracted as RCData_2.bin, as it is the second resource listed in the RCData tree. Navigate to the directory where you saved the RCData tree, and [rename RCData_2.bin to RCData_2.cab.] Delete the other files, as they won't be needed. Extract the contents of the CAB file with your preferred archival program (WinZip, WinRAR, etc. Even regular ol' [Windows Explorer should do fine] when it comes to CAB files). Extracting the Experience Pack contents: Open a Command Prompt window. (Start => Run => cmd). Enter [the following command] into the window * : msiexec /a "C:\Path to MSI File\Launcher.msi" TARGETDIR="C:\Output Directory" Change the path to the MSI file and the desired output directory as needed. Click "next" through the installation wizard until you reach the [fourth and final screen,] which says "Click next to select the programs to install." Instead of clicking next, close the window using the X. Clicking next will just take you to an unnecessary installation screen, that doesn't work very well on a non-Tablet PC anyway. Navigate to TARGETDIR, or wherever you installed the experience pack files, and you'll find the extracted contents of the MSI file. Navigate to the Microsoft\Experience Pack\Data subdirectory. [Rename EnergyB.dat to EnergyB.msi.] Extracting the Energy Blue theme contents: If you closed the Command Prompt window, (you loose, Simon didn't say!) re-open it, and install the contents of the MSI file with [the following command] * : msiexec /a "C:\Path to MSI file\EnergyB.msi" TARGETDIR="C:\Desired Installation Directory" Click next through the installation wizard until the window closes, then navigate to TARGETDIR. There you will find [the Energy Blue MSI file contents.] Both the [Media Player skin], as well as the [Energy Blue XP theme], are there. Do what you like with the Energy Blue XP theme ** , as for the Media Player skin, just double click it to install. * - Alternatively, if you're not much for getting your hands dirty in a command-line interface, you can try one of two MSI extraction utilities, both of which are free and very easy to use: Universal Extractor - by nitro322 of MSFN, and Less MSIérables. ** - If you want to install the Tablet PC Energy Blue theme in XP as well, just copy and paste the entire Resources folder to your C:\WINDOWS directory to install it. To use it, just right-click the Desktop, click Properties, and on the Appearance tab, under Windows and buttons, [select "Tablet PC Style"] from the list. I meant to post this months ago. Completely forgot about it, until today when I was reorganizing my files, and chanced upon this post in a text file. Not sure if this will be of interest to anyone anymore, as I'm guessing the topic is somewhat dated...but it's here all the same, in hopes that someone finds it useful.
  6. IT LIVES!!! MUHUHAHAHA!!! Finally, I have my computer back! Thanks all, for the help. Only problem so far is Windows; I think it was killed. Can't seem to boot into it, it only gives me the option of Safe Mode, "Last known good configuration," and "Normal startup", none of which actually work. It seems I can boot into Linux fine with my boot floppy, so the hard drive seems okay. I think the Master Boot Record is messed up. I don't really know much about the MBR, so I think I'll just try reformatting the Windows partition after I back up a few things with my Linux partition, and hopefully I'll be good to go again. (It was a recent Windows install anyway, and all my really important files are already on the Slave drive.) I only have three final questions now that the thing is assembled: Firstly, my CPU fan "blows" cold air onto the CPU heatsink, where as my old one "sucked" the hot air out. Does it make much of a difference in which direction the air flows? Secondly, is it better to view the temperature of your CPU/RAM etc. through the BIOS, or through a program? Is one way more accurate than another? Lastly, what's considered an average temperature for a CPU? I want to make sure I did a good job with the thermal paste stuff. Anyway, thanks again for all the help. Hopefully I'll be posting from my own computer soon. B)
  7. Dang, I guess that's what I get for jumping ahead too fast...oh well, not much to be done now. Billing information has already been received, says it'll get here Wednesday. Don't worry, I intend to. But, why wouldn't there be any left? Are they just so popular that they'll be a lot harder to find within the next three months? Heh, at least I did something right. (It was a regular ol' Celeron, not a Celeron D. 1.8GHz. Great for everyday computing, surfing, and web design, terrible for all my audio and video editing projects.)I just recently realized, (don't know why this didn't occur to me sooner) I have no clue what condition my RAM is in after my motherboard was fried. There's no visible damage to it, then again there's no visible damage to my board, either. Is there an easy way to find out what condition its in? I'm assuming I can just test it in another computer, but are there any risks to the other machine if I were to do this? I'm assuming if it's bad, the computer will act like it's not there or something, but what exactly happens to a computer if you try to boot it up with bad RAM, or for that matter no RAM at all? Would it just not boot up? Maybe give an error? Or...fry? In any case I would much rather risk killing the old, slow, on-the-edge-of-death Win98 machine, than to buy all this new hardware only to kill everything all over again once it arrives. I think it's probably fine, it looks perfectly fine, but it's always nice to be absolutely sure.
  8. That's a great board, very similar to the Foxconn one. I wish you had posted that sooner!I went ahead and ordered the Foxconn one already. I need to get my computer up and running again by Tuesday, Wednesday at the latest, and at this rate I'll hopefully get it by Tuesday. Sorry, I wanted to wait longer just in case someone posted an alternative but I was kinda pressed for time. (Same reason I couldn't sell my RAM for DDR2 and AM2.) Oh well, shouldn't make much of a difference. Thanks anyway.
  9. How are 939 boards not "interesting" any more? It seems that it would suit my needs well enough, and I could still upgrade to X2 later. Unfortunately switching to DDR2 isn't an option for me at the moment, which means neither is getting AM2. Eh, I'm kinda trying to steer clear of Semprons...from what I understand, Sempron is pretty much the equivalent of Celron, which is what I had before. And since the possibility of upgrading to X2 seems quite a ways off yet, I figure why not just make a halfway jump up to Athlon64 until then? Thanks for the suggestions, though. I'll definitely have to look into DDR2 and AM2 in the future. Now that I've read the difference between DDR1 and DDR2 I'm very eager to make the switch, but for right now, circumstances prevent it...so, I'm kinda stuck with what I have.
  10. JuMz, it's a nice setup, and a nice price, but unfortunately ATX is too big for my tower. Not only that, but the budget won't allow for it. The budget is "as cheap as possible", at least for the moment. What I'm looking for is more of a replacement than an upgrade, at least not that much of an upgrade, not yet anyway. puntoMX, why would I want to sell my RAM? What's the difference between DDR1 and DDR2 anyway? Is the difference in performance actually noticeable, or is it just one of those things based on numbers and benchmarks? Well, after a bit more searching, I found a setup that I think I like... AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Foxconn 6100K8MA-RS How does that pairing look? That board is my favorite AMD-based board I've found so far. 4 DDR1 RAM slots, a PCIE slot, 2 PATA and SATA connectors, and Athlon 64 X2 support. And judging from the pictures, it looks like the power, floppy, and PATA connectors are in good positions, so the wires and all that other junk will fit nicely in my tower, which is more than I can say for some other boards I've seen. Based on what I have now, that board has got more expandability than I’ll probably ever use. The only things I don't like about that Foxconn board, are the nVidia chipsets...I've read that their actual quality is..."questionable". Eh, I don't know, or care...just so long as it displays Windows and Linux correctly. I intend to get a REAL graphics card and sound card soon after this whole issue is resolved. I couldn't play games using Intel Extreme integrated graphics, why should this situation be any different? I still haven't found a good board for the Pentium 4 I listed earlier; I'm still trying to narrow down my search. When I find one, I think I'll compare that board with the Foxconn one and see which setup I like better. I still have to look up Asus and ASRock, maybe I’ll find something good there. Before I head out again, I've got two questions that have been bugging me that Google hasn't yet been able to answer for me... What's the difference between "USB" and "Onboard USB", as listed on Newegg? I'm guessing Onboard USB is a term for pins on the board, that allow you to connect additional external USB ports if you have them. Is that right? And are "VGA card" and "graphics card" interchangeable terms? Same question goes for the terms "onboard VGA" and "integrated graphics". If not, then what’s the difference between the terms?
  11. Well, a few weeks ago, my PSU died, I tried (and failed) to fix it, then I finally got around to getting a new one, and when I popped it in yesterday I discovered the defective PSU took my motherboard with it on its way to computer heaven hell... Now the computer Power LED and HDD LED both blink rapidly, and the computer emits a fast clicking sound, like a floppy being read, or rapid power-ons and power-offs. No obvious damage (melting, burning, etc) can be seen on either the CPU or Motherboard, at least not by an untrained eye. So, I went to google and newegg to look up buying a new motherboard and CPU. I need a CPU with: >= 1.8GHz Don't really care what kind, Pentium 4 with HT sounds nice though. And I need a Micro ATX motherboard with: >= 2 PATA slots >= 2 DDR184 RAM slots >= 3 PCI slots >= 4 built in USB (would be nice if it also had pins for additional USB to be plugged in, so I could use the two USB plugs on the front of my machine. I assume those pins are standard but I'm not sure.) Onboard Video (because I don't have a graphics card yet) Based on what I needed, newegg came up with these. How do they look? Would anyone recommend/warn against any of these? Intel Pentium 4 520 Prescott 5 Micro ATX Socket T (LGA 775) Motherboards (Currently deciding between the five...leaning toward either the Biostar or Gigabyte one.) Before I close, I have two last questions: Is there anything else I should look for in getting a good board? I must admit, I'm not entirely sure which part is defective...my motherboard, or my CPU, or both. If I can, I would prefer to save some cash and only replace the defective piece, but I don't know how to find out what piece is causing the problem. Does anyone have any tips for discovering which part is the real culprit? Thanks in advance for any help. Now, it's off to get some more cold medicine...
  12. ripken204: You just saved me $15! That XClio looks almost exactly like the Enermax Noisetaker I listed above, spec-wise, but at a cheaper price (AND with an extra peripheral plug, no less). The reviews are very good as well. I think this is the one I'm going to get. A few hours ago, I noticed the newegg page stated that they had new stock, (I was keeping my eye on it off-and-on all day) but five to ten minutes later, when I refreshed, suddenly they were all gone again. I'm not sure if that was a site glitch, or if everyone who Auto-Notified it snapped them all up again...heh. When does newegg get new stock, anyway? Depending on how long it takes for newegg to get new stock, I think I might just order it straight from one of the distributors listed on the product's site. Anyway, thanks for that link. Cygnus: I have a power strip/surge protector, but I didn't know that bit of info about turning the strip off, or unplugging it...that sounds like a good tip. Whatever'll help prolong the life of anything inside that little box.
  13. ripken204: Lol, Enermax Liberty looks awesome, but that price tag is a little to steep for me at the moment. Can't spend that much when the TV still needs to be fixed, and what with my already saving up for a decent graphics card... LLXX: I'm almost positive the power supply is causing the problem. After all, there was the issue with the popped-out capacitor. If there's anything wrong with the motherboard at all, I'm 99.9% sure its because of the power supply, in which case I would need a new PSU anyway. It's a 20+4 pin connector. I think it is normal ATX. I was just wondering if an ATX12V would fit in my computer based on size, shape, and pins. From what I've read on Google it shouldn't be much of a problem (MOST of the time) putting an ATX12V in an ATX computer. Thanks for the help with my questions. Shindo_Hikaru: Ah, thanks for clearing that up. I guess SLI isn't something I need after all. I'm leaning toward getting an ATi card at the moment, but even if that notion changes, I certainly don't expect to get two cards at the same time. Probably won't get a second for quite some time...I really just need something to tide me over for the moment. I narrowed my selection down to two PSUs. The ENERMAX EG425P-VE SFMA 2.0 ATX12V 420W, and the Thermaltake TR2 W0070 ATX 430W that 03GrandAmGT suggested earlier. The two PSUs would both fit my needs well enough, and both are actually very similar to each other. The only major differences between the two are as follows: Enermax: $59.99, ATX12V, 420W, Dual +12V, Overload Protection, 5 peripheral connectors, supposedly very quiet Thermaltake: $39.99, ATX, 430W, NO Dual +12V, NO Overload Protection, 9 peripheral connectors, supposedly fan volume varies (very quiet in some cases, very LOUD in others) At the moment, I'm leaning toward the Enermax one. I was just wondering if any one here has any personal experience with either of these PSUs, or if anyone could recommend one over the other for any reason. I've read the reviews of both PSUs, and both sound pretty good. Just thought I'd ask here one last time before I finally buy. Again, thanks for all the help everyone. I think I understand computer hardware in general a little bit better now, thanks to all your help!
  14. Well, I decided to plug it into my motherboard again, and to power up real quick...no luck, still the same problem as before, the clicking, rapidly blinking LED power light, etc. Somthing else is damaged. Oh well, I gave it my best shot. I finally began the real hunt for a new PSU, but there are so many specifications and choices it's hard to narrow down the search. So far, it appears the Thermaltake one 03GrandAmGT suggested has most of what I want, and for a decent price. I just have a few more questions so the search might be narrowed a bit further: Will ATX12V fit in an ATX based computer? What's the difference between "regular" ATX and ATX12V, besides the 24 pin connector and various power-levels? Anything significant enough to note, or that might cause a problem if I were to get an ATX12V PSU instead of an ATX PSU? Is "Overload Protection" the same thing as "Over Voltage Protection"? And is Overload Protection really needed if you have a surge protector? (I have surge protectors for the computers, printers, scanners, game consoles...everywhere except the TV. That's why it was fried...I was too lazy to buy a new one and dig through all the wires there. I won't make that mistake again. ) What exactly is Active PFC, and how does it help? From what I understand, SLI is helpful for "linking" graphics cards. That is, if you have two graphics cards, their memory/power can be combined (when needed) to share the load of performing a single task. Do I understand that right? How else is SLI a benefit? Is SLI a benefit to one who only has one graphics card? I don't have a "real" graphics card, (yet) just a basic integrated one. (64 Megs, if I remember correctly.) I'm planning on buying a 256 Meg PCI graphics card in the near future. Would it be possible to use SLI with a PCI/integrated graphics card setup, or is SLI used only for a PCI/PCI graphics card type of setup? And finally, are there any other recommendations, features, or other things I should look for in getting a good PSU? Thanks again everyone for the excellent help! Hope I'm not being a pain with all the questions... PS: Here's the page I'm viewing at the moment: ATX/ATX12V, Overload Protection, Active PFC, 250-500W, 20+4/24 Pins, $20-80
  15. Well, it took me a while to get around to it, (lightning struck very near two days ago, fried a lot of stuff...Wide screen TV...VCR...Cable...Phone lines...etc...been pretty busy with that issue. Just glad my computer was dead at the time! ) but I finally got around to soldering the capacitor back in. I tested it using the paperclip idea someone posted, the fan is spinning again, and as far as I can tell just from looking at it, everything else appears to be running smoothly. The "clicking" sound I mentioned earlier is still there, but it's a lot quieter now, and a lot more rapid, and very high pitched. Not even sure if it's the same sound, but it sounds slightly similar. When I showed my solder-work to a friend, he said he could barely even hear the noise I just described. Could this just be a regular sound of the fan spinning, or possibly electricity running through the device, made more audible now that the panels are open, as opposed to everything being closed up in my computer where the noise would normally be harder to hear? Or should the PSU normally be entirely silent, and any noise at all should be taken as a signal that something else is wrong, in which case I should just scrap any idea of reconnecting it to my motherboard? One more question before I narrow my search for a new PSU (I still intend to buy a new one, even if this attempted repair works): Do I need to buy a new one of the same wattage/voltage as my old one? (I assume so, just thought I'd ask. Current one runs at 250W, 120V.) That is, what specs can I upgrade when buying a new PSU, and what specs should be left as they are?

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