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I had a strong PC which is no longer functional at this point. One day while i was using it, it made a click sound and turned off abruptly. It also gave some kind of burnt wire smell which made me believe that some damage has been caused to one of the parts of it. But the question was Which ONES???.

I have no knowledge about electronics that's why i am a little wary to do anything internally. After some googling i drew a rational, that maybe the PSU(SMPS) is damaged. Today i unplugged all of the connectors of the PSU in question, and did the paperclip test on it (the one that requires inserting a paperclip b/w pin 4 and 5 of psu). The fan did not start (as expected). (it is a 500W PSU)

I also have a old PC that i am currently working. It is quite underpowered as compared to the aforementioned one. It has a 200W functional PSU.

So, I was wondering if it is okay/safe, if I use the 200W PSU in that rig to test whether it is functional or not (by functional i mean the other parts are okay or not). This is what I would do:-

  • Plug the 200W PSU in the strong rig
  • Start the PC
  • Go immediately to the UEFI to see whether the parts are recognized or not (using motherboard explorer)
  • Close the PC

I won't have any hard drives connected to the PC (as i have heard that they consume a lot of W, which i have in scarcity). All i wanna do is check whether the parts are recognized or not. throught the process the PC won't start the OS boot process.

The powerful PC (which is not functional) had the following specs:-

  • I7-8700K
  • Zotac GTX 1660ti
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • A cooler for CPU (decent one)
  • MSI Z390-A Pro

Is it safe if I plug the low powered PSU in the strong PC, and check for the integrity of its parts?

Some information regarding the PSU's:-

This is the 500W one (used in the strong rig):-

strong one

This is the 200W one (used currently in the old rig):-

old one**strong text**

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    \$\begingroup\$ Remove the 1660ti, use the integrated graphics of the 8700k instead, and you should be able to boot with that crappy 200W PSU (assuming the components are still OK after the failure). In the long term, I'd buy a new >= 450W power supply. \$\endgroup\$
    – jms
    Jun 6 '20 at 9:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ 200W is really really low power. Half that than your average small PC power supply so I doubt any PC that as not designed at the start to run off it would be able to. It definitely won't be able to with any video cards present. \$\endgroup\$
    – DKNguyen
    Jun 6 '20 at 17:30
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look at the parts and add up their watts. how much does the CPU use? how mouch does the graphics card? how much do the drives use? how much does the ram use? how much does thwe main board use? if it comes to more than 200W your power supply is too small, if it comes close it's probably too small.

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The TDP (long term maximum average power) of your CPU is 95W, and your GPU is 120w, or 215W total. Peak power will be ~1.5x this, although its unclear if the 200w rating on your power supply is peak or average. Regardless, no you cannot use that power supply with what you have without severely overloading it.

You might be able to boot with the GPU removed, but this is going to be hard to draw conclusions from. If nothing happens, it could be that the motherboard is damaged, or simply that you have overloaded the power supply.

Inspecting the boards carefully may give you more useful information. Does the PSU have any exploded caps? Did anything on the motherboard melt?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ No I can't seem to find any physical damage in any component. BTW when the catastrophe happened, it made a click sound, and after 1 second the display along with the whole PC turned off. After about 5 min, i smelt the PC from up close and got a burnt smell. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vasu Deo.S
    Jun 6 '20 at 15:27

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