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Technical Support Department
Many of the urgent technical questions and frequently asked questions are answered in the following
documents.  Please review them to see if the answer that you are looking for is already listed here:

HIGH POWER power supplies and cases

How to choose a power supply?
I just received my HIGH POWER ATX power supply and it does not work! What is wrong?
The HIGH POWER ATX power supply stopped working after an installation error.  Is it blown out ?
How to turn on an ATX system ?
Windows 98 Second Edition Shut Down Problem
About PFC (Power Factor Correction)
Keep Power On or Off?
What are these extra connectors off the power supply for?
The fan on my power supply is not running very fast and blowing warm air, is this normal?
Can too many devices with an undersized power supply cause problems?
Will a higher wattage power supply damage a system or use too much electricity?
At our location we experience occasional electrical voltage drops or brownouts. What is your recommendation?
What's output protection?
What's Fan Speed Monitor
Real-Time Wattage Meter: What is the significance of this feature ?  And why is it so unique that it is patented ?
Why do I need to use a model with built-in Wattage Meter when I already have access to a power meter ?


Question: How to choose a power supply?

Answer:

A power supply is one of the most important components in a computer.  When a power supply is dead or overloaded, your entire system is dead or becomes unstalbe. A bad power supply could also cause other parts of your system to fail. As personal computers become ever more powerful, the importance of a reliable power supply is more than ever before. 

But yet the power supply is often the least appreciated due to the widespread mislabeling in wattage rating.  The wattage rating of a PC power supply is not officially certified and is self-claimed by each manufacturer. The more reputable makers advertise "True Wattage Rated" to give consumers the idea that they can trust the wattage advertised.  It is important to use a reliable power supply from a reputable maker that conforms to True-Wattage Rating so that user does not add more components to the system, with false confidence, to overload the power supply.

It's easy to tell if a power supply is working or not. However, until now it has been hard for a PC end-user to measure the quality and reliability of a power supply.  Based on the return rates and general experience we accumulated from many years of selling and servicing power supplies, we have these general observations:

  • Sellers that carry True Wattage Rated power supplies are more open about disclosing the brand and model number of the power supply that they are advertising.
  • Generally, the Intel/AMD/nVidia-approved power supplies weigh more than the non-vendor approved of the same wattage, confirming that vendor-approved ones are of better quality. It's possible that manufacturers only submit better models for the vendor approval process.
  • The name-brand power supplies typically weigh more than the less-known, generic brands of the same wattage.  
  • FCC approved power supplies often weigh more than those without FCC labels.
All HIGH POWER models are True-Wattage Rated

Question: I just received my HIGH POWER ATX power supply and it does not work! What is wrong?

Answer: Please try the following:

According to Intel's specified ATX design, an ATX power supply WILL NOT power-up without being connected to a working ATX motherboard or a specialized ATX power supply testing device.  Additionally, please check the following:

  • The 20-pin power connector from the power supply must be firmly connected to the motherboard.
  • The voltage selection switch (115/230 volts) on the back of power supply must be properly set to match your local voltage (i.e. 115v for the U.S.).
  • The control wires coming from the front panel power switch must be correctly attached to the 2-pin connector on the motherboard.  Please refer to the motherboard documentation for the location of the power switch connector pins. The most common cause of an ATX power supply not functioning is improper installation or loose connection of the wires that go from the power switch to the motherboard.
  • The power supply requires a minimum amount of voltage/current from the electrical outlet it is using. Plug the power supply directly into the wall outlet to determine if it is an issue with a faulty or overloaded power strip/multi outlet device being used.
  • Make sure the AC power cord is connected firmly and the power supply's manual shut down switch is not at the off position - leave it at the "I" position, and not at the "o" position.
  • Make sure all DC output connectors are connected in the right direction and plugged firmly.  Check whether there is any short circuit problem or defective peripherals by unplugging each peripheral device one at a time.
  • Unplug the AC power cord, wait at least 10 minutes, and then replug it firmly to the power supply unit.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD THE POWER SUPPLY COVER BE OPENED. THERE IS DANGEROUS HIGH VOLTAGE INSIDE. DO NOT try to repair the power supply yourself. Doing so will void the product warranty and may cause personal injury.  Return defective power supply only to HIGH POWER authorized reseller for service.

Question: The HIGH POWER ATX power supply stopped working after an installation error.  Is it blown out ?

Answer: An oversight in installation process could cause short circuit, over voltage, or over power problem.  Any one of these issues could cause the HIGH POWER power supply to kick into protection mode which temporarily shuts down the power output and its fan.  When this happens, it is best to correct the installation error in the system and either wait for a few minutes for it to be properly restored to the standby state; or you may disconnect the power cord and connectors, then reconnect everything.

The HIGH POWER unit is designed to protect itself and the rest of the peripherals that it support.  The Short Circuit Protection, Over Voltage Protection, and Over Power Protection features of the HIGH POWER ATX power supply often time not only save the power supply unit been blown out, but motherboard and other important peripherals from being damaged in the transit as well.

Question: How to turn on an ATX system ?

Answer: ATX power supply is different from AT power supply. It depends a logic circuit on the motherboard to turn it on. Once you flipped the power switch on the ATX power supply to on (some ATX power supplies do not even have such a switch), the ATX power supply sends a 5V 720MA current to the motherboard through pin 9 on the power connector. That current is for WOL (Wake-up On Lan) and power on circuits. There is a power-on jumper on the motherboard that connects to the pushbutton located in front of ATX case. When the pushbutton is pressed, it sends a signal to the mothboard, which in turn notifies the ATX power supply to turn on the full power. The location of the power-on jumper on the motherboard is manufacture dependent. You will need to read your motherboard manual to locate that jumper. 

At any event, do not try to manually jump-start the power supply without attaching motherboard. Since the power supply is expecting certain sensing circuit feedback to regulate the output voltage, manually starting it without attaching it to the motherboard could cause damage to the power supply.

Question: Windows 98 Second Edition Shut Down Problem

Answer: Some systems may have problem automatically shutting down the power supply due to issues with the motherboard. You may need to ENABLE the "Assign IRE to VGA" in BIOS option or download a supplemental driver from the motherboard vendor to correct this problem.

Question: About PFC (Power Factor Correction)

Answer: PFC stands for Power Factor Controller. It is now a required feature for all power supplies shipped to Europe. Basically it allows power to be distributed more efficiently from the electrical company to your PC system. The following article is a detail technical review on the subject of PFC. More Detail

Question: Keep Power On or Off?

Answer: A lot of people asked about this. Some experts said it is better to shut your PC off to save wear-and-tears. But many MIS manager insists company PCs to be left on all the time to save the PC from sudden electrical surges or breakdown during power up. So who is right and what does that have to do with power supply ?

A lot of systems in the market, whether new or old systems, are not based on high quality components. Many companies do not use high quality power supplies or high quality motherboards. The general practice in the industry, particularly in the lower price range, is to purchase the lowest priced components that could boot up and work. These components may work functionally 99% of the time but they may not be able to protect itself or the rest of the system against electrical voltage spike or electrical current surges during power up. In this case, it is better not to turn the computer on and off a lot.

High quality power supplies like the ones made by HIGH POWER are designed with protection in mind. PC system powered by a high quality power supply is safe from the electrical surges that happens during power-up. Therefore, the user can feel safe turning system off everyday. It saves electricity and saves the environment; Secondly, it reduces the wear on the fans, hard disk and other moving parts, reduces the electronics components aging. As a result, PCs powered by HIGH POWER generally lasts longer and do not breakdown during its life of service.

Of course, if your computer stays in a place that temperature varies a lot, like in a warehouse that could go up to 100 degree during the day and goes down to 40 degree in the night, it may be better to keep the computer up and running. In that kind of situation, the temperature creates a lot of tension on the electronics components in the power supply or motherboard, having the computer on all the time helps maintaining the components not being broken apart by the mechanical force(heat expansion and cold contraction).

If you decide to keep your computer on all the time, make sure you check all the fans every 3 to six months. Fans tend to wear out quickly in that kind of situation. If fan locked up and not been replaced, the power supply or motherboard will overheat and quit working shortly after. Choose a power supply that comes with fan speed monitor connector so your system has the added safety of knowing the RPM status of the power supply fan at all time. For example, HIGH POWER HPC-340-101 & SI-C200M2 both come with fan speed monitor connector.

Question: What are these extra connectors off the power supply for?

Answer: There are typically three types of connectors that are most common from a power supply. The 20 PIN ATX connector to supply the motherboard with power, the large 4 PIN drive connectors used for hard drives, CD-ROMS and the small 4 PIN connectors used for floppy drives.

With our ATX 2.03 power supplies, there is an added auxiliary connector used by some PIII or other multi-layer motherboards that need a 6 PIN connector to provide improved distribution of power through the motherboard. The auxiliary 6 PIN connector is not needed to use the power supply.

With our ATX 2.03 (12V) power supplies, there is an added auxiliary connector used by P4 motherboards that need a 4 PIN connector to provide added power for the CPU. The auxiliary 4 PIN connector is not needed to use the power supply.

On some of our newer power supplies there is a 3 PIN connector with a yellow and black wire that is used for the power supply fan speed monitoring. If your motherboard supports this feature you can use this cable to alert you if the power supply fan should fail.

The yellow wire is for the fan speed rotation signal, and the black wire for ground. This layout must match on your motherboard in order to use this feature. The auxiliary 3 PIN fan monitoring connector is not needed to use the power supply.

Please note that the fan included on our PC power supplies is a variable rate fan and will have a range of 1,200-3,000 RPM. The speed of the fan will vary depending on the internal temperature sensor of the power supply.

Question: The fan on my power supply is not running very fast and blowing warm air, is this normal?

Answer: Our current line of PC power supplies has a power supply fan speed that is regulated in reference to its internal temperature sensor. The low friction fan turns slowly at low temperatures, reducing power consumption and greatly reducing fan noise. Conversely, the fan is allowed to spin up its speed in response to temperature increase. The fan speed ranges roughly from 1200 RPM to a full speed of 3000 RPM.

This automatic fan speed control feature, in general, extends fan life, cuts down energy consumption, and reduces the chance of over-heating. This automatic fan speed control is one step above the basic low friction "Noise Killer" fan deployment.

Question: Can too many devices with an undersized power supply cause problems?

Answer: Yes, too many devices or drives can pull excessive +12v power and cause system instability or failure. A higher wattage power supply is recommended for systems using more drives or peripherals than a typical system load.

General system examples: A system with under 1ghz processing with 2 5,200 speed hard drives, 2-3 CD-ROM devices, floppy, 2/3rd of the peripheral slots used would typically be fine with a 250 watt power supply.

A system above 1ghz with 2 7,200 drives, 2-3 CD-ROMS, floppy and 2/3rd of the peripheral slots used would generally need a 300 watt power supply or above.

Question: Will a higher wattage power supply damage a system or use too much electricity?

Answer: No, our power supply provides as much wattage as requested by the system. If you have a 300 watt power supply and your system is only using 180 watts, the power supply will only provide 180 watts.

Question: At our location we experience occasional electrical voltage drops or brownouts. What is your recommendation?

Answer: We highly recommend the use of a line conditioner or a UPS(Uninterruptible Power Supply).

Question: What does each protection feature do for the power supply and the system ?

Answer:

  • OVER-VOLTAGE PROTECTION
    The +5V/+12V/+3.3V DC output are protected against the over voltage condition. Maximum value can't be over 6.8V at 5V terminal, 15.6V at 12V and 4.5V at 3.3V.

  • UNDER-VOLTAGE PROTECTION
    The +5V/+12V/+3.3V DC output are protected against the under voltage condition. Maximum value can't be over 4.3V at 5V terminal, 10.1V at 12V and 2.8V at 3.3V.

  • OVER-POWER PROTECTION
    The power supply can be used electronic circuit to limit the output current against exceeding 60% of surge output or protected against excessive delivery since short circuit of any output or over total power at nominal line.

  • SHORT-CIRCUIT PROTECTION
    An output short circuit is defined as any output impedance of less than 0.1 ohms. The power supply shall shut down and latch off if a short circuit placed on any output. The +5VSB is capable of recovering from a short automatically.

  • OVER-TEMPERATURE PROTECTION
    Some HIGH POWER models include this feature to further protect the power supply and the system.  An over-temperature protection sensor is built in.  The sensor trips when
    a preset temperature point is reached.  This in turn shuts down the power supply.  Such an overheated condition is typically the result of internal current overloading, system overheating due to insufficient heat dissipation consideration, or a cooling fan failure. If the protection circuit is non latching, then it should have hysteresis built in to avoid intermittent tripping.

Question: What's Fan Speed Monitor?






Answer: The Fan Speed Monitor connector, when connected to an available fan port on the motherboard, provides real time rotational speed of the power supply fan to the system.  This feature provides an added level of security to the system.  In the event that the power supply's fan failure, the system can now be programmed to shut down immediately or sound an alarm.  Most motherboard has at least one extra 3-pin fan connector port in addition to the standard CPU fan connector.  Fan Speed Monitor connector does not have to be connected to the motherboard in order for the power supply fan to work.  This power supply has a fan speed controller with built-in temperature sensor. 

Certain motherboards are not able to detect fan RPM lower than 2000.  When that is the case, it may show the RPM to be zero when in fact the power supply fan is just turning at a slower speed to cut down noise.




Question: Some of your models come with built-in Real-Time Wattage Meter (aka Power Watchertm).  What is the significance of this feature ?  And why is this feature so unique that it is patented ?

Answer:  To answer this question, we must first discuss the decade old problem of how to select a power supply for your system -- In order to have a working and stable system, you need a quality power supply that can supply sufficient wattage to the system.  

The traditional solution is to figure out the maximum power consumption of each and every component inside the system.   Then these numbers are added up to come up with a worse case system wattage requirement.  Power supply selected is often yet further higher wattage than this number as many users, and system engineers alike, either have low confidence in the wattage claim of many power supplies in the market or they are willing to spend  more money on a higher wattage power supply just to be absolutely certain. 

The problem is that if the power supply used is outrageously over-rated, as it is becoming the trend in most low priced units available in the market today, the system still isn't going to get sufficient power to be working reliably, if working at all.   In the event that the power supply used is a true-wattage rating model such as the ones from HIGH POWER and other reputable brands, users still has no clear knowledge of whether such currently-working system can accommodate addition of specific new devices or upgrade of an existing components.

As for the vast numbers of system builders that do not analyze the system power requirement with a power study of each component used, the selection of power supply becomes a function of whatever comes bundled with the case, cost consideration, vendor salesman recommendation, or best yet, just past experience with a specific brand and model.

Now HIGH POWER provides the solution --

Patented built-in real-time wattage meter eliminates the power supply wattage requirement guesswork.  User can now visualize how much wattage the system is consuming, and thus how much power is available for adding more cards or drives.

System power consumption at one glance !


This meter takes out the fear of overloading your power supply when you are in need of installing additional devices to your system.    For example, if the system power consumption is shown to be no more than 150w, then with our 500w model such as HPC-500-A12S, you would have additional 350w of reserve power to accommodate additional components such as video cards or drives.  And if the system isn't doing well, you can focus your debug effort somewhere else other than the power supply.

System Administrators, Technicians, Engineers, and PC builders:
No more guess work on how strong of a power supply you would need for any system.   You can use this unit to determine the maximum system wattage requirement first, then install an appropriate lower cost lower wattage power supply for the system.  You no longer have to over-supply each and every system. 

Disclaimer: We recommend using a lower cost
HIGH POWER , or model from other reputable true-wattage brands, in this method of appropriating the right power supply wattage model for each system.   Use of many cheap over-rated power supply products that are currently flooding the market undoubtly may return disappointing result.


Question: Why is your Real-Time Wattage Meter feature that is built-in to many of your newer models so unique that it is patented ?  I have access to a power wattage monitor station.  Why wouldn't I just connect my entire system to the power wattage monitor station if I need to measure the total system wattage consumption.

Answer:  Our Real-Time Wattage Meter (aka Power Watchertm) feature is unique because it is integrated to the power supply and it displays digitally the total DC output's wattage drawn out to the system from the power supply, in real-time.  Since HIGH POWER power supply's wattage rating is based on the maximum performance of this same total DC output power (and not maximum AC power that can go into our power supply), users can now visually determine how much power reserve is available at any given time.  For example, if the maximum system power consumption is shown to be no more than 150w, then with our 500w model such as HPC-500-A12S, you would have additional 350w of reserve power to accommodate additional components such as video cards or drives.  And if the system isn't doing well, you can focus your debug effort somewhere else other than the power supply wattage sufficiency issue.

If you plug the power cord of your entire system to a power wattage monitor device, it tells you the total wattage consumption of your system plus that consumed by the power supply.   In the case of most low-priced power supply, it itself can consumes just as much power as it is providing to the system. 
Use of such power wattage monitor device provides a reading that is much higher than your system power consumption.  It can not answer these decade old questions -- How much power is my system currently draws from the power supply ?    And would my power supply have enough power if I add a new video card ?  If the system isn't doing well, you still don't know whether it is insufficient power supply wattage or just inefficient power supply.





Useful links / links to other manufacturers

NOTE:
ALL DOCUMENTS CONTAINED IN THESE PAGES ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" WITH NO WARRANTIES WHATSOEVER, INCLUDING ANY WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY,  NON INFRINGEMENT, FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR ANY WARRANTY OTHERWISE ARISING OUT OF ANY PROPOSAL, SPECIFICATION OR SAMPLE. J.D.Research disclaims all liability, including liability for infringement of any proprietary rights, relating to use of information in this specification.

 
 


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