For those who are currently in the market for dual Opteron boards and are preferring products manufactured by Tyan, be sure to carefully pick power supplies with some research before purchase. We have been advised that certain Antec power supplies are having issues with the following motherboards from Tyan:

Thunder K8S Pro (S2882)
Thunder K8SD Pro (S2882-D)
Thunder K8W (S2885)
Thunder K8WE (S2895)

All the above boards are based on AMD's 8000 series chipsets except the Thunder K8WE (S2895) which uses NVIDIA's nForce Professional 2200 and 2050 south bridges.

The issues that are affecting the above motherboards have to do with a power fluctuation on the 12V rail that seems to be occurring only with Antec True Power 2 EPS power supplies. The units do not appear to be delivering consistent power -- often dropping to as low as 11.3V on the 12V rail. While some power supply units pass quality control tests initially, they end up failing after extended use. Using non-Antec power supplies solves the issue and for now we can only recommend that you use this work around until an official statement from Antec can be given. Tyan motherboards however, have always enjoyed a strong reputation for rock-solid stability -- although you may be required to be picky about which components you attach to the board.

Most power supplies have become all but commodity items on the market in the recent years but there are still companies out there that produce top-quality grade products. With all the newest high drain components coming out, the time is approaching again for us to do a power supply roundup.

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  • mindless1 - Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - link

    Antec is probably just the first observation of this issue, that if you have dual toaster ovens in your case, you need a mighty, mighty 12V rail. Split 12V rail designs can even exacerbate the problem.

    The idea of "clean power" is an ideal, not necessarily important for digital circuits running off of stepped-down 12V rails. There's nothing running on that dedicated rail that needs clean power, presuming Tyan did at least a reasonably job at the VRM subcircuits. Rather, it seems most likely these Antecs are simply running out of magic smoke.

    That kind of problem would as easily occur with many PSU, but it seems likely only a few are being used on these Tyan boards, especially given the fairly short list of Tyan recommended PSU. It could easily be that the Antec is not particularly weak compared to the typical PSU, rather the others on Tyan's list are well above average in their class.

    IMO, we've reached that point where Intel's novel idea about higher PSU efficiency is a dead-end, it's time to move past PS2 form-factor and develop some critera for true capacity and recovery time on 12V rails. I've said it before and I'll say it again, with most PSU it's simply impossible for them to appropriately support their lofty 12V amperage ratings. Antec claims 19A * 2 @ 12V. Maybe 19A * 1 / 2 is a better spec.
    Reply
  • ceefka - Thursday, November 17, 2005 - link

    Why has that to do with high efficiency? Clean power is something else altogether isn´t it?

    I was planning on buying a Phantom 500W. Am I in trouble now?
    Reply
  • mindless1 - Thursday, November 17, 2005 - link

    Intel was passing along novel concepts about how efficient a psu was, instead of the more primary issues about heat density and what the true sustained:rated capacity are. While efficiency is nice, and greener, it's a secondary concern that PSU manufacturers should not be distracted towards pouring $ into until the base design is fit per rating. Reply
  • Live - Saturday, November 19, 2005 - link

    And you don’t see a correlation between efficiency and "true sustained:rated capacity"?

    A PSU with high efficiency needs much less input power to get rated output. Hence is much likelier to deliver it. Also the function of a PSU is very dependent on temperature and since low efficiency gets more power wasted as heat again the same correlation exists.

    High efficiency is not a problem at all; it’s a benefit and a big one at that.


    Reply
  • Zepper - Monday, November 21, 2005 - link

    Antec is also know to have a Capacitor problem in some of their PSUs. Bad caps can definitely cause the fluctuations seen. A recording O-scope may be needed to actually see the fluctuations as they would be very transient drops as the foils in the cap shorted briefly until a hole forms in the foil. Could be in the millisecond range.
    . As I've often said re. Antec (who also had a problem with failing front USB port assemblies and probably the flimsy door hinge problem too) pushes their OEMs into cost-cutting to meet their price points. If I were a Taiwanese PSU mfr, I'd rather start selling direct than having to deal with Antec.

    -- Begin Rant Here --

    . People - hear this and hear it well: Antec is almost entirely a marketing company that got big and out of control. If you want quality products, buy direct from the folks that actually make the products and you'll be happier. I think even Channel Well (Antec's major OEM PSU supplier) has gone to selling direct (new website here in the states, product showing up with their label on it various places). So buy your PSU with the Channel Well name on it, or Zippy or Fortron/Sparkle, etc. And tell the Antecs of the world to kiss off until they get thier acts together - they were doing it properly once, perhaps they can do it again. -- End of Rant --

    .bh.
    Reply
  • Webgod - Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - link

    I was on the verge of buying a new Antec 550W TP 2.0 EPS PSU for my Tyan K8SD Pro I have laying around. This is incredibly timely news for me! I got in on the AMD Tech Tour deal in the summer for 2 Opteron's, the Tyan board, and Windows Server 2003, and I have yet to put it all together. Now I'm stuck in decision mode again. Reply
  • Beenthere - Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - link

    HOUSTON WE HAVE AN ANANDTECH SERVER PROBLEM...

    Consumer level PC power supplies have pretty much all been junk up until recent years when it was disclosed just how bad these units were and the fact that many if not most of the PSUs for sale caused major issues with leading edge CPUs and other solid state devices. AMD is the first one I recall stepping up to the plate and sorting out the crap from the usable PSUs when they released the Athlon and approved 300W PSUs.

    Since then every Johnny-come-lately has tried to get "approved" by meeting the most basic MINIMUM Intel PSU specs. Typical marketing hype is how many watts a unit produces but the ad claims are usually under bogus test conditions with no independent verification of actual line QUALITY which is far more important in most applications than the total PSU wattage output.

    There have been a few good PSU reviews online, but quite frankly PC enthusiasts for the most part fail to comprehend the importance of QUALITY, clean, stable PC power and opt for their favorite brand or someone else's favorite brand like sheep headed to the slaughter house. Only the serious enthusiast and professional PC system builder seek out PSUs that have been independently verified to deliver QUALITY, clean, stable PC power long term, from reputable mfgs. Most PC enthusiasts buy a low-to-medium priced PSU and hope for the best, never understanding the problems inferior PSUs cause with system stability and performance.

    The saying that you get what you pay for still holds true in most things in life and finding a "drop dead deal" on a quality PSU doesn't happen because of the cost involved in producing a QUALITY PSU. That doesn't however mean you need to pay a fortune for a quality PSU or buy a larger wattage PSU than required for your application. In my experience Seasonic and PC Power and Cooling are the ONLY PSUs I've found to provide reliable, QUALITY, clean PC power for the long term and their PSUs are competitively priced with the highly marketed unreliable Asian names you see at all the volume e-tailers like Rotten Egg, Monarch, Bad Buy, Clueless USA, and all the rest. Why people will blow $200-$700 on a video card and skimp on a PSU is beyond me, but you see it every single day. Then these same folks can't understand why they have overclocking or stability issues with their PC or why components like memory and CPUs fail prematurely.

    DUH, it takes clean, stable DC power to run a modern PC reliably. BTW, PC Power and Cooling has a list of Tyan and other Mobo mfgs. specific PSUs that anyone building a serious PC should consider. Anyone who thinks you can buy a suitable QUALITY PSU for a modern PC for less than $50 has no clue about PSUs or PCs.

    Link to Tyan and other mfgs. Mobo specific dual/quad CPU and Specialty PSUs: (follow the link to the section you desire)

    http://www.pcpowercooling.com/products/power_suppl...">http://www.pcpowercooling.com/products/power_suppl...
    Reply
  • Beenthere - Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - link

    Consumer level PC power supplies have pretty much all been junk up until recent years when it was disclosed just how bad these units were and the fact that many if not most of the PSUs for sale caused major issues with leading edge CPUs and other solid state devices. AMD is the first one I recall stepping up to the plate and sorting out the crap from the usable PSUs when they released the Athlon and approved 300W PSUs.

    Since then every Johnny-come-lately has tried to get "approved" by meeting the most basic MINIMUM Intel PSU specs. Typical marketing hype is how many watts a unit produces but the ad claims are usually under bogus test conditions with no independent verification of actual line QUALITY which is far more important in most applications than the total PSU wattage output.

    There have been a few good PSU reviews online, but quite frankly PC enthusiasts for the most part fail to comprehend the importance of QUALITY, clean, stable PC power and opt for their favorite brand or someone else's favorite brand like sheep headed to the slaughter house. Only the serious enthusiast and professional PC system builder seek out PSUs that have been independently verified to deliver QUALITY, clean, stable PC power long term, from reputable mfgs. Most PC enthusiasts buy a low-to-medium priced PSU and hope for the best, never understanding the problems inferior PSUs cause with system stability and performance.

    The saying that you get what you pay for still holds true in most things in life and finding a "drop dead deal" on a quality PSU doesn't happen because of the cost involved in producing a QUALITY PSU. That doesn't however mean you need to pay a fortune for a quality PSU or buy a larger wattage PSU than required for your application. In my experience Seasonic and PC Power and Cooling are the ONLY PSUs I've found to provide reliable, QUALITY, clean PC power for the long term and their PSUs are competitively priced with the highly marketed unreliable Asian names you see at all the volume e-tailers like Rotten Egg, Monarch, Bad Buy, Clueless USA, and all the rest. Why people will blow $200-$700 on a video card and skimp on a PSU is beyond me, but you see it every single day. Then these same folks can't understand why they have overclocking or stability issues with their PC or why components like memory and CPUs fail prematurely.

    DUH, it takes clean, stable DC power to run a modern PC reliably. BTW, PC Power and Cooling has a list of Tyan and other Mobo mfgs. specific PSUs that anyone building a serious PC should consider. Anyone who thinks you can buy a suitable QUALITY PSU for a modern PC for less than $50 has no clue about PSUs or PCs.

    Link to Tyan and other mfgs. Mobo specific dual/quad CPU and Specialty PSUs: (follow the link to the section you desire)

    http://www.pcpowercooling.com/products/power_suppl...">http://www.pcpowercooling.com/products/power_suppl...
    Reply
  • Beenthere - Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - link

    Consumer level PC power supplies have pretty much all been junk up until recent years when it was disclosed just how bad these units were and the fact that many if not most of the PSUs for sale caused major issues with leading edge CPUs and other solid state devices. AMD is the first one I recall stepping up to the plate and sorting out the crap from the usable PSUs when they released the Athlon and approved 300W PSUs.

    Since then every Johnny-come-lately has tried to get "approved" by meeting the most basic MINIMUM Intel PSU specs. Typical marketing hype is how many watts a unit produces but the ad claims are usually under bogus test conditions with no independent verification of actual line QUALITY which is far more important in most applications than the total PSU wattage output.

    There have been a few good PSU reviews online, but quite frankly PC enthusiasts for the most part fail to comprehend the importance of QUALITY, clean, stable PC power and opt for their favorite brand or someone else's favorite brand like sheep headed to the slaughter house. Only the serious enthusiast and professional PC system builder seek out PSUs that have been independently verified to deliver QUALITY, clean, stable PC power long term, from reputable mfgs. Most PC enthusiasts buy a low-to-medium priced PSU and hope for the best, never understanding the problems inferior PSUs cause with system stability and performance.

    The saying that you get what you pay for still holds true in most things in life and finding a "drop dead deal" on a quality PSU doesn't happen because of the cost involved in producing a QUALITY PSU. That doesn't however mean you need to pay a fortune for a quality PSU or buy a larger wattage PSU than required for your application. In my experience Seasonic and PC Power and Cooling are the ONLY PSUs I've found to provide reliable, QUALITY, clean PC power for the long term and their PSUs are competitively priced with the highly marketed unreliable Asian names you see at all the volume e-tailers like Rotten Egg, Monarch, Bad Buy, Clueless USA, and all the rest. Why people will blow $200-$700 on a video card and skimp on a PSU is beyond me, but you see it every single day. Then these same folks can't understand why they have overclocking or stability issues with their PC or why components like memory and CPUs fail prematurely.

    DUH, it takes clean, stable DC power to run a modern PC reliably. BTW, PC Power and Cooling has a list of Tyan and other Mobo mfgs. specific PSUs that anyone building a serious PC should consider. Anyone who thinks you can buy a suitable QUALITY PSU for a modern PC for less than $50 has no clue about PSUs or PCs.

    Link to Tyan and other mfgs. Mobo specific dual/quad CPU and Specialty PSUs: (follow the link to the section you desire)

    http://www.pcpowercooling.com/products/power_suppl...">http://www.pcpowercooling.com/products/power_suppl...
    Reply
  • Griswold - Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - link

    Word. Reply

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