Yesterday, I noticed that my lights were flickering in the bathroom upstairs. It was very odd. I tried new light bulbs to no avail, and started to notice that more than one light was flickering upstairs, which suggested my problem was bigger than a single light fixture. I recently moved my development and gaming PC to the front room so I could play the new game Trine 3 in full Stereoscopic 3D, and I noticed that when this PC was shut down, the flicker would stop. Lovely.
To troubleshoot, I moved a different PC (Yes yes, I know I’m a geek and have more than one PC) to the front room to test. I wanted to make sure the electrical circuit wasn’t bad as suggested on Tom’s Hardware. In fact, I went so far as to turn on everything I could think of (except the PC) and verified that the lights were not flickering. It was pretty clear after this experiment that it was my computer causing the lights to flicker.
As luck would have it, this computer has a super power supply in it. When I built this PC a few years ago, I purchased the eVGA Supernova 1000W power supply, not because of the amount of power it provides, but because the internal cables were modular. This means that I can piece together only the cables I need inside, and store the rest in a box. This is great for a powerhouse computer as it helps with airflow. Well my airflow is great, but something is happening with this power supply that is causing electrical issues in my house.
Sadly, I pulled the power supply and replaced it with a simple 530W power supply from another PC (stop glaring at me for having so many computers, I like my tech, ok??), and the problems are resolved. I suppose having a bad power supply is a lot better than having a faulting circuit in your house, so I am in the end thankful. Besides, this power supply supposedly has a 10 year warranty and if Amazon is any indication, eVGA rocks the customer service. This blog post is mostly for anyone Googling for a solution, as I found very few posts on this topic and had to extensively troubleshoot to resolve the problem (and not burn my house down in the process).