DK said:Thanks, everyone who replied!
Oh well, it does seem like it was a PSU issue. Pretty disappointing
considering that 5 years is not that old and Nexus does have stellar
reputation (which I why I bought it to begin with).
Same day, went to Bestbuy and picked up the only decent PSU they
had, Corsair CX750M. I don't think I will ever need to 750 W and I definitely
overpaid ($104 vs $80 from Amazon). Plus, the reviews are somewhat
mixed. So far so good, running Prfime95 for two hours without any issues.
Will let it go overnight. I should probably return this and get some fanless
SeaSonic for the same money.
Any recommendations/suggestions fro an alternative PSU?
Now the fun part (and a reason why I haven't posted this note earlier):
Changing the PSU, I killed my CPU and it took a while to get the
replacement (surprisingly, theose Phenom 4X are not that common
these days). I do feel someone stupid about it but here is how it went:
Needed to take off the big CPU cooler in order to slide in/out power
supply. Unscrewed fully, pulled it up - no go, seemed to have glued
to the CPU or something. The design of Noctua NH-C12P SE14
cooler precluded easy prying it off. So, figuring that the CPU is locked
in the socket with that lever arm, I pulled stronger... The sad result:
The CPU was ripped out from the socket, still being stuck to the cooler.
Few pins were bent and one somehow came completely off the CPU.
Try as I might, I wasn't able to solder it back and created a whole
mess of nearby pins instead. In the end, the CPU heated up but no
My own fault, I know. Still, I wish that thermal paste supplied with the
cooler did not have this wonderful glue-like quality. In any case, the
new CPU is a little faster (Phenom II 4X 955 BE vs old 840 plain), so
for an extra $80 and some hassle I got myself a little upgrade. For
now, all is good.
Next time, you could try a gentle rotation about the Z axis.
To try to break the "vacuum" caused by the paste. That
doesn't guarantee easy disassembly - it's just an alternative
to ripping the CPU right out of the socket. I've pulled a CPU
right out of the socket that way too, but I didn't lose any pins.
And the thermal paste is doing what is is supposed to do. Resist
movement away from the joint between CPU and cooler.
Another technique to use, which isn't always available,
is to run Prime95 for ten minutes (warm up CPU), immediately
shut down, and work on the cooler. If the paste is warm,
the cooler may come off a bit easier. If you seek to apply
external heat to the cooling assembly, it would probably
be a good idea to remove the fan assembly and wiring
before doing that, so the fan body doesn't get cooked
There are people who solder CPU pins back on. The success of
doing such a thing, is going to depend on technique and materials.
Regular tin-lead solder is not a structural material, and if
you use that, the pin might not be very strong. Perhaps a
silver-solder might work better. (Silver-solder is brittle
compared to tin-lead, and selecting just the right solder
for the job is the tricky part. There are a *lot* of different
solder compositions on the market - they're not all available
at Radio Shack though.) Doing a bit of Googling, I see people
recommending a jeweler as a repair person for that.
They might at least have some idea of what solder to use,
even if they don't have the right tool to get in there
and make the connection. You don't really want to get solder
all over the "leg" of the pin, and you want the solder
to stay near the joint - it might take a solder paste
and hot air to achieve such a result. Holding a soldering
iron to the top of the pin, will get solder everywhere
(take this from a person who gets solder everywhere,
when he works...).