Power Supply not enough?

Hello everybody,

just a quick question: I am experiencing random crashes at Windows startup, but usually only when I first try to start my pc. The error messages (blue screen) differ from crash to crash. I thought maybe my power supply isn`t strong enough anymore, since I bought a new GFX-card.

My specs:

Gigabyte G31M-S2L
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 @3Ghz
Leadtek Nvidia GTX 260 896MB PCI-E16x
2x 2GB Kingston
2x HD, 1x DVD


SilverStone 400W

+3.3V +5V +12V -12V 5Vsb
24A 20A 25A 0.3A 2.5A

I would appreciate, if someone could tell me if I need a new psu.

12 answers Last reply
More about power supply
  1. Normally power issues do not show themselves at initial start up but wait until you're settled and starting to play a game. Although your PSU is of an old design (can tell by amperages) and should probably be replaced, I'm going to first suggest removing and reloading your graphics drivers. What was the previous graphics card and did you remove it's drivers before installing the new one?
  2. The previous card was a cheap office radeon (don`t know the model).
    I switched to windows 7 along with the new card (complete format of hds) and all drivers are up to date, so they shouldn`t be the problem.

    The thing I don`t understand is:
    Why does my pc crash when I first try to start it? I turn it off, then on again and it works.
  3. If you do a restart, does it crash then or is it only from cold boot?
  4. I think there are two likely suspects here, your memory or the PSU. You can check to make sure your memory is running at it's sticker ratings (speed, timings, voltage) I might suggest running memtest86 a few passes to ensure ram is not the issue. If it passes okay, then likely there is an issue with the PSU (capacitor not holding current would be my suspicion not that it helps to know). If you have access to a known working PSU I would suggest swapping it out to see if the issue goes away
  5. It usually happens like this:

    - Turn on pc
    - While booting crash with auto restart (the auto restart will also crash)
    - Turn off pc
    - Turn on pc, boots fine

    I'll check the memory. A spare psu is sadly not available.

    Thanks for the help.
  6. From what I read that card recommends a 700w PSU which seems kinda high but older Nvidia GPU's may have needed more power that the newer ones. If that is true then even though you have a PSU from a good manufacture at 400w it would not be enough. As said I would run a memtest for a few passes first at least that way you can rule the memory out at least.
  7. Here's what Guru3D says about the GPU "A GeForce GTX 260 requires you to have a 500 Watt power supply unit at minimum if you use it in a high-end system. That power supply needs to have (in total accumulated) at least 38 Amps available on the 12 volts rails." Your 12v rail falls a bit short of the 38A they suggest but I don't think that is the issue itself. More than likely the PSU is running near it's capacity which ages components faster and has resulted in component failure (still guessing a capacitor failure though)
  8. RAM seems to be OK.
    I guess it`s a new psu then...

    thanks for your help
  9. The GeForce GTX 260 used two different versions of the Tesla GT200 GPU during its product life.

    The cards based on the GT200a 65nm GPU would draw around 15 Amps from the +12V rail(s) while running Furmark and around 12.5 Amps while gaming.

    The cards based on the GT200b 55nm GPU would draw around 13.5 Amps from the +12V rail(s) while running Furmark and around 12 Amps while gaming.

    The power supply recommendation that NVIDIA gave to their card partners is "Minimum of a 500 Watt power supply. (Minimum recommended power supply with +12 Volt current rating of 36 Amps.) Two available 6-pin Molex hard drive power dongles."

    A +12 Volt current rating of 30 Amps would actually have been enough.

    The SilverStone Strider Essential 400W (SST-ST40F-ES), with its maximum combined +12 Volt continuous current rating of 25 Amps and with two 6-pin PCI Express supplementary power connectors, is insufficient to power your system configuration with a single GeForce GTX 260 graphics card.
  10. What makes me wonder though, is that I can use my pc and even play demanding games like Crysis or Oblivion for hours without crashes after it bootet correctly.
  11. Try running Furmark GPU stress testing.

  12. I wouldn't suggest furmark, unless you're intent on burning the PSU - as pointed out, you are running below power specs, you'll really want to change that
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