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350W supply enough?

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April 6, 2006 4:37:36 PM

Hi, upgrading my video card and I'm not sure if my powersupply can handle it. My (embarassing) specs are as follows:

P4 2.66Ghz Northwood
Asus P4SE (don't think they even make these ancient mobos anymore)
1024mb PC2700 (2x512)
Geforce Ti4200 (ewwwwwwwwwww)
7200RPM HDs x2

Asus DVD Burner
Sony CD Burner

I've only got a LAN card in one PCI slot...and the sound is onboard...

I'm hoping to swap out the Ti4200 for a Radeon 9800PRO. Will my generic 350W power supply handle it?

If not, what would happen if my PS got overloaded? will my computer just shut down? or is there a risk of damaging my parts?

thanks in advance for the help :D 

Edit: Just tried out http://www.extreme.outervision.com/psucalculator.jsp
Recommended for the Ti4200: 251W
Recommended for the 9800PRO: 264W
these numbers reliable?

One more thing i'd like to add, I've had this computer for about 3 years now and it runs fine .. no problems with the powersupply yet. except on startup it makes a grinding sound that goes away after a while.

More about : 350w supply

April 6, 2006 5:34:01 PM

I doubt a generic 350w is enough. It may power it, it may even power it stably. It might even do it for a few months.

An overloaded PSU will do 1 of 3 things:
1) Keep going, possibly running voltages low, and heat up until a thermal condition in the PSU causes it to shut down. If it doesn't shut down this way, it will, over time (days, months???) do #2 or #3.
2) If properly manufactured and designed, it will shut down when overloaded.
3) It will 'blow'. Sometimes with pretty sparkles, pops, smoke & stuff. :8 Sometimes it can take part of or the rest of the system with it.

Those PSU calculators are good for a general feel of where you are, I don't know how absolutely accurate they are.

General rule of thumb for power needs is to never go over about 75% of a quality PSU's power rating. Generic & cheap PSUs need more headroom (how much more depends on how 'generic' and how 'cheap'). Based on the watts you gave from the calculator page, your ti4200 is running that PSU at about 71%, and the 9800 boosts it to just over 75%.

The startup grind is probably the PSU fan - once it warms up it quiets down. That's an indicator the fan is wearing out.

If it was me, I'd pick up a quality 400w PSU. More if you may want to keep it for your next upgrade.

Mike.
April 6, 2006 5:41:24 PM

Thanks for the reply fishmahn. Would the extra 4% load on the PSU make much of a difference though?

I'll be getting a new job (hopefully) over the summer and the power supply will definitely get replaced. Do you think the current supply can last another 2-3 months if I put in the 9800PRO?
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April 6, 2006 5:57:27 PM

Nope, go with at least 420watts of CLEAN power. Don't spend less than $60 for a power supply.

I had a solid Antec P/S blow up on me two weeks ago. Lasted 3 years, output 550 watts, and cost over $100. It still blew a capacitor whilst I gamed and scared me straight out of my chair. The moral of the story: Any power supply can fry, the good ones last longer and have much lower failure rates. When they go, they can take all, or some, of your system with them because of surging voltages (usually takes the Video card, mobo or HDD), so purchase a little peace-of-mind and go with a good brand.

Antec, Thermaltake, Fortron, Seasonic ($$$), among others, are all worth considering.
April 6, 2006 6:01:23 PM

Awww, guess I won't risk the upgrade just yet then. Now to camp out my local computer stores for sales 8)

Antec SP 450 $ 82.00
Antec NeoHE430 $ 91.00
Antec TPII-430 $ 87.00
Enermax 460W (EG465P-VE FMA) $ 82.00
Enermax 485W Noisetaker Series (EG495P-VE SFMA) $ 92.00
ThermalTake Silent PurePower 480W Silver $ 89.00
Thermaltake 470W TR2 ATX 12V 2.0 VERSION (W0090RUC $ 79.00
ThermalTake TR2 W0070RUC 430W Power Supply $ 59.00

Those are the ones that I'm consider. Just going by brand, price range and Watt numbers cause I'm a complete newbie. Which one would you guys recommend?

Here's a link the the store that sells them
http://www.pccyber.ca/scrMain2.asp?product_types_id=30&...
April 6, 2006 6:11:51 PM

Fortron makes a good 400w for sale at Newegg for $40. I'm running one in my system and its been going for 2 yrs. Just FYI.

Mike.
April 6, 2006 6:13:04 PM

The capacitors value have lost up to 25% after the 1st year of operation, so your 350W might be well under 300W, now you plan on adding only 4% extra ?
April 6, 2006 6:13:42 PM

I'm Canadian so I don't have access to newegg :cry:  .. here's the main computer store around where i live.

http://www.pccyber.ca/scrMain2.asp?product_types_id=30&...

There are other stores, but Pccyber is definitely the best.

tchiwam: I've decided to hold off on that upgrade until I get myself a decent powersupply. :lol:  btw. looking at your computer specs makes me drool :lol: 
April 6, 2006 6:18:14 PM

Those are all respectable! I'd take any one of them if I were running your specs.
April 6, 2006 6:21:13 PM

Even -> ThermalTake TR2 W0070RUC 430W Power Supply $ 59.00 ?

:lol:  Being a student I have very shallow pockets, so I try to save every dollar I can. ie. I'm a cheapass when it comes to upgrading my computer. :lol: 

If that supply is decent then I'll most likely buy it instead of waiting for sales.
April 6, 2006 6:38:51 PM

If you are planning to upgrade your entire system, soon or even in the furute, you might want to upgrade for a very descent psu. like the Antec Neo He 550watt. rather than just buying psu ofter psu, just buy one good psu?? :wink:
April 6, 2006 6:52:35 PM

:lol:  I doubt I'll be upgrading this system anymore after the video card. Except the soundcard and an extra harddrive or two. But a 420W-450W should be sufficient for that right?
April 6, 2006 7:05:50 PM

I'm sorry to disagree with the other posters, but IMO, your current psu will be fine.

In general, their advice is good, and having a good psu is always a good idea.
However, you are on a budget, and in your position, there is no need to go buy another psu.

If you do plan to upgrade again in the future, then ok, you may well need another psu. But to change your graphics card from a Ti4200 to a 9800Pro should not require a new psu.
April 6, 2006 7:10:35 PM

Is that right? ... My computer is about 3 years old though, doesn't that greatly impact my PSU?

I think I'll upgrade my PSU just to be on the safe side.
April 6, 2006 7:19:51 PM

By all means, if you have the funds available, then upgrade the psu. I fully agree that it is important to have a good psu.

However, you are only adding an additional 12W to your system with that card upgrade (Ti4200 = 35W, 9800Pro = 47W). I didn't want you to feel that it was necessary to upgrade the psu to support the upgrade you specified.
April 6, 2006 7:20:24 PM

Compare your computer to your home. Both need current to function.

If you do not have sufficient power, your power supply may send incorrect voltages to the electrical components of your system. This will definitely destroy circuits over time.
Over time equals now, maybe tomorrow, next week, or months down the road, but destroys it does.

When your system finally fails, the cost is way more than that of a good power supply.
You will be buying a new Motherboard, most likely a CPU, throw in RAM, and a new power supply!

Too many people want to go cheap on the power supply but keep this in mind – it has to power everything in the computer, the motherboard and all of its chips and circuits, the CPU, PCI cards, powerless speakers connected to the sound card, DVD/CD room drives,
Card readers, fan controllers etc, etc. Not only must the power supply provide current, but it must provide the REQUIRED amount of current that each circuit needs.

You pug into 110/220, but the power supply has to correctly put out 5 volts where needed, 12 volts some place else or what ever is required and keep doing this as you add more load to the system, no matter what the temperature inside the computer is.

Compare your power supply to the fuse box in your home. If you add too many things to any given line in your house, the fuse will blow – if you are lucky. Some homes just burned down.

You would not want a home with just enough power to run what was in it right now! That would mean that you could not add a clock radio, or plug in a new hand mixer that you just purchased and the new computer that you are purchasing tomorrow is also out, because your home circuit is just strong enough to power` what is currently in your home now. Too, any fluctuations in the current to your home may cause you to under power some device resulting in costly related issues.

Bottom line treat your computer the same way you want the electrical power company to treat your home when it comes to supplying power.

PC Power& Cooling takes care of business when it comes to computer power supplies.
Many other out there are good but PC Power& Cooling just keeps on eating one lunch after the other! Check out the power supply that Maximum PC puts into their Dream Machine every year.
April 7, 2006 1:19:59 PM

I would agree with most of the replies here. Considering the cpu, the 2 hard drives and 2 optical drives, I would definitely say 400W +. And yes, get a name brand! Cheap ones MIGHT last a while but then my dad's pc got fried with underpowering his system with a cheap PSU.

My specs:
AMD XP 2500+ (slightly OC'd to 2 Ghz)
Abit AN-7
1 Gig Kingston PC2700
Maxtor 300 Gig HD
Benq DVD burner
Samsung CD Burner
ATI 9500 Pro w/128M Ram
Antec TruePower 420W
April 7, 2006 2:36:26 PM

I agree with Coverd_in_Bees. You want to have a good PS, but I think you'll be OK if all you do is upgrade the video card.
April 28, 2006 6:20:11 PM

Both would be good. The TT has a higher power rating, but I know Fortron to be rather conservative, so those 2 PSU's are probably very similar.

If you have enough power cords (being an OEM PSU it doesn't come with one), I would get the Fortron based on price.

But, the TT is good too. I'd be happy with either.

Mike.
April 28, 2006 6:33:04 PM

Thanks for the reply, I think I'll get the Fortron cause it's got a shipping deal with it :) 
April 28, 2006 6:59:59 PM

Quote:
Hi, upgrading my video card and I'm not sure if my powersupply can handle it. My (embarassing) specs are as follows:

P4 2.66Ghz Northwood
Asus P4SE (don't think they even make these ancient mobos anymore)
1024mb PC2700 (2x512)
Geforce Ti4200 (ewwwwwwwwwww)
7200RPM HDs x2

Asus DVD Burner
Sony CD Burner

I've only got a LAN card in one PCI slot...and the sound is onboard...

I'm hoping to swap out the Ti4200 for a Radeon 9800PRO. Will my generic 350W power supply handle it?

If not, what would happen if my PS got overloaded? will my computer just shut down? or is there a risk of damaging my parts?

thanks in advance for the help :D 

Edit: Just tried out http://www.extreme.outervision.com/psucalculator.jsp
Recommended for the Ti4200: 251W
Recommended for the 9800PRO: 264W
these numbers reliable?

One more thing i'd like to add, I've had this computer for about 3 years now and it runs fine .. no problems with the powersupply yet. except on startup it makes a grinding sound that goes away after a while.


Hey! Check it out, use this power supply estimator to help you out. I used it on my last build and it saved me from buying an 600w psu as some people suggested to me. Using this, a 450 was more than enough.

Edit - HAHAHAHAHA! Just noticed that you used the same estimator I recommended. Yes, it can be considered accurate. Given the number s it returned, a 350 should be enough, but if you got a 400w, just to be on the safe side, it wouldn't cost that much more.

Good luck!
April 28, 2006 7:42:35 PM

Quote:
PC Power& Cooling takes care of business when it comes to computer power supplies.
Many other out there are good but PC Power& Cooling just keeps on eating one lunch after the other! Check out the power supply that Maximum PC puts into their Dream Machine every year.


PSU are allmost always rated at a room/case temp of 21 C and as the inside air teps of the PSU go UP the real pwr out goes DOWN.

PC P&C are rated @ 50C temps for pwr output.

I am useing the 510-ASL (650 W surge rated @ 50C)
!