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Is there such a thing as too much power?

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December 9, 2006 3:26:08 PM

For the past decade or so Ive had two PCs that I have constantly upgraded rather than buying a new one. Through my various upgrades, Ive had to change the power supplies a few times. Ive always just thought that the more power you have in a supply the better, and that anything extra remains harmlessly contained in case your system needs it.

This last week I received a new Dell Dimension E521 PC. I didn't order it with a video card because I thought I could get a better deal elsewhere, and sure enough I did. My new video card requires 350W and my Dell came with 305W, so today I went out and grabbed a 500W power supply for a super good deal. When I contacted Dell tech support to see if it would be compatible with my system I was warned that I shouldnt put a bigger power supply in (or I might risk "serious damage" to key system components) and that instead I should buy a video card from Dell.com that didn't use so much power. Ive never heard of such a risk from higher power supplies, and have always put the biggest I could get for my buck into my other two systems without issue. Is this a legitimate concern, or is Dell just trying to get me to buy their more expensive video cards?

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December 9, 2006 4:34:27 PM

Dell are known to sometimes use the same physical connector for mainboard power (20 or 24 pins) but they wire it up differently.

Connecting a standard PSU to a Dell supplied mainboard can actually blow the board and video card. (and more).

However, in the last 18 months +, I have not heard of them doing this anymore.

But yes, it is technically possible.

This is why gurus build DIY PCs, using known industry standard mainboards, PSUs, and Video Cards.


With PSUs - You only need to ask yourself one question:

Are they on both the nVidia SLI Certified, http://www.slizone.com/object/slizone_build_psu.html#ce... , and ATI/AMD Certified, http://ati.amd.com/technology/crossfire/buildyourown2.h... , PSUs lists ?

Links:
http://www.slizone.com/object/slizone_build_psu.html#ce...
http://ati.amd.com/technology/crossfire/buildyourown2.h...
http://users.on.net/~darkpeace/psu/List_of_Recommended_...

- A 2nd question would be, is the mainboard / Dell PSU pin out electronically identical to a standard PSU ?

- Only the Dell TechDocs + Whitepapers on the PSU they supplied you, and the mainboard they supplied you can confirm this.


While this was true in the past I am 70% sure that it will work with your new PSU. - That is a 30% margin for burning alot of hardware though.
December 9, 2006 5:01:49 PM

I believe that Dell is flat out lying to you. I find it hard to believe they would risk the lawsuits by switching wires.(not to mention what mobo co is gonna make special mobos just for Dell?)

You are always better with headroom in your PS(rated more watts/amps than you need)

You can always get a different video card if ur worried. I use 7600GTs and they only use around 32watts each (X1800 is around 200 watts)

If ur scared about the wiring just look at the colors and order(yellow is 12V, Red is 5V, Orange is 3.3V and black is ground) just check they have the same colors to the same pins.
Related resources
December 9, 2006 5:27:23 PM

Quote:
(not to mention what mobo co is gonna make special mobos just for Dell?)


Dell outsource mainboard manufacturing to ECS.

It is more likely it'll work in this day and age, as it is cheaper for them just to wire it as standard, but they've always used the same 'physical' connectors to save costs.

This is why people rave about Dell 'Tech Support' (well before they got outsourced offshore from the US, etc), the reason being that people very often had to contact Dell Tech Support.

If I ran a company that size my advertising image would be, "People don't rave about our Tech Support én mass, as so few people need to call them in the first place." - DarkPeace Heavy Computing Industries. - :p 

I rest my case.
December 9, 2006 5:31:56 PM

What case..? Just because ECS makes mobos for Dell dosent mean the wiring is different.

ECS would NEVER make a different wiring order just for Dell mobos..

Please show me a link/picts that says Dell mobos are wired differently.
(than I will say im sorry and you are right)
December 9, 2006 5:58:35 PM

Quote:
What case..? Just because ECS makes mobos for Dell dosent mean the wiring is different.

ECS would NEVER make a different wiring order just for Dell mobos..

Please show me a link/picts that says Dell mobos are wired differently.
(than I will say im sorry and you are right)


Please, don't come in on a topic accusing someone of being wrong if you have no evidence.

Dell PSUs, motherboards, and many other components are often proprietary simply to stop people upgrading. Even alot of relatively recent motherboards wont fit into an ATX or BTX case - the Optiplex GX80 for example.

The fact that companies sell things like This proves Dell PSUs are different.
December 9, 2006 6:13:30 PM

Whoa, dude thx: 8) :D 
The user "darkstar782" has been added to my buddylist
December 9, 2006 6:22:35 PM

Actually the link you show is from 1998, (from when comps were changing from AT to ATX) LOL....
I find it pretty hard to believe Dell is using the same hardware today.

And I politely asked the person to show proof of something I know is wrong. I said if he had any proof I would say I was sorry. However there is no proof that ECS makes mobos wired differently for DELL.

If you are gonna attack me you better do better than trying to link since they use BTX the wiring must be different too :lol: 
December 9, 2006 6:31:57 PM

I have to second the bashing your balls post. Dell and other large system makers have been known to build proprietary parts into their systems to make you buy upgrades from them. The worst were the PSU and Motherboards. No they didn't build them themselves but don't kid yourself, if one of the worlds largest computer companies comes to your company and asks for something custom made you damn well do it. Standard PSU's have trouble fitting into dell cases... wiring is different... motherboards are different sizes..., why don't you do a search on google to find all the people that have had these problems before making blanket statements like NEVER.
December 9, 2006 7:02:39 PM

http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&sa=X&oi=spell&resn...

http://www.informit.com/articles/article.asp?p=31105&se...

http://www.quepublishing.com/articles/article.asp?p=339...
- From By Scott Mueller - "Upgrading & Repairing PCs" no less, Dated: Mar 1, 2001 ; so you never know if some of their part numbers need normal ATX, and some need 'Dell proprietry, but same physical connector' ATX

- Since they source board manufacturing from both ECS and Intel, it is quite likely that some part numbers need PSU Type A, and others need PSU Type B.

- The wrong type (either way) will damage the mainboard (and maybe RAM + Video Card + other cards, eg: Sound and NIC).

- Dell Tech Support keep this well under wraps, as it equates to vendor lock in, which = more profits.

How much more 'proof' do you need to be 'won over' ? :lol:  :p 

[No hard feelings]

Since he is using aDimension E521: http://www.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.asp... ; it is more likely ECS made the board (Intel don't manufacture nForce series mainboards), thus I am 70% sure he needs a 'Normal' ATX PSU.

(See [Make Sticky] forum thread in Power Supplies for ideas on good PSUs to get - Assuming it needs a standard one).
December 9, 2006 7:22:46 PM

OK, Ok I give my balls are bashed enough.... :D 

This has gone way off trac. To the origional post it is highly unlikely that the 24 pin is different. The links are to much older technology but there is the possibility I could be wrong :wink:

I also mentioned if he was worried to look at the colors of the wires to make sure they were the same...
December 9, 2006 7:28:27 PM

So, the possibility of Dell's deliberately poor design aside, when speaking of PSUs in general, is there any way you can use a PSU too powerful for your setup and, thus, damage other parts?
December 9, 2006 7:34:31 PM

After some prodding, a Dell techy finally gave me this answer:

"The Dimension™ E521 system board is a four-layer, BTX-compatible board based on the NVIDIA® GeForce® 6150-LE / NVIDIA nForce® 430 chipset. This system board supports the AMD Athlon™ 64 and AMD Athlon 64 X2 processors."

and then:

"Also the standard ATX complaint power supply will be compatible for this system."

What do you think?
December 9, 2006 7:57:15 PM

markkleb im sorry to say that the others are correct. i work for dell and it is true that we do use proprietary wiring in some of our PSU's we have been changing over to normal psu's for the last year and should be done within the next two quarters from what i hear. and yes the mobo are made by ECS (most of them) and why wouldnt they change their whole wiring process for us, do u have any idea how many mobo's we buy from them in a year.
December 9, 2006 8:29:38 PM

Quote:
What case..? Just because ECS makes mobos for Dell dosent mean the wiring is different.

ECS would NEVER make a different wiring order just for Dell mobos..

Please show me a link/picts that says Dell mobos are wired differently.
(than I will say im sorry and you are right)


Well thats just plain wrong. Not only would ECS do it but alot if not all mobo manu's make different boards for OEM's which is where they get a majority of thier revanues. They are alot more tested to use the limited hardware intended to go on it then the "gineric" boards that we buy at a local store or a etailer.

Now im not saying every single board is a alter of the one you buy but it use to be (not sure why it isnt now) a well known fact that OEM boards are typicaly difference then a retail board.
December 9, 2006 8:32:58 PM

Quote:
Actually the link you show is from 1998, (from when comps were changing from AT to ATX) LOL....
I find it pretty hard to believe Dell is using the same hardware today.

And I politely asked the person to show proof of something I know is wrong. I said if he had any proof I would say I was sorry. However there is no proof that ECS makes mobos wired differently for DELL.

If you are gonna attack me you better do better than trying to link since they use BTX the wiring must be different too :lol: 


I have a Dell L667r from bout 2002 that is most definitely micro-ATX and requires that adapter to use it with a non-Dell PSU.

BTW, the motherboards that ECS (and Foxconn) builds for Dell are built to Dell's specifications. So it they specify a different pin out, they'll get it. And it won't cost Dell anymore since it's a cleansheet design. They aren't using reference motherboards.
December 9, 2006 8:45:45 PM

I am really not interested in boards from 1999 or even 2002 the fact is Dell uses a standard 24 pin power plug in the mobo we are talking about. And knowing that the salesperson that told him he had to use a Dell Video card was either lying or dumb.

And to the guy that works for Dell, unless ur an engineer your 2Cents matters little.

You guys can waste all the posts in the universe the fact is say what you want but the standard ATX PS will work just fine.
December 9, 2006 9:02:08 PM

Quote:
I am really not interested in boards from 1999 or even 2002 the fact is Dell uses a standard 24 pin power plug in the mobo we are talking about. And knowing that the salesperson that told him he had to use a Dell Video card was either lying or dumb.

And to the guy that works for Dell, unless ur an engineer your 2Cents matters little.

You guys can waste all the posts in the universe the fact is say what you want but the standard ATX PS will work just fine.


The only thing that comes to mind is ignorance is bliss.
December 9, 2006 9:28:59 PM

Funny what comes to my mind is "what a putz" :lol: 
December 9, 2006 9:45:43 PM

Why is it you want to live in fictional bliss anyways.
December 9, 2006 9:59:53 PM

Quote:
So, the possibility of Dell's deliberately poor design aside, when speaking of PSUs in general, is there any way you can use a PSU too powerful for your setup and, thus, damage other parts?


The only time a PSU would damage other parts if it was too weak / over-stressed, then failed in a catastrophic way.

Getting a 880+ watt PSU, assuming the standard ATX 24 pin connector is used (and both electronically pin compatible, and physically compatible), will not damage the system.

It'll also last you at least 3 years, and most likely 5 or more years in a typical single video card system with 2-3 HDD's.

A 320 watt PSU will fail within 3-4 years on a typical system. Faster on a decked out system. (and when it fails it may take 'out of warranty' components / hardware with it).

Thus most people recommend "a quality 550+ watt PSU".

The lowest PSUs that I recommend are here: http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?nam... ; and there are good reasons why. (Future-proofing, unlikely to fail within 3-5 years, very unlikely to fail in a catastrophic way, etc).
December 9, 2006 10:57:42 PM

Hey,

Haven't seen tabris mislead anyone as of yet. And I do know for a fact, that Dell used to have oddly pinned out motherboards, in order to stop people from tampering with the computers. I makes it possible for them to make more money, if someone wants to upgrade, unless they know what they are doing, they have to go though dell.

Do your research, this stuff should be just about everywhere on google.

Like I said, they probably don't do it anymore, but simply because they did, I wouldn't want to tell this guy to plug that PSU in, without being 100% sure, it's not my money, it's his.

wes

Edit: I do agree though, the guy from dell shouldn't lie, but as you said, if he isn't an Engineer, what he said matters little. :wink:
But, like I said, it might be wise just to double check, as they claimed to have stop doing that. So, in the end you are partially correct.
December 9, 2006 11:09:48 PM

Quote:
For the past decade or so Ive had two PCs that I have constantly upgraded rather than buying a new one. Through my various upgrades, Ive had to change the power supplies a few times. Ive always just thought that the more power you have in a supply the better, and that anything extra remains harmlessly contained in case your system needs it.

This last week I received a new Dell Dimension E521 PC. I didn't order it with a video card because I thought I could get a better deal elsewhere, and sure enough I did. My new video card requires 350W and my Dell came with 305W, so today I went out and grabbed a 500W power supply for a super good deal. When I contacted Dell tech support to see if it would be compatible with my system I was warned that I shouldnt put a bigger power supply in (or I might risk "serious damage" to key system components) and that instead I should buy a video card from Dell.com that didn't use so much power. Ive never heard of such a risk from higher power supplies, and have always put the biggest I could get for my buck into my other two systems without issue. Is this a legitimate concern, or is Dell just trying to get me to buy their more expensive video cards?


To ALL you people (not my first choice of words) that just have to get your 2 cents in at least read the origional post......
I get it Dell used different PS "Back in the Day" This is 2006 NOW!!!! They use Regular ATX Power Supplies...

Please refer to the origional post and stop hijacking this thread to make your selfs feel better by trying to make me look like I am wrong.
December 9, 2006 11:14:48 PM

I don't think that is the case, being cautious is what I am doing. I wouldn't tell him to just blindly plug it in, hell, maybe dell is using a BTX standard in that case, I don't know, I haven't opened it up. I doubt it, but who the hell knows. All I am saying is, he should double check before just plugging her in. Even if I onwed a Dell, I would double check the wire, even though they have claimed to stop doing it as long ago as 2002. All the horror stories would make me nervous.

wes
!