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Should I run my spec on a 300w PSU?

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August 28, 2007 4:33:06 PM

Hi all,

I'm running the following spec on a 300w PSU and wondered about general opinions on whether this would work OK or not?

1 x SATA 7,200 RPM HDD
1 x DVD/CD writer (IDE)
1 x Abit SG95 motherboard (socket 775)
1 x Core 2 Duo E4300
2 x TV tuner cards (HVR1300 and standard PCI DVB card)
1 x Zalman CNPS8000 heat sink/fan
1 x PCI based quiet 120mm fan (for sucking out hot air)
1 x Nvidia 7600GS
2 x USB devices (wireless 2.4 GHz keyboard and IR receiver)

Thoughts? Thanks.

More about : run spec 300w psu

August 28, 2007 4:55:36 PM

If the PSU is bad quality I suppose it could get critical.
August 28, 2007 5:18:21 PM

BazSolo said:
Hi all,

I'm running the following spec on a 300w PSU and wondered about general opinions on whether this would work OK or not?

1 x SATA 7,200 RPM HDD
1 x DVD/CD writer (IDE)
1 x Abit SG95 motherboard (socket 775)
1 x Core 2 Duo E4300
2 x TV tuner cards (HVR1300 and standard PCI DVB card)
1 x Zalman CNPS8000 heat sink/fan
1 x PCI based quiet 120mm fan (for sucking out hot air)
1 x Nvidia 7600GS
2 x USB devices (wireless 2.4 GHz keyboard and IR receiver)

Thoughts? Thanks.


Might be a little close for comfort as the 7600GS would suck up most of what an average 300W power supply can muster leaving little for the rest of the system. The plus side is the E4300 only takes about 45W on it's own making it one of the least power hungry processors in the Core 2 Duo line up. I have read that TV Tuners take a good deal of power on their own also. My oppinion would be that it probably won't cut it. You might be able to use windows but I bet if you play any games you will likely freeze up.
Related resources
August 28, 2007 5:19:30 PM

The PSU came with my Media Centre case:

http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?acti...

I did a check on a on-line power checker and it came back as a 214w requirement. However, I keep getting system crashes and have so far replaced memory and graphics card - about to change motherboard.

Just wanted to rule out the PSU as a possible cause..." target="_blank">http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?acti...

I did a check on a on-line power checker and it came back as a 214w requirement. However, I keep getting system crashes and have so far replaced memory and graphics card - about to change motherboard.

Just wanted to rule out the PSU as a possible cause...
August 28, 2007 5:27:18 PM

BazSolo said:
The PSU came with my Media Centre case:

http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?acti...

I did a check on a on-line power checker and it came back as a 214w requirement. However, I keep getting system crashes and have so far replaced memory and graphics card - about to change motherboard.

Just wanted to rule out the PSU as a possible cause..." target="_blank">http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?acti...

I did a check on a on-line power checker and it came back as a 214w requirement. However, I keep getting system crashes and have so far replaced memory and graphics card - about to change motherboard.

Just wanted to rule out the PSU as a possible cause...


That would lead me back to my original feeling of the PSU being inadequite for your setup. If your going to replace components, might as well replace the PSU as well as you can pick up a 450W fairly cheaply these days.

EDIT: Even though a watt calculator came up with 214 watts required, that doesn't really mean it's accurate. Also, you say you have a 300 watt power supply that came with your case - Most power supplies that come with cases tend to be of a low quality which can also translate into most likely not supplying it's stated "max" wattage. Some power supplies also state on the spec sticker something like "250 watt output (300 watt peak)" which means its really a 250 watt power supply.
August 28, 2007 5:46:51 PM

timinator said:
the 7600GS would suck up most of what an average 300W power supply can muster



A 7600GS uses less than 6A since it doesn't have an external power connector. The 7600GT is the same. Let's say the GS uses 4-5A. That's more like 1/3 of what an average 300W PS can muster.

OP- you're right on the borderline with your setup, assuming that your PSU is average quality. If you want peace of mind or plan to upgrade the video card or add drives, get a new PSU. Otherwise, don't.
August 28, 2007 6:32:29 PM

OK, thanks for the opinions. Sounds like it's not worth chancing it, let's get a new one!

The Antec is a pretty small case. Any recommendations on a new PSU for the case?

PS - Why is trying to gauge the PSU you need such an inexact science!?
August 28, 2007 6:44:13 PM

Actually it's as exact as it can get scientifically. It's just that you have a huge variety of components involved, and you have big differences in quality regarding PSU's. And you have the lack of customer awareness; people don't pay enough attention to the PSU when they build. Lots of permutations possible here...
August 28, 2007 7:06:48 PM

So, any recommendations then?

BTW, I've just looked at the PSU that came in the case, and it says 300w. BUT, it says, +5v +3.3v max. output 195w.

It looks like a need a new PSU, but which one for such a small case?
a b ) Power supply
August 29, 2007 1:29:45 AM

BazSolo

Bad news:

The Antec NSK1300 (formerly Antec Aria) has a proprietary PSU. You cannot simply buy an off the shelf micro PSU and stick it in there. Also, Antec does not sell a more powerful PSU for that case.

Good news:

I built my HTPC using the Antec Aria. It has no problems powering the following:

Athlon XP-M 2600+
AIW Radeon 9600XT
2GB of RAM
3 Hard Drives
1 DVD Drive
1 Sound Card

Let's take a look at your rig. The following is the power consumption on the 12v rail assuming every single component is being stressed at 100% (ie. the worse possible situation):

Core 2 Duo E4300.....................................................44w *
Nvidia 7600GS..........................................................28w **
1 Hard Drive.............................................................15w
1 DVD Drive..............................................................15w
1 120mm Fan (not the one in the PCI slot)......................6w

Total estimated max power consumption on 12v rail.......108w
Total estimate max amp consumption on 12v rail...............9a (108w / 12v)

The max power consumption on the 3.3v/5v rails should be as follows:

Abit SG95 motherboard................................................50w (This is a high estimate)
2 TV Tuner Cards........................................................28w ***
Hard Drive..................................................................6w (this is for the read/write head motor)
DVD Drive...................................................................6w (this is for the read/write head motor)
PCI slot 120mm fan......................................................6w

Total estimated max power consumption on 3.3v5v rails....96w

Total estimated max power consumption........................204w

* This is the power consumption for the E6300. The E4300 should not be higher than this.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/core2duo-shootout_11.html#sect0



** This is based on an underclocked 7600GT.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/power-noise_6.html#sect0



*** Based on some research I've done a couple of years ago. PCI cards generally consume only 8w - 14w, unless it's a PCI graphics card (yes, they are still being sold).

-------------------------------------------------------------

The 300w PSU is able to provide 18 amps on the 12v rail, or 216w. The theoretical max load on the 12v rail based on your proposed build is half that. Since the total combined max power consumption is estimated to be 204w. That means you still have a theoretical 96w of power left on tap under full load. That's a good buffer.

a b ) Power supply
August 29, 2007 1:35:16 AM

Oops. I forgot the RAM (so did you).

I assume you will be using 2GB of RAM. RAM draws power from the 3.3v rail so add another 10w to your max power consumption.
August 29, 2007 6:10:56 AM

Hey thanks jaguar, that's the answer I wanted to hear! :wahoo: 

Yes, I did forget the RAM, but I actually only have 1GB, so sounds like I should be OK.

Thanks for everybody's help on this. In which case let's hope changing the motherboard solves my crash problems! It's not fun when your media centre just starts crashing when you're watching TV, and you're wife keeps saying "I told you not to spend all that money on that damn PC!".

PS - I have two TV tuner cards:

http://www.hauppauge.co.uk/pages/products/data_hvr1300....
http://www.hauppauge.co.uk/pages/products/data_novat500...

Will these take up a lot of power, or are they fairly standard PCI devices?
a b ) Power supply
August 30, 2007 12:35:28 AM

I have no idea how much power those TV tuner cards will consume. Like I said, based on some research most PCI cards consumes 8w - 14w. Excluding graphic cards.

The PCI interface is designed to provide a maximum of 25w. Usually when a graphics card pulls near the maximum watts a port can provide, the graphics card will have a power connector that will tap directly into the power supply itself.

----------------------

As for the crashing issue...

I assume you have two TV tuner cards for recording and watching at the same time. You might have a driver conflict of some sort, maybe a fresh install is in order.

Simply watching something on the TV through the PC will not draw a lot of power from the CPU, video card and the TV tuner card. Just to make sure, just have one of the two TV tuner cards installed and see if the PC crashes.

August 30, 2007 1:13:03 AM

I have the same problem that you're having.

When I watch/record TV, a movie or something similar, my pc will crash and I have to reboot, but it only happens when I do two or more tasks at the same time.

I have a 300 PSu, P4 3.0 ghz, video capture card and a 6600gtoc.

My guess is that mine is overheating and crashing.
Since mine is a P4 and not a C2D, and it draws more
power from the PSU.

If I were you, I'll try 1 capture card at a time, if it works ok, then add the 2nd.
If not, replace the PSU first, then try again 1 card at a time.
Also try reinstalling the drivers for 1 card at a time then for both.
As someone said, you may have a driver conflict.
August 30, 2007 8:04:29 AM

I've been going through a systematic replacement of hardware, and have already re-installed Windows.

I was originally only using one TV tuner card, and I still had the problem then.

My crashes (freezes, however the computer seemed to still be working in the background, logging events etc) were very random, only happening every 4-7 days.

I replaced memory, graphics card and have now replaced the motherboard. It's been in for 2 days and so far, so good.

It's not the OS, so I've been trying to rule out each component at a time, in likelihood order.

Betunn - if you think it's overheating, do the same as I did to check this:

1. Run a stress test (just google an app, there's loads out there).
2. Leave it running. If the PC crashes, use your BIOS to check the temperature and see if it's within thresholds.
3. Then, run the PC with the same stress test with the case off and perhaps an external fan pointed at it and see if the problem recurs.
a b ) Power supply
August 31, 2007 3:39:51 AM

Technically speaking, the Antec 300w PSU shouldn't have any problems powering your PC. The fact that your PC crashes (but background functions seems to be ok) suggest a driver issue more than anything else.

It could possibly be bad RAM, but you said you replaced it. However, just to be sure Google for a program called MEMTest to test your RAM.

Are you running Windows XP or Vista?
!