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Dell 305W PSU enough for my ATI HD 3850?

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November 25, 2007 8:05:08 PM

I recently have a Dell e520 desktop computer with these specs.

core2duo e6420
ati hd 3850
2gb ddr2-667
320gb sata harddrive
16x dvd+-rw drive
audigy 2 soundcard

Dell 305W PSU with "2" rails at
+12VA@18A and +12VB@18A

I installed the Sapphire ATI HD 3850 videocard with the PCIe power adapter and I have no problems for the past few days playing Crysis, Call of Duty 4, and Bioshock.

But, is my PSU supplying enough watts for my system. is 305 watts enough? should I buy a new PSU or just keep what I have? Thanks in advance.

More about : dell 305w psu ati 3850

November 25, 2007 8:26:31 PM

yes, that should be enough for your system on the 12v rails. The computer will only draw however many watts it needs from the psu. The psu will draw more from the wall than it needs though.
November 25, 2007 8:54:51 PM

305W is way on the low side, you might be able to get by for now but the hd3850 draws 105W just by itself and your system is probably putting a strain on the PSU.
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November 25, 2007 9:05:40 PM

Ya your good Dell PSU's are underrated generally by 75 watts. But if you had a hog like a 2900xt or an 8800 gtx or even gts you might be really close to your peak and would have crashing problems. PSU specs and actual watts are so out of whack, super gaming systems pull a max of 400 watts but you have to add on a 20% inefficient rating.
November 25, 2007 9:08:58 PM

In response to the other guy, that is 105 watt under max load, your system underload in total is drawing most likely 265 watt, you are fine people have no clue what there talking about when it comes to PSU, actual power draw and what is recomended are two different things.
a b ) Power supply
November 25, 2007 9:49:12 PM

those Dells seem to have a low power rating, but it is because they do not put much 3.3v or 5v in(they know its not used as much as it once was, when was that last time you actually worried about having 45 amps on the 5 volt rail?).

there is still enough 12 to run the card in question....

as for the "The psu will draw more from the wall than it needs though."
Not quite, it draws what it needs to make the required output. There is a loss in the conversion process(power conversion efficiency), but its not like a 700 watt psu running a 250 watt system will use 700 watts. It will use around 300-325 for an average PSU(unless its an Antec TP 380s, wow that thing is inefficient)....

For the record my system draws around 330 watts from the wall(so less with the loss in power conversion)....its listed in my specs......so i think you are good to go....
November 25, 2007 10:22:33 PM

Thanks for the advices guys. It looks like I will be using the PSU I have now. If I start to get random lockups or freezes. I'll just buy a new PSU.
a b ) Power supply
November 25, 2007 10:33:10 PM

Just get a better PSU. Your PSU will fail in about another 5 months. Make sure you keep a back up of your files as a random reboots has a real chance of corrupting files and some times can even make your HDD sectors bad. ( Happened to one of my friend who didn't listen)


"Dude you got a Dell!"lol.
!