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Just got my 3870 and it works with my 350 Sparkle PSU

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December 19, 2007 3:13:13 AM

I just got my 3870 in today and it actually works with my 350w psu. Even though its a low wattage it actually supplies the required amps. I haven't tried overclocking it yet, but I thought I'd post incase some people were wondering what kind of PSU they really need to run one of these. I haven't had enough time with it to really burn it in but I tried CoD4,HL: Lost Coast, and the Lost PLanet dx10 demo and it ran well.

I have:

Athlon X2 4400 (very slightly overclocked to run the ram at 400mhz, no voltage increase)
2 500gb hdd's one from seagate the other from samsung
1 dvd burner
1 sapphire 3870
Biostar TF7025-M2 motherboard

Here's a link to the PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
December 19, 2007 4:48:22 AM

that psu is a piece of crap
December 19, 2007 6:40:28 AM

I don't know what the current rating on it is, but it seems to me that you're pushing it.
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December 19, 2007 7:46:25 AM

So long as its working, what does it matter?
a c 172 U Graphics card
December 19, 2007 7:48:57 AM

LOL, thats great. Start praying now that in six months time when your PSU gives out that it doesn't take your shiny new video card with it. Assuming the 3870 is like the 2900 series, you are 100W and possibly 10amps to short.
December 19, 2007 9:26:52 AM

Not at all 474
I have a 3850 running on my 380 Watt and it's been fine for a long time.
These cards simply don't need much power.
a b U Graphics card
December 19, 2007 9:56:04 AM

If you check the part number it is a rebbadged Fortron power supply. A tier 3 power supply.
Most Sparkle power supplys are rebadged Fortrons. but not all.
December 19, 2007 11:19:06 AM

Quote:
Well when the unit blows from overloading, and takes out half your hardware with it, you'll be able to post here and tell us why wont you?
Besides when you overload something, its not as efficient meaning it burns more energy and creates a lot more heat, in turn causing it to have a short life span.


If there are going to be problems with the amount power available he is going to get a warning first. Windows should throw up a message about not enough power being supplied to the video card as this happened to me with my old 6600GT, if there isn't enough power the video card will simple run at lower speeds. I never heard of a PSU taking out a computer from overloading.
December 19, 2007 11:34:34 AM

agreed.I've had my share of psu problems in the past.And every time a problem happened Windows recognized it and either rebooted or shut down completely. Not saying a meltdown couldn't happen, but it has not been my experience that it does happen.
December 19, 2007 11:49:23 AM

I'm running an 8800GTX on a 430W PSU - absolutely no problems either.
a b U Graphics card
December 19, 2007 12:16:39 PM

I don't think you're overloading your system at the moment.
Your PSU actually looks decent for your hardware.
http://www.sparklepower.com/pdf/ATX-350PN.pdf
Your system is probably drawing less than 300 watts total under gaming load.
Keep us updated on how it goes with your GPU overclocking.
December 19, 2007 12:16:49 PM

hmmm at 350W the card probably won't be able to perform as well under full load. It probably will stick to idling at 300 mhz core speed.
December 19, 2007 12:46:22 PM

bfellow said:
hmmm at 350W the card probably won't be able to perform as well under full load. It probably will stick to idling at 300 mhz core speed.


Surely idling at that speed is a great idea? Saving on both power and noise. Also what people seem to be forgetting is that these GPUs are made using a 55nm process, which makes them a lot more efficient (clock for clock) than other GPUs. So even if their clocks are higher it will still use similar amounts of power to an nVidia card. If i remember correctly the 8800GT is on 65nm and the GTX on 80nm, which is a fair amount larger than 55nm.

If you look at the tomshardware review you can see that a whole system including an HD3850 draws only 234W at load! According to the chart you can even use an 8800GTX on a 350 Watt PSU.

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/11/15/amd_radeon_hd_38...

I also have no idea where all this nonesense about a bad PSU taking out half a system with it. I've had about 3 PSU failures since i've been building PCs (10-15 years or so) and not one of them has ever damaged any components. All the other people i've talked to have said the same thing, that their PSU failing did not cause any collateral damage.
December 19, 2007 1:11:29 PM

Ditto. As a computer tech, all I can say is cool you saved $50 or $60 dollars. You better keep thet money you saved cause your gonna need it if/when that thing blows out your entire system. I've seen them take out everything including IDE cables.

Its a gamble I wouldnt be willing to take. Just because it works dont mean its smart. The power supply is your systems heart. If your heart dont pump enough blood your brain wont get enough oxygen.

My CPU will run a 3.8 and soar over 70c. Do I run it simply because I can? No! I run it where it can run for a long period of time. 3.4.
December 19, 2007 5:05:45 PM

Wow u are running a 3870 on a 12v rail. Not dual, one! And you only have like 12 amps. Worst then my Dell 305watt psu.
December 19, 2007 6:21:23 PM

aznstriker92 said:
Wow u are running a 3870 on a 12v rail. Not dual, one! And you only have like 12 amps. Worst then my Dell 305watt psu.


:??:  It looks to me like the sparkle 350w in question has a maximum of 25A available on two 12V rails.

That's pretty respectable for a 350w PSU...
a c 172 U Graphics card
December 19, 2007 6:32:58 PM

I noticed the label matched those from FSP, I was pretty sure they are made by the same people. I know the 3870 is more power efficient then the 2900 series, but I do think they will overload that PSU at some point. Great for him if it works, but I'd replace it before something goes bad.
December 19, 2007 6:37:47 PM

Quote:
that psu is a piece of crap


Care to explain dude? I heard that sparkle PSU's are some of the best.
a c 172 U Graphics card
December 19, 2007 6:58:48 PM

While not pieces of crap, they aren't among the best either. I have no reason to doubt the tier 3 claim, thats about where I would put them. They aren't PCP&C or SeaSonic, but they aren't Apieva or kingwin either.

As I said, my issue with it is the lack of power. If this is the PSU from the last build, its already been put under some strain. Throw in a bunch more powerful things, and I'm not 100% certain that it will hold up.
December 19, 2007 7:00:43 PM

Just because something doesn't immediately explode, that doesn't necessarily make it a good idea.

Doesn't mean it's doomed to fail either. But it's very likely that PSU is getting pushed past it's operational limits, in which case it won't last too long...
December 20, 2007 3:07:22 AM

I actually intend to buy another PSU, as I didn't think it would even run on the 350 watt. I've been thinking about getting the antec earthwatts 500. Is that a good choice? I don't plan to ever use crossfire. How would I go about checking the total wattage of my system so I can see where its really at when I play games?
a c 109 U Graphics card
December 20, 2007 4:25:25 AM

Well considering that PSU(the on you linked to) can channel 300 watts into its 12 volt rails, i do not think it is being overloaded(hell if those specs are accurate, its more power then my system uses with its 8800GTX)....Recheck the PSU, if it is in fact the dual rail model(there was an older single rail 18 amp one for the record i DO have both. not that i ever loaded then over 200 watts).


Either way the 3XXX cards are quite a bit more power friendly then the 2XXX series.

Look in my more info/view config.....the full system loaded to the nuts 100% cpu 100% video ect uses less then 350 watts from the wall...take off Step-Down/AC-DC conversion and i am under 300w load on the psu...

Not saying its a great idea, but the psu will get extremely hot(louder too) and I think you would see signs before the psu blows.

On the comment of PSU's blowing up, Allot of it has to do with poor power conditions that weaken the units to the failing point.
December 20, 2007 4:43:15 AM

I killed one power supply, thanks to overclocking my Pentium 4 a couple of years ago, and I vowed to not completely cheap out again, if only so that I don't have to worry about my computer being down at inopportune times.

I had a "JPAC" 500 Watt PSU, that weighed about half as much as the Antec I replaced it with...

Nowadays, I look for SLI certification as a minimum requirement, even if I have no intent of ever running dual graphics cards...just so that I know I've got the headroom, and if a fan on my PSU dies, it won't overheat and nuke itself.

Seriously, why pay $30 every two months when you can pay $80 in one sum, and not have to replace your PSU again?
December 20, 2007 4:44:05 AM

Quote:
Those of you that have never seen an overloaded power supply take out hardware, obviously have never worked in a computer store. LOL. Ive seen it happen at least 10 times. 1 of those times the entire pc caught on fire.


lol, it has happened to alot more than 10 of our customers. I have people bring in their comps and they say "Hey my comp doesnt work, what could it be!" My answer: Probably the fact that your power supply cords are melted to your motherboard...but im no expert lets test it just to be sure. Oh it doesnt turn on you say? Thats strange? lol. Believe us people it may not happen as much, but it can happen and you dont want to be one of those people who says oh it wont happen to me and then it happens...its not a good feeling.

Best,

3Ball
December 20, 2007 4:52:52 AM

I know that is the one I ordered but I'll double check to make sure it has the 2, 12v rails. I still want to get a bigger psu prolly after christmas and I have a little more money. Atleast I feel a little better about using it for the time being.
December 20, 2007 5:31:23 AM

JeanLuc said:
If there are going to be problems with the amount power available he is going to get a warning first. ...


Yep; the PSU will warn him before it blows. Dream on.
a c 172 U Graphics card
December 20, 2007 6:02:25 AM

astrotrain1000 said:
I actually intend to buy another PSU, as I didn't think it would even run on the 350 watt. I've been thinking about getting the antec earthwatts 500. Is that a good choice? I don't plan to ever use crossfire. How would I go about checking the total wattage of my system so I can see where its really at when I play games?


The Earthwatts 380 would probably be enough, though I'd get the 430 just to be on the safe side. It would suck if you had to buy another PSU cause you bought the 4xxx series card and its power usage was much higher.
December 20, 2007 12:15:12 PM

I have also seen PSU’s destroy PC’s.

One that i will never forget burned black marks on the ATI 8500 graphics card that was in the PC, and melted parts of the motherboard.

I had an issue with my AMD FX53, 6800GT and 4x WD Raptor HDD’s. The PSU was support to be a 500Watt psu, but I found that at load it was struggling to push 400watt. Crap PSU.

I was lucky as I did not destroy the PC but had endless strange issues including boot up problems, USB issues, benchmarks failing, games crashing, windows crashing, memory errors and HEAT!!!!

Do not underestimate heat or the lack of power. :fou: 

Even running at the very limit is never a good idea. Rather have too much power and spend a bit more on a good PSU than potentially destroy hardware or struggle with strange, seemingly, component hardware related issues/errors.
December 20, 2007 1:22:16 PM

Im starting to think that a minimum for nowadays is 500W dual rail
December 20, 2007 2:15:00 PM

I'm running my 2900xt on love.
December 20, 2007 2:39:51 PM

babybudha said:
I'm running my 2900xt on love.


I'm doing the same with my 8800gtx
the 800watt PSU helps a bit though ;) 

seriously, my PSU in the first PC i built took EVERYTHING with it in its downfall...
800 watt may be a bit much for a single 8800gtx and q6600, but after this incident I say better too much than too few...
a c 193 U Graphics card
December 20, 2007 2:44:51 PM

A quality PSU, when overloaded, will give warnings and/or shut down before just dying, and should protect the components to which it is attached. A cheap one, however, when overloaded may give no warning at all before letting the magic blue smoke out of something(s). It has happened to me (lost a 440mx, a modem, and I think the CPU). My current PSUs are all good ones, and any in the future will be too.
December 20, 2007 6:27:19 PM

TurdBurglar said:
:??:  It looks to me like the sparkle 350w in question has a maximum of 25A available on two 12V rails.

That's pretty respectable for a 350w PSU...

really? maybe I read the specs wrong....
December 20, 2007 7:25:45 PM

25 amps on the 12+ rails...it's not bad. 3870 doesn't require much power, so you're not really pushing anything.
December 20, 2007 8:30:29 PM

Quote:
Well when the unit blows from overloading, and takes out half your hardware with it, you'll be able to post here and tell us why wont you?
Besides when you overload something, its not as efficient meaning it burns more energy and creates a lot more heat, in turn causing it to have a short life span.


While I agree that a budget power supply can fail and cause problems, the 3870's just don't need as much power as the X2900XT's. It all depends on what else he has in his system.

quantumsheep said:

I also have no idea where all this nonesense about a bad PSU taking out half a system with it. I've had about 3 PSU failures since i've been building PCs (10-15 years or so) and not one of them has ever damaged any components. All the other people i've talked to have said the same thing, that their PSU failing did not cause any collateral damage.


When I built a couple of systems last February, I took the SL-400TF PSU out of a new AM2 MSI Nvidia 6100 barebones and used it in an old Northwood system. The Northwood's Coolermaster Realpower 450 went into the new AM2 build because it's a better PSU, even though it only has 22 amps on the 12 volt rails.

Well, the budget PSU died about two months later and took the old i865 board and the X1650 Pro AGP with it before I could replace it with a better PSU. The hard drive was fine. I don't have a socket 478 spare board, so I never tested the CPU.

I took a chance instead of just putting the Northwood in the closet until I could get a better PSU. On the other hand, a friend has a RAIDMAX 350 watt PSU in his RAIDMAX case, and it's been going good for well over a year. So, you can never tell. That Sparkle PSU might just survive and not fry anything, but depending on what he has in his box, it might not have enough power for everything at load.

Now, I have an Antec Neo 550 and a Truepower 500 in my two AMD 690G AM2 systems, much more dependable than a budget PSU and the Neo was $79 at Fry's while the Truepower was $49, and they have Seasonic components. Never trust the PSU that comes with a case or a barebones unless you can handle the risk.

I also won't buy a PSU without active PFC.
December 20, 2007 9:19:59 PM

What people don't realise is that just because something is working, does not mean it is working right. What you don't know about PSU's obviously is the fact that not only the wattage or the amperage is important, the noise factor on the line and the power fluctuations are very important factors that will determine the lifespan of the whole system and its components. Yes your graphics card works fine now, but why do you think your hard drives or something else will say goodbye to this world in a few months time? A good example to give you an idea is a driver that drives his car smoothly applying gas or brakes (high quality PSU) and a driver that pushes the pedals all the way down and up violently (low quality PSU). What do you think will happen to the 2nd car? Both cars drive (like you claim that your PSU is working fine so what?). But one of them is going to have serious problems soon. Having a good quality PSU and a UPS will maximise your chances of those components in your PC to last for years to come. That is the difference why my HD's never fail anymore in 1 year's time or i will come home one day and the PC is off and won't switch on any more. If your PC is just a gaming rig for which you don't care if something burns out and will simply reinstall everything, then go ahead use the cheapest you can find. If you value your data though (and even your saved games), then you should opt for at least a good quality PSU.
a c 109 U Graphics card
December 20, 2007 9:48:11 PM

but FSP psu's are not bad(not tops, but not like those old ultra and turbo gamer ect....).....we are not talking about raidmax here :)  ....
December 21, 2007 2:58:27 AM

Well I just got a $50 best buy gift card for christmas and I know they carry the antec earthwatts 500 I mentioned in a previous post. Can anyone tell me if this is a quality psu?
December 21, 2007 3:19:45 AM

34amps
not the best or worst
bang for the bucker
a c 109 U Graphics card
December 21, 2007 4:25:54 AM

I have the earthwatts 430, its quiet and the 80+ is the reason I got it.

I can not comment on loads since its running a system that takes about 130watts(the overall savings from my 65% psu allowed me to get a faster cpu and video(i just wanted TV out) while taking the same power as the old machine it replaced....)

But so far it seems to be a good psu for the price($36 or so after rebate). Did i mention quiet :)  and 80+
!