I recently bought a new monitor (Acer 24" widescreen - bad buy, but that is another subject) and a new video card - ATI Radeon HD 3850, and I suspect I now need a power supply that can handle this load. The problem I am having manifests itself only when playing 3D games or videos. It will not play long before I get a BSOD which points to ati2dvag.dll being stuck in an infinite loop. I have updated the chipset drivers and video card drivers, and used driver cleaner pro to assure a fresh driver install. My system has an MSI K8N Neo4 Ultra mother board, and Kingston RAM.
It seems that the weakest link is the PSU, which is the one that came with my XION case, 450w no name. I am no expert, but it would seem to me that the new video card is drawing more power than the PSU can supply to run the big widescreen monitor. If that seems like a flawed conclusion please let me know also, but what I need is recommendations on a good (but not over priced) PSU for this setup.
A real 450W PSU should be able to handle that card, but a no-name 450 is probably good for maybe 250 before its outputs start to wander away from the ATX standard. Since this could include dumping all kinds of electrical noise into your system, you may be shortening its life considerably. In your place I would replace it ASAP.
If it really isn't an ATI driver problem (i.e. old drivers not properly cleared out) then a it most likely the PSU. Using a cheap PSU for decent gear like that is a recipe for disaster and as the capacitors age in the PSU a fault is more likely to develop. I believe that I actually damaged a cheap MB by running it off a cheap no-name PSU (it posts obscure errors RAM now whatever combination of RAM sticks I use). I have had another system I built (an early one ) with a case bundled el-cheapo PSU. The PSU blew up after a few months usage and took out a RAM stick (thankfully that was under warranty)!!
A 3850 does not need much juice (being just a die shrink of the 2900 card) and Corsair 450 VX would run your rig like a charm I am sure.
like bob said "using a cheap psu for decent gear is a recipe for disaster"(good quote bob) .your psu is your comps adrenal gland ,it keeps it going .work upwards spend on a psu then buy components,you can get a corsair tx650 quite cheap in the uk but if u r in the states i dont know prices.good luck
Thanks for all the advice. I ordered the 450VX. Its 69.99 right now with a $20.00 rebate, so 50 bucks for these features and excellent reviews seems like a good deal. I appreciate the quick replies and good advice.