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Upgrading -- do I need a new Power Supply as well?

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November 1, 2008 12:36:30 AM

Howdy folks! Could someone help me out with some good tech advice?

I am upgrading my computer just a little bit (CPU, GPU, RAM) to hold me off until the new CPU and Motherboards come out. Since my power requirements will increase, I wonder if I need to upgrade the Power Supply as well, or can I get by with the one I have?

Current System:




Here are the parts I plan to buy:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+ Brisbane 2.9GHz Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor Model ADO5600DOBOX - Retail $79.99

EVGA 512-P3-N860-TR GeForce 9600 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail $109.99

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-2GBNQ - Retail $36.99 (after instant savings)


What do you think? New Power Supply? Or Can I get by?

P.S. I have Windows XP Pro 32bit. I am buying the extra 2GB RAM because it's cheap and I like the idea of having back-up RAM on hand in case the first 2GB dies.

More about : upgrading power supply

a b ) Power supply
November 1, 2008 12:49:42 AM

Your current PSU has a efficiency rating of 76%, I would recommend this Earthwatts EA420
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The wattage should be more than enough for the parts you are using and the efficiency of this PSU should help it pay for itself by lowering your electric bills.
November 1, 2008 12:51:41 AM

I think it should be good enough, as the cpu and GPU will use about the same amount of power. But a decent PSU won,t heart just be sure to get a good brand.
Related resources
November 1, 2008 1:24:19 AM

Thanks guys!

I was planning on going all out when the new CPU and motherboards come out, but wanted to keep the cost down for now. When I do build a new system I have planned a $150 budget for the Power Supply alone which should last well into the future.

Anyway, if I do not need a new Power Supply with the CPU and GPU upgrade I have listed, I would prefer to save the money for now.

Thanks again! Cheers!
November 1, 2008 2:14:20 AM

Yeah, I really think your current power supply will work just fine.
November 1, 2008 2:32:31 AM

Kool man! Thanks for the affirmation!
a b ) Power supply
November 1, 2008 7:50:54 AM

PSU should be fine for now. Definately upgrade when you upgrade the rest. You might also want to update to the latest BIOS, before you install you new CPU. Don't know if there might be any issues there, but it's much easier to update the BIOS before you install the new CPU. Just a thought that you might consider.
Personally I think your original 2 gb's should be fine for now. I don't think spending $37 more for RAM that you might not need right now is a good idea. Your probably going to want to go with 2x2gb sticks later, so you can upgrade 8gb's later. You might find out that your going to need to buy DDR3 for the next platform and the 2 x 1gb sticks will just be lying on the shelf not being used.
November 1, 2008 4:03:45 PM

Thanks for the advice!

I agree, I should update the bios before installing the new CPU, just to be safe. Otherwise the project could turn out more frustrating than ought to be.

As far as the extra 2GB RAM, I thought I should get it now before they stop selling them. That way, I'll have back-up parts for this computer, which will be rotated in to replace my linux server when I build the new system.

I agree about the 2x2gb ddr3 ram sticks, for that will be a requirement for the new motherboard/cpu combos, I'm sure.
November 1, 2008 4:24:44 PM

Are you guys sure I don't need a new Power Supply? According to EVGA's website, the Geforce 9600GT requires a Minimum of a 400 Watt power supply for single card mode. (Minimum recommended power supply with +12 Volt current rating of 26 Amps.)

My current Power Supply has two twelve volt rails, specifically, a +12v1 18Amp and 12v2 16Amp output perameter. Manufacturers link.

My current Power Supply makes only 350 watts available to the two 12volt rails. Source Link

My old video card only required a Minimum of a 350 watt power supply. (Minimum recommended power supply with +12 Volt current rating of 18 Amps.), in which my Power Supply was sufficient.

So it seems that I absolutely have to upgrade my Power Supply, if I want to install and run the new video card. Or am I misunderstanding what the Power Supply requirements are for the new card?

Could someone enlighten me on this issue? I may be confused on the method for determining Power Supply requirements.
a b ) Power supply
November 1, 2008 7:08:13 PM

No you don't need to upgrade your PSU just yet. Do I recommend that you do, yes, but your current PSU puts out 29.1A on the 12v rails (see picture below) and is plenty for the 9600gt. The 9600gt only consumes about 61w at peak, check my link in my signature "GPU Power". I currently have several systems running a 9600gt with an Antec 380w PSU (27A on the 12v rails) and don't have any issues whatsoever. So long story short is that you don't need to change your current PSU to accommodate the 9600gt.

Equation for figuring total Amps on the 12v rail: Watts / voltage = Total Amps.
If you look at the combined wattage on the 12v1 and the 12v2 rails it says it's 350w.

So using the equation we plug in the #'s: 350w / 12v = Total Amps. This equals 29.1A!!!
November 1, 2008 7:49:42 PM

lunyone said:
No you don't need to upgrade your PSU just yet. Do I recommend that you do, yes, but your current PSU puts out 29.1A on the 12v rails (see picture below) and is plenty for the 9600gt. The 9600gt only consumes about 61w at peak, check my link in my signature "GPU Power". I currently have several systems running a 9600gt with an Antec 380w PSU (27A on the 12v rails) and don't have any issues whatsoever. So long story short is that you don't need to change your current PSU to accommodate the 9600gt.
{...snip...}

Equation for figuring total Amps on the 12v rail: Watts / voltage = Total Amps.
If you look at the combined wattage on the 12v1 and the 12v2 rails it says it's 350w.

So using the equation we plug in the #'s: 350w / 12v = Total Amps. This equals 29.1A!!!


Awesome, lunyone! Thanks alot for the explanation.

I was reading a few Power Supply guides and did that same calculation just a few minutes ago, but I wasn't sure if I was including everything in my calculation. I took the 350 watts total power available to the two 12v rails. Divided by 12 volts and came up with the amperage rating of 29.167, just like you said. But, aren't other devices (example: CPU requires 65watts) dependant on those same 12v rails? Where are they going to get current if my video card requires almost all that is available from both 12v rails?

I'm reading the links in your signature now. Very extensive and vigorously thorough explanations. Great job!
a b ) Power supply
November 1, 2008 8:53:01 PM

Thank you for your kind words. I try and be as thorough as I can be when explaining things. I had to learn from others to get to this point, so I try and help out when I can.
* CPU might require 65w, but that would be just 5.4A on one of the 12v rails. IIRC the CPU is usually on it's own 12v rail and the PCI-e is on the other 12v rail. This would allow about 175w (roughly) for each rail, so plugging in the values for each rail we would get: 175w / 12v = Avg Amps on the 12v rail = 14.6A roughly available on each rail. This isn't exact, but should give you an idea. The real kicker is the mobo supplies up to about 75w on the PCI-e slot, so if the 9600gt was at peak power of 61w, it could theorectically be all from the slot and none from the 6 pin PCI-e power connector on the card. In reality though it is probably sharing power from both the PCI-e slot and from the 6 pin PCI-e power connector. I'm not an expert on that part of the system, but I think this reasoning should be close.
* Of coarse depending on the age of your PSU, you will have lost some of the peak power of your PSU, due to capacitor aging. This is generally understood to be about 10% per year of normal use. Now I'm not exactly sure what your PSU is down to, but generally if you haven't stressed it for 3 long years, I'm betting that your probably in the 10-20% loss category. This would probably drop you down 3-6A output on the 12v rails, but that would still give you 23-26A on the combined rails. Considering your possible 61w peak power from the GPU, I'd think you would still have plenty of power left.
* Now if your feeling that you should replace the PSU, there are several options to consider. I like Antec, Corsair, PCP&C, Seasonic PSU's for their reliable and efficient PSU's. They all have good warranties and also support them well. I have replaced 3 Antec PSU's within the 3 yr warranties and have been very happy with the support that they offer. With that said, I'd consider these PSU's for your build:
Prices vary depending on the time of the month and the current specials.
Antec 380w/430w/500w Earthwatts PSU's
Buy.com's Antec 380w PSU w/27A on the 12v rails. It's $45 shipped!! My favorite budget PSU for budget gaming rigs!!
Corsair 450vx. $73 - $10 MIR = $63. Has 33A on the 12v rail!! Antec 430w is comparable w/30A on the 12v rails.
Antec 430w PSU for $61 shipped!!
All of these are good PSU's and not too spendy. You'll have limited upgrade paths in the future, but if your not going to get too crazy with your builds, these should do quite well.
November 1, 2008 11:12:07 PM

lunyone said:
{...}
* CPU might require 65w, but that would be just 5.4A on one of the 12v rails. IIRC the CPU is usually on it's own 12v rail and the PCI-e is on the other 12v rail. This would allow about 175w (roughly) for each rail, so plugging in the values for each rail we would get: 175w / 12v = Avg Amps on the 12v rail = 14.6A roughly available on each rail. This isn't exact, but should give you an idea. The real kicker is the mobo supplies up to about 75w on the PCI-e slot, so if the 9600gt was at peak power of 61w, it could theorectically be all from the slot and none from the 6 pin PCI-e power connector on the card. In reality though it is probably sharing power from both the PCI-e slot and from the 6 pin PCI-e power connector. I'm not an expert on that part of the system, but I think this reasoning should be close. {...}


So the CPU gets it's amperage from one of the 12v rails and only uses about 5.4 Amps. The 9600GT would be on the other 12v rail. If the graphics card needs 26 Amps and I only have a theoretical maximum 29.167 available, where is the 5.4 Amps coming from to supply the CPU? Other devices? It seems as though I am coming up short in amperage available. Does some of the amperage for the video card come from the motherboard PCI-E slot and some from the 6pin PCI-E connector? I'm confused as to how these things work.

lunyone said:
{...}
* Of coarse depending on the age of your PSU, you will have lost some of the peak power of your PSU, due to capacitor aging. This is generally understood to be about 10% per year of normal use. Now I'm not exactly sure what your PSU is down to, but generally if you haven't stressed it for 3 long years, I'm betting that your probably in the 10-20% loss category. This would probably drop you down 3-6A output on the 12v rails, but that would still give you 23-26A on the combined rails. Considering your possible 61w peak power from the GPU, I'd think you would still have plenty of power left. {...}


This is another serious concern that I was not aware of. I built this computer in April of 2007, so that's about 18 months ago (been running 16-18 hours a day since then -- mostly normal non-demanding office or web development use or just sitting idle -- some heavy gaming here and there). If my Power Supply's peak power has degraded 15% over the last 18 months due to capacitor aging, that would put me below the required 26 Amps required by the Geforce 9600GT video card, wouldn't it? Again, where is the 5.4 Amps needed for the CPU going to come from? The situation is worse than I thought. What about all the other devices that also depend on the 12v rails? I believe I have enough total power in wattage for the whole system, but I am lacking in amperage from the two 12v rails to supply key components, correct? My same question from earlier: Does some of the amperage for the video card come from the motherboard PCI-E slot and some from the 6pin PCI-E connector?


lunyone said:
{...}
* Now if your feeling that you should replace the PSU, there are several options to consider. I like Antec, Corsair, PCP&C, Seasonic PSU's for their reliable and efficient PSU's. They all have good warranties and also support them well. I have replaced 3 Antec PSU's within the 3 yr warranties and have been very happy with the support that they offer. With that said, I'd consider these PSU's for your build:
Prices vary depending on the time of the month and the current specials.
Antec 380w/430w/500w Earthwatts PSU's

{...}

All of these are good PSU's and not too spendy. You'll have limited upgrade paths in the future, but if your not going to get too crazy with your builds, these should do quite well.


I like the 500 Watt Antec Earthwatts PSU! And the price is pretty good, as well! I thought if I was going to buy a new power supply I would need to spend around $100 to $150 for a good one that could handle all needs. The 500 watt Antec probably won't be able to handle upgrading to a X4 or quad CPU, ddr3 RAM, a next-gen video card, and water cooling, but it can certainly handle my current parts upgrade list and this should be the last upgrade for this computer, anyway. I'm not really throwing my money away either, because I want this computer to continue to operate at some capacity to replace my linux server when I build the new system next year. I'll invest in a really good PSU at that time. Too bad the Antec 550 Watt PSUs are so much more expensive. I don't feel like it's worth $30 more to increase only 50 Watts of available power!

You are very generous with your impressive knowledge and command of the subject matter and I thank you, profusely!

Cheers!
a b ) Power supply
November 1, 2008 11:27:52 PM

WOW! You only have had the PSU for 18 months!!! NICE! I wouldn't worry about the PSU change for now! The 26A that the manufacturer is suggesting is for the total system. I'd bet $ that you could put in an OC'd CPU and still be able to run without issues. The manufacturer over states alot when they recommend "X" PSU's. Most of the PSU's that meet the so-called 450w minimum, don't even have 18-20A on their 12v rails!! I've been running an x1800xt (103w max) on a Raidmax 420w PSU (18A on the 12v rails) for about 2 1/2 years!! Of coarse I replaced it about 1 year ago, but not because it was bad, but because I knew that I should do it before anything went bad. I bought the PSU in a combo deal with the case, but at that time I knew nothing about PSU's. I know alot more now, thanks to others.
The Antec 500w PSU is the standard one that comes with the Antec Sonata III case. It has 34A on the combined rails and is >80% efficient too (all Antec Earthwatts PSU's are that way). The only downside is that the PSU doesn't come with a 8 pin PCI-e power connector, but those are usually only needed on higher end (more $) GPU's, so that really isn't a downside.
The CPU power comes from the 12v line, so that is why I stated it that way earlier. Even if you put in a Quad core CPU (depending on which one) you should still be able to power it well, even with your GPU (9600gt). I tried not to confuse you about the power on the 12v rails. Hopefully I've made some sense to you that you can take and use in the future.
November 1, 2008 11:51:16 PM

lunyone said:
WOW! You only have had the PSU for 18 months!!! NICE! I wouldn't worry about the PSU change for now! The 26A that the manufacturer is suggesting is for the total system. I'd bet $ that you could put in an OC'd CPU and still be able to run without issues. The manufacturer over states alot when they recommend "X" PSU's. Most of the PSU's that meet the so-called 450w minimum, don't even have 18-20A on their 12v rails!! I've been running an x1800xt (103w max) on a Raidmax 420w PSU (18A on the 12v rails) for about 2 1/2 years!! Of coarse I replaced it about 1 year ago, but not because it was bad, but because I knew that I should do it before anything went bad. I bought the PSU in a combo deal with the case, but at that time I knew nothing about PSU's. I know alot more now, thanks to others.
The Antec 500w PSU is the standard one that comes with the Antec Sonata III case. It has 34A on the combined rails and is >80% efficient too (all Antec Earthwatts PSU's are that way). The only downside is that the PSU only comes with a 8 pin PCI-e power connector, but those are usually only needed on higher end (more $) GPU's, so that really isn't a downside.


Yep, I have only had this PSU for 18 months. I just checked my Newegg order from when I built this computer. ;) 

Wow, I didn't realize that the Geforce 9600GT 26 Amp requirement was talking about the whole system! That means I don't have to worry about the CPU or other devices not getting enough current. KOOL!

Yeah you're right, manufacturers always over state the requirements to be on the safe side. I think the variable that they use in design calulation is even called "Safety Factor".

Did you take a look at that Antec twelve hundred case that is a combo deal with the Antec 500 Watt power supply? Wow, that is cream of the crop, for sure! Five 120mm case fans! I only have room for two 120mm fans on this case unless I start cutting holes in it. Who knows, I might consider buying that Antec twelve hundred case next year if they knock a hundred dollars off the price! *chuckle*

Did you mean, "only comes with a 6 pin PCI-e power connector" and not "only comes with a 8 pin PCI-e power connector"? The specs listed on the newegg product page says there are two 6-pin connectors. I think.

I am shocked and extremely impressed that you can run 8800gtx w/e6600 OC'd on a Antec 380w PSU, as stated in your signature! wow!!
a b ) Power supply
November 2, 2008 1:26:07 AM

Yes you can run that 8800gtx w/e6600 OC'd on a Antec Earthwatts 380w PSU!!! Didn't have enough space in signature to fit the link.
Here's the link, you decide if your 29A on the 12v rail PSU can handle your 9600gt on a stock CPU???

Quote:
Did you mean, "only comes with a 6 pin PCI-e power connector" and not "only comes with a 8 pin PCI-e power connector"? The specs listed on the newegg product page says there are two 6-pin connectors. I think.

I meant that it didn't come with a 8 pin PCI-e power connector. Some of the high-end GPU's these days are requireing 8 pin PCI-e power connectors, so that is why I mentioned that.

You could buy the Antec 300 case w/a Antec 650 w PSU (52A on the 12v rails) and get it for $115 right now!!
3rd combo from the top!! Has 1 x 6pin and 1 x 6+2pin PCI-e power connectors!!
a b ) Power supply
November 2, 2008 1:28:39 AM

8800gtx at full load is 132W, so the meager 61W of the 9600gt is nothing compared to the 8800gtx!!
a b ) Power supply
November 2, 2008 4:22:24 AM

Yes you can, totally missed that one!! Man do I need some sleep!!
November 2, 2008 4:21:39 PM

Thanks for the comments guys!

Slomo4shO, if I were in the market for a case right now, I probably would grab that deal you mentioned. Thanks.

lunyone, I took a look at the link you provided where you showed your data from testing (I bookmarked it). The report is conclusive proof that we don't need extreme power supplies to handle our modern systems. Most of us will not go through the trouble of measuring and testing the actual values to calculate the actual need, however. *chuckle*

Im' going to read up on Alexhk's and your research (both threads) that was posted on ocforums.com now. It's pretty interesting stuff. Fascinating discussion.

Two last questions: In deciding not to upgrade my PSU, should I be worried about accelerating the degradation of the capacitors; thereby, more quickly reducing the peak power available and therefore reducing the life-span of my current power supply? By pushing it's limit, I mean.

What does it take to become a member of those scientifically advanced forums? Some of these overclocking or extreme system messageboards require an invite or something special to happen, because I have had no luck becoming a member. Maybe because I am an intermediate and they don't want their boards filled up with elementary questions. *chuckle*
a b ) Power supply
November 2, 2008 6:26:48 PM

In general I think your PSU will do fine. I'd consider upgrading it later when you can afford it, but that is just so you can feel better. I usually keep the old PSU, in case I have an issue or if a friend needs one for a short period of time. Your PSU should be good for a while. I don't think your going to push the PSU too hard anyway, so I wouldn't be too worried about it.
As far as getting into the OC'ing websites, I haven't pursued that avenue yet, so I'm guessing they are trying to limit the really new people by only allowing invites.
a b ) Power supply
November 2, 2008 6:28:54 PM

Oh and most PSU's like to be in the 50-80% load range. They are usually the most efficient in that range. The example below is from a Corsair 750w PSU, so you can see where it's the most efficient. About 150w to 650 watts or so. You can use this Extreme PSU Calculator website to calculate about how much power your using. It's just a reference and not the gospel, so take it how you like.
November 2, 2008 10:47:36 PM

lunyone said:
Oh and most PSU's like to be in the 50-80% load range. They are usually the most efficient in that range. The example below is from a Corsair 750w PSU, so you can see where it's the most efficient. About 150w to 650 watts or so. You can use this Extreme PSU Calculator website to calculate about how much power your using. It's just a reference and not the gospel, so take it how you like.
{...snip...}



I checked out the Extreme PSU Calculator link you provided and came up with the following results:

I set the CPU to AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+ 2800mhz AM2 Windsor, because they didn't have an option to choose the 5600+ 2900mhz Brisbane. I suspect the 2800mhz Windsor consumes similar power due to the greater amount of L2 cache even though it has a lower Operating Frequency than the 2900mhz Brisbane, correct?

When I set the Capacitor aging to 15% and both the CPU Utilization (TDP) and System Load at 100% along with my DVD Burner, 1 SATA HDD, 2 sticks of DDR2 RAM, 1x80mm and 1x120mm fans, and new 9600GT video card, I obtain a 315 Watt PSU recommendation.

When I set the CPU Utilization (TDP) to the recommended 85% and the System Load at the recommended 90%, I obtain a 269 Watt PSU recommendation.

I should be fine in either situation, even if they did not include the 15% degradation in their PSU recommendation.

Anyway, I decided to set the CPU to the X2 6000+ Windsor 3000mhz in order to over-estimate. Under normal load conditions (85% CPU TDP and 90% System Load) with 15% degradation I obtained a 301 Watt PSU recommendation. At 100% CPU TDP and System Load, I get a 356 Watt Recommendation. Since mine is a 480 Watt PSU, I think I will be good to go with my selected upgrade parts list.

Thanks alot for your help, lunyone! I'm glad there are people like you around to help us noobs out.
a b ) Power supply
November 2, 2008 11:47:37 PM

YVW, we were all a noob at some point in our life, so don't feel bad. I've only learned these things over time and try to help out when I can. :) 

Most Windsor cores are 89w and the Brisbane you linked is a 65w one, so you can subtract about 24w just because of the different chips!!! Gives you even more room!!
November 3, 2008 12:03:02 AM

lunyone said:
YVW, we were all a noob at some point in our life, so don't feel bad. I've only learned these things over time and try to help out when I can. :) 

Most Windsor cores are 89w and the Brisbane you linked is a 65w one, so you can subtract about 24w just because of the different chips!!! Gives you even more room!!


Kool! So, even if I overclocked the Brisbane, I would still have spare power! :) 

I was planning on overclocking to at least 3.2Ghz, but I'll be attempting to do so on stock air cooling. If I cannot manage on stock air cooling, I'll be happy with an even 3.0Ghz OC.
a b ) Power supply
November 3, 2008 12:08:15 AM

Personally I don't think it's worth OC'ing from 2.9ghz to 3.2ghz. I don't think your really going to see much difference, if anything at all. You might see some benchmark numbers change, but for the added heat and possible stability issues, I don't think it's worth it. Now if you were OC'ing an Intel chip that would be a different can of worms. The Intel chips OC very well and you can see the difference. The problem is that the mobo's and chips are generally more expensive.
November 3, 2008 12:21:18 AM

Yeah, I don't want to deal with too much heat or stability issues, that costs more money for good cooling. If the OC is not stable I would just tune it down. As you mentioned, I have heard a lot of great things about the duel core and quad core intels, but I havn't had to build a new computer for so long that I have completely missed Intel's dominance over the CPU market. I haven't bought a new CPU for over 18 months and my current motherboard is AMD, so I have to buy AMD. I don't feel bad about that, though. I have been very happy with my 3600 Brisbane.

I don't know if you are familiar with the 1.9Ghz 3600+ Brisbane, but this chip was a monster when it was first released. It was and still is common to OC to 3.0Ghz! I think that's pretty amazing.

I have no idea which direction I will take when I build my new system build in a few months. But either way, I am looking forward to the exciting technological advancement that the new Nehalem and Deneb processors will surely bring next year.
a b ) Power supply
November 3, 2008 12:43:49 AM

Yes that is a good chip. Not sure how well the newer ones are doing, but from the Phenom's, it's been a little disappointing to say the least. I think you'll like your new chip and won't really need to OC it. You should do just fine for 99% of situations. I personally think that any dual core CPU right now with a decent GPU will play any game that you like. It all depends on your resolution and what (eye candy) options that you prefer. I personally don't mind turning options down to get better gameplay. Of coarse I don't have the $ to upgrade every 12-18 months, so I don't have too many options. Heck I'm still playing on a 7900gs, since I gave my son the x1800xt that I bought years ago!!
November 3, 2008 1:11:54 AM

lunyone said:
Yes that is a good chip. Not sure how well the newer ones are doing, but from the Phenom's, it's been a little disappointing to say the least. I think you'll like your new chip and won't really need to OC it. You should do just fine for 99% of situations. I personally think that any dual core CPU right now with a decent GPU will play any game that you like. It all depends on your resolution and what (eye candy) options that you prefer. I personally don't mind turning options down to get better gameplay. Of coarse I don't have the $ to upgrade every 12-18 months, so I don't have too many options. Heck I'm still playing on a 7900gs, since I gave my son the x1800xt that I bought years ago!!


I agree. The Phenom's are extremely disappointing. AMD did come out with a fix for motherboard chipset that seems to allow better overclocking. I believe it has to do with 6 unused pins and something to do with the old South Bridge. The new motherboards have the SB750 South Bridge chip on them that supposedly takes care of the earlier problem. Nontheless, I believe they are still subpar to the Intel equivalent quad core CPU as far as performance. The price-tag is another story.

I am like you in that I don't mind turning options down to get better gameplay. I had to use the shader model hack called Oldblivion, to play Elder Scrolls IV with my old computer. *chuckle*

I do mind, however, the unnecessarily long wait for "loading ..." that occurs so frequently in Mass Effect PC. I wouldn't even mind the long wait, if it didn't happen so often (just walk from one side of the room to another). That particular problem comes as a result of the streaming technology they use, which cannot be avoided no matter what hardware you have in your computer. The levels are always streamed in. Indeed, turning down the graphic options makes little difference or insignificant difference to the wait time or frequency of waiting. Not only that, but the configuration flag that you can set in your "ini" file that deals with streaming doesn't even work (check tweakguides dot com)! There is something I can do to speed up the wait time for the "loading ..." dialogue and that is to upgrade to faster and higher capacity hardware (CPU and GPU and more RAM). The streaming still takes place, but at a much faster rate. At least, I hope so.

I don't have a lot of money either, but building and upgrading computers is a very enjoyable hobby for me. It's fun! I love to build or upgrade computers, so I would do it as often as I can even if I don't really need to. LOL

Maybe if we both built computers and sold them in the news paper we could afford to enjoy our expensive hobby more often! *chuckle*

I was actually thinking about building my new computer next year and putting an ad in the paper to sell it. I'll have a new computer until I sell it, then with the profit, I'll build a new one. That way I can keep up with my expensive hobby! :) 
a b ) Power supply
November 3, 2008 3:01:55 AM

Yeah I would like to do that too. Problem right now is I don't have any extra $ to start my habit!! I've consider building and selling on ebay to get some extra income (really need it right now), but not sure if I could make enough to make it worth my time and $. I've looked at the pathetic setups that are there and laugh when the call it a "Gaming" computer, when there is a 8500/8600 gt GPU installed!!
November 3, 2008 7:07:24 PM

lunyone said:
Yeah I would like to do that too. Problem right now is I don't have any extra $ to start my habit!! I've consider building and selling on ebay to get some extra income (really need it right now), but not sure if I could make enough to make it worth my time and $. I've looked at the pathetic setups that are there and laugh when the call it a "Gaming" computer, when there is a 8500/8600 gt GPU installed!!


Saving money demands a serious commitment. I had to save for 2 years to build the computer I am on now and it only cost about $500 in parts or a very manageable $21 a month budget set aside. I knew I wanted it and I knew I would eventually need it. Putting away money for computer parts actually became part of my budget and it was a perfectly justified expense, because a properly functioning and adequately performing computer is absolutely essential to my daily life. Why? Because I choose it to be that way. It's been 18 months since I last built a computer, but this time I am only upgrading for around $200 (I decided not to get the extra RAM) or $11 a month set aside. You can pick up 10 cent refundable pop and beer cans for that amount every month. If you look at it that way, it is not really all that hard to do. You just have to commit to putting that small sum of money aside every single month for the necessary expense. Treat it like it's not even your money to spend now and that it must be saved, or treat it like it's as essential as your electricity or heat bill. You might even want to open up an entirely separate bank account just to put away money for computer parts! Then, don't touch it. Just keep feeding the account, every month and before you know it ... it's new build or upgrade time! Just like clockwork.


Extra money doesn't come easy, usually, and the economy is tanking right now to make matters worse. The only way to save enough money, is to cut expenses on something else or increase your income some how. An extra 4 hour a week part-time job could allow you to buy parts for a new computer possibly once a year, or even crafting an object that you can sell might work, but not necessarily. You may not be able to compete with Dell, Gateway, or any of the other big time computer manufacturer/distributors, since they are able to get parts much cheaper than you or I ever could, as massive bulk purchases provide a phenomenal reduction in initial investment per unit.

Another option, and it is clearly evident that you're smart enough for the task, is to obtain some sort of technology certification, associates degree, or bachelors degree. I think Electrical Engineering or Computer Engineering might be right up your alley, but even a tech certification could land you an easy and fun part-time job on the weekends. You can obtain certifications and even degrees based on what you know, not just by paying the big bucks and going to a college or university class. I think a tech certificate is only about $200 to take the test. There are organizations that would be willing to pay the testing fee for you, that is, if you qualify for assistance. Some of these organizations do not even look at whether you are in financial need or not! Do some research and ask the right questions to the right people, then fill out as many applications as you can and don't stop till you obtain your goal. Then all you need to do is study on your own and pass the test.
a b ) Power supply
November 3, 2008 7:47:59 PM

LOL!!! I have an electronics engineering degree!! Been working in the Semiconductor (CPU/Memory/chipset/etc.) for over over 15 years!! To say that I don't have $ right now is an understatement. I've lost about $15k just this year in wages and had to go to my fathers funeral, that was a $2k cost there. I'm currently looking for a part time job to make ends meet. I have a wife and 2 kids and all the associated bills with that. I volunteer at my kids' swim team, so I can get reduced swim fees. If you've ever been involved with swimming, you know what kind of costs is associated in the sport.
a b ) Power supply
November 3, 2008 8:09:48 PM

lunyone said:
LOL!!! I have an electronics engineering degree!! Been working in the Semiconductor (CPU/Memory/chipset/etc.) for over over 15 years!! To say that I don't have $ right now is an understatement. I've lost about $15k just this year in wages and had to go to my fathers funeral, that was a $2k cost there. I'm currently looking for a part time job to make ends meet. I have a wife and 2 kids and all the associated bills with that. I volunteer at my kids' swim team, so I can get reduced swim fees. If you've ever been involved with swimming, you know what kind of costs is associated in the sport.



It seems we are getting to the age of where education costs weigh heavier than earning potential for higher education. It really is a sad situation.

I am currently finishing up my Bachelors in Economics and am starting to second guess my decision to apply to medical school, I might not be able to afford the higher education due to the state of our economy :( 
November 3, 2008 8:52:17 PM

lunyone said:
LOL!!! I have an electronics engineering degree!! Been working in the Semiconductor (CPU/Memory/chipset/etc.) for over over 15 years!! To say that I don't have $ right now is an understatement. I've lost about $15k just this year in wages and had to go to my fathers funeral, that was a $2k cost there. I'm currently looking for a part time job to make ends meet. I have a wife and 2 kids and all the associated bills with that. I volunteer at my kids' swim team, so I can get reduced swim fees. If you've ever been involved with swimming, you know what kind of costs is associated in the sport.


Oh! LOL!!! I didn't realize you had an advanced Electronics Engineering Degree, I just thought you were gifted with enormous technological understanding and had not reached your true potential, yet. *chuckle*


slomo4sho said:
It seems we are getting to the age of where education costs weigh heavier than earning potential for higher education. It really is a sad situation.

I am currently finishing up my Bachelors in Economics and am starting to second guess my decision to apply to medical school, I might not be able to afford the higher education due to the state of our economy :( 


Yes, I agree. I borrowed about 25k in student loans that has manifested itself to the mighty sum of 50k in the last 10 years, due to interest! I may never be able to pay this debt off!


To both of you: Can we blame the greedy criminals on Wall Street for putting us all in the poor house? Or should we blame congress for creating and enabling the very arena that these criminal banking cartels used to rob every American's wealth and get away with it? I suppose that's a controversial and touchy subject, depending on your own personal perception and who you happen to be talking to.
a b ) Power supply
November 3, 2008 9:40:15 PM

Hamarabi said:

To both of you: Can we blame the greedy criminals on Wall Street for putting us all in the poor house? Or should we blame congress for creating and enabling the very arena that these criminal banking cartels used to rob every American's wealth and get away with it? I suppose that's a controversial and touchy subject, depending on your own personal perception and who you happen to be talking to.


To be honest, I blame the general ignorance of the public for conditions that cripple us today. We are the ones who voted in shady politicians into office and those shady politicians are to blame for the lack of banking policy. The system is really circular and not linear by any means.

Obama has raised $150 million in his campaign to become president. If he is elected president, he will be working for those corporations who funded his presidential election and not for the individuals that voted him into power. The same is true of McCain. Politicians play to the emotions of the masses when it is time to cast the vote. Unfortunately, the majority of the population is to party loyal to actually consider voting for ideas instead of a party.

One only needs to look into history to realize what is to become of this nation. Our current times mirror those of the latter years of the Roman Empire, just prior to its collapse. Corruption, greed, and over exertion are usually the pitfalls that lead to the demise of a nation.

a b ) Power supply
November 4, 2008 12:08:29 AM

Hamarabi said:
Oh! LOL!!! I didn't realize you had an advanced Electronics Engineering Degree, I just thought you were gifted with enormous technological understanding and had not reached your true potential, yet. *chuckle*

Well I haven't yet, but have been going backwards over the last few years (thanks to my current employer). I'm just trying to hang on until my kids are into college. I'll probably will be able to start saving then, because of a number of factors that have gone south for me over the past 3-4 years. I don't put the blame on any one thing, it's all things listed above. I think the banks got out easy, while the rest of us pay for it. I wish I could go bankrupt and still get thousands of $ for my efforts!!! I just want to refinance my current house so I can get a better loan, but that won't happen because my house is worth less than when I bought it!!
November 6, 2008 10:30:06 PM

In case you guys were wondering, I installed the new CPU and GPU and as you predicited, I did not need a new Power Supply.

My computer runs pretty smooth, a bit faster, and I can now turn all the graphic settings up to high or maximum. More importantly, the "Loading..." wait time is down to about 5 seconds on average, now. Sweet, right? :) 

Could you guys recommend an open source or free benchmarking software for CPU and GPU? I wouldn't mind testing my new setup to see where I stand as far as performance goes, but I am not willing to pay bigbucks for software that I would only use once per system I build. *chuckle*

Anyway, I should be good to go for at least another year or so, I imagine. I won't be upgrading anymore until the new motherboard and CPUs come out and have been thoroughly stressed and analyzed by the pros. Then, I'll build the brand new system that I have been saving up for.

Thanks a lot for all your help and it was nice chatting with you!

Cheers!
!