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Need Advice on a Powersupply for new PC

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August 6, 2009 4:42:07 AM

Hi!

First of all I'm new here, I joined because from what I have heard, this is the best place on the net for tech advice.

I'm planning on buying a new HP p6120t desktop for college and gaming, it comes with a core 2 duo 2.93 ghz processor and 3 gigs of ram. Then off of new egg I'm buying 2x2 gig ddr2 ram sticks made by crucial for a total of 7 gigs on my pc and an XFX Radeon HD 4870 1 Gig graphics card. That means I have to upgrade my PSU from the measley 250 Watts that comes with my PC. Right now I'm debating between these 3:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The recommendation is 500 Watts PSU for the 4870, but I'd like to have a bit more as cushion for my PSU. My initial inclination is towards getting the PSU in the 1st link as I am on a very very tight budget, but then that of course begs the question of quality since its so cheap. These are all recommended by newegg as hot deals, but are any of them even any good? If not I'd appreciate recommendations; tops I'd like to spend no more than $60 on a PSU (though I'd spend a bit more on a warranty).

Anyway thanks in advance for any feedback you guys can give.

More about : advice powersupply

a b ) Power supply
August 6, 2009 5:14:37 AM

^ First you would have to check if the PSUs are compatible with the HP machine...as those may have custom fit PSU...

And the OCZ is the better of the those...
August 6, 2009 5:31:47 AM

Yeah as I do research, the OCZ is really what I'm leaning towards. 550 Watts is enough to run the kind of system I'm considering right?

Shoot... how do I figure out if the PSU is compatible?
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August 6, 2009 5:33:05 AM

You will need a 64 bit Operating System to support more than 3Gbs, so plan on
installing XP.x64, Vista.x64 or Windows 7.x64
August 6, 2009 5:39:11 AM

Yeah, I was planning on the 64bit OS; HP has an option for that from their site for no extra cost, so that's a no brainer.

According to this review, the PSU is small enough that it ought to fit into any case out there, but that still doesn't resovle the issue of whether or not the PSU in the HP case is custom fit...
a b ) Power supply
August 6, 2009 5:51:12 AM

^ Best way is to ask in the HP forums itself...There might be info about this their forums too...
August 6, 2009 6:04:39 AM

gkay09 said:
^ Best way is to ask in the HP forums itself...There might be info about this their forums too...


I've got a thread on there forums where I'm asking about that now; I might call them tomorrow morning and see if I can't get an answer from them that way.

And I guess I kind of keep harping on this one, you've said the OCZ is the best choice, but will it run the HD 4870 for certain?
August 6, 2009 6:08:06 AM

It will run the 4870. The problem would be the case fitting.
August 6, 2009 6:21:55 AM

masterjaw said:
It will run the 4870. The problem would be the case fitting.

gotcha, thanks for that. HP Forums don't seem to be much good for getting answers to problems, all I've gotten so far from users is 'Build yourself a computer and don't waste money on an HP'; no replies from anyone at HP.
August 6, 2009 6:32:33 AM

You might have a problem with going with the ram total you posted. First make sure that the Mobo that HP uses has 4 ram slots (which they should if they are getting 3gbs). Next problem is you would only have 1 ram slot left, so Imho you should get this 8gb kit (4x2gb) below.

G.SKILL 8GB (4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) F2-6400CL5Q-8GBPQ $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The reason I suggest these is the the Voltage range is 1.8V - 1.9V which is basically the stock voltage for mobo and I do not know if you change the Ram Voltage or timings in the Bios' of an HP built computer.

Also if you can use it, the OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W is your best pick.

Hope this helps.

ps: see if you can add more ram and set voltage/timings in Bios from HP Tech Rep.

pss: if you do not want to build your own Computer you could also check out this link below, they do have some decent configs.
http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/
August 6, 2009 6:45:24 AM

The PC I'm looking at has 4 ram slots on the mobo, only 2 of which are occupied according the PC model's page 3 gigs of ram [2 DIMM] it says.

In the past I added an additional ram stick to my current PC without having to change anything, it recognized the new ram and everything fine. I will call a tech rep and ask about all that though.

As for Cyberpower PC, from what I've read they're nothing but crooks, I wouldn't trust them with more than giving me a barebones system with a case, psu, and processor, if even that at all.

Thanks again for the help guys.
August 6, 2009 3:09:18 PM

I looked at the HP listing for the p6120t and I see nothing that says it has 4 memory slots. Are you sure it does? It does say the 3GB option is one each 1 GB and 2GB, which seems unusual if it has 4 slots. Since the memory is not matched, the dual channel feature will not work.

I would shy away from a system that only has two slots. But if you stick with that system, whether it has 2 or 4 slots, I would try to go with the 4GB option for the extra $40 (I normally upgrade memory from a third party but this seems like a special case).

I had considered but never used Cyberpower PC. Where have you read that they are nothing but crooks? In the last customer satisfaction survey I read, dated I think at the end of 2007, Cyperpower was a little above average - which put them ahead of Dell and other popular national brands. Another similar vendor, in that it gives you quite a bit of choice in components with some name brands, is Micro Flex. In that same survey, they were number 2 - next to Apple who was first.
August 6, 2009 3:18:55 PM

According to HP's motherboard specifications for the p1620t.
Quote:
9.6" (24.5 cm) x 9.6" (24.5 cm)
Memory
Dual channel memory architecture
Four DDR3 DIMM (240-pin) sockets
Supported DIMM types:
PC3-8500 (DDR3-1066)
PC3-6400 (DDR3-800)
Non-ECC memory only, unbuffered
Supports 2 GB DDR3 DIMMs
Supports up to 8 GB on 64-bit PCs
Supports up to 4 GB* on 32-bit PCs

8 gigs should work fine.

What do I have to do to match the memory? Is it just a matter of making sure all sticks are of the same size, or are equal clock speeds necessary too?

About cyberpower, I've seen a lot of bad reviews of them on newegg, and a general google search brings up a lot of horror stories about the company. Could you recommend me to any reviews about them from respectable sites/sources?
a c 121 ) Power supply
August 6, 2009 3:43:33 PM

Wow, the 3GB is a 2GB stick and a 1GB stick. The best you can do is to get a single 2x2GB kit (a single 2GB stick won't be matched to what you have). Since the HP BIOS will have very limited options, be CERTAIN you get RAM that will operate on the JEDEC Standard 1.8v. I doubt the Crucial does. Personally, I like mushkin, but A-Data and G.Skill have some good RAM too. If the RAM you get needs more than the standard voltage, it will work at much worse than advertised timings, and/or it will be unstable.
The first two PSUs you linked are garbage. I think that Apevia is one of the ones that melts under load (review at jonnyguru). I haven't seen a review of the OCZ, but it is 80+ certified, so it passed 100% load testing and didn't smoke. The Antec Earthwatts PSUs are good; quiet, stable, and 80+ certified. Corsair, Seasonic, PC Power & Cooling, and Enermax also make decent PSUs.
Make sure your case has enough cooling, and/or make sure the 4870 you get exhausts its heat.
The more I look at this, the worse it looks. The e7500 CPU is the best you can get for it, and that won't run XP mode in Windows 7 because it doesn't offer virtualization.
a c 121 ) Power supply
August 6, 2009 4:01:13 PM

That's CAS-6. Here some that is cheaper, and faster (CAS-5): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

To have a matched pair, yes, but for basic, JEDEC standard RAM, you may be able to get away with a single 2GB stick and expect it to match the one you'll get in the system. The operative word is "may." I'd get the set and have done with it.

Actually, I'd build my own rig, knowing I was choosing decent, upgradable parts throughout.
a c 121 ) Power supply
August 6, 2009 4:05:01 PM

That page must be describing the mobo from a different system. Even the IGP is different; 4500 vs. 3100.
August 6, 2009 4:56:00 PM

I did not see any mention about how long you planned to use the system or the importance of upgradability to you. Have you considered that the CPU upgrades for LGA 775 socket are limited, especially compared with AM3 and i7 socket? Did you note that the 8GB of memory is capacity? Note that few applications today make use of more than 3 or 4 GB of memory even with common multitasking so 8GB should be good for several years.

Any idea how large - or small - the PDU is?
August 6, 2009 5:01:14 PM

acoonradt said:
I think that's just the upgrade options from the store.

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01...

This tech page says up to 8 gigabytes, and the same mobo is used in a different hp model that allows up to 8 gigs upgrade from the hp store.


jtt283 is correct - the page you showed originally for the system does say 2 dimm slots at the bottom - funny how they did not mention that in the memory section. That page also says DDR2 memory but the board you listed above requires DDR3 memory - obviously not the one for your system.
August 6, 2009 5:08:03 PM

Talked to HP tech support, you're right, only 2 ram slots. So that PC is out.

rockyjohn said:
I did not see any mention about how long you planned to use the system or the importance of upgradability to you. Have you considered that the CPU upgrades for LGA 775 socket are limited, especially compared with AM3 and i7 socket? Did you note that the 8GB of memory is capacity? Note that few applications today make use of more than 3 or 4 GB of memory even with common multitasking so 8GB should be good for several years.

Any idea how large - or small - the PDU is?

Upgradability isn't a huge deal, I may replace a gfx card or processor a few years down the road, but other than that not a lot. I'm happy with hte 8gigs, one of the big draws on that system. I plan on using it for 3-4 years.

Would it be very easy to sell the 9800 gt on ebay and replace with the radeon hd 4870?
August 6, 2009 5:26:39 PM

acoonradt said:

About cyberpower, I've seen a lot of bad reviews of them on newegg, and a general google search brings up a lot of horror stories about the company. Could you recommend me to any reviews about them from respectable sites/sources?


Here is the PC Mag 2007 Customer Satisfaction Survey results that list Cyberpower ahead of Dell, Gateway, HP, and Acer, among others. 2007 was the latest survey I could find for this. Also you might note that Velocity Micro is #2, right below Apple. Like Cyberpower, they give you more options to select from and generally allow specificying some name brands - but you will pay more than what you do at the companies that offer limited options and generic brand components. You get what you pay for.

PC Mag annual satisfaction survey for 2007
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2182831,00.asp


Its also telling that when I ask for references you provide none - but ask me to. It was you who made the attacks on Cyberpower not me. And it is generally easy to find anecdotal attacks on any manufacturer. Just surprising that you use them in your decisionmaking.

On the Acer you selected, did you notice that 14% of the 36 reviewers rated it only a 1 - or 25% rated it only 3 or below? Did you google it for negative reviews and horror stories?

Here is a link to lowest priced Cyberpower pc on newegg that has reviews: the first one has one review - a 5 and the second all 5 reviews are 5s - 100% the top ranking.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
August 6, 2009 5:55:48 PM

acoonradt said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Just came across this PC on newegg, doesn't have an HD 4870 like I want, but everything else looks like a steal. I can always treat myself to a 4870 down the road as a christmas gift :kaola: 


What is your budget? What if anything do you want to use system for besides gaming and college - and does college just mean MS Word?

You just jumped from a $350 pc to one at $700 - double the price.

In general, in your budget range, I think you should shoot for an AM3 mobo (for upgradibility) with 4 mb of memory. VERY few programs - like CAD or some video editing - can make use of more than 3 or 4GB of RAM - and only top level gaming might. You would have a much faster gaming system by putting less of your scarce resources in RAM and more in GPU. I would suggest looking for a AMD 3 core CPU and then maxing out the video card. Note that for any prebuilt system in your price range you are likely to have problems finding a PSU that will support a 4870 video card - 500 Watt or greater power supply with two 75W 6-pin PCI Express power connectors recommended
a c 121 ) Power supply
August 6, 2009 11:08:59 PM

It's hard to make out, but it looks like the PSU in the Acer system might be FSP Group. That probably means it isn't garbage, BUT, since you can clearly see the little red voltage switch, it is an older, inefficient design. It probably has a misleading rating. I bought some of those models a few years ago, and the rating was typically the maximum, and the continuous rating was 50W lower. As such, this PSU may be fine for the system as delivered, but may not be enough for a 4870.
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