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Need help finding/replacing a power supply

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Last response: in Components
July 21, 2010 1:07:51 PM

Well a long story short after two power outages my power supply kicked the bucket and I'm not sure why considering I have it on a surge protector, but maybe that's not enough I'm guessing there's a major difference between a surge protector and a UPS.

My last power supply was 700 Watts. I had a dual core 3Ghz processor, A 8800GTX Nvida card, an ASUS motherboard (more info on request I forgot the exact type), and 2 GB of memory.

I assume this wasn't straining the power supply so it leaves me to believe the power outages were the problem. I'm trying to find a cheap reliable power supply replacement. The one I had was an OCZ and it was going pretty well before the power outages, but I'm not sure I should get another one.


I also need one for my sister, but he specs aren't any better then mine so Id just buy two.

More about : finding replacing power supply

July 21, 2010 8:17:09 PM

My sisters graphics card says a minimum of 600 watts how can mine handle less then that with a better graphics card?

Also Corsair reliable? I dunno had two friend who got them both which I helped build one of the was DOA.
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a b ) Power supply
July 21, 2010 8:24:21 PM

What is her GPU?

Wattage isn't the same as quality. All PSUs split their wattage up between different outputs. A 500W PSU might have 450W on the 12V rails and lots of amperage, while a 700W PSU might have only 300W on the 12V rails and 400W split between PCIe 6 pins, 8 pins, and molex connections.

Main question is, do either GPUs need 6 pin inputs? Because you gotta make sure the PSU you buy has that.

That said, the 400CX is a really good PSU, 30A on the 12V rail is great. It only has 1 PCIe connector tho, so make sure your sister's GPU doesn't need 2 (although you might be able to get a converter like molex to 6 pin or something)
July 21, 2010 8:56:11 PM

We both only need one I believe, mine definitely has a PCIe connector right now and I'm sure hers does to. Her GPU is a 8600 GTS and nm hers says minimum of 400watts with 26 amps on a 12+ volt rail

Is meeting minimum requirements for a power supply really a good idea? I need to find my box for my graphics card and ill repost the min req for mine as well. Unless someone knows it off hand.
a c 275 ) Power supply
July 21, 2010 9:43:35 PM

^+1 ya beat me to it!
July 21, 2010 9:56:03 PM

So you think the 400 Watt could work with mine and heres fine? Also I forgot to mention I have 2 smalls fans and one decent sized one in the front of my case will this change anything? My sisters doesn't have any fans if I remember correctly.

Also what if I want to update my GPU to a more current one (aka thinking of the future) Or with my specs might I as well build a new one?
a b ) Power supply
July 21, 2010 11:17:58 PM

If you want to upgrade your graphic card, you should decide what card(s) you want before buying the PSU. The graphic card and the cpu are the most power-hungry components nowadays, so the characteristics of the PSU (wattage, connectors,...) will be different depending on your decision.
July 21, 2010 11:58:01 PM

Well I don't know im not thinking about upgrading right now I mean think of the future what kinda of wattage should I look at gaming specs in mind.
a b ) Power supply
July 22, 2010 12:35:42 AM

Bakuryu42 said:
So you think the 400 Watt could work with mine and heres fine?

Every answer will only be speculation. Especially when many third party supplies do not actually provide the power they claim. Normal is for an undersized supply to boot and run a computer. So how do you determine if the supply really is sufficient? One minute and a multimeter means an answer without any doubts.

Simply multitask the system to access all peripherals simultaneously. IOW download from the internet while playing complex graphics (ie a movie), while playing sound loudly, while powering some USB devices, while searching the hard drive, while ... now the system is demanding full power. Measure voltages on any one red, orange, yellow, and purple wire from supply to motherboard. Numbers must exceed 4.87, 3.23, and 11.7. Notice these numbers take into considerations many factors which is why they use and differ from numbers in ATX specs.

Not only must these numbers be sufficient. Further problems may exist if some are very low and one is high.

Once those numbers meet spec, then you know the supply is more than sufficient. Measuring is the only answer possible without speculation.

July 22, 2010 12:39:47 AM

Yea, but I'm not going to buy a power supply just to find out its not enough/to much -_- and I am without my computer till I do.

Also no ones mention anything about my surge protector and why it didn't protect my power supply in the first place -_-.

Sorry im a little grumpy I appreciate everyone's help though I never did this much research when I first bought the parts for my computer =\
a b ) Power supply
July 22, 2010 2:55:25 AM

well some companies put a guarantee on their surge protectors that theyll pay for replacing something if the surge protector fails to help...
a b ) Power supply
July 22, 2010 3:03:05 AM

I don't know why the surge protector didn't help. Pretty shitty for you, obviously.

I think to play it safe, the 550VX would be a great choice and allow some future upgrading. It has 2 PCIe 6 pin connectors in case you feel like getting a DX11 card.
July 22, 2010 4:05:02 AM

Should I get a new sure protector or invest in a UPS?
July 22, 2010 4:25:28 PM

this last question is really important as my last PSU died possibly because of my surge protector.
a b ) Power supply
July 22, 2010 4:56:17 PM

Well, is it possible that you'll get another surge? Then yes, of course you should get a better surge protector.
July 26, 2010 3:21:12 AM

I ordered the 400W one for my sister and the 550W one for me hope the will be enough and serve me well. I also submitted a claim with Belkin for the surge protector so maybe ill get some money back or something.
a b ) Power supply
July 26, 2010 9:53:47 PM

Bakuryu42 said:
Should I get a new sure protector or invest in a UPS?

Read the numeric specifications. A plug-in protector does not even claim protection in its numeric specs. It cannot. It does not claim to protect from typically destructive surges. Why discuss what would only harm sales.

So they make subjective claims in sales brochures. Lying is legal there. Bottom line: a protector adjacent to an appliance only claims to protect from typically non-destructive surges. Then the majority will believe it is 100% protection. Your protector did exactly what its spec numbers said it would do.

A UPS typically contains protection that is near zero. But just enough above zero so that it also can be hyped as 100% protection to consumers who ignore spec numbers. The UPS has only one purpose - to protect data from blackouts.

UPS in battery backup mode typically outputs some of the 'dirtiest power a computer will even see. For example, this 120 volt UPS outputs 200 volts square waves with a spike of up to 270 volts between those square waves. Why? Because protection already inside every appliance makes that 'dirty' electricity irrelevant.

Some have seen this with new computers. Electricity so 'dirty' as to confuse new Power Factor Correction circuits in some new PCs.

Now, the question is about effective protection. Protection is always about where energy dissipates. Already this can be too complex because it will require you to unlearn myths that promote plug-in protectors. Protection is always about where energy dissipates. Where do hundreds of thousands of joules dissipate? In a protector rated for hundreds of joules. Or did you read those numeric specifications yet?

Effective protection means hundreds of thousands of joules dissipates harmlessly outside the building. If that energy is permitted inside, then the surge must hunt for earth destructively via appliances. A direct lightning strike to utility wires down the street is a direct strike to every appliance. Which one is damaged? Which one makes the better connection to earth?

Well proven protection means one 'whole house' protector connected at the service entrance and short (ie 'less than 10 feet') to single point earth ground. Why do plug-in protectors not discuss where energy dissipates? Because you might install one 'whole house' protector and fully protect everything. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground - where those joules get harmlessly absorbed.

More responsible companies sell the well proven and superior solution - including Siemens, General Electric, Square D, Leviton, ABB, Keison, and Intermatic. An effective Cutler-Hammer solution sells in Lowes and Home Depot for less than $50.

As I said, first you must unlearn the lies and myths that sell plug-in protectors. Then learn how protection is done everywhere that direct lightning strikes cause no damage.

Your telco connects their $multi-million computer to overhead wires all over town. It suffers at least 100 surge with each thunderstorm. How often has your entire town been without phone service for four days while they replace a surge damaged computer? Telcos everywhere in the world earth 'whole house' protectors. And waste no money on plug-in solutions.

To make protection even better, telcos want that 'whole house' protector up to 50 meters (150 feet) distant from electronics. Yes, protection is about a protector distant from protected electronics. And within feet of earth ground.

Because so many are educated by hearsay and retail myths, then a majority are probably learning this for the first time. Learning how surge protection was done even 100 years ago because myths and sales scams became so profitable.

Protection is always - always - about where energy dissipates. No earth ground means no effective protection (power strips, UPS). A protector is only as effective as the only thing that does surge protection - single point earth ground. Known even 100 years ago.

Why do so many not know it today? Retail propaganda is that persuasive – especially when he does not explain why and does not always provide numbers. No numbers is the first indication of a junk science based product.

Yes protector too far from earth ground and too close to the appliance can even earth that surge destructively via the nearby appliance. Protection means energy is not inside the building.
a b ) Power supply
July 27, 2010 2:09:15 AM

westom... very nice. It's funny, I knew that and yet I didn't know that. I mean I know about grounding and lighting rods on houses that have cables going all the way down into the earth but at the same time I didn't know how completely useless and stupid surge bars are.
July 27, 2010 2:14:52 AM

So basically I need to surge protect the whole house instead? Your wall of text was a little confusing -_-. My surge protector is right next to my computer, are you saying its useless like that, or useless in the fact that the "surge of power" still has no ground to go to?
a b ) Power supply
July 27, 2010 4:58:30 AM

Bakuryu42 said:
So basically I need to surge protect the whole house instead? Your wall of text was a little confusing -_-.

Let's make it simpler. Instead of 35 reasons, let's only discuss two. Where does a plug-in protector make any protection claims in its numeric specs? Don't read any more. Read the plug-in protector's spec numbers. No plug-in protector claims protection from each type of surge. See that joules number? How do hundreds of joules magically absorb a hundreds of thousands of joules surge? Read its spec numbers, Where does it claim protection?

That is *every* reason for not using a plug-in protector. But I said two.

Another simple question that makes the scam obvious. How does that silly little 2 cm part stop what three miles of sky could not? Why does Monster Cable sell for $60 or $150 a protector circuit that sells for $7 in a grocery store? Because a 2 cm part will magically stop what three miles of sky could not. When urban myths replace numbers and science - 100 years of well proven knowledge.

An effective protector does what Wolfram23's lightning rods must do. Earth that energy harmlessly outside the building. Ok. Three reasons why informed consumers earth one 'whole house' protector; waste no money on plug-in protectors. Zero reasons why a protector too close to appliances would do any protection.
July 27, 2010 7:55:06 PM

so how do I cheaply ground my entire house? metal wire to the ground?
a b ) Power supply
July 27, 2010 8:16:15 PM

Bakuryu42 said:
so how do I cheaply ground my entire house? metal wire to the ground?

First, all homes must be earthed as always required by code. In a rare case, a home missing the required ground exploded when electricity found earth via the gas meter.

That is ground for human safety. For transistor safety, the earth ground must also exceed post 1990 National Electrical code requirements.

Go to the breaker box. Find bare copper quarter inch wires. Follow them. One must go the water pipe so that any electricity on those pipes is removed. Essential to human safety. The other must go to earthing electrodes just outside the building. That earth connection must be short ('less than 10 feet'), no sharp wire bends, separated from other non-ground conductors, no splices, and not inside metallic conduit.

That wire must connect to an earthing electrode that also connects short (ie 'less than 10 feet') to the telephone 'installed for free' 'whole house' protector. And connects to cable TV only with a wire - no protector required for cable.

IOW every wire inside every cable must first connect to that single point earth ground before entering the building. All telephone wires connect via a free protector. Cable connects directly only by wire. And then you connect all three AC electric wires to earth by installing a 'whole house' protector. A short list of sources posted earlier.

Now everything in the house is surge protected. How well protected? A protector is only as effective as its earth ground. The ground for human safety (to meet code) is made even better for transistor safety. A protector is made even better by enhancing or expanding the earthing system.

At this point, you are advised to visit Lowes, et al. Ask to be shown 6 AWG wire (the quarter inch bare copper wire), 10 foot copper clad ground rods, and a 'whole house' protector. You must touch this stuff to understand it. They may have an open sample breaker box wired to examine.

That summarizes what to look for. That is only the secondary protection system. Also inspect your primary protection system that is installed by the utility. An example of what to inspect:
August 15, 2010 2:07:04 PM

Cool stuff. I didn't know a lot of this. Can this be done in apartments? Will I get in trouble if I start messing around with stuff in my apartment?

When you say go into your breaker box, do you mean to remove the plate with the switches on it and behind the plate are the wires to follow? And how do you follow the wires outside? When I go around to the side of my apartment building there are just these round plastic containers for each apartment covering what appears to be round metal discs that rotate and measure power consumption. I also don't see any power lines near my place.
a b ) Power supply
August 15, 2010 3:49:16 PM

Shirosaki said:
When you say go into your breaker box, do you mean to remove the plate with the switches on it and behind the plate are the wires to follow? And how do you follow the wires outside? When I go around to the side of my apartment building there are just these round plastic containers for each apartment covering what appears to be round metal discs that rotate and measure power consumption.

If you do not own the breaker box, you do not change any wiring. But a landlord would (should) be very happy to install a 'whole house' protector if you buy it. His appliances are also protected.

Or you have the electric company install a protector behind that meter. Electric companies rent a 'whole house' protector. And install it behind their meter. Landlord has no say. Two choices.
August 15, 2010 5:39:18 PM

ok thanks. It looks like these things can be expensive though. I've been trying to google the subject. There doesn't seem to be a good video on how to do it. Some websites seem to just say have a professional electrician do it. One video even says to have both a whole house surge protector and your electronics plugged into a surge protector in the wall. From what I understand you wouldn't need a surge protector plugged into an outlet if your whole house was protected, right?

It seems like some of these protectors also filter electricity so you don't waste as much and can save money on your bill. Is there an easy way to figure out which ones do this and which don't? I'm betting the electric company doesn't carry these to rent.
a b ) Power supply
August 16, 2010 12:00:12 AM

Shirosaki said:
ok thanks. It looks like these things can be expensive though.

Effective protectors put money into protection. Not into retail propaganda. If not yet touch those wires, ground rods, and 'whole house' protector, then little here makes sense. Go to Lowes. Touch it. Many will not understand until this stuff is viewed and touched. Because these 100 year old concepts are so new.

Why is this stuff sold in Lowes, Home Depot, et al? Because any informed homeowner (who can wire a wall receptacle or snap in a circuit breaker) can install it. Or have an electrician do this simple installation. How difficult is it to pound 10 foot ground rods (properly separated)? Or pay an expensive electrician to do same.

Only reason to suspect this might be expensive: you did not reread everything multiple times. Anything this new can not be understood in one reading. How expensive? A first post had this paragraph:
> More responsible companies sell the well proven and superior solution - including
> Siemens, General Electric, Square D, Leviton, ABB, Keison, and Intermatic. An
> effective Cutler-Hammer solution sells in Lowes and Home Depot for less than $50.

Filtering does not save electricity. Meanwhile, all appliances have massive and superior filtering. Well in excess of what any protector or line conditioner might do. For example, input to electronics first goes through a superior filter required by FCC regulations. Then gets converted from AC to much higher voltage DC. And filtered but again. Those are only the first filters inside all electronics. If knowledge comes from retail sales, then a salesman will say anything to have you ignore what was inside all electronics decades before the IBM PC even existed.

Ignore those filtering myths. It does not save electricity. Filtering many times superior is already inside every electronic appliance.

A video means nothing - often a source of myths. After all, videos also prove how restore hair or undo skin aging. Video said it is true - without facts and numbers. It must be true.

Read numeric specs for any plug-in protector. Where does it list protection from each type of surge? That sentence says more than any 100 videos. Only place a manufacturer cannot lie - in those numeric specs. So plug-in manufacturers list no protection in numeric specs. Claims made without numbers are classic junk science. A technique also used to prove Saddam had WMDs. A lesson everyone should have learned from history. No numbers is a first symptom of junk science reasoning. Even explains an egregious fabrication that filters save electricity.

Numbers from an IEEE Standard entitled 'Static and Lightning Protection Grounding':
> Lightning cannot be prevented; it can only be intercepted or diverted to a path
> which will, if well designed and constructed, not result in damage. Even this means
> is not positive, providing only 99.5-99.9% protection. ...
> Still, a 99.5% protection level will reduce the incidence of direct strokes from one
> stroke per 30 years ... to one stroke per 6000 years ...

Do one 'whole house' protector for 99.5% protection - for about $1 per protected appliance. Then spend tens or 100 times more money for what - maybe 0.2% additional protection? For a protector that will somehow make energy just magically disappear? Damning are these IEEE numbers. Any dollars on a plug-in protector is better diverted into upgrading earthing. Earthing - not a protector - the only system component that does protection. Did the videos mention that? IEEE numbers make it obvious.

A sentence to be memorized: a protector is only as effective as its earth ground.