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Dell insist that a 300W PSU is sufficient for a GTX460.

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January 4, 2011 1:14:07 PM

Hi. :hello:  Total newb here. Please be gentle...

Dell are insisting that the 300W 'Hipro' PSU they supplied for my Core i7 880 with 4 gigs DDR3 RAM and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 is sufficient. ASUS website's PSU wattage calculator suggests I need a minimum of 550W. Dell won't budge, saying their build machine recommends 300W. I've told them that I've checked countless reviews that say the GTX 460 alone needs 500W, but apparently the Dell build machine is 100% correct and Must Not Be Questioned.

I know: you'd think I'd learn to build my own PC, but I get the heebie-jeebies just when I open the case to blow out dustbunnies twice a year, so working up to actually getting stuck in with replacing/building/upgrading fills me with abject, well... something. Apologies, but although I'm pretty nifty with the software aspect of things, seeing you guys going on about volts, pins, and rails just makes my eyes glaze :??: 

I have high graphical needs, primarily for Second Life, which is a card killer in and of itself, and also for the likes of Photoshop. I can't even run two instances of SL on this computer without both of them shuddering to a near-halt, so something isn't right. The card is capable of it, I have more than enough RAM, so the only thing that could cause an issue has to be the PSU struggling, surely?

Do I have a leg to stand on or am I p*ssing in the wind if I keep trying to insist on at least 500W? Anything I can link Dell to if I do need more, that they might actually believe in? (They sure as heck don't believe in the ASUS PSU wattage calculator, because the Dell Build Machine is all-knowing, I guess.) I was even promised in a text chat with their tech support at build stage (I still have the chat log they mailed me) that I would receive "at least 500W". I'm at my wits end, and paid over £2k for this damn machine; I don't want it to conk out in a year like the last one did.
January 4, 2011 1:27:22 PM

Hi, dadiggle.

Wouldn't have a clue if the size is standard or not! I did take a snapshot of it, if that helps. Sorry if it's a bit blurry:



The system's a Dell Studio XPS 8100. I'll give you what info I can from my order PDF:

12,288MB (2x4096 & 2x2GB) DDR3 Dual Channel RAM
2TB (2x1TB) Serial ATA Raid 0 "Stripe" (7200PRM) Dual HDD
95W Processor Heatsink
6xBlu-Ray ROM Combo drive
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 1GB
Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Music Card
Ports include 8 USB, Firewire, etc.

Running Windows 7 Home Premium, if that has any bearing on the power requirements.
a c 243 ) Power supply
January 4, 2011 2:03:45 PM

Rahalia said:
Dell are insisting that the 300W 'Hipro' PSU they supplied for my Core i7 880 with 4 gigs DDR3 RAM and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 is sufficient
With a single 18 amp rail ? :lol:  morons
The system's a Dell Studio XPS 8100. said:
The system's a Dell Studio XPS 8100.

The system is supposed to have a 350 watt / 25 amp power supply, which would be "sufficient", don't know for how long.

You can use pretty much any standard ATX psu as a replacement,up to about 170mm in length.
Related resources
a b ) Power supply
January 4, 2011 2:22:38 PM

You paid £2K for a system with a PoS power supply like that? Typical Dell - that's where they cut corners.

Hipro I don't think are all that bad a manufacturer (Johnny Guru gave a 550W Hipro unit a respectable 7.5), but shipping a 300W unit for a Core i7 is pathetic and I'd not feel comfortable running a GTX 460 AS WELL on anything less than a good-quality 450W.

If Dell really won't change it, I'd request a written statement from them saying that they guarantee the supplied 300W unit will power the upgrade you're requesting. That way, if/when the PSU dies under the strain you have proof that Dell mislead you.

Or alternatively, learn this lesson and never buy a pre-made, mass-produced computer again - ALWAYS build yourself or go to a specialist dealer.
January 4, 2011 3:05:19 PM

delluser1 said:
With a single 18 amp rail ? :lol:  morons
The system is supposed to have a 350 watt / 25 amp power supply, which would be "sufficient", don't know for how long.

You can use pretty much any standard ATX psu as a replacement,up to about 170mm in length.
I'll be lucky if this thing lasts me six months, won't I? :(  Thanks for the measurements, anyway. I wouldn't even know where to begin with that!
Quote:
ol did they say that psu would do it?

this one will do

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Thanks! That's not as high a price as I thought it would be (although I know those things can be heavy, so I guess shipping would add a few quid to the total cost). I assume that, although it's on a US site it would be compatible with the UK's voltage? (Told you; complete newb!)
LePhuronn said:
You paid £2K for a system with a PoS power supply like that? Typical Dell - that's where they cut corners.

Hipro I don't think are all that bad a manufacturer (Johnny Guru gave a 550W Hipro unit a respectable 7.5), but shipping a 300W unit for a Core i7 is pathetic and I'd not feel comfortable running a GTX 460 AS WELL on anything less than a good-quality 450W.

If Dell really won't change it, I'd request a written statement from them saying that they guarantee the supplied 300W unit will power the upgrade you're requesting. That way, if/when the PSU dies under the strain you have proof that Dell mislead you.

Or alternatively, learn this lesson and never buy a pre-made, mass-produced computer again - ALWAYS build yourself or go to a specialist dealer.
You'd think that -this being my third Dell- I would have learned that lesson by now. I think my resolution this year will be to learn how to build a computer myself, or at least learn how I can upgrade this one (and the two other old crocks gathering dust in the spare room).

Thanks again, all :) 

a b ) Power supply
January 4, 2011 3:18:44 PM

If you're in the UK go to Overclockers UK or Scan UK and have a look at the PSUs there - Antec, Corsair and Seasonic are the ones to look at.
January 4, 2011 3:32:09 PM

If it's working now then why complain? You're system is more than powerful for 2 second life instances. An insufficient power supply won't be the cause. Anybody here would be more than happy with your system.
a b ) Power supply
January 4, 2011 3:35:32 PM

Yikes. Stupid Dell. Maybe they bank on people's PCs dying and not having to replace them for free lol.

For safety alone IMO go with maybe a Corsair 550 minimum, if you don't plan to add more stuff later.
January 4, 2011 4:04:33 PM

OMFG. Dell are being a little dumb here. With the kind of system you have it appears that a 350W PSU would be "sufficient" but were it my machine i would buy a decent PSU of at-least 500-600W
Quote:
Corsair 550 minimum
a b ) Power supply
January 4, 2011 4:41:36 PM

Quote:
ol did they say that psu would do it?

this one will do

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

agree this would be a great choice that doesnt cost too much!

99.9% of all modern psus have no issue with the european voltage. especially a good unit like the ones from seasonic, antec, corsair ,etc.
a b ) Power supply
January 4, 2011 5:02:13 PM

Yeah most power supplys like the one linked and others too automatically detect the input voltage. For example the linked one can do 115V or 230V input.
January 4, 2011 5:14:56 PM

LePhuronn said:
If you're in the UK go to Overclockers UK or Scan UK and have a look at the PSUs there - Antec, Corsair and Seasonic are the ones to look at.

Thanks. I've had a look and am considering this Antec TruePower 650W, if only for the good reviews that suggest it has more than enough capacity and connectors for future upgrades (plus what looks to be excellent energy efficiency). delluser1 suggested anything up to 170mm in length would fit, so at 150mm it seems to pass that requirement, too. Thoughts?

doive1231 said:
If it's working now then why complain? You're system is more than powerful for 2 second life instances. An insufficient power supply won't be the cause. Anybody here would be more than happy with your system.
Well, the Dell running the NVIDIA 9800GT that I bought in January 2010 was also working a month after I bought it, as this one is. But the (300W again, surprise!) PSU in that coughed to a halt in November, and although it was still within warranty to be honest I decided on one last, major purchase which would be one I could keep and learn how to upgrade. Hopefully over the next year or so I'll be able to upgrade that as well, so I have a decent backup, or can maybe network them together.

Also, I'm quote happy with it, for now. Or, at least, I would be if it hadn't given me the BSOD on the very first startup right out of the box, and if I hadn't already had to call Dell Support and endure a near-two hour screen-sharing session to determine why the sound card made listening to mp3s sound like old crackly vinyl (ah, the memories!) and also why I was getting pink artefacts all over the screen that were so bad I simply couldn't use Second Life and had to disable Aero just in order to use the computer :??: 

dadiggle and shovenose, I checked at newegg.com and they don't ship to the UK (where I am) so I'm afraid using that site is out. Pity, because the prices are incredible.

Anyone got any 'Computer Building for Terrified Noobs' books they can recommend? :lol: 

a b ) Power supply
January 4, 2011 5:46:12 PM

Yeah you won't save money shipping a psu from the US, I dream of a UK Newegg daily. [:beanoslim]

Any of these will do you and cover you should you decide to get another card in the future.


http://www.scan.co.uk/products/750w-xfx-p1-750s-nlb9-pr...
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/750w-corsair-cmpsu-750tx...
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/750w-seasonic-x-series-m...

If you just want the cheapest option for your current setup look at these.
The OCZ listed is 700w but on offer, the same price as the 500w, deal.

http://www.play.com/PC/PCs/4-/8267206/OCZ-OCZ700MXSP-UK...{modxstteam}+c{420}+
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/550w-corsair-cmpsu-550vx...
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/520w-seasonic-m12ii-520-...


January 4, 2011 5:57:56 PM

Wow, its bad to run your PSU over 100% duty. Wont last long.
January 4, 2011 6:01:31 PM

Wow. Thanks so much for all the links and help. I really appreciate it :) 

Now to start saving up...
a b ) Power supply
January 4, 2011 6:13:37 PM

Rahalia said:
Thanks. I've had a look and am considering this Antec TruePower 650W, if only for the good reviews that suggest it has more than enough capacity and connectors for future upgrades (plus what looks to be excellent energy efficiency). delluser1 suggested anything up to 170mm in length would fit, so at 150mm it seems to pass that requirement, too. Thoughts?

Well, the Dell running the NVIDIA 9800GT that I bought in January 2010 was also working a month after I bought it, as this one is. But the (300W again, surprise!) PSU in that coughed to a halt in November, and although it was still within warranty to be honest I decided on one last, major purchase which would be one I could keep and learn how to upgrade. Hopefully over the next year or so I'll be able to upgrade that as well, so I have a decent backup, or can maybe network them together.

Also, I'm quote happy with it, for now. Or, at least, I would be if it hadn't given me the BSOD on the very first startup right out of the box, and if I hadn't already had to call Dell Support and endure a near-two hour screen-sharing session to determine why the sound card made listening to mp3s sound like old crackly vinyl (ah, the memories!) and also why I was getting pink artefacts all over the screen that were so bad I simply couldn't use Second Life and had to disable Aero just in order to use the computer :??: 

dadiggle and shovenose, I checked at newegg.com and they don't ship to the UK (where I am) so I'm afraid using that site is out. Pity, because the prices are incredible.

Anyone got any 'Computer Building for Terrified Noobs' books they can recommend? :lol: 

this was the first book i ever got on the matter...while i have pretty much memorized it now it is still useful occassionally...
http://www.amazon.com/Upgrading-Fixing-PC-Easy-Steps/dp...
January 4, 2011 6:20:04 PM

Quote:
define 100 percent duty since most of them are only 80 percent certified


EX:

all components use 350W
and PSU rated for 300W

116% over what is rated for his PSU, so as soon as he stresses his PC say a game the PSU will take a beating and in the long run not last long.
a b ) Power supply
January 4, 2011 6:28:39 PM

Quote:
define 100 percent duty since most of them are only 80 percent certified


80% certified means something completely different all together, if a 500 Watt PSU is 80% efficent at 100% load, it will be pulling 20% more power from the wall (so 600 watts) to put 500 watts into the system. A lot of people get this confused.
a b ) Power supply
January 4, 2011 6:57:57 PM

Quote:
The prices look ok then there's the little thing red that says VAT geez talking about tax to death


Basically what you pay in dollars is what we pay in pounds.
VAT has just gone up to 20%.
a b ) Power supply
January 4, 2011 6:59:41 PM

Rahalia said:
Wow. Thanks so much for all the links and help. I really appreciate it :) 

Now to start saving up...


If you have any plans for a 2nd card get the right psu now, remember some of the Corsairs have a 7yr warranty.
a b ) Power supply
January 4, 2011 9:26:03 PM

Quote:
The system's a Dell Studio XPS 8100.


Quote:
The system is supposed to have a 350 watt / 25 amp power supply...



I confirmed this on Dells own website. Its listed in the tech specs. I would make them replace it now and for your troubles upgrade you to a 450w unit since they gotta send the tech out to your place anyways.
http://www.dell.com/us/p/studio-xps-8100/pd?refid=studi...


a b ) Power supply
January 4, 2011 9:36:44 PM

they claim its a 350w on their website
a c 81 ) Power supply
January 4, 2011 9:53:13 PM

18 x 12 = 216 watts on the 12 volt rail. 160 peak for the video card. Just not enough left for everything else.

I have a 300 watt psu in my I5 750 + 5770 + 2 hard drives + notebook ODD system(idles around 60-70 watts at the wall). But it has more then 18 amps on its 12 volt rails.

Either way, just don't do it. A good 550 will have way more power then needed. My I7 920 @ 3.8 + 5870 + 5 hard drives + blue ray system rarely gets over 350.
a b ) Power supply
January 4, 2011 9:56:45 PM

well yeah, but both 300w and even 350w is too small for this system...they gave dell p4 computers with integrated graphics a 375w already :) 
a b ) Power supply
January 4, 2011 10:49:12 PM

Take the blue pill. :lol: 
a c 87 ) Power supply
January 4, 2011 10:54:43 PM

Quote:
Or, at least, I would be if it hadn't given me the BSOD on the very first startup right out of the box, and if I hadn't already had to call Dell Support and endure a near-two hour screen-sharing session to determine why the sound card made listening to mp3s sound like old crackly vinyl (ah, the memories!) and also why I was getting pink artefacts all over the screen that were so bad I simply couldn't use Second Life and had to disable Aero just in order to use the computer


So let me get this straight. You kept a computer with the wrong PSU AND one that you had to turn something off just so you could use it? Contact Dell right now and explain to them that this needs to be fixed, before the computer gets out of warranty. I would not buy a new PSU, they should fix this. (if you can get them to, I'm assuming you broke the "seal" on the case when you snapped that pic...) Make them fix it, its their job.
a b ) Power supply
January 4, 2011 10:54:58 PM

Yes 350 will be suffice unless you run extreme graphically intense programs like crysis or furmark.at max load the 460 pulls 170 odd watts but typical gaming load should be in the 110-120 range
a b ) Power supply
January 4, 2011 11:01:15 PM

Quote:
I have high graphical needs, primarily for Second Life, which is a card killer in and of itself, and also for the likes of Photoshop. I can't even run two instances of SL on this computer without both of them shuddering to a near-halt, so something isn't right. The card is capable of it, I have more than enough RAM, so the only thing that could cause an issue has to be the PSU struggling, surely
?

Would anyone really recommend a 350w PSU for the OP's i7 / 460 setup and needs?

a b ) Power supply
January 4, 2011 11:40:42 PM

a stock 460 1GB pulls anout 150W. I doubt DELL put in an OC'd model so a 350w model probably would run this PC given it was a decent quality PSU. I would be demanding a 450w unit myself.
a c 87 ) Power supply
January 5, 2011 12:21:13 AM

Quote:
lets say it has 75 percent efficiency 262.5w.


Doesn't work that way. Efficiency has to do with how well it converts AC electricity to DC. A 500W PSU that's only 50% efficient will still output 500W. It will however need 1kW of AC electricity to do it. A 500W PSU that is 80% will only need 625W of AC.
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
January 5, 2011 12:48:55 AM

RMA stating that the computer is not fit for purpose.

Photoshop CS4+ will utilize your GPU for acceleration which will increase overall system draw, that PSU will not last long (your previous dell machine is testament to this).

Running a stability test like Furmark should make the machine fall over and gives you some ammunition to go back to Dell with.

If Dell question this then refer to Nvidia website,

Have a look at the below link,

http://www.nvidia.com/object/product-geforce-gtx-460-us...

On the specifications tab Nvidia themselves recommend a 450W PSU. However something to note is that the GPU will only really draw from the 12V part of the PSU. Your Wattage rating on the PSU is a combination of 3.3V, 5V and 12V plus some negative variants. It is widely accepted in forums including Nvidia's that you need around 32A on the 12V rail alone to allow a stable system. Not really what you have.

The above doesn't mean it wont work it just means it wont work for long and to be honest I would get my money back just because of the price!
£2k you must be nuts! I could spec a 24" IPS monitor plus a decent i7 rig and GTX570 for that price.

I manage over 400 servers as part of my job in a large IT company. I am a member of the R&D team and we rape these servers 24/7 and the failure rates of these servers aren't low. If you still have this PSU running your rig in a year I will buy you a new one :-)
a c 708 ) Power supply
January 5, 2011 12:56:05 AM

http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine at 90% tdp minimum PSU wattage 285watt recommended 335watt
PSU's are rated on DC output power not on power pulled from the wall so rated 350watt / efficiency 0.8 = 437.5 watts from the wall.
January 5, 2011 1:31:07 AM

Dadiggle,
listen to snipergod87 and rolli59.

Load is not the same as efficiency:
load = how much juice is being sucked from the power supply
efficiency = How well it transfers the electricity from the wall to electricity to the components.

ex: take a 350 watt PSU and its 75% efficient,
at 75% load it will be sucking 281.25watts from the wall but will only be pushing 210.9375 to the components.
at 100% load it will be sucking 437.5 watts from the wall but will only be pushing 350 to the components.
a c 87 ) Power supply
January 5, 2011 3:03:53 AM

Quote:
no Manufacturers don’t expect you to pull the full power from their units, but that you operate them around 50% load for a higher efficiency


I think its more accurate to say that some manufacturers HOPE you don't pull the full power from their units. (Looking at you Diablotek.) The good manufacturers will build their units so they can provide full power. HardOCP when they review units have what they call the torture test where they load the unit up to 80% of its output and leave it there for EIGHT hours. (I think at high temps but I could be wrong about that.) This is a great way to test if your PSU is up to a day of gaming.

As for your idea of efficiency I suggest you go back and study more. Its a common misconception so don't feel bad. But take the time to educate yourself some more. Reading some load reviews from JonnyGuru should help. And remember all those times you told your math instructor you'll never use this? That formula of X is what percent of Y will come in handy now.
a b ) Power supply
January 5, 2011 11:08:22 AM

Quote:
Power pulled from the wall to power converted to dc and supplied to your system
350w - pulled from the wall
Converted - 75-80 percent efficiency
Supplied to the system =?


Yeah as explained better than I could if a psu is rated at 350w it will supply 350w unless its trash.

The efficiency is how efficiantly it supplies this 350w, if it was 100% efficiant it would use 350w to supply 350w.

So to simplify -

500w psu @80% efficiancy uses 600w to supply 500w (500 x 1.20 the .20 is 100%-80% efficiancy.)

500w psu @85% efficiancy uses 575w to supply 500w (500 x 1.15 the .15 is 100%-85% efficiancy)

I hope this is right anyways, thats just the simplest way I look at it.
a b ) Power supply
January 5, 2011 11:41:49 AM

^Absolutely...Just another happy Dell user.
a b ) Power supply
January 5, 2011 11:46:51 AM

He looks like he's just smoked a big fat one. :o 
!