Closed Solved

500W power supply enough?

I have a 500W power supply, brand name is PENGUIN (in blue letters, G replaced with a penguin :D ). I'm pretty pretty pretty (well almost certainly) sure it's a generic brand. A search reveals that the company no longer exists and that this PSU is not very common.
Anyway, it has served me very well, no problem whatsoever. My older machines have all kinds of problems (noisy fans, high temperature, pauses where I can't do anything - the mouse doesn't even move, etc.) In fact I'm writing this now on one of my older machines (p4) ;) and it's very noisy as we speak. Nothing of the sort with the PENGUIN, it has worked flawlessly for years.

Here are my current specs:
GA-G31M-S2L Motherboard
Core 2 Duo E4600 CPU (2M Cache, 2.40 GHz, 800 MHz FSB) CPU
1GB Kingston DDR2 PC6400/ 800mhz RAM
80GB IDE Hard Drive

Now, here's my concern. I'm planning to upgrade after a reinstall of OS (currently Windows XP is a bit slow.) Here's how my specs are going to look like:
GA-G31M-S2L Motherboard
Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor E8400 (6M Cache, 3.00 GHz, 1333 MHz FSB)
2GB Dual Channel Kingston DDR2 PC6400 RAM
GT220 PCI-E Graphics Card
40GB SATA + 250/500GB SATA Hard Drives (2 Disks)

I would appreciate some advice. I would like to know if my not-so-good PSU can handle the above mentioned specs after upgrade. Please do not lecture me on how bad generic is, all I want to know is whether my PSU can handle the new stuff. All other advice is still welcome. I would prefer if you didn't base your advice on what would be better. eg: I do not want you to tell me to get a new PSU because it would be optimal or risk-free or best reliability. I just want to know whether my PSU can handle the new specs without any room for any additional future upgrades.

As above, I do not want to upgrade my power supply unless it is extremely necessary. The reason being I do not have much cash for another power supply on top of the upgrades. Also, I like my PENGUIN (not like, like but like because it's been reliable) and I want to keep it if I can. PENGUIN - LOL ;) what a nice name for a computer part.

And, I almost forgot, the power supply specs:
Version: Intel ATX 2.31V
Continous Total Output Power is 500W
Combined Power of +5V and +3.3V is 200W

+5V = 28.0A
+12V1= 18.0A
+12V2= 18.0A
+3.3V= 26.0A
-12V= 0.3A
+5Vsb = 2.0A (what's this last one?)

Thanks all. Oh, and I'm from Australia so voltage is 230V or 240V. Not sure which.
11 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about 500w power supply enough
  1. well i'd take a guess and say it wasn good to begin with and the over the years it has gotten worse wouldn risk it

    i'd get this and be done with
  2. The card requires you to have a 350 Watt power supply unit at minimum if you use it in a high-end system. That power supply needs to have (in total accumulated) at least 30 Amps available (accumulated) on ALL +12 volts rails. Based on your Penguin having 2x+12v=18A each I would say that your psu is within tolerance for the GPU and has enough left over for the ram and cpu.
  3. it would run that easily, id recomed going for generic though, i got lucky in my case that it was a really high wine at high load (after 6 years of abuse)

    and it is ready for the bin now (cant throw in bin, stupied goverment means it will stay in attic till got enough stuff piled up there to make trip worth while to the recyple place)
  4. Just to clarify, I have a few older computers that have a few problems. But they do not have Penguin power supplies. obsidian86, I'm not sure if that's what you thought but FYI under my current specs the PENGUIN is doing perfectly. So by my experience, it's been good - without a problem. BUT, it's still probably a generic and will it be able to take the E8400, extra 1GB RAM, extra HDD and Nvidia GT220? Anyone? I need suggestions. Though, I must say again, I wouldn't want to buy a new PSU unless I HAD to.

    foundationer, thanks for your input. though I'm worried that you didn't put into consideration that the PENGUIN is a generic and allow for some extra wattage. If you could, would you help me some more?
    shanky887614, I guess you're saying that my PSU can handle it, but other than that your PSU needs to go to the bin but can't because of local goverment recycling laws, I REALLY don't know what you're talking about.
    If anyone would like to chip in with their two cents, I'd appreciate it!
  5. Best answer
    That PSu should have no problem at all with that. Even as a generic PSU, it still has more headroom that youd belive.
    I HIGHLY doubt your new specs system will get even close to 300W in real life, mayb some peaks at 320W, but nowhere near 500W.

    I would asume your PSU might have 400W by now of real and continius power supply, thou if possible id probably change it for 3 reasons:

    1st, effieciency
    2nd, protection (over current protection, undercurrent protection, etc etc etc)
    3rd, sudden death ( assuming its an old generic PSU it might stop working, but you should get at least 2 warnings before that)..

    Here you have a decent test over PSUs:

    IMPORTANT: do not forget that those computers dont have any extra fancy stuff, and that they were not tested for an extended period of time. Becouse of this, and the reasons mentioned above, i strongly recomend to aquaire a good psu that might work for this build and your next one.

    Your call kid :D.
  6. thanks cats_paw, thanks a lot!

    I'm going to continue with the upgrade, keep the power supply and see if it goes alright. I'll only keep it for a while, just in case it lives up to the "generic psu" name. That's all I needed to know, but if anyone thinks cats_paw was wrong, then please reply. After a few days, if I'm satisfied with everything on this page, I'm going ahead with the upgrade.
  7. well a psu has the greatest chance of destroying a pc so your choice
  8. The whole reason I asked was because I'm not sure about this if I went one way or the other. I do have sufficient knowledge to make a guess, but why do that ... when there's an amazing wealth of knowledge here in this forum for me to ask you people my questions?

    I'm not trying to ignore your input, obsidian86, but clearly it's not misusing "my choice"by going against what people here are advising. cats_paw, shanky887614, foundationer all agree that my "generic" PSU could potentially handle the given future specs. You see, I'm not asking for "how to choose a good power supply for your new computer"...
    I already have a power supply and am not interested in purchasing a new one unless it is necessary... (ie: it could blow up, destroy my motherboard, etc)

    FYI, I have not gone ahead with the upgrade yet.
    It's plain obvious that obsidian86 is not sharing what he knows, instead just making suggestions without any grounds to support his opinion.
    "well a psu has the greatest chance of destroying a pc so your choice"
    Is that a bit of ... resentfulness? In an unhelpful one-line reply? If you want your opinion to be valued, then share with us why you think my 500w PSU cannot handle those specs. Go on... it'll do you some good!

    cats_paw was by far the most helpful so far
    I'm a little disappointed there weren't maybe a couple more replies, but if you've read this thread and know a thing or two, please reply, share your knowledge! I'm still counting on this thread and I haven't gone anywhere, it's been inactive only because I've been busy with other stuff. I was still reading it though.

    Thanks all
  9. Anybody?
  10. Best answer selected by miseryweapon.
  11. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
Ask a new question

Read More

Power Supplies Components