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PSU too weak?

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December 28, 2011 4:07:43 PM

I'm wondering whether or not my PSU might be too weak for my current system, I have been having crashes in some high end games (although not all of them), even though the games run smoothly with no indication of the computer not being able to handle it. These crashes started happening after I upgraded my Graphics Card, which, as rated, now might use as much as 80 watts more power than my previous card could use on full load. Old one full load: 100watts, new one (as listed below) full load: 180watts.

Here is my current specs:

500w Gigabyte PSU (now about 3 years old by the way)
Intel Core 2 Quad 2.40GHz (Q6600)
ASUS Motherboard (P5K-VM)
500 GB Seagate HD
2 TB Samsung HD
4x DDR2 1GB 1066
Radeon HD 5870 1GB
3 80mm case fans

At first I thought a component (like maybe the CPU or GPU) could be overheating (since it is now summer here in South Africa), thus I added more case fans to get a better air flow, I have checked my CPU idles at about 50°C and my GPU at 42°C, so that's now normal if you ask me (the 3 fans I listed above includes what I have newly installed), so I went back to play a game which normally crashes quite early on (the computer would stop responding followed by graphical lines across the screen in which case I can only restart the PC at this point) and have yet to experience this crash, however, this is inconclusive as I have not had the chance to play for a long session to really test if these extra fans had fixed this problem and that the problem was indeed caused by heating. (I have even updated my Motherboard and GPU bios's (and drivers where needed) just in case)

I have calculated the watts necessary based on my current specs and get results differing from site to site suggesting I need 400watts recommended to another saying I need 550watts recommended. What would your opinions be on this? And what are the symptoms of a PC being underpowered, as I get different feedback from this question based on whom I ask, so any advice and suggestions here would be very helpful! Thanks!

More about : psu weak

a b ) Power supply
December 28, 2011 4:40:14 PM

Can be your power supply. Its old , in time the condensators are aging and lets say at new your power supply is 80+ in a few years he can be just 60-70+ . And i think your power supply is wasn't 80+ certified.Get a new power supply 550W minimum and 80+ certified Corsair,Antec,Seasonic,XFX ,OCZ ,Enermax.
a c 1167 ) Power supply
December 28, 2011 11:32:18 PM

For a system using a single Radeon HD 5870 graphics card AMD specifies a minimum of a 500 Watt or greater power supply. The power supply should also have a combined +12 Volt continuous current rating of 25 Amps or greater and have at least two 6-pin PCI Express supplementary power connectors.

Your Gigabyte 500 Watt PSU may be one of the following:

Gigabyte ODIN Plus 500W (GE-G500A-C1)
• max. combined +12 Volt continuous current rating of 38 Amps
• two (6+2)-pin PCI-E 2.0 Connectors
• OEM: AcBel Polytech

Gigabyte PoweRock 500W (GE-N500A-C2)
• max. combined +12 Volt continuous current rating of 36 Amps
• two (6+2)-pin PCI-E 2.0 Connectors
• OEM: CWT

Gigabyte PoweRock EX 500W (GE-A500N-C2)
• max. combined +12 Volt continuous current rating of 32 Amps
• two (6+2)-pin PCI-E 2.0 Connectors
• OEM: CWT

All three models meet the requirements to power a system with a single Radeon HD 5870.

I haven't been able to find any reputable reviews of any of those three models of PSUs so there's no garantee that they are able to deliver their labeled power output. There's also no empirical data that shows what the DC Output quality is like.

If there is insufficient power the system may shut itself down or spontaneously reboot when under a heavy power load.
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a b ) Power supply
December 28, 2011 11:55:15 PM

Im guessing its just aging that and you will fix with a new psu
December 29, 2011 10:57:08 AM

Thanks, so the symptoms of not enough power output is system shutting down and random reboots? Is this a safety measure? (I have not had those apart from getting a blue screen after which the computer restarted once (and I was not even playing a game or taxing the computer at all at that time) Therefor games freezing could more likely be attributed to over heating? (Which I am currently sorting out and testing) I will be purchasing a new PSU but not before a month or 2 due to holiday spending's etc.
a c 1167 ) Power supply
December 29, 2011 5:01:20 PM

Hume87 said:
Thanks, so the symptoms of not enough power output is system shutting down and random reboots? Is this a safety measure? (I have not had those apart from getting a blue screen after which the computer restarted once (and I was not even playing a game or taxing the computer at all at that time) Therefor games freezing could more likely be attributed to over heating? (Which I am currently sorting out and testing) I will be purchasing a new PSU but not before a month or 2 due to holiday spending's etc.

If the power supply has poor DC Output quality (i.e. poor voltage regulation, high electrical noise and ripple current, poor transient overshoot suppression, etc.) you will encounter erratic system behavior like blue screens, system freeze-ups, random resets, etc.)

High electrical noise and ripple current will result in power loss and internal temperature rise in electrolytic capacitors and will shorten their operational life. The electrolytic capacitors in motherboards and graphics cards power VRM circuits have been known to be destroyed by this.
December 29, 2011 5:29:13 PM

Sorry, my first post here had a error in it, my Gigabyte PSU is 550w and not 500w as I posted it to be. However, I have purchased a new power supply today, GX-650, (650w) which has 85 percent efficiency (I've seen your suggestions on which brand to to get however, I got this at a bargain price so I'm quite happy with it!), and so far I have had no problems or symptoms like described earlier. Thanks for your feed back I appreciate it!
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