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Stymied by HP and their anemic Power Supply.

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February 3, 2012 5:46:24 PM

Hi all, I'm running into a problem. For the first time in many many years of my life I caved in and bought a HP 190t back in 2010 instead of building my own computer like I usually do. Here's what it had before I started planning this upgrade:

Intel 980x i7 CPU
ATI Radeon 5570 video card
24 GB of DDR3 1066 Ram
2x 1TB Samsung hard drives
and 1 BD Combo Drive

All under the adequate for that setup 460 watt delta power supply. Downsides is that it's a tiny case, and there are virtually no additional drive bays for more hard drives. Anywho, not bad for under $2200 back then and it makes a great animation station.

Fast forward to today....

I start eyeballing the more powerful Nvidia cards in the anticipation of using one to accelerate Adobe's mercury playback engine and not surprisingly the configuration will require something in excess of nearly 700 watts in power. In preparation for it I found a PC Power and Cooling Silencer MkII 750 Watt supply on sale for ~$100 which was a fantastic price for a decently regarded PS. Upon shoehorning that beast into the HP case and hooking everything up it turns out that the HP wouldn't even POST (fans, HD and lights would turn on but that was the extent). After trying multiple things (resetting BIOS, removing battery and unplugging various drives and card readers) it still wasn't going to work. I then re-assembled it back to it's original config and boom, starts up nice and easy. It turns out HP limits the wattage their motherboard can handle or links the board to the power supply.

So the question I have for you fine gentlefolk is this, am I boned? Or more specifically: should I rip the CPU, RAM, and drives out of the box and buy a new case, mb, and cpu fan and combine them all? I have no idea whether or not I would need to buy another copy of Windows for this but that's the gist of the situation. Any feedback would be GREATLY appreciated.

The moral of the story is if you want the best you can do with desktop computer components, NEVER buy from Dell or HP.

-Rob
February 3, 2012 6:30:49 PM

NEVER buy from Dell or HP.

Agreed! I don't know that I'd recommend buying a new mb to go with your existing cpu. Honestly x58 performs similarly to Sandy Bridge so finding a good deal on a new mobo is probably the most cost effective route.

You should be able to use your current copy of windows.
a b ) Power supply
February 3, 2012 6:53:06 PM

Sounds like HP put a proprietary motherboard in with a proprietary power pin-out. Dell did that prior to 2010ish as well. If you or HP has confirmed that the motherboard power connector uses a proprietary pin-out then your easiest solution is to either: 1) Find a compatible PSU from HP that is larger or 2) Replace the motherboard.

Since it's an OEM license you *might* have trouble activating windows if you replace the motherboard since it is definitely one of the identifying components of windows activation. Often, there is no problem at all. But you may end up needing a phone call to MS but they probably won't hassle you about it. They just want to make sure you own your license and its only on the original machine (which it is).
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a b ) Power supply
February 3, 2012 7:07:16 PM

pdxgfx said:
Or more specifically: should I rip the CPU, RAM, and drives out of the box and buy a new case, mb, and cpu fan and combine them all?


Your case might still work as long as it supports ATX/microATX form factor motherboards. You'd have to look at the HP motherboard's screw hole layout to determine this. As long as the CPU fan and locking mechanism isn't proprietary to the motherboard, then the old CPU cooler should be fine unless you'd like to overclock with your new motherboard. Maybe HP used a non-standard CPU heatsink/fan I don't know - but I certainly wouldn't put it past them!

So maybe you'd just have to change the motherboard only, but seriously double-check on that. If you do buy a new motherboard don't let that old PSU get anywhere near another motherboard - if its got a proprietary pin-out it could damage an incompatible motherboard.
February 3, 2012 7:13:22 PM

I was looking at the specs for Sandy Bridge and really all I would need to match the higher render speeds of the 2600k would be to increase my clock speed on the CPU. Obviously something I could not do on HPs motherboard but something that would be a piece of cake on a nice new X58 motherboard. The HP case only has 2 drive bays and that's a little lite for me, I would love to have a minimum of 4. I was thinking of the Antec Sonata Proto with that 750watt power supply.

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a b ) Power supply
February 3, 2012 7:40:47 PM
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"It turns out HP limits the wattage their motherboard can handle or links the board to the power supply. " No way. I've upgraded that system, and there is no link. You got a dead PSU when you got the new one (PC Power and Cooling Silencer MkII 750 Watt ). RMA it. Try another. It'll work. HP ships many PSUs on that MB, and people swap them all the time. (260 watt, 350 watt, 300 watt, probably others ship from HP and if you google PSU replacement places they are selling std ATX as replacements.).

The HP 460 watt psu is a strong PSU, I am typing on a system with i7-920, gtx-260 OC and that PSU right now. Check the +12V. Very very cards exist that PSU can't handle. Check TDP for the card you want. Anything less than 250 watts you are OK with the 980x. You can't OC the 980X on that MB and the max TDP of the 980X is 130 watts. That leaves a lot of room up to the 400 or so watts +12v the 460 watt psu delivers. (too lazy to open my case and read the +12v sticker -- I've never been close enough to the limit to care.)

Powerful nVidia cards you can use. 570 TDP = 219 watts. 580 TDP = 244. I wouldn't try the gtx590 without a PSU swap.
a b ) Power supply
February 3, 2012 7:46:02 PM

aside: Your system has the same "IPMTB-TK (Truckee) motherboard" that I use in my system. Both SLI and crossfire are supported, but that'll push the power requirement past the 460's range with any card worth pairing up.

aside 2: You don't want a new CPU if you are building a rendering system, your 980X is still HUGE for a CPU and x58 3triple channel memory has a ton of bandwidth. Your video card (Radeon 5570) is really weak for gaming, I assume it's bad for rendering too.
February 3, 2012 7:59:56 PM

I'll check into the return policy on Amazon (where I got that power supply). I thought it was getting close to the limit with that 130w CPU and a GTX 570 (which is what I was going after). Especially with the 2 HDD and a packed Ram stack. Overclocking would be nice but slow isn't one of the complaints I would have with an i7 980x.
a b ) Power supply
February 3, 2012 8:30:55 PM

Glad tsnor confirmed that it isn't a proprietary pin-out! I thought that was strange on for an X58 motherboard... Yeah, the new PSU is the culprit then.

So they put a multiplier-unlocked chip in a board with their usual complete lack of OC options? Must they neuter the BIOS on every machine they make? I would have thought at that high-performance level they would have left you something.
February 3, 2012 8:33:09 PM

Best answer selected by PDXGFX.
February 3, 2012 8:34:11 PM

larkspur said:
So they put a multiplier-unlocked chip in a board with their usual complete lack of OC options? Must they neuter the BIOS on every machine they make? I would have thought at that high-performance level they would have left you something.




I thought that point particularly ironic considering that the CPU is MADE to be overclocked ;) . Thanks everyone!
a b ) Power supply
February 3, 2012 8:42:05 PM

"slow isn't one of the complaints I would have with an i7 980x. " nope, it's a monster.

Oddly enough, this article has an i7-920 running at an OC 3.33ghz = the same power profile as a 980x. http://www.anandtech.com/show/4061/amds-radeon-hd-6970-...

I don't understand rendering loads. Gaming the 570 in crysis is peaking at 361 wall watts or 361 X (80% efficient?) = 290 watts, most +12v. That isn't even a strain on the 460 watt psu.

Under furmark the system draws 446 watts wall, or 446 x .8 = 350 watts delivered power. That should still be comfortable on the 460 watts psu even if it is all +12v. Furmark is considered an 'unfair' benchmark -- gets things much hotter than real world. It seem rendering should be no worse than furmark ??

With 24 GB (4gb x 6 ) you'd probably need to add another 50w ? to your PSU load... makes it closer. This ref http://www.anandtech.com/show/2624 claims you only need to add "RAM power requirements measured a constant 2W per DIMM, " another 15-20 watts, but i thought it was more.

good luck. post if it works with 460, and especially if it fails. Should work.
a b ) Power supply
February 3, 2012 8:55:12 PM

tsnor said:
good luck. post if it works with 460, and especially if it fails. Should work.


I agree with all of the above, but I wouldn't even try the 460w, I'd upgrade the PSU.

I have a 920@3.5 (1.2v) with a 6970 and gaming-wise it just sips at well-under 400w. Haven't checked wattage when running furmark but I'm sure those benches are accurate.
a b ) Power supply
February 3, 2012 10:54:42 PM

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a b ) Power supply
February 3, 2012 10:54:42 PM

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a b ) Power supply
February 3, 2012 10:55:58 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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