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How hard is it to replace the power supply?

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December 12, 2002 11:17:29 PM

I've been looking at the power supply in my computer and it looks easy enough to replace save for all the wires running to it. Now i havn't actually opend the power supply in the computer but are these wires gonna be hard to transfer to a new power supply. Also is there anything i must look for when buying a power supply except for the power it produces. Such as, its size to make sure it fits inside my computer, can it atually use to much power that it will blow my computers circuits or any other important details i might normally over look.

1ghz amd
526mb ram
geforce4 mx 440 (getting radeon 9500 pro)
185 watt power supply looking into a 350-550 one
asus a7v-vm motherboard chipset via kat133
December 12, 2002 11:36:38 PM

You need an ATX-sized psu, which is what you have now. Most psu's are this type.

Get a brand name like Enermax or Antec. There are others. Avoid generic.

Installation is very easy. You will need to connect it to the mobo (big wide plug) the components (several 4 socket plugs) and the case (4 screws). You cannot buy one that is too powerful. The power delivered to your system is based on your system, not on the psu. That is, if your system consumes 150W of power right now, it will consume 150W of power with the new psu as well. Bigger is better. 350W is probably enough power, but 400W is only a little more cost. You only need more than that if you have a weird config, such as 3 or more hard drives.

<i>Reason the only absolute. Irrationality the only enemy. </i>
December 12, 2002 11:37:43 PM

You should choose a reliable brand such as Antec or Enermax.
350W is enough, you won't need anywhere near 550W.
Those wires are fixed to the power supply so you remove the existing wires from your components and attach the wires from your new power supply.
Power supplies supply power, not use it so no you can't have a power supply that uses too much power.
Look for a unit with good cooling.

Just one thing though, what's this got to do with graphics cards?
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December 13, 2002 12:44:37 AM

Its a 5 minute job. Just unscrew 4 screws out the back of the case that holds the PSU there. Unplug the leads from the drives & motherboard etc. Then just slide the new one in put the 4 screws in and plug the wires back in. Dont worry about getting them wrong there is only one way they will go. And 350W will be more than enough for you now and in the forseeable future. And I disagree with the others I found that the brand name PSU`s are just a waste of money for nothing but a brand name. I will never ever use a brand name PSU (unless I need a stupidly high wattage PSU for some reason) because I have mostly used generic PSU`s and have never had a problem. I have heard of lots of problems with brand name PSU`s though. So just get a generic 350W PSU slip it in and your set. BTW all ATX PSU`s use a set mounting standard so they are all the same size and shape thank god.
AREA_51
December 13, 2002 12:56:45 AM

don't listen to the above post...just because he hasn't had problems with generic PSUs doesn't mean that they're not of lower quality and come with a greater risk of blowing out your system, being underpowered, or dying early. lots of people will recommend enermax or antec to you, go with them (they're easy to find and reasonably priced, maybe look at refurbished items at www.newegg.com if you're in the US)
i don't mean any offense vk2amv, but i really don't think you're correct there

--------------

<A HREF="http://forumz.tomshardware.com/modules.php?name=Forums&..." target="_new">mubla otohp eht ni ecaf ruoy teg</A>
December 13, 2002 2:13:54 AM

No offence taken. Just a quick question. How many computers have you dealt with/sold in the past 3-4 years? I dont know. I on the other hand have handled/sold just under 60 computers in the past 4 or so years. All have had generic power supplies. All have been 100% relable. All also run AMD CPU`s which do need more power than intel cpu`s. I honestly cant say I have any major experiance with band name PSU`s other than a 400W Omni (Reputable Australian brand) power supply which sucked. I just know that 99.99% of the time a generic power supply will work just as well as an expensive brand name PSU. So I dont support brand name PSU`s.
AREA_51
December 13, 2002 2:40:09 AM

i would like to just say thanks to all of you, you have helped me out a ton, and i mean a ton. I know a lot about computers not an expert or beginning guess im an advanced intermediate hehe anyhow im just learning when it comes to power supplies and mobo's and thanks ot this site and everyones replies and help i have already learned a lot. Now to find a way to get a good powersupply and a radeon 9500 pro :( 
December 13, 2002 2:41:03 AM

Is it possible all these generic psu came from same manufacturer and u lucked out and they were good? I've had considerable problems w/ PSU's that are generic (and I've worked on/fixed/built well over 200 comps by now). It's a real pain in the ass when it can't supply enough power. For a first time try, imo, it's best to go with the known stuff that works, cause this way he can be a little more sure of the system and a bad experience the first time can turn someone off. Just go w/ an enermax or antec.

"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough."
- Mario Andretti
December 13, 2002 3:38:47 AM

Auctally I used whatever was available. There was no one brand I stuck to. I usualy just always used the PSU included with whatever case I could get no matter what it was. I just got whatever was most convienent/cheapest at the time.
AREA_51
December 13, 2002 1:25:29 PM

Quote:
I just know that 99.99% of the time a generic power supply will work just as well as an expensive brand name PSU.

This has also been my experience over about a dozen systems. Also, I have heard stories about how an Antec or Enermax 400w psu was replaced by something smaller from somone less well known, and the guy's random lock ups then went away with the new cheapo psu, so obviously nobody has a lock on quality.

The only reason I lean toward the more common brands is because anytime I have heard of a mobo being fried by the psu or a fire being started by the psu, it was always a generic. That scared me off.

<i>Reason the only absolute. Irrationality the only enemy. </i>
December 13, 2002 2:54:19 PM

is this when they overclock or just does the burn out happen on none overclocked systems
December 13, 2002 5:33:40 PM

What I read was of two/three cases where they plugged a generic psu into an unsuspecting system and sometime later there was a fire. I could be overreacting, as this might represent 1 out of 10000 systems or less.

As with all insurance it comes down to your risk factor, the inverse of what you are willing to pay for insurance, which is what you are willing to lose divided by the probability of that loss. Usually I am more risky but in this case I decided why not spend more on the psu since I hope it is going to be the longest lasting thing in my system other than the case, not to mention the least predictable in terms of its output in that probable event that it never bursts into flames.

<i>Reason the only absolute. Irrationality the only enemy. </i>
December 13, 2002 6:06:13 PM

do they offer some kind of waranty if it does blow out and screw up your computers internal parts
December 13, 2002 7:11:12 PM

Reasons why Enermax and Antec is recommended most of the time is because they have been in business for a long time and in many ways they've been exposed to the public. I first heard of Enermax in a PC magazine where they had ranked 5 PCs (alienware, falcon NW, voodoo PC, etc.) and they mentioned the great performance of the Enermax EG365P VE. However some PSU aren't popular but they aren't low quality either. AMD's website lists more than a dozen PSU manufacturers and most of those are unheard of. I don't know wether to believe AMD if they really tested those PSU they recommend or not.

I did have a problem with an Enermax 365P-VE that I just bought this week. When I connect teh ATX power connector to the mobo and turn the system power on I hear a noisy high pitched sound. This sound is present wether the system is setup with all the drives or wether only the mobo and the PSU is in connection. What I did was remove the Enermax PSU and use my old PSU that I wanted to replace and viola no more noisy high ptiched sound. What do you guys think is the problem with the Enermax PSU, is it defective or fixable? If you guys have encountered an issue like this I appreciate your help. Don't wanna ship it back yet to the dealer.
December 13, 2002 7:16:27 PM

In response to the topic at hand it's easy to replace a PSU and these guys have explained it already. However some cases are a pain in the arse!!! Like my Lian-Li mid-tower case. I cannot remove the PSU until I remove the mobo! Now that's a bummer!
December 13, 2002 8:14:45 PM

Is it an Enermax brand? It really sounds annoying and I really couldn't pin point where it is even if the mobo and the PSU are the only ones running. However if it's the PSU fan then why does the sound respond to actions taken by the system. Let's say I open a folder from WinXP and the sound kinda changes its sound. I don't know if you get me but it's like it reacts to every spin of the hard disk. Maybe I should run it for a whole day connected to this PC I am not currently using...I'll try it out...thx!
December 13, 2002 11:07:27 PM

How old are you? and how high does it sound? If you are young enough and it sounds high enough you are hearing the switching of the power FET`s in the PSU. You can hear it on some TV`s as well as a whole bunch of other apliances that use a switchmode design power supply.
AREA_51
December 14, 2002 12:27:44 AM

Quote:
In response to the topic at hand it's easy to replace a PSU and these guys have explained it already. However some cases are a pain in the arse!!! Like my Lian-Li mid-tower case. I cannot remove the PSU until I remove the mobo! Now that's a bummer!

Too bad. I replaced my old PSU with an Allied 350W one this afternoon. Surprisingly, my crummy old computer case proved to be a cinch to work with.

<font color=blue>
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Guns kill people just like spoons make Rosie O'Donnell fat.
<font color=blue>
December 14, 2002 2:15:12 PM

replacing the PSu is easy and safe as long as your case is big enough. If it´s a smaller case, you might need to pull out everything to have the room to install the new power-suply. It came really close when I did it a week ago. I had to stick the lever of the CPU-heatsink slightly into the PSU to get the PSU to fit. Lucky there was a "in-case" fan in the power-suply.

Quote:
350W is enough, you won't need anywhere near 550W.

I´m going to have to disagree a bit there. Sure 350W is enough right now if you don´t get a 9700Pro along with a top-of-the-line system, but the PSU is one of the things people update more rarely. I got a 550W QTec because I want to be safe with a 9700Pro/GeForceFX and a Athlon64. It all depends on how much you´re willing to spend, and on how often you upgrade the PC.
I don´t know what the case is with the 9500Pro, but the 9700Pro atleast (also based on the R300 core) requires a lot of juice.

<font color=red>I´m starting to feel like a real computer consultant.</font color=red>
December 14, 2002 3:34:28 PM

Thanks agian everyone i have decided to get the true power 430 watt from antec hopfully it will work and not blow out my computer i will let everyone know how it goes once i get it in :p . From what i read mine should be a sinch to replace since mines on a door that swings out of the case :) 
December 14, 2002 3:42:17 PM

PSU´s that start fires or detonate are very very rare. And Antec is a good brand, enjoy it.

<font color=red>I´m starting to feel like a real computer consultant.</font color=red>
December 14, 2002 4:26:51 PM

Yeah, enoy!

"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough."
- Mario Andretti
December 14, 2002 4:53:51 PM

I wanted to ask something here since we're on the topic of PSUs.
My friend had this warped thought of staying with his current 300W PSU that fueled his P3 750 system, as he is soon upgrading to a P4 2.4GHZ with a R9500PRO, and will overclock it to 3GHZ and further on when he buys water cooling a few months later.
I told him what he's doing is most likely overkill on the PSU and that it is very risky.
He still resists and claims it wouldn't.
I am telling him to be safe and go buy a brand 350W PSU to be future-proof as well.
So what do you guys think?
I stick with my opinion, 300W for a new P4 powerhouse is a major risk for his system which will have lots of new components and old ones, including:
Netword card
Audigy
20GB drive
CDRW
(not sure if he has other drives)
Couple that with an OCed 2.4GHZ with 533MHZ FSB, a P4PE, an R9500PRO, and I'd say it's a recipe for daredevils.


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December 14, 2002 6:36:14 PM

Ghostdog how about my system. The reason why I wanted to upgrade to an Enermax 350W is because I have an unknown brand "Codegen". It's at 350W also but some PSU's don't give out as much as 350W right?

Anyway here are my specs:

AXP2200+
768 DDR RAM
AIW 9700 Pro
3 HDD (80GB, 60GB, 6GB)
1 CDRW (8x)

Can a 350W handle this? So far since my enermax is still cranky I am using the Codegen brand which I have used for 1 year already with no problems.
December 14, 2002 6:40:45 PM

vk2amv, I'm 20 and the sound isn't really super high. It's just loud enough to be annoying. I can't say it's sound is faint, it's really loud that you can hear it even when the case is closed and my PC is inside a wooden cabinet. I have a Volcano 7 HSF for my CPU and it's pretty loud and that noisy PSU sound is as loud as that. Do you consider that normal?
December 14, 2002 7:57:38 PM

<b>Eden:</b> That will probably be too much. I´m not sure where watercoolers take their power, but if it´s from the PSU, it might just start one of those fires :smile: . Hey, I´m really not an expert, he could try running the stuff. If it works, then great. If it doesn´t, he should run down to the store and pick up a new one.
I´ve used my old 235W from a PIII-system in my new AXP180+, 2 optical-drive, 2 HD, 4 add-on card setup, it ran as OK as you can expect from Windows 98SE.
If you´re recomending future-proofness, go over 350W. I would jump strait to 450W atleast.

<b>Hartski:</b> Codegen isn´t completly unknown, not just as popular as Enermax or Antec. I suggest you take back that Enermax, since it apears to be broken - judging by the noise, and get one of those Enermaxes which allow you to set the speed of the fan, and as a result - the noise-level.

<font color=red>I´m starting to feel like a real computer consultant.</font color=red>
December 14, 2002 9:49:38 PM

It does sound like switching. But it shouldnt be audible under normal circumstances. There must be a fault with the PSU for it to be audible. (Up one for Generic PSU`s:-) Get it replaced.
AREA_51
December 14, 2002 10:42:10 PM

How does he intend to hook up the water cooling system and will there be a peltier? IMO, he should use a pump that he plugs into an outlet. Also, I think a 400W would be a smarter choice for future proofing cause I use more than 350 w/ my setup, and it's a 1.2Ghz t-bird w/ a Quadro DCC (quadro uses the same amt of power as the gf3 counterpart so that ain't an influence) and then a bunch of burners and raid 0 system.

"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough."
- Mario Andretti
December 15, 2002 2:58:19 AM

Thanks for the info and help guys. I'll do everything you guys suggested. First I'll have the Enermax PSU run on a machine that I am not using for some hours. Some guy said the sound is normal and just needs the PSU to run for sometime to get rid if the sound. The dealer contacted me and they will prolly take it back. But it's a pain in the ass to remove my mobo again just to get that Enermax PSU installed. BTW just today I had problems with my AIW 9700 Pro. It restarts my PC. Well am not sure if it's the vidcard but I am kinda 90% sure. Since THU I never had this problem even when I'm playing only 1 game. I also never changed anything since the installation. I wonder what's the prob.
December 15, 2002 12:25:47 PM

Could be that the PSU is faulty, thus making the strange noise and influencing the rest of the system.

<font color=red>I´m starting to feel like a real computer consultant.</font color=red>
December 15, 2002 12:55:01 PM

I don't know how watercooling is setup and from what power source it bases itself on.
But are you saying that in a sarcastic way as in that if he intends to use WC he would never be able to with 300W?

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December 15, 2002 2:05:55 PM

The risk is that your friend's the new system won't run or run reliably, not that it will blow up. No reason for him not to try it out and see what happens.

<i>Reason the only absolute. Irrationality the only enemy. </i>
a b U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
December 17, 2002 1:32:34 AM

Dosen't the P4 boards have a seperate connector for the motherboard??? If his old powersupply does not have this connector he will HAVE to buy a new p/s.

I aint signing nothing!!!
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