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psu upgrade for new video card


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11 replies to this topic

#1 rfearo

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 11:15 AM

Hello all,


Looking for some advice on upgrading my power supply. I have an older machine that I want to upgrade with a newer video card, and all the cards I am looking at need more power than I currently have. My system came with a 300w no-name psu. I am leaning toward a 500w Thermaltake Purepower w0100ru from Newegg for $59. From a previous post I read it seems people feel pretty good about this manufacturer. My questions are as follows:

1) Is Thermaltake a good manufacturer?

2) Is 500w enough?

3) Should I be concerned that it is too much power for my older CPU and board?

I also have a question about selecting a new video card. I am concerned that because of the age of the system that even if I buy a newer video card I won't be able to reap the benefits because the cpu is too slow for the card. Can anyone guve me some card suggestions? See my system specs. below.


Thanks for the help/input.

Gateway GT4016
AMD Athlon 64 processor 3700+ 2.2ghz
1024ddr dual channel memory
pci-e x16 video slot (curently have a vga bfg 7600gt 256m)

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#2 Sneakycyber

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 06:38 PM

Well If you are planning on buying a Geforce GTX 295 or a HD 4870 X2. Then yes your processor would be a serious bottle neck. What are you trying to accomplish with your new video card? If you mention high frame rates on crysis you will have to update the whole system.
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#3 DJBPace07

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 08:27 PM

I'm not sure if Gateway PC's use proprietary power supplies or motherboards. If they do, you will have problems buying a Thermaltake or any other PSU not suggested by Gateway. Power supplies only use as much power as the computer requires, the wattage rating is the maximum amount it can supply. You might want to consider more RAM, 1GB is not very much for most modern games. You will face a bottleneck if you choose not to upgrade the CPU as well as the GPU if you get one of the top-of-the-line GPU's. GeForce 9800 GTX would be a good choice if you computer has the necessary depth for an 11 inch card. The 9800 GT is a little smaller and less powerful but also a good choice.

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#4 rfearo

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 09:17 AM

Thanks for the advice. My intention was to upgrade with a relatively inexpensive mid-range card to hold me over until I eventually buy or build a new system. I was eyeing the 9800 gt which looks like the max I could go up to without replacing the processor. Glad someone else feels it is a good card.

In regard to the issue of proprietary powersources, I never even considered that issue. Is there a resource for finding out if I can use another manufacturer's product, other than calling Gateway? My worry is that Gateway will try and sell me one of their generic PSU's when I can install a quality product like Thermaltake or Antec instead.


Thanks again for the input.

#5 Sneakycyber

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 11:56 AM

Unless your computer is a Small form factor (SFF) Compaq was the primary use of proprietary power supplies. You should be ok. Post your computer make and model number and we can look up the information for you.
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#6 rfearo

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 12:21 PM

Gateway GT4016
AMD Athlon 64 3700
C51G chipset

I think after doing some more research a standard ATX PSU will work.


Thanks again

#7 dc3

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 12:35 PM

The PSU in that Gateway is a ATX type, you won't have any problems with purchasing another that will work with your computer.

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#8 rfearo

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 01:08 PM

Thanks for the reassurance. I was looking at the Thermaltake Purepower 500w. Have you had any experience with that manufacturer? I 've read some good things about them on this site. Newegg has one for $59 that I was thinking of ordering.

#9 Sneakycyber

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 02:24 PM

Thermaltake makes good power supplies that one would be perfect for your system and the new card.
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#10 rfearo

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 02:31 PM

Thanks much. Looks like a good deal. Never installed a PSU before. Is it fairly straight forward? I read a few articles on changing one out, so I think I can do it. Any words of wisdom? I ordered two more gigs of ram as well so when I get those I will change out the PSU and card as well. Kind of nervous though. Have never done much tinkering before.

#11 DJBPace07

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 03:54 PM

Installing a PSU is pretty straightforward, just take your time and you will be fine. The first time I replaced a PSU, it took me about 15 minutes. I ordered a Corsair power supply, another good manufacturer along with Silverstone, and it was modular making cable management simple. Next time I install a PSU, I'll remember to plug in the modular cables before sliding it into the tower.

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#12 rfearo

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 07:03 PM

Thanks for the advice. I'll keep that in mind.




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