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Do I need a new PSU?


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12 replies to this topic

#1 Master_Shake

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 12:06 PM

I have a a1330n hp desktop. So far I have added 2 1gb ram and just recently a 9800gt nvidia gfx card. The card seems to be working great. Now I want to upgrade my cpu to AMD ATHLON 64 X2 3600+. I believe the psu I have is ATX-300-12ZCDR. I've been reading about power and it just honestly confuses me.
Do I already need a new psu or will I need one if I get the new processor?

Thanks for all your help.

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 12:27 PM

First of all...only you can answer the question you asked.

We can only give opinions, based on what we've experienced or otherwise think we know :thumbsup:. You make the decision, it's your system, your money.

FWIW: Your current PSU, http://www.atxpowersupplies.com/300-watt-p...-300-12zcdr.php

The following are worth reading, IMO:

PC Power Supply Buyer's Guide - http://compreviews.about.com/od/cases/bb/PSU.htm

Power Supply Basics - http://static.tigerdirect.com/html/powersuppliesGuide.html

ASUSTeK Computer Inc.-Support-Min Power Supply Calculator - http://support.asus.com/PowerSupplyCalcula...SLanguage=en-us

How To Choose Power Supply - http://www.directron.com/psu.html

My personal opinion: I would get a new PSU of approx 450-500, if I were in your place. I would do so based on the fact that even though I believe that is more than adequate for my needs (I've run a system with 6 hard drives connected, 2 optical drives and a stronger CPU on 450watt PSUs), there is little point in taking a chance that your power supply is the weakest link of your system.

Example: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/Se...&CatId=1078

One of the key things to pay attention to...is whether there are PATA connectors if you still have PATA drives. Newer PSUs may not have such.

Louis

#3 Master_Shake

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 12:54 PM

I like the calculator :huh:, but I think I might of done something wrong because it says I need 600 watts. :thumbsup:
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#4 hamluis

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 01:46 PM

"If at first...you don't succeed..."

I just went through the calculator, exaggerating the number of hard drives I would utilize...with a system that's more powerful than your configuration...and my calculated result was 500-watt PSU, which is probably close to being accurate/reliable.

Louis

#5 Master_Shake

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 02:44 PM

What would happen if you chose the same gfx card that I use? It jumps from 350 to 600 for me.

#6 hamluis

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 03:21 PM

Well, adding that card and a couple of random items...I go from 500 to 700.

I find it hard to believe that a video card makes that much difference...let's wait for those more knowledgeable to comment.

FWIW: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/260470-3...tt-power-supply AND http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qi...06120434AA6JKhQ

Louis

You might also be interested in the calculator at http://www.thermaltake.outervision.com/.

Edited by hamluis, 10 September 2009 - 03:25 PM.


#7 Master_Shake

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 03:54 PM

This looks like a good calculator for cards http://h30434.www3.hp.com/psg/board/messag...;thread.id=3319 but I have no clue whats going on. :thumbsup:

With the new site, putting my fans at 250mm LED since I don't know what they really are, it says 300 watts. :huh:

Just put Capacitor Aging to 20% and it jumped to 362 watts.

Edited by Master_Shake, 10 September 2009 - 04:00 PM.


#8 dpunisher

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 06:26 PM

You have to consider several things when considering power supplies, and power supply calculators.

The power supply calculators always overshoot the actual wattage they recommend- my rig uses 340 actual watts maxed out (if PSU at 90% efficiency), the power supply calculators show it should use anywhere from 420-455 watts. In a perfect world, your PSU should have some headroom, I like about 40%, some like more.

The 12V+ powers most of the high draw components on a modern system. Your CPU and videocard pull heavily from that 12V+ rail. The problem is many power supplies use big numbers on the 3.3 and 5V rails to bump their wattage ratings up to something that looks respectable. The 12V+ is weak to begin with and eventhough the total wattage is fine, on paper, your components that require 12V are overdrawing your power supply. I take the total max draw of a system, and assume it will all use the 12V+. I then look for a PSU that will comfortably supply that running about 50-60% load.

An ATHLON 64 X2 3600+ pulls ~ 90 watts, a 9800 gt ~120 watts max. Figure 17.5 amps maxed out for those two components plus whatever else your system pulls. Your current PSU has a 19amp 12V+ rail. It's cutting it really close. That PSU does have monster 3.3 and 5V rails though, and if you had an old PIII system, that would matter.

Are you getting enough rain in Houston?

Edit #2: I don't know how that Asus calculator spit out 600 watts. I entered my specs and it spit out 420, whichwas the closest of the calculators I tried.

Edited by dpunisher, 10 September 2009 - 06:34 PM.

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)


#9 Master_Shake

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 08:01 PM

Okay I think I got it. So if I wanted 40% headroom I would only want to use about 11amps? If I were to get the one mentioned in the second post, which I believe has 24 amps for the 12v+ rail, I would only want to use about 14 amps? Or am I just totally wrong? :thumbsup:

Its raining down here like everyday, so gloomy :huh:

Or this one http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/Se...&CatId=1079 18amps with the 40% headroom

Edited by Master_Shake, 10 September 2009 - 08:06 PM.


#10 dpunisher

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 08:26 PM

Like I said, it's just my personal preference for overhead. I have lost a couple of PSUs in the past and am probably a bit paranoid.

To illustrate the difference between PSUs, compare the 12V rails from the above supply to this one (450 watts as well):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16817139003

Or even this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16817139008

Before I make you paranoid as well, consider that it is rare that a system pulls max wattage for any length of time. You really have to purposely be running some sort of CPU/GPU stress programs to pull the watts.

Edited by dpunisher, 10 September 2009 - 08:28 PM.

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)


#11 Master_Shake

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 08:57 PM

Well if I do the 40% header I'll get a longer life on it correct? $40 for the 30amps seems like a great deal.

#12 dpunisher

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 10:53 PM

Here is a review: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/750/1

40% extra capacity is just my preference. If you can run your PSU around the middle of its rated output, that's the sweet spot for efficiency.

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)


#13 Master_Shake

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 09:25 AM

Today I finally have time to look at all my connections. Everything looks like it will fit besides my CD and DVD drives, they connect with IDE 4 PIN connectors.
Also just to be sure Main connector (20+4Pin) is equivalent to ATX 24 pin and 12V connector for P4 motherboards is equivalent to 4-Pin/8-Pin EPS Connector?

I was looking at http://www.atxpowersupplies.com/300-watt-p...-300-12zcdr.php for my current psu and http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...-_-NA-_-NA-_-NA for the one I want.

Edited by Master_Shake, 04 October 2009 - 09:26 AM.





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