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Psu Confusion


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#1 8-bit

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 02:28 PM

Ive always been alittle confused by the PSU of a pc and wondered if someone could give my a quick lesson in them.
I know its possible to put too little power into a M/B but is it possible to put too much power into it? I know they come in different wattages but will the pc only use what it needs? Theres also the AT ,ATA issue as well. Is that just a physical size thing?
I'm using an old pc at the moment with a very old PSU and have heard PSUs can cause many problems. I have a new spare PSU but that is rated at 400w and my old one is 300w. Will it be safe to use? My old M/B does have a AT power connection as well as a ATA one.

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#2 stevealmighty

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 02:59 PM

I know its possible to put too little power into a M/B but is it possible to put too much power into it?


Yes, although most PSU's have built in protections to prevent over/under voltage. The use of a UPS (Uninterupted Power Source) will further aid in protecting your PC and your PSU. The UPS will regulate the electricity as to prevent any damage to the machine, and will also act as a battery backup in the case of power failure.

I have a new spare PSU but that is rated at 400w and my old one is 300w. Will it be safe to use?


Your 400W psu will be just fine. The 400W rating is more of a max than an actual push of power into your board. However, if your current psu is fine, then why replace it? Hence; "If it isn't broke, then don't fix it!". With that said, if you do choose to replace it, you may notice a slight increase in speed in your machine, or you might not if the 300w one was more than enough.

The AT, ATA is for the type of hard drives that your mobo will support. The most common ones are (and some one please correct me if I'm wrong) Serial ATA and IDE.

Let us know if you have any more questions!

Hope this helps!
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#3 8-bit

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 03:13 PM

Oops sorry. When I mentioned ATA, ATX I meant AT and ATX. Does that dictate the type of PSU?
The reason I want to change the PSU is that the pc I using at the mo' is VEERY old and Ive heard faulty PSUs can cause as much trouble as faulty RAM and CPUs. At times my pc will freeze up and restart and also sometimes takes about 3 boots to actually load Win 98.

Edited by 8-bit, 05 April 2006 - 03:16 PM.


#4 stevealmighty

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 03:16 PM

No, I dont' believe it does. While the power supply does connect directly to the hard drive, the serial ATA cable will connect the hard drive right to the mobo (motherboard). The psu and the serial ATA cables have nothing to do with eachother (meaning that you can't plug an ATA cable directly into a psu).
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#5 dc3

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 10:08 PM

Depending on the manufacturer of you computer, you could just change out the PSU, and see if this helps. The reason that I mention the manufacturer is that Dell for instance has their PSUs made for them to fit their specs and size, most off the shelf PSUs will not fit in there.

It sounds like you may have issues other than you PSU, please tell us what your computer specs are, make/model, amount of RAM, amount of hard drive.

What sort of maintenace are you practicing, defrag the hard drive, clean out the case, run your anti virus, spyware, adware, malware protection?

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