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Advice - do I need a new PSU? And if so what one?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by GlynG, Jan 24, 2006.

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  1. GlynG

    GlynG Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    8
    I think my computer might not have enough power and that I should possibly upgrade the power supply. Wanted some advice really as this not something I’ve done before or know much about.

    The computer comes with the standard PSU savastore shipped it with which runs the existing set-up ok, but if I want to connect an additional hard-drive I have to disconnect both DVD drives for it to recognise it. Also it has an annoying habit of blue-screen crashing occasionally - but only when I play music, which I’m guessing might mean it’s not got quite enough power to keep the (temporarily added in) Soundblaster Audigy ZS running consistently.

    It’s running on a 300W power supply, which I think is quite low. What wattage should I really have? Is there a particular sort I’d need to buy? It’s shortly going to become my mother’s computer and I can’t see her using it for anything that complicated, the main requirement is that the new PSU should be relatively cheap (ideally <£15-20), while not too noisy. Quite possibly pick one up cheap on e-bay, maybe even a second-hand one, just not sure what I need.

    System Details:
    AMD Athlon64 3000+
    MSI 7093 Motherboard
    1 gig DDR ram
    2 x Connect 3D Radeon x300 (think one’s part of motherboard, other separate)
    1-2 x 250gig SATA HDs (1 mainly used, 1 back-up)
    2 x DVD Drives
    7 in 1 card reader thingy
    Dell 2005FPW
    Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard 4000
    Microsoft Wireless Optical Mouse 5000

    How much wattage should I buy? 400W be enough or would I need more? There’s a Antec Smart Power 400W PSU going cheap on e-bay I was looking at...

    And finally how easy is it to change a PSU? I’m reasonably ok fiddling about inside a computer these day’s but that’s not something I’ve had call to do...

    Thanks in advance for any replies/suggestions!

    Glyn
     
  2. qldit

    qldit

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2005
    Messages:
    3,390
    Good Morning Glyn, there is a program hopefully still avaiable as a freebee here http://www.freedownloadscenter.com/...s_Utilities/Lavalys_EVEREST_Home_Edition.html
    If you can download from this site you may be lucky, this program has now become commercial. (costs)
    Everest home is an analysis program and installs and runs simply on your machine.
    In it there is a "sensors" page that gives realtime voltage and temperature readings so it gives an idea if there is low voltage or whatever. Under different operating circumstances.

    If you decide to go for another PSU, ensure that the motherboard connector is the same, some are 20 pin and some 24 pin. Yet others have a second power connection lead (4 pin) usually referred to as P4 type.

    Under normal circumstances the mounting of these devices is the same but in some compact type cases may physically conflict with the processor fan assy.

    Generally with a standard case type there is no problem, but some Compaqs and other compacts are another story.
    All being well, replacing a PSU is four screws, six or so plugs, a bit of care and twenty minutes. Simple beginners job, exercise care and commonsense.

    Others will have different opinions.

    I didn't chase your board specifics.

    Cheers, qldit.
     
  3. Tumbleweed36

    Tumbleweed36

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Messages:
    736
    Hi,

    For the rig that you have listed, I would recommend an Antec or Enermax 500 or 550 watt power supply. Don't go down the road of buying a cheap no-name power supply because regardless of what they advertise in power, most of the time, if they are cheap, they don't produce what they say they do.
     
  4. dustyjay

    dustyjay

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Messages:
    12,661
    First Name:
    Jay
    I was going to recommend same brands and few others but with only 450-480 watts. The higher wattage will of course be better if for no other reasonthan future upgrades.
     
  5. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    38,370
    With a ps, quality is much more important than a wattage rating. An antec 350W ps would be preferred over a raidmax 500W unit. There are a number of quality brands; I use antec, enermax, enlight, coolmax, and sparkle in my builds.
     
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