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Solved: Dell 9020 Power Supply

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by djkroon, Jan 6, 2015.

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  1. djkroon

    djkroon Thread Starter

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    Has anyone purchased a Dell 9020 with the Radeon R5 240 option? I have one with integrated video and it came with a 220W power supply. This is severely inadequate for any kind of decent video card upgrade, however, Dell does offer the R5 240, which is an OEM card. The R5 230 requires a 400W power supply so I'm wondering if the R5 240 has a lower power requirement and/or Dell puts a larger PS in with that configuration. I can find no spec info for the 240 and all Dell's site says about the PS is "up to 85% efficient". I'm wondering if I can get my hands on a 240 if I can just slap it in or if I am still restrained by the PS. The largest after-market PS I can find is 250W. Thanks! -Dan
     
  2. flavallee

    flavallee Trusted Advisor

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    You didn't provide a complete description nor a service tag number for that "Dell 9020", so I'm guessing you have a Dell OptiPlex 9020 which comes in 3 case sizes:

    Mini Tower (290 watt power supply)

    Small Form Factor (255 watt power supply)

    Ultra Small Form Factor (200 watt power supply)
     

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  3. djkroon

    djkroon Thread Starter

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    Oops, sorry about that. I should know better. It is a small form factor with a 255W supply. I'm just wondering if purchasing the R5 option gives a larger power supply considering the retail R5 230 requires 400W. It is also possible that the OEM version of this R5 series (R5 240) has lower power requirements than its retail counterparts. I've got someone telling me that it is okay to ignore the "minimum hardware requirements" posted on video card boxes. To me, if it says "minumum 300W power supply recommended" and you put it in a machine that has a 220W or 250W PS you are asking for trouble. Sure, it may work fine when you are sitting idle or doing a little web browsing, but start taxing the system with 3D rendering and movie transcoding and you're bound to pull more current than the PS is rated for. -D
     
  4. flavallee

    flavallee Trusted Advisor

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    You didn't say why you want to switch from integrated graphics to a video card, so I'm guessing you want to play games and/or watch movies in your computer.

    One problem with installing a high wattage power supply and/or a video card in a small form factor case is the lack of space and ventilation which causes a overheating problem.

    I'm not a hardware upgrade expert, so I requested a couple of them to jump in and give you better advice than I can.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  5. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    The 400 watt recommendation is for a standard system with head room, the R5 230 itself uses only 19 watts and the R5 240 is at 50 watts max, Dell gets away with using lower wattage power supplies because they design the system and know exactly what the power draw in the system is going to be in their standard configuration and since it's a tiny business model then they don't expect much add-ons. They also use pretty decent power supplies in many of the systems with pretty accurate ratings whereas cheap power supplies inflate their numbers making video card manufacturers state high wattage numbers for the whole system plus they don't know what all will be in the system. Dell also doesn't intend to have their systems upgraded beyond basic things as well, especially true from system smaller than mid-ATX.

    You can go a power supply calculator website and work out how much your system is using.

    The R5 230/240 are pretty entry level cards, do you really need such a small boost over the integrated graphics which is adequate for all tasks even basic gaming?
     
  6. djkroon

    djkroon Thread Starter

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    Triple6... thanks for the info. The need for a higher-graphics card, however small, is a requirement of a 3D rendering application which states the inadequacy of integrated graphics. I was confused by the requirements stated on the retail cards knowing full well that those needs aren't met with those small power supplies. Granted, SFF machines are low-end and not designed for anything but basic business-class needs, but when you have a situation where a budget only allows for upgrading what you've got vice total replacement, you've got to make the best of it. Although apparently not certified, the Dell power supply specs boast an "up to 85%" efficiency, which would be a Bronze level cert. I suppose you could consider them decent for the price-point these PCs are in. It makes sense that Dell can get away with the lower power supplies, as you said, because they engineer them with specific components. I suppose that is one of the reasons they keep many components proprietary, though I am glad to see some of that practice has changed. With a 75W peak draw of the PCIe spec I think I will be safe with the nVidia GT640 I ended up getting. I will monitor the total usage by using an in-line power meter just to be sure. Thanks again!
     
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