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Solved: Power Supply Upgrade

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by afcwhizzer, Oct 6, 2008.

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  1. afcwhizzer

    afcwhizzer Thread Starter

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    Hello

    OK I want to upgrade my graphics, most games I'm trying to play pass the min req's but fail the recomended, due to my graphics card (I don't have one!....ah) I do hane NVidia 6150 onbaord has been fine up till now but I want to play more games, and it don't cut the cheez. aside from a possible near future upgrade of memory and procesor, my sites are first set on my graphics card.........


    A complete newby to this sort of thing me, been tampering with software for a few years now, but hardware is something you get when you buy a computor. BUT NOT ANYMORE!!

    so after trawling the forums and the online shops, opened up my comp five times (whew it's dusty in there), finallly tracked down my PCI-E 16x, found a a few cards look like they could be compatible, want something good but not to fancy, pixel shader....check, ant aliasing (wtf is that?)...check anyway the games like it. atleast 512MB...check.

    WOOHOO!!!! PNY GeForce 8800 GT nice not to expensive (just under £100)
    not to fancy, but better than I have.

    OK it can't work surely, whats the min system requirements.

    processer , fine
    interface , fine I think
    Ram , ok
    hard disc, DVD, VGA ok
    400W system power supply.....hmm hold on....side off again....hmmm....oh crap!!
    My Compaq Presario SR2019UK only has 300Wmax or so it would appear.

    so before I upgrade to this card I need a new power supply.

    but I need some help

    this is where I think TECH SUPPORT GUY..... HELP ... LOL

    So finally he gets to the point... or the burning question.

    The card states minimum system power supply 400W, so is a 400W supply enough? because if the system is using some of the wattage, then do I need more? does the card need 400W to start then run on less or does it need a constant supply 400W?

    OK it says 400W system power supply, so maybe it will be happy to share the power at 400W, or even little more when the computor is going hammer and tongs, but then when I upgarde my CPU and or my MEMORY DIMMS, is my power supply goint to be somethig I have to consider again?

    My local supplier has a 400W power supply in stock and I could have my card ordered up, and I could be running FAR CRY2 at full speed by the end of the week.

    I don't want to buy an electric hungry 550W power supply if I dont need it, but I dont want to buy a wimpy 400W supply if it needs to be upgraded in a few months.

    I'm in your hands now tech guys, please be helpfull.


    TY in advance Keith

    On another note, if anyone knows any real good first person shooters, you know real life style and stealth games. I'd be well interested in that too, cause I've completed all the HITMAN games and he's left me thirsty for a sequal. All i have at the moment is to upgrade my GRAPHS and play them again in better detail, but thats a little uphill ATM.

    if your still hear.... then thanx for listening.
     
  2. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    OK, first of all when you consider a power supply, watts mean next to nothing. It is the amps on the 12V that is really important. All modern systems power just about everything from the 12V. Having a lot of watts on the 3.3V and 5V rail is just about useless.

    For a basic system running an 88xx series of card, I like to see something in the neighborhood of 500W with a min of 35-40amp on the 12V rail.

    Next if you think by installing a 700W pw supply it is going to use more current than a 500W, you are incorrect. The system only uses what it needs.

    Here is an example of a decent psu Newegg link If you check, it has 38amp on the combined 12V rail [dual rails]
     
  3. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    You have something else to consider; case cooling. When you install a card like that, it generates more heat. A compaq case is NOT the best for cooling.
     
  4. BG-0

    BG-0

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    Okay. Let's assume the Compaq has a standard-size ATX power supply.
    What you would want is a power supply that will not only make it through the minimum requirements, but also be able to give a little more, just because that way it won't be overstressed and blow itself and everything else in the computer. ALSO, you don't want just the cheapest "XXX W power supply", because they are crap and WILL fail in quite a short time.
    If you want really enough for as cheap as possible, consider OCZ StealthXtream 500 (preferably 600) W.

    If you want just enough... Look through all the, let's say (430)450-500W PSUs from: Antec, OCZ, FSP, Seasonic, Coolmax(just edited this here because of crj's post with the coolmax PSU, I thought that only good -max ended PSU brand was Enermax, but thought, "heck, if crj found a good Coolmax PSU, then I think it's worth mentioning on the list"), Enermax, Sparkle, Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, read on from previous threads...

    The thing that really matters @ PSUs is the Amperage on the 12 V rail(s). Check the recommendation for that, and try to at least fill that value.
     
  5. afcwhizzer

    afcwhizzer Thread Starter

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    OK first off, thanks to both of you for quick responses.

    So I am understanding here, that wattage is incedental, its the volts and amps that are important, a higher wattage supply is just whats needed to produce more amps which is what I am looking for?


    ok

    my currant supply appears to have only 1# 12V rail.. +12V 19A

    so a minimum of 400 watt should supply the minimum amount of ampage in the 12v as the card requires, but advice sounds like never mind the min' lets give it 35-40A in 12V

    (at this point do I need reminding if there is any importance on the 5V and the 3.3V)

    and whatever max wattage that supply is output won't matter cause my system will only use 300W (I know this dumbanology but its laimen for my comp wont eat more electric just coz i put a KW power supply in it) if thats what it's needing at the time.

    and don't buy cheap s**t coz it won't last, and always give it more so it don't struggle.


    ok

    still have the unresolved issue of the compaq case, maybe I could just leave the side off, it may get cleaned out more often then, under the power supply there is a fan that blows air into the case, I could replace that for a bigger one.?
     
  6. BG-0

    BG-0

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    Only the amps on the 12 V rail(s) matter in today's systems. 3.3V and 5 V are used by very few devices. Still, they are used by some. Therefore, you should get more than just the amount that the gfx and CPU and so on take from the 12 V rail, because otherwise these devices will be underpowered and suffer.
    There's much more... I really give up now. Crj will convince and sophisticate you, I hope.
     
  7. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    You have it somewhat backwards. Just think of ohm's law; VxA=W. Volts X amps = watts. Since almost everything is powered from the 12V rail or section of the pw supply, having say 250W on the 3.3 and 5V rails is completely wasted.

    When you select a pw supply, the wattage rating is about the last thing you look at. You want to look at the general quality of the unit, the temp at which it is rated or tested [most cheap psu rate their products @25C where quality units are rated @40-50C] the amps on the 12V, etc.

    As far as the case, I would really look into a real atx type case. This is one of the reasons big box system cannot really be upgraded in any meaningful way. You have a psu that is just enough to power the system as shipped; with little or now "room" for upgrades. You have a case that in many instances is proprietary; ie not standard atx.

    It is up to you. You can attempt to install the card in that case with an updated pw supply and you will probably be OK since winter is coming on. Next summer you may end up with overheating problems.
     
  8. afcwhizzer

    afcwhizzer Thread Starter

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    Yep, I think I'm geting it, I'm probably looking for 500-600W PSU but I'll be looking for 35-40A on the 12Vrail(s).

    I've been back and had a closer look at the GFX which requires 28A rating on 12V (minimum)

    I have a question

    the 4pin plugs coming from the power supply...

    there are black ones and white ones, are they colour coded for a reason?
     
  9. afcwhizzer

    afcwhizzer Thread Starter

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    above post was before i read CRJ post, which i havent done yet
     
  10. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    It is one of the ironies of life that people will spend two or three hundred dollars on a video card and try to power it with a $30 psu.
     
  11. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    Do you mean the aux power connectors or do you mean the 4pin molex type connector used for a hard disk, CD, etc?

    Your video card should use the 6pin power connector.
     
  12. afcwhizzer

    afcwhizzer Thread Starter

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    yeah... I had a closer look at them and there differant types.


    I didnt see any 6 pins...

    ok Im over my head, I think I'm going to give up on the idea, I figure I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't, and I am not financially capable of building an entire pc right now, which is what I obviously need to do. Ither that or some ppl should just leave the side panels on where they belong.


    thanks for all your help anyway, but if its gaming im after I'll just wait till I can afford a ps3.
     
  13. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    You do not see any 6pin because the pw supply you have does not have them. Most cards come with adapters to allow you to use a two standard molex connectors to pw the video card however you must have a pw supply that is capable of powering the card. A standard compaq psu was never intended to be used in a gaming system that is why it does not have the connectors.

    BTW it is not really all that difficult. Think of it as a car. You cannot just install a high performance cam and expect the car to run better. The whole system has to be matched; cam, intake system, upgraded fuel injection, headers, etc.
     
  14. Compiler

    Compiler

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    Depending on the HPaq Case, the cooling isn't very bad... their weakness is generally with the hard drive (as with Dell). A way around that is get a video card that takes up two slot AREAs so that the 2nd slot is the EXHAUST for the video card. Which prevents heat build-up within the case as well as helping to draw in more air into the case. Example below with the 9800GT which replaced the discountinued 8800GT:

    9800GT singe slot: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130380
    9800GT Dual slot: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130397

    Note: 9800 / 8800 cards generate a lot of heat... You may want to look at a bit cooler running ATI 4850 card... or the slower 4670 card.
    ----------------

    Coolmax, I've never consider that brand to be of quality and don't plan to. I gather their higher end ones maybe okay since they buy them from another company... but Coolmax makes their money selling $15 500watt PSU. Reputable PSU companies DO NOT sell low-end crap PSUs. The cheapest Antec PSUs are $20~30 for 350watt units. Cheapest Coolermaster & Thermaltakes are $40. There are some brands in the UK that maybe reputable over there that are not known in the USA. But use the USA Newegg for reference. Any MAJOR brand sells in North America, Europe and Asia.

    When you buy a PSU, keep your old one - so that when you are ready to build your OWN computer, you can sell your Hpaq in its original state... and keep the new video card and PSU for the next build.

    Top level PSUs:
    OCZ, FSP, Seasonic, Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, Zalman, SilverStone, Gigabyte

    Good PSUs:
    Antec, Enermax, Sparkle, Coolermaster. (some of these are TOP end)

    Should Avoid:
    Aerocool, Apevia, Apex, Athena, Chieftex, coolmax, Dynapower, e-power, Linkworld, Powmax, raidmax. Many of these are exactly the same thing.
     
  15. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    The high end coolmaxs are OK, however you do need to be careful since they also build junk pw supplies.
     
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