Friday, October 26, 2007

Power Supply It Is

So, thanks to OpenEdge1, I did get ATITools to help make sure my fan stayed on and kept my card cool. Hellgate ran like a dream. I played for a while, then logged off, started charging my iPod via the USB and went downstairs. Later that night, I decided it was time to run a couple of AVs before bed, only now my PC's frame rate was chugging again.

Temperature = Fine.
Fan = Fine
HDD = Defragged, Cleaned, 25GB of space left at the moment.

Yep, it seems it may be my power supply after all. The new card requires a 350w AT LEAST PSU. My PC runs on an old 250w one. Crap. Now, I talk to Dell they tell me that my motherboard is not intended to run higher than a 300w PSU, and upgrading could eff up my system.

Any validity to this statement? I want to upgrade, but not at such a risk. I'd rather lower the life of my video card and run on less power than lose my entire PC. It seems that as long as I don't charge my iPod while gaming, the system's fine and 250w can suffice. Should I just stick with what PSU I have and get a new PC next year around tax time? Or should I not listen to the yokel at Dell and get myself a nice 400-500w PSU that's compatible (I think these old Dells require ATX PSUs) and cross my fingers he's full of crap?



Anonymous said...

You should get a new system when you can and not from Dell for sure, since most gaming rigs should be able to run 500W PSU minimum (because modern video cards are very power hungry) and if you go Dell again then you will end up with another system that is not upgradable.

It is impossible to keep up to day with the way computer technology is progressing, but I am sure you can get a decent system with yesterday's tech that can run your games for a while not pay for it an arm and a leg.
Just my 5 cents.

Cameron Sorden said...

Unfortunately, I don't know whether he's lying or not. Your best bet would be to find out what your motherboard IS and then do a google search for the tech specs yourself. While I've never heard of a motherboard being incompatible with a too large power supply (I've always assumed the components draw power as they need them), I can't rule it out. Who knows with Dell parts?

You have a few alternate options too:

1) If you know someone who's good with computers, snag a new case, a new PSU, and a new motherboard for under $300. Most of the rest of your system will be able to be used in the new system, if you choose what you buy carefully.

2) It's only about six months till tax time. If you're thinking about dropping $300 on new computer parts, you might want to wait until you can spend $1200 more (or $700 more) and get a really nice system instead of buying parts that are compatible with your aging system.

3) The Best Option: If your system is fine when you're not charging your iPod, don't charge your iPod on your PC. A wall charger for an iPod is $30-50, it's a good investment anyway for convenience and travel reasons, and it's far cheaper than upgrading.

brackish said...

Agree with Cameron here, check the actual specs on your board or post the link here.

Why would the board not be able to support a 350w PSU? Not sure here on that one as I have never had a problem going up on the PSU. You can find cheap 500w for 50$ or less most of the time and they would get you through the next couple of years fine.

ATX = case style. You can find almost any PSU in ATX so I wouldnt worry about this Bildo.

Pixey Styx said...

Problem is your graphics card is pulling sucking all the power up.

Its not the graphics card that going to get screwed its you cpu, mother board, ram, and hard drive that will be taking a hit.

graphics card working at full bore will leave little of no power to maintain your fans, cpu and harddrives.

Be careful, no multi tasking, keep the computer vented and should be ok ... in meantime look for a cheap m/b $50.00 - $60.00 and a psu. If atx m/b should be able to up it for a $100.00 or so ...

Bildo said...

So basically, you would all concur that it's probably safest to either...

a.) Go back to the old 9800pro


b.) Upgrade the PSU to say, 400-500w?

Pixie Styx said...

i would go back to the 9800 to be safe and in the mean time save and shop around for a new psu and in the mean time chk the m/b you have in your dell box and see if there any psu restrictions. personally i think they are full of it ... but thats just me

Anonymous said...

There probably no restriction on mb on how much power you can apply to it, but usually Dell cases are designed for certain components that are custom manufactured for Dell to keep costs down, so you probably will have hard time sticking a different PSU in there just because of the case structure.
Hard to say since I do not know what Dell model you are using. But it looks like if you continue using ATI card you will just kill your existing PSU someday. Easier to buy new case and more powerful PSU with compatible Mb and just salvage what you can from your old system.

Bildo said...

Aye. For now my PC's fine so long as I'm just playing games or running apps and not charging the iPod, so tomorrow I'm headed to CompUSA where they'll keep trying to find a PSU that fits in my Dell's tower. Hopefully I can keep it around 50 bucks. Wish I would have known I needed this when I had the money... sigh.

sam said...

Every dell i've worked on had a standard Power supply. I doubt putting in a bigger power supply would hurt. The power supply generally just makes the power available for the system to draw on. When you don't have enough things get wierd and flakey. The only way too much would get you is if you get power spikes and that could happen on your old 250 watt one.

I find it strange that dell told you there was a restriction on power supply. My guess it the guy on the help desk just didn't know and erred on the side of caution.

but When I worked on a help desk I was taught a lot of really wrong things that had to be unlearned.

good luck.

Brenda said...

agree with sam. A bigger power supply is like having a bigger bucket of water. It only affects how much you can draw. That said, the earlier poster who warned about finding an incorrectly sized power supply is right on. If you had a 250W power supply, it's probably pretty small. 500W power supplies can be big or small; make sure what you get fits your case, has the air in the right place, etc.

sam said...

another thing to consider. The bigger the fan on the power supply the quieter it usally is. I replaced my wifes Power supply a year ago with a nice one that had a 120mm fan. she was ecstatic over the fact here computer was quieter. LOL I'm half deaf so it never bothered me.

Link said...

I've heard good things about I'm looking to get a new video card and power supply myself. Anyone have any experience with the web retailer or can recommend another?

Anonymous said...

Not to steal this post and sound like an add, but I had good experience with and have no coplains about using them for things that do not cost much to ship, like video cards, disk drives, ram. They have also ranking for an item based on user reviews which could be good thing as well. One downside for the site is that there are too many options to look at and sometimes can be overwhelming to cosume all that information. But everything else, like deals and rebates, shipping and delivery were right on.

Link said...

D'oh. Sorry about hijacking your post.

Bildo said...

Haha, no problem Link.

I got a PSU this weekend, everything's rosey and I'll be making a post on it later this morning.