TechSpot

Power Supply Confusion

By Mtyson8
Dec 29, 2005
  1. Power Supply Confusion
    Ok, we have all heard that when your running Powerful ATI cards 9800 and above, Nvidia cards 5,6,and 7 series, soundcards, multiple HDs, Disc Drives..etc that you need 350w 400w or better. Certainly, when one is custom buildin a machine, you should get these high or higher power supplys.

    But my question is: What about for Dells, HPs, or Gateways?

    For instance, I had bought in Jan 2004 a Dell Dimension 8300 series. Now this is the second to top of the line series, just before the XPS. Now this system came with a 250W Pwr Sply, and Dell Support says the max I can get for 8300 is 305W(thats 305 NOT 350). So I DID. Now this machine comes with slots for 2 HDs, two smaller bays-(floppy for ex,) 2 disc drives, 5 PCI slots, an AGP 8X 3.0 slot, P4 with HT, and 4 slots for dual channel memory, 4 1024s for 4GB TOTAL. Is this sufficient?
    I have Radeon X850 PRO, Audigy 2 ZS, 4 512s for 2048, 2 HDs, 2 disc drives, a floppy, a modem, and a 3.0GHz P4 w/HT.
    I guess my question is should these pre built machine be able to handle more items since they are pre-built, with a MAX power supply that comes with, more that a custom? I cant belive Dell would make a case that supports all this, and the max power supply being 250-305.
    :blackeye: I also know that even the XPS come with 400W or 450W. And they can support even more items, like SLI, dual graphics.
     
  2. Country Boy 13

    Country Boy 13 TS Rookie Posts: 23

    Me too

    I bought a Dell as well, with only a 250 W power supply. In replaced the Power supply for me new graphics card. I know Dell makes weird slots, but i bought an antec smart power 400 W, put it in there (with some cutting in the case for the switch) and screwed it in. As of now, im having no problems, although i think im gonna go in their again and add more support. So go ahead and buy some other power supply, youll be able to put it in their, but be careful to support it correctly.
     
  3. Mtyson8

    Mtyson8 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Ok, but my question is, what if I stick with the 305W? I dont want to buy one, because Dell Techs say over 305w will void warranty. :knock: SO, if dell made that power supply with THAT case(8300), it should be fine right?
     
  4. DragonFury

    DragonFury TS Rookie Posts: 88

    i would try to go bigger then 305 watts . u can put in a 550 watt psu and not do anything ur comp only goin to use what it needs . i go with 400 - 450 ,if you using their parts for that case yes it should be .
     
  5. Country Boy 13

    Country Boy 13 TS Rookie Posts: 23

    I dont know, u can do that, but 305 W is not that much at all. Another thread has like a power supply calculator that tells you what a reccomended powersupply should be, ill try to find it. Did you get the basic warranty or an exteneded one? Dell is stupid using their propiertry power supply slots. It makes me mad that they do that. But o well. If you use all those PCI slots and extra bays w/ HDs, etc, you will need more power. Especially with new processors that suck up so much juice.
     
  6. Ruder

    Ruder TS Rookie Posts: 134

    You have already voided the warranty by opening the case, never mind adding some hardware. So you can just as well put in a PSU of your choice. Or even better get a better case with better airflow and more space.
     
  7. Mtyson8

    Mtyson8 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    well, i mean that they say that the mobo supplyed might get damaged as a result of supplying higher power not recommended, because its a dell.

    now, i know some of you are going to say thats ridiculous, a pwr sply takes what i needs. believe me, about 10 people have told me that. However, 10 people(not really 10, just used for effect) have also told me that this mobo is not compatable with higher pwr splys. So im real skeptical, especially when a dell tech says this.

    I think im going to start a thread for dell dimension that have upgraded there power supply to a custom one, please post and let me know.
     
  8. DragonFury

    DragonFury TS Rookie Posts: 88

    i have never heard of over powering a Mb . a mb will only use what it needs . not anymore so if a dell tech say it will blow up bc over powering it or fry it hes got to re learn everything .....
     
  9. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,120

    I concure. It's the system that "draws" the power it needs, not the PS that "pushes" the power it has.

    I do wonder, though, if the proprietary Dell PSes, though low in Watts, I wonder if they have uncommon HIGH amps to handle the load?

    In response to the Dell issue, while I've never seen a high powered PS blow a Dell, I have seen plenty of Dells that change the pinout of the PS to the mobo. And thus ANY standard PS will likely blow the the mobo and even itself, if not wired right for the Dell mobo. The most common is that the pinout is the same, except the mobo doesn't use the white wire from the PS. And if you plug in a PS that has the white wire connected, it can damage parts. The wire handles -5v.
    Other Dell and Gateway mobos I've seen just all the wires are jacked not even close to a standard layout. And yet the plug itself is the same, so try to plug in a standard PS, burn your house down.

    I would warn ANY person who wants to upgrade a PS in an OEM PC, to carefully check that the old PS and new PS have the same wires and pinout, or else!
     
  10. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,199

    You can't harm or damage a system by having a beefier power supply. The wattage rating is the MAX wattage it can power, not it's continual feed. All a power supply does is feed constant, stable power down it's multiple voltage feeds and the system draws what it needs.

    As long as the plugs/connections are correct and the PSU can be mounted physically, it's good to go. You can put a 600W power supply behind that Dell and everything would run properly- once again, provided the connectors to the mainboard are correct.
     
  11. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,909

    That website is here http://www.jscustompcs.com/power_supply/.
     
     
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