TechSpot

Would Like to Purcahse New PSU ASAP

By theH
Apr 22, 2006
  1. I have just purchased an ATI X1900 XTX. Upon opening up my PC I have discovered that my PSU is rated for 350W. The specifications for my new video card from the ATI website are as follows:

    "450-Watt power supply or greater, 30 Amps on 12 volt rail recommended (assumes fully loaded system)"
    "Power supply must support 6-pin PCI Express® connector (CrossFire™ requires 2 x 6 pin PCI Express connector)".

    Now normally I would have spent some time researching the specifics of the card. But when you are saving up for an ATI X850 and then suddenly you see an ATI X1900 XTX for about $250 on eBay, you have to jump for it :).

    I am using the PSU that came with my Dell Dimension 9100 right now. Can anyone please recommend a good PSU for me? I cannot find anything with "30 Amps on 12 volt rail".

    Here are my current system specs (including my current graphics card):
    Pentium D 2.8Ghz
    2x 512MB DIMM RAM (@ 533Mhz)
    Multi-Media Card Reader
    DVD/CD RW Drive
    250GB Hard Drive (7200RPM)
    Floppy Drive
    ATI Radeon X600 (256MB)
    Audigy 2 ZS Sound Card

    I have included some unimportant (imo anyway) specifications to let you know about how many connections the PSU will need.

    On a side note, the PSU I have right now makes almost no noise. I don't know much about PSUs, its not listed in device manager (which is obvious, i've been told), and I can't tell from looking at it what model it is. Sitting here typing this, I can almost not hear it. I have to put my ear close to it to hear it. If anyone knows the dB for the default PSU that comes with a Dell Dimension 9100, please let me know.

    If anyone can give me any information I would be extremely gratefull. I really would like to play with this new card before my finals start next week (no not this coming week, the week after that).

    Thanks for your time.
     
  2. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,598

  3. theH

    theH TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    First off, thanks for the reply.

    Okay, I have done that but I'm not sure about some of the settings I put into it. Here is what I put, can you tell me if it looks reasonable?

    System Type: Single Processor
    CPU: Intel Pentium D 820 2800 Mhz Smithfield
    CPU Utilization: 100% TDP

    RAM: 2 Sticks DDR2 SDRAM
    Video Card: ATI Radeon X1900 XTX
    Video Type: Single Card

    HardDrives:
    IDE 7200 RPM: 1 HDD (not sure if i have SCSI 7200RPM)

    Drives:
    DVD-RW / DVD+RW Drive: 1 Drive
    Floppy Drive: 1 Drive

    PCI Cards:
    Checked 56K PCI Modem
    Checked PCI Network Interface Card
    Checked Sound Blaster with Front Bay
    Checked PCI IDE Controller Card (not sure)
    Checked PCI SCSI Controller Card (not sure)

    Additional PCI Cards: 1 (I have no idea whats going on anymore)

    External Devices (USB): 4 (Palmtop connection (not cradle), keyboard, mouse, and USB headphones).

    Fans:
    Including the PSU, GPU, and PC fans? I put 3x Regular 92mm fans

    PSU Utilization:
    100%

    Surge Compensation:
    Unselected

    Capacitor Aging:
    Unselected

    ------------------------------------------------
    Recommended PSU Wattage: 453 Watts

    Was that in any way reasonable? Can you tell me how to find out the things I dont know?
     
  4. theH

    theH TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Just to clarify, the things I'm not sure about are:

    CPU Utilization in TDP - I'm don't have a clue what this is. I left it at 100%

    RAM: I've selected 2 Sticks DDR2 SDRAM. I'm pretty sure thats what I have but all I really know is I have 2x 512MB DIMM RAM at 533Mhz.

    Harddrives: How can you tell if your harddrive is IDE or SCSI?

    PCI IDE/SCSI Controller Cards: What would these show up as in Device Manager? What about the RAID option for each one of them?

    Additional PCI Cards: I have some things like Ultra ATA Storage Controllers and SATA AHCI Controller which show up in device manager as using PCI bus 0.

    External Devices: I'm pretty sure that the keyboard, mouse, and USB headphones "draw power from the computer". Then again I'm basing this off the fact that they all have little lights on them :). The connector to my palm top doesn't use power I think.

    Fans: I don't know what to put here. Do I include the PSU, CPU, and PC fans? I don't really know there sizes. Is it safe to go with 92mm?

    PSU Utilization: Huh?

    Surge Compensation: It says to add some if you are buying a non-brand name PSU. 25% sounds like a lot though?

    Capacitor Aging: This field is somewhat disturbing. You have to add 25% if you plan to keep your PSU for more than 1 year?

    Thanks kirock for your advice so far, I really appreciate it.
     
  5. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 8,165

    By just looking at your specs, a 400-450W PSU would do the trick perfectly.
    This would be perfect, with lots of expansion possible: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817104954

    You went a bit overboard with your calculation. Dells use SATA harddisks. All those PCI-things you ticked, are onboard devices, NOT PCI-cards.
    My calculation of your stuff, incl. ample reserves comes to about 330W.
     
  6. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,598

    RBS's number looks good. This calculator assume (when set to 100%) full out operation, but for gaming that's practically what it is doing, maybe minus the DVD player. So like in my post you need to add to safe headroom for a good brand name unit, but I'd still use 30% efficiency factor. So 330X1.3= 430W, let's call that 450W. So the RBS is bang on his suggested unit.

    Take care.
     
  7. theH

    theH TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Okay I went with the

    FSP Group (Fortron Source) AX450-PN, 12cm FAN, version 2.0, 2 SATA, PCI Express, 450W Power Supply

    that RealBlackStuff recommended, it should be hear in "2-3 business days".

    I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thanks to you guys (RealBlackStuff and Kirock). It's really re-assuring to get advice from people in the know when buying items like this, and I know you probably see countless posts like mine so thanks for taking the time to help me out.
     
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