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Power supply (PSU) concerns

By truffles · 267 replies
Mar 5, 2002
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  1. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Good choice. You can put it in your current PC without any problems, if your motherboard takes the 24-pin power-plug. Otherwise you may need a 24-20 pin adapter.
    Having unused cables 'hanging about' is never a problem, just messy if you don't tie them up.
  2. AMD64

    AMD64 TS Rookie

    thats the same powersupply i am getting
  3. Drew_Atreides

    Drew_Atreides TS Rookie

    Another Powersupply issue.

    Hi folks!

    I'm fairly new to the boards, and hope that this is the right place to post this question.

    Okay, i had a computer on which the power supply crapped out on me. It was a 500W deal (can't remember the brand name, as i wasn't the person who originally pulled the thing out) being asked to power 3 fans, a floppy drive, a CD drive and a 40 gig Maxtor hard drive.

    An order was placed for a new power supply. It came in, i attempted to install it and found that whenever i had the power connected to both the hard drive AND the CD-drive, the hard drive would not be recognized by my system. When i disconnected the cd-drive, the hard drive was recognized.

    Checked this power supply, saw that it was rated for 300W, though "okay, maybe that's the problem" and the 300W supply was taken back and replaced with a 500W supply.

    I just got the thing installed and....same problem. When i plug in both the HD and the CD, only the CD is recognized, but when i pull the plug out of the CD, the HD works fine.

    This is my first time attempting this sort of thing, so it is possible that whatever the dumbest, most common newbie mistake that could be made IS being made here, but i honestly am stuck.

    Anyone have any suggestions?
    Thank you!
  4. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Maybe your CD drive was damaged when your previous PSU failed. Does you computer boot fully with just the CD drive connected? And with just the HD connected? Did you change any of the drive jumpers? Maybe your mainboard has been damaged?

    Unfortunately, cheap PSUs can often destroy other PC components when they blow. You just need to isolate the problem by eliminating components one by one.
  5. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    then your cable from your HD to CD is bad or your jumpers were changed. Put your hard drive as master and your CD as a slave.
  6. Thrudd

    Thrudd TS Member Posts: 47


    Firs off with the infamous exploding / fry your motherboards Supplies. :hotouch:
    These are under the brand name of a variety of price point (cheap) to actual brand name PC system units (Compaq / older Dells). So how do you know you are looking at a disaster waiting to happen? Well on all those units there is always a little QC sticker used as a tamper seal on one of the seams. That seal has the name DEER on it. This is the name of the contract factory that actually made the unit. Avoid these at all costs. Warn the store owner if they don’t know. If they pshaw and try and fluff you off then avoid the store since that means they know full well the problem.

    As for any of the other supplies made in china... well if that is all you have access too then research, research, research. There are a number of domestic Chinese sites that have hardware reviews and yes they also get very heated about crap hardware. (I had a 350W whose part number designation showed it was actually 275W but tests showed and I latter confirmed 190W)
    Funny thing is price is not always a sign of quality ... you may just be paying for useless bling and advertising,

    So be warned and be careful.

    Yeah this article is a must read PSU tests

    My PSU? It is universal input, has power factor correction, a single massive 120mm whisper fan and a stealth black honeycomb case and has rock solid output voltage control - if only I could remember the manufacturers name :rolleyes:
  7. moonlight

    moonlight TS Rookie

    Sony Viao power supple issues

    I have a SOny Viao VGC-RA710G desktop. I recently purchased 256mb BFG 6800GT OC graphics card... well the card plays fine if I drop my in-game video settings. However if I use game detected settings based on my card which would all be on high my monitor will go to the flash screen(with all the colors) and then go black. After searching online and viewing various forums I am not the only one that has this issue(same PC same game same card) However no solutions to this issue were posted. I have seen several references that this card is a power hog and needs at least a 450 watt PSU. My PSU says its max output is 374. Well I went out and bought a 500 watt PSU and well it wont fit. SOny has manufactured their PC's the be proprietary ( there are knobs on top of the PSU the slide into grooves). I returned that PSU and was like fine I'll contact SONY and purchase an upgrade from them. Well after speaking to a quite unfriendly tech support guy was informed me that not only have I voided my warranty for the graphics card upgrade SONY does not offer uprades to Power supplies and their was nothng they could do. I was like WHAT!! A PSU upgrade seems like it would be such a common thing with all the periphials that can be added and of course card upgrades. I am considering just buying a new case that will take a 500W PSU but SONY is so proprietary that I would probably be looking at shelling out big bucks to have one custom built for my hardware. I would welcome any advice on how to solve this issue or information about a manufacturer that addresses this issue and makes PSU's for Sony desktops.
  8. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

  9. Scintir

    Scintir TS Rookie

    Hard drive problems that might consern the power supply

    Hello everyone, I just upgraded my comp and im having problems. I have a 120gb 8mb buffer western digital hard drive (7200 rpm of course), 1GB of ram (runs at 400 MHz/ pc 3200), XFX geforce FX 5200 256mb graphics card (agp), Sound blaster sound card for surround sound. A dvd-rw and a cd-rw, 6 fans (3 case fans, 2 power supply fans, and a cpu fan), 3 Lights on the fron, 2 lights on the side fan,a Abit nf8-v pro motherboard ( nvidia chipset, 754 socket), AMD Athlon 64 3700+ 1mb cache, 1600 FSB, 2.4 GHz processor, And a 420 watt powersupply (raidmax). I think that is it and if it isn't just tell me cause im forgetful X_X.

    Ok, so here is my problem. When you go to install windows as your operating system it wants you to formatt your hard drive. So I did that, After that it will restart. After it restarts it should go to the next set up to install the rest of it. BUt the problem with mine is that it will keep looping and want to do the first set up and formatt...over and over. So, i had my uncle test it. he said the hard drive works. So the only problem taht we can see is that the Power supply isn't supplying enough power to support all the things so it is screwing up. My side lights also went out which i am guessing is due to the lack of power. If you can plz tell me what might be wrong.
  10. Thrudd

    Thrudd TS Member Posts: 47

    Well those lamps dimming out are a sure indication that something is seriously wrong. Lamps are the most robust parts, voltage wise but are power pigs.

    If you can get into the bios, check out your voltages and your core temperatures first and write them down.
    Then remove all those non-functional extras and check again.
    (like the lights, sound card and the CDRW)
    You should see some change in those levels and if you are lucky they should be well within specification.

    If there is no change in anything and you still have the initialization issue then it may be time to check your power supply warrenty card and look into a replacement.
    Search the web for reviews on that supply while you are at it.
    You may have a one off bad part or it may be that its a design issue with the supply and you need to look elsewhere.

    A quick and rough calculation of your power use (assuming watt usages) gives a figure of about 375-400 W .... definitely tight
  11. Rhodes132

    Rhodes132 TS Rookie Posts: 26

    My PSU has just messed up for some reason and i am now searching for a new one. I have very low money though ($30). Can anyone tell me a PSU that can withstand my computer w/o messing up and is $30 or less? It will be greatly appreciated. =)

    Here are my Specs:
    CPU: Amd Athlon 64, 1800 MHz 2800+
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-K8NS
    Motherboard Chipset: nVIDIA nForce3 250, AMD Hammer
    Ram Speed, size and #sticks: dual 512mb (total 1024mb) (PC3200 DDR SDRAM)
    GPU: nVIDIA GeForce FX 5700LE (256 mb)
    Case: Scorpio 868W case
    OS: Windows Xp Home Edition w/ Service pack 2
    fans: i have whatever fans that came with all that i bought which i think is 3 regular fans, 1 cpu fan
  12. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,103   +423

    Scintir, that Raidmax power supply is notorious as being unreliable, especially if it came with your case. I would replace it just on general principles but I agree with you that this one is probably bad. For a replacement, get a good brand such as Enermax, Seasonic, Power PC and Cooling, Antec, Sparkle and a few others. Pay attention to amps on the 12V rail not just total watts.
  13. Rhodes132

    Rhodes132 TS Rookie Posts: 26

    I have a very limited supply of money so which of these would be best for my money. All im really looking for one that will just work and is most reliable for my system specs posted above. Here are a few that have came across my eyes and would like to get it under 30$ but if the $44 one is a must out of these three then i might just have to save a little. Also if you have any other suggestions on reliable PSU's for $20-$35, please tell me. Thank you.

    Sparkle Power (FSP350-60BT) 350-Watt Power Supply [$29]

    Antec (SL250S) 250-Watt Power Supply [$28]

    Enermax (EG365P-VD) (EG365PVD) 350-Watt Power Supply [$44]

    450 Watt PC/Computer Dual Fan PSU Power Supply Unit [$35] (something on ebay)

    Antec Smartblue 350 Watt power supply

    Antec Smart Power SP-350 Watt Power Supply
  14. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

  15. quesss

    quesss TS Rookie

    Hi, all:

    I'd be very grateful if someone would clarify this for me. I'm upgrading to a new video card that requires a 350W PSU. I contacted the support site for my PC (it's an HP, P4) to find out about the compatability issues and recommendations, and was very surprised when the tech told me that since my current PSU is only 200W, the 350W one would damage my pc components. I always thought that the components only take whatever power they need and cannot be damaged by a more powerful PSU. Cause we're talking watts here, not voltage, right? Who's correct and is there anything else I should watch out for when getting a more potent PSU? Thanx a bunch!
  16. Thrudd

    Thrudd TS Member Posts: 47

    Must have been a level one drone in customer service .... a little learing is a dangerous thing.... and technical illiterates in tech service are a hazard to the unwarry.

    What he said was a technical foot in mouth statement.
    What he should have said was that your new video card, barring slot / driver issues, would overload your systems power supply.

    Have you done a power usage inventory of your system?

    How much power does the card actually need.

    The 350Watt recomendation is just that, a recomendation.

    If you have enough overhead on the old supply then I see no issues keeping things as they are BUT if everything you use now plus the video card add up to more than 80% of capacity then its time to upgrade the supply with something that fits the HP case and has at least 20% EXTRA WATTAGE available, just in case or you will have issues when adding anything else in the future.
  17. quesss

    quesss TS Rookie

    I don't know how much power the card actually needs. How do I find out the actual power usage of a component? And I haven't done the power usage inventory which is clear from my question. I should do this. Are there any tricks to it? Like I read somewhere on this forum that simply adding each component's usage doesn't give you an accurate figure. I also stumbled upon another problem that you mentioned in your post - finding a PSU that fits my HP. The dimensions of my HP PSU are really weird - Width is 5.875"(150mm), Height is 3.375"(85.7mm), Depth is OK - 5 inches. Now, why would anyone make a PSU this size? The worst part is that the bracket is actually permanently stapled to the case, so I can't remove it. I have a feeling that I'm SOL. Any suggestions?
  18. Thrudd

    Thrudd TS Member Posts: 47

    How do I find out the actual power usage of a component?
    It is usually in the back of the manual or may be available on the manufacturers website
    There is also some good articles/references by some of the old timers here on guesstimating values. :grinthumb
    And I haven't done the power usage inventory which is clear from my question. I should do this. Are there any tricks to it? Like I read somewhere on this forum that simply adding each component's usage doesn't give you an accurate figure.
    Guesstimates are usually good enough if you leave wide margins for error but if you want better numbers you will need to inventory not only total power consumption but also the current draws (measured in Amps) from each of the voltage supplies as well. This is because you could be under the power limit but still be out of specification on one of the voltage supplies = problems.
    I also stumbled upon another problem that you mentioned in your post - finding a PSU that fits my HP. The dimensions of my HP PSU are really weird - Width is 5.875"(150mm), Height is 3.375"(85.7mm), Depth is OK - 5 inches. Now, why would anyone make a PSU this size? The worst part is that the bracket is actually permanently stapled to the case, so I can't remove it. I have a feeling that I'm SOL. Any suggestions?
    Some of the brand name guys still do this - :suspiciou it used to be exclisively a COMPAQ issue ages ago - where proprietary parts made things difficult if not impossible for repair/upgrade. :evil:
    As to fitting a replacement in - :knock: if it can be made to fit into the case then the only thing needed is some nibbling/fileing/drilling of the back panel otherwise you may have to resort to a hacksaw or bolting the thing to the outside of the case :knock: (as long as the MB power cable reaches - no issues) and add some extensions to the power cables. It may not be pretty but will keep you up and running without having to get a new case and dealing with the MB mounting issues (may also be non-standard)

    But check some of the other threads here and bug the old timers as well for some geek wisdom. :grinthumb
  19. mobile-tech

    mobile-tech TS Rookie

    I would stay away from the Chinese Cooling PSU's I have a 450W in a custom system that I built, and it started having problems (intermittent shutoff) after only 2 years. It has a 5 year warranty, but I haven't researched into how to get that warranty honored.

    I bought a 400 watter Antec with the dual fans and it fixed my problem immediately.

    Lesson: You get what you pay for
  20. Thrudd

    Thrudd TS Member Posts: 47

    Lesson: You get what you pay for.

    A good lesson but not always true - there are bargains to be had IF you know exactly what you are looking for.
    You can just as easilly overpay for Name/Bling/Pimp and get the same mediocre product. It just looks nicer.

    Lesson: Buyer Beware.

    Lesson: Be Informed.

    Lesson: Know what you need and what you want and what you can afford.
  21. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    A 350W PSU will NOT burn out a motherboard that only uses 200W. However, it will waste electricity. If you're upgrading your video card and it uses more than 200 and less than 350W - you're ok also. Bear in mind, ALL power supplies do not provide their rated power. Much power is lost due to heat. In some el cheapo PSUs this can be as much as 50%. Buy a quality, HIGH-EFFICIENCY PSU that meets your power requirements and add 30% for cushion and aging. The older a PSU gets, the more more inefficient in becomes. A computer running 24/7 for 2 years will have a PSU operating at 30 to 40% of original ratings on average. This is because capacitors degrade over time.
  22. dratt

    dratt TS Rookie

    compaq proprietary issues w/psu

    Thrudd wrote in an earlier post of proprietary issues w/ compaq. I've ran into such a problem. I have an old 2001 presario 5000 series and was wanting to upgrade my video card from the 64mb that is has now to a 128, so I ordered, received but b4 I could install I read in the requirements that I must have a 300 Watt PSU or better. I checked out my PSU and it was too small. Even though I'm loath to spend much money on this dinosaur I do want a better video card, so I ordered a 400 Watt PSU, installed, applied power and nothing, great I think, I got a dud, returned received another (same kind) from newegg.com. Installed w/ same results. Now I'm thinking I have some kind of compatibility issue. So I do some research (I'm no computer guru) and find out about this proprietary business and ppl specifically talking about Presario 5000 series. Then I figured if this is not uncommon then I can buy an adapter (I guess none exist) I couldn't find one. So I tried to find a 300 Watt+ PSU specifically for compaq, no luck there either. So now I'm stuck w/ my teeth in this thing not wanting to let go but in need of some advice from folks who are more knowledgeable then I am. I would be tempted to, if I could find a pinout of my 24 pin compaq mobo socket and pinout of a 24 pin standard ATX connector to do some cutting, splicing and soldering, bad idea? or if maybe I should go ahead and install video card w/ existing PSU, worse idea? or should I just crawl off, lick my wounds and forget it all. Want to upgrade to a e-Geforce 6200 128mb video card
    My existing PSU is a 250W says china (compaq sticker says PS235W)
    have 1.6mhz pent 4 processor 512ram 80gig HD
    dvd rom cdr/rw floppy
  23. Xyxoz

    Xyxoz TS Rookie Posts: 31

    EDIT: Nevermind. I found this PSU too bad, when I looked into it. Thanks though.

    Hello everyone.

    My system is:
    P4 Northwood 3,2GHz
    ATI Radeon 9800 Pro
    2x512 Kingston Valueram PC3200

    As I need to get a new PSU, I've looked at this one.

    Would the PSU above be fine for my computer, and how is the quality of that PSU doing? It's pretty cheap, and I wouldn't want to pay too much, if it's not necessary.
    Just for the sake of it; Price: 386kr = around 65 USD with shipping.

    Thanks in advance.
  24. wilson1

    wilson1 TS Rookie

    BTW: My computer is brand new and i have just put it together from all brand new parts.

    My spec is

    Intel Pentium D 820 Socket775 , Smithfield Core, 2x2.8 GHz , 2MB Cache

    Asrock 775I945GZ, i945GZ, S775, PCI-E (x16), DDR2 533, SATA II, uATX, On Board VGA (motherboard)

    1Gb (2X512Mb) Corsair Value Select, DDR2 PC5300 (667), 240 Pin, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 5-5-5-15

    350w Silverpower SP-350P1B thermal controlled cooling fans

    256MB Gigabyte 7600GS PCI-E(x16), Mem 800MHz, GPU 450MHz, 12Pipes, D-Sub/DVI-I/HDTV SLi Silent-Pipe (dedicated graphics card)

    And i have a large and a small fan that come with the case, the smaller one isnt plugged because its attached to the side pannel which i have removed in order to build my system.

    And my computer starts for about 3-5 seconds then shuts down, when it starts the lights on the case work, the fans and heatsinks work, but there is no beeps when it starts and the motherboard doesnt display any lights. Is it possible that my motherboard is fried which causes the system to shut down and dispaly no lights from the mobo. Someone else told me that a smudged processor/heatsink could cause the system not to beep. And most people tell me my 350watt power supply isnt enough but couls that cause the system not to beep and could it cause the motherboard to display no lights?
    And this may sound incredibly stupid (ive never built a computer before), is it suposed beep on startup if there are no speakers plugged in?

    ALSO: could this component have anything to do with it; it is like a small black sylinder conected by 1 red and 1 black wire to a 4 socket connector, what does it do? there are a several 4 pin connectors on my motherboard but i dont wanna connect it to the wrong one.
  25. bassmission

    bassmission TS Rookie

    hi i am facing a problem with my custom build unit, the casing came with a 350 watt power supply and the system ran fine for around 6 months but little glitches which could be ignored, the spec i have is Pentium 4 3GHZ HT, 2048mb ram, 2 hard drives 120 GB and 80 GB, geforce 6800 GS, DVD ROM and a DVD writer now what happened was the i shut down the pc and a blue screen error appears with some IRQ mismatch and it starts dumping physical memory, i turn off pc with the power button, after some hours i turn it on and nothing on the monitor, the fans are working ie, cpu, power supply, chasis and graphics card, but nothing else is happening, DVD roms are not oepning, no activity on the hard drives, the system is not going up to the bios setup on the screen infact monitor says no signal, tried a friends graphics card same thing so thought power supply acting up, remove dvd roms and one hard drive same thing, concerned a friend who is a techi said change power supply so i get a 150$ OCZ 600W power supply with surge protection n stuff put it in and same thing fans work lights come on, but no activity on the ROMS, hard drives or on screen can any body help me out plzzzzz......

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