Power Supply Upgrades- Need some recomendations.

By Barney_Calhoun · 21 replies
Aug 27, 2007
  1. Longish story.
    Went out and bought an ATI X1950 pro to replace this crappy onboard Geforce 6150. Came home tried to put in and then upon looking realized that HP had put the crappiest power supply in the planet into this computer. How it even works with a meager 300w is beyond me. So now i have to find a new preferably atleast 500w power supply and i have no idea what i need to find.

    Heres the specs if it helps.
    2 Gigs of some kind of ram
    AMD 64 X2 4800+ (Dual Core)
    Lightscribe DVD/CD Burner/Reader
    15 in One memory card reader
    HP Media Drive Bay
    Onboard Realtek surrond sound.
    onboard geforce 6150
    320 gig something harddrive

    And for expansion its got
    2 pci
    2 PCI-E (One x16 one x1)
    and 2 more slots for ram.
    expansion bay for another optical drive
    expansion space for 3 more HDDs.

    And im completely clueless as to what i would need.
  2. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    go for at least 500W from a decent brand such as Antec or Coolermaster.
  3. Barney_Calhoun

    Barney_Calhoun TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

  4. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    Have a look at the spec sheet on the link from Barney - that seems to have more than enough for your spec.
  5. Barney_Calhoun

    Barney_Calhoun TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Well yes i guess i make a very good point.
    Well done me.

    So can anyone with experiance in this area confirm that that PSU would work?
  6. Barney_Calhoun

    Barney_Calhoun TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    This has become insane. I contacted HP to see if that PSU would work in the computer. They tell me that "HP does not reccomend a 500 watt PSU" They say i should get a 450! But finding a 450 with pci-e and good quality is damn near impossible! I really need some help.
  7. Grafficks

    Grafficks TS Rookie Posts: 302

    I also have that PSU you linked to (the Ultra X-Finity 500W) and I also got it from tigerdirect.ca
    It is a solid-performing PSU and has lasted me about a year now with no problems. If buying a PSU made by Ultra, make sure it's the X-Finity, because the other Ultra PSU's use components made by inferior manufacturers.
    I would definitely recommend that unit, especially for that price (it was almost double that amount when I got it).

    HP's claim is ridiculous. It's not like a computer can get over-powered by a power supply..
    A system will take as much power as it needs, no more, no less (even if there is a lot more power available, such as 500W).
    This means that if your system only requires 350W, then the 500W PSU will only give you 350W.
    Getting a PSU that supports a higher wattage is just so that you will have headroom for future upgrades.
  8. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    who makes it? how many amps does it provide on the +12v rail(s)? are you just assuming it won't work?

    wattage is only part of the equation when determining a PSU's actual (usable) power output. 300w is enough for most store bought PC's. alot of people overestimate how much power their computer actually needs.

    if your computer came with a 300w PSU then that's already more than it requires. the stock PSU will have some headroom (in other words the computer doesn't actually need a full 300w). I entered your specs into the EOV PSU calc 2.5 and I came out with 208w as your total power needs (with no video card selected, since there is no onboard video option. if you put in a generic nvidia basic card it brings it up to 224w), now add your new X1950 Pro and it brings it up to 274w.

    in power-consumption tests (google ;)) the X1950 Pro uses about 65w under load (the PSU calc estimated 66w). a true 500w PSU is overkill for your system. since you didn't need 300w to start with, you certainly don't need another 200w just to power a ~65w video card ;)

    that PSU is "ok", but I wouldn't call it "good". Ultra is one of many PSU brands that use deceiving power output ratings to make consumers think the PSU is alot more powerful than it really is. that PSU cannot provide 500w under normal conditions. the '500w' rating is it's peak output at an ambient 25°C.

    good PSU brands rate their PSU's power outputs at "constant" power output (not peak), and they rate them at higher temps (45°C-50°C) which are more realistic for an average PC case.

    that Ultra Xfinity PSU actually lists "25°C Ambient Condition" as a feature on it's product page (lol :haha:) since a PSU's output power goes down as the ambient case temp goes up (especially if the PSU fan is sucking in the hot air from the CPU heatsink), then you could probably expect it to provide about 300w-350w of usable 'constant' power under normal conditions.

    when shopping for a PSU, look closely at it's specs. see if its power output rating is peak/maximum power or constant power and see what ambient temps those power ratings are tested at.

    good luck and enjoy your new video card :wave:
  9. Barney_Calhoun

    Barney_Calhoun TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Well its so much as my im just afraid to plug the thing into my PSU. (I am, it says it needs a 450 watt) as much as the stupid thing has no PCI-E connections, yet the mobo has 2 pci-e slots...

    Well im going to take some size measurements and take inventory of all the cables coming out of my psu, what they look like and where their going. Check back tommorowish. God i really hope this PSU works with this comp. It seems life has been trying to stop me from having a nice comp from day one. I remeber 4 month ago when i still had a compaq.. with a 4 meg pci card. and a p2.
  10. kpo6969

    kpo6969 TS Maniac Posts: 710

    Since you didn't post your computer model # this is all a guessing game. Why don't you find a recommended replacement for your model? Then you have something to compare. Have a look here:


    One thing about HP, Dell, etc alot of their parts are propriety and you just can't throw anything in it and expect it to work and or not fry you system.
  11. Barney_Calhoun

    Barney_Calhoun TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    All that told me was where to find a new version of the crap PSU i already have.
    And the model number is an a6030n.

    Im pretty sure im gonna end up ordering that one i posted earlier.it has everything i need,
  12. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    well, it seems you've already made up your mind, but consider;

    1. you do NOT actually need a 450w PSU, regardless of what the video card package recommends. that's a generic recommendation. they have no idea what is in your specific computer, and they have to provide a "safety buffer" for people with cheap PSUs (where the manufacturer pretty much lies about their product's true usable power output... like "Ultra" :rolleyes:) they figure by saying "450w" that even a cheap 450w PSU (which may be able to provide only 300w of true usable power) will be enough to power that card in a normal PC.

    everything I've found online says the X1950PRO uses about ~65w (PCI-E power inputs are capable of providing up to 150w (75w slot + 75w connector), but that card would never use that much).

    2. that Ultra xFinity PSU cannot provide 500w of true usable power. you'll be lucky to get 400w of usuable power out of it, but it probably hits its limit at around 350w.

    the bottom line is:
    -that PSU will probably work just fine. but your stock PSU may work fine as well (assuming it can actually provide a true 300w), so why spend the extra money until you know you need to?
    -again, that PSU will probably work just fine. but if you're going to spend $60 on a PSU there are better choices out there (brands that don't lie about their power output). PCP&C, SeaSonic, Antec, and the new Corsair PSUs rate their PSUs for true usable (constant) power output (Antec and Corsair rate them at 50°C ambient. PCP&C and SeaSonic probably do as well but I'm not sure). Enermax, Fortron, and Sparkle are reputible brands as well.

    whatever you decide, good luck :wave:
  13. Barney_Calhoun

    Barney_Calhoun TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    The default PSU has no PCI-E power cords. Thats rightm HP gave me 2 PCI-E slots... but made it impossible to power them... Hmm...

    So even if this is only slightly better then my current one, it has the cords. So i can just get a better one when i have the money.

    After further looking i found a (Probably worse) PSU thats way cheaper. Now before you scream "No! DONT BE CHEAP!" i just need something that can power this card. I'll save up and get a fancier one later.

    Hey look something better... and cheaper...?
    Cheap, Check, Works? Check. Forum nerds say its worth the metal its made of...?
    Wait... Never mind i just saw the sale ends tommorow.. damn.
  14. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    Why buy two - get a decent one which would last for the next upgrade?
  15. Barney_Calhoun

    Barney_Calhoun TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Because i have an uber video card i really wanna use and im a poor unemployed student?
  16. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    Good enough reason.
  17. Barney_Calhoun

    Barney_Calhoun TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

  18. rickk1

    rickk1 Banned Posts: 68

    Since computer manufacturers are becoming more and more proprietary, I have found 2 power supply sites that provide for HP, Dell, Compaq, etc..

    I recommend either of them. I've ordered from both and had no problems.


  19. Barney_Calhoun

    Barney_Calhoun TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

  20. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 923   +11

    check out the 2nd entry rickk1 made that would be an exceppanal value.
  21. Barney_Calhoun

    Barney_Calhoun TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    What would? A lot of power supplies on that site...
  22. Barney_Calhoun

    Barney_Calhoun TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Double post. Oops
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