Power Supply Questioon

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Rokks, May 15, 2006.

  1. Rokks

    Rokks OSNN Junior Addict

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    Hey everyone, I am new to these forums...and the new age of comptuers. I used to build comptuers, but not at the level they are at today. Anyway, it is likely the wrong time to ask this, but I just built a computer and now have a question about power supplies.

    What is the result of an undersized PSU? I mean what happens when the PSU is not ample? Can it effect processor performance? I am getting a fairly low mark in PCMark05 as well as 3DMarp CPU Score and wonder if its because of the PSU, but 3DMark05 Graphics test is typical of most others I have looked at.

    3DMark05:
    Single Video - 7800+
    Sli Video - 11100+
    CPU - 4200 <----This one is the one I am concerned with.
    PCMark05
    CPU - 4800+ <----As well as this one.

    I am pretty sure my PSU is undersized....but my question is what are signs of an undersized PSU?...:dead:

    My system specs are as follows:

    Athenatech A605 Case with 450 Watt PSU (27A on 12V)
    MSI Diamond Plus Mobo
    AMD Athlon 64 4400+ X2 @ 2409Mhz
    2 GB Ram
    2X 7800 GTX 256 MB Graphics
    SATA hard Drive
    120 MM Case Fan
    92 MM Case Fan

    Thanks in advance for any response.

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  2. kcnychief

    kcnychief █▄█ ▀█▄ █ Political User Folding Team

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    Hi and welcome to the forums :)

    I would definitely think that you should upgrade your PSU, for two reasons.

    First and most importantly, PSU's that come with cases are not always the best quality.

    Second being that with your rig, containing a relatively high-end CPU, 2GB of RAM and two video cards, not even sure that 450W would be sufficient. I would recommend getting a name brand PSU, such as Enermax, Coolermaster, Thermaltake or Antec (just my choices, plenty of others out there that are just as good), and give that a whirl. I would probably go 550 or even 600w with that setup, as it's always good to leave a little extra juice just incase.
     
  3. Vanquished

    Vanquished Mr. Bananagrabber Political User

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    Hmmm,
    Actually i don't neccessarily recommend a high name brand psu, mine cost 18 dollars and is holding up fine.
    my 480 w psu died almost immediately my 550w logysis is holding fine.
    My pc is:

    amd 4600 x2
    2gb ram
    Currently : 6800gt, moving to 7900gt

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817170010

    WHen mine died, all that happened was that i got a smokey smell and a computer, everything worked once the psu was replaced.
     
  4. kcnychief

    kcnychief █▄█ ▀█▄ █ Political User Folding Team

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    Plain and simple, you get what you pay for. If you are investing such serious cash on new computer parts, it is NOT best practice to go cheap on the PSU, since it is one of the main pieces of the computer.

    If all you had was the smokey smell, you are lucky. In some cases it can fry most of your components.
     
  5. Sazar

    Sazar F@H - Is it in you? Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    That it works for you doesn't mean its a good option.

    A sub-standard psu stresses all your components and will cause system or component failure sooner than a good psu because of the fluctuations and spikes as well as just the "cleanliness" of the signal.

    I always recommend getting a quality PSU. Gives you peace of mind.

    Also, if a psu fails, it can easily lead to the loss of any and all components. If you are lucky, only the psu will need to be replaced, if not, you'll fry many a component.
     
  6. Vanquished

    Vanquished Mr. Bananagrabber Political User

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    Um...
    Who said its substandard?
    Everyone who bought it has said good things about it...
    It has never caused problems for me...
     
  7. Sazar

    Sazar F@H - Is it in you? Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    I called it substandard :)

    Any el-cheapo psu is theoretically sub-standard because the cost savings are coming from cheaper components and you get greater signal noise internally as a result of that, amongst other things.
     
  8. Sazar

    Sazar F@H - Is it in you? Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    Some signs of an undersized psu will be glitches and possible hangs or freezes while running intensive apps. If this occurs, change your psu immediately because it is likely the poor bugger is about to bite the dust.

    Comparing your score to others on the Orb, how big a delta is there similarly specd systems at stock speed?

    If it is large, there might be other root causes. The gfx is likely to suffer more due to a low-spec psu than the cpu because it typically has a higher power draw these days at peak.
     
  9. Vanquished

    Vanquished Mr. Bananagrabber Political User

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    Anyways,
    all technical terms aside, all i can say is that the logysis i posted works great for me, and if it breaks a year from now, so what i spend 20 bucks and get another.
     
  10. Sazar

    Sazar F@H - Is it in you? Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    Unless all your components fry.
     
  11. Vanquished

    Vanquished Mr. Bananagrabber Political User

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    I ahve already had 1 psu that died.
    Nothing happened to the components then...
    The way i look at it.
    So my components fry, i'll have to buy new ones, its not that bad:)

    I do like to get a deal though.
     
  12. Sazar

    Sazar F@H - Is it in you? Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    psu == 150 for a good one
    cpu and mobo and gpu == 450-750 or so or higher, lets say.

    Everything keeps plugging along nicely.

    Cost to replace == 0.

    v/s

    psu == 20 for a crappy one
    cpu and gpu and mobo == 450-750.

    Cost to replace == all of the above.

    Whats the deal?

    Now, I'd rather not have to worry about changing anything than having everything fry on me and changing EVERYTHING.

    Why skimp on the single most important part of your computer? There is no logical reason to do that. You can choose to do it if you want, I will NEVER recommend it to anyone on this website and I will forcefully advocate against advice that proposes getting an el-cheapo psu.
     
  13. Vanquished

    Vanquished Mr. Bananagrabber Political User

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    I DIDNT SKIMP!

    So the psu costs 20 dollars, it isnt going to die!

    Its a great psu and i have never had any fluxuations and nobody else has either...

    PLus so what, if in a year everything dies, ill simply look at it as an upgrade :)
     
  14. kcnychief

    kcnychief █▄█ ▀█▄ █ Political User Folding Team

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    Not everyone has the option just to go and buy new components if they fry. Most people who upgrade put a good chunk of change into their rig, and wouldn't have the resources in such a thermal event. In my case, which was posted about previously, I lost my CPU, RAM, Motherboard and PSU. On top of that, while functional, the Storage and Optical drives never have been the same since. That was a very BAD timed event, which really put my stones to the wall in replacing them. Items have warranties, which I am STILL working on with DFI and AMD - so my money is still tied up at least for a few more weeks. I'm not being negative, or attacking you, but you have to look at things from a broader perspective.

    I'm eventually going to replace the rest of the hardware that was effected, but I only replaced the parts that were terminal after the event. Also saying you can look at it as an "upgrade" if the parts die, isn't practical.
     
  15. Vanquished

    Vanquished Mr. Bananagrabber Political User

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    lol,
    you didnt attack me,
    i only came off so negative because the psu that i have is fine and i was simply trying to give a suggestion, many people wouldn't even consider the logysis. I took a risk and it paid off...

    That is all
     
  16. Rokks

    Rokks OSNN Junior Addict

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    Well thanks for the suggestions. And, for the record I am going to upgrade my PSU to one with more wattage and amps. Will I get a 200 dollar one, doubt it, but I do want a good one. Not putting down a $20 dollar one, I am sure there are some good ones out there. I will do my homework before buying a PSU. The reason I tried the one I am is because I read somewhere that MSI recommended a 450W for a SLI set up....though after reading further since getting this machine I have to say thats probably wrong.

    Now, as far as my problem, well, its not the PSU. I took the second 7800GTX out and disconnected one of the fans (the one I added) and the results were about the same as with the card and fan hooked up. Which happened to be 600 pints higher than my 4800 listed above. I belive the poor results in PCMark05 last night might have been with the SLI enabled, which means that the CPU had some overhead. So, Ill run it again in a bit and see if that might have been the problem. Though, I belive 3DMark05 CPU score was without SLI enabled.

    I am really not sure what the problem is, or if there even is one....:suprised: . I would jus tlike to see the results from this PC jive with others. It really is hard to tell what is really the number I should be looking for, so many of these things have been clocked way higher than mine, and use different graphics cards, hard drives, etc. So, I dont really know what number is right for this machine clocked at 2400mhz.

    So, as far as the effects of a PSU thats not sufficient, thanks for the answers.


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  17. Vanquished

    Vanquished Mr. Bananagrabber Political User

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    Well the best of luck to ya!
     
  18. Rokks

    Rokks OSNN Junior Addict

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    Ok, well I havent been able to duplicate my run of scores below 5000 in PCMark05. I pushed voltage up to 1.43 and OC'd to 2509Mhz and tested, PCMark05 came out at 5471.

    It seems that maybe a restart of the computer was the problem with that. Though, still seeing scores in the 4100 range in 3DMark05. There isnt a lot of results I have found to compare this CPU mark number with, so ill just keep looking. Maybe these numbers are inline with what others are getting.
     
  19. Rokks

    Rokks OSNN Junior Addict

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  20. Vanquished

    Vanquished Mr. Bananagrabber Political User

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    I'd get it
    Antec is a really good power supply maker.
    And 550w should be enough