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Psu Upgrade


MEAN DEAN

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I have a stock Compaq Presario SR1710NX that I have already upgraded with a new AMD 64x2 dual core 3800+ processor and a new bluegears soundcard, and now I want to upgrade the power supply unit so that when I upgrade the video card for Windows Vista I wont have any power problems, plus I have been told by my local computer guys that I will need a new PSU to supplement this new processor within the next 6 to 12 months. My only real concern is that the customer service rep at HP’s website claimed that the motherboard in this computer would not handle or support a PSU with a rated output of more than 400 watts (IS THIS TRUE?). I have been looking at purchasing either the Corsair 520 or 620 watt power supply unit for this computer, and I was wondering if that would be possible?

 

IDEALS, COMMENTS OR SUGGESTIONS

 

Thank y

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The local techs told you that the system as it is, and with no upgrades, will need a new PSU within the year? That sounds wierd.

 

Theoretically, it's possible for a motherboard to limit what wattage of PSU it can take, but it would have to be designed that way, and frankly, that's just wierd.

 

What I'd check is if the PSU / mobo connection is ATX standard (and if so, which version), or proprietary.

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No, the guys at the local shop said that with the new CPU installed, which was done on Friday, that I would need a new PSU in about six months. And if I am going to install a new 8000 series video card in the near future most of them require a PSU of at least 450 watts. I have had some people say that I could use any PSU that I wanted in this system and some say that I should not go over the 400 watt recommendation made by the HP sales rep, so I am just trying to find out if I should go for more that 400 watts or not? And yes, it is an ATX with the following:

 

• One 24-pin ATX power connector

• One 4-pin ATX power connector

• Two IDE connectors

• Two SATA connectors

• One floppy drive connector

• One CPU fan connector

• One System fan connector (also known as duct or chassis fan)

• One system indicator LEDs / power switch / reset button connector

• One each, front headphone, microphone in, line in (Aux-in)

• One front panel power and LED connectors

• Two USB connectors supporting 4 additional USB 2.0 ports

• One IEEE 1394a connector supporting one 1394a port

 

Thank you,

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No, the guys at the local shop said that with the new CPU installed, which was done on Friday, that I would need a new PSU in about six months.
That does not make sense. No hardware requires more and more power over time like that.

 

If the HP rep said don't go over a value, I wouldn't go over that value, but knowing the ATX version that the motherboard is compatible with would help.

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If the techs suspected you were going to upgrade the graphics that might explain the advice on upgrading the supply. On the Hp/Compaq systems that are upgradeable, there's one issue you should be aware of. The default supply in them is either a 250 or a 300 watt unit. The height and width of these supplies are standard ATX dimensions but the depth is usually shorter than standard. This means you'll need to cut off whatever case tab(s) there are in the way to slide the new supply in. Some of the Compaqs are not ATX compliant and need a proprietory power supply upgrade model from Compaq or at a minimum the correct adapter. These supplies resemble an ATX supply but the pin out wiring is non-ATX. Does the supply itself list itself as ATX compliant on it's label?

 

Hp Pavilion a1520n (modified case)

3800x2

7600gt

2 gigs Corsair

MyHD card

500 watt upgraded Atx supply

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Here is what I have found out about the motherboard in my computer:

 

Main Circuit Board board

Board: ASUSTek Computer INC. Amberine M 1.03

Bus Clock: 200 megahertz

BIOS: Phoenix Technologies, LTD 3.14 01/17/2006

 

Is this enough information to determine how big a PSU will work with this motherboard?

 

Thanks to everyone,

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Alright I've double-checked everything. The Compaq Presario SR1710NX came with one of two different versions of the Asus A8AE-LE board (the designation you listed is the Hp/Compaq in-house name for the Asus board, the M version). Both versions are ATX compliant. This means you can get any ATX supply to correctly connect to the board and your components with one caveat. You'll need to check the dimensions of the supply's height and width to be sure it will slide into the case (usually you can modify the case to accept variations in depth). I think what the Hp tech guy meant to say is that when you jump to a supply above 400 watts the dimensions of the supply change and some of them won't fit in that case. Useful links:

 

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c00496280&lc=en&cc=us&lang=en&softwareitem=pv-39981-1&os=228&y=5&x=5&product=1817035&dlc=en

 

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/prodinfoCategory?lc=en&cc=us&lang=en&softwareitem=pv-39981-1&os=228&y=5&x=5&dlc=en&product=1817035

 

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softwareCategory?lc=en&cc=us&lang=en&softwareitem=pv-39981-1&os=228&y=5&x=5&dlc=en&product=1817035&

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Garvin,

 

Thank you for doing all of the research for me on this problem, and I believe this is good news, since I am going to be installing a Direct X 10 video card in the future. So it is the depth of the power supply unit that I need to be concerned about, and not the wattage of the PSU, if it will fit in the case I am good to go! Hey, which one of the three PSU's listed below would you go with?

 

CORSAIR CMPSU-520HX ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 520W Power Supply - Retail

Model #: CMPSU-520HX

 

SeaSonic S12-380 ATX12V 380W Power Supply - Retail

Model #: S12-380

 

ENERMAX Liberty ELT400AWT ATX12V 400W Power Supply - Retail

Model #: ELT400AWT

 

Thanks again,

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You've got a bit more work to do. You need to measure the heighth and width of the supply area in your case, then look up the heighth and width measurements of the supply your thinking of getting to be sure it's going to fit (some of them are wider and/or taller and WON'T fit). Also, of the three supplies you've listed, only the Corsair is going to have enough amps on the +12volt rail to reliably feed a DirectX10 video card. You should probably find the suggested +12volt rail requirement for the video card you're interested in before picking a supply. You'll need to check the size of the videocard as well in relation to the clearance in the motherboard between the video card and the other components plugged into the board. With some OEM system boards, the clearance between the RAM slots and the card is mighty tight or non-existent. The DirectX10 cards are mighty long and fat as well. I know on my board; I'd probably have to nip off ends of the plastic swing arms that nestle into the RAM modules to clear a DirectX10 video card and it would probably be a bugger to hook up the supplies PCI-E power connecter on the end of the card.
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Garvin,

 

I would like to thank you for personally taking your time to help me with this project. It seems that I have not considered all of the ramifications that are involved in making a video upgrade to the Direct-X 10 series. It is kind of tight in the case now that you mention it, but I really would like to keep this PC for a few more years after I have replaced the OS with Windows Vista. I ran the Nivida UPGRADE advisor the other night on this PC to see what I am lacking for Vista and the video card is the only upgrade that I need to make at this time to be able to use the Aero interface. So I think that I will be following your suggestion and pick a video card first, and then look at the PSU that I will need for the card. I maybe limited in my upgrade ability due to case size limitations, and I may have to settle for a Direct-X 9 card.

 

MD

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No problem. Be aware that the upper end of the DX9 cards are large as well and will need a supply upgrade. If you opt to install a DX9.0c card without a power supply upgrade, about the biggest that can be reliably powered by that 300watt OEM supply and still leave some power supply headroom is a 7300GS (or the ATI equivilant). Good luck.
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Garvin,

 

According to the local computer shop guys who installed my CPU upgrade to a AMD 64X2 3800+ they have a PSU rated at 400 watts that they recommend that I install, and since they did such a good job with the CPU upgrade I trust them in this area. Anyway, if I go with their recommendation (400 watt PSU) and considering the fact that I will be using the PC for multi-media purposes only (not fast enough to be a gamer) what brand and series of a discrete video card would you recommend?

 

Thank you,

 

MD

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Until Ati releases a DirectX 10 card, the choices are limited to the 8800GTS and the 8800GTX NVidia chipset series cards. There's quite a number of brands of cards that sport these chipsets, eg. Asus, BFG, Chaintech, EVGA, NVidia, XFX, ect. Sorry but, other than for Corsair Ram, I don't make brand recomendations so you'll need to decide on a card based on performance, features, warantee, and cost on your own. I've owned or worked on systems with all of the above brands and the only problems I've run into with any of them were minor driver/corrupt driver issues fixed with a driver cleanout then update or incorrect configuration settings. I'd be interested to know which 400watt supply the tech guys are recommending for your system; as I'm not aware of any 400watt supplies that can meet the +12volt rail requirements of the 8800GTS's or GTX's.

 

ps: that system will be more than fast enough to game with for sure.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello MEAN DEAN,

 

Coming in rather late to this discussion, but for what it's worth, I'm using the same mobo in an HP Pavillion and I had no problem upgrading the PSU to a Vantec 550 watt model. It seems that most PSUs follow a very standard form factor. Soon I will be upgrading it again when I get my new 1950XTX. There is no way that an ATX compliant motherboard would be incompatible with an ATX compatible PSU simply because it was "too powerful." The PSU in simply that, a "supply." It delivers the exact same voltage as any other ATX PSU. Without boring you with technical details, the power rating if the PSU is not how much power it is "pushing" onto your motherboard, so that if it's too much you will "overload" the board, it is how much current the PSU can handle when a load is applied. The greater the load (the more and faster components you have connected to it) the larger supply you need in order to guarantee a stable current. I agree that since the CPU upgrade, you should probably upgrade from the stock Compaq PSU which was probably barely adequate in the first place. Don't know why your tech guy would say you will need to upgrade it "in about six months." Either you need it, or you don't, Period. In this case, I think you do, and certainly if you are also upgrading your video. I suppose your tech may have given you a time frame to upgrade because he doesn't want to appear to be immediately trying to upsell you, and he figures you've got about 6 months before your current underpowerd PSU kicks the bucket from the added stress it's under.

 

Now, Garvin's already given you very good advice about how to go about upgrading your PSU so I won't try to tell you much more about that except to say that I agree that 400 is too low. For example, I am upgrading from my 550 to a 750 watt unit. Another thing to watch out for is the trend for many high-power PSUs to split the 12V supply onto two or more rails, which at first sounds good until you get a video card that needs 25 or more amps on the 12 amp rail, which even the larger multi-rail PSUs don't provide. I'm going with an Ultra which provides 50amps on a single 12V rail, should be good to go. One place where you do not want to skimp is on your PSU.

 

One more thing I might caution you about- if your original board used an integrated ATI video chip, you may have trouble upgrading to an nVidia card. I know I did, so much so that I had to return it and go with an ATI card instead. HP tech support confirmed that the integrated ATI chipset usually conflicted with nVidia video cards. Wasn't a big problem at the time as the best available cards from each company were roughly equivalent then, but now it's a different story. Having said that, the 1950XTX is no slouch and unless you are trying to play Flight Simulator X or Oblivion at 1900x1200, you will do fine without buying the bleeding edge.

 

OK, and this is the last bit a promise, and that is with all this high-power hardware in your system, you may want to think about upgrading your case as I eventually did, since the airflow in these smaller mass-market PCs is not all that great to begin with. In fact, that may be the reason for Compaq's upper power limit - they just don't want you stuffing too much high-powered stuff into that small case. But upgading the case is a somewhat larger project, and it might require you to replace your other components as well, since the CD/DVD drives in these systems are more or less permanently installed.

 

Anyway, Good Luck and have fun with your upgraded machine!

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