Power supply and performance? Question

  Lee-262377 10:06 10 Jan 2007

I have just built my own pc with the following spec:
Graphics Card - Asus ATI X1600Pro 512MB PCI-E
Processor - AMD (Venice) Athlon 64 3500+ 939pin 512Kb L2 Cache 90nm
mobo - DFI NF4 Infinity SKT939 nForce4 chipset Dual DDR400 PCI-E SATA ATX
HDD - Seagate 7200.10 320GB SATAII/300 8.5ms 7200rpm 16MB Cache
ram - CRUCIAL 1GB DDR PC3200 400MHz 184-PIN UNBUFF 128MX64 + 512MB DDR
case - I-Cute ATX Gaming Case with 350W PSU

OK, so loaded xp pro onto it and it all works fine and dandy, however my question is this.
Will the 350 W power supply reduce the performance of my system (as it recommends 450W) and if so how?
Techie answers gratefully received too, although my tech knowledge might not be at your level :o)


  [email protected] 10:11 10 Jan 2007

I don't think performance will be affected. What will happen possibly, is some h/w will be excluded [shut down] by Windows if and when power consumption exceeds demand. Running a powerful rig on minimimal PSU's results in system instability. My advice: If it works, don't try to fix it but in my opinion you would be better off fitting a more powerful PSU in order to prevent problems before they occur ;-)

  Totally-braindead 10:17 10 Jan 2007

It won't reduce performance exactly. What will happen, if it can't supply enough power is that the computer will crash, you will lose information perhaps and maybe corrupt some files.
You'll probably see the blue screen of death as it is called fairly frequently especially if using something that stretches the graphics card.
Even supposing it doesn't crash the power supply will probably be running full bore all the time. I have seen a power supply blow up inside a computer before and fortunatly there was no damage as the internal fuse in the power supply blew before anything else happened, as its meant to, but there was bits of glass everywhere. No other damage but it is possible to damage some of the other components. Really would recommend you upgrade to a branded quality power supply and if its recommended you get 450 watts get one at 550 watts to be safe.

  Stuartli 11:06 10 Jan 2007

The graphics card will probably require at the least a 350w PSU so, as Totally-braindead suggests, the more quality watts available the better to cover other components.

  ForestChav 13:29 10 Jan 2007

You're going to need at least 500 W for that, it will only draw what it needs, but with some PSUs the wattage it's comfortable with can be less than the wattage on the sticker. (So if it's rated 300W, the only way it delivers 300 is just before it blows up!).

Get a good make (NOT Q-tec) like FSP, Antec, etc etc, and a 500+ watt PSU.

  Dan S 13:37 10 Jan 2007

I don't think you'll have any problems with 'blowing up', in my experience this tends to happen more on PC with more power going through it than the components can handle and the PSU pops before anything else does because they're designed that way.

You're more likely to struggle when it comes to using your CPU at a high load; My Optical drives and network card would intermittently cut out if I was encoding or capturing Video with my old 400w PSU, but then again I have 4 Hard-Drives...

Best thing to do is see how it runs and see how you go; if you think you should be getting more than you are from it, invest in a new one, but considering PSU's have a relatively healthy longevity compared to other hardware today, I think could get away with pushing the boat out and go for a 600w plus offering as that'll also allow you wattage to play with if/when you upgrade.

  Lee-262377 14:17 10 Jan 2007

Thanks a lot for the replies, I do have two dvd rewriters in it, a video input card, wireless networking card, multi format floppy and card reader and a 160GB eide 7200 HDD in it also, I have noticed it does tend to hang occasionally if I have been doing any heavy video work.
so, I reckon a new PSU is the order of the day.
Thanks very much for you help guys :o)

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