PSU for Core i7 system

  Peter Lanky 10:51 27 Feb 2010

I have been asking a few related questions previously, so for anyone noticing my other posts, I am just juggling with computers.

My new PC, not arrived yet, is a Dell Vostro 430 with the following spec:
Core-i7 860, 4GB 1333Mhz RAM, HD4350, 500GB Drive to which I will add another 500GB and a 1TB drive.

I believe the PSU is only 350W, though I only surmise this from reading other posts, and it has been suggested to me that this is too low. I'm not speculating as to why the PSU is only 350W when a few £££ extra could have provided a more substantial PSU, but they don't mention such things in the spec. which seems to be the norm for the big suppliers. Anyway, I'm seeking the opinion of others here.

In it's lifetime the PC is unlikely to have more than 3 hard drives, though they may be swapped for larger ones when I run out of space and 2TB drives become entry level. I'm sure the GPU will be upgraded in the future, but current advice suggests I keep the HD4350 for now, and again in the future the RAM is likely to be upgraded to 8GB. I am not likely to over-clock or start using fancy cooling, so if it really is advisable to upgrade the PSU, then what rating should I bee looking for?

My knowledge of PSUs is nil, so I've no idea what a £100 one will do that a £50 one won't. Are they all the same size for instance, so I don't end up buying something that doesn't fit? If the 350W is considered borderline inadequate, but should still do the job, what are the consequences of continuing with it?

  GaT7 16:28 02 Mar 2010

Apparently it will also take 2x 2TB drives - from the info I was given anyway...

I was looking on the Dell (US) site for related info & was automatically invited to an Online Chat. So I took the opportunity & posed the necessary questions - here's a screenshot of our brief interaction click here (do apologise about the minute text size - it got blurred if I tried increasing it).

I think it would be best to confirm this at the official Dell forums as well - this is the Drives section click here. G

  Peter Lanky 16:39 02 Mar 2010

Amazing how Dell chat can give 2 different answers! I had posted on the Dell forums - no reply yet, but on the desktop, rather than hard drive forum. I've now posted there too. Hope they don't zap me for duplicate posts on different forums.

  T0SH 17:56 02 Mar 2010

If you go to the dell site support section and download the manual the hardware section will show you how many drive bays it has

Cheers HC

  GaT7 18:06 02 Mar 2010

T0SH, I think Peter needs to know if the motherboard/system is capable of supporting larger than 1TB drives (re-read his post of Tue, 02/03/[email protected]:00).

Not how many drives it can physically hold. G

  Peter Lanky 19:01 02 Mar 2010

Crossbow7. Thanks for clarifying.

Tosh. Call me strange, but although Dell says certain things, I'm not confident in believing what they say, particularly as 2 different attempts to use 'Dell chat' resulted in 2 answers. It doesn't seem right to me that a modern system can only take 1TB drives, but at the moment I can only speculate. Until somebody owning a Dell Vostro 430 can confirm that it will take drives larger than 1TB or not, then I'll never be quite sure.

  Peter Lanky 13:03 05 Mar 2010

The 4350 supplied was similar in appearance to images I've seen on the net, and was the same length as my 9500GT, so doesn't appear to be a special small design. There appears to be plenty of room for larger cards (not counting the psu issue), but no extra power leads, other than to the second 5.5" drive bay should I use it, but the lead is very short

Though I purchased a 5.25" to 3.5" converter, there was no way I could see of fitting it, as there is no access to the other side of the case to get at the drive bay to be able to screw the converter in. Unless anyone has any other ideas, I'm stuck with 2 HDD for now.

  GaT7 15:23 05 Mar 2010

"Though I purchased a 5.25" to 3.5" converter, there was no way I could see of fitting it..."

Oops! I feel responsible for this as it was my suggestion, so I do apologise Peter. G

  Peter Lanky 15:31 05 Mar 2010

Crossbow7. Don't feel remotely bad. It seemed perfectly reasonable at the time, and it only cost £2.50. I've added it to by box of 'things that might come in useful', which also contains every type of connector and cable I can think of, except the one that I really need at any particular moment. Strangely enough it said on the Ebay page that they knew it would not fit Dell Optiplex PCs, which somehow conveyed to me that it DID fit other Dell PCs.

  GaT7 16:43 05 Mar 2010

Thanks for that :-). If you change your mind/don't need it, I'll offer to buy it off you. Will pay the £2.50 + 1st/2nd class post.

A bit strange it doesn't open on the other side. How will you change the DVD drive if you had too - is it held in place by some kind of screwless mechanism?

So looks like you'll have to go for an external hard drive caddy.

Btw, do you think you could house & secure a drive below the card reader? I.e. if it has a free compartment below the card reader like in this Dell - see this pic click here. G

  Peter Lanky 18:38 05 Mar 2010

There's no problem adding a DVD drive securely, as I tried a spare one, and it fitted snugly even without screwing it in on the near side. I didn't bother though, as the power plugs were SATA rather than Molex, and I can't be bothered buying a converter. I'd probably never use it, so no issue.

There's no space below the card reader, as the HHDs are mounted on their ends, like this click here and the top of the upper drive is immediately below the card reader. I've left the spare drive in my daughter's PC, as it's only to keep a back up of photographs.

I was surprised at how small the PC was. Good Windows experience scores apart from the graphics card, but I expected that anyway, so no shocks.

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