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Finding a suitable PSU

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Finding a suitable PSU

Postby KysenMurrin » Sun May 01, 2011 1:33 pm

Lately I've been starting to notice the slightly poor performance of my PC in the graphics department, and it's got me wanting to upgrade. However, before I can get any decent graphics card, I need to replace my PSU, which is only 250W.

My PC is a Packard Bell iMedia S3210, and the PSU is mounted in an odd position - it's in a kind of metal sling slotted directly over the motherboard on the side of the case that opens. As a result, I think any PSU I wanted to put in this case would need to be the right size for the sling.

The current PSU is a Hipro HP-D250AA0, and the dimensions are apparently 137x128x64mm. Where can I find a good PSU (400-500W range) that would fit the same dimensions? All the power supplies I'm finding online are listed as 150x140x86mm, so it doesn't seem like they'd fit.

Will I have to resort to buying a new case and swapping the whole PC over to get a larger power supply in?
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Re: Finding a suitable PSU

Postby laterna » Mon May 02, 2011 9:11 am

Firstly, before you do anything. How proficient are you with computer hardware? Can you open up your case, buy a can of compressed air, and shoot it through your graphics card? This usually clears up all the dust/crap that builds up into your GPU fans, which is the #1 reason for GPU performance degradation.

Looking at your PSU, it really just seems like a generic one. How long have you had it? Degradation could quite well be a problem, but granted on what you told us on dimensions and mounting position, I would wager that if you want to change, you would have to buy a new case. Hence I want to eliminate all possible solutions before going there.

Has your computer ever suddenly shut down, blue screen of death etc?
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Re: Finding a suitable PSU

Postby KysenMurrin » Mon May 02, 2011 10:26 am

I'm not that great with hardware, but I've replaced components before, including a PSU swap on my old PC. I've had the system for about 16 months, not that long really. When I cracked it open to check out the layout and the PSU specs I took the opportunity to clean out the dust.

I've not really had any trouble with the PC. It's just a matter of noticing the limitations of the current hardware as games update. Last year I had to play Arkham Asylum with the graphics way down just to get a playable framerate, I can't turn WoW's water or shadows up high with the 4.0 updates, and Portal 2 had some big framerate problems until I turned settings down. Now I'm hoping to play Arkham City when it gets released and I don't know if it'll be possible. The current graphics card (GeForce G210) just isn't very powerful, and having a 250W PSU limits my options quite significantly.
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Re: Finding a suitable PSU

Postby tullock » Wed May 04, 2011 12:37 am

Well, that psu isnt really common outside of oem boxes, i had trouble finding a picture of it. I did find one on ebay uk, and if it is the proper picture, then i think you have an mATX power supply. IF that is the case, and it looks something like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817338019 then any mATX power supply should work, they are well within your size constraints. The big difference between them and regular old atx power supplies that i see at a glance is that the matx supplies have 3 screws on either side for a total of six, whereas regular atx ones use one screw in each corner for a total of 4.

Note that this is guesswork on my part as i havent ever owned an mATX rig, and the ones i have worked on all used standard atm formfactor power supplies.
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Re: Finding a suitable PSU

Postby Talaii » Wed May 04, 2011 1:53 am

Looks like the case uses a custom PSU size. All the common ones are listed here.

An SFX power supply (smaller than ATX, still fairly common) should fit - they are 100x125x63mm. That's going to be annoying to connect to the case, however: There probably won't be mounting screws in the right place, so you might have to do some fiddling to secure it properly. Personally, I'd recommend the Silverstone SFX PSUs, I've heard good things about them (though have never needed to use one myself, my miniITX box uses a DC-DC board). The PSU linked by Tullock is also an SFX form factor; though I've never heard of "Athena Power" before. Could mean it's generic trash, or it could just be a brand that doesn't ship here to Australia.

Just so you don't overspend: Note that, despite what the GPU boxes say, it's quite possible to run a decent graphics card on a ~400W PSU. If you add the TDP of both your GPU (look up here: nvidia ati/amd) and the CPU (65W for an Athlon II X2 215, which google claims the iMedia S3210 has), then add 50-100W for drives/cooling/motherboard/etc, it'll be a much better estimate of what you need than the "Requires a 600W PSU" emblazoned on the back of the box for your card. As long as you stick with a PSU that can actually meet it's rated output, you should be fine (which means avoid generic/no-name Power supplies, since they tend to just lie on the spec sheet and hope you don't notice). You might even be able to get away with something like a Radeon 5770 (108W) on your existing power supply, depending on how close to 250W it can output before complaining.

Buying a full-sized case/PSU might be a better option in the end - the SFX power supplies are more expensive, and you might end up with cooling issues if the case is cramped; high-end graphics card + not much ventilation can cause problems.
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Re: Finding a suitable PSU

Postby KysenMurrin » Wed May 04, 2011 7:41 am

Google lies - my PC has a Phenom X3, not an Athlon II. For some reason I couldn't find much evidence of iMedias online with the exact same specs as this one.

I understand the issue on the cramped case - one of the other things I need to look into is the size and shape of the graphics cards, because right now the card I have is right up against the bottom of the case. You might be right that a standard case could be a better purchase.

Thanks for the advice, I'll take a look at the SFX supplies while I'm making up my mind.
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Re: Finding a suitable PSU

Postby Talaii » Wed May 04, 2011 7:37 pm

KysenMurrin wrote:Google lies - my PC has a Phenom X3, not an Athlon II. For some reason I couldn't find much evidence of iMedias online with the exact same specs as this one.


It's all the same socket, so it's really not hard for the manufacturer to make models with different CPUs. As far as processor power goes, most of the Phenom X3s are 95W, but have a look here to check your exact model. TDP doesn't mean the chip will actually use 95W, it means "design cooling assuming it won't use MORE than 95W"; unless you overclock it, that's your maximum power draw.
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Re: Finding a suitable PSU

Postby KysenMurrin » Fri May 06, 2011 9:44 am

Been looking around a lot, and I think with future upgrades in mind I'm gonne get myself this Coolermaster case with 500W PSU. I can get a not-too-expensive graphics card now that'll work with my current mobo and CPU (possibly the Radeon HD 5770, based on the prices atm), and then swap those two parts a year or two down the line if I start feeling the need.
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Re: Finding a suitable PSU

Postby KysenMurrin » Sat May 07, 2011 4:23 am

I think I might have messed something up. Got the case on a quick delivery, and have gone through the process of disconnecting everything and swapping them into the new case. I think I've connected everything right, but I can't get the PC to power on now.

I had some confusion getting the power switch and LEDs hooked up because it's not labelled, so I reconnected the front panel connectors from the old box and it still doesn't seem to work. I do think I hear a very slight noise sometiems when pressing the power switch.

I hope I haven't killed it. Arg. Why is there no manual for my motherboard?
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Re: Finding a suitable PSU

Postby Panzerdin » Sat May 07, 2011 4:27 am

That PSU only has one 6-pin connector for a GPU, and most newer cards require two. By "newer cards", I mean the GTX 260 and later on the nvidia side of the aisle. Can't comment on AMD, but I imagine ti's a similar situation.
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Re: Finding a suitable PSU

Postby Talaii » Sat May 07, 2011 4:47 am

Panzerdin wrote:That PSU only has one 6-pin connector for a GPU, and most newer cards require two. By "newer cards", I mean the GTX 260 and later on the nvidia side of the aisle. Can't comment on AMD, but I imagine ti's a similar situation.


From here it says both one and two (under the list of connectors, it says PCIe 6-pin x1, under the connector length section is says PCIe 6+2 pin x2). I'm not sure which is accurate.

It does do 432W of 12V power (18 amp x 2 12V rails), so it should have enough power for almost any video card anyway. Molex -> 6-(or 8-)pin PCIe adapters aren't expensive, and generally video cards come with a couple of them anyway.
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Re: Finding a suitable PSU

Postby KysenMurrin » Sat May 07, 2011 4:51 am

Oh thank god, it turns out I'd just plugged something in the wrong place. Phew.

I just didn't think - the case fan had a cable connected to it which matched one of the PSU cables, and the PSU had a cable that matched the Mobo fan socket. Guess what I did? Yup, plugged the PSU into the fan power on the mobo...


On the other topic, the PSU has a single black 6-pin connector, and the graphics card I'm looking at atm has a single 6-pin socket. If it turns out my next GPU upgrade needs two, then I guess I made a mistake. Not looking to upgrade again for a while, though.
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Re: Finding a suitable PSU

Postby Panzerdin » Sat May 07, 2011 6:47 am

Which model GPU?
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Re: Finding a suitable PSU

Postby Talaii » Sat May 07, 2011 8:17 am

Panzerdin wrote:Which model GPU?


I'm assuming a 5770, from what was said above. 5770s use one six-pin, so it matches.

Also, repeating what I said: If you need two 6-pin connectors, you should be able to get something cheaper than another power supply to hook it up. Of course, if you exceed 500W total in the computer (well, slightly less, as the power supply ages) you'll run into problems, but with a single graphics card that shouldn't be a huge problem.
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Re: Finding a suitable PSU

Postby KysenMurrin » Sat May 07, 2011 10:17 am

Yeah, specifically this one: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/263648
(The price seems to have gone up overnight.)
I figure it'll do what I need with my current system and still perform well enough when I finally upgrade to a more up to date processor.
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