Upgrading Power Supply (PSU) - it is in the package, the new power supply may not
fit where the old one is...
How do you know when you have exceeded the
capacity of your PSU? Well one way is when you install a new component
and the system will not power up or when you power the computer up and then it
shuts down, or you work for about fifteen - twenty minutes and it shuts down.
Some main boards have a Thirmistor that will shut the computer down when it
reaches a certain operating temperature, this keeps the excessive heat from
damaging the main board.
An over loaded Power Supply will create a lot of extra
Upgrading Power Supply:
Your stock computer came with a Power Supply rated by the manufacture
all the installed devices and one or two more devices. If you have a clone or
custom built computer chances are the assembler only put in the minimum PSU to sell the computer cheaper.
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So you want to add a CD/DVD burner, and you want to add another hard drive to
store all those new digital movies you made with your new digital camera. Oh!
yea you have a new Video card and it has it's own processor, you noticed it has
a fan on it, plus it has 1 GB of ram. Your little 200 watt Power Supply is
going to blow a fuse - literately. It does not have enough amperage to create
the 450 watts you need to power all the new components you are adding.
Back in the day, components came with a wattage rating label either on the
device or the package. Since the advent of the "Green" machine these have since
gone to the wayside. With out going to the manufacture and researching each
component you add to you computer you can only guess at what the wattage is. One
way around this is my rule of thumb - Hard drive and CD ROM's will require 25
watts each, your main board and processor will take
50 200 watts, your video card
will take 25 and may go as high as 150, your sound card will take 25 and it may
also go as high as 150. Each fan will take 25 watts. It is adding up. So you
figure out how many devices you have, add it up and bingo, they don't make a PSU that big!! Just kidding. My main computer has a 550 watt PSU and it has not had any problems. All ways go higher, never lower. Don't
forget that these newer high power consuming cards also produce
heat, upgrade your cooling to compensate!
The newer Core, Core 2,
and i series processors require more power, in the range of 500 to
800 watts with all
the support chips on the motherboard. If your last PSU was under 500
watts consider going to at least a 700 or higher Power Supply if upgrading to a
motherboard with a
Core, Core 2, or i series processor so you will have to be
upgrading power supply.
The other thing to consider when looking for a new PSU are the
dimensions of a higher wattage PSU, make sure it will fit into the bay
that the old PSU is in.