Power supplies and demanding processors

This is a discussion on Power supplies and demanding processors within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; Me and my dad allways get into an argument about computers and one of the most common one is power. ...

  1. #1
    In your face... ha ha ha Liger86's Avatar
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    Power supplies and demanding processors

    Me and my dad allways get into an argument about computers and one of the most common one is power.

    I keep telling him that he needs a 400w or more power for a P4 processor but he still uses power supplies that are in the mid 300watt range.

    I think it's really important for him to have at least 400 watt but he seams to never be convinced that P4's actually need lots of stability from power supplies.

    My dad also got three p4 motherboards that he claims are "damaged" by the power supply, looks like I'll just do some testing on that when I get a chance... But in the mean time I need to find a way to convince my dad to upgrade to higher wattege power supply.
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    5|-|1+|-|34|) ober's Avatar
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    That's not entirely true. What else is in the system? Is it a gaming PC? Are there a lot of CPU-intensive applications being run?

    If the system only has one HD, an optical drive, and a floppy drive, and most everything else is onboard, then you should have no problems.

    However, if the system has an add-on video card or more drives or both, then you're going to consume more. Then you also have the issue of PSU quality. I cheaped out on my last PSU purchase and got a low-end 550W PSU. It has since died on me and I've replaced it with a high-end 480W PSU. Luckily, this also has a wattage read-out.

    Right now, with my P4 3.4GHz, 2 SATA drives, 2 optical drives and a PCI-e add-on video card, my system reports using about 85W with Outlook, Opera, and Winamp running.

    Fully loaded running intense games, I haven't seen it go over 200W yet. However, even my PSU doesn't output true wattage, so my 480 probably runs closer to 420 or less. Even so, I have room to expand.

    If you're dad is running a low-end 300W PSU on a gaming machine, I'd side with you. If he just surfs the web and checks his email, he's fine.

    I guess I got a little long-winded...

  3. #3
    &TH of undefined behavior Fordy's Avatar
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    It probably depends on the motherboard andf what other gear you have connected

    http://support.intel.com/support/pro.../CS-001820.htm

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    RoD
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    im too tired to read everything, but ill say this. My buddy rodger runs a 12 fan, two cdrom, two hard drive, P4 system with 2gigs of ram and a 6800 GT 256mb video card on a old 230W psu. No BS, and hes never had a prob.

    Is more power better? Sure, i say use at least 400W, anything beyond 500-550 is overkill.

  5. #5
    5|-|1+|-|34|) ober's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoD
    anything beyond 500-550 is overkill.
    Unless you're running SLI, in which case 500-550 is borderline weak.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RoD
    im too tired to read everything, but ill say this. My buddy rodger runs a 12 fan, two cdrom, two hard drive, P4 system with 2gigs of ram and a 6800 GT 256mb video card on a old 230W psu. No BS, and hes never had a prob.
    Thats insane, he is only damaging his card. A 6800GT needs a good power supply of atleast 300W-350W. Then again maybe he isnt doing anything intensive with the card, has he ever run any benchmark program like 3dmark03/05? Im sure if he did he would get very low scores.
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    RoD
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    3dmark nets him around 18,000 on his scores. And he runs HL2 and AA on a daily basis. And hes not damaging anything, hes had most of it since the stuff was introduced, and when i take a voltmeter to his computer everything is where it should be.

    Ober, i forgot to take that into consideration. I was basing it on the average computer, which usually has one vid card and only 1-2 hard drives. More than one video card, dual proc, etc, would obviously warrant that kind of power.

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    18.000 on which 3dmark ? 03 or 05? Even if its 03 i doubt he is getting such a high score. People have OC'ed CPU's to their max using LN2 to cool the system and they havent gotten such a high score.

    Futuremark rank system
    http://service.futuremark.com/servle.../projectsearch

    My 6800GT at stock speeds, no CPU OC.
    http://home.adelphi.edu/~shutad/gt/images/gt3_jpg.jpg

    you can view this link.
    My 6800GT OC'ed
    http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k3=2952333

    Note sure if you can view those links if you dont have a futuremark account.

    Edit: since you need to have a futuremark account to view the first link, i took a screenshot of who is #1 on 3dmark03. here it is, notice the CPU speeds, GPU speeds and driver versions, http://www.adelphi.edu/~shutad/rank1.gif
    Last edited by InvariantLoop; 03-16-2005 at 12:40 PM.
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    RoD
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    I should be going to his house sometime this week, and ill make sure to have him officially report the scores. IIRC, it was 03.

  10. #10
    In your face... ha ha ha Liger86's Avatar
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    How can I check how many watts my system is using at a particular moment. Does 3dmark have that option - to monitor wattage?
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  11. #11
    5|-|1+|-|34|) ober's Avatar
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    Most software/systems don't have the capability. The only reason I know is because I have an output from my PSU to a display on the front of my PC. Your PSU has to be smart enough to calculate it.

  12. #12
    Registered User major_small's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ober
    Most software/systems don't have the capability. The only reason I know is because I have an output from my PSU to a display on the front of my PC. Your PSU has to be smart enough to calculate it.
    at risk of possibly deviating from the topic:
    the old-fashioned way was to reasearch each device/drive you have in your system to figure out how much wattage each pulls when running under a full load. you then simply add them up and find out if your computer can run everything at once --> for example, you may be able to play a CD and run a MS Word, but can you copy a CD and listen to MS Word?
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    http://pcpowercooling.com/maxpc/index_cases.htm or you could buy a multimeter
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