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250 Watt PSU sufficient?

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Old 06-01-05, 07:58 PM Thread Starter   #1
Ascii2
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250 Watt PSU sufficient?


I have access to a Dell Dimension 8300. The computer has a 250 Watt PSU. A 250 Watt PSU seems a bit week to power the machine.

The machine's components are as follows:
Intel Pentium 4 Processor 2.80GHz (Socket 478, Northwood)
2 x 256MB PC3200, RAM
Analog Devices AD1980 Integrated Audio
Creative Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 Digital
nVidia GeForce FX 5200 (AGP) (overclocked at "Detect[ed] Optimal Frequencies" from nVidia's ForceWare driver controls)
BCM V.92 56K Modem
Intel PRO/100 VE Integrated Network Connection
Seagate ST3120026AS (120 GB, 7200 RPM, Serial ATA)
SAMSUNG DVD-ROM SD-616E
Hitachi/LG GCE-8483B CD-RW
3.5" Floppy Drive
2 x 80 mm fans
PS/2 Logitech Mouse
Keyboard
I would like to know whether the included 250 Watt power supply is sufficient.

Also is an index of power requirements for components covieniently available? If so, where?

Comments appreciated. If anything was left out or relevant questions exist, make it/them known.

Last edited by Ascii2; 06-01-05 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 06-01-05, 08:28 PM   #2
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That is pretty slim on the power. So long as you don't plan on upgrading anything, and I mean anything, It should work but just barely. You upgrade your video card or add a hard drive and you had better plan on buying a new PSU with it.

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Old 06-01-05, 08:31 PM   #3
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Man I would go for atleast 300.

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Old 06-01-05, 08:57 PM   #4
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The circuit boards inside Dell PSUs are actually made by the same OEM (Channel Well) that makes the circuit boards in Antec Truepowers. If I remember right, the 250w Dell is equivalent to a Truepower 330.
Believe me, I have a lot of equipment connected to a 250w Dell PSU, and there are no problems.
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Old 06-01-05, 09:00 PM Thread Starter   #5
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Dell_Axim, what is your relationship with Dell Inc.?
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Old 06-01-05, 09:01 PM   #6
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It's probably fine. I've run an 1800+ AXP with dual hard drives and dual CD-drives off a 120w e-machines PSU before.

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Old 06-01-05, 09:01 PM Thread Starter   #7
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I added mouse and keyboard to the component list in the initial post to this thread.
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Old 06-01-05, 09:08 PM Thread Starter   #8
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A thought occured noting the presence of eight USB ports on the machine. Would actually using the eight USB ports with something like USB FlexLights push the PSU over the border line.
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Old 06-01-05, 09:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Dell_Axim, what is your relationship with Dell Inc.?
Just a customer. Indeed, the only big reason why I built my new Athlon 64 was because Dell doesn't sell Athlon 64s yet.
However, I do own a Dell Dimension 4550. The PSU inside actually has bigger heatsinks than my Antec! The caps are 560uF 200v, above average (although my Antec has 820uF 200v).
However, like the Antec, the Dell PSU needed a fan mod to really run cool. But without mods, it did run cooler than the Antec without mods.

Also note that a 250w PSU is all that's necessary as long as the system is not too complex. Remember, Shuttle shoebox-sized PCs use 250w PSUs.

BTW, the hardware attached to my Dell PSU is:
2.4GHz Pentium 4 533MHz FSB
Dell motherboard
1GB DDR333
Radeon 9000 Pro AIW
48x CD burner
16x DVD burner
60GB 7200RPM HDD
80GB 7200RPM HDD
Adaptec SCSI card
HP DAT tape drive

Note that if you want to replace the PSU anyways, check to make sure that the original is ATX and not WTX. My 4550 has an ATX PSU but I'm not sure about your 8300.
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Old 06-01-05, 10:26 PM Thread Starter   #10
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Does a way to test whether the power supply is delivering enough power to all the components?
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Old 06-01-05, 10:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Does a way to test whether the power supply is delivering enough power to all the components?
Measure the voltages under load.
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Old 06-01-05, 10:33 PM Thread Starter   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dell_Axim
Measure the voltages under load.
Is there an easy way to acomplish the measuring of voltages when a Dell motherboard is used?
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Old 06-01-05, 10:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Is there an easy way to acomplish the measuring of voltages when a Dell motherboard is used?
Use a voltmeter.
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Old 06-01-05, 10:56 PM Thread Starter   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dell_Axim
Use a voltmeter.
I suppose it would be easy. I do not have a voltmeter; I should be able to attain one. Testing, though, should be quite time consuming.

I shall conclude this issue with. I shall leave the current PSU in place and not reject the statement, "the 250w Dell is equivalent to a Truepower 330", by Dell_Axim.

Thanks to all (with exception to myself) who participated in this thread.
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Old 06-01-05, 11:21 PM   #15
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i doubt that system is even drawing 120 watts from the psu during heavy load. you're fine.

if you're wondering, silentpcreview actually tested the power draw of various systems under heavy load. i'd say only 1% or less of overclockers have ever had a system that drew close to 400 watts. prescott has made 300 watts possible, but still very rare.
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Old 06-02-05, 03:24 PM   #16
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I have a dell dem 2350 in my basement running 20 30GB hds... 384mb of ram and a fx5200...... it uses less than 50 watt
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Old 06-02-05, 03:30 PM   #17
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If I were you I would get like a sparkle 350w. They are very cheap (like $30) and are very nice for the money!
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Old 06-02-05, 03:41 PM   #18
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It is reccomended to have a minimum of a 350watt power supply. 250w is cutting it pretty close and I wouldn't be surprised if you had some stability problems. Throw in an extra 30 bucks and get the sparkle like Poly suggested. BTW, Welcome to the forums Poly.
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Old 06-02-05, 03:47 PM   #19
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Quote:
It is reccomended to have a minimum of a 350watt power supply. 250w is cutting it pretty close and I wouldn't be surprised if you had some stability problems. Throw in an extra 30 bucks and get the sparkle like Poly suggested.
But check to make sure that the original PSU is ATX. If it's WTX, you'll cause a short circuit.
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