Do I need a new PSU?



My PC specification a few weeks ago:

DFI Lanparty 875P motherboard
Intel Pentium 4 Northwood - 3Ghz
Saphire Radeon X800 Pro
Creative Soundblaster Audigy 2
2 x Seagate 160Gb SATA hard drives
Antec TrueBlue 480W PSU

I recently added a pair of Seagate 250Gb hard drives and a Highpoint RAID controller card. I also moved the whole system into a new case but I doubt that’s relevant. Since then the monitor has sometimes went blank and I’ve been getting errors reporting that two many devices are plugged into the same USB bus. I unplugged the two new hard drives and the monitor problem doesn’t seem to happen any more.

EDIT: Also there were four 80mm fans in the old setup, since switching to the new case there are now two 120mm fans and three 80mm fans.


Ya, it does sound to me like it’s a little weak. I’d watch the 12v rail, and see if it’s low. That would be what’s puking if anything, and 4 hard drives draw a lot of juice. I’d get a new PSU that has 2 12v rails if you get a new one. I have a fortron 500w blue storm, and it’s schweet. It has the new connectors for new mobos, both PCI express, and the extra 4 pin add on doohickey for the ATX plug. It’s got 2 15a 12v rails, and a 120mm fan that is SILENT! You can get them @ newegg for $91. There is a 400w version, but it doesn’t have a PCI express plug or the 4 pin doohickey. They both have 2x SATA power plugs. The other PSU I’d suggest is a coolermaster real power with 3 12v rails, but they’re a little hard to find. I’d try a different PCI slot on your mobo before I get a new PSU though, and disable anything onbord you’re not using to free up IRQs. :iagree:


I would probably get one, just to be on the safe side. :iagree:


A 480W Antec sounds a pretty potent beast, but with a 22A capability on the 12v, that’s where you could be feeling the pain.

The CPU uses a 12v feed (switchmode regulated to trade voltage for current, down to whatever the core voltage is), as does the graphics card.

Fan motors, of course, are 12v, as are the drive motors.

The one thing with a dual 12v alternative, is how does it/can you disperse things betwen them?
Clearly, with 2x 15A, the CPU goes on one, the Graphics on the other, and the other stuff dispersed evenly, biased towards whichever main component uses the least power.

One thing’s for certain - any replacement for a good 480W needs to be of higher power, and of at least the same calibre, and/or with good, honest 12v ratings that are up to the job.

These days, you generally only need to compare the 12v rating, as if that’s good, and the overall power is ok, then the other rails will be plenty.


Before you run out and spend money on a new power supply, do a simple test. Unconnect power plugs from all unnecessary equipment in your box, and try to do another burn with just one hard drive, to one dvd burner. If you still have the same problem, it’s not the power supply.


that’s a pretty full rig…i’m in agreement with Deer Slayer that it’s probably a weak 12v rail/insufficient amps…

but definitely isolate the issue like harley2ride mentions above before spending more money…

i recommend OCZ PSUs…they’re a bit pricey but worth it for the stability and headroom IMHO.


I’m able to burn discs fine right now with the two new hard drives unplugged, this is more a general PC question. Which reminds me I forget to put my Plextor 712A, LiteOn DVD-ROM and floppy disk drive on the list of components and I’m running a scanner off USB.


With all that stuff, you might be better off with another powered box to put some of your other stuff into. You are basically running two full blown pc’s on one power supply. How about a complete list of everything you have plugged in, and how it’s connected (ide, usb, pci).


I kinda need it all in the same machine. I have a router plugged in via LAN; a printer via USB with it’s own power supply; a scanner (as I said) powered via USB, a monitor; 2:1 speakers plugged into the sound card, have their own power supply; and occasionly I use the USB ports for various other devices (external hard drives, MP3 players etc.).

Aw damn, I also have two sticks of OCZ 512Mb RAM. I really should have took more care when writing up the first list - I’m pretty sure that covers everything though.


Well I think I need advise too. LOL.

My abused Dell 8200 only comes with 250W PSU. :o :o Although it is still running strong --power on 24/7, only a few restarts every week-- I am thinking to upgrade the PSU, if possible, since the warranty is about to end (3 yrs warranty). Don’t know which one will fit in the box. Any ideas?

Full specs:

  • P4 2Ghz
  • 1GB RDRAM (4x256mb)
  • 2x 17" LCD (one DVI and one VGA)
  • 2x DVD Burners
  • Floopy drive
  • Zip drive
  • 7x HDD (2x on IDE onboard, 4x on ATA133 controller, 1x USB2)
  • Altec Lansing 4.1 speakers
  • AGP slot: ATI 9600xt
  • 4 PCI slots: 10/100 Ethernet, Promise Ultra ATA133, Adaptec USB2/1394, Creative Live sound
  • USB2.0 slots: Dell Laser Color 3100cn (also wired to LAN), HP Scanjet 6300C, Epson Deskjet, Intel PC Camera (webcam), 1x HDD.
  • Printer Port: HP Laserjet 1100
  • Occasionally: MiniDV camcorder on IEEE1394, digital camera on USB2.
  • and ofcourse mouse and keyboard.

Anyone with dell 8000 series sucessfully upgraded their PSU?


OCZ PSUs are made by fortron. OCZ slaps their name on them, and ups the price. This is why I decided to get a fortron PSU, very nice indeed!!! :iagree: :iagree: :iagree:


i always read people claiming OCZ PSUs are made by so-and-so but have never seen any concrete proof…care to provide some linkage/etc.?

…regardless of whether or not Fortron makes their PSUs, OCZ has their own specs and quality control…add-on the unrivaled customer support and the premium is well worth it to me…

zevia…i’m surprised you can run all that 24/7 with a 250w PSU. not sure about Dells as i’ve heard they have proprietary cases that don’t always jive well with after-market PSUs…

there’s a bit more hardware that i regularly use/plug-in than what’s in my signature below…my 520w OCZs handle all this (and i’m sure more) with ease (stays cool>fan rpms stay low>stays quiet & rails are rock solid)…


The 520w power stream is identical to the 520w fortron on their website. The specs, the appearance, and everything. The other OCZ PSUs are also different model fortrons. I know for a fact that fortron makes the Zalman 400w PSUs, they even have the same model number. I dunno who pointed out the OCZ/Fortron thing, but I know Bigtoe (works for OCZ) doesn’t deny it. You should check it out for yourself though, and I dunno if I’d pay extra for a PSU that probably won’t have any problems. So, Fortron makes excelent PSUs, and I wouldn’t hesitate to get one. My 500w is schweet! :iagree:


link please? i can’t even locate a PC PSU rated at 520W on the Fortron site…

the specs, appearance and nothing is the same based on photos and specs listed on the official sites and most popular e-tailers. like i said, OCZ has their own specs and QC regardless of which OEM produces the PSUs. at no time did i say Fortrons weren’t good PSUs, i just want to know where/why/how you think they’re the OEM for OCZ’s…

i’m familiar with BigToe and all the other OCZ reps that frequent XS and BE and nowhere have i read any of them saying anything about which OEM produces their PSUs. i have checked it out thoroughly and here’s what it breaks down to as far as i can see:

PC P&C=Zippy/Emac>OCZ>Fortron/Sparkle>Enermax>Antec

like i said, the quality and performance i’ve observed from my OCZs coupled with the safety-net of the best customer service/support in the biz makes the few extra bucks worth it to me (seems i’m always defending hardware with price premiums but that’s because 99% of the time, they’ve demonstrated the quality/performance i expect…it does also seem that i have a shitload less headaches with my hardware than many others)…


DrP, you don’t need to justify your spedning habits to anyone :wink:

Many of us know you can get basic gear for $XX, but for a few extra bucks, you get the premium gear with better warranties, support & etc :wink:


I didn’t know Fortron makes PSU’s for Zalman. Zalman in early June displayed a 9*** series CPU cooler at Computex in Taiwan. Quite big. Zalman’s new cases looked more expensive.

3GHz CPU, 4 HDDs, 1 AGP… can’t imagine why an Antec 480-watt can’t do. Like zevia, I used to run 10+ HDDs on a PC powered by a 300-watt PSU of a name no one probably heard of.

I want to have this:

But US to South Korea USPS says $72 for a 44-pound parcel. That SC933 weighs 72 pounds.

US$832 is cheap for a 3U Supermicro case with 760-watt triple redundant PSU and 15 hotswap bays for SATA HDDs. There’s an 8-bay case with 650-watt PSU in South Korea and it costs US$1M without tax.


Have opened a few OCZ units (400 to 500W range). They were very similar to the Super Flower. Some had better fans, but the basic electronics were almost the same. The more expensive OCZs will include pots to trim the rail voltage.

The new Enermax Noisetaker 2.0 series would probably be my first choice, closely followed by Fortron. The latest Seasonics are VERY nice, but tend to cost about $20 more.


I doubt whether DrP and myself would consider that as a few extra bucks;)


Exactly, I don’t really understand it either.


thanks debro :wink: and yeah, that’s a bit more than a premium…more like overkill :stuck_out_tongue:

it’s not about the wattage, it’s about the amperage and max sustained wattage at a certain operating temperature…