Power Supply Wattage Questions and Video Card



My old HP model 7955, 1.5GHz, has a mere 200 watt power supply. I’m getting into video capturing and have started having reboot problems well into the capture process. I was told my problem may be heat related (cpu or ?). Keep in mind, I’m a novice and not a gamer (nothing against you guys). I’m getting into digitizing analog vhs and 8mm tapes and burning the edited product to dvd…and I need help…and lots of it.

I’ve looked at several video cards (to upgrade my nVIDIA RIVA TNT2 (mere 32MB card) because my computer indicated after the second reboot (via a dialog box) that my videocard driver needs to updated). But I was thinking about going with a 128MB card instead. But, here’s the problem. Most all new video cards I’ve looked at require a minimum of 250 watt power supply (for instance the eVGA eforce FX5500 128MB or 256MB does).

Here are my questions: Can I run a video card that requires 250 watts on my 200 watt power supply without problem? Could this be my reboot problem? Is it difficult to swap out a power supply? Do I have to be concerned about anything in the power supply spec’s besides wattage, like voltage and amps? Does my computer’s motherboard (ASUS P4B-LA but I’m told it’s really P4B-LU???) require a specific power supply with specific voltages and amperage? I need help here to decide what I need to do and why I need to do it.

I hope this makes sense. If not, please query me about anything you need in order to help me. I want to learn so I will be able to capture, store on hd, edit, and burn old tapes to dvd. I’m using “ADS Pyro A/V Link” with “Adobe Premiere Elements” to do this. I just bought it and am still learning! Adobe is tough to learn! The hardware is straight forward and easy.

Here’s what happens when I use what my “lil ole” HP as it was shipped (no I upgraded the RAM to 512MB and added the 250GB HD…that’s it): While I’m capturing video, after about 45 minutes (this time is likely to be different each time I capture) my computer reboots and I lose all of the captured video (it’s still on my HD but it’s corrupt and useable…(won’t open), so I have to rerun it again). I lost 9GB of video (45 minutes worth) in my first long capture (short captures didn’t cause this reboot problem). I’m capturing video to a nearly empty new 250GB 7200 rpm, 8MB cashe WD HD. Keep in mind, I’ve only captured two video to hd (one 30 minute and 45 minute)…the shorter one didn’t cause the reboot…only the 45 minute one.

Help please…and thanks…sorry this is so long…but to me, it’s worth the effort if I want good advice.


Looks like you asked the same question here: http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=114599

How many times do you have to be asked not to double post???


Harley, I apoligize. I thougt I had posted it in the wrong place. I’m relatively new at this and [U]I’ll make absolutely sure it won’t happen again[/U]. I get good advice at this site and I’d hate to be banned because of this.


Watch out for the newer PSU’s that aren’t compatable with older systems.

I seriously doubt that your vid card draws 250 watts, but in any case your trouble is either heat or PSU. Start by opening your case and blow out all the dust, especially around the CPU heat sink. Make sure the CPU fan is running.


I’m not trying to be grumpy, but it makes it difficult when you are replying to a post in one area, then a few minutes later, you find someone has already answered it somewhere else. If you think your post is in the wrong place, ask the mods to remove/delete it, or to move it to an appropriate area. That helps you out, and helps us out…

As for power supplies, there are some really good 220w supplies that will take a lot of work on, and there are some 400w supplies that wouldn’t run your system like it sits now. Read reviews on power supplies, and make sure you only buy ones that are recommended by multiple posters, or stick with antec or seasonic. They cost a bit more, but they are great work horses. There are a few other good ones, but they vary from model to model. For example, a fortron 300w supply might be really good, and the 500w model might be crap. It all depends… Always search and read a lot of posts before buying any component. Try to find someone with a similar setup to compare with…


On a second capture, I had a fan blowing directly into the computer (took the side panels off)…hoping this would help keep whatever may be causing the reboot to stay cool…if in fact heat is/was my problem.

I want to take one corrective action at a time so I can isolate my problem.

I checked the temperature of my CPU using Everest and it got up to 40 degrees C in about 15 minutes. The normal operating temp. is around 35 when I first turn the computer on.

Is this a cause for alarm? Is this a high temp for the cpu?

I didn’t push it this time but will do at least an hours worth of video capture to see just how hot it gets now…with the fan aimed at the HD’s and Mobo.


If the temp is acurate, that’s a pretty decent temp and no cause for worry.


250 watts? I was wondering a while ago whether a 4-core 7900 would require that much. (I want dual 2560*1600.)


Check the spec’s on the 7900 and that should tell you…that’s where I saw the eVGA 6200 and 5500 video card requirements for a minimum of 250 watts.


Hehe, most likely the 7900 will need it’s own PSU. :open_mouth:


Heh… Anyone see that ridiculous Quad-SLI rig Dell had running at CES? Stupid thing had two auxillary external power bricks for the added cards.


Yup, crazy stuff.