Power Supply Question...Way out of my league here

Ok, I usually only upgrade my PC way behind the curve (I am comfortable being a value gamer). Typically just slapping in whatever video card seems like it will last me a while. Well the latest PC I picked up late last year was a HP Pavillion a1720n Product Specs and Motherboard Specs . It has an integrated graphics whatever, which is fine for WoW and all, but now it is time for me to come off of the sidelines and play games from at least 2007.

I happen to have (through Christmas shenanigans) a GeForce 9800 GT . I haven’t opened it yet and can still return it if my questions get me derided as a know-nothing.

My problem is that the HP is underpowered at 250W and the graphics card requires a minimum of 400W. I’ve spent an hour reading forums and comparing numbers and acronyms but I’m still not 100% sure if I have zeroed in on what I need.

Will either this Rosewill 530W power suppy or this Startech 450W power supply suit my needs? yes they were both selected on a vague notion of acceptable price range, but I could be way off on what is reasonable.


open your case and tell us how big (as in, the physical dimensions) of your hp power supply is.

if its one of those pint-sized power supplies, you could be screwed

Bigger is better, as evidenced by my power supply question.

I thought I was fine with a 500W, but now I’m not, because you need at least 2 12V rails for 2 cards.

Oh, and the power went out the other night while I was playing Supreme Commander ($9.99 on Impulse, at least they’re upfront with the name, huh?). No problem! I have a UPS! Except my computer now draws more power than the battery can put out, so the power went out, my computer immediately went, but my monitor still had power. Yippee!

So now I have a new power supply AND a new UPS coming.

Mr. Kong

The dimensions of the current PSU are: 3 3/8 in Tall x 6 in Wide x 5 1/2 in Length (or depth).

Dean, I did gloss through your thread, but I figured “2 video cards? This will only confuse me” But I did pay attention to the differing rails part.

I’ve read that thread, but “bigger is better” is not always a good motto. What people need to understand that pure wattage isn’t necessarily important until you get into dual SLI/Crossfire arrays with top of the line video cards and multi-hard drives. Typically, a good power supply for a top-of-the-line single VGA system needs 450-550 watts, but what’s more important is the ampage on the 12v rails. It used to be that 24A was a goodly amount, but now a safer bet is 30-40A – which can be had on power supplies of only 500-550 watts (Seasonics rebranded as HX-series Corsair PSUs, for instance).

You know what? I don’t think either of those would work since the fan is on top. Unless I just cut a hole in the top of the case which might be too much of a step up for me right now.

It appears that something like this is what I need.

Anybody heard any horror stories from buying with Power-On?

The fan is not on top. You mount it upside down.

$60 seems like you should be able to barely get a decent power supply that’s not total crap. Unfortunately I can’t remember any of my favorite review sites for those.

Snowcrash, check out this page for some power supply deals.

Also, it’s worth a shot, the EXTRA20 code gives another 20% off “selected” power supplies at Newegg. The one I chose was not selected.

Silent PC Review is my favourite site for PSU reviews, as they care both about power and about noise.