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-   -   Using an Old 300W PSU in an Athalon X4 rebuild (http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/power-supplies/63201-using-old-300w-psu-athalon-x4-rebuild.html)

fortkentdad September 15, 2013 08:38 PM

Using an Old 300W PSU in an Athalon X4 rebuild
"We can rebuilt it" - so I did. I had the parts laying around to put together another PC. I resurrected the Athlon II X4 635 I replaced with my A10 rig last fall. I have a nVidia 9800 GT graphics card, and older 750 GB Seagate SATA hard drive, an older DVD that uses a 25 pin to SATA adaptor, it only has 4 GB of DDR2 RAM - only has two slots. It also has a card reader and a fax card (which I probably will never use). I put in two 120 mm fans and an old 80 mm side fan which I found has blue LED's. It has the basic AMD CPU cooler.

I went on line and get a range of opinions on minimum PSU needed. From ASUS who recommends 600 watts to MSI at 371, Thermaltake suggest 313, Newegg says 334 will do but I like the one at "extreme" ~ found the link here at HC, they say minimum of 256, recommend 306 - so I guess my 300 will do - at least for now.

What happens if there is not enough power? System brown out?

I'm thinking of disconnecting on of the fans at least as this thing sounds like a ... well fan. It is loud. But it is just an extra PC I'm setting up in the basement. Primarily because my dear wife does not like Windows 8 and hates to bug me to use my system. She mostly uses her ASUS Transformer tablet to keep up with family on facebook and shop on line, but now and then she needs to print something and printing from an Android tablet ain't working for us.

Besides I had the parts why not assemble them. Maybe I might even sell it? What would a system like this be worth?

Bond007 September 16, 2013 08:47 AM

For a internet box I think that should run without issue. If you did anything that loaded the CPU and GPU I think you may end up killing the power supply if its not quality. What brand/model is the power supply? If it has proper current protection it would just shut the PSU off if you over draw, but if its just a random PSU it could potentially take itself and some or all other components with it.

great_big_abyss September 16, 2013 08:55 AM

It's a spare PC, right? So, if it takes some of the components with it, who really cares. I'm assuming this is something that you don't want to put any money into.

However, since this thing won't be used for any gaming purposes, I would probably remove the 9800GT and just run the rig on IGP - assuming the motherboard has some sort of integrated graphics. They should be powerful enough to surf the web and watch youtube videos! Removing the graphics card will probably guarantee that your 300W powersupply is good enough!

Bond007 September 16, 2013 09:52 AM

To add to my previous, I agree with above (that it would be good to go without the 9800gt). I would recommend removing it or grabbing a $50-60 decent PSU....that or accept the risk of the computer failing. Your call.

fortkentdad September 16, 2013 12:17 PM

Checked with ASUS the motherboard has an AMD HD 3000 graphics on board with up to 1 GB shared mem so I think for internet and word processing it should be enough, even for some simple games I guess. But I think I'll pull that graphics card if it ain't needed and give that old PSU a little head room.

trodas September 16, 2013 03:24 PM

IMHO it is a waste of good components to try fry them by some inferior overloaded PSU. The idea of not using the nV 9800 is good and can save some watts, but that is IMHO not enought to generate stable run. The catch is, that overloaded PSU produce strong AC ripple in the current(s) and that it turn could damage and even kill the other components.
That is just what usually happens. I would go for any decent PSU in the 400W and up range to have guaranteed that this spare computer will run w/o troubles for long time.

fortkentdad September 16, 2013 08:57 PM

I'm in the city this week, maybe I'll find a good 400W new PSU cheap enough, but even ASUS PSU calculator which asks for the most watts recommended a 300 for that PC without the video card. I though of disconnecting one of the fans as it is way too loud anyway and what am I cooling anyway? Anyway recalculated at eXtreme's site and the minimum is 175 with 225 recommended so the 300w unit should have lots of room. I'll see what a new one costs and decide if it is worth it.

Bond007 September 17, 2013 05:16 AM

If you run the 9800 I would go for a decent 500w for long term use (450w would suffice). Under full load with the components you listed I would expect the computer to pull 250-275w...maybe some peaks a bit higher (if it gets OC'd at all those numbers will go up accordingly). Any Corsair, xfx, seasonic, antec would do fine. Don't grab a cheap 500w as it may be no better than what you have now. If your not going to use a graphics card a 300-350w in those brands would suffice without issue. You can sometimes get the OEM seasonic PSU pretty cheap for the smaller size ones.

What model is the current 300w PSU? It may not be worth buying a new one if your not running the 9800.

fortkentdad September 17, 2013 08:25 PM

Sparkling Power with Noise Killer! FSP PSU
I took a look at the 300w PSU - it is a FSP / "Sparkle Power" unit, with "noise killer" and the Radio Shack line of computers it was in was their i-next line. I googled that and was surprised. I thought with a name like "Sparkle Power" this would be a no-name cheapo - but I guess FSP/Sparkle Power is a pretty well known maker of OEM PSU that are considered good quality. Found lots of posts on forums asking if they were any good - and the replies seem to suggest they are just fine. Not top of the line but not a product to be avoided. The one that shorted was a Logisys PSU which I found are prone to exploding! And at least one sample box had a fake Bronze sticker. That one is in the garbage. Glad I found the short and decide not to try and fix it.

ANYway - I've decided to just pull the 9800 card and use the on-board video - that drops even ASUS's recommended PSU power down to 250 so the 300 should be OK. Thought maybe I don't need three fans going on that rig but changing the number of fans from four (counting the stock CPU cooler) down to two didn't change ASUS's recommended minimum power supply. 20% over minimum should be good.

AND I looked at the ASUS recommendations for minimum power if I put a HD 7950 into my rig - it says minimum should be 600 - which makes my Antec 620m barely good enough. If I go with a 7850 I am good to go with a recommended 500w minimum.

The IT tech at our office and I chatted about PSU and he recommended I look for a PSU with at least two 12v rails. My 620m is a single 12v rail unit. So, maybe I upgrade to a better PSU for my main rig and retire the 620 to the back up unit downstairs. Hmmmm. Will be watching for "can't pass it up" sales on PSU's with multiple 12v rails, modular design and at least 700w or better.

Bond007 September 18, 2013 03:34 AM

Yeah some FSP are fine. If your running integrated I would likely use that PSU as well.

As for your 620w...its a great PSU. A 7950/7970 and an AMD CPU would be pushing it pretty hard, though probably no issue. Don't worry about multiple rails.

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