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Recommended Power Supply for PC

02/28/2017 3:40 PM

I'm trying not to spend all day sorting out the power requirements of various video cards--which are often not even listed in the specs--but I must have one to upgrade my Lenovo M58 SFF to be capable of running 3D modelling programs such as Blender and DAZ Studio.

The lowest power requirements of any 1GB PCI-e low profile cards I can find "recommend" 300W. To upgrade the Lenovo's power supply--which is only 280W--would cost twice as much as the video cards I am considering.

So, question(s):

Do you think 280W will cut it?

What if I disconnected the DVD-RW drive?

Thanks in advance....I'd like to get this ole relic up to par post-haste.

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#1

Re: Recommended power supply for PC

02/28/2017 3:58 PM

Video cards are VERY power intensive but only at a few voltages (like +12V). PC power supplies have multiple voltage outputs and the W rating is just a simplification of them added together.

If you are borderline in your power requirements, you could check the datasheets for both the video card you plan on getting and your existing power supply and see if the current requirements at the required video card voltages are compatible. If they are close, however, you may not be able to run the card due to all the other devices using the same voltage and pushing up the power requirements.

Have you considered just purchasing a larger cheap power supply? Still good quality, mind you, but with less features like power factor protection, compact size, longer expected life, etc.

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#2

Re: Recommended power supply for PC

02/28/2017 4:05 PM

What kind of video cards are you looking at, I have found 300 watt power supplies for $15.00 Here. I would not skimp on the power supply, I know, I have smoked a couple.

Ebay has multiple power supplies at 500 watts for $25.00.

Here is a link for Lenovo power supplies https://www.serversupply.com/MFGR/LENOVO/POWER%20SUPPLY/DESKTOP%20POWER%20SUPPLY/

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Recommended power supply for PC

02/28/2017 4:45 PM

Tell you what, I have a working Lenovo MT-M 8811 computer that my kids were using before I bought them new HP laptops for Christmas. It has a 310 watt power supply, Lenovo part number # L1N3450, it's yours if you pay for shipping and make me an offer to rip it out and package it. Or you can have the whole computer, Pentium D, 3.4 GHz, 1 GB ram, 80Gb SATA hard drive, WIN XP. P.M. me if you want the whole thing. I am in Detroit Michigan if you wish to figure out shipping costs.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Recommended power supply for PC

02/28/2017 5:36 PM

I really appreciate the offer, but this Lenovo is the SFF (Small Form Factor), hence the reason I am limited in my choices to low profile half-height PCIe cards for the video upgrade. I am thinking--maybe without basis--that the power supply from the MT-M 8811 would be too large for the case.When I plug that part # in at the Lenovo website, also, I get no results.

The results I get through Google shopping search are mostly for the same 280W power supply. You can see for yourself: Lenovo M58 power supplies

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Recommended power supply for PC

02/28/2017 6:26 PM

OK, you can have the whole computer, for free, as long as you pay for shipping and handling fees. I don't need it, need to get rid of it, if you need it, let me know...

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Recommended power supply for PC

02/28/2017 6:52 PM

Thanks again for the offer, but I'm a minimalist, and the computer is working fine except for the fact that it's integrated graphics are not compatible with a recent enough version of openGL to support the 3D modelling programs I referred to.

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Recommended power supply for PC

02/28/2017 8:03 PM

You may be stuck then as the small form factor power supplies that would fit a low profile computer case will likely be expensive (as you have found).

Have you tried looking at different graphics card manufacturers for a lower power version of the card?

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#9
In reply to #7

Re: Recommended power supply for PC

02/28/2017 8:21 PM

Yes...well, you know, I went to my old reliable Ebay and searched on there:

Low profile cards

The one that was on my watch list: ATI Radeon HD 5450 The specs don't outright mention it's recommended power supply but it uses a meager 19W and I did find a review that did give an opinion

It looks like 330W it pretty much the bottom line recommendation. Like I said, my power supply is 280W. I'm thinking that if I disconnect the DVD-RW drive that might prevent any danger of overtaxing the PSU.

Other than that, I think I did find a few obscure higher wattage PSU's... but at twice the cost of the video card? Not sure how practical that would be.

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#11
In reply to #9

Re: Recommended power supply for PC

02/28/2017 8:48 PM

Do not skimp on computer power supplies. Overload them and you can damage your system and you'll end up replacing more than just the cost of your video card.

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#17
In reply to #4

Re: Recommended power supply for PC

03/01/2017 12:06 PM

I can only say that in a small form factor unit you will need to seriously upgrade your cooling ability or even leave the case off as that card will generate incredible amounts of heat.

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#8

Re: Recommended power supply for PC

02/28/2017 8:09 PM

It might work and just run slow....You could just add another power supply to the one you have...You can pick up used ones for nothing....

https://www.extremetech.com/computing/91808-add2psu-how-to-combine-multiple-power-supplies-in-a-single-computer

http://www.add2psu.com/store/

...then just mount the power supply where ever you can find a place for it....

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#10
In reply to #8

Re: Recommended power supply for PC

02/28/2017 8:40 PM

Everytime I go to the Extreme Tech website, I get stuck on the Olympus ad . Didn't know it was possible to use two PSU in tandem. Certainly no room in the case and I don't know if I can live with one externally or if it would be worth it. I did check the Add2PSU link, though.

I think maybe I'll take my chances. I mean, the PSU was designed for the M58 to accommodate it's internal and a few external peripherals, right? With a little overhead, I suppose, left over. 19W is not a lot. What blows a PSU--too much amperage?

There should be some kind of utility in Windows10 to tell you about power consumption...wait I just found a Lenovo utility. I guess I buy the card, plug it in and see how it changes what I see currently.

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#12
In reply to #10

Re: Recommended power supply for PC

02/28/2017 9:02 PM

If you have the ability to under-clock the graphics card using software the power requirements should drop, just be aware there is a lower limit (my nothing-fancy graphics card idles at about 100W !!).

What blows a PSU--too much amperage?

Basically the PSU will probably 'brownout' and the output voltage will drop and possibly become unstable. This could cause data corruption, periodic rebooting and stress on the power supply, graphics card and motherboard possibly damaging them.

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#14
In reply to #12

Re: Recommended power supply for PC

02/28/2017 9:20 PM

Right. I see. The card reviewer stated 19W. That's ultralow, comparatively, then. If my PCI-e power rail is 12V...1.58A would be the current the card pulls?

I know you guys have no way of seeing what this Lenovo power mngt utility does, but if you zoom in on the pic, it looks like real-time monitoring and protection.

Brownouts? Data corruption? Periodic rebooting? Stress? Rather blow up the PSU. Thanks, gentlemen... I have a better picture now.

"Wouldn't want to do that. Wouldn't be prudent." -- Dana Carvey on G.W.B.

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: Recommended power supply for PC

02/28/2017 9:39 PM

Select a power supply that gives you a bit of headroom over and above what the system actually needs, for a couple of reasons.

One, the supply's stated capacity is typically a nominal value where, in reality the actual capacity could be more - or less. Thing is, you don't know. It could be less than your system demands and you'll end up overloading it.

Secondly, suppose the redline on your car's tach is 8000 rpm, and you run the engine for hours on end at 7998 rpm. Sure, technically you're not redlining it, but what's going to happen to your engine? Same reasoning applies to your power supply. Don't run it at the ragged edge. Buy something that gives you some headroom, say 20% at a minimum. You won't regret it.

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#13
In reply to #8

Re: Recommended power supply for PC

02/28/2017 9:05 PM

I didn't think computer power supplies were very good at current sharing, even if they were model matched in pairs?

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#16
In reply to #13

Re: Recommended power supply for PC

02/28/2017 10:43 PM

I don't think they share output....One power source would be for the hard drive and motherboard and one for each graphics card...

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#19
In reply to #16

Re: Recommended power supply for PC

03/01/2017 1:44 PM

Yes that appears to be the case.

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#18

Re: Recommended Power Supply for PC

03/01/2017 12:16 PM

Small Form Factor, (SFF), may be the same as Micro ATX. Have you considered a compromise as a minimalist and your hardware needs by moving up to a slightly larger computer case? Perhaps something like this? You can look for more options by searching for Micro ATX Case. (Standards are sketchy, you may need to search for Micro ITX Case). Should you choose to go this route make certain to verify with the case manufacturer that your mother board can be mounted in their case.

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#20
In reply to #18

Re: Recommended Power Supply for PC

03/01/2017 1:50 PM

But that's a vertical case...you see how that could upset my fung sway (Feng shui)?

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#21
In reply to #20

Re: Recommended Power Supply for PC

03/01/2017 9:13 PM

The Fung Sway was already burst down to Fung Wrong.

The off-beige plastic power strip sitting on the glass surface is way out of balance with the downtrodden black desk lamp across the monitor....no matter how severe the little lamp's glare off the glass surface, it can never compete with the out-of-place not-at-all-black distraction of that yellowing plastic power strip.

Just kidding. It looks fine. Really.

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