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Possible problems with a 250 watt power supply

Posted on 2005-05-11
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2011-04-14
Hello everyone.

One of our Dell's has a 250 watt power supply. The following are connected to the mobo:

3.4 GHz P IV
1024 RAM
1 rear fan
1 80 gig hddrive
1 64 MB Radeon 9200 AGP
1 64 MB Radeon 9200 PCI
1 external hdrive (USB)
1 PDA Device
1 external USB NIC card
1 optical mouse

Based off the list above, you think this is too much for a 250 watt power supply?  The reason why i am asking this is because occasionally the user's computer freezes and both LED's in the front are not lit.  However, the power supply fan is still running.

Dell support said it had to do with the system going into standby, but i refuse to believe that because standby is disabled! I think occasionally the system cannot handle giving power to the graphics cards.

Plus this problem occurs 2-3 times a month.

What do you experts think?

Question by:carpetflyer
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Accepted Solution

waffleironhead earned 1000 total points
ID: 13982367
90 watts --------------------------------------------processor
35 watts --------------------------------------------g-card 1
35 watts---------------------------------------------g card 2
40 watts---------------------------------------------ram
25 watts---------------------------------------------hd
30 watts---------------------------------------------burner
2 watts ----------------------------------------------fan

just rough estimates, but you are already over the top....

suggest a new(bigger) power supply

these values were taken from



Author Comment

ID: 13982422
wow nice find.

Yea my gut instincts was that it was getting a bit overloaded.  

I will prob get a 300 watt supply...what do you think?  The user does not play games...this is a business computer so its used for database/web/spreadsheets, etc.


Assisted Solution

waffleironhead earned 1000 total points
ID: 13982451
the overloading of a power supply can cause issues with the rest of the system, instability,which you saw, and even hardware failure due to poor current, the cost of a new supply versus the cost/headache of dead drives and cards is well worth it IMO.

300 watt should do it. though if you shifted the the usb items to a powered hub it would take some stress off tof the system ps.


Author Comment

ID: 13982648
I will go ahead and buy a 300 watt supply. i doubt dell would give us one for free (still under warranty).

Thanks again waffleironhead!


Expert Comment

ID: 13983085
Your talking about a Dell PC here.

Do not just go out and buy a PSU from a shop.
You have to make sure it's a Dell PSU as they switch the wires around and you will have wrong voltages going into your motherboard.

Needless to say this will cause damage to most of your components, CPU RAM and any cards installed. Possibel alos that IDE connected devices could be damaged.

Not sure if all Dell models have this issue, but just check the wires with your old PSU to get an idea, you will notice if they are differently mapped out.

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