Power supply upgrade

Posted on 2006-04-23
Last Modified: 2010-08-05
I am considering buying a new Dell Demension E310 P4 processor 521 w/HT 2.8 GHz, 800 FSB.  The power supply on this system from the specs list is Power
       Input voltage: 90 to 135V and 180 to 265 V at 50/60 Hz
       Output wattage: 230 Watts maximum continuous
       Output voltage: 3.3V, 5V, and 12V
       Heat dissipation: 434.6 BTU/hour
       Power management: APM
       Backup battery: 3-V CR2032 lithium coin cell
My question is wouldn't a 350 w power supply be better than the one in the specs?  Are Dells known for power supply problems?  I have read several in the questions section.  Can I request a larger power supply by Dell?  How do you know whats enough with all of the periferals to add on.  Would Dell laugh at me for asking to upgrade the power supply?

Question by:kpsnyder
    LVL 95

    Accepted Solution

    I have never heard of power supply issues with Dells.  The cases are designed to accomodoate only a certain amount of peripherals.  230 Watt will be fine for what they offer with that system.  You can inquire about an upgrade to the power supply, but I doubt they'll have one.  And Dell cases typically don't accept third party power supplies unless they are specifically made for that case (I have never heard of vendors selling such power supplies).  

    You can get an idea of what you will need with this:
    LVL 34

    Expert Comment

    The only issue si have seen with dell power supplies being to small is when alot of extra 3rd party componets are added (usually bigger video cards) and it hard to upgrade a dell psu because they use a proprietary power connection to the motherboard it may look like a standard 20 pin connector but if you look closly some of the wires have been switched. So as long as you dont add alot of stuff that you cant configure it with the 230 watt should be ample, and they are good psu's my buddy has an 8300 with a 305 watt and it will run a vid card that requires a 350watt min just fine (but he also only has 1 hdd and 1 cdrom).
    LVL 91

    Expert Comment

    >>  How do you know whats enough with all of the periferals to add on.   <<   calculate the power you need here :      

    >>   Would Dell laugh at me for asking to upgrade the power supply?   <<   That would not be professional

    but a 230W power supply seems very limited for this system
    LVL 26

    Expert Comment

    I agree with all the previous comments.
    As long as you don't add anything the Dell PSU is fine.
    If you upgrade later (more drives, more demanding video card) you may run into problems.
    Just an FYI:
    Most companies give the peak power (surge) as the PSU's capacity but other's give the nominal (continuous).
    The peak number is much higher than the nominal for a given PSU.
    As you can see in the specs Dell is calling out the nominal.

    Author Comment

    I would like to thank all of you for your input.  I really like this site.  I am not the most tech savvy guy but by scanning this site I pick up lots of info and when I have a problem you guys are there to help me solve them

    Thanks again everyone for you quick responces.

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