We help IT Professionals succeed at work.
Get Started

How I Tell If I Need a Bigger Power Supply?

photoman11 asked
Last Modified: 2013-12-11
My PC is an HP e9150t quad core desktop using an Intel i7 CPU (920@2.67 GHz). I have 8 GB of RAM and am running Windows 7 Home Premium-64-Bit. It was purchased new from HP, in July 2009. The Microsoft products I am running include the 2007 versions of Outlook, Word, and Excel.

Since having my computer for the last year, I have had various problems from BSOD to upgrading from Vista to Windows 7. Using deductive reasoning and a lot of help from Expert Exchange, it seems that most of the issues/problems revolve around having added a 2nd video card to my PC.

Having discovered that my particular HP model may be the non-automotive equivalent of a lemon, also doesn't help much. I added a 2nd video card because in addition to 2 monitors that I run off the primary video card I upgraded to when I purchase my machine (the ATI radian HD 4650), I wanted to connect to an HDTV, which could not be done  with my current video card.

It seems that there is a high correlation between computer crashes/BSODs and watching the HDTV, which is connected to the 2nd video card-ATI radian HD 4550.

Based on suggestions from ATI and about 3 other sources, I removed the side panel to my computer and placed a small fan directed at the boards. This has proved surprisingly effective in stopping crashing and BSODs.

Not knowing what the potential long-term negative ramifications may be on my system, it has been suggested that with the number of peripherals I'm running and the inherent issues there may be with my particular computer model, I should consider going to a larger power supply.

This is completely out of my experience level, so I am trying to get some opinions on whether or I should consider installing a new power supply and/or fan, or just leave well enough alone since it seems to be working okay with my current setup.

For reference, my current PC has 2 internal drives - a 1.5 TB drive and a 750 GB drive. I also have the following externals: (1) 1 TB eSATA drive, (1) 1 TB drive, (1) 750 GB drive, (1) DVD R/RW optical drive (in addition to the one internal optical drive). Although most of the following components are not on all of the time, I have 1 laser printer, 1 color DeskJet, and 1 color photo printer. In addition, there is a Bluetooth dongle for syncing my Palm smartphone.

Thank you and much for any help and opinions. The
Watch Question
This problem has been solved!
Unlock 6 Answers and 16 Comments.
See Answers
Why Experts Exchange?

Experts Exchange always has the answer, or at the least points me in the correct direction! It is like having another employee that is extremely experienced.

Jim Murphy
Programmer at Smart IT Solutions

When asked, what has been your best career decision?

Deciding to stick with EE.

Mohamed Asif
Technical Department Head

Being involved with EE helped me to grow personally and professionally.

Carl Webster
CTP, Sr Infrastructure Consultant
Ask ANY Question

Connect with Certified Experts to gain insight and support on specific technology challenges including:

  • Troubleshooting
  • Research
  • Professional Opinions
Did You Know?

We've partnered with two important charities to provide clean water and computer science education to those who need it most. READ MORE