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Old 09-17-2011, 02:00 AM   #1
Red Hawk
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Default What do I need to know to upgrade my PSU?

I'm thinking about upgrading my PSU so that I can safely install a more power(hungry)ful graphics card, something like a Radeon HD 6870 or 6950 (the 375 watt Dell PSU has been surprisingly stable for the Q6600/5770 combination, but I'm not even going to try pushing it past that). The idea is that I would buy the graphics card and PSU now or in the near future, and transfer them over to a new PC build further down the road when I get enough money for a new processor, case, mobo, and RAM.

So, the question is: what do I need to find out about my PC before choosing a new PSU for it? I went to Microcenter the other day and the employee I talked to said that Dell PCs are known for sometimes using proprietary PSU connections, and I'll need to check the PC mobo directly to figure it out. Informative, but not exactly helpful...he didn't really explain how to check. How can I check what PSU connection the mobo has? What PSU connection does it need in order to work with third-party power supplies?

Also, if I can upgrade the PSU, would this be a good choice?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...z%20modxstream

Would this be sufficient and stable to power a 6870 or 6950 with my Q6600 (or a 2500k, the CPU upgrade I'm eyeing)? I have no intent on doing a Crossfire/SLI. Also, is the OCZ brand a trustworthy one?

Edit: My google-fu has yielded this schematic of my PC. I'm a little lost with all the numbers; does this give the information I'm looking for?
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Desktop: Thermaltake V-4 Black case | Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 | Core i5 2500k @ 4 GHz | ASUS Radeon HD 7870 DirectCU II 2 GB @ 1110 MHz | 8 GB G.Skill DDR3 RAM 1333 MHz | 120GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSD & Western Digital 500 GB HDD | Antec 650w PSU | Acer 1080p 60 Hz 21.5'' | Windows 8.1 Professional
Laptop: ASUS K52Jr-X5 | Core i3-350m @ 2.26 GHz| Mobility Radeon HD 5470 1 GB @ 750 MHz 4 GB DDR3 RAM | 90 GB OCZ Agility 3 SSD | 1366x768 15.6'' | Windows 8.1 Professional

Last edited by Red Hawk; 09-17-2011 at 02:06 AM.
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Old 09-17-2011, 03:58 AM   #2
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If you're upgrading the GPU, CPU, motherboard, RAM and PSU, there's not really anything left of your dell apart from the drives and the case. Those are the only components that Dell's proprietary connections may apply to, in your case. I'm not sure if they do but... Why not just build a whole new PC?
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Old 09-17-2011, 06:15 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lehtv View Post
If you're upgrading the GPU, CPU, motherboard, RAM and PSU, there's not really anything left of your dell apart from the drives and the case. Those are the only components that Dell's proprietary connections may apply to, in your case. I'm not sure if they do but... Why not just build a whole new PC?
This. Unless you're particularly attached to your Dell case. There are many very nice options under $100. I once built a system with a Gigabyte case from Newegg, it was actually $19.99. Not the prettiest thing, but it works fine and it's light weight. hehe

My current computer uses this case: http://www.jayceooi.com/wp-content/u...8/10/cm690.jpg, bought for $79 two years ago.

The power supply you listed is fine I'm sure. You may want to look at similar Antec, XFX and Seasonic units though.
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Old 09-17-2011, 06:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zCypher View Post
The power supply you listed is fine I'm sure. You may want to look at similar Antec, XFX and Seasonic units though.

Amen to that. OCZ has never been known for selling power supplies, or most anything else, of equal quality as their competitors....hence their lower prices.

Personally, I'd look into a Seasonic S12II 620W.....a step above the OCZ in electrical output and construction quality:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817151096


Or move back to a 520W version of the same unit (which would be powerful enough for your system):

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817151094



Again, better quality construction, better electrical output, and both Seasonics are more efficient and have longer warranties (5 yr. vs. 3 yr. for the OCZ). There's a reason you don't see every online seller blowing out refurb'd Seasonic units like you see consistently with the OCZ stuff.
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:10 AM   #5
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Add the fact that Seasonic manufactures the power supplies of lots other companies. They're one of the only PSU OEM's that has their own brand as well, which makes their brand and hardware support very reliable.
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Old 09-17-2011, 03:23 PM   #6
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Yeah. Stick with Antec, Seasonic, XFX, Corsair. I dont buy any brands outside of those....

Here is an Antec 650, and although is not modular, has got to be significantly better psu at the same price point. More power, more efficient, and better made. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817371044 Recently it was even at $45AR.

One small way to kind of gauge if a PSU is good or not, is if it is over 550 watts and is not 80 plus bronze certified at least, id personally never buy it.
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Last edited by Fallengod; 09-17-2011 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 09-18-2011, 08:47 PM   #7
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Thanks for the recommendations. So the conclusion is that my PC doesn't have a proprietary PSU connection that wouldn't work with third-party power supplies?

As for why not build a whole new PC, that's the idea, eventually. I don't have enough money for a full build right now though, hence why I just want to upgrade the PSU and GPU. New mobo, RAM, CPU and case would come later and I would transfer the PSU and GPU over to them.

I'm probably going to wait until the Radeon HD 7000 series comes out, if only because it would drive 6000 series prices down. I just wanted to know, thanks.

Edit: I ordered the Antec 650. I'm still holding off on upgrading the GPU for now, but hopefully the new PSU will allow me to safely increase the voltage and clock speeds of my current 5770. I was never confident in doing that with my current 375 watt PSU. Thanks everyone!
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Desktop: Thermaltake V-4 Black case | Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 | Core i5 2500k @ 4 GHz | ASUS Radeon HD 7870 DirectCU II 2 GB @ 1110 MHz | 8 GB G.Skill DDR3 RAM 1333 MHz | 120GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSD & Western Digital 500 GB HDD | Antec 650w PSU | Acer 1080p 60 Hz 21.5'' | Windows 8.1 Professional
Laptop: ASUS K52Jr-X5 | Core i3-350m @ 2.26 GHz| Mobility Radeon HD 5470 1 GB @ 750 MHz 4 GB DDR3 RAM | 90 GB OCZ Agility 3 SSD | 1366x768 15.6'' | Windows 8.1 Professional

Last edited by Red Hawk; 09-18-2011 at 10:44 PM.
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