Ask questions. Help others.
The HP Community is here for you.
Post new question
Guide for Selecting a Power Supply
Replies (498)
Note on archived topics.
This topic has been archived. Information and links in this thread may no longer be available or relevant.
If you have a question create a new topic by clicking here, or click on "Post new question" above and select the appropriate board.
Posts: 13
Member Since: ‎03-01-2009
Message 11 of 499 (16,986 Views)

Re: Guide for Selecting a Power Supply

Very Interesting comments! I will check inside the case to make sure. Do you know anything about the new TiVo style TV tuners? My NEW d5200t came with the new and expensive TV tuner card that allows forward and reverse and other options. HP simply added a SECOND tuner card in the desktop.


Turning it on gives you a picture. The person on TV will say one or two words and it suddenly becomes pixelated. In another moment or so the pixelation spreads all over the screen with a frozen picture and audio. In another moment the pixelation suddenly gives way to bright yellow colors all over the screen.


In another moment it begins all over again with a picture and a word or two.


I have calibrated the digital antenna using Windows Media Player. It tells me the digital antenna is working well.


Things I have noticed:

 OUT OF THE BOX: Device Manager showed a conflict with the two tuner cards. Using the Device Manager to disable one card failed to fix the problem. Switching to the other card made no difference.


Tech service keeps telling me to run recovery. I have a total of 12 hours on this computer. Eleven of these hours was in four HP tech service calls where they insist on taking remote control. From the time you dial the phone until the time an HP live human takes control of your computer is one hour.


I had a case manager I don't know call me and he said I had too many calls to tech service. He wanted to buy it back so I could go buy another brand of computer. My previous case manager would have never spoken to me that way and to be honest I was shocked.


Thanks for the good advice!


Time will tell I guess,



Posts: 13
Member Since: ‎03-01-2009
Message 12 of 499 (16,987 Views)

Re: Guide for Selecting a Power Supply

I have a Enermax FMA2 (535 ATTS) nib. tHE MODEL NUMBER IS:   eg565


I bought two of these on sale before a store went out of business. I bought two of them and put one in my Sony. Heck, they were only $65. I was under the impression that these were dual rail PSU's and now that I look at the box I don't see that written.


Is it good enough to build up one like you are suggesting? Should I save it as a spare?




Associate Professor
Posts: 1,250
Member Since: ‎01-27-2009
Message 13 of 499 (16,939 Views)

Re: Guide for Selecting a Power Supply

That Enemax will be fine.  It's based on an older design (less efficient...extra 5W-25W from the outlet depending on load) but the output voltage and current are stable.  Verify that there are two 6-pin PCI-E connectors to power a high-end GPU.  Otherwise, you'll need to use a molex to PCI-E adaptor to run an expensive video card.


The Hauppauge software is not very good.  You may want to look elsewhere for TIVO capability.  I don't trust a software-based program like WMP for signal strength.  A quick test is to move an analog TV to the location of the antenna and attempt to pickup the local analog broadcasts.  If you get a quality picture, then there is sufficient signal for a good digital reception.  Another approach is to buy a Zenith DTT 901 digital tuner converter (about $50 at Kmart if you don't have a $40 FCC coupon).  This unit comes with a very good LG tuner section and signal strength meter.  Tune to the desired channel and verify with the strength meter that the signal is good.


Based on your descriptions, the most likely culprit is weak signal from the antenna. 


I'd call the case manager ASAP and arrange for the return of the PC.  With $2.5K cash, you could build one today, and have enough $ to upgrade the MB, RAM, and CPU in 2-3 years. 

Posts: 2,158
Member Since: ‎11-17-2008
Message 14 of 499 (16,929 Views)

Re: Guide for Selecting a Power Supply

Hi RoyalSerpent,


I'm not an expert on power supplies, and you obviously know more about them than I do, so I could be wrong in what I stated. The power ratings on the labels are a little tricky to read. It could be that the 385W is continuous power for the devices running on the PSU device connectors, but does not include power for the Motherboard. Also, from what I've seen in looking this up, this is an industry standard, not an HP-only standard.


One thing I do know is that HP does a lot of testing on the power supplies and the components they ship with. The PSU must meet the specs of the components that are shipped with it.


Here is an HP Support document talking about the ratings that I was speaking to: HP employee just trying to help where I can, but not speaking on behalf of HP.
Posts: 2,158
Member Since: ‎11-17-2008
Message 15 of 499 (16,927 Views)

Re: Guide for Selecting a Power Supply

Hi SilverWhiskers,


Your PC power supply is capable of running all of your devices. It is not a 385W PSU. You can upgrade your PC hardware as well, and unless you add a very high end graphics card, multiple drives, max memory, and maybe another tuner, you likely won't see an issue. I've upgraded much lesser PCs with less PSU Watts and never saw an issue. HP puts time into making their PCs easily upgradeable. They even provide you support documents and videos on how to replace and add devices. For reference, here is a link to a page with a bunch of hardware upgrade info for your PC:


Can you tell me more about the TV Tuner(s) issue?


Where are you seeing a conflict in the Tuners?


Perhaps there is a configuration issue we can help with to get this working for you. HP employee just trying to help where I can, but not speaking on behalf of HP.
Distinguished Professor
Posts: 2,580
Member Since: ‎11-17-2008
Message 16 of 499 (16,920 Views)

Re: Guide for Selecting a Power Supply

Just to add another opinion, you have purchased a pretty good computer that has a decent power supply. Mr. Do! is correct in showing you that the label can be confusing. The 385W shown on the power supply label refers to the total Wattage that you should not exceed when using the 12V supply lines. Your power supply has a total output of 460W (inluding the 5V and 3.3 V supply) and should be fine for most/all of the common upgradable components available today. 


I totally disagree with RS in his thinking that the power supplies in HP PCs are poor quality (or those in Dell, Gateway, etc...). I'm not saying this because I work for HP, although I do know that HP rigorously tests its power supplies in the configuration the model ships with. So no, HP does not ship PCs with power supplies that are incapable of powering the components it comes with. To think that of any retail PC manufacturer doing this is just silly. The rating of the power supply is typically tied to the price of the PC - you buy a less expensive PC, the rating of the power supply will probably be less and your ability to upgrade components will be less as well. The "quality" of a power supply should really be thought of as "max rating given the price of PC".


I agree with RS in that . . if you really invest the time and do your homework you can build a PC that is more tailored to your liking and you can make one that will outperform more than 98% of the retail PCs. I have made several over the years and it is a fun hobby. However, I seriously doubt that you will be able to do so and come close to hitting the same price range. Retail PC manfufacturers can work with component manufacturers to buy large volumes of quality components while holding them to certain quality standards... the save money in packaging and overhead as well.



I am an HP employee expressing my own opinion.
Please post rather than send me a message. It's good for the community and I might not be able to get back quickly. - Thank you.
Associate Professor
Posts: 1,250
Member Since: ‎01-27-2009
Message 17 of 499 (16,897 Views)

Re: Guide for Selecting a Power Supply

[ Edited ]

If the PSU is rated to deliver 460W continuous @ 40C ambient, with 385W continuous on the +12VDC rail, then it should work well that rig.  I doubt that HP would hook up each PSU to a 1KW load tester and apply the rated load on each rail for 1/2 day in a 40C thermal chamber to confirm the rating.  Furthermore, I'm sure that HP doesn't apply a cross load test to check for proper booting when there is a minimum load on the 3.3VDC and 5VDC rail(s).


Engineers rely on the expertise of qualified vendors to test the equipments.  The labeling of PC PSU can be subjected to wide interpretation because it is not regulated by the FTC.  If HP has a superior product that is a cut above the cheap Chinese Saturday Night Special, then why not join the ranking of reputable PSU vendors by labeling the unit as 460W continuous at 40C (3.3VDC + 5VDC + 12VDC) with maximum of 385W continuous (12VDC)?  Here's another one for the suggestion box.  If the 12VDC output is a single rail unit, then label it as a single +12VDC rail with xx A at 40C ambient.  Don't put 12V1, 12V2, and 12V3 unless each rail is monitored by a current limiting device.


Also spend a little $ for an 80+ or 80+ bronze/silver/gold sticker.  It's a cheap way to advertise a green PC.


The actual cost (BOM...or bill of materials) of a quality 380W PSU vs. 550W PSU is less than $10.  Anyone that has disassembled an Antec Earthwatts 380 and Antec Earthwatts 500 (not 500-D) will know what I mean.  The interior electronics are virtually the same except for a few key components like primary filter cap, fuse, toroidal transformer, and output devices.  I'm not saying that all HP PSUs are junk.  My point is if someone paid $2.5K for a PC, then the PC should come from a top-tier PSU vendor.  We shouldn't have to settle on generic labeling to decipher what's underneath the hood.  I could probably identify a well-built PSU within 30 seconds of opening.  Others have to rely on the side sticker.


While it's difficult to build a Wally World Special with windows for $300, I would submit that one can spend $1500 at Newegg for a rig that's better than the OP's 2.5K PC.  The HP rig comes with 1 yr warranty.  All the major components inside a custom rig are backed with a 3-5 yr mfr warranty.  How much would it cost to purchase this additional protection from HP?  This could be a big deal if you happened to own an HP whose MB or GPU went south shortly after the warranty.


Have some time to kill, so I went to the HP website to build a d5200t with the following components:


- Vista Premium SP1

- Q9550 CPU



- DVD writer

- ATI HD 4850 GPU


The final cost is $1379 after rebate.




Now let's take a look at a custom rig with similar components:

- XP Pro 64-bit (I hate Vista but don't have a choice for XP)...$139


- Q9550...$270 overclocked from 2.8GHz to +3.4GHz


-  4GB DDR2 8500 overclocking RAM...$30 FrustratedEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG


- 1TB HDD...$109


- DVD burner...$26


- PC case...$55


- Radeon HD 4850 GPU with adjustable core voltage...$140


- Card reader...$11


- 550W Corsair PSU...$60


- Overclocking Intel motherboard...$94


- CPU cooler...$27


Total cost for parts is $961.  Allocate $200 labor.  The final cost of this custom PC is $1161.  That's 19% cheaper than the HP PC.  If you can build your own PC, then the savings is a whopping 44%!


Seeing that we have a better motherboard, RAM, power supply, CPU cooler, and PC case, why not switch to a Q8300 CPU and overclock it to at least 3.4GHz?  We'll pocket an $80 savings while sacrificing no more than 2% in performance due to the smaller L2 cache.  The RAM and motherboard have sufficient headroom to overclock a good Q8300 chip to 4.0GHz!  Remember that all of these quad core chips are based on the same technology.


Final hit to the wallet...$1081 for a custom Intel quad core rig capable of at least 3.4GHz vs. $1379 for a stock HP Intel quad core at 2.8GHz.  The custom rig has 3-5x longer warranty on major components, better case ventilation, zero pre-loaded crap ware, and a choice of XP or Vista OS.  If you're a savvy shopper and can wait for parts to go on sale, then you can expect to shave another 15-20% off the $1081 quote.


Customer support should be vastly superior to any large box-maker because you get to talk to the guy/gal that design and build the PC.

Message Edited by RoyalSerpent on 04-07-2009 06:21 PM
Posts: 48
Member Since: ‎01-31-2009
Message 18 of 499 (16,880 Views)

Re: Guide for Selecting a Power Supply

[ Edited ]

Not to hi-jack anyones thread here, But, i recently bought one of these >


 in an HP a6645f with a Nvidia Gts 250(GPU)... installed it, turned it on.... and


 lights and fans on power supply ... Check

 case and cpu fan.........................Check

 DVD drive spools up....................check


but.... the video card fan spools up to 100%....and no signal to monitor....


put the "flea-bay cheapie" back in and everything seems to work ok...(worried about its longevity, seems real cheap)...


sent it back, got another one... same problem.

 emailed SigmaProducts, and they quickly returned my e-mail, saying...


HP only work with their own  power supply, all of  the standard ATX POWER SUPPLY in market won't work with it.


 uh, Wut?


does the "ATX12V V2.01" mean anything? I've noticed other PSU's have like V2.0, or V2.2, V2.02, Etc... wtf does THAT mean??
Message Edited by clodzilla319 on 04-07-2009 03:34 PM
Associate Professor
Posts: 1,250
Member Since: ‎01-27-2009
Message 19 of 499 (16,868 Views)

Re: Guide for Selecting a Power Supply

Sigma is full of BS.  The el-cheapo Fleabay Special didn't have any problem with your HP, right?  I suspect the Sigma unit has a problem powering up when there is minimal startup load on the 3.3V/5V rail.  Rev 2.01 should work with your HP. 


Get the $30 Corsair CX400 and you'll never worry about PSU again.  Newegg subscriber gets another $10 off...need to look for that coupon code...

Posts: 48
Member Since: ‎01-31-2009
Message 20 of 499 (16,861 Views)

Re: Guide for Selecting a Power Supply

Hopefully I'll get to RMA this POS back for a refund...(it sure is pretty though...)
I'm liking the corsair psu's....
but for an "eventual"(buying parts here and there..) Build..
thinkin this>

good enough for a GTS250 SLI rig?? (maybe GTS275's later) on a intel E8500 system....

† The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of HP. By using this site, you accept the Terms of Use and Rules of Participation