power supply question

abreezeSeptember 30, 2011

The power supply in my sister's 8 yr old Presario S5000CL desktop is bad. I removed it and had it checked at our local shop today. They have new a replacement ($39.95) that they say will work. It has 450 watts.

When I was googling for information yesterday, I found this on eHow.com's site regarding watts for this model:

"Do not install a power supply that has more than 250 watts in your Compaq Presario 5000 desktop. Installing a higher wattage power supply can result in short term performance increases, but will eventually cause your hardware components to fail and your motherboard to short out."

I asked the shop owner about this, and he said the info in incorrect. He said that the computer only draws what it needs and that his power supply should work just fine. What am I to believe???

My sister is not online and only uses her pc to type messages and letters in the Microsoft Works program. She doesn't burn CDs or play games or music. Her husband has his own pc.

Thanks for your help! :)

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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

well I can only tell you what I do, anytime I have to replace the one that came in the pc originally I always go with one that is a bit larger, more power.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 3:43PM
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You need an electronics engineer to answer properly... but ...

Higher wattage will not effect anything excpt your power bill a minor amount.

The chances of higher wattage causing a motherboard fire I would say is Zero. Maybe a control wire melt faster if shorted. The chances of any performace increase is zero.

Take longer to pop its fuse if a short, but not much longer. Durring a short that might cause smoke, the current rises very very fast.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 3:45PM
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Thanks, Raven and Mikie! I'm off to buy the new one! :)

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 3:56PM
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A higher wattage power supply offers the option of added external gadgets that would be powered through the USB connection with far less fear of failure.

For anyone who might be curious about their power needs here is a chart to fill in to see your minimum needs for power.

Newer and more powerful computers need larger wattage in power supplies to run smoothly. However the quality of the power supply is also important. This is one of those cases where heavier is better because you would have more substantial components in the heavier PS.

A few years ago eMachines had terrible power supplies and when they failed at an alarming rate there were many that took out the motherboard with them making the computer useless because replacement motherboards were not available.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 7:54PM
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eHow's recommendation is way off. A larger power supply simply has additional capacity, it doesn't supply "more power" to individual components.

Computer manufacturers typically use the smallest power supply they can get away with to save money. That often presents a problem for someone who wants to upgrade down the road.

I'd also make sure a generic power supply will fit in your PC. Large manufacturers also have a nasty habit of using proprietary products.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 10:37PM
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I believe the shop owner said that it was a proprietary power supply. (Is that bad?) He suggested that I stop by with the tower to make sure the larger ps would fit in the case. Also, he offered to check the mother board for free to make sure the ps failure didn't short out anything else.

All was well, and my sister is so happy to have her old computer back! :) What a blessing all of you are with your helpful advice and information. Thank you!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 6:09PM
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Being a proprietary PS - Compaq - you can be fairly certain it will fit. Larger is likely the power available not the size of the enclosure. It might well be good to use his generous offer to check the motherboard for free. It should be very straightforward, either the computer starts and you are all happy campers or it does not and you salvage the hard drive for it's content and toss the rest out.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 7:07PM
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We're all happy campers, owbist! Thank you.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 7:48PM
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Ah, very good news then

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 8:40PM
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When you throw out an old PC, remove the old power supply for replacement for others. Most of them are interchangeable.

All power supplies are regulated for voltage ups and downs, and AC frequency independent.

You can put in a 1,000 watt power supply and it will not hurt the computer. When you plug anything in your outlet, the power company is supplying many trillion watts of power, but you only use as many watts as your device is capable of drawing.

Voltage is different. You will burn things out if you plug a 110VAC appliance into a 220VAC outlet.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 7:34AM
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