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Upgrading the Wal-mart special--cooling fans

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Jesse Dylan

Jesse Dylan

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Edit: See bottom of message. I decided to return the "mistake" PSU and buy this one instead. http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817182090 Now my questions mostly just have to do with the cooling configuration.

I won't bore you guys with the whole upgrade history. That would be pointless! I'll just get down to business.

This system originally had awful, awful onboard video, 512mb ram... seriously, it was a joke. But that's fine. I expected that. So I added a video card, a new processor, and 4gb ram, among other things.

But here's the deal. I am upgrading the video again, to the factory overclocked 8800gt card. This requires more juice, so, naturally, I'm upgrading the PSU as well, and, eventually, the processor again.

Herein is the question. I submitted what will be the final system to a PSU calculator thing. This one. http://extreme.outer...culatorlite.jsp Anyway, even with my system at full load, after all the upgrades, it's barely hitting 400w. So I bought a nice 430w PSU.

Yes, I know. You are all thinking, "Why didn't you get at least a 500w." Well, I didn't know any better. Blame the calculator.

It does have 18amps for it's +12v whatever line thingie. It will be enough. It will run my system, but... it might run a little hot.

Because I had planned to install two new cooling fans besides. That's the original question, really.

Once I add in a 3.2 Ghz processor (Athlon X2 6000+ or something like that), there will be more heat. So I was going to ask if the stock cooling that comes with such a processor is sufficient.

And I thought to myself, why not add a case fan? It will take the air the processor stock cooler blows and suck it out of the base. And I'm adding a PCI slot fan to take the air the GPU blows off itself and toss that out of the case as well.

And now, as far as I know, there are no fans to bring air IN to the PC. Some cases have fans on the front. This one does not seem to. Is that okay? Does it matter? I can't find any to buy and install.

So I was going to ask, should I mount the case fan I purchase, the one I had originally intended to suck out the CPU's hot air, should I mount it so it pulls air in, instead of pushing it out? Since I will already have the PSU pushing air out and the PCI slot fan pushing air out? Or is it okay to have all three fans pushing air out? It seems like it might be the best choice rather than having the cpu fan and case fan creating a tornado in my case and relying on the poor PSU fans (it's a dual-fan unit) and the PCI fan to suck out all the chaos.

But at the moment, I just have the 4800+ cpu, so it is really not a worry until I upgrade to a "hotter" cpu, and even then it might not be.

And finally, the new question: since my PSU is (apparently) already going to be overworked on its +12v 18amp line (which I guess is supposed to be more like 22 amp), will adding fans period just make the PSU run hotter and defeat the whole purpose of adding cooling fans?


I would rather not box my new PSU back up, return it, and spend even more money on a 600w PSU instead. Not only will it take time getting here, postponing my plans, it will cost $30 more, and sending it back will cost more money, etc etc...

Yes, I know. You'll say, "You've already spent a lot. Why not spend a little more time, energy and money to ensure your system runs well?" Point well taken.

I know the system will run with this PSU, not just according to the PSU calculator program but according to people who have done it and say it does in fact run, and it is a good PSU, just a little underpowered for what we want.

So I am torn between the two common senses, the common sense of "it will run fine, stop worrying" and the common sense of, "it's not like it hurts to spend a little more money and effort to make absolutely certain".

So, please give me some advice on the fan situation, the PSU situation, and just in general if you'd like. :) I'm really happy I found this place.

Edit: Okay, I've decided to return the PSU. It isn't so much the wattage that worries me but its 18 amps on the +12v line. And actually the wattage worries me a little, too. Some say an 8800gt should have a 600 watt PSU in order to run at it's full potential. Jeez. This is so confusing and frustrating. So I'm browsing PSUs now. I'd really rather not get a 600 watt. A 500 really should be sufficient, especially considering the cards still pull less than 200 watts even at full load, and there's no way the rest of my system, again, even at full load, is using 300 watts.

Final Edit: Here's the PSU I bought, and it looks fantastic! http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817182090 So PSU problems solved unless there are any outstanding issues or I screwed up yet again. Now it's just the cooling fan situation I'm wondering about, the configuration of the three fans--PSU fans, PCI card fan and rear case fan: should they all be blowing out and not pulling in? And if I want something to pull in, how do I do this and where do I buy it and how can I attach it to my crappy Acer case (if at all possible)? And how will swapping my 2.4 Ghz CPU out for a 3.2 change the situation? I might as well prepare for the upgraded CPU by getting the cooling situation taken care of now, before it's a necessity.

I'm thinking of deleting all the talk about PSUs above since I kind of solved my own problem, but... I guess I'll leave it. Sorry, guys! Hope I'm decipherable.

Edited by Jesse Dylan, 23 May 2008 - 07:56 AM.

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