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rjh



28 posts

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# 107457 12-Aug-2012 15:15
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I have an old(ish) nMedia M-ATX case with MSI M-ATX board + Athlon 64x2 CPU, 1 SATA HDD, 1 CDROM, card reader etc so load is generally pretty minimal and the system runs fairly cool if I keep the dust out.

It has an Enermax 270W PSU - (SFX so upgrades to the PSU are probably not practical).

I'm currently using the GeForce 6150 onboard graphics, and this is not great - not good for HD video.

Am I going to be able to reliably run a silent video card? Currently looking at a low end Asus Radeon HD6450, which I think will be OK, but what is the likely maximum performance card I'm going to be able to run on this system. Would it run a Radeon HD 6670, or would that be too much load?

Anyone with experience of these low power PSUs in HTPC and decent graphics care to comment? I'm probably not considering any other additional load, and I think it isn't worth spending a lot of money on, anyway.

I'm averse to nVidia, but mainly because of the Youtube smurf issue with final release of Flash Player for Linux (thanks Adobe!).

TIA...

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  # 671617 12-Aug-2012 22:22
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There are online PSU calculators where you can enter your components and it tells you what size PSU you need.




HTPC: Intel i3-2100 / 12GB RAM / AMD HD7750 / 480 GB SSD / 58TB Storage / MediaPortal / MadVR / Win10
AVR: Pioneer Elite SC-LX87 220W 9.2 Ch AVR
Speakers: Wharfedale Jade 7 Fronts / Jade 2c Center / Jade 5 Rears
Subs: iNuke 3000dsp 3000W proamp with 4x 15" JBL Sealed Subs
Display: Samsung 60" UA60H6400 LCD TV
Accessories: Gefen HDMI Detective with splitter


gzt

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  # 671622 12-Aug-2012 23:07
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Are you sure a PSU upgrade is not practical?

There are some 450W here:

https://price.geekzone.co.nz/search.aspx?q=SFF%20power%20supply
http://www.ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?ItemID=380730

In my limited experience with pushing PSU limits - it is not a good idea. Leave a lot of headroom.

 
 
 
 


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  # 671633 12-Aug-2012 23:33
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HD6450 uses hardly any power, around 5W idle and 15W max you'd be fine.  I'd guess that HTPC would probably only use ~160W to 200W @ max.




HTPC: Intel i3-2100 / 12GB RAM / AMD HD7750 / 480 GB SSD / 58TB Storage / MediaPortal / MadVR / Win10
AVR: Pioneer Elite SC-LX87 220W 9.2 Ch AVR
Speakers: Wharfedale Jade 7 Fronts / Jade 2c Center / Jade 5 Rears
Subs: iNuke 3000dsp 3000W proamp with 4x 15" JBL Sealed Subs
Display: Samsung 60" UA60H6400 LCD TV
Accessories: Gefen HDMI Detective with splitter


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  # 671882 13-Aug-2012 16:29
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Don't just go solely for wattage - make sure you buy a quality power supply.

I have had no-name brand 500w PSU's that either fail quicker than quality 400-450w PSU's, or fail to output a constant voltage  on the 5v and 12v rails.

Obviously this applies to lower wattage PSU's as well!

rjh



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  # 673039 15-Aug-2012 21:21
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kiwijunglist: There are online PSU calculators where you can enter your components and it tells you what size PSU you need.


Yeah, a couple of these are pretty good but can I trust them? My setup is quite old, and I wonder how the ratings supplied by these calculators translate into real world experience.

To get a feel for the power requirements of a generic system with different video cards, I've been using the Anandtech "Power, heat and noise" benchmarks, they are quite helpful.

rjh



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  # 673040 15-Aug-2012 21:23
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kiwijunglist: HD6450 uses hardly any power, around 5W idle and 15W max you'd be fine.  I'd guess that HTPC would probably only use ~160W to 200W @ max.


A Killawatt meter shows 89W max, generally around 65-75W.

This is far, far lower than I expected. I could probably fit any card that doesn't require a second power connection.

rjh



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  # 673044 15-Aug-2012 21:27
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gzt: Are you sure a PSU upgrade is not practical?

There are some 450W here:

https://price.geekzone.co.nz/search.aspx?q=SFF%20power%20supply
http://www.ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?ItemID=380730

In my limited experience with pushing PSU limits - it is not a good idea. Leave a lot of headroom.


Not worth it for an old AMD Athlon X2 system - unless I was going to re-purpose the case with a new system, but it is pretty chunky compared with what is available today.

Those PSUs are (I think) Shuttle, I have ATX/SFX so would entail some stuffing around with hardware. I can get a 450W Silverstone SFX for about $130, but not worth doing even that at this stage.

 
 
 
 


gzt

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  # 673070 15-Aug-2012 23:11
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rjh:
kiwijunglist: HD6450 uses hardly any power, around 5W idle and 15W max you'd be fine.  I'd guess that HTPC would probably only use ~160W to 200W @ max.


A Killawatt meter shows 89W max, generally around 65-75W.

This is far, far lower than I expected. I could probably fit any card that doesn't require a second power connection.


I'm not sure I trust those things. I presume the reading was taken during typical media playback. Is there a larger peak on system start? Is the meter fast enough to register that peak?

In any case, just asking. Adding 15W max to the system does not seem like a big risk to me :   ).

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  # 673100 16-Aug-2012 06:20
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I think you will be fine too. Long as it is a low end card your PSU sounds like it will have more then enough overhead for it.







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64

rjh



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  # 673293 16-Aug-2012 13:47
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gzt:
rjh:
kiwijunglist: HD6450 uses hardly any power, around 5W idle and 15W max you'd be fine.  I'd guess that HTPC would probably only use ~160W to 200W @ max.


A Killawatt meter shows 89W max, generally around 65-75W.

This is far, far lower than I expected. I could probably fit any card that doesn't require a second power connection.


I'm not sure I trust those things. I presume the reading was taken during typical media playback. Is there a larger peak on system start? Is the meter fast enough to register that peak?

In any case, just asking. Adding 15W max to the system does not seem like a big risk to me :   ).


Yeah, I'm sure an HD6450 will be fine. I'm fairly sure even a HD7750 would be better :-) but that is overkill for such an old system. I'm fairly sure I have heaps of headroom, even if the meter reading is wildly incorrect.

The meter is an Elto EMA-1 (type 1) which claim reasonable accuracy (4%, 10W) but how these meters perform with switch mode PSUs may be an issue.

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  # 673335 16-Aug-2012 15:09
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go with the 6450 they are quite cheap, super efficient low wattage, and you can still use the same card if you upgrade the htpc in the future.




HTPC: Intel i3-2100 / 12GB RAM / AMD HD7750 / 480 GB SSD / 58TB Storage / MediaPortal / MadVR / Win10
AVR: Pioneer Elite SC-LX87 220W 9.2 Ch AVR
Speakers: Wharfedale Jade 7 Fronts / Jade 2c Center / Jade 5 Rears
Subs: iNuke 3000dsp 3000W proamp with 4x 15" JBL Sealed Subs
Display: Samsung 60" UA60H6400 LCD TV
Accessories: Gefen HDMI Detective with splitter


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