New HP PC - and PSU worries (for GFX Card upgrade)

  AnthonyB 16:06 21 Feb 05


I am going for a brand new PC this week (online), and since I have an Hewlett Packard,(Pavilion that has been working well for 2 years, I have decided to buy something similar to this - or of the "like" (DELL, Packard Bell, Advent, etc). However, I'm a little worried about the power supplies (PSU) in some of these systems, as I may want to upgrade the system to a better Graphics card in the future (which require 300 Watts Minimum - or more for Geforce Ultras). The PC I have at the moment has a 200 WATT PSU - (Bestec 1956-F) - and is of a micro type, which means I can't really just go and buy an Enermax/Antec etc - without case modification.

Do any of the type of Pc's I've mentioned (HP., Dell etc) come with decent PSU, and able to cope with today’s GFX cards - or at least are they of the standard ATX format - and at least 300 Watts?.

Was thinking of buying from PC World, as everything I've had from there has been reliable, and delivered promply etc. the actual Model i have in mind is the "HEWLETT PACKARD T690" - Priced at £1599. While most of the spec is of a very high standard, the "ATI RADEON X600 PRO" will suffice only for basic games, and not future ones (or even todays if you count DOOM/Half Life 2 etc). Wouldn't want to spend this amount - and then find out I can't upgrade my GFX card because of PSU issues. Would like to find out what PSU this PC has, but not easy working your way around HP's websites;)

PS: I know someone could tell me not to get one of these, but go to a shop were they sell PC's with these cards already built in, well, just lately after reading some post's (not just here either) I haven't got a "great deal" of faith with certain shops I could mention.


  AnthonyB 16:28 21 Feb 05

I'm sorry:)


  dth 16:49 21 Feb 05

200 watts does seem ever so low. Many years ago I had a P3 450 - with a 230 watts power supply and I couldn't get (what is now) a basic Nvidia graphic card to run OK.

Think 300 should be a minimum especially if you are looking to upgrade in the future. It is of course easy enough to just buy a more powerful power supply in the future - but if I was paying £1,599 now!

  AnthonyB 16:57 21 Feb 05

Thanks, but what if these units come with propriety PSU'S? (250 watts for example) - meaning that what you get is what your stuck with?. I'm just wondering if these Radeon X300/X600 cards, and nVidia GeForce 6600 Graphics that are fittted in the Compaq/HP etc, are because they can't really put faster ones in because of PSU perhaps?


  vitrocmax 17:02 21 Feb 05

Can I assume you are buying online because you cannot get to PC World? As it happens, I will be calling in to my local PCW this evening, so I could have a look for you.

Even if you get a response from someone else, it will be interesting to see if PCW staff will let me open the case. I did when I bought an eMachine PC from them a few months ago (it was on the clearance shelf) to see if it was clean and matched the spec on the sticker.

I agree that finding full HP specs isn't always that easy. The list on their website has just about everything but the power requirements.

  AnthonyB 17:23 21 Feb 05

Cheers a lot vitromax. Taking a look in the case? hmmmm That's what I would do myself if I could get down - and it's not really a long job either. I would get "that feeling" the staff just wouldn't know you know!. Would be interesting if PCW could try one of these cards in there machines.


  ade.h 21:03 21 Feb 05

click here Enter your spec into the form to get an idea of your power requirements. Also, bear in mind that some PSUs output a little less real-world wattage than the numbers suggest.

  vitrocmax 23:27 21 Feb 05

Sorry I'm a bit late but I did get the info you're after - it's a Bestec 300W supply.

Cracking PC and the inside looks good as well!

I just undid the case screws and slid the side off, had a good poke around (oops- I didn't turn the power off!) and put it all back together. No pressure from a salesman, come to think of it I couldn't even find one!

The processor fan is huge but both it and the case fan were running slow and weren't making much noise. A fair bit of heat was coming out of the power supply, though. It was running a PCW sales video and had probably been on all day so it should be OK. There appears to be only one free PCI slot, 2 are taken up already.There is a cover on the top that can be used to locate an HP camera docking station, but it looks like you can store CDs or DVDs in it if you want.

It looks a good machine to me, but it is quite a hefty price tag so it should be good.

  citadel 23:34 21 Feb 05

I got my new pc from a local computer shop, you can pick your power supply, graphics card, case etc. Plus you only get software installed that you want and if anything goes wrong with it its easy to take it back.

  AnthonyB 23:39 21 Feb 05

Thanks vitrocmax for riskin' ya life - much appreiciated;)

Did you notice if the PSU was ATX or MICRO ATX? Bestec do a 300 watter in micro form. Thanks once again,


  vitrocmax 00:17 22 Feb 05

It was an ATX if my memory serves. It looked 'normal' for the case, my old PC has a micro size PSU and it's definitely bigger than that.

The HP page click here is the best I could find on the specification, if you haven't already seen it. No mention of the power supply.

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