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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?

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Old 01-15-2007, 01:32 PM   #1
drumvudu
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can someone explain power supplies to me?


Mainly, what are the differences between 20pin and 20+4 pin.I have one 20pin connector and one 4pin connector on my mobo so which PS do I have? I currently have a 350w, can I put a larger power supply in my machine with no ill effects? I have a ton of peripherals and that might be why it went out in the first place. Any info would be helpful...thanks
 
Old 01-15-2007, 02:38 PM   #2
RAdams
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drumvudu
Mainly, what are the differences between 20pin and 20+4 pin.I have one 20pin connector and one 4pin connector on my mobo so which PS do I have? I currently have a 350w, can I put a larger power supply in my machine with no ill effects? I have a ton of peripherals and that might be why it went out in the first place. Any info would be helpful...thanks
You have a "20+4 pin" power supply. You can go up in wattage on your power supply, and you may be right about it being previously underpowered. On most desktops, these items, in this order, eat your power:

Processor
Video Card
Raid/Hard Drive Controller & Hard Drive(s)
TV Tuners/Video Adapters
Other Disk Arrays (CD-ROM, etc)
Sound Card*

The sound card can sometimes eat more than the Other Disk Arrays, if it has features like a pre-amp or high-quality audio tuning.

There are utilities to investigate how much power you need, but to be honest, I don't know which are best/most accurate (Can anyone help him out there?). I can tell you I have a pretty hefty set of peripherals, and my 400 W power supply hums along happily.

Regarding power supplies, they're transformers, converting 110V AC power to lower-voltage DC power to feed your electronic components. Whenever you perform this kind of converting, you generate quite a bit of heat. Therefore, the better a power supply can cool itself, the longer it will last. I highly recommend power supplies with at least 2 fans, to allow airflow through the unit, rather than just weakly trying to push hot air out of a sealed metal box.

This page has some wonderful info on power supplies: http://www.computerhope.com/help/ps.htm

Last edited by RAdams; 01-15-2007 at 02:46 PM.
 
Old 01-15-2007, 03:32 PM   #3
J.W.
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And just to add in one minor comment, if you've got a "20+4", the 20 pin connector would plug into the mobo, with the 4 pin connector for the video card. Not all video cards have a power plug, but most higher end models do
 
Old 01-15-2007, 07:45 PM   #4
drumvudu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.W.
And just to add in one minor comment, if you've got a "20+4", the 20 pin connector would plug into the mobo, with the 4 pin connector for the video card. Not all video cards have a power plug, but most higher end models do

Well, then now I am confused again. I have a 20 pin plug that plugs into my mobo and then right below that plug, I have a 4 pin plug on my mobo that also comes from the PS. Neither of thes is plugged into the video card.
 
Old 01-15-2007, 07:57 PM   #5
michaelk
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Actually the 4 pin connector could be either extra power for the video card or extra power required by the Pentium 4 and other recent CPUs. Wikipedia provides a decent explanation/history of the power supply / motherboard standards.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATX
 
Old 01-15-2007, 08:09 PM   #6
drumvudu
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If it helps this is my current PS

Here are the specs of my current Power Supply


http://stephan-i.com/osc/product_inf...934d5898568ccd
 
Old 01-15-2007, 08:41 PM   #7
michaelk
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Sorry if I am confusing you more. You can install a larger wattage power supply. The larger the wattage the more you pay. There are calculators on the web that provide a starting point on approx how much power your system actually draws.

The extra 4 pins are for additional voltage required by the new CPUs. Basically if it supports P4s and lists ATX 2.03 compliant your ok. The original ATX spec had a 20pin connector. The main reason for the 20+4 configuration was for backward compatability i.e the newer power supplies will still work with older computers and you just didn't use the extra 4 pin connector.

FYI: The ATX standard.
http://www.formfactors.org/developer...s%5Catx2_1.pdf

Last edited by michaelk; 01-15-2007 at 08:42 PM.
 
  


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