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RPerez007
1 Copper

Under power Dell PSU

Recently purchased a Dell Vostro 420 with the Dell recommended video card. After many years of purchasing Dell computers for the office, this is my first Dell personal use computer for the house.

Sad to say - I'm disappointed with Dell. emoticon.Sad.title

The AMD video card, based on AMD's web site, requires a 400 watt power supply. Yet, the Dell Vostro 420 only comes with a 300 watt power supply.

The computer is less than a week old and already I see issues with the underpowered PSU. Issued with expansions cards and USB devices.

So for all those users out there who read this post, here and on Facebook, as a basic rule of thumb, do not buy computers with inadequate power supplies.

This may be the last Dell I purchase and recommend, if Dell continues to use the eMachines approach to build computers.

Sorry for the negative comments, but this is really a disappointment for me. I see on this forum a few users who have replaced their power supply.

Can anyone recommend a good brand to use with the Dell computer. I know to look for the correct number of connectors and connector types. But I am unfamiliar with brands such as DiabloTek, Corsair, Cooler Master, Thermaltake and Ultra.

Also, is a power supply with a single 120mm fan better than a unit with two 80mm fans?

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3 Replies
8 Krypton

Re: Under power Dell PSU

What AMD card do you have?  Most of these today are very power efficient.  They do not require 400 watt power supplies.  Many have used the HD 6670 normally considered the top-end for the 300 watt unit with success.   The card only draws 50 watts under gaming situations and much less if you are not.   You can replace your power supply, but I have a feeling it is not the problem.  

Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, PC Power & Cooling are the good brands to look for.  Most have the 120mm fan and would be my choice.  They will run quieter and should keep the power supply cooler.  

Since your system is under warranty, you should contact Dell support before getting a new power supply.  Also, the Dell video cards are not the same as retail.  They are configured differently to work with your Dell system.  

Edit:  I show the Vostro 420 coming with a 350 watt power supply which should be more than enough for any video card options they may have.  Also, isn't this an old system?  I don't show this model being available today since you said you recently purchased it. 

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RPerez007
1 Copper

Re: Under power Dell PSU

I've got too many computers on my mind - my new home computer is an Inspiron 620. I have a Vostro 470 coming my way ay work. Sorry about that.

The video card on my Inspiron 620 is the Radeon 6450 I believe. The combination works well, I'm pleased with the overall performance but not the issues I'm dealing with trying to get some USB devices to work and a FireWire card. I would like to add another drive and maybe optical drive later on but I fear the PSU would be an issue unless I get another more powerful PSU. and after shelling out more than $500 you would think I could get a better PSU. I would have paid the $20-30 more for the better product.

Thanks for the advise on the PSU brands.

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8 Krypton

Re: Under power Dell PSU

On average, the HD 6450 only uses 25 watts.  I am certain it is other issues and not the power supply.  The Inspirons only come with the 300 watt units.  You would have to go to the XPS line to get something better.  There is no option to upgrade to a better power supply.   There seems to be very few to choose from today compared to what used to be available.  You have the Inspiron 660 or you have the XPS 8500 outside of the business class computers like the Vostro, Optiplex and Precisions.   Even if you added the additional components, you really would not come close to needing a larger power supply.

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