Computer power supply question

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by j, Jun 24, 2007.

  1. j

    j Guest

    I bought a computer at a garage sale that was brought over from the United
    Kingdom. Everything looks normal except that the power supply has a label
    that says "230 volts". The AC power connector socket going into the back of
    the power supply is the same shape as that of an american computer. The
    power supply does not have a switch to switch from 120 to 230 volts like
    many computer power supplies have. I would like to use the computer but I
    cannot power it up from the AC wall socket due to the voltage difference. I
    would like to take the power supply from my Dell computer and install it
    into the computer that came from the UK. I looked, and both the Dell
    computer and the UK computer have the same wiring and plugs coming out of
    their power supplies except that the 20 pin connectors that plug into the
    motherboard have different colored wires. Does it matter that the wires are
    different colors? Is it ok to install the Dell power supply into the
    computer from the UK? The UK computer is much fancier than my current
    computer but I do not want to burn something up. I do know that the power
    plugs that plug into the hard drive and CD and floppy are the same shape and
    colors (red/yellow/black) on both power supplies. It is only the 22 pin
    connectors that plug into the mother boards that have different colors,
    although they are shaped the same. Thank you.
     
    j, Jun 24, 2007
    #1
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  2. j

    babaloo Guest

    Dell uses proprietary power supplies and they change the wiring in the
    connector from the standard.
    This has bedevilled many Dell owners.
    An inexpensive ATX power supply is a better alternative.
     
    babaloo, Jun 24, 2007
    #2
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  3. j

    j Guest

    Thanks for that information.

    "babaloo" <> wrote in message
    news:wxCfi.7084$...
    > Dell uses proprietary power supplies and they change the wiring in the
    > connector from the standard.
    > This has bedevilled many Dell owners.
    > An inexpensive ATX power supply is a better alternative.
    >
    >
     
    j, Jun 25, 2007
    #3
  4. j

    Paul Guest

    j wrote:
    > I bought a computer at a garage sale that was brought over from the United
    > Kingdom. Everything looks normal except that the power supply has a label
    > that says "230 volts". The AC power connector socket going into the back of
    > the power supply is the same shape as that of an american computer. The
    > power supply does not have a switch to switch from 120 to 230 volts like
    > many computer power supplies have. I would like to use the computer but I
    > cannot power it up from the AC wall socket due to the voltage difference. I
    > would like to take the power supply from my Dell computer and install it
    > into the computer that came from the UK. I looked, and both the Dell
    > computer and the UK computer have the same wiring and plugs coming out of
    > their power supplies except that the 20 pin connectors that plug into the
    > motherboard have different colored wires. Does it matter that the wires are
    > different colors? Is it ok to install the Dell power supply into the
    > computer from the UK? The UK computer is much fancier than my current
    > computer but I do not want to burn something up. I do know that the power
    > plugs that plug into the hard drive and CD and floppy are the same shape and
    > colors (red/yellow/black) on both power supplies. It is only the 22 pin
    > connectors that plug into the mother boards that have different colors,
    > although they are shaped the same. Thank you.
    >


    As Babaloo said, a certain range of years of Dell computers, use custom
    designs that are not normal. If you installed one of those Dell power
    supplies, you could ruin the more standards based UK computer.

    You can use the DC rail ratings and total power printed on the side
    of the UK computer's power supply label, as a basis for shopping for
    a new standard supply. (Open the computer and have a look at the label.)
    The new supply you use, has to have at least the same or more ampere
    capacity on each output, to be useful in the UK computer.

    ATX power supplies have changed a bit, over the last few years. They
    had 20 pins and had no 2x2 connector for the processor. The 20 pin in
    that case may have had -5V available as well. Some computers also
    had a 1x6 connector with extra 3.3V amongst other things, and that
    helped with higher power AGP cards. The -5V was eventually removed
    in later versions of supply standard. The 2x2 12V processor power
    connector was added. And finally, the power supply went to 24 pins
    on the main, again with the objective of adding more power, this
    time for the PCI Express generation. Your computer could be from
    any one of those generations, but more likely the first two, than the
    most recent one.

    These three specs capture those variations. You can read these docs
    and compare to what you see inside the UK computer.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20030424...org/developer/specs/atx/ATX_ATX12V_PS_1_1.pdf
    http://www.formfactors.org/developer/specs/atx/ATX12V_1_3dg.pdf
    http://www.formfactors.org/developer/specs/ATX12V_PSDG_2_2_public_br2.pdf

    The Dell may have some similar looking connectors, but the colors
    on the Dell are wrong. More recent Dells are interchangeable with
    stuff you can find at the computer store. There was a range of
    model years that were non-standard.

    This one comes pretty close to being a universal replacement for
    some older computers. The label shows this one still carries -5V,
    so that helps the older computers work. (You'd want to verify that
    the model you buy, still lists that on the label, if you feel that
    is important in your case.) The 5V at 32A makes it suitable for
    some of the Athlon computers that powered the processor from the
    5V rail. The 12V rating of 26A is generous, considering a cheap
    P4 computer's requirements start at around 15A, and the power
    supply has the necessary 2x2 ATX12V connector, with two yellow and
    two black wires.

    +3.3V @ 32A, +5V @ 32A, +12V @ 26A, -5V @ 1A, -12V @ 1A, +5VSB @ 2.2A
    http://images10.newegg.com/NeweggImage/productimage/17-194-014-04.jpg

    You can see the wiring in this picture.
    http://images10.newegg.com/NeweggImage/productimage/17-194-014-05.jpg

    The "CPU power" is the 2x2 ATX12V for the processor. There is also
    a 20+4 shown for the main power connector. That means you see a 24pin
    connector when you open the box the power supply comes in. If the
    motherboard on your computer has a 20 pin connector, you slide off
    the extra 4 pins, as it detaches. That is where the 20+4 description
    comes from, implying the supply is good for the newer 24 pin designs,
    but also covers the older 20 pin ones.

    The above ampere numbers are not the whole story, but basically
    you check to make sure the above numbers are more than the current
    supply. That is the ampere capacity at max, and the computer will
    only use a fraction of those numbers normally.

    The supply label also has wattage ratings for the combined output
    of the 3.3V and 5V rails. What that means, is either the 3.3V or
    the 5V can be heavily loaded, but both cannot support more than
    185W of total output. For example, 3.3V*20A and 5V*24A would bring
    you up to that limit. Even though the ampere numbers haven't hit the
    peak current limits, their combined load is a thermal limit inside
    the supply.

    Similarly, the total supply limit of 353W, takes all the rails
    and their loading into account. 353W would be good for a lot
    of computers, as long as they don't have a really power hungry
    AGP or PCI Express card in them, at the same time as one of
    Intels old 130W monster P4 processors.

    If you need help gauging the power needed, there are power
    calculator web sites, where you enter the hardware config you've
    got, and they estimate how many amps of output capacity you
    need, or the total wattage. Many of them will overestimate the
    needed power, which is why I'm not going to promote them unless
    you ask. If you just believe what they say, you'll end up with
    a more expensive unit than is necessary.

    Not all supplies are created equal. If you go to your local
    computer store, you may see products that promise "500W" for
    $20, but in practice they cannot really sustain that power level
    for very many months without popping. Reading the reviews of some
    of the cheaper ones on Newegg, should show you that cheap supplies
    are a false economy. The funniest was the review from one guy,
    who had bought four of the same cheap model, sequentially.
    Never realizing, that for the price of four cheap ones, he could
    have had one good one that was still running, and would not
    have endangered his computer four times when they popped.

    HTH,
    Paul
     
    Paul, Jun 25, 2007
    #4
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