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Old June 11th, 2007, 09:59 AM   #1
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Vegas and Power Supply

Just ordered new PC for use with Vegas. Strange thing is it is a Quad Core (Q6600) with a Nvidia Quadro 4500 Video card, 4GB ram, but the power supply is a mere 375 Watts.

This was a scratch and dent from Dell (Precision 390) for $1200 off and the ridiculously low price is why I ordered it.

After spending much of the morning on the phone with Dell, it appears they do not know the machine technically.

I normally run at least a 750 watt power supply in a video editing PC, but did not want to build this one.

Any thoughts as to issues I could encounter due to this smaller power supply?
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Old June 30th, 2007, 05:45 AM   #2
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Jeff, don't know. But I've just ordered the fx4500 card for my own (dual-core) machine in the hope of helping with render times so please let me know if you find it works well - or if I've just blown a lot of money in an irresponsible way!!

You don't say how much you spent but the cards alone are a LOT of money - £1k+ here in the UK (about $2000 but I guess it's cheaper where you are). Sounds like you might have got a bargain with the Dell.

Mark
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Old June 30th, 2007, 08:33 AM   #3
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Mark, I am sorry to tell you that you will most certainly will be dissappointed.

I have read comments by many of the most experienced users and experts on Vegas in this forum, and they have always stressed that the rendering process in Vegas is entirely or almost entirely processor dependent, and as usual, they are correct. I suspect that they have learned from experience, as I have.

The "expensive" video card that is in my machine WAS very expensive, but has dropped much in price, incidentally, it is already becoming outdated IMO. It just happened to be in the machine I ordered.

I mentioned it in my previous post not to boast about my new PC, but thought that someone knowing voltage requirements of the components I listed would know if the power supply would be adequate.

Since this is not a hardware forum, it wasn't really the appropriate place to ask the question, though I had hoped someone would know the answer and respond anyway.

The quad core will be outdated in a very short time, as I hear eight core is coming. It does, however cut rendering times in half from my old dual core, and I am glad I have it. Using two networked units (one for burning or capturing and one for editing) is turning out to be great.

In my older dual-core machine I did replace my video card with a much better one a year ago, which actually did improve system performance slightly but nothing else. It was an OEM Nvidia GS7600 from Newegg and it was cheap and effective.

If I may, I'd suggest you consider quad core (Vegas utilizes them) if you have the resources, and forget expensive video cards if you need to improve rendering time. It's truly the only way to make a serious impact, though configuring your work drives, etc, properly is important I hear. I never found hard drive configuration to make much difference, but I do follow the suggested methods anyway.

I can suggest too that you use the fastest hard drive (10K raptors are decent) you can for your operating system. I just installed the raptor from my old PC into my new machine, and what a difference (but NOT in rendering).

By the way, the answer to my original post is that Dell uses (so I have been told in the Dell user forums) top-notch power supplies which are more than adequate for the machines they configure. I must say this Precision model is the quietest machine I have ever used. I have always built my own in the past, but never again.

Good luck to you.

Last edited by Jeff Harper; June 30th, 2007 at 09:08 AM. Reason: spelling/wording
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Old June 30th, 2007, 09:07 AM   #4
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Thank you Jeff - a lot of wisdom there in your reply.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 09:28 PM   #5
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The size of the power supply is determined by the hardware requirements of the system. If your system runs fine with a 375 watt power supply, then there shouldn't be any problem. Software doesn't add any load.

However, I believe in having enough headroom as far as what the power supply can provide. My gut instinct is that 375 watts is puny for a quad system. If you're running near the high limit of the supply, it's running hot, and reduces the service life. And if the supply DOES fail, then there's a good chance that it will take out some of the hardware.

If it was my system, I'd spring for replacing the current supply with at least a 500-watt supply. Cheap insurance.

Martin
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 10:38 PM   #6
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Software doesn't require more PSU power is true, BUT :-) When rendering in Vegas the CPU will use 100W+ for several hours and probably the fans will go 100% + 1 or 2 HDD:s - Actually I had problems with this, the box worked just fine, until multi-hour rendering, then I started getting strange problems, mostly with the HDD:s. Found out that the 12v rail on my PSU gave up under load so the drives spund down.

I got myself a Hiper 700w with modular cables - works like a charm.

// Lazze

... I do belive vegas uses the GPU for some effects, then the GFX card may consume another 100W+ during render ....
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 10:38 PM   #7
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1- The wattage number can be unreliable since it can be fudged... some manufacturers use a different formula in calculating total wattage. As well, manufacturers also differ in how much headroom the power supply has compared to its labelled wattage.

1b- Dell probably put in an adequate power supply, unless you are trying to install components beyond the original configuration. e.g. extra hard drives, a much more hefty graphics card.

2- You can test if your power supply is fine... you could stress test your computer with Stressprime95 and/or 3dmark. Motherboard monitoring utilities can show you what your computer's voltages are at. I'm not sure which of them work with Dell machines.

3- Last time I checked, gaming machines run around 250W power draw tops (this is with a hefty graphics card). silentpcreview.com has some figures.
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Old July 5th, 2007, 05:45 PM   #8
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My recommendation is to splurge and get a decent power supply..From my own experience..if you PSU goes it can also effect your motherboard and other vital components. I use a OCZ like this one..Which is identical to the powerful fortran psu's

http://www.extremeoverclocking.com/r...am_700W_1.html
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Old July 5th, 2007, 06:24 PM   #9
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Powersupply for Dell

Short story, if you are sticking to a stock Dell and not adding to it, the stock powersupply should be fine. If it were mine, I'd skip the PS and ensure I gt the fastest cpu i oculd afford and then fast HDD's and finally at least 2gig ram for vegas. The vga card IMO it a distant fourth, basically robust enough to handle the big lcd screens we all love these days.

If you insist: You can get a rough guide to PS requirements by looking at the volts x amps (DC, not AC) and that will give you the power requirements of each component in watts. A hard drive may have a 12v 3a and a 5v 1amp rating, Yes, multiple voltages are common to feed different requirements... so that would be 36+5=41 total watts. Hard drives and SLI video cards are big watt suckers. Ratings should be available either on the device or the website.

Powersupplys are typically "fudged" by supplying peak, not RMS wattage. RMA (root mean square) is more accurate. RMS is .70.7% of peak. Even then they all play games, so ensure you get a namebrand with two 12volt rails each able to supply 18amps if you want something beefy. Expect to pay up to $100 for it. Look at reviews from gamer enthuasists like pureoverclock.com and tomshardware.com.

I got a coolermaster 600watt something or other PS for about $80. Enough to drive amd x2 4600+, 5 hard drives, 2 optical drives and dim the lights temprorarly when it starts up. (ooorah!!)

Be aware, Dell and others have a bad habit of changing connectors just enough to be a pain, so just make sure you can return it in case your minor swap turns into a major upgrade.
Again my counsel it to upg the other parts first, unless you know you are going to use a lot of hard drives. Ifyou buy the PC from dell they already factored the stuff you are buying from them with the approporate PS.

Last edited by James Harring; July 5th, 2007 at 06:27 PM. Reason: add my own ps
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Old July 6th, 2007, 01:05 AM   #10
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You're orobably right James. The opinion by people in Dell forum is that the PSUs used by this manufacturer are plenty good enough for the unit as ordered. One person actually purchased a larger one for his unit and it wasn't as good as the one that came with his pc and he ended up going back to the original.

At any rate I am extremely satisfied with the Q6600...renders a 120 min video in 35 minutes and it is quiet and cool. My old duo-core processor needed an aftermarket fan that sounded like a jet engine...and the temp still ran 65-72 farenheight when rendering.

Thanks for your feedback everyone...while I am as cynical as the next person, in retrospect, Dell probabaly is well aware by now the hassels involved for them if they were to send out pcs with inadequate PSUs. Their cost in replacing parts and pcs under warranty would not be worth the savings of using a cheap power supply...
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Old July 6th, 2007, 04:32 AM   #11
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Jeff, it sounds like you made an excellent purchase. Dell uses very good power supplies, so unless you're running into problems, don't bother changing it. And like mentioned above, your mobo (probably an Intel OEM) should have some monitoring software that will say if enough stable power is being supplied.

Lastly, I believe Dell's uses a proprietary mobo power connector, so I doubt a generic power supply of any quality or wattage would work on your system anyway.
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Old July 6th, 2007, 07:01 AM   #12
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Thanks Peter, I haven't seen the power monitoring feature in the BIOS, but I dont' intend to add anything to the case anyway. I may add a third HD down the road, but I have so much external storage I can't see the need to mess with the configuration and add stress to the power supply.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 01:39 AM   #13
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Jeff, you don't want to blow-off motherboard monitoring. It's a small app and is extremely useful. Video editing and other surprising uses (e.g. printing with some inkjet printers) will tax your computer to its limit.

You really need to know that the voltages and TEMPERATURES are in zone. It's doubtful that you'll have voltage problems, but temp ones are pretty common. And w/o monitoring, you won't know there is an issue until it's too late.

I'd bet my last dime on your computer having this monitoring ability. Ask Dell, post on their forums, seach the net, but seriously, you need to know that everything is a-okay when putting a heavy workload on your computer.

BTW, here attached are two screen prints from my mobo's monitoring prog. This info let me know that my system was running way too hot when color printing. It would have fried long ago if I didn't get a cpu cooler.
Attached Images
  
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Old July 9th, 2007, 01:43 AM   #14
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Thanks Peter!
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