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Dumb PSU question

How do i figure out the power supply in my PC without opening the case. I know this is probably a stupid question but I would appreciate help. Thanks.

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In reply to: Dumb PSU question

When someone won't look or tell me the make/model of the computer I ask to borrow the machine and I open the case to look.

No software known will tell you this information.


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In reply to: Hint.

I thought it would tell you somewhere in the device manager or something.
It's an HP Pavilion a1650y series:
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005
Pentium 4 3.06GHz
2 GB DDR2-533MHz dual channel SDRAM
80GB 7200 rpm SATA Hard Drive
128MB NVIDIA GeForce 7300LE, w/ TurboCache
802.11 b/g Wireless LAN PCI Card
HP 19-inch LCD Flat Panel Monitor

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It's in your product docs and it's on the HP website..

In reply to: Sorry

or you can open the CPU and read about the PSU there.


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(NT) Have you tried looking at the manual of your pc?

In reply to: Dumb PSU question

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In reply to: Have you tried looking at the manual of your pc?

No but I found it on HP's website, it said it was 300 watts.

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depends on what you mean by the ambiguous term "figure out"

In reply to: Dumb PSU question

What exactly do you mean by the term "figure out"?
All you really would ever want to know about a p.s. is:
1.) It's max power rating, e.g. 300 Watts, 400 W, etc.

2.) It's intended mother board(s) format, e.g. ATX, BTX, whatever,
to ensure it has the proper connectors.

3.) How many auxiliary device power connectors it has, e.g. how many drives of all types can it connect power to? And if there's connectors for the newer SATA drives that might be in system. They use new standard connections, incompatible with all older standard designs.

How to determine these without internal inspection.

If it's a preconfigured name brand system, then they probably have a Web site, with Tech Support pages, perhaps a keyword search engine, and you can lookup your model number to get the detail specs, which ought to include p.s. max power rating, perhaps mobo type which will tell you what connectors are on the ends of the p.s. output wires. It may also tell you the p.s. model #, manufacturer brand, etc. These details can inform a system upgrader or modder, what's compatible with the p.s. for projects e.g. adding additional drives, RAM, a more powerful video card (some top end screamers require aux. power connection on the vid card, in addition to the bus supplies), what mobo replacements will fit and work with the existing p.s., etc.

Other than the Web site, you can call their tech support by phone, give them the system's ID info and they can look it up and inform you,
or some provide online live tech support chat pages, during certain times, where you can do 2-way Q&A chat or troubleshooting.

If tech references can't tell you the format style of the mobo, but just the make & model #, then you can go to those Web sites, enter the specific model #, and it should identify which of the common formats it is, e.g. AT, ATX, BTX, etc. which will designate what class of p.s. it is hooked up with.

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1 thing I forgot...

In reply to: depends on what you mean by the ambiguous term "figure out"

I forgot to mention that most p.s. have (or should always have) the power rating (max. wattage) on the outside of the p.s. case. Most of the time there is one, either printed on a sticker, stamped into the metal, or something. About half the time that labeling will be visible on the back of the PC case where the p.s. mounts and the exhaust fan cutout is. Unfortunately, some of the time, the tech specs label is on another side of the p.s. case and only visible from inside the open PC case.

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A helpful contribution.

In reply to: depends on what you mean by the ambiguous term "figure out"

Hi MultiMuse,
I must appreciate your contribution. It is a very comprehensive answer which interests many like me who have no direct (at the moment) interest in the information ,but will benefit from this answer. It is the way you put the information in a logical order which becomes easier to understand and remember if and when need arises.
Well done.

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Power Supplies

In reply to: Dumb PSU question

If you buy from an outlet like Dell or HP their website will usually have the info you need.

If a local builder or someone like Falcon Northwest or Alienware built it either their website or the case manufacturers website (Cases often have standard power supplies included).

You can usually expect that with Dell or HP type manufacturers there will be little capacity for expansion. With the higher end builders you should be better off.

If the power supply is capable of supplying your needs but just has the basic connectors there are cable adapters (Molex to SATA, video cards, motherboards etc) you can get if you really want to stay with the basic style power supply.

If you are interested in expanding your machine a decent modern aftermarket power supply is your best choice. Many can be found in the $100-$200 range which will easily fill most any configuration.

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High wattage p.s. are getting less expensive at stores.

In reply to: Power Supplies

Yes indeed, last year I bought a 450 W p.s. on rebate discount at Staples store for net $40... I call that affordable. Nowdays you can even find affordable (3rd party) p.s. for upgrading in the 500 W range!

Also, note that many stock config PCs from likes of Dell and Gateway, come with dinky butt 250 W power supplies, which is just enough to get the basic innards cranking, but doesn't supply much extra at all for expansion or upgrading, even though the mobo and case bays may have a lot of empty upgrade slots. Sad The forums of full of postings from users who have expanded/upgraded their system innards or external peripherals, and then keep suffering maladies due to insufficient juice from the original p.s. they neglected to upgrade, symptoms e.g. random lockups, random unexpected reboots (CPU hiccups), BSOD blue screens, etc. That's when I suspect hardware incompatibilities also, in addition to corrupt software drivers or system files.

"Forewarned is forearmed", as one of my previous supervisors used to advise us.

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Power Supply ID

In reply to: Dumb PSU question

Since the PSU only supplies electricity in its function as an inverter, it does not directly interface with the CPU, just delivers juice. No way to read its serial number except to crack the case & look.

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Get a program called Belarc Advisor

In reply to: Dumb PSU question

and install it on your puter.

You can get it here in CNet's Downloads section or from the Belarc site itself:


This program will tell you EVERYTHING about your computer. It lists ALL hardware, software and even updates it has. This is a GREAT program to have around!!! Grin


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great program

In reply to: Get a program called Belarc Advisor

thanks a lot

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(NT) I like Belarc but Everest Home V2.20 is better for HW info

In reply to: Get a program called Belarc Advisor

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even greater program

In reply to: Get a program called Belarc Advisor

aida32 uses allmost the same system but shows more detailed information about the hardware but your belarc advisor is a great tool too but it couldn't read which psu i was using so it doesn't list ALL hardware, aida32 also can't read the psu but shows more details, upgrading tips, prblems with your hard- and software,......

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Yes, I used and recommend Belarc too.

In reply to: Get a program called Belarc Advisor

I forgot about this wonderful utility program, that I used to have on my office PC before they replaced it. I must go get it again, particularly for use on my home PCs, which I get to freely upgrade. Happy Y'all would do well to try it or buy it, too.

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why not just open it?

In reply to: Dumb PSU question

This is not an answer and as far as I know, there is no interface connected to your mobo to psu but the power supplies, so it is quiet impossible knowing which psu is in the case unless you have a serial number of the pc.
I'd just open it, it doesn't hurt you, it doesn't hurt the pc and you don't have o be an expert to just open it and look so why not?
Yet again I know this is not an answer but i'm quiet sure no one will find you a soft to find out wich psu is inside.

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