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Having an awful time with my computer.

Hey all, new to the forums here. Basically, here's what's going on. I recently replaced my video card (I now have an ATI Radeon HD 3850) and everything seemed to be running fine. However, whenever I play a game (World of Warcraft specifically), after a while nine times out of ten my computer will just totally shut off. What I don't understand is that my card isn't running hot (40-50 degrees), there's no excessive heat through the fans or anything that would make me suspect something overheating. I've run a memory test, and my RAM is fine. The only thing I can think of is that my power supply isn't pumping enough juice to the video card. My computer is a modified pre-built HP, and the included power supply is only like a 300 Watt unit. Could a low power supply like this be the cause of my system shutting down?

Anyways, here's my pertinent specs:
Pentium 4 3.0 GHz Processor
300 Gig Hard Drive
ATI Radeon HD 3850 512MB Dual-Slotted Video Card
300 Watt Max Output Power Supply (doesn't reccomend going over 268 Watts)

Thanks in advance for your replies; I'm at the end of my rope.

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Why can't we put in a properly sized power supply?

In reply to: Having an awful time with my computer.

Even my kids machine has something double that. Please tell why you have something so paltry.

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In reply to: Why can't we put in a properly sized power supply?

I'm sort of a computer tech noob, and I never thought about trying to replace the PSU. It's what came with the tower. But anyway, could that be my problem?

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Too likely.

In reply to: Hehe

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Hope that's all it is, then

In reply to: Too likely.

I didn't get any notations or anything about the power supply. Does it make sense that the computer can run alright when i'm not gaming and then shuts off when I do? From the little I know about stuff like this, I would have imagined my card shouldn't even be able to turn ON if the wattage is too low.

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Oh sure

In reply to: Hope that's all it is, then

Oh sure, when the video card is just displaying your desktop or something like that, it's using only a fraction of the power it would playing a game.

nVidia has taken to including a low power warning message in their drivers, but apparently ATI hasn't followed suit.

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You guys have been a big help

In reply to: Oh sure

Well, isolating the problem has taken a bit of the weight off my shoulders. Incidentally, do any of you have a PSU you'd recommend for my PC? I was thinking something about 500 Watts with about 30 Amps should do the trick. I do know I have an ATX PSU.

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In reply to: You guys have been a big help

I said 30 Amps, I meant 30 I'm wondering if I need a 500 Watt 30 Volt PSU, or if I can get by with a 15V one.

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Standard PCs don't use 15 or 30 Volts.

In reply to: Woops

Something is wrong here.

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(NT) I never found a P4 on the older AT power supplies.

In reply to: You guys have been a big help

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Trying to do some research of my own

In reply to: I never found a P4 on the older AT power supplies.

After looking through some websites and online stores, I notice most Power Supplies seem to run like +12V...not sure if that's what I need or not, can anyone help me out? I know I mentioned 15 and 30, but since I have no idea what i'm talking about, I'm probably totally off-base there.

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You could have told the model number of your HP.

In reply to: Trying to do some research of my own

Does wonders when people need to determine what can be used.

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Good Call

In reply to: You could have told the model number of your HP.

I'll have to look it up when I get home tonight; not sure what it is off the top of my head. In the meantime, I want to thank you all for being so helpful.

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My PC closes down too in graphic-intensive games

In reply to: Having an awful time with my computer.

I have a Dell computer, and it regularly closes down in the middle of a game of Cossacks etc. From other comments, I believed this was a problem with Dell computer compatibility with my Radeon card, but maybe it's a power supply problem after all.

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