Is a 300 watt power supply enough to run my new computer?

by on May 28, 2009

Q: My computer fried itself today (literally, it smells all burny and everything) so I’m buying a new one with these specs.

  • Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium pre-installed w/COA
  • AMD Phenom X4 9500 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Processor
  • 3 GB DDR2 RAM
  • 720 GB (2 x 360GB) SATA hard drive
  • 16x SuperMulti DVD±RW DL drive with LightScribe Technology
  • NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT PCI Express video card
  • High Definition audio, 8 speaker configurable
  • 22″ HP Widescreen Rotating LCD Monitor w/HDMI & USB Hub

It only has a 300 watt power supply. My question is, is that enough? If it’s not and I have to buy a bigger one, does it have to be the same brand as the computer? It’s an HP.

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7 Responses to “Is a 300 watt power supply enough to run my new computer?”
    Picked as best answer

    Yes it’s enough.

    I’d also find it hard to believe that HP would sell you a computer that didn’t have a power supply in it that would support the internal components.

    As a side note, if you’re planning on doing any high end gaming with this new system, you might want to consider a different video card. The 8500GT is a great general purpose card for watching video and surfing the web, but it isn’t something you’d want to be buying to play Crysis, Half-Life 2, etc. with.


      I’ll probably only be playing The Sims 3 on it, my fiancee has all the high end graphics games on his computer, but I’ll keep that in mind if I run into any he doesn’t want.

      My old computer was on it’s way out anyway. It had quite a few problems already, including fans and other stuff I don’t want to pay to replace since it’s not a great computer anyway. I reinstalled windows because it was running horribly slow and a virus check came back with 32 problems. It ran fine until I plugged in my mp3 player via usb because I had transferred some files I wanted to keep onto it’s sd card. (My 5-in-1 card reader refuses to read anything) A message popped up and said it’s power limit had exceeded and all of my usb devices stopped working and it started to smell really bad. I was surprised it wasn’t smoking. I had to turn it off at the switch and now when I try to turn it on it just buzzes. Just thought you might find the story interesting.


        Sims 3 will still probably be somewhat demanding. If you’re not happy with how the game performs, I’d suggest adding in this video card ( ) . It’s currently only $65 after $10 rebate, and will give you a massive performance boost. You can see a comparison between the nVidia 8500 and the Radeon HD 4670 here: Tom’s Hardware – Benchmark


        Also, what model HP are you looking at?


    You also might find this PSU calculator useful:

    And to answer your other question, the power supply doesn’t have to be the same brand as the computer. It just has to be an ATX power supply, which is 99% of what’s on the market anyway. The only issue you might run into is if the PC case takes a weird size, but you can find the dimensions for any new PSU you might buy on-line so just measure first to make sure it fits.


    Also, based on what you said about your old computer, those symptoms sound like you probably just killed your old PSU. If you can get your hands on another one I’d suggest swapping them out and seeing if the computer still works. Even if it doesn’t you can probably salvage some good components.


    Thanks, I will definitely bookmark that card. I believe the model number is m800f. I’m still shopping around, but I think I’m pretty set on that one. It’s refurbed so It’s really inexpensive. Here’s the link. Maybe you have some other advice or a better selection?