Is my 10 year old power supply capable of powering modern hardware?

Joe Videtto May 18, 2012
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I have a 10 year old Antec 430 Watt True Power Supply. I want a new CPU / Motherboard / RAM to replace my P4 system. Is there a software utility I can use to check and see if my power supply is still working well enough to handle new, more powerful hardware.

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  1. Jim Chambers
    October 8, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Replace your PSU. Adapters will cost yoy more in cash, time and mental anguish.

  2. Igor Rizvi?
    July 31, 2012 at 11:39 am

    PSU these days are really cheap,so i recommend you go and buy oen that can handle your future pc

  3. Dalsan
    July 4, 2012 at 4:00 am

    Honestly, I wouldn't risk an older power supply on a new system, unless it's a budget system that you wouldn't care as much about, like an htpc setup. Although it would work and you might need connectors, should the power supply start to degrade in reputability, odd behavior in your computer may start happening, and may make you think that something seriously is wrong with your hard drive or other system parts when it is actually the power supply. I have seen these odd behaviors in my friend's machine, and I have seen power supplies that wind up frying parts of the motherboard (my own pc where it fried the integrated video portion of the motherboard).

  4. Joe Videtto
    May 20, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Connectors, connectors - on that point, might I have connector issues if I want to reuse my 10 year old computer case ? I don't even think about those connectors except for the one day I read the case instructions to assemble my components.

    • Mike DeGeorge
      May 25, 2012 at 12:43 pm

      You might have an issue with your case, in terms of placing your motherboard. But, I don't think anything else.

  5. Joe Videtto
    May 18, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    Wow - just when I thought I knew a thing or 2 about computers, I learn I'm missing the most obvious foundational, elementary facts. I was more concerned about the quality and steadiness of the power source, when the most obvious first question is the connectors. That said - as power supplies do get older, does the quality of the power signal begin to degrade to a point where they will still power the system, but the 'steadiness' and 'quality' of the power signal is diminished, leading to earlier system failures ? I think that is what Hardwareguys.com were referring to when users were deciding how much money to put into the power supply vs. other components given a fixed target total system cost.

  6. Matt Smith
    May 18, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    The power is fine. Computers are actually becoming more efficient, so you don't need more power even though computers are faster.

    Connections are the issue. Do you have a 6-pin PCIe connection? You will need one for a modern mid-range video card. Do you have SATA connections? You will need those for modern hard drives.

    You can buy adapters to convert legacy power connections to these if you do not have them, but since a decent 500W power supply is about $50, its probably not work the effort.

  7. FIDELIS
    May 18, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Hello, it is mostly a matter of the connectors. I am pretty sure that if your power supply is still in good working condition, it would be able to power a modern system as long as the connectors are there. Is this the power supply you have?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817103942

    If that is the power supply you have, it has SATA connectors. That would matter if you are planning in using SATA/SSD drives, but I am pretty sure that in this day and age, nobody would prefer using IDE drives. It also has a 6 pin PCI-E connector if you are planning on installing a decent video card adapter.

    As a final point, new motherboards have two different connectors. If that is your power supply, iy has a 20+4 connector for newer motherboards.

    With regards to software, I am not familiar with any but you could check a power supply calculator to see if it would provide enough juice for your hardware:

    http://www.thermaltake.outervision.com/

    Also you could try checking your power supply with a multimeter or a power supply tester. Here is a link explaining how:

    http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/ht/power-supply-test-multimeter.htm

  8. ReĆ½ Aetar
    May 18, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    check the output power and ur match it with ur new hardware

  9. Alan Wade
    May 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    If you dont change your PSU you would proberly need to buy adapters! - Basically its false economy, PSU's are reletively cheap these days so and buy something that can handle your hardware.

  10. Valu Bx
    May 18, 2012 at 6:04 am

    The new motherboards require special electrical cable heads that do not exist in the older power supplies.

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