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#1 shawdreamer

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 03:28 PM

the short version....

Q1. Is it possible to run a desktop pcs internals safely from a PSU unit not fitted inside the case ?
Q2. Are there limitations to how much a PSU can be upgraded wattage wise?

The more indepth version that explains why Im asking.....

my sons Dell optiplex 745 sff(Small/Slim Form Factor) has to date performed flawlessly in regards to his using it for course work, surfing, minor gaming and the like.

He recently started using it for more heavier gaming and here is were the problem arises.

For those not in the know the dell optiplex sff is not typically a gaming system due to its general design and size (its more aimed toward business usage)

however that is not to say it doesnt have the capability,

currently it has...

core 2 duo 2.8Ghz cpu (more than enough for the games he wishes to play)
6Ghz ddr3 ram (iirc, also enough)
Windows Xp Pro OS (though a little limited its also sufficient, Ill probably upgrade it to Win7 anyway)
Ati Radeon HD 2400 XT pro Graphics card (and here within lies the problem)

Everythings good apart from the graphics card which though Im told is still relatively good for its spec just isnt good enough to cope with heavier gaming

I did a bit of digging to see what sorta upgrades I could get for the graphics and immediatly hit a wall.

The SFF format of this pc means Im limited to using "low profile" cards as full size cards cant be fully accomodated inside the case without leaving the side off (just so not a good solution), my choices limited I still managed to find a few pretty decent cards in low profile format....then I hit the second wall.... The PSU of the optiplex is only 275W where-as even the most conservative decent cards available require anything from 300W-500w power supplies to run.

so, in a nutshell..... yes there are plenty of low profile compatable cards that will work happily with the other components of my sons pc however all said cards require higher wattage from the PSu than the 275W currently can supply.

now you could be forgiven for suggesting a PSu upgrade but again the Sff case requires a very specific size of PSu (dimensions wise) and just wont accomodate anything but the Sff specific psu's that top out at 275w max throughout the range.... and theres why Im asking about external Psu possibilities?

so, do any of you techy/nerdy/knowmorethanme types have the answers please?
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#2 Craig855S

Craig855S
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Posted 12 April 2013 - 04:37 PM

Case change? you can pick up mATX cases new for cheap and used for practically free if you look.

You could run a 500W PSU just sat outside the case with the wires going in through the back of the case but itd probably vibrate terribly on the surface you place it on and you'd have to place it fan facing up (which then runs you into dust problems)

For the cost/hassle involved I'd just get an mATX case and then you can use a normal gfx card (more choice) and power supply
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#3 shawdreamer

shawdreamer
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  • Drives: 3Dr Mk5b, and the missus's head into the headboard while gaping her rear

Posted 12 April 2013 - 07:16 PM

Case change? you can pick up mATX cases new for cheap and used for practically free if you look.

You could run a 500W PSU just sat outside the case with the wires going in through the back of the case but itd probably vibrate terribly on the surface you place it on and you'd have to place it fan facing up (which then runs you into dust problems)

For the cost/hassle involved I'd just get an mATX case and then you can use a normal gfx card (more choice) and power supply


see that did occur to me, Ive got a variety of Atx boxes kicking about, most fairly modern and Im pretty sure 1 or 2 are sporting 600w Psu's also.

My main reason for considering other options though was mainly due to the convenience of his Sff case which didnt take up to much room on or around his desk and handily actually slotted neatly into a shelf on his desk meant for a box folder that was remarkably close in size. :pancake:

have to see how he feels about changing out I suppose, little turd will have to grin and bare it if he insists on wanting to play one of his many seemingly endless and stomach churning zombie games :rolleyes:

the only question remaining though is the "safety" part, Is there any issue with powering a motherboard with a 500-600w after it previously only had a 275w Psu, in simple terms.....will anything go "pop","diiitzzzzzzzzz" or worse still "bang", is it just a straight forward swap the guts into a higher equiped Psu Atx box, plug the relevant plugs into the relevant board points and away it goes?
Posted Image
any monkey can buy and bolt on.... an individual creates
!
you have to really ask yourself something when you consider trying to insult me.. do I really seem like the type of person who gives a flying shite covered monkey F*ck about your pointless comment?.. I'll save your deminished intellect the struggle..that'd be a "No"
Anything can be made to fit.... thats what hammers are for silly!
All posts are the view of the writer and not necessarily that of..... actually no, I dont really give a flying flame toasted turd, dont read my posts if you dont like em R-tard.
no one can accuse me of being "two-faced", Ill call you a nob behind your back and to your face... the latter preferably so I can watch you uselessly blow your lid
being directly honest with your opinion may not make you well liked but it will get you appreciated by the worthwhile few with the sense to understand.... Id rather be appreciated for who I am than liked for what I'm not.

#4 PeeWee

PeeWee
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  • Drives:Mk6 Cabriolet and Mk5 1.25 Zetec Fiesta

Posted 12 April 2013 - 07:29 PM

Space isn't really the issue if your thinking of having a whopping bare psu hanging out of the thing lol, hardly convenient.
To answer your other question, no I wouldn't personally have a bare 600w power supply loose on my kids desk.
Common sense really and not even really a geeky answer.

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#5 shawdreamer

shawdreamer
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Runcorn, Cheshire
  • Drives: 3Dr Mk5b, and the missus's head into the headboard while gaping her rear

Posted 12 April 2013 - 07:44 PM

Space isn't really the issue if your thinking of having a whopping bare psu hanging out of the thing lol, hardly convenient.
To answer your other question, no I wouldn't personally have a bare 600w power supply loose on my kids desk.
Common sense really and not even really a geeky answer.

It wouldnt be simply "sat" out on his desk.

Like I mentioned, the optiplex case slots nice neat and tidy into a box folder shelf on his current pc desk, handily there's a cavity behind that slot that a Psu could happily occupy without obstructing anything and with some careful bracketry.

nothing would be on show or readily accessable without yanking the box out and pulling the desk clean away from the wall, though not ideal it does retain the clean appearance of his current desk and It means I wont have to contend with the countless tons of tech he already has in his room just to find space for a more chunky atx box.

and it feckin well is "geeky" If I dont know if something will go bang when I power up the Mobo on a higher wattage Psu ya feckin Tefal scientist :unsure:
Posted Image
any monkey can buy and bolt on.... an individual creates
!
you have to really ask yourself something when you consider trying to insult me.. do I really seem like the type of person who gives a flying shite covered monkey F*ck about your pointless comment?.. I'll save your deminished intellect the struggle..that'd be a "No"
Anything can be made to fit.... thats what hammers are for silly!
All posts are the view of the writer and not necessarily that of..... actually no, I dont really give a flying flame toasted turd, dont read my posts if you dont like em R-tard.
no one can accuse me of being "two-faced", Ill call you a nob behind your back and to your face... the latter preferably so I can watch you uselessly blow your lid
being directly honest with your opinion may not make you well liked but it will get you appreciated by the worthwhile few with the sense to understand.... Id rather be appreciated for who I am than liked for what I'm not.

#6 PeeWee

PeeWee
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cheshire
  • Drives:Mk6 Cabriolet and Mk5 1.25 Zetec Fiesta

Posted 12 April 2013 - 07:54 PM

I'm far from a geeky tefal scientist, I'm simply trying to point out safety aspects and reasons why I would not have a bare power supply on a kids desk.
Kids have drinks on desks, drop things behind stuff, why even contemplate the risk?
Sounds like you want someone to say "yeahhh cool go for it", will that satisfy a decision your already seemingly sold on?
Use a suitable case or get him a decent small factor gaming PC.

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All posts are the view of the writer, and not necessarily that of escortevolution.co.uk/feoc.co.uk
PeeWee@escortevolution.co.uk


Free online storage 2gig (up to 8 gig possible free) http://db.tt/8GdBJJ8H


#7 shawdreamer

shawdreamer
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Runcorn, Cheshire
  • Drives: 3Dr Mk5b, and the missus's head into the headboard while gaping her rear

Posted 12 April 2013 - 08:14 PM

I'm far from a geeky tefal scientist, I'm simply trying to point out safety aspects and reasons why I would not have a bare power supply on a kids desk.
Kids have drinks on desks, drop things behind stuff, why even contemplate the risk?
Sounds like you want someone to say "yeahhh cool go for it", will that satisfy a decision your already seemingly sold on?
Use a suitable case or get him a decent small factor gaming PC.


course I considered the whole "spillage" aspect, what parent wouldnt in regards to any and all things electrical when it comes to often oblivious to their own mortality offspring..... thats partly why I got the Sff system in the first place, so it could be placed above the desk surface (originally it was gonna occupy the overhead shelf were a printer commonly should be on his particular desk but Like I mentioned the folder slot which is only a little lower but still above the desk surface became much more convenient and asthetically pleasing position).

coincidently the other reason was that if a atx box was placed on the shelf intended for it, it obstructed the space under the desk which wasnt practical atall as Owen needed more space than usual for the wheelchair to clear the sides when brought under the desk. (his previous ATX system resembled something that had just been through a destruction derby and was probably partially why the bloody thing suddenly stopped working)
Posted Image
any monkey can buy and bolt on.... an individual creates
!
you have to really ask yourself something when you consider trying to insult me.. do I really seem like the type of person who gives a flying shite covered monkey F*ck about your pointless comment?.. I'll save your deminished intellect the struggle..that'd be a "No"
Anything can be made to fit.... thats what hammers are for silly!
All posts are the view of the writer and not necessarily that of..... actually no, I dont really give a flying flame toasted turd, dont read my posts if you dont like em R-tard.
no one can accuse me of being "two-faced", Ill call you a nob behind your back and to your face... the latter preferably so I can watch you uselessly blow your lid
being directly honest with your opinion may not make you well liked but it will get you appreciated by the worthwhile few with the sense to understand.... Id rather be appreciated for who I am than liked for what I'm not.

#8 PeeWee

PeeWee
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cheshire
  • Drives:Mk6 Cabriolet and Mk5 1.25 Zetec Fiesta

Posted 12 April 2013 - 08:19 PM

Yeah not going to be good under the desk as the wheelchair is always going to cause problems tbf.
Investing in a decent gaming laptop sounds the best viable safe option and he could locate it conveniently where is comfy.
Wouldn't be that expensive these days with the spec he requires.

ATX case on it's side with the monitor on top is another option.

Edited by PeeWee, 12 April 2013 - 08:20 PM.

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#9 Craig855S

Craig855S
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  • Location:Albrighton, Shopshire
  • Drives:Volvo V70

Posted 12 April 2013 - 08:31 PM

How about a coolermaster HAF XB case?

Would a micro atx case (much smaller than full tower cases, my Fractal core 1000 is tiny) sit beside or behind his computer desk?

As for power supplies you dont want one that is too powerful for his system. a 1200W PSU may be rather efficient at generating 1200W but it will be less efficient at generating 400W than a 500W one would. Same story with a 650W one tring to deal with 300W.What gfx card are you thinking of getting him?
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#10 shawdreamer

shawdreamer
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Runcorn, Cheshire
  • Drives: 3Dr Mk5b, and the missus's head into the headboard while gaping her rear

Posted 12 April 2013 - 08:38 PM

Yeah not going to be good under the desk as the wheelchair is always going to cause problems tbf.
Investing in a decent gaming laptop sounds the best viable safe option and he could locate it conveniently where is comfy.
Wouldn't be that expensive these days with the spec he requires.

ATX case on it's side with the monitor on top is another option.


see I tried the atx on the side when his started showing multiple female parking attempt signs but he ended up with neck cramps from looking upwards alot (I did try to explain that was more likely cos he slouches alot but it was like trying to explain to a girl from Essex why exactly a boob job and make-up aernt "life essentials").... plus as you noted, multiple juice and milkshake incidents convinced me that nothing could be deemed "obviously a bad idea" when it came to my sons concept of safety around electricals.

might have been better to mention it earlier but in regards to the whole external Psu idea, my intentions wasnt to leave it simply bare, I did mean it would be secured inside a plastic case/enclosure, plenty of multipurpse enclosures of various sizes on even ebay (not to mention various other tech project sites at a push)
Posted Image
any monkey can buy and bolt on.... an individual creates
!
you have to really ask yourself something when you consider trying to insult me.. do I really seem like the type of person who gives a flying shite covered monkey F*ck about your pointless comment?.. I'll save your deminished intellect the struggle..that'd be a "No"
Anything can be made to fit.... thats what hammers are for silly!
All posts are the view of the writer and not necessarily that of..... actually no, I dont really give a flying flame toasted turd, dont read my posts if you dont like em R-tard.
no one can accuse me of being "two-faced", Ill call you a nob behind your back and to your face... the latter preferably so I can watch you uselessly blow your lid
being directly honest with your opinion may not make you well liked but it will get you appreciated by the worthwhile few with the sense to understand.... Id rather be appreciated for who I am than liked for what I'm not.

#11 Craig855S

Craig855S
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Albrighton, Shopshire
  • Drives:Volvo V70

Posted 12 April 2013 - 08:50 PM

Yeah not going to be good under the desk as the wheelchair is always going to cause problems tbf.
Investing in a decent gaming laptop sounds the best viable safe option and he could locate it conveniently where is comfy.
Wouldn't be that expensive these days with the spec he requires.

ATX case on it's side with the monitor on top is another option.


see I tried the atx on the side when his started showing multiple female parking attempt signs but he ended up with neck cramps from looking upwards alot (I did try to explain that was more likely cos he slouches alot but it was like trying to explain to a girl from Essex why exactly a boob job and make-up aernt "life essentials").... plus as you noted, multiple juice and milkshake incidents convinced me that nothing could be deemed "obviously a bad idea" when it came to my sons concept of safety around electricals.

might have been better to mention it earlier but in regards to the whole external Psu idea, my intentions wasnt to leave it simply bare, I did mean it would be secured inside a plastic case/enclosure, plenty of multipurpse enclosures of various sizes on even ebay (not to mention various other tech project sites at a push)


OK, ill shoot this down once and for all then. The PSU (in its special enclosure) would have to be positioned literally right next to the SFF case as the cables arent long enough to run from anywhere else, unless you fancy extending every single cable by 18 inches so you can have your PSU enclosure near the SFF case but not so close its crammed up its arse.

How about mounting a little shelf or placing a cupboard beside his computer desk which an m-ATX case could sit on/in
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#12 shawdreamer

shawdreamer
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Runcorn, Cheshire
  • Drives: 3Dr Mk5b, and the missus's head into the headboard while gaping her rear

Posted 12 April 2013 - 09:18 PM

Yeah not going to be good under the desk as the wheelchair is always going to cause problems tbf.
Investing in a decent gaming laptop sounds the best viable safe option and he could locate it conveniently where is comfy.
Wouldn't be that expensive these days with the spec he requires.

ATX case on it's side with the monitor on top is another option.


see I tried the atx on the side when his started showing multiple female parking attempt signs but he ended up with neck cramps from looking upwards alot (I did try to explain that was more likely cos he slouches alot but it was like trying to explain to a girl from Essex why exactly a boob job and make-up aernt "life essentials").... plus as you noted, multiple juice and milkshake incidents convinced me that nothing could be deemed "obviously a bad idea" when it came to my sons concept of safety around electricals.

might have been better to mention it earlier but in regards to the whole external Psu idea, my intentions wasnt to leave it simply bare, I did mean it would be secured inside a plastic case/enclosure, plenty of multipurpse enclosures of various sizes on even ebay (not to mention various other tech project sites at a push)


OK, ill shoot this down once and for all then. The PSU (in its special enclosure) would have to be positioned literally right next to the SFF case as the cables arent long enough to run from anywhere else, unless you fancy extending every single cable by 18 inches so you can have your PSU enclosure near the SFF case but not so close its crammed up its arse.

How about mounting a little shelf or placing a cupboard beside his computer desk which an m-ATX case could sit on/in


hmmm I may have a much more simpler solution that for some unknown reason just never occurred to me till now.

I could recase the sff in a suitable atx box and slot the case under his bed right out the way (thatd solve the whole card/Psu issue afterall) then Ill just run a extended Vga cable back to his desk and the monitor, that should cover all the bases then and I could nip out tomorow and pick up the case and a wireless keyboard and mouse while Im at it to further cut down on any nuisance cable issues.

seems like a good compromise I think?
Posted Image
any monkey can buy and bolt on.... an individual creates
!
you have to really ask yourself something when you consider trying to insult me.. do I really seem like the type of person who gives a flying shite covered monkey F*ck about your pointless comment?.. I'll save your deminished intellect the struggle..that'd be a "No"
Anything can be made to fit.... thats what hammers are for silly!
All posts are the view of the writer and not necessarily that of..... actually no, I dont really give a flying flame toasted turd, dont read my posts if you dont like em R-tard.
no one can accuse me of being "two-faced", Ill call you a nob behind your back and to your face... the latter preferably so I can watch you uselessly blow your lid
being directly honest with your opinion may not make you well liked but it will get you appreciated by the worthwhile few with the sense to understand.... Id rather be appreciated for who I am than liked for what I'm not.

#13 PeeWee

PeeWee
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cheshire
  • Drives:Mk6 Cabriolet and Mk5 1.25 Zetec Fiesta

Posted 12 April 2013 - 09:29 PM

seems viable, or like Craig said build a suitable shelf.
Remember to leave enough ventilation for the computer, under the bed will get very hot in the coming months.

Posted Image


All posts are the view of the writer, and not necessarily that of escortevolution.co.uk/feoc.co.uk
PeeWee@escortevolution.co.uk


Free online storage 2gig (up to 8 gig possible free) http://db.tt/8GdBJJ8H


#14 shawdreamer

shawdreamer
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Runcorn, Cheshire
  • Drives: 3Dr Mk5b, and the missus's head into the headboard while gaping her rear

Posted 12 April 2013 - 09:35 PM

seems viable, or like Craig said build a suitable shelf.
Remember to leave enough ventilation for the computer, under the bed will get very hot in the coming months.


Ill pick up a couple of additional internal fans and a power splitter cable aswell tomorrow just to be on the safe side then.
Posted Image
any monkey can buy and bolt on.... an individual creates
!
you have to really ask yourself something when you consider trying to insult me.. do I really seem like the type of person who gives a flying shite covered monkey F*ck about your pointless comment?.. I'll save your deminished intellect the struggle..that'd be a "No"
Anything can be made to fit.... thats what hammers are for silly!
All posts are the view of the writer and not necessarily that of..... actually no, I dont really give a flying flame toasted turd, dont read my posts if you dont like em R-tard.
no one can accuse me of being "two-faced", Ill call you a nob behind your back and to your face... the latter preferably so I can watch you uselessly blow your lid
being directly honest with your opinion may not make you well liked but it will get you appreciated by the worthwhile few with the sense to understand.... Id rather be appreciated for who I am than liked for what I'm not.

#15 Craig855S

Craig855S
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Albrighton, Shopshire
  • Drives:Volvo V70

Posted 12 April 2013 - 09:53 PM

best getting the stuff online to be honest mate (a couple of fans and a PC case from PC world will cost you an arm and a leg compared to ebay) and the type of case you get may limit the number of fans you can run with it. Also, remember your son has to turn it on and off so make sure you get one that will sit with the power button accessable to him.

Does the bed have enough room under it to stand the tower upright or would you lay it down?
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