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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

For The Love Of Hardware - Rail Theory

After some research, I think I may have realized it was my stupid mistake all along.

Here's a funny thing - I got a 380W card because the X800 GTO requires a 350W card. I thought getting a slightly beefier one would be safer.

That sound you hear? That's noise of experienced overclockers and hardware geeks laughing their ass off. Because they know what I'll say next.

Here's the unfunny thing - the wattage doesn't matter so much. Yeah, it's a good point - but it's not the point. You can have a 380W PSU and it might still fail your card - because the card is running off the 12V rail and it simply isn't pushing out enough juice. And when that happens? You guessed it - artifacts galore.

Most hardware types recommend 20A on the 12V rail for modern graphics cards. The Rosewill? Puts out 14 or 15 amps. As it turns out - this is incredibly common. If you buy a cheap PSU - even at a good wattage ... you have to check the rails.

So I'll be picking up a quality PSU on the way home. If this is the culprit (and I haven't fried the card), it should fix it. If this isn't the culprit, I'll still have the proper PSU to upgrade.

1 comment:

Thomas said...

This is also a common mistake made by guitarists who try to run a whole pedalboard off a single adapter. Sure, it's putting out 9V DC--but how many amps do those pedals consume? A lot of digital effects need more than 200mA, and most wall warts only put out 300mA total (or so they say).