I saw a really good deal on a video card for Kiefer on Kijiji yesterday so without any research, I ran out and got it. It's a couple generations out but it's still a beast and will easily outperform the card he has now.
Upon closer inspection I discovered that the card needs extra power. And not just one power connection but two! To make it worse, it needs two PCIe power connections. Not only does his stock power supply not have them but it doesn't have enough total wattage to satisfy that card and the rest of the system anyway. I would need a PSU rated for at least 450W.
I did some quick research on power supplies and found a good entry level PSU on infonec.com
. Since that PSU only has one PCIe power connector, I would need to get an extra adapter that converts two molex connections to one PCIe which that site carries.
At this point I realized my order would need to be at least $100 to qualify for $9 shipping. Damn.
, they had the same power supply for $5 more. They have no minimum purchase for shipping but their shipping is $1 more. Oh well, I can handle an extra $6. Order submitted.
Hours after the confirmation I realized that I forgot to include the extra PCIe connector. On a holiday long weekend, I can't really contact anyone there to change the order.
After more consideration, I realized that with all the old computer gear I have in the basement, I can probably make my own adapter. I was pretty sure I had the parts so a bit more research was needed to figure out exactly what wires went where.
After an hour I had some pretty good references on the problem so it was time to go into the basement to get parts. The first place to look was on old power supplies that had died that I hadn't gotten around to throwing out yet.
As I looked around, I realized that one of them was actually 460W. Not only that but it had two PCIe power connectors on it! I wondered then, what actually was wrong with that PSU?
I got a screw driver and opened it up hoping to see something that was obviously wrong and easy to fix. Sometimes it happens :) I scanned around inside it and spotted a fuse. Was that it?
It's one of those little glass tube fuses but unfortunately it is not transparent so I couldn't tell if it was blown. I do have a multi-meter though and even though I know it can be used to tell me if it was blown or not, I never had time to learn the basics of electronics enough to know how to use one.
An hour on youtube gave me the basics. I just needed to use the resistance setting for checking continuity on the fuse. Yep, it was blown.
Tomorrow I'll see if I can find a 12A 250V fuse and try out the power supply. The only question that will remain is; what blew the fuse? Was it because of a failure within the PSU or the stuff it was connected to? Does anyone with some experience in electronics know what the likely culprit might be?