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Upgrading old computer, keeping case, SATA hard drives and power supply. Vintage dell 2008.

Upgraded MB to ASRock 970M Pro3 AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz 8-Core Processor Corsair Vengeance Pro 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory Asus GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB Video Card (PCIe) PC Part Picker estimates my wattage to be about 287W

Power supply rated at 300W.

Seated the motherboard, graphics card and attached the sata cables for the HDDs. Plugged in power switch and power led, but pressing power doesn't turn it on.

For grins, I switched the power switch and power led cables connected to the motherboard to see if they were mislabeled by Dell, and the power light came on, but the switch still wouldn't work.

I don't hear any fans, but I do see a light on the graphics card, and the USB speakers have a faint hum that speakers make when they know they're on, but there's nothing for them to "speak". For what it's worth, there's no burnt electrical smell. On things like electric motors you can smell the burntness, but I'm not sure if it applies when circuits get zapped.

What should I do to get this to work?

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Try to start barebones: CPU & 1 stick Memory and see if will power on. (No video, no keyboard, no drives) If it does turn on, start adding components ONE by ONE.

If it does not turn on with a barebones setup then you know it is either wiring related (proprietary power connector, switch wires, etc) or faulty CPU, MB, or RAM. Essentially You can limit your troubleshooting.

If it does turn on but starts having problems as you add components then it is probably either a faulty component or a undersized power supply or a compatibility issue.

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If PC part picker showed estimated usage of 287W I wouldn't have cut it as close as you did with that 300W power supply. Reason being that not all power supplies actually supply the advertised wattage on a full time basis. Some advertise as a certain wattage, but are really showing peak wattage.

But as stated above, start going with the CPU + Memory and work your way up. If everything works fine up until the installation of something that drains a lot of power, such as the video card, I would consider a more powerful PSU.

Also, I should point out that it really isn't the best idea to go for the cheapest PSU you can find. Just like any other part of the system, do adequate research. If you have never had cheap PSU short out on you and fry all that was connected to it, consider yourself lucky.

  • I'm now looking to upgrade the power supply based on your comments. I saw a CORSAIR CXM series CX650M 650W 80 PLUS BRONZE Haswell Ready ATX12V & EPS12V Modular Power Supply from Amazon. This does not show up under the PCPicker compatibility chart, but I'm not sure what to make of that. – Id Rathernotsay Oct 13 '16 at 16:18
  • Hmm, your board has a 24pin main power connection and 8pin CPU power, as does the PSU (well, the CPU cable on the PSU is a 4+4 but works as an 8pin), And it looks like the PSU comes with all the standard modular cables you need. – NZKshatriya Oct 13 '16 at 17:54
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It seems the person suggesting a higher PSU was right. I upgraded that (and the case to ensure a fit), and it wotks.

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