Install a blazing graphics card
Grab your components
Before you roll up your sleeves, size up your PC and figure out what it sorely lacks. In our case, it was an industry-current graphics card. It was long past time to replace our aging model with an updated one. We settled on a 256MB GeForce 6800 GT OC card from BFG Technologies.
The problem is, a beefy board like the GeForce 6800 GT OC demands at least 65 watts of electricity. Couple that drain with power-hungry components such as hard drives, sound cards, and external USB devices, and a 300-watt PSU starts to appear weak mighty quick. To address our energy needs, we also sprung for an Antec NeoPower 480 PSU, designed to pump out a steady flow of juice.
If your graphically robust PC stutters, freezes, crashes to the desktop, or reboots spontaneously while crunching tough 3D applications, there's a good chance its PSU is too anemic.
The power demands of a typical desktop
|Motherboard and CPU fan||28|
|AMD Athlon 64 FX-53||89|
|Nvidia GeForce FX 6800 GT||65|
|512MB DDR SDRAM (two modules)||20|
|Hard drives (two)||50|
|Creative Sound Blaster-class sound card||7|
|Unpowered USB devices (four)||20|
|80mm fans (two)||4|
This chart roughly estimates the overall wattage our machine should require. To figure out how much power your own PC will need, check out JS Custom PCs' Web site