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Video Card Upgrade

TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,214Member Uncommon

I have an older HP Pavillion e9290f.  The link has all the specs, but so you don't have to click, it is a core i7/920 with 9GB PC3 8500, and an Nvidia GTX260/1.8GB.  It has a 460W power supply.  It is completely stock.

I am looking to upgrade the video card, even if just a little, and still keep the 460W p/s.  I do have a 600W p/s (I think it's an Antec) but I'm not sure if it is compatible with this motherboard.  I'm also not really looking to get that burly of a card that would require a 600W p/s and I don't want to worry about insufficient cooling.

While I am looking to get a good deal, price isn't the primary concern.  My concerns / criteria for the card are, in rough order:

  • Quality
  • Will work with the 460W p/s and not stress the system
  • Heat
I'm searching through Newegg and Best Buy right now.  Any suggestions?
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Comments

  • jdnewelljdnewell Spring Hill, TNPosts: 2,150Member Uncommon

    Might take a look at a 7770. It should work with your power supply , does not put out a lot of heat, not a bulky card and is inexpensive.

    worth looking at or sure.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon

    Either a Radeon HD 7870 or a GeForce GTX 660 should better than double the performance of your old card, while using about the same amount of power.

    I don't know how good of a 460 W power supply you have, though, so your current rig might already be putting a lot of strain on it.  460 W isn't a common power supply size, so it might be something made custom for HP--which means there won't be reviews of it anywhere, and we have no idea how good it is.

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,214Member Uncommon

    Thanks to both of you.  Yeah, I noticed the p/s isn't listed on that spec page.  I can open the case and check it out if would help, but I have a feeling it's nothing special, just some cheap p/s.

    I have a couple options.

    1. The Newegg page has 25 7770s on it, but I can't tell them apart, other than a couple that are OC'd and 2 that have 2GB ram.  Nvidia often mixes chips within a version (not that I am good at sorting those out either).  Does AMD do this with their video cards?  How would I choose a card on that page?

    2. I can dig out the 600W p/s and see if it is compatible.  I'll see what I can find out.

  • jdnewelljdnewell Spring Hill, TNPosts: 2,150Member Uncommon

    Quizzical will probably know the answer better than I do. But from what I understand the 7770 should only be different in the OC and ram ( 1g or 2g) versions. 

    As cheap as those are you can get the Asus 2g OC version for around $150 I think.  If your psu will support it then a 7870 would be a bit better but more expensive.

    personally I would go with a 7770, might work better with your psu and friendlier on the budget.

     

    Good Luck with whatever you choose.

  • AeolronAeolron Ottawa, ONPosts: 648Member
    Originally posted by Torvaldr

    I have an older HP Pavillion e9290f.  The link has all the specs, but so you don't have to click, it is a core i7/920 with 9GB PC3 8500, and an Nvidia GTX260/1.8GB.  It has a 460W power supply.  It is completely stock.

    I am looking to upgrade the video card, even if just a little, and still keep the 460W p/s.  I do have a 600W p/s (I think it's an Antec) but I'm not sure if it is compatible with this motherboard.  I'm also not really looking to get that burly of a card that would require a 600W p/s and I don't want to worry about insufficient cooling.

    While I am looking to get a good deal, price isn't the primary concern.  My concerns / criteria for the card are, in rough order:

    • Quality
    • Will work with the 460W p/s and not stress the system
    • Heat
    I'm searching through Newegg and Best Buy right now.  Any suggestions?

    I would strongly recommend the Asus GTX 670 4 gig version , amazing card , fairly inexspensive I'm sure you could run it on your PSU with no issues.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Aeolron
    Originally posted by Torvaldr

    I have an older HP Pavillion e9290f.  The link has all the specs, but so you don't have to click, it is a core i7/920 with 9GB PC3 8500, and an Nvidia GTX260/1.8GB.  It has a 460W power supply.  It is completely stock.

    I am looking to upgrade the video card, even if just a little, and still keep the 460W p/s.  I do have a 600W p/s (I think it's an Antec) but I'm not sure if it is compatible with this motherboard.  I'm also not really looking to get that burly of a card that would require a 600W p/s and I don't want to worry about insufficient cooling.

    While I am looking to get a good deal, price isn't the primary concern.  My concerns / criteria for the card are, in rough order:

    • Quality
    • Will work with the 460W p/s and not stress the system
    • Heat
    I'm searching through Newegg and Best Buy right now.  Any suggestions?

    I would strongly recommend the Asus GTX 670 4 gig version , amazing card , fairly inexspensive I'm sure you could run it on your PSU with no issues.

    That also uses substantially more power than a GeForce GTX 260, which means it would be decidedly risky with an unknown and likely mediocre 460 W power supply.  The 4 GB version is for a very narrow niche, and for most people, the only real difference between that and the 2 GB version is a higher price tag and increased power consumption.

  • AeolronAeolron Ottawa, ONPosts: 648Member
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Originally posted by Aeolron
    Originally posted by Torvaldr

    I have an older HP Pavillion e9290f.  The link has all the specs, but so you don't have to click, it is a core i7/920 with 9GB PC3 8500, and an Nvidia GTX260/1.8GB.  It has a 460W power supply.  It is completely stock.

    I am looking to upgrade the video card, even if just a little, and still keep the 460W p/s.  I do have a 600W p/s (I think it's an Antec) but I'm not sure if it is compatible with this motherboard.  I'm also not really looking to get that burly of a card that would require a 600W p/s and I don't want to worry about insufficient cooling.

    While I am looking to get a good deal, price isn't the primary concern.  My concerns / criteria for the card are, in rough order:

    • Quality
    • Will work with the 460W p/s and not stress the system
    • Heat
    I'm searching through Newegg and Best Buy right now.  Any suggestions?

    I would strongly recommend the Asus GTX 670 4 gig version , amazing card , fairly inexspensive I'm sure you could run it on your PSU with no issues.

    That also uses substantially more power than a GeForce GTX 260, which means it would be decidedly risky with an unknown and likely mediocre 460 W power supply.  The 4 GB version is for a very narrow niche, and for most people, the only real difference between that and the 2 GB version is a higher price tag and increased power consumption.

    Yeah your right! I don't know what PSU it is but the 2 gig and 4 gig , the added ram does help alot and doesn't use that much more power, I've tested both cards , however I will agree with you that the 4 gig version might push the PSU alittle to far.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon
    4 GB of video memory only offers an advantage over 2 GB if you can put more than 2 GB to good use.  That means either extremely large data buffers (e.g., ultra high resolution textures) or extremely high monitor resolutions.  And even that might not be enough for most games.
  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    its not worth going lower than a 650ti / 7850 on a new card really
  • AeolronAeolron Ottawa, ONPosts: 648Member
    Originally posted by ShakyMo
    its not worth going lower than a 650ti / 7850 on a new card really

    I've noticed a pretty big increase in performance with the 670 over the 650 , a large amount that warranted a purchase.

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,214Member Uncommon

    Thanks everyone.  I'm going with the 7770 because it's a good increase for the price and should fit well with the existing power supply.  The upgrade should last me another year or so until I replace the system.

    There is an xfx card for $140 and an MSI card for $99 plus a rebate.  I'm not big on rebates normally but this is $30 so maybe.  Anyway for $40 less the MSI sounds like a good deal.  The XFX looks like it is clocked a little higher, but I'm not sure if it's that significant.

    MSI: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127687

    XFX:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150599

    The money I saved can go towards bumping up the ram to 16GB from 9GB.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon

    A Radeon HD 7770 isn't much of an upgrade for you.  It's a little faster than a GeForce GTX 260, but not a lot faster.

    A Radeon HD 7850 would be a much bigger upgrade, and it's pretty energy-efficient, too.  Furthermore, with Radeon HD 7000 series cards, you can set a PowerTune cap and tell the card that it isn't allowed to use more than a certain amount of power.  If power draw would have exceeded the cap, the card throttles back the clock speeds to compensate within a fraction of a second.  There is a PowerTune cap by default (75 W on a 7750, 100 W on a 7770, 125 W on a 7850, 175 W on a 7870, I think), but you can change it if so inclined.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Torvaldr

    Thanks everyone.  I'm going with the 7770 because it's a good increase for the price and should fit well with the existing power supply.  The upgrade should last me another year or so until I replace the system.

    There is an xfx card for $140 and an MSI card for $99 plus a rebate.  I'm not big on rebates normally but this is $30 so maybe.  Anyway for $40 less the MSI sounds like a good deal.  The XFX looks like it is clocked a little higher, but I'm not sure if it's that significant.

    MSI: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127687

    XFX:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150599

    The money I saved can go towards bumping up the ram to 16GB from 9GB.

    I don't see any reason to spend an extra $40 on the XFX card unless the "free" game is worth that much to you.  As for memory, you've got three memory channels, so your amount of system memory should be 3 times a power of 2--e.g., 6 GB, 12 GB, or 24 GB.  Mismatching the memory channels isn't a big deal on your processor, but I don't see any reason to do so intentionally by getting 16 GB.

    One word of warning, though:  Windows 7 Home Premium won't recognize more than 16 GB of system memory.  I don't know about Vista.  The Professional edition caps it at 192 GB.  I think Windows 8 Standard allows a huge amount of memory, too.

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,214Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Originally posted by Torvaldr

    Thanks everyone.  I'm going with the 7770 because it's a good increase for the price and should fit well with the existing power supply.  The upgrade should last me another year or so until I replace the system.

    There is an xfx card for $140 and an MSI card for $99 plus a rebate.  I'm not big on rebates normally but this is $30 so maybe.  Anyway for $40 less the MSI sounds like a good deal.  The XFX looks like it is clocked a little higher, but I'm not sure if it's that significant.

    MSI: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127687

    XFX:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150599

    The money I saved can go towards bumping up the ram to 16GB from 9GB.

    I don't see any reason to spend an extra $40 on the XFX card unless the "free" game is worth that much to you.  As for memory, you've got three memory channels, so your amount of system memory should be 3 times a power of 2--e.g., 6 GB, 12 GB, or 24 GB.  Mismatching the memory channels isn't a big deal on your processor, but I don't see any reason to do so intentionally by getting 16 GB.

    One word of warning, though:  Windows 7 Home Premium won't recognize more than 16 GB of system memory.  I don't know about Vista.  The Professional edition caps it at 192 GB.  I think Windows 8 Standard allows a huge amount of memory, too.

    Thanks.  I misspoke.  It is tri-channel and meant to say 24GB, but that doesn't look like an option.  The max each can take is 4GB sticks and the largest tri-channel kits at newegg are 2GB each.

    Hmm, maybe I will look closer at the 7850 then.  I do want to see a performance increase, but if the 7770 is too modest then it sounds like it could be a waste of a $100.

    I can also try and find that damn 600W p/s but then I would have to figure out if is compatible with the mobo.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon

    There are a lot of 3-channel kits with 4 GB modules.  For example:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007611%20600006078&IsNodeId=1&name=12GB%20%283%20x%204GB%29

    You might want to look at what your motherboard can handle, though.  It can probably take 4 GB modules just fine, though they were fairly rare when Bloomfield launched.  Some motherboards won't take 8 GB modules.  I'm not sure if it's a limitation of the motherboard, the memory controller, or what.

    Why do you need more than 9 GB of system memory, anyway?  Even 4 GB is enough for most people, and 8 GB already has a lot of future-proofing built in.  Some people do have unusual needs that require more system memory, but don't buy it just to have it.

    If you just feel like upgrading, then buy an SSD if you don't have one already.

  • 190100190100 Columbus, NEPosts: 47Member

    Get a 6xx card. As long as that 450 watt PSU isn't cheap chinese crap and has enough amps output on the 12v rail(s) you will be fine since it uses 300 watts or so system-wide for a 660/660TI.

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/660?vs=549

     

    As an owner of a 7850 and several previous cards on both sides, I can tell you don't waste your money on AMD. Both companies have their problems, but NVIDIA has essentially snuffed out AMD with their anti-competitive software mode physx which does not use any additional instructions like SSE, avx, and is limited to one core.

    If they updated physx to use modern instructions and multiple cores when no physx hardware is present, I suppose AMD cards which lack physx could get by, but why would NVIDIA want competition?

     

    1. No physx (see Borderlands 2 benchmarks)

    2. crap drivers

    3. you WILL always have more graphic flaws in general with amd

    4. AMD has recently changed their driver release schedule, and old cards take the biggest hit (actually, old cards have always been pretty much ignored but it will be worse now)

    5. and I seriously need to exaggerate the slew of mystery problems with AMD. their hardware is questionable at best, and their software(CP,profiles)/drivers is downright garbage I'd expect a group of kids to make.

     

    Their CPUs are even worse...

    http://cdn.overclock.net/a/ab/ab19120e_bulldozerfail.PNG

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4955/the-bulldozer-review-amd-fx8150-tested/7

     

    If you do make the idiotic choice of going with amd, make sure you get a reference card. There are noticeably more issues with non-ref cards.

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,214Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    There are a lot of 3-channel kits with 4 GB modules.  For example:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007611%20600006078&IsNodeId=1&name=12GB%20%283%20x%204GB%29

    You might want to look at what your motherboard can handle, though.  It can probably take 4 GB modules just fine, though they were fairly rare when Bloomfield launched.  Some motherboards won't take 8 GB modules.  I'm not sure if it's a limitation of the motherboard, the memory controller, or what.

    Why do you need more than 9 GB of system memory, anyway?  Even 4 GB is enough for most people, and 8 GB already has a lot of future-proofing built in.  Some people do have unusual needs that require more system memory, but don't buy it just to have it.

    If you just feel like upgrading, then buy an SSD if you don't have one already.

    The video upgrade is for gaming, but the memory upgrade is for the work I do.  I do a lot of SQL Server db work and heavy text processing.  SQL Server and the text processing can eat up huge amounts of memory especially if I'm multitasking.

    If I read the specs right the motherboard only handles 4GB sticks.  It takes PC3-8500 so when I searched I used that to filter and those other kits didn't show up for some reason.  Thanks for that link.

    A hard drive upgrade is also a good idea because one of my huge bottlenecks is IO.  I would probably go 2 2TB sata drives in raid 0 as that is the configuration I've found to do well on my work desktop.  An SSD for apps and games would be really sweet too.  I'm waiting on that for a bit though.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by 190100

    Get a 6xx card. As long as that 450 watt PSU isn't cheap chinese crap and has enough amps output on the 12v rail(s) you will be fine since it uses 300 watts or so system-wide for a 660/660TI.

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/660?vs=549

     

    As an owner of a 7850 and several previous cards on both sides, I can tell you don't waste your money on AMD. Both companies have their problems, but NVIDIA has essentially snuffed out AMD with their anti-competitive software mode physx which does not use any additional instructions like SSE, avx, and is limited to one core.

    If they updated physx to use modern instructions and multiple cores when no physx hardware is present, I suppose AMD cards which lack physx could get by, but why would NVIDIA want competition?

     

    1. No physx (see Borderlands 2 benchmarks)

    2. crap drivers

    3. you WILL always have more graphic flaws in general with amd

    4. AMD has recently changed their driver release schedule, and old cards take the biggest hit (actually, old cards have always been pretty much ignored but it will be worse now)

    5. and I seriously need to exaggerate the slew of mystery problems with AMD. their hardware is questionable at best, and their software(CP,profiles)/drivers is downright garbage I'd expect a group of kids to make.

     

    Their CPUs are even worse...

    http://cdn.overclock.net/a/ab/ab19120e_bulldozerfail.PNG

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4955/the-bulldozer-review-amd-fx8150-tested/7

     

    If you do make the idiotic choice of going with amd, make sure you get a reference card. There are noticeably more issues with non-ref cards.

    Very few games use GPU PhysX.  For most games, if it uses PhysX at all, it will run on the CPU, regardless of which video card does the rendering.  Now that we have compute shaders (in DirectX 11 and more recently OpenGL 4.3), GPU PhysX is pretty thoroughly obsolete, too.  The only reason to use it is if Nvidia pays you to, though that's nearly the only reason there ever was to use GPU PhysX.  Has there ever been a game that used GPU PhysX without Nvidia paying for it?  It's basically a marketing expense for Nvidia.

    AMD's drivers are about as good as Nvidia's.  While AMD did change their driver release schedule (from monthly to "whenever it makes sense"), this really just means they adopted Nvidia's approach to a driver release schedule.

    Both AMD and Nvidia put most of the driver focus on recent cards.  Cards that are a few generations old will typically only get bug fixes, and not any attempts at improving performance.

    Saying that you shouldn't buy an AMD video card because their now-discontinued Bulldozer processors were a mess makes about as much sense as saying that you shouldn't buy an Nvidia video card because their Tegra and Tegra 2 processors were a mess.  Which is to say, none.

  • Lazarus71Lazarus71 Celina, OHPosts: 1,025Member Uncommon

    I would say you can't go wrong with a 7850 2gb version. I put one in my stock dell and the increase in performance from my 6770 was quite nice. Also as Quizzical said the 7XXX series AMD are very energy efficient. Paid $199 for the card on Newegg.

    My PC

    Dell XPS 8300

    I7 2600 3.4ghz

    8gb pc1333mhz ram

    460w stock dell PSU

    Gigabyte  HD7850 2gb

    2tbHD

    I have had no problems whatsoever with the card, the 460 w psu seems fine. Also I believe I read that the system should never pull over 300 watts(don't take my word for that last part though lol)

    No signature, I don't have a pen

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Torvaldr
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    There are a lot of 3-channel kits with 4 GB modules.  For example:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007611%20600006078&IsNodeId=1&name=12GB%20%283%20x%204GB%29

    You might want to look at what your motherboard can handle, though.  It can probably take 4 GB modules just fine, though they were fairly rare when Bloomfield launched.  Some motherboards won't take 8 GB modules.  I'm not sure if it's a limitation of the motherboard, the memory controller, or what.

    Why do you need more than 9 GB of system memory, anyway?  Even 4 GB is enough for most people, and 8 GB already has a lot of future-proofing built in.  Some people do have unusual needs that require more system memory, but don't buy it just to have it.

    If you just feel like upgrading, then buy an SSD if you don't have one already.

    The video upgrade is for gaming, but the memory upgrade is for the work I do.  I do a lot of SQL Server db work and heavy text processing.  SQL Server and the text processing can eat up huge amounts of memory especially if I'm multitasking.

    If I read the specs right the motherboard only handles 4GB sticks.  It takes PC3-8500 so when I searched I used that to filter and those other kits didn't show up for some reason.  Thanks for that link.

    A hard drive upgrade is also a good idea because one of my huge bottlenecks is IO.  I would probably go 2 2TB sata drives in raid 0 as that is the configuration I've found to do well on my work desktop.  An SSD for apps and games would be really sweet too.  I'm waiting on that for a bit though.

    Ah, if you have real use for lots of system memory, then have at it.  Most people don't, but then, most people don't run SQL server on the same machine they play games.  I have no idea how much you'd need for SQL server database work, but it sounds like you do.

    Your memory controller only supports 1066 MHz DDR3, but you can buy 1333 MHz DDR3 and run it at 1066 MHz and it will work.  This is kind of like buying a processor with a stock speed of 3 GHz and running it at 2.5 GHz:  it's not a danger to anything except possibly your wallet.  Reducing the clock speed should let you tighten up the latencies, too.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Lazarus71

    I would say you can't go wrong with a 7850 2gb version. I put one in my stock dell and the increase in performance from my 6770 was quite nice. Also as Quizzical said the 7XXX series AMD are very energy efficient. Paid $199 for the card on Newegg.

    My PC

    Dell XPS 8300

    I7 2600 3.4ghz

    8gb pc1333mhz ram

    460w stock dell PSU

    2tbHD

    I have had no problems whatsoever with the card, the 460 w psu seems fine. Also I believe I read that the system should never pull over 300 watts(don't take my word for that last part though lol)

    Your processor and chipset will use a lot less power than the original poster's.

    Also, just because a power supply is rated at 460 W doesn't mean you should actually pull 460 W from it routinely.  Performance degrades with the passage of time, too.

  • Lazarus71Lazarus71 Celina, OHPosts: 1,025Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Originally posted by Lazarus71

    I would say you can't go wrong with a 7850 2gb version. I put one in my stock dell and the increase in performance from my 6770 was quite nice. Also as Quizzical said the 7XXX series AMD are very energy efficient. Paid $199 for the card on Newegg.

    My PC

    Dell XPS 8300

    I7 2600 3.4ghz

    8gb pc1333mhz ram

    460w stock dell PSU

    2tbHD

    I have had no problems whatsoever with the card, the 460 w psu seems fine. Also I believe I read that the system should never pull over 300 watts(don't take my word for that last part though lol)

    Your processor and chipset will use a lot less power than the original poster's.

    Also, just because a power supply is rated at 460 W doesn't mean you should actually pull 460 W from it routinely.  Performance degrades with the passage of time, too.

     I was really just saying I was having no problems so far with my stock 460 watt PSU. I am by no means a PC expert, quite a novice actually. I know he should be following your advice, was just sharing my experience so far with the new card.

    No signature, I don't have a pen

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,214Member Uncommon
    I shutdown the sql server services when I'm not using them.  It likes to hog memory when it is running.
  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,214Member Uncommon
    The power supply is a BFG GS-650.  It's also old and I'm checking if it is compatible with this board.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Lazarus71
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Originally posted by Lazarus71

    I would say you can't go wrong with a 7850 2gb version. I put one in my stock dell and the increase in performance from my 6770 was quite nice. Also as Quizzical said the 7XXX series AMD are very energy efficient. Paid $199 for the card on Newegg.

    My PC

    Dell XPS 8300

    I7 2600 3.4ghz

    8gb pc1333mhz ram

    460w stock dell PSU

    2tbHD

    I have had no problems whatsoever with the card, the 460 w psu seems fine. Also I believe I read that the system should never pull over 300 watts(don't take my word for that last part though lol)

    Your processor and chipset will use a lot less power than the original poster's.

    Also, just because a power supply is rated at 460 W doesn't mean you should actually pull 460 W from it routinely.  Performance degrades with the passage of time, too.

     I was really just saying I was having no problems so far with my stock 460 watt PSU. I am by no means a PC expert, quite a novice actually. I know he should be following your advice, was just sharing my experience so far with the new card.

    Fair enough.  But there is no such thing as a "stock" 460 W power supply, but only particular power supplies with that rated wattage.

    I doubt that either Dell or HP would sell systems with power supplies that are genuinely junk.  Saving $20 on the power supply, only to have to spend an extra $50 on extra warranty service is not a way to make money.  Angering customers that their computer died tends not to work so well in the long run, either, at least if you're hoping to be a recognizable brand name.  But if they were using particularly high quality power supplies, they'd tell you, as that would be a selling point.

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