18th Jun 2012, 2:06 AM
I read this (http://www.modthesims.info/wiki.php?title=Game_Help:System_Requirements/MTS2_Recommendations#The_Sims_3_System_Requirements) article and decided the nVidia GeForce 6800 card was the one for me. A bit more research indicated I'd need to upgrade to a 480W power supply at the least. I've hit a wall though. Granted these are probably non-issues brought about by inexperience. This is the first time I've ever upgraded a PC. How do I go about choosing a good power supply? Can you go wrong? Will I run into compatibility issues? My case is approx 4" wide, 12' tall, and 14 deep, if that helps. Sorry, I don't have accurate measurements, but hopefully those will do. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
18th Jun 2012, 8:24 AM
Hum, that section is rather superfluous, I shall remove it later - the Game Help:TS3 System Requirements is significantly more detailed and up to date.
I really would not recommend buying a 6800 new - if that's even possible, it's so obsolete that I doubt you can buy it at all except second-hand. It will also only work for TS3 basegame with no EPs or patches - you'll see that in the above-linked table, it becomes an orange 'Maybe" (as in, "might just about work" for World Adventures, and then a red "No" for everything after that.
Regarding buying a PSU: yes, you can go wrong. And the PSU is a critical, if underappreciated, component, so it's worth it to make sure you get a good one. :) Brand matters - don't go for the cheapest, but pick a reputable brand. We have several listed here (http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=330413#post2191342); Antec, Corsair, Thermaltake are all good brands; and the series listed there are good ones, although the model is less crucial - so any OCZ ModXStream Pro, for example, should be great, regardless of the wattage.
Go slightly higher with the wattage than what you think you need - it's better to have too much than slightly too little. If you've worked out your requirements as 480W for the graphics card, I would go for a 550 or 600W PSU. Also check the voltage on the 12V rail the PSU must meet or exceed the card's requirements on that front. Although since you will probably want to be looking at a different graphics card, those requirements will change - just do remember that both wattage and voltage are important. :)
If you pay your own electricity bill, it's a good idea to go for an 80 PLUS rated PSU - this refers to energy efficiency; a good, efficient PSU will use less power, produce less heat, and provide more power to your components compared to a non-80 PLUS PSU of the same wattage. If possible, go for an 80 PLUS Gold. You can see the other ranks in the 80 PLUS rating system here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/80_PLUS#Efficiency_level_certifications).
I never can remember dimensions when it comes to computers. I would suggest checking the dimensions of some full or mid tower cases online; if your case matches those dimensions, you shouldn't have to worry about the physical size of the PSU, as sizes are standardised. The only time when size is an issue is if you have a mini/slimline tower by a company like HP; in that case you would have to buy your PSU from HP (or whatever), and also buy a special low profile (i.e. short) graphics card.
The final consideration is connectors - that is, making sure your new PSU has the right cables for all your bits. The graphics card will say which and how many connectors it requires in the specs. Motherboard connectors are pretty standardised since, well, everyone has a motherboard; but particularly important are hard drives and CD/DVD drives. These will generally either take SATA (http://www.cooldrives.com/lib/cooldrives/sata-hard-drive-power-cable-connector.jpg) or 4-pin molex (http://i.windowsforums.org/pics/d644cee4123c9592d34783c92ec78a1c.jpg) connectors, so count them up and make sure your prospective PSU has enough.
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