back to article Got a pricey gaming desktop from PC World for Xmas? Check the graphics specs

Dixons Carphone retailers Currys and PC World are flogging a high-end ready-made gaming desktop complete with Nvidia's flagship Geforce GTX 980 Ti processor. Unfortunately, the listed power supply unit on the HP ENVY Phoenix won't do the job for that card. According to the specs listed on the Currys and PC World websites, as …

  1. Tachikoma

    The TDP for the card is 250W, so a 500W PSU is fine... depending on the other components...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "The TDP for the card is 250W, so a 500W PSU is fine... depending on the other components.."

      Anandtech actually recorded total system power at 311W, 301W for Crysis:

      review

      I suspect they are just very, very cynical about PSU makers.

      1. Zmodem

        depends if the PSU is single rail and a platinum or gold rated PSU, a bronze PSU probably won`t do the job, your only getting 400watts -the 20% for efficiency, so as soon as your heat sink and card needs more power, + any other system fan you have plugged into the board, the box will shutdown

        1. Zmodem

          but then, you can just get 3dmark demo on steam and run the firestrike benchmark, if the box does`nt shutdown at full load, your all good for standard games

    2. Fibbles

      Call me cynical but it's probably a 500w no-name cheap PSU that supplies a fraction of that on the 12v rail, and even then only when used in situations with unrealistically low ambient temperatures.

  2. Steven Raith

    Rails

    500w/600w is pretty useless as a guideline; what you need to know is whether the rails assigned to power the GPU (12v GPU/AUX, IIRC) can deliver the current the card requires.

    If so, it's not a problem. If not, you can call it a 1000w PSU; if it's supplying 1000w on the 5v rails, it still won't power that GPU.

    (yes, not a perfect explanation, but I'm sure all the seasoned system builders will know what I'm getting at)

    Steven R

    1. Zmodem

      Re: Rails

      amps ^ volts are normally in the spec`s for the rail, which will give you the total watts, so 53 * 12 = 632 watts

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A place where fools and their money

    are easily parted.

    Quite why they are still in business is beyond me.

    Lets that a joint El-Reg new Years resolution.

    Now about

    We resolve to never step foot in one of their emporiums again.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A place where fools and their money

      "Quite why they are still in business is beyond me."

      Because their customers don't know any better ?

    2. Mr_Pitiful

      Re: A place where fools and their money

      I Have an allergic reaction when the stores are mentioned

      My family are banned from them and no matter what I need, I won't enter one

      they sell crap to idiots for very high prices

      1. Roq D. Kasba

        Re: A place where fools and their money

        Crap to Idiots is a little harsh. They sell mass-market devices to people who want to see them before they part with their cash for actually pretty slim margins in these days of internet price checking.

        If I want a thing, and want it now, they're there to sell it. Yes I'll pay more than direct from China or even Amazon online, but I can have it in my hands, test it, doing the job I need in 30 minutes, and as a bonus I'm not hanging around for a package to arrive and if the goods are faulty it's not an extra 48h to sort out. When I can plan ahead, I will. When I can't, I'm glad they're there.

        Let's face it, if it was all about cost and convenience I'd take a nescaff in a mug instead of an espresso from Nero, or whatever. People have differing needs and will pay differing prices for convenience.

        1. Steven Raith

          Re: A place where fools and their money

          This; a thousand times this; there is a place for stores like PCWC, even if they aren't the finest for bleeding edge tech.

          I had a Logitech Quickcam 9000 Pro for years, and it's not great on Linux (limited framerate, square aspect ratio unless you use the Windows software, which, er, no); I popped in, had a deek at what they had in stock cam wise, asked nicely if I could use the display iMac to do a bit of research (no problem), and picked up a C920 that had a decent discount on it making it comparable to online prices.

          Picked it up, it's got warranty, if it shits itself I can take it back, etc. Might have paid a fiver more for it than I paid on Amazon, but I don't mind that to have it in my hands, and have some reasonable consumer protection in a local store, rather than email etc.

          And for reference, yes, I did check my local computer shop (where I used to work, actually) and they didn't have anything in stock at the time.

          Interestingly, I've also worked in PC World before, too. But we don't talk about that.

          Steven "Put your management* hat on" R.

          *was never management...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A place where fools and their money

            "Picked it up, it's got warranty, if it shits itself I can take it back, etc."

            Ah, no you see this is where you run into PC World's protection racket. Somewhat like the PPI scam, they always try to coerce you into paying extra for their own warranty, claiming that the manufacturer warranty isn't worth having, and always try to get you onto one on an ongoing subcription basis.

            (Was forced to sign up for one a while back when buying an emergency replacement TV, to facilitate the sales advisor 'being able to find' the mysteriously missing package containing the remote control and SCART adaptor I needed)

            1. Archaon
              Facepalm

              Re: A place where fools and their money

              There is no such thing as an emergency TV replacement, nor is there such a thing as being forced to buy a warranty. Can't be bothered or don't want to argue and cancelling it in the cooling off period, sure, but forced - not so much. Saying no really isn't hard.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: A place where fools and their money

                "There is no such thing as an emergency TV replacement, nor is there such a thing as being forced to buy a warranty. Can't be bothered or don't want to argue and cancelling it in the cooling off period, sure, but forced - not so much. Saying no really isn't hard."

                You what? There is if your old CRT tv has just shit itself and you're about to receive guests from overseas who are going to want to sit of the sofa and relax in front of the box for a bit to recover from a period of gruelling travelling.

                And yes, I could have simply said 'no' but that would just have made my life a whole lot harder at that point in time - I went the easy route, signed on the dotted line, and cancelled the policy a month later.

        2. AlbertH

          Re: A place where fools and their money

          Nope - they really do exist purely to sell over-priced crap to the >95% of the population who are idiots.

          It's funny to see their "sales" - they reduce their prices to (typically) 60% of their normal retail price and STILL make a gigantic profit!

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A place where fools and their money

          Roq D. Kasba>> and if the goods are faulty it's not an extra 48h to sort out.

          It depends how many iterations it takes to sort out, as the shop is under no obligation to provide an immediate replacement, just to engage in a resolution process. When you buy a machine like this by mail order in the UK you can send it back whether it is faulty or not, which is especially useful for dealing with intermittent faults or the situation where the purchaser is likely to have a better understanding of problems than the company's first line support.

          1. Roq D. Kasba

            @AC - immediate replacement

            This might be helpful - since October you do have the right to reject non-performing goods, not having to enter into a repair/buckpass cycle :)

            http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/consumer-rights-act#link-5

        4. goldcd

          Their prices aren't actually that bad any more.

          Currently typing this on the lovely mechanical keyboard they sold me. They had the cheapest price out there, and picked it up as I walked by the store the next day saving me any delivery costs.

          Bought the missus a shiney-shiney new laptop, again cheaper than anybody else out there and had it in my mits within 30 minutes of online price research being concluded.

          Of course if you're just wandering in to grab a generic lead, they're going to bleed you dry, but they're pretty competitive on the expensive stuff (both in range and price).

          If you want to find a target for you bile, Maplin.

    3. Chris Parsons

      Re: A place where fools and their money

      Obviously some shill from the group is downvoting here!

  4. Daz555

    Is this still a thing?

    Why do we still use W to rate a PSU? All that matters is whether the PSU can deliver the required amps at a stable voltage on the required rails.

    Dirt cheap 1000W PSU or high end 500W? No contest.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's a bit more complicated. A 500W rating will be the total power load over all the rails (-12v, 3.3v, 5v, 12v, etc.). The sum of the maximum powers for each of the rails added together can be more than this (e.g. 50A @ 5v and 25A @ 12v would be 550W).

  5. TonyHoyle

    Maybe have a word with HP?

    The 980 is listed as an option for that machine..

    http://www8.hp.com/uk/en/products/desktops/product-detail.html?oid=9014466#!tab=specs

    Or, maybe it works just fine and the article is bollocks?

    1. the spectacularly refined chap

      Re: Maybe have a word with HP?

      But the Curry's site does state it has the Ti variant. It isn't beyond the realms of possibility there's a custom spin made for a large retailer.

      However, like many others here I really don't see the issue. An HP specced PSU is going to have a relatively honest power rating, 500W will mean 500W or thereabouts as opposed to 600W meaning 450W or so for many far eastern no-name supplies.

      But even that isn't the issue: to give some idea, just before Christmas I was looking at the OEM integrator's guide for a hard drive. It was over 100 pages long - that's a level of detail the typical end user doesn't have access to and probably wouldn't know what to do with even if they did. It also means you can go through the requirements and tick them off one by one. Against the real requirements, not a headline summary for end users to get their heads around in a world of inflated specs.

      If there's a requirement in the equivalent guide for the GPU that isn't being met then that is grounds for criticism. Taking a gross simplification of those specs aimed at end users and applying them to one of the biggest computer manufacturers in the world is simply complaining about something you know nothing about.

  6. Minimaul

    This article is utter bollocks.

    The recommended power requirements on NVIDIA's site account for all manner of shitty power supplies. The 600W rating is a "Minimum system power requirement" - you can build a system with a 980Ti and use far less than 600W peak.

    A decent 500W power supply is perfectly sensible.

  7. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

    I know it's NYE and you all want to go home, but really..

    First, as already mentioned the HP site says it's a 980 as an option for that product code, not a 980Ti. NVidia deliberately overstate requirements to deal with underspeced supplies.

    Try checking out the Extreme power supply calculator http://outervision.com/power-supply-calculator

    With the configuration given, it comes out at 491W - which is a little close to 500W, but still within boundaries. You'd hope it's a decent 500W supply, rather than something substandard.

    With it configured as a 980 rather than a 980Ti (HP's listed configuration, so I'd be more inclined to believe them), it resolves to 407W/25A on the 12V rail. That's with the processor and GPU at 100% utilisation, so in reality it's unlikely to reach that limit very often.

    1. DryBones

      Re: I know it's NYE and you all want to go home, but really..

      If it's that close, it would prompt me to bump to 750. The closer you run to max load on a PSU, the more likely it is to sag on surge demand. It's a question of if the wattages things are listed for are absolute possible maximum, or normal average? If when gaming your loads spike to 650W for brief periods, you'll have a fun time.

      1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

        Re: I know it's NYE and you all want to go home, but really..

        The extreme PSU calculator is supposed to cope for maximums, and add a bit of capacitor aging into the mix. Plus, if it's a decent PSU, it won't actually be 500W - it'll be able to cope with 500W continuous load, and spikes above that.

        1. DryBones

          Re: I know it's NYE and you all want to go home, but really..

          Fair enough. Can't say if it's a mental adjustment to not have to shoot for a "really good" PSU and so keep my pricing options open, but I like having at least 20% excess capacity. And oops, I should have typed speccing a 650W supply, before. Oh well, here comes the new year.

    2. PNGuinn
      Mushroom

      Re: I know it's NYE and you all want to go home, but really..

      "it comes out at 491W - which is a little close to 500W, but still within boundaries."

      That, assuming the tolerances in the calculations are ok, doesn't leave enough room to upgrade the dust on the fans let alone the system.

      Even for a top notch 500 watt psu I'd not want to gulp more than 400 watts worst case peak. Even then I'd be looking at 650 watts to be on the safe side. After all, the system will almost certainly need to be upgraded or repaired at some point.

      In any case, these are switchmode units, so there should be virtually no extra power draw, and the cost of the extra 150 watt margin is nowhere near pro rata.

      There's something else to bear in mind. I'm sitting next to a box with a quality 650 watt unit. the computer ticks over at just over 100 watts. Or did until I upgraded the graphics card a while ago. It probably sips a bit more now. The point is that psu fan is just about turning and effectively inaudible.

      Ok the box takes some more when all 4 cores and the graphics card are going flat out, but still nowhere near the 650 watt limit, and is still very quiet and cool. Which is what I built it to be.

      The point here is that the machine described in the article is a volume unit, built down to a price. It'd be very interesting to know exactly what is fitted (brand) and who makes it. Also what the chances are of the next batch having a different unit of the same claimed rating.

      Personally, I'd need to be sure that HP hadn't commissioned a reduced cost special which might be sourced from anywhere. Might have a known brand stuck on it or be own branded. FCC numbers might tell us something.

      Off topic slightly, but I've got an old Compac hand-me-down here with an ASUS mobo. With a specially borked bios. Why? I wonder what else ASUS have done to it for them? Not actually looked at the psu. Form, as they say.

      There seem to be an army of psu brands out there, but relatively few manufacturers. And even fewer decent ones.

      There's a well known electronics wholesaler offering a named (never heard of it) brand 500w psu for under 12 quid +vat at the moment for 1 off. At that price would YOU want to risk your mobo, memory, hard disk, data?

      Icon seemed appropriate for a cheap psu.

      1. Steven Raith

        Re: I know it's NYE and you all want to go home, but really..

        Re that PSU, that sounds like it'd be just over wholesale price, and at that price, I'll put that £12 on it not having GPU aux rails dedicated on the PSU.

        It'll be fine for an office machine without dedicated graphics - something running an APU or a anything up to a midrange I5 by itself.

        But not, I'd not put it in my machine (2xHDD, 1xSSD, R9 280, A8-3870, 16gb RAM). I'd probably trust it in my secondary box used for VMs (Phenom II 920, 8gb RAM, 1xHDD, no dedicated graphics, just onboard Nvidia 7600 or similar).

        In all honesty though, if I had the spare wonga, a decent Seasonic or similar decent brand PSU (current is a 550w BeQuiet one in the A8-3870 box - this one) would be preferred, primarily because I like modular wiring and dedicated rails, even if I'm not using them - makes swapping out dead PSUs much less stressful. You know, providing you can find the modular cables five years down the line...

        Steven R

      2. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

        Re: I know it's NYE and you all want to go home, but really..

        HP are quite a large manufacturer, they'll have a consistent supplier for the PSUs made by a reputable OEM, to meet their requirements. More importantly it'll be tested under those configurations to have a low failure rate, as a high return rate will cost HP serious amounts of money.

        What it won't have is much leeway beyond their list of supported configurations, as that costs HP money.

        12 quid for a PSU from someone like Scan is not the same as the PSUs HP has specified, also because the buyers purchase a PSU with the expectation they might upgrade components in the future. Having a quick glance round, the lowest I'd spend is 26 quid on an Aerocool integrator (some of their PSUs are ok, and deliver the rated specification), and I'd rather buy at least a 500W EVGA (35 quid).

        Course what I'm actually running at the moment is a high end ThermalTake unit, as my main system is stuffed to the gills with cards and hard drives.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When Nvidia make a recommnedation on the PSU for a system that uses their cards they have no idea what is in the rest of the system so I'd expect they are very conservative .... i.e. to cope with the erson whose using a AMD 9xxxx processor (basically overclocked 8350's with their TDP set at 220W!). My main PC has an AMD 8350 CPU + an AMD 280 gfx card neither of which is known for being low power (!) but when I've attached a power monitor on the mains supply I don't see system power much above 250W.

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Naughtyhorse

    Probably never be an issue...

    Given that modern GTX cards automatically limit the clock & therefore consumption based on heat. If you run the psu hot, the inside of the box gets hot, this hot air is drawn into the card and the gpu throttles back.

    My vishera does not like the heat, so the gpu (a 970) is limited, by me, to 60C - just to keep the overall heat in the system down. Under load the gpu runs flat out until the temp reaches 60, then eases off. I use it for cuda rendering, and that loads the thing more than any game (well crysys with all the knobs turned up to 11 is a breeze compared to a large render)

    dunno about PSU limits... mine is 850w and.... sufficient. But i do have a 3d printer with slurps about 30amps at 12v and a (500w? 650w?) PC psu simply couldn't drive it. didn't overheat just maxed out at 25A and ran happy for hours on end, just didnt drive the bed heat up enough. so the protection on modern psu's is pretty good.

    Then again anyone looking for a serious game rig is not going to start at pc world, and definitely not end up there.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Probably never be an issue...

      An overloaded SMP PSU sags, produces pulsed DC and huge amounts of electromagnetic emissions.

      That doesn't affect resistive loads like heaters, but is extremely bad for electronics.

  11. adnim
    Meh

    Quality Vs quantity.

    I expect a pre-built off the shelf PC to be equipped with the cheapest components possible that will survive a heavy use situation, in order to keep prices competitive. Who makes the PSU?.

    I been building PC's for 20+ years, when I skimped on cost, I regretted it... I bought a Jetway mobo once. :-(

    All I can say is wait and see, until PC World get a shit load of returns this is a non story.

    1. Soruk

      Re: Quality Vs quantity.

      The ultimate worst motherboards had to be those PCchips ones. Hardware incompatibilities abounded in various bizarre ways and performance isn't a word I would associate with them.

      I used to work for a local Scottish box-builder and they would use those boards unless the customer requested something better.

      Says it all when I was building my own box, when I went to buy my motherboard the first thing they said was 'I take it you don't want a TXpro-100 [PCchips] board?'.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Quality Vs quantity.

        Pcchips was one of the fake cache culprits (amongst others)

      2. Alistair Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Quality Vs quantity.

        Simply mentioning that horrid brand of motherboards puts you on notice for a downvote. That you agree about the state of that crap alleviates the vote itself.

        I have an associate that puts cheap systems together for folks he knows. I had to threaten him with physical harm if he ever used that brand again for a system. Or that I would never look at another one for him.

        1. Fihart

          Re: Quality Vs quantity. PC Chimps.

          Too right. Had a friend who built and repaired PCs in his shop and I'd occasionally drop in and see him. After similar "experiences" with PC Chips we renamed them PC Chimps.

          1. Paratrooping Parrot
            Thumb Down

            Re: Quality Vs quantity. PC Chimps.

            This brings back memories... I had a PC Chips motherboard. Was livid to find out that it had fake cache. The next upgrade I did was to an Asus P5a. :)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And here I am

    Building a new PC and being forced to buy a power supply that delivers far more than I need in my mini-ITX build. A CPU with 65w TDP, using the built in graphics, no overclocking, two DDR4 DIMMs, 2 SSDs and 2 2.5" 1TB drives. I'm not sure it could possibly exceed 100 watts, but since they don't make high efficiency 150 watt or even 300 watt modular power supplies I had to get one that's more than 4x larger than I really need! At least going that big I was able to get one that's fanless and at my load will probably last forever...

    1. MondoMan

      Low-wattage efficient power supplies

      You should check out what Shuttle sells; I recently bought one of their SH87R6 mini boxes which has a 300w 80 Plus Bronze rated power supply.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Low-wattage efficient power supplies

        The 400 (or was it 460) watt fanless full modular PS I bought was platinum rated, and the efficiency curve showed it maintaining nearly 90% efficiency down to 100 watts. So I might have paid more but if I save 20 watts from inefficiency (typical bronze PS that's only 60-70% efficient at my very low draw versus mine which is 85-90%) that's about $15/year so there's a chance it could make up the difference in price.

  13. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Over size

    When I build boxes I tend have a minimum of 600W from a real name brand PSU. The heaviest duty my kit typically sees is photo editing.

  14. Spaceman Spiff

    Unfortunately, the power supply is one area where system builders cut corners, resulting in a much reduced lifespan for the system. I will NEVER purchase a workstation/gaming system with less than a 750-1000 watt power supply! And look at the power requirements at all voltages! Want to overclock that CPU? You need more power. Want to add RAM? More power please! Need to add cooling? More power please... I'm in the market for a workstation/server. One that I am considering has dual (redundant) 925 watt power supplies. I could up that for another $500, but I think it's not necessary for my use. Total system cost for dual 6 core Intel i7 preocessors (up to 3.2GHz), 16GB RAM, 500GB system drive (I have plenty of spares for more storage), nVidia GTX 750Ti (marginally slower than the 980 card - the 980 is another $600) graphics, Sound Blaster audio, 3 year warranty - about $3500 USD.

    FWIW, I am an electrical and senior systems engineer. I do this stuff for a living. Read the fine print... Personally, though we at my place of work have a lot of HP gear, I really don't like it much. HP doesn't build stuff the way it used to - dead-bang reliable. It is a consumer equipment manufacturer any longer. One of my best friends was their VP of engineering back in the 1980's. HP has only gone downhill since Ernie Bertram retired. :-(

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Even more annoying is the trend by big OEMs like HP to use 12V only supplies, so you can't swap out your PSU for an uprated one easily.

    2. David Neil

      Given the 750Ti performs at roughly 1/2 to a 1/3 of the fps in AAA titles I'd say that you don't quite know what you are on about

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ah, you're a *senior* systems engineer? In my experience that just means you've spent a long time in your job or field, or are just old.

      I'm surprised you don't mention the timings (or indeed color) of your RAM, given your engineering background.

      Oh, and you have a 3 year warranty? Christ on a bike, they saw you coming!

    4. Terry Barnes

      How is the lifespan of the system reduced? If the PSU fails, you buy another one. Its lifespan equals the owners determination to replace failed parts until something becomes unavailable.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    Not being cynical but.

    I bet they have calculated that the PSU will not degrade enough to die under load until the day after the warranty runs out.

    Troll...... or is it??

  16. jason 7 Silver badge

    Its in the PSU.

    I always say never skimp on the PSU but so many people over spec them in terms of the wattage rating.

    I've built machines with overclocked CPUs, dual GPUs and running benchmarking software at full pelt...380W!

    Most (not all) machines, even the so called 'enthusiast' ones would run just fine on a quality 500-600W PSU.

    I blame the tech websites as all they get in to review are mainly 1000w monsters. Most of us just want a really good and efficient 500W job.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Its in the PSU.

      I seem to think (based on hazy memories of years ago) that over-speccing the PSU is also bad in that they don't always deliver efficiently well below their power rating.

      Says the man with the 125w cpu... ;)

      1. jason 7 Silver badge

        Re: Its in the PSU.

        The efficiency of PSUs has improved greatly over the past 10 years. You now have Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum (iirc) ratings.

        Plus the things with PSUs is, if you buy a really good one it will probably move to your next build and maybe even the next. Whereas the CPU and GPU...probably not.

  17. Andy Tunnah

    Not a Ti

    The latest range of nVidia cards really screwed up, because the 970 was so good, the 980 they released along side it wasn't worth the extra money..especially because everyone knew the Ti was coming, the full fat card.

    This meant that nobody was buying 980s, even though they were great cards, they just weren't worth the extra over a 970, or the saving over a Ti. So systems ended up putting them in, as they were a great card, and more importantly the people who buy systems just seen the number and thought it was the top end.

    Long story short, it's the 980, not the Ti, and a 500w PSU is fine

    1. Lennart Sorensen

      Re: Not a Ti

      Well HP list the 860-008na as having a 980 Ti, so I don't see why the 860-078na could not have one as an option.

  18. Robert Morgan

    I'm similar on this. I run a 980ti/i7 4790k on a Silverstone SFX-L 500W in SST-FTZ01B case. That happily runs inside a 500w PSU and it doesn't have any issues. I guess as others have pointed out, it's the ability for the said rails to deliver a stable supply.

    I'd also hazard a guess that the 600w minimum is aimed at hobby builders rather than OEMs who have some level of design and build expertise. In my rig, as it literally has the motherboard/cpu/ram/gpu/ssd, there isn't a whole lot of other stuff to power. I'd guess the 600w minimum is aimed as a safe bet with some headroom for a few extra cards/accessories etc.

    As others have said though, I'd take a quality PSU over the cheap "750w honest guv" PSUs anyday.

    I also don't fully despise PC World. They have a time and a place, that place might be minimal for us who are professionals, but it's still occasionally got us out of a pickle when we've needed something immediately.

  19. Fihart

    To quote...

    Stanley Kalms of Dixons/PC World/Currys;

    "a customer is a man who walks into my store with my money in his pocket"

    Allegedly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: To quote...

      "a customer is a man who walks into my store with my money in his pocket", unless that customer is Alan Sugar who stung DSG with so much crap over the years

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "I'd take a quality PSU over the cheap "750w honest guv" PSUs anyday."

    I only broke that rule once, I took a punt on a 750W psu that claimed to be an OEM version of a brand name, after all, the NEW GFX calc said I needed 516W, so 750 would be plenty

    Took out my ancient 380w Corsair, stuck in the new PSU (prior to the GFX upgrade), and the damned machine wouldnt even switch on!! The "Dual 12v rails" were one rail with two sets of cables, and it couldnt produce enough juice for my ancient HD3880.

  21. Ralph 2
    FAIL

    Definitely an issue

    We ended up with some of these where I work (not from PC World though). They are definitely 980Ti cards, and the 500W power supplies are actually rated at 480W if you take the case off and have a look at them.

    And that isn't enough.

    I spent a while setting one up, fired up 3DMark to see how it rated, and the power supply went pop within 2 minutes. That's how we found out it was such a low rated PSU.

    A second one has lasted longer - that survived a burn in at least. But we've requested an upgrade to 600W power supplies from our supplier for them.

    1. jason 7 Silver badge

      Re: Definitely an issue

      And I bet the rated 480W was more likely 400W actual.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Having worked for DSG

    It was often the case that a manufactorer would offer a product and DSG would want to keep lower the price until the specification was reduced to the point where the price was enough for the mark up not to be obvious.

    This resulted in all sorts of technical problems not seen anywhere else because price was the only determining factor not whether it was a complete system or build.

    The manufactorer doesnt support the kit so they didnt care and typically the customer doesnt know enough to understand they were gyped.

    To be fair if you knew your stuff it used to be possible to find a bargain if prices had increased, this simply because they buy so much at a time and did not change the prices in store to match until the next stock purchase

    Sadly the days of a local component store are gone and PCW is more like Currys or Dixons than a source for IT kit, unless that is your business needs to replace something fast and cannot wait for something that is reliable.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this article impartial or writeen with bias against PCW?

    Having done a quick nose see the model 860-079na is not just sold by PC World but also HP, John Lewis, Very to name a few - below par on this article from the reg.

    Of interest HP's main site omits the Ti on the 980 - this link shows as Ralph is stating:

    http://support.hp.com/ca-en/document/c04819693

    As others are debating it is hard to tell/guess without the psu details - does anyone with a unit have the details off the PSU which might help give a clearer indication (FCC id at a min)? to tell if ralph has just been unlucky with one DOA on one unit or have HP slipped up!

    Not overtly a fan of PCW although agree with the comments above on presence in high street and seeing the goods. Would add they are British too and some offers they have are good (although I avoid the extra warranties, cringe at the prices they quote for cheap add on cables).

  24. Adam Jarvis

    Not all bad..

    For anyone that has bought one, you've just got yourself a guaranteed free 6 year warranty for card and machine, under the UK Sale of Goods Act, as you can prove easily it was defective 'as bought'.

    1. jason 7 Silver badge

      Re: Not all bad..

      Unfortunately you try stating the 'UK Sale of Goods Act' to manufacturers and they tell you to f**k off. They have read the small print and just tell you to go away.

      I had a £250 Brother laser printer that had done around 2000 prints was 13 months old and the fuser roller went lumpy. Called up Brother and they just refused to deal with it. Quoted the act etc. and they just said it didn't apply etc.

      Called the registered service agent and they told us it would be £200+ to repair and in actual fact they had four of the same model in for repair with the same issue. They told us not to bother. We took their advice and bought something else.

      1. A Nother Handle
        Headmaster

        Re: Not all bad..

        Perhaps if you had also read the small print you would have known the retailer is obliged to offer you a replacement/alternative or (at their discretion) a refund. You don't have to deal with the manufacturer.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not all bad..

          "You don't have to deal with the manufacturer."

          More than that .... Sales of Goods Act lays down legal requirement between you and the reseller - there's nothing in that that forces the manufacturer to do anything - its the reseller who has to deal with the manucaturer.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not all bad..

        As a brother trained warranty engineer, I find that odd, considering I'm doing four or five fuser replacements a week for business users. Is it a 54xx by any chance? If you still have it, I'd suggest ringing up and hoping you get a different operator to talk nicely to and see if you can't get it sorted under the less than 10k pages... But they will ask for test prints.

        BTW, the bottom (black) roller is supposed to be wrinkly -to do with heat dissipation apparently.

        1. jason 7 Silver badge

          Re: Not all bad..

          It was a DCP-9020CDW.

          The fuser had lumps in it that matched accordingly with the bizarre embossing we were getting in the paper. Seen many fuser rollers and none of them ever had random lumps in them. Scoring yes but not lumps.

          Anyway once bitten...

      3. Archaon

        Re: Not all bad..

        I'm not surprised, but that is because something like a fuser roller is classed as a consumable, even in cases where it's meant to out-last the printer and is a sod to repair. As a result it can be excluded from the Sale of Goods Act.

        Anyway, that said, even for a non-consumable part like a power supply I would agree that it probably wouldn't be a valid claim. if a machine works for a few years then it's going to be next to impossible to prove that it was actually defective at sale - the longer it works for the more it backs up the idea that the PSU was actually sufficient and it's a random failure. It's far more likely that the broken machine mentioned earlier is one of those unlucky machines that's just happened to go pop during burn-in, rather than an indication that all of these machines are going to go bang because they're under-powered.

        If they ever needed to I'm pretty sure they can do better than "But durrrr it says 600W on the Gee-4ce website". Vendors have an absolutely ridiculous amount of documentation surrounding every single piece of product they ever shift, and HP is no exception to that. They also make a hell of a lot more PCs than all of us commentards put together multiplied by a number with a lot of zeros on the end...

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have an iMac.

    I love it.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I have an iMac.

        I love it.

        1. Louis Schreurs BEng Bronze badge

          Re: I Don't have an iMac.

          and I love it

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I have an iMac.

        Relevance is that Apple with have used precsisely the correct PSU in the iMac so if there are any problems its clearly down to the way you are using it!

  26. Sean H

    Why I bought a Mac

    After years of flaky DIY and cheap-shop put together PCs, running various unsatisfactory flavours of Linux, I finally bit the financial bullet and shelled out for a Mac Pro. The cylindrical one, completely silent - I hate fans - for the 2 things I really want - movie editing and sound recording - satisfied (mostly) by GarageBand, Audacity and iMovie. Instead of struggling with odd gremlins deep in graphics cards motherboards and PSUs. And the fans, did I mention the fans? Choice between constant roar and creepy haunted-house rising and falling wooooo - woooo noises, depending on what it was doing at the time. Useless for recording with a microphone in the same room as the computer.

    I know this doesn't help the unfortunates who bought maybe-badly-spec'd assemblages of components to run Windows, or Linux. But it's something that Apple seems to have got right.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why I bought a Mac

      Sean H>>for the 2 things I really want - movie editing and sound recording

      The article discusses whether a PSU in an shop-configured machine sold specifically for gaming can supply sufficient current to the GPU in that configuration, so the fact you are happy with your Mac for a completely different workload is irrelevant.

      As far as I can see, an AAA game running continuously at high FPS is going to be converting a lot of W of electricity to heat whatever it is running on: if you want quiet operation you'll need a good cooling system --- or perhaps even the realisation that the processors don't have to be in the same room!

  27. Brian Souder 1

    HP Desktop

    I tried to upgrade my video card in one of the business desktops only to find HP's power supply was not only not powerful enough, but it had no additional leads for a larger GPU. I went to replace the power supply and discovered it was of course a non-standard size, so I had to stick with the GT630 that came with my system. Disappointing on an i7 system. But that is what I get for not building my own system.

  28. jason 7 Silver badge

    I love the Dell Workstations.

    MIne has a decent 850W PSU as standard (next model up has a 1000W) and it has two PCI-E power leads too!

    No problems running a modern high end GPU in this 2008 spec machine if you wanted to.

    FYI I run a HD 7870 in mine.

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