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Help with choosing a power supply

Postby eric_sermon on Sat Aug 14, 2004 4:45 pm

Alright. I wanna buy a new power supply for my computer.. What are the top brands and what specifications do I look at besides how many watts it has?.
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Re: Help with choosing a power supply

Postby Shredder on Sat Aug 14, 2004 5:31 pm

eric_sermon wrote:What are the top brands


Antec, Enermax, ThermalTake, Vantec and Zalman to name a few. Most of them use OEM's which they are rebranded and distributed by listed and other retail companies.

eric_sermon wrote:what specifications do I look at besides how many watts it has?.


Look for efficiency rate, amp and sustained power (For example, a power supply is advertising as 400W PSU, but it has sustained power rating of only 300W and max power rating of 400W. So in actuality, this 400W PSU is only good as true sustained 300W PSU).
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Postby rbmorse on Sat Aug 14, 2004 11:02 pm

PC Power and Cooling. Expensive. Reliable. I've never seen one fail in service and I've been specing them for customer machines since 1994.

www.pcpowerandcooling.com
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Postby dpippin on Sun Aug 15, 2004 2:04 am

I recently have liked the power supplies with dual fans one on each side to blow the hot air out of the case, (or cool air in). Another feature I think is a must have is a thermal adjusting fan on the power supply. Of course I also like them quiet. The brands mentioned above are good ones.
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Postby Silentbob343 on Sun Aug 15, 2004 5:54 am

First off what will you be powering? One CD/DVD drive, one hard drive, a low power video card, etc you won't need much. Do you want it to be super quiet with no fan? Are you running a server with 15 hard drives and need redundant supplies as well?

The biggest thing is a powers supply that delivers consistent power, i.e. the +5-, +3-, +12-and power rails stay where they are supposed to. They will fluctuate a little, but you don't want them going all over the place.

Take a look at this article from Tom's:
http://www6.tomshardware.com/howto/20040122/index.html

Other hardware site have some power supply round ups just do a search on Google and you'll find them.

You don't need to go crazy with the power supply get what you need, but also prepare for future needs. Intel is pushing a new from factor called BTX so power supplies will be going through a change. If you have SATA drives you might want to look at PSUs that come with SATA connectors so you don't have to use those adapters.

Another cool PSU innovation is the modular connection. This allows you to only use the connections you need and remove the ones you don't. I wish my PSU was like that extra wires make a mess and can inhibit airflow in a case.

Modular PSU:
http://www.frozencpu.com/cgi-bin/frozencpu/psu-77.html
Frozen CPU also has a good selection of PSUs

I have an Enermax 350watt quiet PSU powering my system; 2 80 gig hard drives, 1 lite-on CD-RW, AMD proc overclocked, and an older GF4 4200. The newer ultra high end graphics cards from ATI and Nvidia are real power hogs so that is something to keep in mind. I like the fact that it has a fan speed controller so I can adjust the fan/noise. That might be a feature you don't really care about.

As with anything just do the research and pick the one that's best for you.
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Postby hoxlund on Sun Aug 15, 2004 11:29 am

my next psu will be a modular one, either antec's or just found this one:

http://www.frozencpu.com/cgi-bin/frozencpu/psu-98.html

right now im using a Thermaltake Xaser Silent Purepower 480W customized to have every wire sleeved

got mine from here:

http://www.jab-tech.com/customer/produc ... =66&page=1

i love it and all, but that modular thing is just spectacular, especially with a 3 windowed case like mine:

http://www.mountainmods.com/cgi-bin/pro ... m=U2UFOBCW
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Postby eric_sermon on Sun Aug 15, 2004 11:56 am

Well I have a....
Pentium 4 3.0E
2 200GB Western Digital SE
PlexWriter Premium
NEC ND-1300A
ATi AIW 9700PRO
Sound Blaster Audigy 2 SB0244
256MB DDR PC-3200
Floppy Drive

And right now I have a 200watt power supply and my stuff doesn't seem to be real stable... the type of motherboard i recently bought was a ASUS P4P800-VM i865G that i got off of newegg.

So what would ya'll recommend for me?
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Postby dodecahedron on Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:03 pm

any of the brands Shredder mentioned you'll be fine.

i don't have much experience but i've heard good things of Enermax and Antec.
from what i've heard PC Power & Cooling are the very best but cost it.

get a PS rated at least 350W. 400W is even better.
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Postby Shredder on Sun Aug 15, 2004 1:49 pm

eric_sermon wrote:Well I have a....
Pentium 4 3.0E
2 200GB Western Digital SE
PlexWriter Premium
NEC ND-1300A
ATi AIW 9700PRO
Sound Blaster Audigy 2 SB0244
256MB DDR PC-3200
Floppy Drive

And right now I have a 200watt power supply and my stuff doesn't seem to be real stable... the type of motherboard i recently bought was a ASUS P4P800-VM i865G that i got off of newegg.


200W PSU is likely under heavy stress and not enough when every device is at maximum operating mode. You'll need a power supply that can sustain minimum of 250W to operate stably.

eric_sermon wrote:So what would ya'll recommend for me?


One of the brands others and I posted above. Get at least a 350W PSU that can sustain over 250W.
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Postby Matt on Sun Aug 15, 2004 5:02 pm

I'm kind of surprised no one mentioned Sparkle as an option. They're very affordable and stand in the same class as enermax and antec.
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Postby hoxlund on Sun Aug 15, 2004 11:10 pm

ehh, sparkle wouldn't be in the top 5 i would think of

reminds me of the simpsons episode where homer's face was on a oriental box of soap or something
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Postby Bhairav on Mon Aug 16, 2004 12:25 am

hoxlund wrote:ehh, sparkle wouldn't be in the top 5 i would think of

reminds me of the simpsons episode where homer's face was on a oriental box of soap or something


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Postby hoxlund on Mon Aug 16, 2004 12:34 am

HAHA, thats the one \:D/ :robot: \:D/
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Postby wicked1 on Mon Aug 16, 2004 2:55 am

Antec TruPower 550 and Antec TruControl 550 is what I am using on my main machines. I love them. I got a nice overclock jump when I went from my thermalright 430 to my antec 550 truecontrol. adjustable voltage rails.
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Postby Silentbob343 on Mon Aug 16, 2004 3:29 pm

eric_sermon
What is up with that power supply? Everything else is pretty up-to-date except your power supply.

I would recommend getting at least a 350 watt PSU. If you plan on getting one of those power hungry video cards, i.e. x800 or 6800 series, I would go up to 400-450 watts.
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Postby eric_sermon on Mon Aug 16, 2004 8:15 pm

Silentbob343 wrote:eric_sermon
What is up with that power supply? Everything else is pretty up-to-date except your power supply.

I would recommend getting at least a 350 watt PSU. If you plan on getting one of those power hungry video cards, i.e. x800 or 6800 series, I would go up to 400-450 watts.


Lol...
do you know a power supply that can sustain a power rating of 400W or more?
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Postby hardware_failure on Mon Aug 16, 2004 9:18 pm

Matt wrote:I'm kind of surprised no one mentioned Sparkle as an option. They're very affordable and stand in the same class as enermax and antec.


hoxlund wrote:ehh, sparkle wouldn't be in the top 5 i would think of

reminds me of the simpsons episode where homer's face was on a oriental box of soap or something


Sparkle, Powerman, Fortron, and FSB group power supplies are all rebranded FSB’s.

Theses are by far the best bang for the buck PS’s out there. I agree with Matt, these powersupplies are indeed in the same class as entermax and antec, and do cost less. The next step up is something like PC power and cooling, which are crazy expensive. This would be an overkill.

So long as you buy quality, 400w+ will also be overkill. Way overdoing a powersupply adds extra noise, extra flack in the case (tons of molex cables, etc) and thus extra heat as well. If for some reason it fails you will also be out more $ than if you bought a smaller unit to begin with.

Examples of PS’s that would fit the bill well:

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDe ... 915&depa=0
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDe ... 486&depa=0
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Postby Shredder on Mon Aug 16, 2004 10:10 pm

hardware_failure wrote:So long as you buy quality, 400w+ will also be overkill.


It won't be overkill. New generations of CPU, video cards and more devices require more power. X800XT or GeForce 6800GT\Ultra with same system setup above will probably need a good 400W+ PSU.
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Postby hoxlund on Tue Aug 17, 2004 1:27 am

Shredder wrote:It won't be overkill. New generations of CPU, video cards and more devices require more power. X800XT or GeForce 6800GT\Ultra with same system setup above will probably need a good 400W+ PSU.


your right, they actually strongly recommend 400watt minimum, hell the 6800 ultra has 2 power connectors suckin juice

also about having that extra flack in your case, extra molex connectors

not so if you go with modular psu, you only plug in the cables you need
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Postby hardware_failure on Tue Aug 17, 2004 2:00 pm

Shredder wrote:It won't be overkill. New generations of CPU, video cards and more devices require more power. X800XT or GeForce 6800GT\Ultra with same system setup above will probably need a good 400W+ PSU.


Well, maybe you're right. I do have a somewhat warped opinion of powesupplies – IMO if you can hear it, its overkill. I don’t think powersupplies should make any noise at all, but that’s just me being weird.

Even tho 400w+ would be optimal for power systems running new age video cards, how many of the big names will actually ship these systems with 400w+ power supplies? (dell hpaq etc)

hoxlund wrote:your right, they actually strongly recommend 400watt minimum, hell the 6800 ultra has 2 power connectors suckin juice

also about having that extra flack in your case, extra molex connectors

not so if you go with modular psu, you only plug in the cables you need


Those modular PS's look cool, but I think if anything's "overkill" it’s a $100-200 powersupply for a desktop system. (that performs the same as a $50 one) While "flack" can be a pain its not exactly the end of the world. These PS's are mainly for looks the same as windows, lights etc. (aka gimmick)
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Postby hoxlund on Tue Aug 17, 2004 3:25 pm

do you call my computer a gimmick?

aviationwiz is going to attached my computer pic

since the picture was taken ive put a 121CFM 120mm fan in the bottom right fan hole
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Postby hardware_failure on Tue Aug 17, 2004 4:21 pm

hoxlund wrote:do you call my computer a gimmick?

aviationwiz is going to attached my computer pic

since the picture was taken ive put a 121CFM 120mm fan in the bottom right fan hole


uhhh… I dunno, what if I do? :wink:

Im sure your system is plenty juicy performance wise, never the less, anything with no purpose other than aesthetics is pretty much a gimmick. (not saying that about a whole system, just some of the parts)

Please don’t take offence, I certainly do not mean any. Personally, I have 2 highly modded boxes my self, fun stuff. It seems to me that eric_sermon is simply looking for a stable power solution, without unnecessary bells and whistles.
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Postby Shredder on Tue Aug 17, 2004 4:47 pm

hardware_failure wrote:Even tho 400w+ would be optimal for power systems running new age video cards, how many of the big names will actually ship these systems with 400w+ power supplies? (dell hpaq etc)


They all will if necessary. No one's really dumb enough to think a system that needs 400W PSU to operate, will operate with any low PSU without stability problem. PSU is one thing that you just can't be cheap about.
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Postby hardware_failure on Tue Aug 17, 2004 5:17 pm

Shredder wrote:They all will if necessary. No one's really dumb enough to think a system that needs 400W PSU to operate, will operate with any low PSU without stability problem. PSU is one thing that you just can't be cheap about.
I could not agree more about the PS being the LAST thing you want to skimp on.

Unfortunately, many system builders, even the bigger ones do not share this view.

What I have seen many times in compaqs and HP's are systems that have just the right amount of juice to run out of the box, but then run into big probs whenever trying to add a drive etc. This was especially tru with older emachines and packard bell (but I assume they dont count as reputable sources :wink:)
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Postby ruderacer on Tue Aug 17, 2004 6:06 pm

eric_sermon

I'm using an Antec True 480, it has two fans w/ blue LED Lights and it is extremely quiet. No problems and I like it alot.
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