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Power Supply question and a Noise question

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Power Supply question and a Noise question

Postby cougfan on Wed Mar 12, 2003 1:17 pm

This question is more from curiosity than need... I currently have the following system:

Antec Performance Series case w/ 300 Watt Antec 303xp PS
Asus MB w/ Athlon 2000xp
512 MB Micron DDR
Gainward Geforce 3 Ti 200
SoundBlaster Audigy
PCI USB 2.0 card
PCI 100mb Network Card
Promise ATA100 PCI card
40 GB WD 7200 rpm 8mb HD
40 GB IBM 7200 rpm HD
Pioneer 16x DVD 106s
Lite-ON 52x24x52 burner (I killed my BTC 2 days ago flashing it)
Zip Drive (still need it about once a year Im afraid)
Floppy
5 Vantec Stealth 80mm case fans
Volcano 9 HS w/ adjustable 80mm fan

Question is this... At what point does one need a PS greater than 300w?? I haven't had any problems yet, but it just seems like I keep adding stuff :) What are the benefits of a *good* 400 Watt PS.

And second question. I have tried really hard to eliminate as much noise as possible from my fans and I am almost there, but the HS/fan on my video card is just too high pitched for me... Anyone have a suggestion as to a quieter solution. The Vantec Stealth Case Fans are really quiet as well as the Volcano 9 HS set on a low RPM..



Thanks!!

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Postby BuddhaTB on Wed Mar 12, 2003 2:11 pm

With all those add-in cards and drives on your system, I would highly suggest upgrading to a 400 watt PSU. If you find one on sale from a respectable company I would get it without hesistation.

As for the loud fan on the video card, I would suggest upgrading it to a different fan. Try to see if you can find one from Vantec, Thermaltake, Speeze, and etc. Just look through www.Newegg.com
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Postby Solr_Flare on Thu Mar 13, 2003 2:56 pm

Also for a PS, I highly recommend the Antec truepower series of PS. For a 300 watt PS with all that stuff in there, you are probably getting close to its limit. Which, btw, will result in your PS generating more heat than normal. In general, if you have a ton of power hungry cards, a modern processor, and multiple HDs, you really want at least 400 watts. 350 would be acceptable but 300 is pretty low.

Anyway, I realy like the antec power supplies and most of their models(all in the true power series if I recall) not only have additional fans to help cool your system, but also have a temperature sensors and/or variable fan controls to adjust the RPMs those PS fans are running at. That should help out in your quest to keep your case noise to a minimum by giving you some extra control over PS fan rates. Plus, as stated above, your 300 watter may be being pushed so hard that its generating an unusually high level of heat. If that is the case, upgrading your PS will help make your system cooler, and thus, let give you more breathing room to quiet down the other components in your system without worrying about high levels of heat.
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Postby cougfan on Thu Mar 13, 2003 6:20 pm

Thanks for the Feedback guys.... I now have yet ANOTHER new PC part to research and buy :)
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Postby Wayne on Sat Mar 15, 2003 4:22 am

You might want to give these guys a gaggle: http://www.quietpcusa.com/
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Postby Dartman on Sat Mar 15, 2003 1:28 pm

I have the same PS as yours and probably as much stuff and maybe more HD's in my case and the ps keeps up fine so far.
Now when I had a Asus Mother Board in here it was having problems that could have been board or PS related but probably both.
I have a MSI kt3 ultra in here now and it is a rock with all this stuff. I think some of the Asus products are a bit more picky about PS and their regulaters on board. This may or may not apply to yours as mine was a old a7v133 board and it was also a rock till I upgraded my video card to a TI 4200 wich seemed to just be too much for the board to handle after that. The MSI has almost all the same parts except for new DDR 333 memory and it works fine now.
A new PS is not very spendy but you might want to get a return option if your money is tight and nothing improves for you. Personaly I want to get a bigger one soon to be safe and it would be a good idea for you also if you can swing it.
The Antec supplies are one of the best, they output more then other cheap ones and that is probably why both our units continue to work OK.
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Postby cougfan on Wed Mar 26, 2003 2:20 am

Okay, I just replaced my Gainward Geforce3 TI 200 with an ATI Radeon 9500 PRO 128mb and I am surely pushing the power supply... I have been shopping and I am looking at either the Antec True 380, 430 or 480.... Does anyone have some experience with these??? Would I really ever need 480 ???? Thanks!!
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Postby cougfan on Wed Mar 26, 2003 2:25 am

BTW, the Radeon 9500 Pro just blows away the Gainward Geforce 3 in 2d quality... It makes my Viewsonic P95f look awesome, it's like buying the monitor new all-over again.... A really good monitor if anyone is looking for a 19" CRT, much better than the Dell 19" Flatscreen CRT I use at work.... I know Flat panel monitors are all the rage, but this combination is really nice!!!

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Postby blakerwry on Thu Mar 27, 2003 4:10 am

with what you've got and considering you're upgrading your PSU you might as well go with a 400 watt unit.

If you have alot of money to blow then go with the Antec truePower series, they're pretty quiet and they work better than just about anything.

From what I've been hearing there is a company named Channel Well technology that actually makes the PSUs for Antec, they however sell the same quality PSU for much less (if you can find a retailer).

Another brand of reliable PUS's is Fortron/Sparkle, although not as highly regarded as Antec they will probably be less expensive. And are probably a better choice if you're looking for a "best deal" value PSU.
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Postby BuddhaTB on Thu Mar 27, 2003 1:05 pm

cougfan wrote:Okay, I just replaced my Gainward Geforce3 TI 200 with an ATI Radeon 9500 PRO 128mb and I am surely pushing the power supply... I have been shopping and I am looking at either the Antec True 380, 430 or 480.... Does anyone have some experience with these??? Would I really ever need 480 ???? Thanks!!

Nice video card there.

I would most definitely get atleast the Antec True Power 430. Your Radeon card as well as all the hardware in your system are power hungry, so you will be needing atleast a 400watt PSU. If you have the money, I would go with the 480 and you'll never have to worry about your Power suppy ever.
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Postby blakerwry on Fri Mar 28, 2003 4:37 am

Personally, I think he'd be fine with a truepower 380.. or maybe even lower... However, since he's upgrading he might as well get something that will last him a couple mobo/CPU upgrades (hence a 400 watt)

The Antec true powers are so expensive, as I said before a newer(made within the last year) Channel Well Tech 430 power supply is equivalent to a truepower 430(fan might be different brand), however the Antec costs 50% more because it has the antec label stuck to the side.
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Postby BuddhaTB on Fri Mar 28, 2003 1:43 pm

blakerwry, do you know of any reliable online stores that carry the Channel Well Tech Power Supplies?
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Postby blakerwry on Fri Mar 28, 2003 3:11 pm

nope, you'd have to go looking. I realize that while Antec's are everywhere Chanell Well is not, this is why I recomended Fortron/Sparke or Enermax.
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Postby blakerwry on Fri Mar 28, 2003 3:14 pm

or maybe even the solutions series...

If you want a quiet PSU in the 400 watt range, then your choices are Enermax with user selectable fan speed, Antec (either SL or TP series), or Chanell Well.

From what I've heard I think the fortron/sparkle could be quiet, but you'd probably nead to replace the fan. I know some of the units have temp controlled fans, but not sure which.

A seasonic, Nexus or Zalman in the 400 watt range is either not available or simply not practical.
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Postby Action Jackson on Sat Mar 29, 2003 2:09 pm

cougfan wrote:....I have been shopping and I am looking at either the Antec True 380, 430 or 480.... Does anyone have some experience with these??? Would I really ever need 480 ???? Thanks!!


My 430 TruePower hasn't given me any problems, plus it's very quiet.
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Postby cougfan on Sat Mar 29, 2003 3:46 pm

Well, I went ahead and bought myself an Antec TruePower 430 ($85) from my local wholesale dealer. The Truepower 380 was only $8 less... The only interesting thing I have noticed so far is that when hooking my case fans up to the "fan" only treminals which regulate the speen of the fans, my Vantec Stealth fans hardly spin at all, so I am keeping them on a regular terminal. I was going to get the 480w, but all they carried was the TrueBlue and I didn't want the Blue LED's. Now that I have enough power, time to figue out my next upgrade for April. Might be time to go RAID...
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Postby dodecahedron on Sat Mar 29, 2003 10:31 pm

blakerwry wrote:If you want a quiet PSU in the 400 watt range, then your choices are Enermax with user selectable fan speed, Antec (either SL or TP series), or Chanell Well.

TP=TruePower.
SL=what?
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Postby Action Jackson on Mon Mar 31, 2003 1:14 am

cougfan wrote:....The only interesting thing I have noticed so far is that when hooking my case fans up to the "fan" only treminals which regulate the speen of the fans, my Vantec Stealth fans hardly spin at all, so I am keeping them on a regular terminal....


I just hooked up some regular Evercool 80mm fans to the "Fan Only Connector". No problems. Probably not enough juice to supply those Stealths.

I hooked up 4 fans even though Antec recommends only 3 fans.
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Postby BuddhaTB on Mon Mar 31, 2003 1:22 am

dodecahedron wrote:TP=TruePower.
SL=what?

SL is Antec's lower line of power supplies. They are usually included in Antec's cases instead of the true power series. I don't think SL stands for anything, its just part fo the model number like SL300 for a 300 watt power supply.
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Postby aviationwiz on Mon Mar 31, 2003 2:00 am

Maybe you mean SP? That would be SmartPower.
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Postby BuddhaTB on Mon Mar 31, 2003 2:25 am

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Postby blakerwry on Mon Mar 31, 2003 6:02 am

aviationwiz wrote:Maybe you mean SP? That would be SmartPower.


yup SL = solution series, smart power was the name given to the later PP303X and PP403X PSU's that had thermally controlled fans and fan RPM monitoring.

The SL PSUs continued this trend when it took the place of the now discontinued series and are also called the "smart power" PSUs. The SL series was made to be a lower cost CPU to compete in the sub $50 market(350 watt and below).

The SL series is a quality PSU that rivals just about any other PC PSU, however it does not offer the unique features of the TP (such as seperate 3.3v, 5v, and 12v power circuitry or under/voltage correction for 5v and 12v lines... it also does not offer a molex connector specically designed for fans)

The voltage tolerances for the SL series is actually better than what is required for the ATX specs, however the TP series has the best tolerence levels I've seen in a PSU (+/- 3% on all important voltages)


I have an SL350 and an SL300, both are nice PSUs.
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