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Power supply minimum wattage for P4?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by FrankToronto, Sep 9, 2003.

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  1. FrankToronto

    FrankToronto Thread Starter

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    Pretty straight forward question. I have an older case with a 300 watt power supply that im tempted to use in the meantime just so I can get a nice new (fast) system up and running. What's the minimum watt power supply that I need? I'm doubtnig the 300, who you never know. What's the recommended?

    Thanks,
    Frank
     
  2. byon

    byon

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    300W

    Since a power supply deteriorates after a certain time, never use a old power supply. So perhaps, your old pwoersupply is running only at 280W? who knows... get a new one, preferably Antec.
     
  3. FrankToronto

    FrankToronto Thread Starter

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    I was actually plannign on getting an Antec, 'cept the one I want doesn't cmoe with a power supply.. crappy..
     
  4. n2gun

    n2gun

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    go to the link below and click on Case Power Supply. Choose brands and then click Antec. The second item on the page is a 300w Antec for @30.89. Be sure to get the promo number on that item off the page.

    http://www.pricewatch.com/
     
  5. StillLearnin'

    StillLearnin'

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    IF you're going to spend the money now, then get what will satisfy your future needs now - there's NO sense in wasting money. Get an Antec 430w True Power ( about $80, I believe). DON"T settle for anything less power-wise regardless of the case you end up getting later. 300w power supplies ( along with 350w) are items of the past. Todays components draw a lot of juice. Even a GOOD 350w can wearout sooner due to the heat it has to run at powering everything at today's demands.
     
  6. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    Name brands are important here as well. An Antec or Enermax will outperform any cheap powersupply and will safe you quite a bit of frustration. 350 Watt is the minimum these days and anything higher is better.
     
  7. FrankToronto

    FrankToronto Thread Starter

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  8. Spyd

    Spyd

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    If you don't overclock your computer, nor have a high end P4 and you don't have more than 2 hard disks and don't have a high-end graphics card, you can do even with a 250w power supply.
    I'm using a 300w unbranded p/s in my AthlonXP 2400+ with two 7200 rpm hard disks and a Radeon9100. Never had a problem, and the p/s is almost 2 years ago.
     
  9. zeddy

    zeddy

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    The advice on the antec or thermaltake power supplies is good. I am not so sure about antec cases - unless they are coming in nice cooling aluminium.

    You can get away with some 250 or 300w power supplies but if you are willing to pay hundreds of $ on other components why not pay a few more $ and get a quality supply with good clean high ampage outputs on the rails.

    Here is a link to ready reckon the PSU wattage needs

    http://www.jscustompcs.com/power_supply/
     
  10. StillLearnin'

    StillLearnin'

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    Any power supply under 350w(unless you want to invest hundreds of $) is way too small for today and tomorrows components. Stick with your 430w or bigger.
     
  11. zeddy

    zeddy

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    I concur
     
  12. compilerxp

    compilerxp

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    I have an Antec case, same series as yours but without the door.

    It's a very HEAVY case... If you want that style, I'd go for the Chieftech - its the SAME case but its Aluminum which helps a lot!

    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProdu...g=7&manufactory=1502&DEPA=1&sortby=14&order=1

    They are $70~78, comes in 7 colors... includes all features you see on the Antec. Do NOT buy these cases with the CHEAP $20 420watt PSUs (which are really 250watts).

    I'm not a supporter of BIG PSUs, but get the 430watt will do you fine. Just note that the problem is most power supplies are cheap junk and are not rated to perform what they are called (like the $20 420watt PSU thats barely a 200watt) - so I have not had problems with 300 or 230watt systems of HQ PSUs. I've built servers with 300watt PSUs that have 5 Hard drives, 2CPUs, 3 network cards etc.

    For a bit better case, but its only in BLACK and no side window (its an option - but costs about $30):
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProdu...g=7&manufactory=1400&DEPA=1&sortby=14&order=1

    4th from the bottom, $65 Enermax CS-10181-B

    Its the updated model from the Antec/Chieftech... Its a very nice case with lots of refinements, but its also NEW and has 2 KINKS with it (its sold under different names with different faces).
    1 - The TOOLESS slot adapters don't fit LARGE video cards, but remove 3 screws and it comes off and the case works like a normal SCREW YOUR CARD DOWN design. More secure anyway.

    2 - the Top mounted firewire has 2 wires that MAY BE labeled wrong in which the 12+ volt and Ground are switched (oops). This link will help you spot it: http://www.meltybrain.org/1394/

    If you look at that Enermax photos (Click on the SEE IT button in the product table) you see the Drive bays are a LOT better and easier to work with, the side cooling fan is NOT part of the door which can cause accidents and you can EJECT the CD-ROM drive without opening the door. PS: If you get a ASUS board, you can press your SPACEBAR to power up your sysem. I'm sure other brands of boards do this as well, but I don't know which ones.
     
  13. zeddy

    zeddy

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    I am with compilerXP - get an aluminium case.
     
  14. suesman

    suesman

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    I have the Antec True430 & I love it. You can always use this PSU Caculator to find out just how much power your components will draw. Of course this is with all items figured & most likely you will never be using everything at once. :D With everything I have installed it shows only 277watts so. Better safe than sorry.
     
  15. compilerxp

    compilerxp

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    That PSU Calculator is rather basic and in some cases overkill.

    Most PSUs are not TRUE to their listed power rating. Hence, Antec Sells "Tru" power series which almost meets or exceeds the listed wattage.

    Power Supply manufactures rate WATTAGE on different things to arrive to their "model wattage"

    My Antec 350watt: Is actually a 330watt, but its only a 230 watt if you include just the 3volt & 5volt.

    Looking at the two 300watt PSUs from Enlight, one is over 18 months older than the other. Both oddly with the same model number.

    1 - (old) 300watt: 165watts (3v+5v) + 156watt (12v)
    2 - (new) 300watt: 180watts (3v+5v) + 156watt (12v)

    As we see, the manufacture has pumped up the wattage abit which is better for AMD systems.


    And here's a 200watt (120watt 3v+5v) which is rated to support an AMD3000 system, but this PSU is Active PFC which more and more PSU's will and should be using for better effecincy.

    The $20 "advertised" 420watt that is barely a 200watt does some funky math - I guess they'd doubling it somehow to come up with this magic number.

    Now, on top of that, some PSUs are better than OTHERS for different CPUs.

    AMD K7 series (32bit current CPUS) need more 3Volt power than Intel P4 systems that require quite a bit of 12volt. Hence, P4 boards have a seperate 12volt power connector. This is not used on most AMD boards. Even those few AMD boards which have the connectors will generally work fine without being connected (but go ahead anyway). The upcoming AMD 64 systems may likely use more 12volts.

    So... some PSUs work better for AMD rather than P4 and the otherway around. Hence, some AMD users *DO* have problems and that is usually caused by underpowered PSUs. Hence, having a 400watt PSU can be good to cover your bases for a mid-tower system.

    If you look at typical 4 SLOT Mini ATX boards with PIII CPUs, you will find them using 70watt PSUs!! Looking at a Dell Workstation class PSU (There business model, not their low-cost consumer) it has a max output of 90watts, but the system is not designed to hold more than 3 Drives (typical) or a high end add-on video card.

    Talking to a PSU manufacture, any good PSU is designed to handle the spike when you first power up a system for a few seconds.

    Hence... 300~350watts PSUs from a major manufacture is FINE to power up most system. 500watts is generally overkill for most desktop systems.

    Looking at the specs for a DELL 4-way server that holds up to 12 SCSI hard drives, 11 expansion slots (not our typical 4~6 slot home systems) and support for 32GB of memory! If a typical home PC with a single HD, 2 optical drives needed 400watts, you'd have to say that the Dell 4-way server would need at 1000watts. But it uses only a 600watt PSU.

    The reason many video card & CPU companies are requiring 300watt PSUs is because most PSUs on the market are cheap $10~20 junk. I'd trust a $30 300watt PSU over a $30 500watt PSU any day.
     
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