Looking for a good PC power supply > 400W
Thread poster: Jerzy Czopik

Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:37
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Jan 30, 2005

I´m going to upgrade my PC with two more HDDs, running in a stripped RAID matrix.
Currently I have a Chieftec power supply with 360W, which seems to be to weak for the planed PC.
It is Athlon XP 3200 with two memory modules, Radeon 9600 AGP, two optical drives, FDD, ISDN card, two LAN connections, several fans - and it is going to have three HDDs...

What power will I need? What brand of power supply shall I chose?

Thank you for any input

Regards
Jerzy


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Bruce Popp  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:37
French to English
Antec Jan 31, 2005

Hi,

Antec power supplies have a good reputation. I personally have had positive experience with an Antec replacement power supply and an Antec case (including a power supply).

HTH,
Bruce


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Bruce Popp  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:37
French to English
find power consumption in spec sheets Jan 31, 2005

Hi,

To estimate the power consumption, I suggest building a list of all the components you intend to install (it's probably best to do this in Excel) and then go through the manufacturer's spec sheets (typically available in PDF on their web site) to find the peak and typical power consumption of each component. Total this up and add in what you think is a reasonable engineering safety margin.

I suspect that the processor and memory power consumption will probably be included in the motherboard specs. Hard, CD and DVD drives are definitely separate. I'm not sure about the Radeon and other PCI devices.

Enjoy,
Bruce


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Horst2  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:37
English to German
+ ...
Use second PC Jan 31, 2005

Hi Jerzy,
My technical concern is the peak current at start up. Maybe you should have a staged start up.
For normal usage, I would in first place think about using a second PC. Why put all this in one case, causing problems with power supply, heat and noise? If you have things not so vital on a second PC, even the "slow" network connection should be sufficient! Maybe a server solution is better ( and I guess more expensive ), but I have no personal experience with that.

Regards,
Horst


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:37
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
A small misunderstanding Jan 31, 2005

I'm going to improve my main machine, this is not the question I need a second PC.
The current one has all the components described, and runs with one SATA HDD. This shall remain for backup purposes, and its main task shall be taken over by two HDDs, building together a stripped RAID matrix, thus behaving as one HDD for the OS.
For this very reasons placing this additional components in other case does not fit in concept.
That's why I suppose I would need a bigger power supply. My Chieftec case is big enoug to carry all that - is a server midi-tower.
Beside the processor and memory speed, which are at their optimum now and cannot be upgraded without changing the processor and memory, the HDD is the crucial component in the PC, especially when using large data bases (such as translation memories). Even using SATA drive the speed is not satisfactory. Building a stripped RAID of two fast HDDs should increase this speed by nearly 100%. That is the reason.

Thank you for your information - I found Antec has very good test results, so perhaps I go for one.

Regards
Jerzy


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Frank (Wei-fang) Luo
United States
Local time: 00:37
Chinese to English
+ ...
A great place for such info... Jan 31, 2005

...is

www.tomshardware.com

...which has some of the best and most accessible (i.e. comprehensible to ordinary users) hardware articles and information. One past article that will have relevance here is:

http://www6.tomshardware.com/howto/20021021/powersupplies-02.html

...which gives some rough numbers on how much power each component actually consumes. While the article is a bit out of date, having been written prior to the availability of serial ATA drives, most of the numbers will serve well as references. Serial ATA drives will consume less power than ATA drives, and newer CPUs and video cards willo consume more.

Antec is very good but also expensive. I would look to the specs rather than the brand. Add up your component wattage requirements using the link above as reference (plus a generous margin of course), then shop for something with Active PFC (Power Factor Correction), good efficiency (average of 65%+ is decent, 70%+ is pretty good) and power to spare. For info on PFC and why it really helps you, see:

http://www.informit.com/articles/article.asp?p=31105&seqNum=8

For brands, Antec, Fortron, and Sparklepower are all good. But like I said go for the specs and the features -- high efficiency, active PFC, and power to spare.


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tectranslate ITS GmbH
Local time: 06:37
German
+ ...
Tagan Feb 1, 2005

Well, I'm very satisfied with the Tagan PSU I have at home. It's only 380 W, but I'm also running an AMD 3200+ XP with Dual Channel 512 MB memory modules, an ATI 9800 Pro, two hard disks, NIC, sound card, TV card, and a DVD-R DL burner. Inexpensive, reliable, and very silent. They certainly have higher-powered models, too.

HTH,
Benjamin


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