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curious_bob
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 3:37 am    Post subject: help determining psu capability Reply with quote

I have a generic 350W psu. at the moment, i have a cdrw, a dvdrom, two hard drives, 2 case fans, and my P4 motherboard plugged in.

If I bought splitters for the psu leads and adding a couple more hard drives and some more fans, would there be problem?

How much wattage does something like a harddrive/cdrom/motherboard take? Some of my fans are marked for watts and it seems that they are around 1.5 watts a piece. So they're not a big problem, but what about the other stuff?
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Genn
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would think you could ignore the fans as well, and I really don't think having all that plugged into a 350W psu would cause any problems, but the 'generic' part scares me. I've never had good luck with generic PSUs, at some point they've all died on me. Now, it could run perfectly forever and you could never have a problem, or you could blow the PSU up. How much does the PSU weigh? A rough estimate. Generally the more a PSU weighs the better, some of them have cardboard instead of a breadboard, and I've had ones where the capacitors were hotglued down(one ofo them that died)(I really wouldn't recomend opening it to look). If you bought the comp from a good quality place, and the psu feels sturdy, then you have a better chance of it all working well. In the end I think the only way to see if it works is to plug stuff in, one by one, and use it a while, and see if you get any erratic activity. Good luck!

I only have my own experience to rely on here, I don't have any actual numbers for you, sorry :( .
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curious_bob
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found this site http://www.firingsquad.com/guides/power_supply/

very useful.

I had no idea that fans ran on the same current line as my cpu. which means that even though fans have low watt rankings, they can draw power away from the cpu, causes problems.

I'm glad i found that site.
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curious_bob
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Know i'm off to go read the fine print on that psu sticker.

edit:

i'm back. looks like my psu would be able to handle my upgrades, but only barely and probably not at a full load. so..... so anybody have suggestions on good PSUs or at least good psu brands???
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tetromino
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Enermax and Antec are the best: quiet and reliable. Not cheap though.
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curious_bob
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shurik wrote:
Enermax and Antec are the best: quiet and reliable. Not cheap though.


Then.. maybe i'll have to save up some money and wait until i do some upgrading.
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TJNII
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got an ammeter handy? Save for the motherboard which would probably be more trouble than it's worth, you could make a little dongle and just measure.
Also, most drives have the current ratings printed on the cover, or at least that's been my experience. Some fans, too.

[Edit] Fixed my misuse of a word. [/edit]
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Last edited by TJNII on Thu Aug 26, 2004 3:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TJNII wrote:
Also, most drives have the current readings printed on the cover, or at least that's been my experience. Some fans, too.


Well, I went back and took a second look at all of my insides. And all the amps were listed on them. (except for mobo, cards, and cpu, ram, etc.)

So, 6 case fans (all 80 mm), 5 hard drives (totalling 112.8 Gb), DVDROM, and CD-RW can out to 6.58 Amps.

Adding an estimated 7-8 Amps to take care of the other stuff, it puts the total 12V amps at... (drumroll....) 14-15 AMPS. Given that my PSU allows for 16 AMPS of +12V, and that this is a max value, not average, I'm thinking that I'm ok afterall. Let the upgrading begin.
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screwloose
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Genn wrote:
some of them have cardboard instead of a breadboard

Damn Genn I've seen some cheap power supplies before but that is by far the worst I have ever heard of. Without a doubt a fire hazard.

I recomment Antec's Truepower power supplies, they are very stable.
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Genn
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2004 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've personally never had one that used cardboard, but at a local comp shop when I was buying a new one, they were saying how they had some come through that had cardboard in them. The worst part is that doesn't surprise me at all. And yeah it would definately be considered a firehazard, but at least the companies seem concerened with not killing customers, I've never heard of a fire started by a PSU.

I have an Austin, don't know much about the company, but it works (it was the seemingly best PSU avaiable when my last one blewup, the one with the superglue, and I needed my comp back up immediately).
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2004 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shurik wrote:
Enermax and Antec are the best: quiet and reliable. Not cheap though.


Silentpcreview has some PSU reviews. On page three of
this article you can find a list of PSU's they recommend.

The german magazine C'T had an article about PSU's a couple of issues back. I remember BeQuiet and Seasonic mentioned as very quiet and stable.
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Boris27
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2004 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chieftec makes good quality PSU's for a reasonable price. The same is true for their computer cases.

My chieftecs (I have 3), all keep all their rails in the spec, even when loaded. I've given my 350 Watt chieftec hell (a 2500 athlon at 3200 speed with 1.8 volt, 4 harddrives in, and a radeon 9800pro blasting away in doom 3, while powering a plethora of USB gadgets and burning a CD (hey, it's linux, I can...)) and it just plugged away keeping the volts all nice and tidy (that was my stress test... I figured thats the maximum amount of current my PC will ever ask from the PSU. I normally only have one harddrive connected, for instance.)
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2004 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My case is made by Enermax so I have a good power-supply in here and it works very well. I can't say the same for the one in my mom's box that has a codegen case though.
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primus
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2004 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i would recommend anything from pcpowerandcooling, http://www.pcpowercooling.com . they make high quality PSUs. It might be a tad expensive, but i think well worth it, if you get something that lasts.
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