Power Supply Worries
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Thread: Power Supply Worries

  1. #1
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    Power Supply Worries

    Hey Guys,

    What would you say is a big enough power supply for the following components:

    Pentium IV 3.2E
    2 GB DDR400 RAM
    6 HDD's
    2 CD-ROM's
    2 120MM Fans
    3 92MM Fans
    6800GT AGP Card
    Adaptec SCSI Controller

    Right now I have a 480 Watt Power Supply and it runs everything on the list except two more HDD's that I haven't connected yet. You think it can handle it or should I play safe and just get a 600+ Watt PSU?

    Thanks for the input.
    ? Quantum Physics ? Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

  2. #2
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    Ooh... I'd say you're pushing your luck with the 480W PSU, especially with SIX hard disks...

    I'd definitely suggest a 600+ W PSU
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  3. #3
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    It really depends on what type of PSU you have.

    I am sure my Antec wouldnt have any problems running it, no OEM 480W PSU which is infact 480W PSU should have any problems either, as long as it can deliver enaugh juice via the 12V line.

    But one of those so called 480W PSU, which ends up being more like a 300W PSU, might have some problems with the setup in question.

  4. #4
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    If you want a quality PSU, see my sig.
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  5. #5
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    Well currently you would be using about 1/2 of your 480W. A 600W+ is overkill and you will be running such a light load that it will be very inefficient.
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  6. #6
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    If that is an Antec then you could drop in a pair of 7800GTX in SLI and a possibly even a P-EE 840 dual core. That would hit around 425-450w range. Most genarics can not sustain more than about 1/2 what they are rated for at best, but a good name brand one like Antec can take it to the rate amount continously.

    But yes your system only draws about 250-300w at most. To tell you the truth I would trust an Antec 380w TP2 over a genaric 600w easy. Now if you have a genaric 480w then the Antec 550w TP2 is $89 +7 shipping here:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817103931

    This is normally the price of the 480w, but I have seen them drop the price down several times recently ($20). You cant beat it. The good thing about this power supply is it is an ATX 2.0 standard so it has a 70% or better efficiency and all the new plugs like SATA and PCI-E. It also has a thermal control unit that keeps the PS VERY quiet and 2 external "fan only" plugs so you can quiet some case fans too.
    AMD Phenom II x4 945 3Ghz | ASUS M4A77TD | 2X WD 1TB SATA 2 hard drive | 2x2GB Corsair XMS3 | nVidia GeForce 8800 GTS | ATI TV Wonder Theater Pro 550 | Antec P-160 case | Antec 650w Earth Watts | LG Blu-ray Super Drive | LG DVD RW | Windows 7 Pro

  7. #7
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    Todd a:

    You are bordering on unfounded claims.

    Also, ATX with min 70% efficiency doesn't lend anything towards reliability or load distribution.

    The only way to know is to use a clamp meter to measure the incoming power.
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  8. #8
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    Which part in particular. I was pointing out the ATX 2.0 standard for ALL power supplies. This standard requires 2 12v rails (one just for the CPU), 70% or better efficiencies (I think at 10% and 50% loads or something like that), and the new connectors... SATA and PCI-E. Also as far as I know (based on a reveiws claims) the 480w and 550w have 2 PCI-E connectors for use in an SLI system.

    I also know Antec rates their power supply on sustained load and most others rate theirs on peak or max load, even if the PS can only do that level for 1 second. Likely other name brand power supplies do this, but most are rated on Max. I have also seen load tests on several sites and Antec's PS usually exceeded these ranges.

    As for Antec's specific abilities, I do know their power supplies are VERY quiet. They use an Antec 120mm fan (which is likely the same they use in their P-160 cases which is rated at 1600RPM at 12v). They also have a thermal control for the fan with 2 external molix connectors for connecting case fans. They run the fans very low. They do not list the voltage range but the last reveiw I saw on the new TP2 480 showed it operating a less than 5v under full load. If that is the same as the 120mm Antec fans in my P-160 case and the same as the thermal control in my Antec 550 (TP1) it runs my case fans at 850RPM. That is inaudible. Now mine use a 92mm and 80mm fan, but the power supply is much quieter than my Antec 480w. I think mine was like a transitional period between the TP1 and TP2 and has the guts of the TP2, but the case and fans of the TP1 as it is much quieter and has the new connectors for SATA and PCI-E. This is also my 3rd system with an Antec power supply (TP 380w, 480, and 550w).

    As for the wattages of your system, a P4 3.2Ghz is about 90w, the graphics card is about the same. That is 180w. The chipset, memory, and other little do-dads draw about 20-30w roughly. The hard drives very quite a bit by what kind they are and how many will be running at any one time. About the highest you will see is around 25w, but that is a theoretical max at that. Likely even 4 SCSI 320 10k drives in RAID O+1 would only draw about 60w. 300w is basically the most the system would ever pull and likely not often. How many times would the graphics card be pulling full load at the same time as the hard drives. At idle the card only draws about 40w, so rarely will your system actually pull more than 250w.

    Now if this was a pair of GeForce 6800U in SLI with a P-EE 840 dual core, then you would need to worry. That is 120w for each graphics card and 150w for the CPU. That is already hitting almost 400w without anything else running. That means you would need a 500w power supply minimum and it had better be a good one at that. And if that was a Venice core Athlon64 3500+ and an x800XL with only one hard drive you would monly really need 200w... 40 for the CPU, 70 for the graphics card, 30 for the odds and ends and 30w for a hard drive and DVD.

    And yes I went VERY overkill on my power supply, but I was looking at a dual core Athlon64 X2 4400 or better and possibly SLI down the road (2 R520s would be nice.. well one would too) and a second 250GB SATA 16mb cache hard drive so match my first. I need a new job before I can think about that.
    Last edited by Todd a; June 25th, 2005 at 06:34 PM.
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  9. #9
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    I have to agree with Todd on the power supply.

    The Antec PSU's are very good and quiet, I too have an Antec True Power 550w in my system and it is very quiet.

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  10. #10
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    i thinks its healthy to see even the administrators have questions. i have one. what on gods green earth could you be doing with your pc that would call for SIX harddrives? you must be handling a lot of important data or something.

  11. #11
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    To reiterate my point:
    http://firingsquad.com/hardware/2005...day2/page6.asp

    If you read some of the other articles on the FiringSquad site, you'll see they go into far more technical detail than most other review sites. Meaning- they know what the hell they're talking about.
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  12. #12
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    Of course that is the same power supply Tom's Hardware Guide used in their dual core stress tests and the voltages were not very stable. They eventually replaced the power supply in the P4 and man did those voltages smooth out. Even on the Athlon64 X2 4800+ system they voltages were all over the place, but the system did stay stable. The AMD system, also drew about 120w less though.

    Just get an Antec. If you want overkill, the 550 TP2 or TC2 should be fine. NewEgg has shown the 550TP2 for $89 a few times this month and is still there. That is a killer deal for one of the best power supplies out there without getting into server power supplies that cost much more and are generally very noisy.
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  13. #13
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    Thnaks everyone... after much reading, I will go with an Antec 550 Watt since it seems to be the most readily available power supply right for me here.

    The current power supply I'm using is a Task 480 Watt but it was cheap and it was the only one available at the time s I had no choice but to get it.

    As for the 6 Hard drives, They're basically for storage. My data is mostly images and videos of my son. I could do with a computer with a single 160GB drive but its alays better to have too much than too little.

    ME <-- This administrator asks lots of questions because he doesn't know as much about computers as the rest of the members here do.

    Cheers and thank you to all.
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  14. #14
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    Originally posted by Todd a
    Of course that is the same power supply Tom's Hardware Guide used in their dual core stress tests and the voltages were not very stable. They eventually replaced the power supply in the P4 and man did those voltages smooth out. Even on the Athlon64 X2 4800+ system they voltages were all over the place, but the system did stay stable. The AMD system, also drew about 120w less though.

    Just get an Antec. If you want overkill, the 550 TP2 or TC2 should be fine. NewEgg has shown the 550TP2 for $89 a few times this month and is still there. That is a killer deal for one of the best power supplies out there without getting into server power supplies that cost much more and are generally very noisy.
    Todd, you're an Antec fanboy and you advice against PC Power & Cooling is worthless. You do not own a PC Power & Cooling PSU and I have a very good idea you've never used one (Turbocool model) at all or built a system around one. Therefore you have absolutely no room to talk about how good Antec is to PC Power & Cooling. PC Power & Cooling is a superior PSU to Antec, and you know how I know that? I own both. Anybody who knows anything about quality PSUs is going to recommend PC P&C over an Antec for missions critical use. It's that simple, there's no debating it.
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  15. #15
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    but if/when cost comes in the the antec PSUs are likely the better option. Your right that if cost isn't a problem then anyone who knows PSU's would take the PC Power & Cooling (alienware use them in the higher models)
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