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Power Supply..

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by SamC, Nov 11, 2003.

  1. SamC

    SamC Guest

    I'm currently building a PC to play games, last thing I've not decided
    on is a power supply, simply because I don't know!

    I've seen them with prices ranging all over the place from £10 for a
    400w to £70 for a 400w (UK).

    What I'm wondering is, if I go for a cheap PSU, apart from noise and
    heat will it affect the performance of my PC? The case I've opted for
    looked quite nice and also cheap) has 3 fans with it so heat shouldn't
    be so much of a problem?

    Anyway, all I'm really asking is, will going for a cheap Power Supply
    as long as it's got a strong wattage affect the performance of my PC?
    I'll probably only have the cheap Power Supply for a short while if
    it's too loud / will damage my PC over a long period of time etc.
    Anyway, info appreciated.

    Sam C
    SamC, Nov 11, 2003
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  2. Hi Sam,

    The biggest problem with cheap power supply is that when they go bad
    they tend to take your motherboard, HDD and CD-ROM along with them...

    Andre Courchesne
    Andre Courchesne - Consultant, Nov 11, 2003
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  3. SamC

    Ron Cook Guest

    Hash: SHA1
    Spend the extra for a good-quality power supply.

    An inexpensive (cheap) product will be lacking high-quality voltage and
    current regulation. It will most likely also lack short-circuit
    protection. Good short-circuit protection will help keep the magic smoke
    inside the power supply.

    Power supplies from Antec are well-regarded. Personally, that's all I use
    in my systems.

    - --
    Ron Cook n1zhi

    Version: GnuPG v1.2.2-rc1-SuSE (GNU/Linux)

    -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
    Ron Cook, Nov 11, 2003
  4. SamC

    SamC Guest

    Cheers for the help, Andre. I've been researching into it today and
    found a very good article on Firing Squad. (this is my first time
    building a PC and Power Supplies are seemingly somewhat of an unknown
    to most people) Anyway, the Firing Squad article has explained what to
    look for in a PSU, but unfortunately I've found I'll also need one of
    the more expensive ones and not just a cheap generic one. Along with
    your comment I'm now scared out of the cheap PSU idea. Nevertheless,
    less mince pies and I can afford it!

    Sam C
    SamC, Nov 11, 2003
  5. SamC

    SamC Guest

    I can't find the power needs of the specific components as the FS
    article reccomended doing. So I'll have to drop that idea and just go
    for a high enough wattage PSU.

    This 450w one from Q-Tec
    (http://www.qtec.info/products/product.htm?artnr=13024) seems to be a
    fairly middle-range PSU, costing £25.

    The machine it's for is so far a:

    nforce2, Abit NF7-S (onboard sound and lan)
    Samsung SD-612
    512mb ram
    80gb Maxtor Diamond Max 9
    Radeon 9800 (possibly may have to drop down to a GeForce 4 4800 or a
    Radeon 9600/9700 depending on funds)

    The case also has a few lights and such in it (they look pwetty -
    http://www.qtec.info/products/product.htm?artnr=13024) but I can't
    imagine that'd take much power.

    Any thoughts on the PSU will be much appreciated.

    Sam C
    SamC, Nov 11, 2003
  6. SamC

    SamC Guest

    SamC, Nov 11, 2003
  7. SamC

    SamC Guest

    Oh dear, I don't believe this... it's also an AMD XP 2600+

    right *that's* all! Whew.
    SamC, Nov 11, 2003
  8. SamC

    DaveW Guest

    Cheap PSU's will NOT put out their rated wattage in the real world. And if
    you overdraw current from it by running lots of devices and fans, you can
    fry your motherboard, memory, CPU, ...
    DaveW, Nov 12, 2003
  9. SamC

    kallmekid Guest

    not that it's not impossible... but I have always been a budget cutter
    when it comes to building PC's for myself, and some of my clients. If
    the client wants barebones for as cheap as they can get it, then
    cutting out the over powering power supply is always an option.
    Considering how inexpensive power supplies have gotten over the past 5
    years, it really wouldn't be a bad idea to at least get a "so-so"
    brand. Most major retailers are careful about carrying "crap" and most
    online stores that sell "crap" at least warn you first, mostly to
    cover themselves. I say that while I have been through 3 power
    supplies in 3 years, I'm not sure if its because of the environment my
    PC is in, (its a home server - always on) or if its from the summer
    time lightnight storms, or if it's just a cheap power supply going
    bad. But the cost of all 3 power supplies raning from 250 Watts to
    400, is equal to the cost of one "high quality" power supply. I am
    only stating this as a means to share my experiences, and also to ask
    about the best cheap brand of power supplies to other readers. Hope
    this helps...

    J Merrill
    Sys. Admin
    kallmekid, Nov 12, 2003
  10. SamC

    idunno Guest

    You've proven why one shouldn't skimp on the PSU. When the PSU isn't
    scaled properly it will die after a short time (like every year).
    Sure after 3 years the cost of parts happened to be the same in this
    case, but if you want to run the system any longer it will be more
    expensive, and then you also had to contend with downtime on three
    separate occasions, not to mention any of the numerous
    problems/inconveniencies which have the potential to occur during or
    prior to the failure events, or the repair/replacement process.

    No, it's never a good idea to skimp on PSU, power protection, or even
    the chassis or backup strategy for that matter. These are the last
    things to skimp on. There are other places to look to meet a slim
    budget that make more sense. The powersupply in a well designed
    computer should outlast the usefull life of that computer.
    idunno, Nov 18, 2003
  11. I have just set up a similar system

    Abit NF7-S Board with Athlon2800+
    Sapphire Radeon9800 pro
    Original PSU 350W Antec (Broke!), Replaced with 550W Q-tec from maplin
    Now im going to buy a 460W Enermax thats expensive, no believe me and
    the people here do NOT go for a cheap PSU like i did with the Q-Tec.
    Symptoms of crap psu's are lockups in 3d games etc.

    Always check a newly built pc with prime95. From now on i will use
    this for every machine i build, cause its great for finding errors
    within seconds of a freshly built machine. It will also prevent you
    from assuming all issues are driver/heat issues.

    Good luck.

    Julian Benson, Nov 22, 2003
  12. SamC

    idunno Guest

    Never touch a PSU without good overvoltage protection and overcurrent
    protection. The worst PSU's without these will destroy parts when
    they die or when power abberations occur. Some ppl also do not
    recommend Non-PFC PSU's. I understand that in Europe PSU's are now
    required to have some kind of PFC (Active or Passive).
    idunno, Nov 23, 2003
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