What to look for in a power supply?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by hideon9, Jul 12, 2005.

  1. hideon9

    hideon9 The plane will take off.

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    I'm in the process of building a computer (http://forums.offtopic.com/showthread.php?t=1898722) and I just checked my old psu to find that it's only rated for 300w. I know there's no way that will be sufficient for the system I'm building, so now I have to get a new psu. Unfortunately, I don't know anything about them.

    I was hoping that someone here could tell me what features and specs I need to look for in a good power supply besides wattage. It would need to support this system:

    MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail - $138.50 from newegg
    AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Venice 1GHz FSB 512KB L2 Cache Socket 939 Processor - $267.00 from newegg
    Western Digital Caviar SE 250GB 3.5" Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM - $118.99 from newegg
    CORSAIR XMS 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM Unbuffered DDR 400 (PC 3200) - $250.00 from newegg
    NEC Black IDE DVD Burner Model ND-3540A - OEM - $47.99 from newegg
    Logitech x-230 2.1 2-Piece Dual Drive Speakers with Ported Subwoofer - $37.64 from amazon
    Logitech Keyboard Elite Black - $29.99 from amazon
    Logitech 961361-0403 QUICKCAM IM WebCam - Retail x 2 - $79.88 from newegg
    ATI Radeon x800XL PCI-e - $299.99 from amazon


    I've been told that enermax and sparkle make good power supplies so I checked newegg and found these two (prices include shipping):

    ENERMAX EG565AX-VEFMA2.0-SLI 535W Power Supply - Retail - $120.98
    ENERMAX Whisper II EG565P-VE FMA2.0 535W Power Supply - Retail - $95.98

    The only difference I can see between those two is active PFC and, after reading a few articles on it, that doesn't seem worth the extra $25.

    Any help/advice/suggestions would be appreciated, thanks.
     
  2. RyanL

    RyanL OT Supporter

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    id get the cheaper of the two
     
  3. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    one is SLI, the other is not... If you arn't using SLI, then you don't need it.
     
  4. hideon9

    hideon9 The plane will take off.

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    Oh, I thought that was just part of the model number, it doesn't mention SLI anywhere in the specifications on the page. Thanks.


    No one has answered my real question though, what do I need to look for in a power supply besides brand and watts?
     
  5. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    It's like buying a car... no one can tell you some all-knowing number to look for. HP/Torque/Seating/MPG/etc it all matters. Likewise, in the power supply market, numbers mean little. Watts mean next to nothing. Amps means a little more -- but not much. Overall, you have to stick with parts that are built better. Take a look at a generic unit, and you'll see what I mean. There's nothing in them. Antec and ThermalTake are hardly any better. When you get into better units, such as Enermax and Sparkle, you'll see what I mean. They're quality.
     
  6. hideon9

    hideon9 The plane will take off.

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    Ok. I just thought there might be other features or specifications involved that might set off different products within a brand, such as that active PFC. I guess it just comes down to build quality like you said.

    Thanks.
     
  7. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    Active PFC is certainly a feature you can look for -- but its not the be-all end-all. I wouldn't buy a PSU just because it was active... Passive is fine. The difference is minimal.
     
  8. look at the power ratings on the leads, its printed on the sticker on the unit, newegg has it listed in specs..

    the bigger number the better
     
  9. cc00gt

    cc00gt Foosballin'

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    check it to wreck it: http://shsc.info/PowerSupplyGuide

    reputable power supply mfgs:
    antec (esp. true power series)
    enermax
    fortron
    sparkle
    zalman
    tagan
    seasonic
    vantec
    OCZ
    coolermaster
     

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