How much power WATTAGE do I need?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Vince Maskeeper, Jun 26, 2002.

  1. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

    Jan 18, 1999
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    Ok, I currently have a Powersupply in my computer which seems to be holding it's own- but I'm upgrading from slow ATA66 drives to 7200RPM ATA100 drives, and thought I might need more power.

    Just curious, what wattage would you suggest if running:

    ATX Abit Mobo
    Athlon Slot A 900mhz Processor (With heatsink and dual fans)
    Linksys NIC
    Echo Audio GINA Card (with breakout box)
    DVD-ROM (Toshiba)
    CD Burner (Smart and Friendly)
    Zip Drive (Zip 100 Iomega internal)
    Floppy Drive
    2 Segate 7200 ATA100 80 gig drives
    1 Drive Bay Dual Fan (case fan)
    80mm Front Case Fan

    What would be suitable wattage for all this shite? Right now I'm running fine with all this minus the Hard Drives (currently an old Caviar drive and a Samsung drive).

  2. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

    Aug 17, 1998
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    A good quality 300w should be fine (Sparkle, Enermax, QuietPC, a few others). If you up the Athlon though it might be wise to go up to a 350 or 400.
    At the moment I run this lot off a 300w QuietPC PSU (and you can't hear the bloody thing it's so quiet!)
    Pentium III 600E Socket 370 _+ QuietPC fan
    Asus CUBX mobo (384mb PC100 RAM)
    1 x 60gb Seagate Barracuda ATA IV HD
    1 x 80gb Seagate Barracuda ATA IV HD
    Matrox G400MAX graphics
    Hercules Fortissimo II sound card
    US Robotics NIC
    US Robotics 56k modem
    Pioneer 106S DVD
    Plextor 121032 CD-RW
    2 x QuietPC (Zalman) 80mm case fans
    Plus two IDE hard drive removable bays.
    Never had a problem with power even when BOTH of the removable bays had 80gb backup drives running in them at the same time - and those are in addition to the internal Seagate Barracudas [​IMG]
  3. Kami

    Kami Screenwriter

    Jan 2, 2001
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    I think almost any decent 300 watt (or even a really good 250 watt) power supply will be OK for that system. Hard drives really aren't that power hungry. You only have to worry about high quality power supplies when you start using Athlons above 1GHz, especially the 1.33GHz and 1.4GHz Athlons and the entire line of AthlonXP's. Also some video cards, like the GeForce4, need a good power supply.

    Their total wattage rating isn't as important as the total combined output of the power supply's 3.3v and 5v rails. For a fast AMD system the TCO should never be under 180 watts IMO. My power supply (a 400w Antec) has a TCO of 245 watts and I am running an AthlonXP 1800+, Geforce4 ti4200 128mb, 2 hard drives, burner, dvd-rom, and 4 of my PCI slots are filled.

    It's entirely possible for a 300 watt power supply to have a better TCO than a 400 watt power supply. Not all power supplies are created equal.

    So if you want to get a more future proof power supply that you can use for a future upgrade, I would suggest a minimum 350 watt power supply (400w if you can) from a good manufacturer such as Enermax, Antec, or Sparkle.
  4. Jason_Lund

    Jason_Lund Extra

    May 27, 2002
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    I agree with the previous posters - a quality 300 watt model should be fine with the hardware you list if it hasn't given you problems yet.
    I suggest you get the new drives installed and see if you encounter any problems. If so, spend the money on a good 350/400 watt as suggested above. Otherwise I wouldn't spend the money for now.
    One thing worth noting - I encountered performance problems with the Seagate hard drives you describe in both RAID 0/1 configurations, software or hardware based (Promise, HighPoint and Microsoft Windows). It was actually SLOWER in a RAID 0 array configuration than running a single drive. Per a few message boards this is a known issue with the current generation Baracuda ATA IV model drives.
    A bummer to say the least as I really like these drives, quiet and very reasonably priced. is selling the new Maxtor "Quietdrive" 80 gig/7200 RPM ata 133 drives for $107 each with FREE fedex saver shipping. Might be worth checking out.
  5. Mark Larson

    Mark Larson Supporting Actor

    Mar 3, 2002
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    The same rule of thumb applies to PSU's as to power amps... the heavier the better!
  6. CarlDJr

    CarlDJr Stunt Coordinator

    Dec 14, 2001
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    Power supplies are often the most underappreciated parts of the computer. No glamour or bragging power, but nothing else works when it can't keep a steady source of power output. (Sermon over.)
    I would suggest looking at the new Antec TruPower power supplies. I have the earlier version and have had no complaints.
    The new units are supposed to be quieter and designed for the power needs of the new more power hungry cpu's.
    The price difference is not that much andf you will have a supply that will allow you to upgrade without worrying.
    The 380W would be perfect for your needs. $69 shipped from Newegg:

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