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age old question: choosing a PSU

Last response: in Components
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July 21, 2004 8:33:52 PM

hi, excuse my newbness but i'm having trouble choosing a good power supply. my total power consumption is going to be about 300W so i was thinking about a 450W PSU. i've been reading reviews, guids, forums and what nots. some ppl say to look for the +5V current output, others seem to think the +12v line is more important. who's right and what's a good current rating for those 2 lines if i plan to support overclocking and a water pump in the future???
appreciate any bit of help, input, suggestions, thanks!
July 22, 2004 2:09:03 AM

This list will probably differ from many others, but PSU companies that I generally look to when buying are Fortron (Sparkle Power), Zalman (known for quiet components), Fortron, Antec, OCZ (just released a line and they're great), PC Power and Cooling (many consider to be the Holy Grail of PSUs). There are other quality PSU manufactures that I didn't list, but my said list gives you an idea of where to start.

All rail voltages deserve equal attention. However, if the rail voltages are combined, that is, they all start at the same point, then the +12 rail voltage is the most important (not by much, though), as the +3.3 and +5 voltages come from this rail. But there lots and lots of factors to look for when buying a PSU. If you have the cash, you can't go wrong with PC Power and Cooling. If you plan to overclock and fuse together a water cooling system, and depending on the components you have in your rig, a true 400W power supply would be the absolute minimum. When I say true, I mean the PSU is able to handle a continuous demand of up to 400W, as opposed to a temporary demand of peak power. Many consumer systems don't even draw 200W continuously. I would like to hear what other components you have in your rig. My recommendation right now, get the PC Power and Cooling 400W PSU. It's $85. But there are SO MANY great PSUs out there. So, listen out for other recommendations.
July 22, 2004 4:27:13 AM

thanks for the response! i was looking at antec truepower 480, it had tons of good reviews (including one from tom's hardware), wondering if you have any input on that because unfortunately my budget for PSU is limited to about 50-60 bucks :( . i'm gonna be running the following:
MSI K7N2 Delta-L or Albatron KX18D Pro (cant decide)
2x HDD
1x cd-rw
1x cd-r
nvidia Geforce4 mx420 *sigh*
1x 512mb pc2700 DDR333
Athlon XP 2400+ (overclocked in the futre :p )
1x case lighting
4-6x case fans
1x water pump
thanks a bunch
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July 22, 2004 1:56:40 PM

Your system falls in the range of average power consumption, in my opinion, assuming your not OCing and water cooling every component feasible. This is just a ballpark figure, so I may be a little off, but I would estimate that your system will draw around 150-200W continuously. Check out the Antec Truepower 380 or the FSP-350 from Fortron. If you have the cash, the Zalman 400 Watter is a good bet, too.
July 22, 2004 3:08:38 PM

ok, will do. thanks a lot for your help, really appreciated it!
!