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Why get a quality PSU?

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January 3, 2006 5:26:54 PM

Hi All,

Please forgive me for my ignorance but I'm new to the custom build pc scene.

I'm looking to make a good games PC and have choosen the case: Antec P180

A lot of users recommend the Antec PSU or the OCZ PSU's. which are quite pricey.

Can someone please tell me why I should get a quality PSU over a ebuyer own brand cheapo?

Many thanks

Adam

More about : quality psu

January 3, 2006 6:01:15 PM

a quality PSU will help stability not only that but will supply strong 12volt and 5 volt lines to the components in the PC. a cheap PSU however will not and runs the risk of damaging your componentsdue to the voltage being too high or too low.

also a quality PSU will give better protection against spikes, how would you like it if you bought a 400 GFX then a spike killed it cause the PSU couldnt handle it.

personally i recomend Enermax Noisetakers.
a b ) Power supply
January 3, 2006 6:33:47 PM

Fortron fsp (sold under various brands including sparkle) is pretty cheap, and heavy. Ewiz was selling a 300w version with 12cm fan and 24 pin connector for around $32 shipped. Whatever brand you get, check the weight. It should be at least 4 lbs.
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January 3, 2006 7:22:34 PM

My friend bought a cheapo PSU from a local store. 500W it claimed for like $25 or so. 4 months later, he and I spent 4 weeks trying to diagnose random computer issues that kept popping up. The culprit? That piece of junk PSU!!! The voltages kept fluctuating and kept throwing the computer for a complete loop! In the end, all we could salvage was the HDD and the disk drives. Oh, and the floppy. Basically we called the motherboard and processor a lost cause and just did an upgrade while we were at it.

I opened up the broken PSU and looked at the manufacturing job. I've never seen such sloppy work in my life. Even in college we did better work than that. The back of the PCB board was practically a single mass of pathetic solder. I have no idea how it lasted 4 months. It probably started shorting out and fluctuating way before it was even detected. It was a horrendous experience that I would like to avoid.

Thinking back, we're lucky to have not lost the entire system.

Save yourself the headaches, annoying issues, and time and go buy a good quality PSU. I say Antec, but there's plenty of other good brands there.
January 3, 2006 8:40:09 PM

Quote:
My friend bought a cheapo PSU from a local store. 500W it claimed for like $25 or so. 4 months later, he and I spent 4 weeks trying to diagnose random computer issues that kept popping up. The culprit? That piece of junk PSU!!! The voltages kept fluctuating and kept throwing the computer for a complete loop! In the end, all we could salvage was the HDD and the disk drives. Oh, and the floppy. Basically we called the motherboard and processor a lost cause and just did an upgrade while we were at it.

I opened up the broken PSU and looked at the manufacturing job. I've never seen such sloppy work in my life. Even in college we did better work than that. The back of the PCB board was practically a single mass of pathetic solder. I have no idea how it lasted 4 months. It probably started shorting out and fluctuating way before it was even detected. It was a horrendous experience that I would like to avoid.

Thinking back, we're lucky to have not lost the entire system.


what he said :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!:
a b ) Power supply
January 3, 2006 9:11:24 PM

Now that you know why...Read the Forum sticky on PSUs.

These power supplies by FSP (Fortron) offer solid build, 100K MTBF, and no Bling (sorry)...

$50 Great value PSU. 450w w/dual 18amp 12v rails.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817104954

$91 More Power, Good for gamer's hot 3d cards:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817104934

$139 Very powerful for SLI:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817104014

Brand name PSU's tend to be pricier/pound than these. There are lots of choices out there. The 450w I listed is a forum favorite.
January 3, 2006 9:23:46 PM

Hello,

Get an Antec Tru 480 or 550 under $100.

Rosewill modular 500/ 550's are good as well $under $100.

The best modular PSU (cost a little more) would be the Hiper Modular Type-R at $129.99.

Always get a good PSU unless you want to fry your components. SLI support is good, but not really needed.
January 3, 2006 9:34:01 PM

Quote:
Why get a quality PSU?


Why not?!?
January 4, 2006 4:39:54 AM

Anyone have an opinion on Aspire? I just bought the 520 Watt for 50 bucks for my system.

I was trying to save $50 to an already $1450 price tag. I hope i didnt make a mistake though...
January 4, 2006 6:33:02 AM

Well simply put, Unless you want to take the $$$$ you spent on your system and make it a molten mess in your case then go ahead and get a cheap PSU 8O

Or invest in a good Psu one with a active PFC! and I would recommend a Battery back up as well. Pc power and cooling, OCZ, Seasonic, Furtron, Antec.
I stick with either Pc power and cooling and OCZ myself..rock solid PSU's but $$$..better than a molten mess though :D 

But I'll give you the benifit of your knowledge! ( you asked the question instead of finding out the hard way) :lol: 

good luck bro
January 4, 2006 6:39:42 AM

I haven't tried Aspire. Did you really save $50? Seems more like $20 to me.
January 4, 2006 6:42:35 AM

Quote:
Anyone have an opinion on Aspire? I just bought the 520 Watt for 50 bucks for my system.

I was trying to save $50 to an already $1450 price tag. I hope i didnt make a mistake though...
Aspire is lower end Topower (OCZ and Tagen are higher end) and should be adequate, but it's not worth $50, and a 450W Fortron, also $50, will likely be able to output more power.

Low quality power supplies are less likely to meet their ratings, more likely to fail, and more likely to cause damage to other equipment in case of failure.
January 4, 2006 4:44:01 PM

I have an aspire case, not sure if its an aspire PSU. works ok so far, I've had it for about 2 yrs.

But that was a low-end computer.

If you're spending $1450 on a computer, I would definitely say get a GOOD QUALITY PSU!!!! If not, you run the risk of turning your $1450 into something that will get you $50 at a junkyard. If all your components fry, your warranties will probably not cover that. And get a really good surge protector while you're at it.
a b ) Power supply
January 5, 2006 8:37:27 PM

Quote:
Anyone have an opinion on Aspire? I just bought the 520 Watt for 50 bucks for my system.
I was trying to save $50 to an already $1450 price tag. I hope i didnt make a mistake though...


Let me start with the fact that I have NO experience with the Aspire 520.

Rantonrave's post is right-on target. Please read it carefully.

I looked up your link to NewEgg and here's what I see:

1). Yes it looks cool. High bling factor with lights and UV cables.
2). Specs show only a single 12v rail, (35amp rating??)
3). Review comments focus either on how cool it is, or how it prematurely died.
4). One review tried to correct the 35 amp rating, saying that it really was only a single 12 volt rail at 18amp PSU.

So now here comes my humble opinion:

A). I'll bet that you bought this killer system for gaming, and that the Aspire PSU works just fine today.
B). I'll also bet that you want, (and will soon) double up on that wonderful 7800GT video card for SLI.
C). When you upgrade to SLI (I hope fairly soon), purchase a PSU that can handle the dual card load AND last you for years of future system upgrades. The PSU you have would be fine for a entry level Celeron system. It just does not look like a "balanced" component for what you want to do.
D). Suggestions by many have already been posted on good matches for your system.
E). Enjoy this great system you've put together!
January 5, 2006 9:23:47 PM

A single 35A rail would be better than two 17.5A rails however, under certain configurations.
a b ) Power supply
January 6, 2006 9:06:22 PM

Quote:
A single 35A rail would be better than two 17.5A rails however, under certain configurations.


OK, I'll bite...

When I think of multiple rails as an advantage, it goes back to my experience with audio amp PSUs. Yes, these are AC not DC and use transformers (mostly). The advantage though is that each rail's output is independent of all others.

Since PCs use DC, I can understand how one 35A can = 2 x 17.5A, but I can't get to one rail ever being better. Can you help me to understand this? :?

BTW, I really don't believe the 35Amp spec for that Aspire is real.
January 6, 2006 9:20:56 PM

Quote:
A single 35A rail would be better than two 17.5A rails however, under certain configurations.


OK, I'll bite...

When I think of multiple rails as an advantage, it goes back to my experience with audio amp PSUs. Yes, these are AC not DC and use transformers (mostly). The advantage though is that each rail's output is independent of all others.

Since PCs use DC, I can understand how one 35A can = 2 x 17.5A, but I can't get to one rail ever being better. Can you help me to understand this? :?

BTW, I really don't believe the 35Amp spec for that Aspire is real.

I Have the Seasonic S12-600W Beast of a PSU. One of the best out there. Sure the cables could be sleeved, but after I got mine from newegg I found a site that sleeved the PSU and then sent it out to you. I really wish I got it from there. Oh well, thats what zip ties and tape is for.
January 6, 2006 9:42:22 PM

OK, well, to begin with, dual rail isn't. What "dual rail" is...is a split single rail. That single rail is split by putting some of the wires one one circuit breaker and other wires on another.

The result? Each rail gets a lower limit. And that's the only difference.

Now, if you had a system that drew 28A on the 12v line from a 32A rail, with 20A going to your two dual-core CPU's and 8A going to your graphics card, it's obvious that splitting the rails with two 16A circuit breaker isn't going to work because 20A>16A. However, the single rail WOULD work in this circumstance.

The reason companies are splitting a single rail is to reduce the risk of fire methinks. You lessen the chance of overloading one connector. But that's not going to matter in most systems.

So Dual Rail is a safety feature in this case, and nothing more.

Because of the potential problem I outlined above, some manufacturers are offering power supplies with greater bias potential. You can have a 36A rail split with two 16A breakers, or, you can have a 36A breaker at the source, split into two 20A rails. The result here is that in this configuration, you can put 20A peak on one rail and 16A peak on the other, rather than both being limitted to 18A, but the 36A breaker prevents overloading the rail at the source so you can't try to pull the full 20A from both sides.
a b ) Power supply
January 6, 2006 10:09:41 PM

Thank you. That was an excellent explanation.
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