PSU & Cooling required for this build

What size psu and how much cooling do I need to get maximal performance from this hardware?

AMD Athlon64 X2 3800 512K

Gigabyte K8NF-9 nForce4

2GB (2x1GB) 6-Layer V-Data PC3200 DDR

250GB Maxtor D/Max+10 133/7200 16M

GAINWARD BLISS GF 7600GT 256MB

I was hoping to get away with 420W and standard in-case fan ... but can I?
8 answers Last reply
More about cooling required build
  1. Are you talking about a case/PSU combo? If yes, then which combo? How much are you dropping for the Gainward?
  2. Quote:
    What size psu and how much cooling do I need to get maximal performance from this hardware?

    AMD Athlon64 X2 3800 512K

    Gigabyte K8NF-9 nForce4

    2GB (2x1GB) 6-Layer V-Data PC3200 DDR

    250GB Maxtor D/Max+10 133/7200 16M

    GAINWARD BLISS GF 7600GT 256MB

    I was hoping to get away with 420W and standard in-case fan ... but can I?


    Your list does not show an optical drive. I'll assume you'll include at least one. On paper, 420 watts is adequate for that unit. If you picked said PS up for 19.99 at K-Mart, I might get suspicious, but if it is made by a reputable manufacturer and those 420 watts are real and not some funky peak power output, then you should be OK. It also sounds like you're asking if one case fan is sufficient. I personally like lots of heat management, so a single 12cm fan plus the PS fan is cutting it close, even if the case has plenty of air-in vent space. You could add a blow-hole vent & fan...
  3. Hi,

    Yep, there's a DVD/CD RW drive in there and a card reader. I didn't think the power requirements on those would be high enough to warrant inclusion but then again I'm very ignorant :)

    I'm looking at a case/PSU combination at the moment with a buitl in 420W supply - the whole costs around 30 GBP (so about 50 dollars worth) so it's cheap but not bargain basement stuff. The spec says it's an ATX 2.0 PSU which is meaningless to me. I'll add a fan based on your advice.

    However if I can be convinced that's not the right deal I'm happy to buy a seperate PSU, case and fan.
  4. Do you have a model number for the case or part number for the PSU? Most PSUs that come in combos are of very low quality and this is one part that you don't want to skimp on in your rig. For example, a good 400W PSU costs about $40 here in the states, a good 450W costs about $50. These numbers are not for top of the line PSUs - they are for good-quality FSP PSUs. If you're looking to buy a case and PSU for $50, then you are going to get a cheap PSU. A 420W PSU should have no problem powering your setup, but be careful in choosing a good PSU.
  5. Cooling probably won't be a problem, as long as you invest some time in wire-management once you get the case and motherboard situated, since that Opteron CPU isn't running at the high-end of the MHz spectrum, and thus won't be giving off maximum heat.

    As for the Power Supply, my best advice to you is NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER use a "freebie" power supply with a system that you build yourself. It's OK with a Dell, because if it blows up, they get to replace the parts it takes with it at their own cost, but when you DIY, you get stuck with the bill for any damaged components. My own "high-end" Antec TruePower 550 came to an abrupt end (exploding capacitor=BOOM) after 3 years of hard use not even a week ago, so even a good P/S can die. Fortunately, it didn't blow the HDD's or Video Card, so I consider myself extremely lucky. That being said, a cheaper, generic P/S will fry even more often, and that isn't a risk worth taking. Spend at least $60-$70 USD on a P/S and have total peace of mind, it is often an overlooked component that can fry even the most stable system when sh*t goes bad. I'd recommend at least 480 watts, but pushing it into the 500 range won't hurt either, just be sure to buy a top-tier brand such as Antec, Tt, Fortron, Sparkle or Seasonic ($$$-bling). I replaced mine with a modular Hiper 580w and it runs smooth and clean, plus has excellent wire management because of its design, so no complaints about that brand, it's a gorgeous unit.

    Good luck.
  6. From what I can see in the link that PSU is probably pretty bad. Someone else already listed some good PSU brands and I basically agree with that list. Since I don't often shop PSUs I'm not as familiar with the brands as I am with other hardware.

    -mcg
  7. That thing has generic POS written all over it. I would avoid it like the plague. Sparkle/Forton (FSP) will probably give you the best bang/buck. the other brands recommended by bweir were good. Do yourself a favor and get a good PSU.
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