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Red switch on back of PSU, and proper 120mm PS fan airflow??

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  • Power Supplies
  • Components
Last response: in Components
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July 27, 2006 7:48:10 AM

Just a quick question or two....I just bought parts for my new PC I'm putting together and I wanna know if its safe to use my old PS with this new stuff or just suck it up and buy a new PS, but I really dont want to buy a new PS if I dont need too...{my current power supply stats read like this {ATX 400watts P4, +3.3V@28A, +5V@40@A both of these combined max of 185W... and +12V@18A for a max of 216W} how would a PS of these ratings hold up in my setup? (see setup below) should I even bother starting the PC up or just go with a new PS right off the bat ???______
so first off, me being a newbie when it comes to PS knowledge, I did some research and I just now am fully starting to understand the most important factors of a good PS.. correct me if I'm wrong but in no particular order they are efficiency percentages, the AMP rating available from the 12V connector, (I gather on non dual rail 12V PSU's a good number would be at least around 12V @ 30A) and the volts coming out of all three outputs, the +3.3, +5V, +12V have to be as close as possible to the actual number (for example 11.90v on the 12V or 4.85v on the +5V) ...
so in case I do immediately have to buy a new PS I'm looking at all these factors I just listed above and I'd appreciate if anyone could confirm that I'm on the right track... my setup will not be overclocked! (at least not with this ASrock MoBo, I gotta cheapie board cuz I'm waiting for all the dust to settle until the high quality Core 2 Duo mobos come out, with all the BIOS issues and unofficial discrepancies all resolved) the setup is gonna look like this_______
Mobo: ASRock 775 Dual-VSTA
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
GPU: Radeon X800XL 256MB GDDR3 AGP
Memory: OCZ Gold >2GB< DDR2-667 PC5400
and a simple 80GB ATA harddrive one Sony DVD writer, three 80mm one 120mm case fans and nothing more...


ok now my last quick questions are______
1) the little red switch on the back of the power supply.. what does it do and if I switch it to the higher number will my PS perform better???
I gather its a very important switch being that it's RED, and we all know red switches/devices are usually used for things like launching missiles and rockets, and more importantly.... Batmans telephone from the 1970's show was a flashing red phone, the bright RED once again indicating a high level of urgency and importance...

2) when I eventually DO buy a new power supply I will get one with a 120mm fan which is on the bottom if the PS, its function being to pull air inwards to cool the PS, but problem is that at a 90 degree angle its right above my 120mm case fan! and it will be sucking up the same air that my case fan is supposed to be blowing out! will these 120mm monsters do Kung Fu battle for dibs on the air surrounding their immediate space ???? and to further complicate things I'm installing a monster heatsink for my CPU that goes by the name of Tuniq Tower 120mm
and this thing alone will occupy that whole space in question....
any advice ????

More about : red switch back psu proper 120mm fan airflow

July 27, 2006 11:15:27 AM

Quote:
1) the little red switch on the back of the power supply.. what does it do and if I switch it to the higher number will my PS perform better???
Don't touch the red switch. It's to set your PSU for 115/230v. That way you can use the psu in EUROPE/UK at the 230v setting. If you live in North America, then you want it at the 115 setting.
July 27, 2006 12:06:10 PM

Quote:
1) the little red switch on the back of the power supply.. what does it do and if I switch it to the higher number will my PS perform better???
Don't touch the red switch. It's to set your PSU for 115/230v. That way you can use the psu in EUROPE/UK at the 230v setting. If you live in North America, then you want it at the 115 setting.

Living in Australia (240V) a fun, non destructive way to sabotage a computer was to flip the switch to 110. The computer wouldn't start, but no damage was done.

of course, flipping the switch in the other direction in a 110V country gets exciting, smelly and expensive... :lol: 
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July 27, 2006 3:27:28 PM

Quote:
1) the little red switch on the back of the power supply.. what does it do and if I switch it to the higher number will my PS perform better???
Don't touch the red switch. It's to set your PSU for 115/230v. That way you can use the psu in EUROPE/UK at the 230v setting. If you live in North America, then you want it at the 115 setting.

Living in Australia (240V) a fun, non destructive way to sabotage a computer was to flip the switch to 110. The computer wouldn't start, but no damage was done.

of course, flipping the switch in the other direction in a 110V country gets exciting, smelly and expensive... :lol: 

lol
July 27, 2006 3:59:05 PM

Like the others said, don't touch the red switch. that's why it's RED, cause you could blow up your computer.

As to the issue of power. I think your old psu should have enough juice (technically). If it's really old I'd still get a new one as psu's do deteriorate over time. Hate to see your brand new core2duo chip start taking up smoking (he likes to hang with the cool crowd).
July 27, 2006 3:59:47 PM

To try to answer your main question, your PS should be fine. The only two deficiencies I can think of are the namebrand of the PS (which I don't think you mentioned) and the fact that if it's older, you probably don't have dual (or better) 12V rails. Your 12V rail is slightly underpowered, but for your setup it should be fine.

Of course, there's one camp that says that more power is good. Personally, I think that an overpowered PS is a benefit, because your PS doesn't actually supply/absorb the power unless the system requires it. That being said, your 400W PS should be sufficient.

There are other things to consider as well. For instance an active PFC (or power factor correction) PS is desirable because it increases efficiency. Thus, your power bill may go down and the PS will pay for itself.

All in all, I would recommend that you get a new PS (maybe 500W, active PFC), but you probably don't need one. It all depends on how much money you want to spend.

Here's a great supply for only $80:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817104154

Just a thought...

Oh, and NEVER TOUCH THE RED SWITCH!!!
July 27, 2006 6:04:46 PM

the Tuniq tower is a huge cooler. may have trouble fitting in some mid towers.


and as the previous poster stated. get a PSU thats name brand
July 27, 2006 7:20:52 PM

ok my curiosity about the red switch is now satisfied, thank you...
sorry, yea the power supply came as a combo with the case...
the case is an iCute case, as is the power supply....
well ok... that sounds good I guess I wont need a newer power supply FOR NOW...
but when I get that new Asus Conroe MoBo and the new 7900GT hdmi capable wid card, then I'm definetely getting a new PSU...
and hey MajorAvatar.. yea I was actually looking at the same power supply you mentioned a few days back, but I found an even better deal on it.... this one is the 520 watt version and its actually cheaper...OCZ 520watt ModStream ... since NCIX has some kind of special contract or partnership deal with OCZ they get to sell OCZ products at a really good price and with the rebate on top of that...
!