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Hard Drive giving me problems

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August 19, 2006 5:38:39 PM

Up until about a week ago, my computer has been running fairly smooth, I'ven't had any major problems with it, however about a week ago, I got my hands a free... Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 (Perpendicular Recording) ST3320620A 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache IDE Ultra ATA100 Hard Drive

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

Long story short as to why I got that free, my cousin ordered a 750GB hard drive and he got the above mentioned hard drive for like $10 with some combo deal, and well he has this old P2 machine, and well that 320GB sata drive wasn't compatible with that old machine, so he said if I give him my WD 60gig HD I can have the 320gig drive for free

Anyways back to my problem, at first when installed the hard drive my computer was giving me troubles, but eventually, things got up and running, well then once I knew everything was cool, I decided to mount my hard drive into my computer, well as I was doing so I realized that the HD had a jumper installed which would limit the performance of the drive to a 150MB/s transfer, so I figured I'd take that jumper out because I wanted to get the full 300MB/s transfer, well after doing so my computer has been nothing but trouble, I've been having a hard time keeping the hard drive installed and yet keep my computer stable at the same time.

Recently, I looked at my mobo manual, and realized that I had two types of SATA ports on my mobo, I mean knew I had them but I realized the difference, I had installed this new HD into a SATA1 port which can only achieve a max of 150MB/s transfer, yet I had the jumper taking out of the hard drive, so the hard drive was set to do 300MB/s when the SATA1 port would only let it do 150MB/s transfer, I figured this had to be the problem, I decided to connect this hard drive into a SATA2 port which can achieve the 300MB/s transfer, well when I did so I could not get the machine to recognize the hard drive.

Yes I know I could just put the jumper back in the hd and use the 150MB/s transfer and all should be fine, but unfortunately I misplaced the jumper, (haha, not very smart of me), but that shouldn't matter, I should be to have my hard drive installed so that I can utilize the 300MB/s transfer.

Also I know you will want to know this, I am using the following mobo

GA-K8N Ultra-9

I must say I got this mobo in august of '05, and I really haven't updated the bios since I've gotten the mobo.

Also a minor issue at this time, on one of my most recent restarts, I lost the usage of my one ethernet port. The mobo has dual gigabit lan, and well the one port just disappeared, and I'm trying to make it come back

Anyways, maybe somebody can help me out with my hard drive issue, maybe the answer is a simple one. I apologize for the speech, haha, but I thank you in advance for your help. If ya need any more info let me know
August 19, 2006 7:08:28 PM

As mp says, just get a jumper and plug it in. The 3Gb/s vs 1.5 GBb/s issue doesn't matter anyway for your drive, since the drive is not fast enough to even generate sustained reads anywhere near 1.5GB/s. Remember to at least do a "repair install" of Win after you get the jumper in, and better yet, reformat the drive and do a full reinstall. Since the drive has been acting flaky, who knows what kind of data corruption is already on the hard disk. It probably explains your mysterious vanishing ethernet port.
August 19, 2006 7:17:27 PM

Well, I thank you for your input, the hard drive in question, have a different looking blue jumper,compared to the black ones I have for my other hard drives, and such. Also I could try reformatting this hard drive but that won't be so easy, because the first time I got it up and running, I moved some of my files over to it, and so I am going to have to see if I can re-take those files off the drive, then I can try reinstalling windows and reformatting the drive. However, basically I shouldn't worry about the 3Gb/s transfer thingy.

Also are you suggestion I install windows on this new drive, because I have a 36.7gb raptor that I have windows installed on.

Lastly, quick question, when I have the hard drive plugged in and powered up, it'll occasionally make some beeping sounds, is that normal, or is that a sign of a defective drive?
Related resources
August 19, 2006 7:33:36 PM

I think you may have misunderstood me, see I have some data already on this new 320gb hard drive, well you suggested I format this new drive, as well as reinstall windows, well I'm saying to do what your asking I have to take the data of the new hard drive and put it on one of my old ones, so I can properly format the new drive as you had suggested.
August 19, 2006 7:38:11 PM

Da, it was me who suggested reformatting, not mp. Since your Win install is on a different drive w/o problems, don't worry about it. Once you get the drive jumpered back down to 1.5Gb/s, just have Win do a thorough error-checking on it.
August 19, 2006 7:41:34 PM

ok, well I had on a couple of time during start up, had windows do chkdsk scan on this new drive, and let me tell you it was finding error, but see the problem was things were so screwy that my machine would lock up during this scan, so hopefully once I get it jumpered back down, clean up, and such, all should be well again
August 19, 2006 7:52:43 PM

Well, I am managing to copy most of the data from the new drive back to my old one, I've only ran across a few of my mp3 files that are corrupt, so I didn't lose too much.
August 19, 2006 8:24:31 PM

my problems just took a turn for the worst...

I think I just blew my power supply, because I turned off my computer, to pull out the hard drive and attach the jumper to the hard drive when I noticed my fan lights flicker, I thought it was nothing, but then the started flickering some more, and every time, I hit the power button I got nothing, and I smelled smoke, I immeaditely turned off the power supply and disconnected, I am currently using a cheap 250 watt supply, with only the bare essientals connected to it, so as to tell you my problem...

I must say I was using this power supply:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

and I had my graphics card, mobo, 3 hard drives, 2 dvd burners, and my fans connected up to it. Now tell me did I get a cheap power supply, also I was wondering if you people had any suggestions for a replacement, keep in mind I don't want to spend to much, I can afford the $50 - $100 range. ..

Now I probably should have seen this coming because like once in a while my computer would restart and give me this error...

http://xs201.xs.to/xs201/06222/Why.JPG

Get back to me asap

EDIT:

I did some looking on Newegg, and found a special on this Apevia PS

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

tell me if it's good, like if it's too much or just right, I mean I know you can never have to much, but I just want to be certain that there isn't a better deal.

Again I thank you all for your help
August 20, 2006 12:54:50 AM

Well just to clear things up, I think the reason I had my hard drive problems was because of the fact that my power supply was going bad, and I tested my power supply, I connected it up to another computer and saw if I could get the thing to boot, unfortunately I couldn't, so basically I got a bad power supply, and so far with the looking I've done, I like that Apevia PS I pointed out above from newegg, but I'm a little leery about the price, I mean if I have to, I'll pay it, but yea

Before I go getting my mind set on that, I want to know if you people have any personal favs, that are with in a decent range... and yes I've read some articles on Power supplies, but still I'd like to know what you think
August 20, 2006 3:32:40 PM

u could have just poped in a live linux distro and copy all the data from that drive onto the other drive, or just burn it onto a dvd or such....

hope it works out man.
August 20, 2006 4:32:23 PM

Quote:
Well just to clear things up, I think the reason I had my hard drive problems was because of the fact that my power supply was going bad, and I tested my power supply, I connected it up to another computer and saw if I could get the thing to boot, unfortunately I couldn't, so basically I got a bad power supply, and so far with the looking I've done, I like that Apevia PS I pointed out above from newegg, but I'm a little leery about the price, I mean if I have to, I'll pay it, but yea

Before I go getting my mind set on that, I want to know if you people have any personal favs, that are with in a decent range... and yes I've read some articles on Power supplies, but still I'd like to know what you think
Consider this good one for much less $:
FSP AX450-PN 450watt 12v:2x18a PSU 20+4pin $52+8 8/18/06
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
or maybe this:
Antec TruePowerII 480watt 12v:2x18a PSU 20+4pin $80+6 8/20/06
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

The Antec is better known, has stable voltage and includes fan-only molex cables with lowered voltage which can make for a nice quiet system. The FSP is a standard high quality no-frills unit for less $.
August 20, 2006 5:11:03 PM

Well I appreciate your input, as for your suggestions, I don't tihnk I'll be going with the FSP power supply, simply because, it has 6 peripheral ports, and I'd like at least seven, because my computer uses about six right now,
and I'd like to have a spare peripheral or two in case I'd ever need one.

I like the price but I don't know, Now as for the Antec, I know it's a good one, but it's only 480W, which I'm sure would be fine for my system, but the price is what gets me, because at $79.99 I can just go to newegg and get that apevia power supply I saw, because that one is not only $79.99 (after rebates), it's 600W, which would be plenty for me.

So let me say, I've not trying to undermine your opinions, it's just last night I did some research, and from what I've found the apevia power supplies aren't that bad. I mean don't get me wrong I appreciate your suggestions and I'll keep them in mind, it's just after doing some of my own research, I'm thinking I may go with the apevia power supply.
August 20, 2006 5:43:11 PM

8)
We only make suggestions. We are not here to force anyone to do things our way (well, most of us anyway).
8)
August 20, 2006 5:50:09 PM

Cheaper high wattage ps's are crap compared to more expensive lower wattage. I can make a high quality 300 run anything, even got a low end sli rig running once, though I replaced it "just in case" after a few days.

And don't get a ps because of it's number of connectors, if it has all the right style connects, thats all you need to concern yourself with. It's cheaper and easier to just get a splitter or two.
August 20, 2006 6:54:12 PM

Quote:
Cheaper high wattage ps's are crap compared to more expensive lower wattage. I can make a high quality 300 run anything, even got a low end sli rig running once, though I replaced it "just in case" after a few days.

And don't get a ps because of it's number of connectors, if it has all the right style connects, thats all you need to concern yourself with. It's cheaper and easier to just get a splitter or two.


I understand what you are saying, but let me say that the apevia power supply doesn't appeal to me solely on the fact that it has a good number of connectors. I've read some reviews, I've done my homework, and I likes what I sees.

Now about your comment on cheaper high wattage ps's are crap compared to more expensive lower wattage, well to be fair, I think that a 600W PS for $79.99 (after rebates), isn't that cheap. But please do tell, do you think the PS I'm looking at is cheap?
August 20, 2006 7:05:46 PM

It's probably fine, I've had a couple friends with aspire's that died so personally I'd never buy one, but then again I spent $160 on a silverstone 600watter, so maybe my idea of cheap is skewed :) 

I've heard a lot of good things, just never seen them, about the aspire, so it's probably a reasonable one. I'd personally go for a lower wattage Silverstone at the same price, possibly:

Silverstone 500w

I've used probably 20-25 of these in builds, never one problem and they run quite and cool.
August 20, 2006 7:26:41 PM

Quote:
It's probably fine, I've had a couple friends with aspire's that died so personally I'd never buy one, but then again I spent $160 on a silverstone 600watter, so maybe my idea of cheap is skewed :) 

I've heard a lot of good things, just never seen them, about the aspire, so it's probably a reasonable one. I'd personally go for a lower wattage Silverstone at the same price, possibly:

Silverstone 500w

I've used probably 20-25 of these in builds, never one problem and they run quite and cool.


Well I have looked at that silverstone you recommended, and while I think it's good and everything, I know silverstones are good, I can't see the value of it. I mean the initially I'm basically paying the same price for the both of them, it's just that the aspire offers more wattage and everything. So I shall have to think about this one.

I mean the pros and cons, make this a tough choice:

Pro: aspire offers more wattage for the same price
Pro: aspire looks cooler (IMO)
Pro: aspire currently is offering a rebate
Con: aspire isn't widely known
Pro: Silverstone has a better rep.
Pro: You there, Michaelahass, can speak for the silverstone PS's considering you claim to have used like 20-25 of them, so you can verify their quality.

So I shall think about this, but I do thank you for your input.
August 20, 2006 8:07:15 PM

Hi DaFees,
Quote:
then again I spent $160 on a silverstone 600watter

I agree with Michaelahess - my Enermax Liberty (620W) cost that too!
That $79 bucks or whatever won't get you a real good PS (like Enermax, OCZ, Corsair etc.) And yes I've heard of Silverstone, they are known for top-quality cases and home-theatre PCs I believe...
My Liberty has a full 36A for +12V power. This is spread over 2 rails (each rated 22A maximum) but clearly this PS has enough Amps to feed its 12V rails.
Many powersupplies have 4 x 12V rails - but not even ~40A to feed all four!
For example, the OCZ 600W GameXStream has not even my 36A of 12V power - but it expects to supply 4 x 12V rails!? I figure it can spare each rail maybe ~8A (but their flamboyant spec's will tell you it has 4 rails @ 20A each, LoL). They will often tell you only the individual 12V rail maximums in their advertising (sneaky bastages), obviously this cannot be multiplied times all four rails, continuous!
Anyway, the modern PS has far less 3.3V and 5V power and concentrates on 12V supply. Any new PS will have 2 x 12V rails, but some can't feed even two rails let alone four.
Beware low-wattage multi-rail powersupplies... This is why you must pay more.
Regards
August 20, 2006 8:13:21 PM

Quote:
...
I like the price but I don't know, Now as for the Antec, I know it's a good one, but it's only 480W, which I'm sure would be fine for my system, but the price is what gets me, because at $79.99 I can just go to newegg and get that apevia power supply I saw, because that one is not only $79.99 (after rebates), it's 600W, which would be plenty for me....

There are a couple of main issues here:

(1) +12V power vs. power in general. Unfortunately, it's that common misunderstanding in your last sentence that unscrupulous vendors rely on to sell their substandard PSs. On modern-day computers, the most important part (and most expensive part) is the +12V supply. Almost all modern MBs even have a 2nd +12V/gnd connector, many have a 3rd, and many video cards have their own supplemental power connector.
Watts (W) don't indicate anything about how much +12V power there is, so you need to look at bit closer at the specs. For example, let's look at your (dead) PS's specs:
500W, sounds good, but only 15A @ +12V, while +5V is boosted to 50A! It has a girly-man upper body on Arnold Schwarzenegger legs! Not suitable.
Now, how about that Apevia you found? Specs are +3.3V@34A, +5V@36A, +12V1@18A, +12V2@20A. +12V output looks good on its dual rails. Seems good!
The FSP 450w PS mentioned by Newf has specs: +3.3V@30A, +5V@28A, +12V1@18A, +12V2@18A. Pretty much the same for the key +12V as the Apevia, even though the FSP is a "450w" and the Apevia is a "600w".
Finally, the Antec TPII 480w mentioned by Newf has: +3.3V@30A, +5V@38A, +12V1@18A, +12V2@18A. Essentially the same as the Apevia in a "480w" PS.

*Bottom line on these specs is that the Apevia, the FSP, and the Antec are all essentially the same on their power output amounts.*

That brings us to the next main issue:
(2) PS quality of design/construction: The reason that FSP and Antec products keep getting recommended is not just that they supply the right kind of power (see {1}) but that they use quality designs and components, so they provide *better* power and the PS won't die on you like your current one did. Unfortunately, with Apevia we don't have a track record like with FSP and Antec, but we can get some indications.

Indication #1: does the manufacturer "oversell" the PS? Unlike your dead PS, Apevia does have decent +12V numbers, which is good. However, its "600w" PS provides essentially the same power output as FSP's "450w" and Antec's "480w". Clearly, Apevia is doing some overselling of its PS -- not a good sign!

Indication #2: Quality of components. I haven't looked inside an Apevia, but there are some reviews (e.g. http://reviews.pimprig.com/power_supply/aspire_darkside... ) which say components (e.g. heatsinks) look OK, but not great (like FSP or Antec). So, not terrible, but still not good for the Apevia.

Indication #3: Quality of power produced. This (along with amount of current produced) is one of the *Big 2* for a PS. For a proper analysis, you need an oscilloscope, but major differences can be spotted just from the published specs. Let's look at the Antec, FSP, and Apevia PSs.
_Voltage tolerance: Obviously, you don't want the output voltage to vary depending on load. The ATX V2.2 power guidelines specify tolerances for the various voltages (see http://www.formfactors.org/developer/specs/ATX12V_PSDG_... ). In general, +3.3V, +5V and +12V need to stay within +/-5% of nominal. The Antec not only achieves this, but goes 40% better, keeping voltages within +/-3%! The FSP hits the +/-5% target. And the Apevia? Well, it's only rated for +/-10% on the two +12V rails! Now, there is a technicality in the ATX V2.2 guidelines that does allow +/-10% on the 1st +12V rail at peak load only; however, it clearly fails the 2nd +12V rail spec of above 11V at peak. Thus, not only is its +12V voltage regulation 100% worse than the FSP and 233% worse than the Antec, it fails the ATX V2.2 standard!
_Ripple & Noise: Again, looking at the ATX V2.2 standard, +3V and +5V ripple & noise should be under 50mV, while +12V should be under 120mV. The Antec complies. The FSP complies. The Apevia? Sorry, Charlie! The +12V & -12V comply, but the +3.3V is 62mV and the +5V is 102mV, about 25% and 100% above the spec.

*Bottom line on quality of design/construction:
Apevia: Manufacturer oversells PS. Quality of components is OK, not great. Quality of power output does not even meet ATX V2.2 standard!
FSP: Manufacturer does not oversell PS. Quality of components is good. Quality of power output meets standard.
Antec: Manufacturer does not oversell PS.. Quality of components is good. Quality of power output is better than standard.
*

Final ranking of the 3 PSs:
#1: Antec TPII 480w: Top-notch power, OK looks, OK cables, mid-high price.
#2: FSP 450w: Solid power, boring looks, standard cables, mid price.
#3: APEVIA 600W Dark Side: Bad power, great looks, very good cables, mid-high price.

I understand the temptation to go for the great-looking PS, especially in comparison to two bland ones, but don't do it at the expense of substandard power, like in the Apevia. You can get great-looking PSs that at least meet the published ATX V2.2 standard.

PS - specs for the PSs are here:
Apevia http://aspireusa.net/product.php?pid=178
Antec http://www.antec.com/specs/TPII480_spe.html
FSP http://www.home2000.net/client/fspgroupusacom/proddetai...
August 20, 2006 8:31:53 PM

Yes, mondoman knows!
Quote:
they use quality designs and components, so they provide *better* power

...which is so very important. But, I didn't even go there (and it's almost most important thing).
Mondoman, why did old powersupplies have such high +3.3V and +5V ratings? Was it an old 80x86 compatibility thing, where ISA slot rigs from the 80's used to use that? Because they say modern rigs don't use that power so much anymore... and I can't imagine why.
L8R
August 20, 2006 8:36:56 PM

Thank you for the EXCELLENT post. 8)

Since at home I have 2 Antec TruePowers, I can add some anecdotal data to go along with the technical specs...

System 1 is a P4 2.4 Northwood with a TruePower 430. I monitor temps and voltage often using Intels handy Active Monitor.
12v always shows fluxuation between 11.75 and 11.82. It never is anything else.
5v and 3.3v show exactly that, and they never change.
This system is getting pretty old now, but the PSU doesn't seem to care.

System 2 is an X2 3800+ with a TruePower 480. Using Asus PC Probe II:
12v always shows 12.25v.
5v always shows 5.15v.
3.3v always shows 3.34v.
None of these values ever change.

Are these numbers perfect? Well no, but to do better I think a TurboCool from PC Power & Cooling for $200 might be required.
Stable, reliable power is critical for PC components.
August 20, 2006 9:32:22 PM

I have considered everything that all of you have said. While I wish I could get them in a different color, I have found three power supplies on newegg that stand out:

Antec TruepowerII TPII-480W - $69.99 w/ Shipping

Enermax Whisper II - $91.33 w/ Shipping

Antec TruepowerII TPII-550W - $84.99 w/ Shipping

Now if this helps at all, I have the following:

AMD Athlon 64bit 3200+
Gigabyte GA-K8N Ultra-9 mobo (mentioned above)
2x512mb of OCZ platinum revision 2 (has 2-2-2-5 memory timings) memory
Evga 6800GT graphics card
Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS sound card (would eventually like to get an x-fi, but not anytime soon)
Dual dvd-burners (one from lite-on, and one from NEC)
a standard floppy drive
80gig Western Digital HD 7200rpm
36.7gig Western Digital Raptor HD 10,000rpm
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 (Perpendicular Recording) ST3320620A 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache IDE Ultra ATA100 Hard Drive (mentioned above)
1x120mm blue led fan
2x80mm blue led fan
2x blue cold cathode lights
my case has some led lights on the front, and it has a thing that'll tell me the temperature of a certain are of my computer (all depends on where I'd put the temperature probe)

There hopefully that helps, and with my choices above, you all said that antec is good, and from what I've heard enermax is good too, but I could be wrong.

I will say one thing that I did like with that apevia power supply was the fact that it was black and had blue ligthing, because it matched my case, I've a black case with blue led fans, but that's just my personal preference, and I suppose in the long run I can ignore that fact.

So yea, I'm hoping to have a finally decision on which power supply to buy by tomorrow, because I'll need to put some moolah in the bank tomorrow, and get the order placed asap, so I can get back to gaming!

Again thank you all for your kind words and helpful thoughts.
August 20, 2006 9:50:54 PM

You could easily run all that off a good 400watt ps. I'd like to mention the wonderful polished platinum appearance of many silverstone ps's, they are the classiest I've ever seen, may not be flashy and have blue led's all over, but I'd rather it look sleek than tacky. Any of these recommendations would work fine for your system, even the one you originally wanted, but if I was going to pay $80, I'd go with a known good product, let others use trial and error on lesser known brands IMHO.
August 20, 2006 9:54:58 PM

Any of the above (or the $60 FSP) will work fine. Pick one...
August 20, 2006 10:04:15 PM

Well I jut had a thought, I was considering the number of peripheral ports I use now, then I realized, right now I use two for my hard drives, 2 for my dvd-burners, 2 for my graphics card, and one for the led lights on my case.

Well I realized now that most new power supplies come with some things to help limit the number of peripherals I use, example I won't need the two for my grahpics card as most power supplies come with a 6-pin connector for graphics cards, I won't need the one for my hard drive because the hard drive will take a sata connector I can use that instead. so giving these new facts I realized, I've got 2+2+2+1 = 7 - 2 -1 = 4 and most power supplies have at least 6

With that I saw this power supply as well:

Silverstone 500W - $95.52 w/ shipping

EDIT - quick question, I know all the power supplies would be sufficient for my machine, but I was just curious, if I could I wouldn't mind doing a little overclocking with my computer, I mean nothing to extreme, maybe overclock my gpu a bit, so my question is, would that make a big difference and thusly make some of my choices a no-no?
August 20, 2006 10:11:13 PM

With rebate :) 

Wasn't that the one I posted?

You won't be dissapointed.
August 20, 2006 10:42:03 PM

Quote:
...
Mondoman, why did old powersupplies have such high +3.3V and +5V ratings? Was it an old 80x86 compatibility thing, where ISA slot rigs from the 80's used to use that? Because they say modern rigs don't use that power so much anymore... and I can't imagine why...

An excellent question! Now, I'm more of a software guy, but here's my understanding.
First of all, in the "old" days, most digital components in PCs required +5V. This was true for CPUs, RAM, etc. In fact, +12V was pretty much used only by RS232 serial ports! So, the main job of a PS was to supply good +5V. There might be some MB-based processing of this power (e.g. by 7805-type voltage regulators), but the +5V from the PS pretty much fed through to the motherboard components.
Then, as the feature size on ICs shrunk, the necessary driving voltage dropped, too. 3.3V was the next big step after 5V. Initially, it was those ICs with real-estate pressure (like CPUs and RAM) that were pushing the density (and thus voltage) frontier, but soon there were 3.3V versions of more and more other chips, too. Although initially components still were powered by +5V externally and converted that down to 3.3V internally, that results in extra costs for the component, plus the down-conversion often wastes energy/generates heat. So, PSs started supplying 3.3V power along with 5V power.

You can see where this story is going! Designers realized they had a problem, as feature sizes on high-density chips would keep getting smaller, requiring lower and lower voltages, but not all the components on a MB would migrate down this pathway at the same time. Trying to add more and more voltages to a standard (analog) PS has major problems:
1) Fixed size of PS. The most trivial problem is that given a standard PS size, you will run out of room to keep adding more and more separate voltage circuits.
2) Inefficiency of analog PSs -> heat! PSs are usually in the range of 60-80% efficient, which means that 20-40% of the incoming power is lost as heat, not converted into useful power. Since PCs (esp. CPUs and GPUs) kept growing in overall power use {wattage}, this meant more waste heat from the PS. The more heat, the shorter component life and the more difficult the PS design.
3) How much power to supply for each voltage? This is another biggie. MBs vary much more in how much current they require for each voltage level as CPU/GPU/RAM/etc advances change these components' power requirements. It's pretty silly to have to have a totally different PS design (e.g. more 1.8V power, less 3.3V power) just because your MB design uses a different model processor or DDR2 RAM instead of DDR RAM, or even a different plug-in graphics board!
Another aspect of this is that the more variation in voltage demands, the lower the efficiency of the PS, since each PS circuit has a peak in efficiency around some typical expected current amount. If one MB design draws a lot of current at one voltage and another uses less at that voltage in favor of a different voltage, you can't easily design one analog PS circuit to be efficient for both MBs.

Computer designers realized things had to change. In an ideal world, one would split the power supply function into an analog part and a digital part, put the analog part in the PS "box", and let the MB deal with the digital part. We'll get to the "digital part" shortly, but if you think about the problems mentioned above, the best "analog part" PS would be one that focused on supplying a single DC voltage (i.e. +12V), to maximize efficiency and to simplify design. Then, you could just have a small range of analog PSs to cover the range of computers, maybe 1 300w, 1 450w, 1 600w. Of course, there are backwards-compatibility considerations, for example voltage supply requirements on the PCI bus, PCIexpress bus, drive power, etc. So, real-world analog PSs have a number of voltages, but it's the +12V output that is key to modern systems; increased power consumption in future systems will be supplied by this circuit (as we already see in the 4-pin processor power and 6-pin graphics power connections).

(to be continued)
August 20, 2006 11:49:37 PM

Well I've successfully narrowed my choices down between these two:

Antec TruepowerII TPII-550W

and

Antec TruepowerII TPII-480W

Now I like the 480W version for it's price and the fact that is has a blue led fan, but then I have to wonder should I just go with the 550W version, and be done with it, I mean wouldn't th 550W version keep me a little future proof like I mean if I'd want to upgrade like my graphics card or processor or something, or would the 480W version still be sufficient?
August 21, 2006 12:22:11 AM

It's only 1A difference on the +12V outputs -- go with what you like in this case.
August 23, 2006 7:57:49 PM

Well I would just like to say that I went with the 480W PS and it came today, and so far everything is fine and dandy, but I do a quick totally unrelated question. I noticed this when I was playing F.E.A.R. with my old PS, I noticed these blacks pixels were popping up everywhere like in this pic,

http://xs305.xs.to/xs305/06343/BlackPixels.jpg

can someone tell me why that's happening? I'm curious as to why that is, because I'm playing another game and I think I'm starting to see the same problem again. So if ya can give me answer that'd be nice

In addition, I just would like to thank all of you for your input, you were all really helpful in allowing me to make a smart decision.
August 24, 2006 12:51:30 AM

Looks like either bad video ram or the card is overclocked too much. If they start changing colors in the same spots it's definately bad video ram.
August 24, 2006 1:29:00 AM

Just put the jumper back the way it was.

Even though the new 7200.10 drives read 1MBps faster than a Raptor they still CAN NOT use all the bandwith of a regular PATA line!

Oh by the way there is no such computer standard as SATA 2. It is just a marketing ploy.
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