I am going through the upgrade process. I am stuck on the PSU question. I currnetly have a three year old Antec 350 PSU that has served me well. I am going upgrade to a C2D system as follows (still tweaking the indiviual brands, but this gives a flavor). I may OC a bit, but nothing to extreme.
MB: mid range 965 (Gigabyte DS3 or Asus P5BE)
Proc: Intel C2D 6300 or 6400
Video: 7600GT or x1650 based
Two SATA HD (existing)
Two IDE DVD burners (existing)
Possible will add a PCI IDE card as well)
Zalman 9500 CPU cooler
TV tuner card
As far as gaming, my needs are moderate- FLight sim, and some other sim tpye programs. Also do some light duty CAD work along with a a fair amount of video/photo processing.
Machine will be dual boot Vista/XP.
Can I expect my current 350watt PSU to handle this, or do I need to budget for a new PSU?
A quick trip to the eXtreme PSU calc says you want to have +12v combined current at least 18A for the nvidia and 19A for the ATI... The age of the PSU is considerable so that may be pushing for a premature end-of-life for that 350w unit.
I would splurge for a 400W+ dual-rail unit and keep the 350w with the old mobo/cpu bundle, since it has served you well it should continue to do so in that role.
I think you have an older version of the Antec TruePower PSU. I believe version 2.0 came out about 2 years ago. If your PSU is version 2.0 then it would be able to handle your new system.
If you have version 1.0 then I suggest buying a 450w Fortron PSU for $53, they make good PSUs that are not very expensive. You can find 450w PSU for less, but personally I wouldn't trust those brands. Unless it a good namebrand that is on sale.
Actually, there is one exception to my comment about very inexpensive 450w PSUs. That's the XClio 450BL ATX 450W Power Supply which can be bought for $38 + shipping. I read a couple of hardware reviews of that particular model. Basically it is stable and can a little more than it's rated power, but if the power draw it too much then the XClio will safely shut down your PC.
The only bad thing about it is that it does not have PFC (Power Factor Correction), most people don't know what that is even if it bit them. For the average consumer, it is really of no concern.
Thanks again for the added information. One last noob question. The recommendations have the fan on the top. This will go in my Sonata case. The current PSU has less than 1/2" clearance above the PSU. I have no air holes in the top of my case. Will these type PSU work effectively? Should I consider drilling a patten of holes in the top of my case? I dont care about looks, just function.