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PSU upgrade for HTPC

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May 31, 2011 4:10:22 PM

Hi,

My HTPC (E5200, ITX mobo, 120W Pico PSU) build is only about two years old now, but it's starting to feel long in the tooth. My biggest problem right now is that I'd like to add another HDD (and an SSD sometime in the future) and a Blu-ray burner to the system, but there just aren't enough power connectors on the Pico and there probably isn't enough power either. So, I'm looking for a PSU upgrade.

When I do a rebuild (hopefully at least another year) with the upgrades above, I'd like to move up to an i3 Sandy Bridge and a mid range graphics card (something like a 460GTX) so I'm thinking I don't need anything more than a 400-500W PSU. I've looked at the following PSUs:

OCZ ModXstreme 500W
Antec BP550 Plus 550W
Seasonic M12II 520c

I know Seasonic is a quality PSU brand, but I have no experience with OCZ and Antec PSUs. I can't believe that there aren't more options for 500W modular PSUs. Are there any PSUs I'm missing? Any other suggestions? Thanks for the help.

More about : psu upgrade htpc

a b ) Power supply
May 31, 2011 4:20:53 PM

I have the 600W version of the ModXtreme. It's decent. No complaints.
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a c 91 ) Power supply
May 31, 2011 6:38:28 PM

If you can afford the Seasonic model then you should not even bother with either of that Antec and OCZ model.. However, for the price of that particular Seasonic unit, you can get yourself the XFX 650W XXX Edition PSU.. It is basically a Seasonic unit, is modular and though overkill for your current and future needs, is a solid investment..
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a b ) Power supply
May 31, 2011 7:01:26 PM

I agree that SeaSonic is the best of the bunch. Another PSU you may want to consider is the modular 500W Strider Plus by Silverstone. This one has been making waves in the HTPC crowd not only because it is quiet, efficient, and reliable, but also because it is shorter than other modular PSU's and has an available short cable kit which helps in smaller builds.

SILVERSTONE Strider Plus ST50F-P 500W ATX 12V v2.3 & EPS 12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply $80

Review

Review

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May 31, 2011 11:57:55 PM

Silvune said:
Another quality review of that unit^:
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Silverstone/Strider_...


I actually took a look at that Silverstone PSU, but after having trouble trying to keep the HTPC cool in one of those shoebox style cases, I moved the whole thing into an Antec P183, so the short cable pack wouldn't be of much use to me. Also, while it's probably not fair, that Tech Powerup review made me a little uneasy about the PSU since it seems to become less reliable if it gets too hot.

That XFX power supply actually looks really nice though. I'm a little sorry I didn't see it when I built my gaming rig a little while ago. I would have loved to have a modular PSU for it. Two questions though:

1. The system doesn't, and won't use a lot of power. I thought when you're building a low power system, it's better to have a PSU rated for a lower max wattage since they are more efficient at lower power draws. I don't mind going overkill since the HTPC spends most of its time sleeping, but does it make a difference between say the XFX 650W and Seasonic 520W or even a 400W PSU?

2. I can afford to wait on upgrading the PSU; do the Seasonic or XFX units go on sale often? I see there was/is a rebate for the XFX that expires 5/31, but I'm not going to bite given Newegg's bizarre invoice system.

Thanks again.
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a b ) Power supply
June 1, 2011 1:55:58 AM

1. A PSU is most efficient at around 50% rated capacity. The problem is the market is sorely missing good quality modular PSU's in the 300-400W range. If you can still find one, the modular 400W Enermax Liberty was perfect for lower power systems.

2. There's a site called camelegg.com that tracks newegg prices and can give you an idea of what items go on sale and how often. I believe it can even send you alerts when the price drops.
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June 1, 2011 2:44:55 PM

rwpritchett said:
1. A PSU is most efficient at around 50% rated capacity. The problem is the market is sorely missing good quality modular PSU's in the 300-400W range. If you can still find one, the modular 400W Enermax Liberty was perfect for lower power systems.

2. There's a site called camelegg.com that tracks newegg prices and can give you an idea of what items go on sale and how often. I believe it can even send you alerts when the price drops.


I thought there used to be more ~400W modular PSUs, but I might just be remembering incorrectly. Anyways, thanks for the Camelegg site, I can't believe I never happened upon it myself.
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June 1, 2011 2:45:43 PM

Best answer selected by scuzzy1.
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a b ) Power supply
February 3, 2012 6:27:02 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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