Just read the new article on power supplies. It has really got me thinking that my new system may need more than the Antec True 330W supply my new case is coming with. The chart in this article is interesting, but for the novice leaves alot of unanswered questions. For instance; if 1 5400rpm hard drive uses 112 (watts?) what will my 2 7200rpm drives use? The chart shows a 128meg ram module using (30) will my 512 or maybe 1024 ram use 4 or more times that figure?

I wish the article explained where these numbers came from and told me how to find them for my components. I have been all over the manufacturers websites and have turned up nothing about power needs. Why aren't these listed in the specs from the factory sites?

What would be WONDERFUL to see, and a great sales tool for Power Supply makers is a POWER SUPPLY CALCULATOR.. you could enter all your components and get a reccomendation on power supplies.

At this point after reading this article and looking at the chart for a high end system, and seeing that my system will be Higher End..... I think I want to ditch the power supply in my case (which sucks) and buy at least the Antec True 480 if not the 550 Watt supply. Any suggestions on what would be safe for me, and perhaps where I could find the power info on my components????

Klipsch THX 200 watt speakers (if they count)

Looking at the chart in this article I am WAY underpowered, but I don't think I am reading it correctly. Several people are telling me that 550W is OVERKILL for me.
HELP?!!! Wheres a CALCULATOR!!!???
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  1. you will be fine with a 350 watt.

    how do you shoot the devil in the back? what happens if you miss? -verbal
  2. thanks... does that mean the 330W is not enough? and if I need 350, why not just buy the 400 for a few bucks more?

    does anyone know of a link on how to figure this out?
  3. Quote:
    if I need 350, why not just buy the 400 for a few bucks more?

    Do it. Same principle for the mobo. But nothing else.

    John A
  4. Power supply calculators areall very well, but thats assuming the power supply behaves as its labeled!

    Also, its not a good idea to run your PSU at 95% or 100% of full load, if you do that there is a high probability that it will burn out.

    With PSU's the best solution is to OVERCOMPENSATE. If your not sure a 350W unit is enough, get a 400. The more powerful the PSU you get the lower the percentage of full load you will be running it at, and it will probably run cooler and quieter to boot.
    The extra wattage can also come in handy in the future if you decide to upgrade and put in a more powerful CPU or juice hungry Graphics card.

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  5. A PSU run best at between 25 and 75 percent of the load. The extra load is designed to boot up. Some of component in computer require more power when they boot up. An example is hard drive.
  6. Me too, me too..!

    I want to get a new MB and Processor, but I I'm keeping my case. So what PSU do I need, cuz I'll just change it.

    Lets say, around 2000XP Athlon,
    CD-Writer 32x or 48x,
    DVD-Player 16x,
    1 5400 RPM Seagate 20.4GB Hard Disk,
    1x insignificant sound card,
    Currently a GeForce 2 MX 64MB. If I get a new one, how much more power is that?
    And 1-2 extra case fans.
  7. I would get at least a 350 Watt PSU. If you plan to add more hard drive a good Video card then get a 400 Watt PSU.
  8. Why so much...? For this guy 350 is enough, and he has more than me...
  9. actually it was agreed that i go ahead and get a larger one, which i am doing. in fact i have decided on a 480 just because it was only a few dollars more than the 400.

    the thing is, everyone seems to have an opinion on what to do, and many don't agree. my freind who builds machines all the time, says 300 is enough. the problem: no one can really tell you a good way to do the math and know for sure what is good for your particular system. that is why i think it would be great to have a program that calculates it for you..... i thought tom's chart was sorta showing us that, but it just doesn't explain what or where they got those numbers.
    i imagine i will be able to find all this information about power needs when all the components get here and i have the manuals. as i mentioned before i can't find any of it online. have you been able to find any?

    i think until someone figures out a way to calculate proper power needs the rule of thumb should be buy at the best you can afford at the VERY LEAST 300 Watts.

    that doesn't seem to be the most scientific advice, but it does seem to be the only advice i can find.

    good luck.... thanks... and if anyone comes up with a good way to really KNOW what your system demands, and can explain this chart from the PS Article, please do share it with us!
  10. Its more than just "need" too.
    What do you think is better for the powersupply itself? Struggling along at 95% or 75% of full load?
    Runnign a higher wattage PSU gives you more headroom, more stable voltages and a less stressed PSU.

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  11. The problem with making a program is the number of patches/updates you'd need to do.
    Then there's the number of components and sheer volume of the nearly infinite amount of combinations that can occur around the world.

    AMD has a rough guide that can help though.
    However I'm not sure how much help it really is, nor if it will help out a newbie a lot or not.
    Granted it'd be great to have, but even then you have to rely on the information that you get from manufacturers (unless you can find a way to get the power reported through the motherboard, however I wouldn't trust that completely either). Just figuring out the motherboards (at a guess the power consumption changes from maker to maker and likely from board to board) would be pretty daunting.

  12. It's not so much getting a calculator as it is just finding the power specs on the components your using. If you have that, you can just add. If your memory uses 20w, your 2 hard drives use 75w each, and your AGP card is 50w (not exact figures), then you have 220w right there. Once you find out what you need, just add say another 30% and you should have an idea what size P/S you need. Granted, this isn't exact, as the power is split up to different voltages and paths, but it should get you pretty close.

  13. FYI: I've run an Athlon XP 2000 with 2 7200RPM hard drives, VooDoo5 with 2 fans, extra case fan, ECS K7S6A board, CDROM, Floppy, 512Megs 2700 DDR RAM and a 3Com NIC on a 250 Watt PS! It finally died after 6 months and then only after I left it in the middle of a Windowz install all night long (oops!). Same setup is now running on a 300 Watt PS and has been for about 8 months without any problems. I also have 2 Pentium 4 1.8s with 300 watt PS in them now for 6 months, no problems. It just might be that some of that 400 watt stuff could be "overkill", IMHO. I have a tendency to use whatever works and to this point, 300 watt PS at $16 each are looking pretty good to me. But, if you have the money to spend and want a 400 or 500 watt PS, just for piece of mind, GO FOR IT BUBBA! :-)

    "You can run, but your punk ass will only die tired!"
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