What are my odds? (MicroATX PSU-230W)
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Thread: What are my odds? (MicroATX PSU-230W)

  1. #1
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    Exclamation What are my odds? (MicroATX PSU-230W)

    Hi, I'm about to purchase a new microATX motherboard along with a pentium 4 3.2 Ghz 800-FSB CPU. I already have the case, it came today. The PSU is only 230 Watts, though. I will also be installing two dual channel PC-3200 DDR-400 memory sticks, CD-RW drive, floppy drive, Nvidia PCI video card, Maxtor HDD, and a sound card.

    My question is, what are my chances of having enough power to run this box until I can afford to buy a stronger+better quality PSU? And if there is even a chance, what components/peripherals could I attempt to do without to get it to run. Like, leaving out the PCI video card/floppy drive/sound card and using the onboard video/sound until I get the new PSU? Would this even work? I'm not aware of which components suck how much wattage and whatnot so I've come for help.

    Here's exactly what I'm getting:

    MOBO
    CHIP
    CASE


    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    No you are not................you bought a doorstop not a case.

    You need at least 350watts and preferably 400 for what you are proposing.

    Look for a case with at least 2 external 5.25 drives, 2 internal 3.5" drives 1 external 3.5" drive 4 USB 2.0 ports....................as a minimum.



    In the meantime, you can probably replace the CPU............DON't try to run with what you've got, you will risk frying the lot
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
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  3. #3
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    Originally posted here by nihil you bought a doorstop not a case.
    You make it sound like this wasn't the case I wanted.

    I wanted this tiny case, I've already done the whole 4 foot case with the interior blown out thing... lol

    If you weren't so helpful and I couldn't sense some sympathy in your post I'd almost be offended you called my tiny case a doorstop.


    Originally posted here by nihil
    You need at least 350watts and preferably 400 for what you are proposing.
    So no go on booting this up with most options installed, huh? I can wait, and I intended to buy a bigger PSU so it wasn't like I was putting all my chips on that dinky PSU that the case came with.


    Originally posted here by nihil
    In the meantime, you can probably replace the CPU............DON't try to run with what you've got, you will risk frying the lot
    I may be reading your post wrong, but are you saying I can run with this chip minus all the fancy peripherals or I shouldn't/can't?

  4. #4
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    OK, It will work I am sure, but you need to be careful. Unfortunately if you check out the replacement PSUs, you don't have a standard format, so I am not sure if that case would mount another style.

    /me goes to get Dremel, diamond cutting disk, and miniauture welding kit

    I would not worry about the 3.5" floppy..............they do not use a lot, and you don't use them whilst you are doing anything heavy duty. That will not be a problem.

    I would hold back on the sound and video cards and just use what is on the MoBo

    Sure, I think that you will get away with it, but do watch your ventilation............tidy wiring, cable ties, away from wall

    And try to single task where possible.............errr.............. like playing game whilst updating Access database and saving graphics might not be a good idea at the same time.

    The case is not one I know, but the company seem sound, and make their own PSUs, which is a good positive.

    Please get one of those surge protectors.............when you are running stuff beyond 60% I get nervous..............a little kick down the mains might be all it would take.

    OK on the final analysis, I would build it.................probably with a Duron processor, slower DDR Ram etc. and it would be fine for a person living in a bedsit, with little space and no great computing demands.

    I feel that you will "get away with it" for a while at least, just be gentle huh?

    Good luck, and have fun............and get back with any problems, you are always welcome
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  5. #5
    AO Decepticon CXGJarrod's Avatar
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    Nihil is right on this one, if a bid paranoid. (Which is not a bad thing) You probably want to with a bigger power supply.

    However, this is my experience with low wattage power supplies. They burn up when overloaded. You will start to smell burnt electronics. I see that its a PowMax case. Personally I would not get near a Powmax power supply ever again. (As it almost started a fire in my house)

    Here are a couple of images of my board after the PowMax power supply went bad.

    Motherboard

    Power Cord

    The inside of the power supply was worse, but I chucked it before pictures because it smelt bad. Never the less, I dont buy cheap or low wattage power supplies anymore.
    N00b> STFU i r teh 1337 (english: You must be mistaken, good sir or madam. I believe myself to be quite a good player. On an unrelated matter, I also apparently enjoy math.)

  6. #6
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    Originally posted here by nihil
    OK, It will work I am sure, but you need to be careful. Unfortunately if you check out the replacement PSUs, you don't have a standard format, so I am not sure if that case would mount another style.

    /me goes to get Dremel, diamond cutting disk, and miniauture welding kit
    Hehhe... I already took a standard ATX PSU and put it next to the case; it dwarfs it! I will have to go with a microATX PSU or nothing at all. I'm not as brave as you, so I will leave the welding to the pros. Besides, if the case won't shut properly it won't be as pretty sitting here beside my monitor.

    Originally posted here by nihil

    And try to single task where possible.............errr.............. like playing game whilst updating Access database and saving graphics might not be a good idea at the same time.
    I'll have to watch out on this one... I'm a multitask freak. :P

    Originally posted here by nihil

    OK on the final analysis, I would build it.................probably with a Duron processor, slower DDR Ram etc. and it would be fine for a person living in a bedsit, with little space and no great computing demands.
    Fortunately, I'm not completely out of options (it'll just take a little house politics). My sister has a nice little 1.6 Ghz Pentium with 1?? something FSB that might be safer in the meantime. I'm sure she won't mind if I borrow it for a little while (extended while, that is).

    Or, I could just use this 256mb stick of PC2700 ram from my current box and purchase a 400 Watt PSU with the money I was going to purchase the Dual Channel DDR-400 with. I've never had a Mobo that can handle Dual Channel ram, will it let me use this other DDR PC2700 stick in it? I know it can take 3200/2700/2100 Dual Channel, but Single Channel???

  7. #7
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    Originally posted here by CXGJarrod
    Nihil is right on this one, if a bid paranoid. (Which is not a bad thing) You probably want to with a bigger power supply.

    However, this is my experience with low wattage power supplies. They burn up when overloaded. You will start to smell burnt electronics. I see that its a PowMax case. Personally I would not get near a Powmax power supply ever again. (As it almost started a fire in my house)
    Originally posted here by CXGJarrod

    Never the less, I dont buy cheap or low wattage power supplies anymore.
    Sorry, missed this post.

    I've never even heard of Powmax before to be honest, so I already don't trust them (for PSU's anyway). The case is the thing I mostly wanted. At any rate, I'm glad you posted with this testimonial.... I think I'm now too scared to even attempt setting up this PC with that PSU. I'll just have to be patient and wait for my next pay check. Patience is a virtue?! Hehehe.

    I'd rather be damned than blow up this mobo and all my components.... I guess this whole "see if I can get away with it" thing is a no go.

    Thanks for the posts.

  8. #8
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    Exclamation

    As mentioned, Nihil is right about the power supply and what to do about it.

    It's not the total amount of watts you are ultimately concerned with. Even 450watt power supply can suck, and there are plenty of them out there.
    It's how much wattage each rail is consistently provided, including peak rail numbers. Any power supply that comes in a $30-odd case has all voltage rails connected together, bad move but what do you expect to get in a $30 case.
    When the 12v and 5volt (floppy) rails demand more power, it'll overdrive the video card 3.3volt rail too. One voltage rail affects the others in a symbiotic relationship. Cheap is dangerous.

    The power supply in the PowMax will be a non-standard size, sometimes it's even non-standard among M-ATX specs. You will have to shop around for a better brand, try Antec or Enermax. I almost exclusively use Antec power supplies, yes they are expensive but they have great features that save your butt and your motherboard's butt.

    If you ARE going to run that power supply, use the motherboard video and sound for now, to be on the safe side. It should run this way, but I still don't like that !power supply!

    If you think you are going to be playing a game, updating an Access database and whatever, all at once, you already are pushing the limits of the supply. When that cheap power supply is straining to provide the correct voltages and current, the cheap parts inside are going to give up for the day and go home, taking your motherboard with it. It's not a matter of IF, it's a matter of WHEN.
    ZT3000
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  9. #9
    They call me the Hunted foxyloxley's Avatar
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    If you ARE a multi-task kinda guy, then these toy boxes are NOT for you.

    Stick to midi tower as a MINIMUM, more space, more air flow, more chance of having a computer the following week

    Build this toy, as just that, a toy.
    Use it as and when you desire, but when the deamons [did you see what I did there ] bite, fire up a proper sized box
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  10. #10
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    Originally posted here by foxyloxley
    Build this toy, as just that, a toy.
    Use it as and when you desire, but when the deamons [did you see what I did there ] bite, fire up a proper sized box
    Yes, this box is definately just a toy box. I have built a mid-tower and tower box before just never one of these really small ones. Thought I'd give it a go. Call it a hobby when I'm not dead broke.

    You know what, getting back to something nihil mentioned earlier. I think I'll just use this diablo 550 Watt PSU and let it sit outside the box where the other psu would have been mounted. If I take the current PSU out I can then just feed the cords through where it was sitting. The cords should be plenty long enough including the 12v. That way, I can put the side of the case back on and get all the good stuff back in the box and have it up and running. It wouldn't be any different than someone testing a psu on another box and not actually having it mounted.... It won't exactly be pretty, or permanent, but I think this option is probably the best for my impatient self at this point.

    Seems newegg has around 10 microATX PSU's but none of the name brand ones get above 250 Watt. Anyone know of a place on the net to get name-brand microATX PSU's?

    @

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