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

  1. #21
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    This is the first time I saw this thread... Why is everyone around here so power hungry for PSUs?
    Well my original suggestion was 350-400 Watts. In the past I have built many machines with a 350Watt supply, if only because that was what came in the case. I have had no PSU problems, and take the view that the manufacturer gives a warranty and decides to put a 350 in the box, then they probably know what they are doing?

    Recently, the cases I have bought have had a 400Watt supply, which possibly reflects more power hungry components. Once again, it seems to be the default value these days.

    I go with ZT3000 on the idea that not all PSUs are equal in quality. That is why I like a reasonable safety margin, and tend to go for cases around the $65-$70 mark.

    Also remember that your machine is not running at full belt all the time.................I just looked at the PSU in a new case and it is 180~400Watts. The concept is one of a safety margin, or margin for error. Most equipment run at half capacity will last longer and run better than something that is at its maximum capabilities.

    As there is little difference in the price, why take the risk?

  2. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Well, the reason we need to recommend 400+ watt PSUs is because in today's hugely mass-produced and cheap market economy, even "580 watt" PSUs fail to provide more than 300 watts of power that an enthusiast could reasonably expect to approach. In some cases these PSUs failed completely after only a couple of hours while outputting 300 watts. Recommending higher-rated PSUs is just our trying to get a person out of this problem the market (well, the marketers) has created.

    For example, the POWmax Demon 580, aka Diablo 550. First, a name with "pow" in it doesn't seem to forshadow a good future.


    When I received my Powmax Demon 580W, the first thing I noticed is that it was lighter than any other power supply I had ever used before. Even thinking back to 250 AT power supplies I used back in 1996, I could only say "This thing is LIGHT!"


    As usual, I opened the power supply up and inside I found about half as much "power supply" as any of the other power supplies I have reviewed today. Two ideas came to mind. Either Moore's Law now applies to power supplies and Powmax is far advanced from other manufacturers, or the two components on the PCB that look like capacitors are actually uranium isotopes. Yes people... The Powmax Demon is not a switching power supply. It's actually a miniature nuclear reactor.... and the red glowing is NOT derived from LED's! I'ts radiation!!! Ok... Maybe not.

    The heat sinks are about as small as I've ever seen. They do not even run the length of the already small PCB. They only come up half way up the height of the housing and plateau into two little sheets of perforated aluminum.


    Anyways, nearly everyone in the PSU industry is guilty of this to a degree.

    The only company I know that rises above this market game is PC Power & Cooling, with the pretty numbers bolded. Their 510watt rated PSU, the Turbo-Cool 510, was able to produce up to 642 watts while keeping the rails solid, and having no effect on the AC sinewave (inductive vs. capacitive skewing was non-existant with the Turbo-Cool 510), if clean power is your thing. (Pretty much ever other PSU does skew the AC wave quite a bit) Of course the PC P&C TurboCool 510 series starts at $200, so you want to consider that too. (I couldn't afford it in my build, though I still would absolutely love to have one)

    Aside from PC P&C (and a few rare companies producing a specific PSU model to try and compete against PC P&C), the market as a whole plays the number game where the ratings don't reflect what you can actually get. So we have to consider that in purchasing upgrades if you want no problems related to power issues. (and of course leave room for the usual surge protectors, etc)

    We might as well recommend something that can be used not only today, but well into the future. With dual-core, not only will heat be an issue, but solid power. You might as well be prepared. I know my Vantec Stealth is a powerful supply (though I have yet to see reliable numbers for it) and I plan to keep it through my current over-clocked power-hungry dual CPU system, and well into the future.

    Anyways @---@, good luck with the Dell mobo in that machine. Hopefully it doesn't load it too much, though I can't imagine it does considering what my old HP used to have where the PSU was supposed to go

  3. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005


    Originally posted here by Tim_axe
    ..For example, the POWmax Demon 580, aka Diablo 550. First, a name with "pow" in it doesn't seem to forshadow a good future.
    LOL, good one.

    It's either an abbreviation for "Pow"erless or Ker"Pow"!

    Your choice.

    (Another inexpensive PW with a really indicative name is "Sparkle". hehe)
    Beta tester of "0"s and "1"s"

  4. #24
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Originally posted here by Tim_axe

    For example, the POWmax Demon 580, aka Diablo 550. First, a name with "pow" in it doesn't seem to forshadow a good future.
    G_r_e_a_t..... I'm one of the idiots who's actually using a powmax PSU and have been for well over a year. It's humming awfully loud in the case beneath my feet right now. Something to keep the feet toasty, I guess!

    No fires, yet!

    Got me an Antec 400 Watt on hand though, b-i-a-t-c-h!!! Heheheh..... Where's that screwdriver I had in here!? Any suckers on ebay want a coool, flashy tinderbox?!

    Originally posted here by ZT3000

    (Another inexpensive PW with a really indicative name is "Sparkle". hehe)
    Hey, I heard sparkle is actually a reliable brand, though. Take that for what it's worth, afterall I'm the one with a powmax running my box.

  5. #25
    Senior since the 3 dot era
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    About the power hungry boxes... I experienced that a 300w rated psu from a mid market brand (aopen) wasn't enough to power up an AMD64 2800+, with 1 SATA hdd, 1 DVD rom, 1 120mm fan and 512M DDR, VGA and sound onboard... the problem was not enough power on the 12v rail. An Antec 350w psu had no problem att all powering such a box. Important is the combined power output on the different voltage lines without affecting the voltage rating.

    So new power hungry components like the latest AMD64 and intel p4 cpu's, 7200rpm hdd's, and specially the new vga-cards like the ATI X800 or Nvidia 6800 need a decent power supply that can power your box with clean an stable power without getting to hot.

    I would go with a not to high rated but decent power supply. Brand's I suggest, or trust when buiding a box:
    - Tagan
    - Antec
    - Enermax

    Keep in mind that today psu manufacturers make models with several fans, suggesting the more fans is better... this is not entirly the case. For the simple reason that those fans take up place where other (better psu models) have larger heatsinks or larger capacitors, you can also notice the difference in weight. So a so called fantastic psu cause it's not costly and has a triple fan design is probably a bad choice, better go for a design with less fans (1 or 2) but better components inside. Heatsinks generate no noise, are not moving and therefor much more reliable, and don't consume energy. When you take in mind that some manufacturers can build psu's without fan's, a pure fanless design (Silentmaxx Pro Silence, Yesico, Antec Phantom) you wonder why others need three fans? inferior design and show nothing more.

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