Do I need 550W?

  Gaz W 01:00 13 May 2004

I bought a 550W dual fan power supply about 6 months ago for £28.20 inc. VAT. I thought I'd got a bargain; it seemed well built, had proper fan grilles and everything, but the only problem was it only had four of the larger ATA power connectors for drives. About a month ago the fan(s) started being noisy and this week I finally got sick of it. I had lost the invoice so had to buy another. It turned out that the one I bought as a replacement was the same one sold under a different brand name - identical in every way. I plugged it in and it's displaying all of the same symptoms now! Needless to say it's going back, but what do I replace it with?

Do I need 550W? Here's what I'm running off it:

Abit AT7 Max 2 mobo
AMD Athlon XP 2600+ & 512MB DDR 333
ATi Radeon 9600 Pro
Nebula DigiTV PCI card
Akasa cold cathode blue neon light
DVD-ROM drive, CD Rewriter (and soon DVD writer)
Western Digital Caviar 250GB SATA HDD

Obviously I don't want to get a 350W power supply, but it seems that power supplies rated around 450/470W are more expensive. Would one of those do?

If I buy from here (click here) I can get it tomorrow (well today). The one I have is listed in there - here's a direct link to it: click here

Any help appreciated! Thanks in advance,


  TomJerry 01:26 13 May 2004

click here. 400W should be ok. Good psus are expensive, but personally I do anything to get my PC quiet. My PC on a desk next to my bed and I can keep it on in the night, same cannot be said for many PCs.

  Gaz W 01:40 13 May 2004

I agree about the quality, but it shouldn't come at a price of £72, surely? I like the idea of having my PC as quiet as possible, since it is switched on a lot of the time and I also have a server in the room (only 2 fans in that so fairly quiet) - so keeping noise levels down is important.

I'm going to see if I can find the QTechnology and/or Zalman PSUs cheaper elsewhere. Are you sure 400W will be enough, because my neon light flickers when the CD drives are in use with this 550W power supply! That could be an issue with the quality of the power supply, but thought I'd mention it.

  BeForU 01:51 13 May 2004

Gaz W, are you using the 550W Q-Tec Dual PSU fan? Cause that is the one I am using. Nice gold one and brought from Ebuyer for only £17 (bloody good bargin!!) last May and it is still working fine now.

I am very wary myself if it was a good idea to have 550W since I may be wasting alot of excess power thus increasing me electricity bill.

My system is an AMD 2800, 1GB Ram, ATI Radeon 9700, DVD, CDRW, 2 (120gb & 80gb)hard drives, 4 UV cathodes & 7 80mm fans.

My cathodes dont flicker or anything and I am sure that there are loads more extra Watts to fill up.

  Gaz W 01:54 13 May 2004

No - first one is branded "Jou Jye" and the new one is "Winpower" - blue with gold fan grilles covering what must be the most awful fans ever made!!!

Will look into the Q-Tec one. It's not the same make as Q Technology is it?

  Gaz W 01:57 13 May 2004

To be honest I'm not really sure how this wattage rating works with power supplies, just that you can't stick a 250W one in there or it won't work and a 300W would probably struggle. Other than that I'm not sure how it's all supposed to work!

  SGT [email protected] 02:19 13 May 2004

the q-tec psu's are just as bad as the ones you bought , the fans die after a while and make a noise a jumbo jet would be lucky to make.

  Gaz W 02:33 13 May 2004

If they are they shouldn't be allowed to sell them - the same as mine. The thing that really gets me is I have really cheap power supplies that work, and just about everyone else I know is using a bog-standard one that came with the case without any trouble at all! All of the power supplies I have bought in the last 2 years have been complete rubbish! What has happened to all the decent fans???

I really don't want to risk buying another "lemon" because I have lost the invoice for the first one so can't have a refund for that(£28.20), and buying one on the net usually means sending it back at my own cost if it goes wrong.

I think I'll have a look in the morning for the Q Technology ones elsewhere - I am prepared to go up to or around £40.

  philwane 07:27 13 May 2004

If you want to know how big a power supply to get go to here click here
and you can work it out

  georgemac 07:50 13 May 2004

click here 400 watt cheap but not quiet qtec

antec 330 watt click here quiet

click here 470 watt from superflower - reviews say quiet but out of stock at the moment

click here antec 450 watt

click here antec 480 watt

The antec power supplies are quality units and quiet but you have to pay the price. Looking at your system I would say a 350 watt quality psu would be ideal - a lot of the cheaper high power rated psu's will not be as able as a 350 watt antec.

The superflower psu's seem to get good reviews but are all out of stock at the moment, although until now I had never heard of them.

BeforU - the rating of the psu will not affect the electric bill - only the amount of components connected to it and the amount of current they are using. The 550 watt rating only means the maximum power (volts x current) that it is capable of suppying.

  georgemac 07:52 13 May 2004

that is a very useful link.

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