help making sure I buy a compatible PSU!!

  Natcrow 10:35 23 May 2006

I have decided to upgrade my gfx card to a geforce 6800gs and also to upgrade to 1 gig of RAM, however I have just discovered that I have a rather pathetic 250W PSU in my PC atm, obviously this will be nowhere near sufficient to cope with the upgrade.

Being relatively new to poking around inside my PC I had just managed to find my way through the minefield of buying the correct RAM, I have decided which gfx card my mobo will take and now another spanner in the works.....

Anyhow, can anyone advise me on buying a PSU, is it the same minefield of compatability that everything else inside my PC seems to be?, or will any PSU work with any mobo/CPU/chassis (lol, as if!)

I have a Packard Bell imedia 5041 Danube

my mobo is
Columbia V (GA-8SIML-NF5) Ver 2.0
Type: µATX motherboard
Manufacturer: Gigabyte

Intel Celeron 2.4 GHz

Chassis is [url=click here] HERE[/url]

  Strawballs 10:48 23 May 2006

I think the (as if) apllies to most modern PSU's I have 1 in a box on the shelf beside me which is compatible with both Intel amd AMD

  Strawballs 10:48 23 May 2006

oops and AMD

  Stuartli 11:01 23 May 2006

It would appear you have a MicroATX PSU - as motherboards for this format usually only have a maximum of three PCI slots, PSU wattages are normally quite modest.

Your mobo specs are here:

click here

It would seem that, unless you can find a more powerful PSU, the 6800GS may be out of reach as a minimum of a 350w PSU is listed as being required..:-(

  Natcrow 11:35 23 May 2006

I think perhaps you misunderstood Stuartli, I realise that my current PSU cannot cope with the 6800GS, my problem is that I do not know which PSU is compatible with my current setup so that I can upgrade.

What do I need to look for in the specs of a PSU so ensure it fits my system?

  Stuartli 12:30 23 May 2006

I do, in fact, understand. A MicroATX case (and PSU) is smaller than an ATX case (and ATX PSU) which most people use.

So you need a MicroATX PSU. As I said earlier they don't seem to come with enough wattage.

These are the Micro(mini)ATX form factor specifications:

click here

click here

and for the ATX:

click here

  Natcrow 13:00 23 May 2006

Ah, im with you now, so the "backwards u" means its a micro, which means I need a micro PSU, I'm hunting around for a 350w micro ATX PSU but the highest i can find seems to be 250w, so basically i'm stuffed then?

Unless of course I upgrade my chassis (and I would be far from comfortable in transfering everything to a new chassis.I
ve seen microATX chassis with 450W PSU included, just no PSU on their own, yet.

  Natcrow 13:57 23 May 2006

I've found [url=click here] [/url]

Would this be sufficient, its in the US so would it be ok to use here in the UK?

  Stuartli 14:28 23 May 2006

You can't put an ATX motherboard in a MicroATX case is it is too large...:-)

You've come across one of the major problems with MicroATX cases in that they are not very ungradeable and are very difficult to work in because of their size.

They are fine for average users.

The Topower PSU you have found would be ideal (it appears to be part of Tagan) but it doesn't seem to be sold in the UK.

You could, of course, order it from the States (if the company is prepared to ship one), but you would have to check whether it was dual voltage i.e. 110 and 240V.

Evem Maplin only stocks one or two MicroATXs - this is the most powerful:

click here

There's an Enermax 270w model at:

click here

I've got a seven-year-old Enermax 100w ATX PSU which, because of the sheer quality of the unit, managed to power everything on my system including a GeForceFX 5200 (I then discovered the graphics card required 350w minimum so had to buy a 500w unit).

So you might get away with the Enermax but, if I was in your shoes, I'd buy an ATX case and decent ATX power supply and swap over your current case's contents, including a new graphics card.

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