ps! PS is a big Deal!!


Yes, power supplies are likely more important than which motherboard you choose. I’m running a top quality 475 watt PS and Windows ME runs without a hiccup. Swapping out the cheap stock PS has made an enormous difference for me in terms of the usefulness of my computer. The great thing about spending $200 on PS is that it will be the only upgrade you can keep on getting benefits from for years to come.

Does anyone have any PS model suggestions? I’m still interested in another so any suggestions are welcome. I’m also interested in any PS stories- both positive and negative. Besides the technical info, they’re great stories to tell around the campfire!

no cents

Enermax makes a great PS. But um, yeah, underpowered PCs are a big cause for all sorts of weird errors… Especially if you have a sounds card with phantom power etc. Lots of juice gets eaten there.

Sorry, but you’re both wrong.

Use a clip-on ammeter to measure the current on the pos., and the neg., on any supply lead.

And you’ll find that the current going out of the PSU is exactly the same as the current coming back into it.

So, that means that all the devices you have connected to the PSU are using up zero current. (Obvious innit? If all the current coming out of the PSU is going back into it, then the devices are taking none of it!)

Now, power is I^2.R, and as I is zero, then that means power consumed, is also zero.

Which in turn means, that a 0W PSU is just as good as a 500W PSU.




But the 0 Watt PS causes my feet cold in winter and the engine sputters along. Give me 2000 watts. That will almost handle a small hair dryer. It keeps the components warm and toasty and we all work better when warmed up and get better gas mileage, too.


Feet is different Phoo. :(

With feetses you have ground leakage, and hence not all the current goes back, and hence, toasty toes! :;):



Kirchoffs First law.

The total current flowing towards a junction is equal to the total current flowing away from that junction.# i.e the algebraic sum of the currents flowing towards a junction is zero.

That ‘lektricksity’ is some weird shite! :D Personally, I’m working on a guitar amp that runs off of earwax and old toe-nail clippings. I’ll keep you posted…


Bubba, I’ll check it out. Have you seen the PSs with modular plug in cords? I can’t recall the name right now but they have a shiny titanium case. I don’t know how stable they are but the power cord plug in feature is great for a clean case interior.

My belief is that you can never have too large of a power supply, especially with high end video cards, RAID arrays, etc.

Has anyone checked out the Silenx PSs? They have one called the Luxurae which is fanless and 460 watts. Thats just the thing we could use but I haven’t read any feedback on it. Some of the fanless supplies are said to overheat if they don’t have a…fan!

no cents

ps- no body soil PS or amps for me!

My mate grabbed a 650W server power supply for his dual processor. Swears by it.
My power supply doesn’t even shut down the PC properly half the time since I started using a budget monitor. Time to upgrade both…


Personally, I’m working on a guitar amp that runs off of earwax and old toe-nail clippings. I’ll keep you posted…

I built myself a completely wooden guitar amp a few Summers back. Only problem was it wooden work!



I built myself a completely wooden guitar amp a few Summers back. Only problem was it wooden work!

Dave, go and stand in a corner somewhere, and repeat to yourself; “The pun is lowest form of humour”, 84 billion times. :D


Hey no cents,

If you’re planning on keeping the PSU for a year or two, you might want to think about being able to feed a dual-core CPU at some point if you haven’t already. The Intel "D"s seem to be the most power-hungry (spec’d at 130W–under load I believe) while Athlon 64 X2s use less power (100W or so under load). I also understand the CPUs today are using PSU’s 12V rails, and not the 5V rails like the P3s did, so you want to pay particular attention to that rating on the PSU.

(BTW, with this whole multi-core CPU thing, I can just see the upgrade path for the rest of my life now: first 2 cores, then 4, then 6 or 8, then 10 or 16, followed by 20, 50, 100, etc…where will it end? ??? :D )


Antec 650W - Under $50.00 (US - Computer Discounter) a true 650W with dual fans (and nifty lights). With internal protection. - Can’t go wrong.

Our LX-164 Alpha Server recently lost a power supply (it has 4) - the Antec was the only one I could find that would supply enough and bolt into the Alpha chassis. The power management unit couldn’t even tell the difference between the Antec and the original DEC/Compaq/HP unit (at $350.00!) And the server didn’t loose a minute of uptime (hot swappable). Users never even knew we lost a power supply!

Beware of the cheapy-chinese jobs, they claim much higher than nominal performance, and are usually poorly manufactured with very loose tolerances. Run (don’t walk) away from any power supply by “Deere” they have little or no component protection, I’ve lost a nice Intel motherboard to one of these.


The Phantom 500 by Antec looks good- its fanless up to a certain wattage.

I couldn’t find the Antec 650W you mentioned. Maybe they don’t make it any more. Their max wattage is something around 500.

Its funny that you mention cheepy Chinese parts because some of the best parts are now not-cheepy Chinese. I looked at the Enermax and its very stable voltage wise. The Antec is good with efficiency.

no cents

I’m sold on the Enermax I have. It’s the 450 watt version. I’ve up to 4 physical hard drive drives (onboard ide, raid and sata - up to 12 physical devices possible at once with this MB), 2 separate disk burners (DVD and CD…don’t ask…), Layla20 and Gina24, dual-monitor video, a USB2 PCI card (since removed) and the onboard stuff (firewire, USB, card readers and onboard audio), all at once. It’s been very stable through two different similar motherboards.

It’s also relatively quiet since the fan is adjustable. I kept it turned down to minimum with the machine was a PIII750, but keep it at max most of the time since moving to the MUCH hotter P4 3.2g prescott. I could still put it down on minimum without fear of overheating but the case ambient temperature moves up to 100 degrees F compared to lower 90s F with it up. The CPU stays around 115 to 117 F either way, which is well below max for the CPU (169 F). Virtually all the heat is coming from the CPU and hard drives.

The bottom line is that the Enermax 450 has plenty of power, is quieter than most run of the mill power (the ones to come with cases), and runs cool.

I’m in the Enermax 450 camp too. My DAW has 2 IDE hard disks, 2 burners, (Nero 6 will burn two copies at once!), my EMU PCI card and a BUTT load of USB2.0 peripherals. Never a burp or hiccup. Runs cool and quiet.


Enermax is now approved of by phoo! Thats cool- must have passed every test in the book and some not in the book. Phoo approved means N approved!

Thanks for the info phoo and gtr4him. Sounds like you can load this PS up and it remains stable at the higher end of its load capacity. If the 450 is that good the dual fan 600w should be the same or better. Thats the one I have my eye on.

Have you ever looked at the Silenx PS units? They have a 14dB veriosn and a fanless version and cost double the price of most goos PSs.

no cents

The only experience I have really had with something other than OEM power supplies is with the Enermax. Don’t know nothin bout no Silenx. Three of us (me, Phoo, and Gtr4him) hve had great luck with them, so I would save our bones and get something we all have found to work.