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Old 11-26-2005, 02:16 PM   #1
SgtSethiol
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Default Power Supplies

This is more of just me talking then anything else. I have been "forum whoring" for almost ten years now, and I have noticed something in this time that many of us are guilty of when we first get into PCs. That is making the all too important mistake of building a really great system with all the best parts we can afford on the budget we have. We get the best graphics card, only after acouring the net for benchmarks and reviews. We find that just perfect CPU, again after careful scrutiny, along with the must have motherboard of the month. Carefully selecting the RAM in a way that Juan Valdez can only appreciate, incase you dont remember Juan is the bean guy from Folgers I think. The case is decided on only after we have spent days looking at everything out there. Then, and only then, do we see how much money is left over and see what kinda powersupply we can buy, that fits the budget and can supply maybe a few more watts then we need.

Now, I'm not talking about what we do later in our system building life. I am talking about what most of us do on our first couple of systems. Its just funny how even now, most articles are written on everything but the PSU. Not to say its more important then the other parts, just saying that we need to put more imphasis on the very crucial peice of equipment.
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Old 11-26-2005, 02:33 PM   #2
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The PSU is the single most important link in the PC chain, a bad PSU causes stability issues, kills parts and possibly the whole PC.

The sad fact is that there's plenty of awareness of this issue but too many people are too chincy to pony up the extra $30 or $40 a quality PSU will run them or they get so caught up in how blingy a PSU looks to think about anything aside from "ooooh that's neato".

Don't buy a PSU based on how pretty it is or if it has the latest bells and whistles or you can pull all the cables off, instead buy it based on it's reliability, the company's reputation and the quality of it's power handling.

You'll find that when you look into better quality PSU's that offer advanced options such as cable management that the price is considerably higher so stop to think about it. You can get a "500" watt PSU with cable management for $70 from one company that's fairly new, a 500 watt PSU with no cable managemeny from a known player for $80 or a 500 watt PSU with cable management from the same known player for $125...

Wait a minute here, the 500 watt alone is $80, with removable cables it's $125 so that means the cabling option itself is worth $45...hmmm...

Take $45 off that $70 removable cable PSU and you're left with a $25 "500" watt PSU, hell, just for sake of argument say the cabling is only worth 2/3's that so take $30 off that $70 and you're left with a $40 PSU.

Do you really want to trust your mega dollar uber high end gaming rig to a $40 PSU?

Sadly many people do.
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Old 11-26-2005, 02:48 PM   #3
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I agree, a PSU is extremely important. I have killed *many* budget PSU's, and am lucky that it's never taken my hardware along with it.

Matt, I'm with you about the cabling system. If a PSU has a cabling system and is an awesome price, it probably lacks that much in stability. Personally, a truly solid PSU with a cabling system should cost between 125 - 150, like an OCZ branded one.
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Old 11-26-2005, 02:56 PM   #4
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I'm up in the air about OCZ's PSU quality myself, they're still new and until I read more from longtime users the jury is out. For all I know they just might be overcharging for a middling PSU.
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Old 11-26-2005, 03:16 PM   #5
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They seem like quality to me. I used one to build my friend a computer a few months ago, and it seems solid. They even modded the power cord, which I found unique.

We'll see how it lasts him, although he doesn't overclock at all.
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Old 11-26-2005, 07:14 PM   #6
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I will vouch for OCZ's power supplies to the death. I have a Modstream 450w and a 520w, and both have been rock solid, no matter what i throw at them.

The 450w version can be found for around $70 now i believe. They're great, and i love them.
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Old 11-26-2005, 07:34 PM   #7
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I have an Antec 500W Phantom...it has a fan inside it, but it seldom goes on unless I subject my system to hardship. The PSU actually feels good to touch with my right hand (mouse hand) after some gaming, like how it feels to take a hot bath after some exercise :P Energy efficient, stable, and silent...and about $170 bucks I paid! Good stuff, definately... I used to run with a 550W el cheapo PSU until I realized my folly! I still have it, and it works fine, but...
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Old 11-26-2005, 07:37 PM   #8
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Now, I wont say its the single most important, thats to say a cheap vid card is ok. Or that third rate ram is good. Or that bargin bin hard drive will serve you well. Its just like any other team, everything must be strong in order to take the punishment. You buy one cheap part and your likely to regret it later.
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Old 11-26-2005, 07:57 PM   #9
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Trust me, a shoddy vid card isn't going to kill my HDD's or my mobo or CPU or ram or...I think you're starting to see my point.

Most people go "oh hell no, there's no way the PSU can toast everything..." I've seen it, it's not pretty but it can and DOES happen.
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Old 11-26-2005, 10:51 PM   #10
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Not disagreeing with that. A cheap PSU can fry just about everything. Yet cheap ram can make your system run like crap. Buying a cheap motherboard can fry your cpu or ram or vid card. A shoddy vid card can make you wish you had spent more money on it. The likelyhood of buying a power supply that can kill everything is low. But I agree it can destroy all your hard earned stuff.
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Old 11-27-2005, 12:09 AM   #11
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I worked in a retail tech support position for a few months, it happens more often than you'd think. We had a school computer lab that had bought a bunch of PCs with crap PSUs unload 4 PSUs in a period of a week about 3 months after the PCs were out of warranty. Of those 4 2 were killed deader than a doornail.

This was a group of 20 PCs so that's 10% of these PCs were killed, dead.
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Old 11-27-2005, 02:12 AM   #12
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I had a 550w el cheapo blow on me last semester. The darn thing literally exploded. Woke me up at 4am, and i had no clue what happened. Lots of smoke, and it stunk like no other.

I threw my old 250w in there, and it worked just fine. That psu is still running my roomate's computer.
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Old 11-27-2005, 09:50 PM   #13
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right now i have a x-connect... I hate it, the wires are stupid, I got i was in was being hyped up. I wish i got a ocz one instead.
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Old 11-28-2005, 03:53 AM   #14
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I mod like crazy.
Get a quality PSU, and mod the lines into what you want...
course.... your warranty gets "modded" too!


Oh well, the price we pay for beauty!
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Old 11-28-2005, 12:30 PM   #15
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http://www.xoxide.com/hiper-power-supply-black.html

That psu isn't supposed to be bad either. Plus, it's pretty.
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