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Just the kind of question you hate, Bob. Subjective?

by Scott Swinyard / October 16, 2004 5:47 AM PDT

No. I don't think so, but here it is anyway.
I have a cheap power supply in my computer and I want to get a "The best one I can", but PC Power and Cooling is just too much money for me. If you had to make a second choice what would it be? I'd like a nice big one for now and the future, meaning not just that I'd like to be able to deck out this system, I would, but I'd like as well to be as able as I can down the road to put a whole new system in my Lian Li pc 61...new mobo cpu video the works etc. and still be able to supply the new hardware which has greater power requirements and then deck it out. No neon tubes. Just the best hardware I can get my hands on. Ha ha. Impossible?

In other words generally I'm looking at 550 watts according to what is generally available today?

I've looked at some reviews, and frankly I'm not sure I'm seeing it all and my head is turning to mush, so I just want to get the "take" of someone who knows.

Can you just use the same criteria you use to determine that you consider PC Power and Cooling as a brand name to be the best to tell me who is second?

...and third..

On paper.


How critical is power factor correction in a power supply for a home pc.

It seems to me that it is supposed to clean up the signal to the pc parts which is something I'm looking for, but in other places all I get are is it's just more efficient as far as power consumption is concerned.

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PFC is not "required", but mandated...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 16, 2004 6:14 AM PDT

You have to cringe when an item that is required by some regulations is then picked up by marketing and bandied about. Please set PFC aside as a nice to have.

As to power supplies, I have dozens and dozens of them I've picked up from compgeeks, but I follow my rule of tacking on 100 Watts to what the PC totalled out to be. So far, so good and its been years of service at a great price.

http://www.compgeeks.com/details.asp?invtid=AP550W&cat=CAS is all of 28 bucks and 7 or 8 bucks ground shipping. I have a few Apower units and for the buck its nice. Remember that I don't dare pull 550W from any 550W supply!

In closing, I've fitted a few PC Power and Cooling units as well. They are their own brand of cool quality, but are pricey.

Bob

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Just so you know that even the good ones
by Ray Harinec / October 16, 2004 10:43 AM PDT

have problems. Bought the exact same supply almost a year ago, didn't use it until about four months ago. It powered up and applied all the correct voltages to the mobo at the correct level, but the system wouldn't boot. Finally deduced that the Power Go signal would never change state and release the master reset. got an RMA and returned it. They first sent me a new 330, but when I pointed out the error they paid to have that one shipped back and sent me a new 430. That is in a system that works fine.

Why didn't you buy the latest for $150 with an immediate $30 rebate?? LOL It really is the latest concept, independent 12 volt rails for devices and for the CPU, but all of the connectors from the supply, except the one to the MOBO are separate cables that get plugged into the back of the supply when needed. Thus one doesn't get loaded with a bunch of cables to get out of the way of the airflow. That 430 has beaucoup cables and long ones. I used it in a simple system and the biggest problem was to find a way to hide a huge gob of unused cables. [this mobo didn't even use the 4 pin 12 volt connector].

The $120 one is of the class that belongs in Scott's super tower, but I'm sure that he'll get one that Robert points to.

I hope to get one for the 64 Bit AMD I will build in about 6 months.

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Re: Actually I was looking at the neopower...
by Scott Swinyard / October 16, 2004 5:42 PM PDT

But I wanted a 550. It seems to be the up and coming thing.

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Note that PFC is something that the power companies like
by Ray Harinec / October 17, 2004 12:13 AM PDT

Belive it or not, the part of the input where the Voltage and current are out of phase [one is positive, the other negative] does not register on your wattmeter and is actually sending the power during that period back to the power company. It makes them size their generating equipment to the maximum voltage at the Maximum current [volt-amps] but they only get paid for the Watts [the in phase component].

PFC is good for servers where they have a number of supplies connected.

I forgot what wattage the neopower was, 525??? But that is a lot of money, mostly for the extra cables/connector and assembly.

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Show and tell time... here's mine
by glenn30 / October 16, 2004 11:52 PM PDT
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BTW. Let us know when you load the Lian
by Ray Harinec / October 17, 2004 12:19 AM PDT

and did you solve the problem that Toni H. gave you info on??

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Re: Working on that...
by Scott Swinyard / October 17, 2004 5:12 PM PDT

That is what is in the pc61 now. It's 2.53 with a radeon 9500 pro. I begin to think that radeons are problematical. I recieved a 7000 32 MB ddr from a friend a while back and had a **** of a time getting it to run at 4x for a very long time. When it finally did it just kept doing it. I could reinstall drivers whole operating system etc. and it continued to work fine. Those are the very same things that wouldn't fix it before that and I changed nothing else. Just this time it worked. Took months.

Now I have a 9500 pro that loops all the time and I get anomalies in games. Maybe it's these Soyo mobos I keep ending up with, but I love the soyo my k6-2 with the tnt2 is on.

Bob keeps mentioning peer to peer and I haven't responded to that yet because the radeon don't care. I mean it's perfectly happy to take a powder whether the emule is running or not. He didn't mean simply just having it in the system would foul it up did he??

One thing is true though, go to bed leave emule running wait till the video and the hd shut off and you know in a few minutes it will loop.

At least until recently. When I first got the box I hit all the buttons trying to fix it. There was one I didn't know. Dbi output for agp trans. I tried it a couple times to try to see what it did and decided to leave it off because I didn't now what it was and default was off. Now I know what it is and it's on. Seems to help. Not fix...yet, but it does help.

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(NT) (NT) Re: Oh. Neopower is 480 watts.
by Scott Swinyard / October 17, 2004 5:15 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: Working on that...
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Emule = betrayed... Link to discussion.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 17, 2004 10:27 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: Working on that...
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Re: O.K. I'll read that, but...
by Scott Swinyard / October 18, 2004 1:05 PM PDT

as far as the anomalies and loops, they existed long before I ever put any p2p software in my machine. Just wanted you to know.

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Why weren't they cured by the machine's maker?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 18, 2004 10:19 PM PDT

Just asking. I always find it interesting that many accept balky machines and then descend in the tech hell for years.

Bob

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(NT) (NT) Most start w/HP-Compaq and don't know any better
by billzhills / October 19, 2004 12:55 AM PDT
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Re: Exactly what I did.
by Scott Swinyard / October 19, 2004 4:37 PM PDT

Ray is right in his later post. I did make it myself.
I bought all the parts online.
The loops and anomalies are not something you catch on to right away. First it's what was that? Then it's hey this is getting to be a regular thing. Then it's well, I have a driver or irq problem or something. You try mobo drivers. You try video drivers. You try driver conflicts with other hardware. You check bios settings, and the first thing you've done is "wasted" a lot of time figuring you can find the problem and correct it yourself. Then you contact the maufacturer and they send you an email longer than one of Toni Hacklers turorials that amount to just about the same thing as one of her tutorials (usually), and you go thru all that etc.....most of which you've tried and the rest your sure won't apply to your problem. Then you come to the boards...because it seems like it should work right, but doesn't...

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I remember that case
by Ray Harinec / October 19, 2004 5:09 AM PDT

and thought that you had assembled the system yourself. Am I correct???

I know that Toni H. gave you some input and seems that it didn't help. I'm pretty sure that it corrected the problem in hers, but happen to know that presently that system now has an older NVIDIA card in it. The ATI is now in a different system according to the last email that I received. Her Intel system mobo is a Gigabyte K8NXP [875p chipset], this is the one tha had the looping problem.

Possibly email Toni at her CNET moderator email address for further updating.

Really I'm just woindering if it wouldn't be worth it to try an NVIDA chip card. You probably would want one of the better ones though.

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BTW,regarding using much higher wattage
by Ray Harinec / October 19, 2004 5:00 AM PDT

than needed. Yes it is a form of a crutch to buy a cheap power supply.

If you study the specs on some of the expensive supplies you may find that you can get by with realistic wattages in those supplies with 100% ratings. Yes you still want a little margin.

I bought 5 of the higher wattage [425W & up]cheapies from sites that Robert mentioned. Two of them are dead in systems that were simple basic systems [one was DOA]. Working on trying to get them replaced [but why, I don't know].

I Only buy top quality supplies now. To determine top quality it does require some study of the manufacturers data at his site rather than that at the sellers site.

Keep in mind that Robert has vastly more knowledge and has his great shop experience over me, But I see no way the $20 supplies can be very good. Weight can be a judge if, in fact, the weight is legimately in heatsinks, in those with guaranteed 100% ratings.

Remember when in High Fidelity the weight of the speaker magnet was considered a guide to good speakers? So then the cheap outfits simply added a bunch of pot metal to add to the speaker weight. The same crap will go on with Power Supply weight. I see no way that a cheap supply can use the top quality electrolytic capacitors needed for long life good performance.

Simply stating my opinion.

The solid state parts I don't worry about. It is very difficult to buy crappy solid state components. It takes such extensive facilities to make them, cutting corners will put the place out out of the business, HOWEVER keeping the temperature of the solid state components low pays off big time [many years of use]. The manufacturer of the component has no control of that.

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Re: I agreee with you here.
by Scott Swinyard / October 19, 2004 4:45 PM PDT

Quality is quality, and I find it somewhat confusing that Bob would so strenuously stress the fact that the power supply companies overate their supplies and then turn around and tell people just to buy a big *** cheapie when the cheapies don't hold up as well under pressure.

Can I say that?

No Offense Bob.


I'd like an Nvidia. I prefer Nvidia, but I can't afford to go around again. That was why I bought the Radeon. The bang for buck at the time. Nvidia wasn't up to dx9 speed or 8x for the money.

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Re: Main reason I'm here...
by Scott Swinyard / October 19, 2004 4:50 PM PDT

I heard power supplies can affect system stability.

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