Power Supply Recommendation

By gmcerlan
Oct 23, 2005
  1. Currently, I have a "Super Flower 520W SF-520TS/TT-520SS" PSU in my machine. As you can see from my list of components, I have an AMD Athlon 64 3400+ processor. I also ordered a "Seagate Barracuda 7800.8 250GB 3.5 Serial ATA150 Hard Drive" and it should arrive sometime next week.

    My question is whether my PSU is sufficient enough to handle everything.

    The reason I am asking is becasue my computer has been restarting automatically from time to time. This samething happened with a previous computer and so I bought new components to build a new one. The new computer still had the same problem. I can't pinpoint which hardware is causing the problem though I have replaced the mobo, video card, processor, and heatsink. On top of that I bought two 80mm fans. These are all the components that you see below. The only re-used parts from my computer is the RAM and hard drive. I tried running Prime95, but I keep getting that hardware failure message. Also, when I restart, I get a message window stating that my windows has recovered from a serious error. After submitting, it tells me that I have a device driver problem though it doesnt tell me for which component. If the new hard drive does not solve the problem, then I will have to buy new RAM. If that doesn't work...who knows.

    Here is a list of my components:
    Windows XP Profesional sp2
    AMD Athlon 64 3400+
    SOLTEK SL-K8AN2E-GR Socket 754 NVIDIA nForce3 250Gb ATX AMD
    ARCTIC COOLING 90mm Cooling Fan/Heatsink
    VGA|PNY 6600GT 128M R
    FAN COOLINGFAN MASSCOOL (I have 2 of these)
    Maxtor 120 Gig Hard Drive
    Mad Dog Dvd Player Driver
    Mad Dog CD Burner Drive
    Crucial 512 pc27600 ram
    Kingston 256 pc3200 ram
  2. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    You can check your PSU needs with this online calculator:

    But from what you have written above, I'd say your ram is your problem. You're using both 2700 ram and 3200 ram. That'll confuse just about any motherboard out there.

    Recommend using the same speed ram (and ideally the same make/model).
  3. gmcerlan

    gmcerlan TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the help. I plan to get some new RAM soon. Hopefully that will solve the problem.
  4. Crimsonite

    Crimsonite TS Rookie

  5. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    one think you want in a psu is quality. buy from major brands known for thier quality. such as antec, enermax, thermaltake...
  6. gmcerlan

    gmcerlan TS Rookie Topic Starter

  7. pkroks

    pkroks TS Rookie Posts: 259

    well according to this:
    you have a 64 bit 3400+ processor from AMD. So wheres the problem?
  8. gmcerlan

    gmcerlan TS Rookie Topic Starter

    If you read my post, you would see my concern in bold . I know what I have. I just want to make sure that my PSU can handle a 64 bit processor. My original posts describes symptoms of an unstable system and I was also wondering if it was deriving from my PSU or something else.
  9. gamingguy27

    gamingguy27 TS Enthusiast Posts: 168


    I have a recommendation for you,

    Hiper ( make really nice psus, especially if you buy the Type-R ones as they are inaudiable and very very well built.

    My set up is:

    Hiper Type R 480W Psu
    3400+ Amd64 1.5V & Stock cooler
    1024 (2x512MB) Crucial DDR400
    2 x IDE HDD's
    2 x IDE Optical Drives
    1 x Floppy
    1 x 6800GT (OC'ed) with Extra Zalman cooler and 2x 80mm fans
    Wireless Card
    2 x 120MM fans
    1 x 90MM fans

    And thats just being powerd by 1 hiper PSU.

  10. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    I am quite confident that your priority is your ram. As I said above, you are running two different speeds, and this is likely what is causing your instability.

    But as your title says you want PSU suggestions, that is what you're gonna continue to get in this thread! :hotbounce
  11. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    I just had a closer look at the PSU you have, and it looks like your ram is not your only problem with your system.

    That PSU only has 18a on the 12v rail. That is pretty whimpy. Recommend at least 24a. Mine has two 12v rails for a total of 32a.

    The number of amps on the 12v rail is as important as how many watts the system is rated at. Seriously, this is a very important number.

    If after you fix your ram problems, you are still getting wonky errors on your computer, this is why.
  12. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    his psu is of lesser quality from a little-known brand (super flower?), henceforth the crappy amperage ratings. he should get an enermax, antec, or thermaltake model.

    and NO psu has 100% effiency - that is, not all 100% of the load on the ac line goes thru to the parts.
  13. gamingguy27

    gamingguy27 TS Enthusiast Posts: 168


    As i posted above i have a Hiper Type R PSU and its normal wattidge is 480, but it can go up to 560 at full load.

    These hiper psus are very good, i serioulsy reccomend one.

  14. gmcerlan

    gmcerlan TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I finished installing my SATA and formatted my computer with Windows XP Pro with SP2. The installation had no problems, but I did run into a couple of issues afterwards. Here are a couple of questions:

    1. Does the CPU speed display a fluctuation for speed?
    The reason why I am asking is because when I check my CPU speed, it shows up running at 800 MHz. I have a AMD Athlon 64 3400+ processor. I know that it should be running at around 2200MHz. I downloaded AMD Clock which shows a window of my current CPU speed. I tested and it when I open up an application or anything that causes my CPU to run, the speed will fluctuate. Sometimes it will go around 1800MHz or 2150Mhz. But whenever I stop doing anything it will go back down to 800Mhz. Is this normal behavior? The weird thing is that this just started happening. Earlier today, before I installed my SATA drive, my processor was showing at 2200Mhz with my old ATA hard drive. Then after I installed my new SATA drive and also a new 1 gig PC3200 stick of RAM, the CPU speed displays around 800MHz.

    2. Is my SATA drive supposed to be in the "IDE Channel 2 Master"?
    When the computer first starts, it shows that my SATA drive is in the IDE CHannel 2 Master and the main IDE Channel nothing there (master or slave). I thought that was weird cause this has never happened before and it just started happening when I installed my SATA drive.

    3. Why does my restart hang up right before the Windows XP logo?
    Whenever I restart my computer, the POST part of the restart goes fine. Then when it tries to start up windows, it hangs up right before that Windows XP logo. I am not sure if you know what part I am talking about, but its when the screen displays Windows XP lgo and it has the horizontal bar at the bottom that constantly goes from left to right. It will hang there barely visible for about thirty seconds and then come in clearly and continue with the restart. It only hangs up right before it shows the Windows XP logo.

    I think that all three cases may somehow be related. It might even have to do with my SATA drive, but once in Windows, I have no problem with anything. Everything runs smoothly. It just with these three issues that is making me a little nervous. Suggestions?
  15. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    1) modern processors have a feature that will reduce clock speeds during low cpu usage, thus reducing power consumption and heat output. unless you notice absymal performance in demanding apps or the cpu is is always running at 800MHZ (no matter what the system is doing) you need not worry.

    2) depends on your mobo design and the drive controller setup. as long as the sata you conencted is in the boot list you're fine.

    3) in the past i've seen thsi problem caused by bad or missing drivers, make sure all of your perts have thier software end settled (no yellow symbols in device manager).
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