Low on Free Space!

By Sake ยท 90 replies
Jul 19, 2006
  1. Sake

    Sake TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    PSU is the same thing as CPU, right?

    Also, I've found some CPUs that match your requirements, but they're pretty expensive. Could you recommend a reliable brand that is decently cheap which I could buy from a local store. My reason for this is because just today my computer completely shut down. It won't turn on anymore. So I'm EXTREMELY worried about this. I want to get this ASAP. And of course, I'm currently in the library. :( So I only have a specified amount of time.

    Sorry for my late reply but I've been extremely busy with school.

    I searched some stores for your stated bare minimum requirements, but due to my library computer time limit... and here are my results:

    Best Buy


    http://www.compusa.com/products/pro...t_code=292584&Pn=400_Watt_Chrome_Power_Supply (400 watts, and so cheap! But why?)


    http://www.compusa.com/products/pro...52078399&Pn=ISO_500_450_Watt_ATX_Power_Supply (450 watts and cheap, why?)



    http://www.compusa.com/products/pro...00000&product_code=333928&Pn=ATX_Power_Supply (530 watts... so CHEAP! Again, why?)








    Thanks for your constant help! Any other stores or whatever that you can recommend or help with would be awesome! :grinthumb
  2. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    PSU = Power Supply Unit. The "heart" of your PC.
    CPU = Central Processing Unit. The "Brains" of your PC (and some laymans refer the computer tower to this, but its bad habit)

    In the end how much are you willing to go for? as in budget wise?

    Those cheap ones marked by you are most likely generic brands (especialy compUSA 350w being a dead giveaway...) and by far a good advice to stay clear off.

    Look for good brands, or check the reviews and comments made by people who used it before, especialy if one of them does a "test" on it. Prices are for budget guides so you dont spend too much, but quality is what you look for, and look for efficiency ratings that are above (minimum) 70%

    The Antec one from CompUSA is alright one if you want that, but if you're going to upgrade stuff later on i suggest a 400w like this enermax one (third PSU down) so you got yourself a bigger headroom:


    If you dont mind shopping online, newegg.com as linked above is a great place and probably cheaper with some things too.. I'm sorry i do not know how much you want to spend so thats all i can tell you lol..
  3. Sake

    Sake TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    Well the things is, I just want to make sure if it's the PSU that isn't working, because it's going to be a pain if I buy that 80$ item and when it ships over, I find out that it's not the PSU but something else.

    Also, I'm really trying to find a PSU I might be able to buy at a local store, because my computer has loads of important documents that I need for school. I'm probably willing to spend around $30 - $40. Damn, all because of ONE hard drive. :mad:

    Thanks for the quick help.
  4. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    Ok lol. It wont matter what you put in the end its for sure much better than that cheap thing you have in your pc right now so it'll be a good thing... Regardless, you'd either be here simply because of the HDD addition or your pc went kaput since your cheap OEM PSU had a meltdown in the near future (assuming you do something more than just write word docs on your pc..)

    In that case, you can get quality for price, or overkill but cheap (with the intent of having so much headroom it won't matter how stressed or cheap quality the psu is it will still cover it)

    So reviewing your list again with the budget and info at hand, the Nspire ISO-500 one is perfect, but not too good with your video card, unless you can check if your video card can live happy with having only 18Amps as opposed to the 20Amps required (see customer review). If you can muster up that extra $30 that antec one is the best out of the lot and will last you for ages to come (and survive a few upgrades too).

    Stay away from the CompUSA brands.. even people who've bought it sent it back almost immediatly (according to the reviews made..)
  5. Sake

    Sake TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    I find it funny how I visited CircuitCity, BestBuy, and CompUSA today, but BestBuy had the best one, but it was more expensive. I'm deciding between two now. CompUSA's cheaper, MasterPower one (~400Watts = 15$ after rebate) vs. Antec (400 Watts = 69.99$ :( ).

    Also, could you recommend me the best, and cheaper ones (around my price range) from Newegg? I might just use this for the time being, the return it when the Newegg one arrives, IF it's really the PSU that's making my computer not boot. Lol.

    Thanks. :)
  6. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    Ok.. well i'm looking at this page currently ($20-$50)..


    this one caught my eye: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817174023
    Dual 12v rails, room for upgrade (short of a SLI vid card upgrade..) and is pretty sweet.. $36.50

    But like i said before, if you can find out if your video card can live with having only 18Amps on the 12v rails (or not play too much intense games :D) then any of the list will work with you, just read the reviews..
  7. Sake

    Sake TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    Sweet! :)

    Well, I basically only play games, watch anime, and do homework on this computer. XD I don't know about that 18A thing. Isn't it better to be safe than sorry? >_< Or is there some way I can find out?

    Thanks. :p
  8. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    Well the 20Amps (24ish for overclocked GPUs) is usualy the rule for any sort of gaming rig (since a PSU cannot up the Amps past whatever it can give) since it would be using a pretty reasonable video card that needs the juice.. and the specs are usualy written on the box where you get your card.. :D

    But i think if you don't stress out your PC with some intense games for too prolonged periods (like play HL2 or Far Cry etc with high details etc, maybe low-medium ok..) then the 18amps should be sufficiant, seeing that this pc is probably going to be more for general use than a gamer pc..

    I say go for whatever PSU you like (thats well within your budget and your specs) because well, it'll still run, its just that you'd probably find the middleground where graphical 'wowness' balances itself with the juice available :D
  9. Sake

    Sake TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    Thanks, I'll probably purchase the one you recommended me. On the weekends, I'll be playing Counter Strike for HOURS, literally up to 3:00 a.m., but I guess if I just tone down the graphics, it should be fine? :confused:
  10. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    thats a theory.....

    either way the Hipro one (if you're getting that one) has +12V/20Amps already so i dont see any problems...
  11. Sake

    Sake TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    I'm on the fence with these:




    1) Is Dual +12V really that important?
    2) What do the numbers/symbols in the Output column mean?
    3) Which Main Connectors should I be looking for? Dell Dimension 4550.
    4) I've spent like ~5 hours sorting through these (when I don't even know what half of the information given means... wtf) and I'm concerned that whatever PSU I buy might not fit in my computer. What then?

    Thanks. :)
  12. Sake

    Sake TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43


    Running out of time right now, I'm really at the edge... :(
  13. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    Sorry mate was a bit busy for a bit..

    1) Not really.. its just there if you need the extra power line..
    2) Example the Hipro PSU:
    First numbers are the voltages its refering to (eg, 3Volts, 5Volts, 12Volts etc); @ = at; how many amps (current) is supplied eg: 20Amps, 18Amps etc..
    3&4) I think you'll just need the standard 20-pin + 4 pin (for the pentium 4's power). From what i've looked around it does seem to be a standard ATX PSU.. didn't you get that temporary replacement one and tried that yet? those are standard ATX units..

    This may help as reference for you: http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim4550/replace.htm#1114028
  14. Sake

    Sake TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    Yeah, I got the temporary one... my computer turned on, but the screen wouldn't show, the mouse light didn't turn on (which means it doesn't work), the keyboard doesn't work, etcetera. I think when my PSU fried, my motherboard went with it. And yes, I tried switching mouses, keyboards, monitors, etcetera.

    So I guess I'm screwed? Either buy a new motherboard or a new computer (I hope it's not the motherboard that's damaged, but if I keep buying new equipment, I'd probably get a better deal just buying a new computer)... All because of a simple hard drive... what a shame. :(
  15. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    Before you do that, go back to barebones system (mobo/cpu, power, onboard video/audio, winxp hdd, 1 stick of ram) and boot that up. If its sucessfull then add peices on one by one.. that should tell you what is not working..

    If you are considering a new PC, try and find out what you can slavage from this current one eg: DVD drive, your new HDD etc.. it will at least drop down the price needed to buy more parts.. (i reckon you'd be able to salvage everything but the motherboard, if thats the one blown up.. then again thats pretty much fixing your pc lol... ) Go build your own rig instead of buying an OEM/prebuilt one.. its much cheaper and you'll learn a great deal more than just reading up on it..

    I guess it is a shame that you had a bad experience just installing a HDD.. i've installed many in different pcs without much of trouble but i guess everyone's pc is different..
  16. JMHar

    JMHar TS Rookie

    One way to find the specs on YOUR pc as it was shipped from Dell is to use the "Service Tag Number" located on the back of the machine. Go here: Troubleshooting & FAQs; then click the "What is a Service Tag?" and "Find My Service Tag" links to get info on how to find yours. That should give you the needed specs on your computer to help answer some of your own questions. I know the service tag has helped me troubleshoot a number of systems for folks.
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