What PSU rating do I need?

By Snowy Commando · 21 replies
Jun 7, 2002
  1. I'm building a new PC soon and am considering this case here:

    I like the look of it and the features sound good for my use.

    The question is, this 350w case is only £5 more than the same one with a 300w PSU, the cases are relatively cheap probably 'cause they use a generic PSU, does anyone see a reason why i shouldn't buy this case?
  2. uncleel

    uncleel TS Rookie Posts: 980

    * B.U.M.P. your previous thread or list the componets your using, which determines psu requirments. You've been building this PC for over 6 months now; & I'm afraid you haven't learned a thing.
    Better to buy a good case w/ good internals & cooling, rather than buy a cheap case that will give you fits.

    KT333 Chipset Motherboard Questions
    Athlon XP OEM or Retail Boxed
    DDR RAM Configuration
    Perfect Upgrade: GeForce2 GTS --> GeForce 4 TI4200

    Originally posted by PHATMAN5050
    How big must the power supply be?

  3. Snowy Commando

    Snowy Commando TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 148

    er...I haven't actually been building anything, its all hypothetical, the only thing I bought in the last 6 months was a new Maxtor D740x hard drive.

    I just want to build up an upgrade in a new case and want to know how much difference a cheap case (that probably has a cheap PSU) will do compared to a case that is 3x the cost?

    PS. I've read most of those links and I still don't understand if I can just buy a 350w case for £35 or should buy it for £30 and buy a new Enermax PSU for like another £50. Theres nothing wrong with the case i've chosen, just the PSU it seems as it will be generic and not necessariy 100% AMD approved.

    So....am I to believe that a one off extra upgrade to a better, quieter Enermax PSU would be better for me in the long term?
  4. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    my best advice is to source case and PSU seperately.

    Find the best case that you can regardless of its PSU. You are looking for a good, sturdy unit, lots of drive bays, etc. Take your current machine and double its number of HDDs, drives, etc and you should have something about right.

    Now get yourself a good, powerful PSU which is on the recommended list from your CPU manufacturer. If you are building something with multiple hard drives, 3 or more cd-rom/dvd/cd-rw drives I recommend 400 W and up.

    Keep the old PSU its a good thing to have on standby as a spare in the event of any problems.
  5. uncleel

    uncleel TS Rookie Posts: 980

  6. Snowy Commando

    Snowy Commando TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 148

    yes, like i said, i'll get the case for £30 and buy an Enermax PSU for <£50.

    Ok, for 1 second, forget the PSU, do you think the case i've chosen with above link is a "sturdy, extra drive bays" good quality one?

    I can tell you that my current midi tower case is not a "full midi tower" i.e. it has 3 x 5" external bays and not 4 x 5" bays and has less depth than that case I wish to get.

    For your information, heres my proposed upgrade that I want to build in a new case:

    Abit KX7-333 - NEW
    Athlon 1800+ - NEW
    2 x PC2100 DDR - NEW
    Asus GF2 GTS
    Both Maxtor hard drives
    Creative SB live 5.1
    Alcatel Speed Touch PCI

    Therefore could you suggest what WATTAGE i need?

    Current case already uses a no-name 300w that works fine albeit a bit noisy, I just thought a new case should use a 350w psu as part of an overall upgrade and future requirements.
  7. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    I think it looks nice but it could be bigger.

    There is a current trend that pushes towards picking cool looking cases as opposed to ones with more features.

    Personally my opinion is "bigger is better" and if I was buying a case now I would go for a large tower or a cube.

    £30 in the case continuum is rather a little and methinks even although this might look cooler its probably got rough cut edges on the metal and made of cheapy bendy metal. :(

    If a case of my concern I would be thinking about doubling that budget for the case.
  8. uncleel

    uncleel TS Rookie Posts: 980

  9. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    I would currently go for something like this:


    source: http://www.tekheads.co.uk/products.php?view=product&productId=600009#

    I would then replace the current PSU with a 400W or above model.....
  10. Snowy Commando

    Snowy Commando TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 148

  11. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    I like your 2nd suggestion better, yes.

    In the end, its more down to specific needs and wants of the one user..... What is suitable for you might not be suitable for me. But I did not like the little titchy thing in your first post much....
  12. uncleel

    uncleel TS Rookie Posts: 980

    A good case & quality PSU is the base for your system regardless of you cpu/mobo combo & componets. There are cases now w/ additional cooling fans installed. This is better in the long run as invariability you will mod (cut up) a cheap case or overtask the cheap PSU.
  13. Snowy Commando

    Snowy Commando TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 148

    I think its bit over the top for what I need it for "aimed for entry server market". http://www.chieftec.com/products/Workcolor/ColorDA.htm

    How about something this well-built one from well known Aopen here:

    Dabs.com QuickLinx: VTKWS
  14. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    I have said what I am going to say which is that if you are buying a new case, unless you have any special space requirements, then I would take your current machine and double it and then work out what case all of that fits into because that is likely what your machine will consist of by the time you should be looking for another case....
  15. Snowy Commando

    Snowy Commando TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 148

    My current case is not of the "full midi" tower range as it only has 3x5" bays and is about half the size of a full tower.

    My main concern with my case is the noise factor, I could save money and just get a new "silent" PSU from Enermax as I have established the most decibels coming from my case is not my CPU fan, not the GF2 Fan, not even the case fan, so it must be the PSU fans (which are the 2-way design ones even though I don't know the brand).

    So, with my current case, its a case of saying "if the hat fits, wear it" and therefore, "if it aint broke, don't fix it" although its only broke in the sense of how more noise my PSU makes e.g. enough noise to keep me awake at night!

    Ok....and finally,

    What if I just bought this new "whisper series" Enermax PSU:

    Full specifications: http://www.enermax.com.tw/products/eg-365p-vefc.htm

    It supposedly has "No Noise" at all compared to the "silent series" plus it has auto fan control from mobo.

    At the end of the day, I would be buying a new case expecting what I would expect from the above PSU and I didn't want to spend a lot on a new case....so is replacing my PSU with the above a better choice?
  16. uncleel

    uncleel TS Rookie Posts: 980

    we had a recent post on fan noise & sound deadening material
  17. Snowy Commando

    Snowy Commando TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 148


    My current case is already well-built with no rough edges (as it is my orginal case when I custom bought my PC from www.simply.co.uk 2 years ago) - everything else has been upgraded except the case.

    I don't really mind about the look of my case or the size of the interior at the moment but I care a lot about the fact it make a noticable humming noise from the PSU dual-fans that is loud enough to not get to sleep at night with.

    A new PSU from Enermax as above is not that vital for my proposed upgrade but something to think about later on this year in terms of furure power requirements and hearing the difference in the PSU decibels.
  18. uncleel

    uncleel TS Rookie Posts: 980

  19. Snowy Commando

    Snowy Commando TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 148

    Thanks, I just got back from a computer fair today and to my surprise I got a chance to see that case (the first one I made a link to - the Virgo one) in person.

    It sure does make a difference seeing it in person and getting a chance to fondle it i.e. take a look around the in/ex-terior and I would have to admit that if i just bought it over the web based on the picture and features' listing I would have been disappointed when I got it as it wasn't as good as i thought as I found out today.

    On the contrary, I saw another CHeap case at the fair that was well-built, 100% steel and can also be found online here for an even cheaper price:


    I want a new case and this one would suit me fine, I could then think later about a silent fan PSU as you mentioned in above post.
  20. Snowy Commando

    Snowy Commando TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 148

    Re: I haven't actually been building anything, its all hypothetical

    I just done a price check:

    The above "ultra-quiet" 275w PSU costs $79 or £55 with extra air shipping costs.

    The Enermax "Whisper" 350w PSU costs £57 with free delivery.

    Not a hard choice is it now i think.

    Like I already said, the JNC case now, think about the PSU later as i'm building it up in stages, still need mobo/cpu/ram etc.. delivered later on.

    Note: You can see i'm in the UK and I've never bought hardware to be air-shipped over from the US - it costs too much and not worth it. Theres no point in me looking at US sites unless i'm just comparing the state of prices.
  21. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    I have the Enermax PSU you speak of. You certainly won't bed disappointed. It's worth the cash because it's quite and built extremely well. And it's almost pretty to look at with the gold-colored fan guards and quality look. ;)
  22. Snowy Commando

    Snowy Commando TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 148

    Ok, i believe i'm making the rite choice, i no longer want a CHEAP <£30 that you can pick up at a computer fair. From inspection I find that although they look nice on the outside with some nice touches, the interior is cheap made with rough edges and dodgy drive plating (that u remove).

    Upping my budget for a decent case and PSU from AOpen for £70 with feet and front USB panel options. I've had good experience of AOpen cases, the last one I used in a friend's upgrade was very good quality compared to some cheap <£30 case.


    More info found here: http://www.aopen.nl/products/housing/h600a.htm

    As you see from the info link, I think it will more than satisfy my current and future requirements with added drive bays and room for fans etc. and an AOpen PSU better than some unknown brand.
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