some power supply questions.


OSNN Senior Addict
18 Oct 2002
is there a way to find out how many WATTS my power supply is?

i'm about to buy a new case which will be running around 5 fans and betwen 2-4 cathodes. aswell as this i will be overclocking the cpu which i believe requires more power.

when swapping power supplys are there any dangers, by this i mean simply plugging it out of the hdd, mobo, floppy etc... screwing the new 1 in place and putting the connectors straight back in??? can it be blew up.. or anything!

what is ATX? i have been looking on and most of the supplies say something about ATX?

what kind of voltage in watts will i need to run this kind of system?

athlon xp 2000+(will be overclocked)
3x256 drr stricks
geforce 4
sb live
onboard NIC
tv card
cd rom
around 4/5 fans
and about 2 or 4 cathodes

any help appreciated
here is your answer to questions.

i would recommend at least a 450 watt power supply, you should not have any problems. I'm not particular about what brand just look for a quality name at a fair price. don't be afraid to shop around quite a bit. you can start by looking at either pricewatch or price grabber, or which ever is the equivalant where you live. hope this helps. As far as swapping stuff out, you can just replace and plug that's it. your operating system should recognize the new hardware, but you'll have to obviously install the operating system if you replace the hdd.


  • ATX.pdf
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thanx for the reply, what wud be a typical price for 450 watts and is it possible to tell wot my current supply is bcoz it could be a waste of time upgrading if i already have that!

thanx,ps i cant open them pdf :S
For the specs above, I too agree with 450W. Price depends on brand. Expect to pay somewhere in the region of £30-£60 in the uk for a good one.
My Thermaltake 480W cost me £55 with a controllable fan.
Most mobos that will support a AthlonXP are going to be ATX compatible (the shape/spec of the case)

I doubt your PSU is 450, it should say on there somewhere really... ?
Not "any old name brand supply" is ok. The way computers use the power supplies has changed radically in the last 1-2 years. The computers now use mostly 5Vdc and 3.3Vdc. The older components used a lot more 12Vdc.

Antec and Enermax reflect this change in their newer supplies. The older supplies have higher 12Vdc capabilities that go unused now. So 1 third of your 450W supply may be tied up in the 12Vdc output which is unused.

Look for a power supply with 30Adc on the +5V and 20Adc on the 3.3Vdc output. Also make sure the power supply has the P4 connector to plug into the MB (my athlon MB requires it). Also, watch out for limitations on the combined 3.3 and 5 V output ratings.

The label rating of 450W or whatever is pretty much meaningless. The quality of the supply is in the detail specs. I'm running fine on a newer Antex 350W.

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