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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to the PC building scene. Not much cash. Plan to build system with the following specs:
CPU: AMD Athlon X2 4200+
RAM: 1G DDR2-800
MoBo: ASUS M2N-MX SE
HDD: 160G Maxtor SATA
Integrated graphics (to start with)
ASUS PCI WL-138G WiFi card
Case: Shaw Xtreme-550

This all comes to a total cost of AU$283, mainly because I already have a monitor, external DVD Burner, keyboard and mouse. I will eventually add a 19" LCD, nVidia 8500GT, an extra 1G of RAM and a DVD burner, bringing the total to $652.

My question is about the PSU. It is a 550W generic. I have run this system through various online PSU calculators, and it apparently only draws only 200-250W from the PSU, even with the extra components. I have heard various horror stories about generic PSUs, so will a 550W-rated generic run this system? (I will probably eventually upgrade it to a 860W generic, which it seems is equivalent to a good 450W).
 

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I wouldn't do it. The psu can be one of the most volatile components i9n the system and can easily hard the system with underpower as generic unknowns are hard to rate and never hold steady power. When they blow they also tend to take other components with them. personally I use Enermax, Antec, or Thermaltake and there is a 430 watt Thermaltake most sell for under $40 that is an excellent psu.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I really can't afford a separate PSU... Will it be enough to get the system up and run it for a few weeks?
 

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Just for the heck of it I ran a 4GB DVD exact copy from a serial DVD writer to an IDE ditto, installed in an XP Home rig similar to the one you described, except with a low-end PCIE graphics card, 2GB of dual channel DDR2 and no wi-fi-card.
(I usually use a 98SE rig but I found a missing DVD inside one of the drives - so it was worth the effort. :D)
Power taken from the electrical mains socket, including that for a 15" TFT monitor never exceeded 210 watts. I can't independently verify the accuracy of the wattmeter except that its voltage reading agrees near enough with my digital multimeters and its current x voltage readings match the wattage shown as near as I could tell from the fluctuating drain. Of course, if there were any big, momentary spikes, I would have missed them.
The PC uses a middle price range 550 watt PSU (but we pay about twice as much here in the UK as our American friends do for the same components).
After all that woffle, I have to agree with Rich-M that you pays your money and you takes your chances; and you often DO get what you pay for. But even the expensive stuff can fail. :mad:
Ensure that the RAM you buy exactly matches the specifications quoted for the motherboard AND that the CPU is specifically supported. Check the Asus website.
 

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I agree expensive PSUs can fail, but what I have found in my business is, if a better quality PSU fails it doesn't as often (for whatever reason) take out other components.

The worst PSU I personally come in contact with are the Bestec units used in eMachines. When an eMachine comes in with a failed power supply, at least 80% of the time it will have also taken out the board.
 

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I agree expensive PSUs can fail, but what I have found in my business is, if a better quality PSU fails it doesn't as often (for whatever reason) take out other components.

The worst PSU I personally come in contact with are the Bestec units used in eMachines. When an eMachine comes in with a failed power supply, at least 80% of the time it will have also taken out the board.
Don't forget HP and Compaq use Bestec as well. For some reason they don't blow motherboards too when they go though so they must use a different level of quality (at least TG there could be one with those).
 

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I have noticed what you say with HP and Compaq machines. I believe although they are Bestec units they are built to different specs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Also, when I put the completed system with all extra components through the PSU calculator, it recommends a 543W generic power supply.

And I am sure that the X2 4200+ is compatible with the mobo. The RAM is listed as "1G-800 generic" on the MSY website.
 
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