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 Post subject: About to upgrade PS & Gfx, and would like input. *LONG*
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 9:19 am 

Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2004 12:24 pm
Posts: 39
Location: Texas
I'm getting ready to do a bit of an upgrade to my current setup, (*/gets ready for stoning*), a Dell dimension 8250. Currently I'm running a 3.06Ghz P4, 1024Mb 1066RDram, 200Gig 7200rpm hard drive, Radeon 9700 pro, and a SB audigy2.
What I'm looking to do is to axe the 250 watt PS that I currently have in favor of either..........

an OCZ powerstream 520

http://www.ocztechnology.com/products/p ... wer_supply

or an Antec Neopower 480....


I read the review of these in MPC a while back and while I put a lot of faith in MPC, I'd also like to hear some feedback from others as well. What do you all think? Keep in mind that I'm aware that this is probably WAAAAAY more PS than I currently need but I'm going to build within a year by the looks of it so I want a PS that's compatible with what I build but also looks nice since my case is going to have a window. Yes, it'll be my first build, and yes I plan on overclocking pretty much everything I can overclock. I'm also aware of the fact that Dell has a history of using non standard ATX power supplies so I made sure to check, double check, and triple check the pin layout and voltages of the pins in the dell PS and a standard ATX PS and they are a match. I also made sure to check the dimensions on my current PS and on both of the ones I'm looking at and either of them will work fine in my case, needing only a little modding to the plastic tool-less optical drive rails for space. I'm leaning a little more towards the OCZ PS, but only because I know someone that has one and is thrilled with it. Also the OCZ has adjustable rails which is a plus for overclocking...

But the real reason I'm looking to get a new power supply NOW instead of waiting is because I want a new graphics card. Don't get me wrong, I love my 9700 pro and I'll never part with it. It's going in my secondary system so my wife can enjoy her Sims2. I'm wanting to get a 6800 ultra so that I can play all my high end games with the settings cranked up. Plus it looks like with the advent of PCI-X that the current crop of AGP cards are pretty much the end of the line performance wise so I figure that now is as good a time as any to get a new card. I've pretty well made up my mind that I'm getting the nVidia card even though it uses two slots and two power connectors but isn't a whole lot faster than the x800 xt. It's going to take a heck of a card to make me as happy as I've been with my 9700 pro, but I'm having to run Doom3, FarCry, and HL2 on lower settings than I'd like, and even then I'm having to overclock the snot out of it in order to be able to get decent framerates in any of them at the current display settings. And with BF2 out soon I don't want to have to turn the display settings down so that I can play without getting framerates in the teens. Doing that would be tantamount (for me) to spending 1500 bucks on a kick ass sound system, and then playing "Spice Girls: Greatest Hits" on it or something. No offense intended to any of you closet spice girl fans out there.......:) Sorry for the extended post, but your input would be appreciated. Thanks.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 9:33 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 2:05 pm
Posts: 1739
Location: howell, mi
Some times the PSU's won't fit in proprly into the Dell cases (just Dremel that).

I would go with the OCZ, has more wattage for upgrades that are down the road. The Neopower is also a good choice too, I really can't decide.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 12:18 pm 
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I would personally recommend a power supply that bests the PowerStream and the NeoPower, but let me first detail some benefits and disadvantages of the power supplies you've picked out.

First, the PowerStream only includes 2 SATA connectors. It may or may not include adapters to get more SATA connectors--but adapters do not provide the 3.3V that the real connectors do. The NeoPower likewise only has 2 SATA connectors unless you add the 2 included clip-ons to the wire (which do provide real SATA connectors with the 3.3V line). I personally run four hard drives in one machine, and I may upgrade to five, so I really opt for as many SATA power connectors as possible. In this regard, the NeoPower has the advantage over the PowerStream, but I'd rather get a power supply with at least 4 real SATA connectors out of the box--and not have to clip anything on. Maybe it won't be a big deal for you, though. Additionally, the PowerStream only has active PFC if you get the international version. Maybe you don't care about PFC, but I do, and so do many European lawmakers. Considering that Europe is where the history comes from, and 99% efficiency sounds really nice, I demand active PFC out of a power supply. The NeoPower does have active PFC.

One benefit of the PowerStream over the NeoPower is that it is not modular. I've never been too hot on the modular idea for two reasons: modular power supplies and their cables almost never fit into Lian-Li V-series cases without dremeling, and as the head of PCP&C wrote to MaxPC, modular cables have increased resistance and less reliability. Another benefit of the PowerStream over the NeoPower are the sweet super-shielded Molex connectors--but super-shielded Molex connectors don't really have too much utility in PCI-express and SLI systems with SATA hard drives and whatnot.

From reviewing the NeoPower and the PowerStream, I don't think that either of them will have that much utility in next-generation systems using SLI and tons of SATA drives. If you're fine with that, and like what OCZ and Antec have to offer, then go right ahead--they're both decent power supplies.

However, if you want something that is going to have much more utility down the road, I have to suggest an Enermax Noisetaker. Available in two generous flavors:
EG701AX-VE SFMA 2.0 (600W)
EG495AX-VE SFMA 2.0 (485W)
both with active PFC, and priced very competitively, I doubt you can beat them. The 485W version is about $100.

Good luck.

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