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Thread: High-quality (modern?) PSU for an old PC

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    Default High-quality (modern?) PSU for an old PC

    Hello, I stumbled on this site by chance, but I believe you will be able to help me out. I'm building an ultimate retro gaming PC to cover DOS/Win95/Win98 games. Here's the config:

    case: AeroCool XPredator X3 White
    motherboard: ABit KT7A-RAID
    CPU: AMD Athlon XP-M 2500+ (mobile Barton)
    RAM: 2x256MB SDRAM
    graphics cards:
    *3dfx Voodoo5 5500
    *Rendition Verite 2200
    *Gigabyte Radeon 8500 128MB
    sound cardsL
    *Diamond MonsterSound MX300
    *Creative Sound Blaster Live! 5.1
    *Creative Sound Blaster AWE64 Gold
    monitor: Dell 21" P1130 Trinitron
    keyboard: IBM Model M
    mouse: MicroSoft Intellimouse Explorer 3.0

    Even though I'm making a retro PC, I don't care to make it look authentic, as you can see I'm going to use a modern case. And so, I also want to use a good modern power supply too. I first thought I'll go with Seasonic Platinum 400W Fanless, which I thought is powerful enough and really high quality, but after a closer look, on the 3.3V and 5V rails it only has 20A/20A and 100W combined, and as far as I know those old machines do use the 3.3V and 5V rails quite a lot. I tried looking at what other power supplies are up for sale and their stats, and I couldnt find one with satisfying stats in the shops around here. Is there even any modern unit that provides plenty of power on the 3.3V and 5V rails? I have an old Point Of View Black Diamond 500W lying around, that according to its stats provides 34A on the 3.3V and 40A on the 5V rails, with combined 250W. But it makes a weird noise, and was a pretty cheap unit, I dont think it's even 80+ certified, since I bought it quite cheap.

    Which model would you recommend? If possible one with Platinum or at least Gold certification Thanks in advance!

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    ^
    There are no decent 5V-heavy PSUs on the market anymore, and definitely none with any 80+certification. Your best bet would be to find something like an old Antec SL350 and re-cap it with Japanese caps (there are none left without bad caps anymore, even though they were otherwise well designed, and the same with the motherboard - All Abit boards from that era had problems with their caps).
    No wonder it doesn't work! You installed the coils backwards

    Main PC: Core i7 3770K 3.5GHz, Gigabyte GA-Z77M-D3H-MVP, 8GB Kingston HyperX DDR3 1600, 240GB Intel 335 Series SSD, 750GB WD HDD, Sony Optiarc DVD RW, Palit nVidia GTX660 Ti, CoolerMaster N200 Case, Delta DPS-600MB 600W PSU, Hauppauge TV Tuner, Windows 7 Home Premium.

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    Yes, I'm aware that the motherboard has low quality caps and I've already prepared myself to re-cap it.

    Is this the best possible power supply? Looks pretty old, nothing better released since then?

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    ^
    Nope. Not 5V heavy anyway. Even the next SmartPower series was more 12V-oriented. You could also find Antec Truepower PSUs, which were a bit more up-market at the time, but still had the plague. There were also some decent units from SuperFlower, Topower, Enlight, FSP and Delta from that era (I can't think of any models off the top of my head, though), which would also make decent candidates.

    If you are OK with used ebay unbits (which may be your only option for a 5V-heavy unit), here are a few I found which might suit (shipped from UK or Germany)

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antec-Tp2-55...item4193c5951a - Antec Truepower 550W (Decent, but I would recap it)
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Enlight-EN...item1c36451a4d - Enlight (Enhance) ENS-0246
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tagan-TG43...item4ae6a8bde7 - Tagan 430W (made by Topower)
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tagan-480W...item27fc455a74 (the 480W version)
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FSP-Group-...item48685d254c - FSP 350W
    No wonder it doesn't work! You installed the coils backwards

    Main PC: Core i7 3770K 3.5GHz, Gigabyte GA-Z77M-D3H-MVP, 8GB Kingston HyperX DDR3 1600, 240GB Intel 335 Series SSD, 750GB WD HDD, Sony Optiarc DVD RW, Palit nVidia GTX660 Ti, CoolerMaster N200 Case, Delta DPS-600MB 600W PSU, Hauppauge TV Tuner, Windows 7 Home Premium.

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    I was diggin around in the old reviews here, and saw this of the antec truepower: http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php...Story2&reid=22

    Total Score of 7.5, and Summary:
    The Good....

    Solid rails that didn't even move while under punishing heat
    SLI and Crossfire certified

    The Bad....

    No PFC

    The Mediocre....

    Mediocre efficiency
    Kind of plain looking
    Other than the ATX cable, no sleeves on any of the cables
    I see from those old reviews here the Thermaltake Toughpower Cable Management 1200W has plenty of power on the 3.3/5V and gets a 9.5 score and recommendation, but something tells me I won't be able to find one of these...

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    LOL, 1200W for an Athlon XP and 3dfx Card Efficiency would be dismal.

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    You can select some low-power unit with DC-DC switchers, like the Seasonic SSP-350GT. Those graphics with mobile Barton won't really use more than like 100 watts and the OCP is set much higher than 20 A. And you can load both to 20 A as there is no monitoring for that really. Only each rail has its own OCP on the DC-DC module itself and than there is OPP on the single +12 V transformer output.

    Or I can recap and send you some older +3,3/+5 V heavy Fortron unit, that would be OK. Some of the later ones may even do arround 80 % efficiency. NO unit on the market will have over 90% efficiency with high load on DC-DC modules. You will be lucky to get even 85 % as most units drop under this value with high +3,3V load.

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    Quote Originally Posted by God Of Gaming View Post
    I was diggin around in the old reviews here, and saw this of the antec truepower: http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php...Story2&reid=22

    Total Score of 7.5, and Summary:...
    In hindsight, the score should have actually been 0 due to the junk caps and resulting near 100% failure rate after 3 years.
    No wonder it doesn't work! You installed the coils backwards

    Main PC: Core i7 3770K 3.5GHz, Gigabyte GA-Z77M-D3H-MVP, 8GB Kingston HyperX DDR3 1600, 240GB Intel 335 Series SSD, 750GB WD HDD, Sony Optiarc DVD RW, Palit nVidia GTX660 Ti, CoolerMaster N200 Case, Delta DPS-600MB 600W PSU, Hauppauge TV Tuner, Windows 7 Home Premium.

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    That's exactly why I am so harsh on caps…1 point down per each bad capacitor in high-end unit! That itself can take 20 points from some units

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    So you prefer a PSU with only one [Chinese] filter capacitor per rail over one with 5 per rail?

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