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Will a 160W M2 ATC power my AMD 64?

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  • Will a 160W M2 ATC power my AMD 64?

    Hey guys,

    I find a bunch of threads on this, many to links to a power calculator, but those always seem to spell out that you need like 220-250W of power because they are based on peak consumption. Anyway, here is my rig:

    AMD64 Sempron 3000+ Socket 754 (the 90nm 1.4V model)
    2x128MB DDR Ram
    IC-HU61 SFF system with mobo and fan and 220W PS
    Geforce 5200 w/no fan (heatsink)
    USB Bluetooth Dongle
    USB Audigy NX
    USB hub w/7" Xenarc LCD and wireless keyboard/mouse
    Sirius SIR-ALP1 box to PC
    DVD-ROM drive
    1xSATA HD

    It seems to me that this adds up to about 250-275W if I use the calculators, but since I can't really envision any situation where ALL of the above are working near full power (most heavy use would be watching XVID and that is nothing to this CPU) I would think that it would be closer to half that.

    Anyone got a strong opinion on this? I'd obviously prefer not to have to spend an extra $100 for a 220W unit if I can go with something like a M2 ATX.

    Thanks for your feedback!

  • #2
    256 MB of ram for a system with a 3000+ and a "real" video card seems pretty low. You'd probably get by a lot better if you dropped the SATA hard drive, and if the DVD-ROM is a full-size drive, drop that as well, and use laptop drives. I have a SATA hard drive in my desktop and it runs very hot, and all that heat is coming directly from the power supplied to it. Not to mention, drives are a power issue because they use a lot of power when they first spin up, which can cause the power supply to freak out if it's close to being overloaded normally. Probably also wouldn't hurt to use a lesser video card.

    Basically, I would say make some sacrifices to minimize power use, or pony up and buy the bigger power supply; while it's possible that your system as listed could run on an M2-ATX, I think it would be really pushing the limits and that is BOUND to lead to power problems, and having power problems sucks, like getting freezing or random restarts when the power use goes too high for a short time. Also, you say that the most heavy use will be watching XVID, and that that isn't going to strain the CPU... if that's the case, you could just as easily use a slower processor, or underclock it.
    But don't take it from me! here's a quote from a real, live newbie:
    Originally posted by Viscouse
    I am learning buttloads just by searching on this forum. I've learned 2 big things so far: 1-it's been done before, and 2-if it hasn't, there is a way to do it.


    • #3
      All good comments. I admit I have suffered in the past by trying to save money on a complex and expensive project, necessitating mroe expensive changes later, but here's the short of how I ended up here:

      I bought the HU61 system because it was small, would allow for enough CPU headroom in the future (now unwarranted, it seems, although I thought a Via C3 might be too slow), and it was about $50-100 less than a Shuttle. This called for an AMD64, so there I am. The graphics card might actually be a 4000, I need to go check. In light of the fact that I have a wireless PCI NIC (forgot that one) and I rip most of what I play to the drive anyway, maybe I will just get rid of the DVD-ROM altogether. I can get an external USB and then just plug/unplug it when I need it....


      • #4
        You should definitely look into underclocking and undervolting your CPU to give you more flexibility. You should be able to get to around ~1 volt on the CPU if you lower the clock speed sufficiently.

        A lesser video card would also help. You can underclock that by flashing the BIOS but I don't know about voltage settings.

        Your system is definitely within range but all the accessories make it hard to gauge. You might buy the M2 and then leave open the possibility of purchasing an auxiliary power supply for more overhead, but the cost/wattage of the point-of-load supplies isn't great.


        • #5
          Read this: and figure it out for yourself.
          Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
          How about the Wiki?

          Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.


          • #6
            Originally posted by DarquePervert
            Read this: and figure it out for yourself.
            That's great info, thanks!!!