New Power Supply Suggestions

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Looks like I need a new power supply. At the moment, I've got just the 1HD,
2 CD/DVD drives, 2 USB peripherals and that's really about it (1.3Ghz
processor, 512 ram) - is a 300w jeantech suitable (i'm in the uk and want to
buy one tomorrow from a "real" shop)? Or are there any other reasonably
cheap suggestions for a decent power supply for these specs?

Thanks for the help.

Re: New Power Supply Suggestions wrote:
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I had never heard of that company but I did some online research. The
300W PS looks like a pretty standard cheap Taiwan or China generic with
little to distinguish it from any other of the same ilk. The problem
there is that some are good some are bad while the majority are
mediocre. If this model is in the "good" category then it should have
little problem running the system you describe. If it is in the
"mediocre" camp then it might have trouble in the long run. If it is one
of the "bad" then all bets are off. One way to get around this with a
generic is to buy something overpowered. Example: my computer needs a
300W supply but to be sure I'll buy a 400W just to be safe.

But if this computer is not meant for the long haul and isn't going to
be a platform for continuous upgrades into the future you can probably
get by with the 300W or play it safer with the 350W which should only be
a couple of quid more. If you previously had heat problems or had noise
issues or were going the never-ending upgrade route their 120mm 450W
(31.22 incl. VAT)looks like it might be a safe choice since it has been
favorably reviewed
( )
but this definitely would be overkill given your computer description.

Ain't computers fun? ;-)

John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]

Re: New Power Supply Suggestions

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It is a bit self-defeating to try to think "decent" within a
context of "reasonably cheap".  If you're only willing to
spend $20, all your choices will be more similar
low-quality, than different.

Even so, 1.3GHz CPU (if it's not an Athlon) and the other
parts mentioned (so long as you dont' have a (for it's era)
power-hungry gamer's video card) aren't a very high load and
any name-brand quality 250W to 300W PSU would suffice.  In a
generic, 300W might be cutting it a bit too close, there are
so-called 400W generics I wouldn't use but 200W mATX
supplies I might... depends on the specific supply and
"jeantech" sounds about as generic as it gets.

Do you really need to buy it from a shop?  Usually the
shops' overhead is higher than shipping on something like
this, particularly in the low-end units the overhead is a
disproportionately higher % of total cost.  That's in the US
though, I don't know UK shops but don't see any reason why
they'd be different in that regard.  I suggest a name-brand
300W, like Sparkle/Fortron or Antec, maybe an Enlight 340+W
but not Enlight 300W.

Issues with cheap generic PSU include actual capacity but
even on a light load there are others, like use of cheap
questionable capacitors and short-lived fans.  If you had
any thought about replacing the system in the next couple
years, it might even make sense to buy a far better PSU than
you could possibly need, with the idea of reusing it in your
next system.

Re: New Power Supply Suggestions

Thanks for the replies

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Yes - on this occasion - simply because its the weekend when I have the time
to do it and I don't need to wait - the 5 I could save online is worth it
in time and convenience (not having a pc and not having time later on when
it turns up in 2 days time!).

Thanks for the tips on brands, much obliged. I sent another post this
evening with another problem related to the PSU but the post seems to have
gone missing (I attached 2 pics for ref) - basically the PSU motherboard
power connector seems to have leaked an oily substance (corrosion?) onto the
motherboard side of the connection as well as the PSU's connector (hope that
makes sense). Can I take the old PSU out and replace it, even though the
mobo's connection has this 'corrosion' mark on it (smells singed / burnt)?

Re: New Power Supply Suggestions

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Well it wasn't just about saving the fiver, but about
getting to pick exactly what you wanted, or alot closer at
least.  Also it's often the case that a local shop may not
have many good value offerings, they'll have a lot of crap
then something a bit overpriced as the other alternative
like a $100, 500W Antec, which is quite a bit more than your
system needs.

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I have seen a lot of power supply failures but never one
where there was an oily substance leaking from the
connector.  At first I was suspecting that you may have had
a capacitor(s) failure and this was the liquid.

Then you described the singed/burnt detail and I wonder if a
poor connection had overheaded it and decomposed the
insulation or portion of the connector.

You do need to get all the residue off of the mating surface
of the motherboard connector, off the metal pins in it.
They're quite small and it will be difficult to do but I
would try pulling the board out and very liberally spraying
it with contact cleaner, carefully (keeping the board
straight and preventing it from flexing) shaking out excess
contact cleaner, then spraying more contact cleaner on it
and shaking it out again, repeating this a few times.  If
the residue remains, there is a good chance it will not only
foul contact, but get in the new power supply connector as
well then both are questionable.  Technically it's possible
to entirely remove the ATX connector from the motherboard,
but is a rather advanced thing to do, generally something
that wouldn't need suggested to someone already competent
and capable of doing it.  

Sometimes a board failure causes this kind of excessive
current draw and it could be that you need both a new PSU
and a new board.  Since the old PSU is of marginal capacity
for the system it's hard to say whether testing it outside
of system use to confirm a basic functionality would ensure
it would run the system.  This is one of those situations
were a shop could more easily figure out which and how many
parts were faulty simply because they had spares around to
verify the operation of everything... but then the cost
would be higher than replacing a few parts too.

I still like the idea I'd made previously that if you
overbuy a bigger PSU than needed, you can reuse it on the
next system build, while a lowest-reasonable-cost PSU to run
that system will most likely not be suitable for reuse.

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