Spec check and case recommendation please

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I'm considering building a new PC to replace my aging PIII. The spec so
far is

AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4200+ processor
Gigabyte GAK8N PRO SLI motherboard
2Gb Crucial PC3200 memory
2 off Western Digital 250Gb S300 drives
Two optical drives (existing CD-RW plus new DVD-RW)
Gigabyte GeForce 6600GT 256MB DDR11 PCIE SLI
PCI 3Com WiFi card (existing)

It'll be used for a variety of things - browsing, email, office,
digital image and video storage and processing (including encoding),
software development (ASP.NET, SQL server) and a few (undemanding!)

Firstly, any comments on the general spec? This would be my first AMD
chip - I've previously stuck with Intel. How would the above processor
compare to a similar priced P4 D 930 for these types of applications?

Secondly, any suggestions for a case / power supply? The requirements

Mini / midi tower
Maximum dimensions 20cm W x 45cm D x approx 45cm H (absolute max is
Fairly quiet. It's a living room PC so does not have to be silent, but
low noise level preferred.
Front panel USB2, audio and Firewire connections. Must be front panel
as side
of case not accessible.

All suggestions welcome. Thanks in advance.

Re: Spec check and case recommendation please

doug.hughes@johncrane.co.uk wrote:

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Here is the start of a sample calculation of how much power is needed.

                                             Desktop      Spinup
4200+ (www.amdcompare.com) (89W/12V)*(1/0.90)= 8.24A       ~4A ???
2 disk drives 12V@2A spinup, 12V@0.5A idle   = 1.0A         4A
2 optical drives 12V@1.5A during read/write  = ???          1.5A (boot)
Cooling fans (read their labels)             = 0.5A         0.5A
6600GT (xbitlabs measurements 12V@4A)        = 4.0A (game)  <4A  (boot)
Total 12V                                     ~14A         <14A

You might throw in another ampere, if you think one of the optical
drives is still running while you are gaming. (12V@15A)

There are two kinds of power supplies. The latest 2.0+ ATX supplies
split 12V into 12V1 and 12V2. 12V2 powers only the CPU. 12V1
powers the rest. The above calculation is good for an older
supply that has a single 12V output.

                       Desktop               Spinup
                       12V1      12V2        12V1       12V2
4200+                  ---       8.24A       ---        ~4A
2 disk drives          1.0A      ---         4A         ---
2 optical              ???       ---         1.5A(boot) ---
cooling fans           0.5A      ---         0.5A       ---
6600GT                 4.0A      ---         <4A        ---
Total 12V             ~5.5A      8.24A       <10A       ~4A

In this case, just to be safe, try 12V1 = 10A minimum and
12V2 (CPU supply) is also 10A minimum. Splitting the supply
into two 12V outputs, generally results in a higher overall
spec being necessary (which is why I don't like the concept).

Antec Truepower II series
TPII-380 3.3@28 5@35 12V1@16 12V2@16 5VSB@2 -5V missing -12V@1.0A
TPII-430 3.3@28 5@35 12V1@17 12V2@17 5VSB@2 -5V missing -12V@1.0A
TPII-480 3.3@30 5@35 12V1@18 12V2@18 5VSB@2 -5V missing -12V@1.0A
TPII-550 3.3@32 5@40 12V1@19 12V2@19 5VSB@2 -5V missing -12V@1.0A

What we see in those 2.0+ supplies, is all of them meet the calculated
minimum for 12V1 and 12V2. And, fortunately, the +3.3 and 5V
current capabilities are high enough, not to be a problem. (I'd
say worry free if above 25A or so.)

These are some older Antec Truepower supplies ( <2.0 spec).
By the first calculation of 15A on the single 12V output,
these are all passing. I would probably buy the 430W or the
480W in this case, to get a bit more margin against
uncertainty. Again, the 3.3V and 5V are so far above the
minimum acceptable level, there is no need to try to calculate
anything for them (unless you know of special hardware added
to the machine, that will require it).

VOLTAGE  +12V +5V +3.3V  -5V  -12V +5VSB
TRUE330  17A  30A  28A   0.5A 1.0A  2.0A
TRUE380  18A  35A  28A   0.5A 1.0A  2.0A
TRUE430  20A  36A  28A   0.5A 1.0A  2.0A
TRUE480  22A  38A  30A   1.5A 1.0A  2.0A
TRUE550  24A  40A  32A   0.5A 1.0A  2.0A

Note: The above usage of Antec data is not an endorsement of their
products. You should read some user reviews for their latest
offerings (Newegg customer reviews), as there have been startup
problems while mixing certain supplies with certain motherboards.

So, when shopping, get a detailed breakdown of the output current
capabilities, as shown in the tables above. That will help you
gauge whether the supply is big enough or not.

The -5V is missing from ATX 2.0+ power supplies, but most motherboards
do not use it. There are the odd exceptions to that rule as well,
but you won't run into that with a brand new motherboard, as the
mobo makers are now familiar with the details of the 2.0+ spec.

A lot of cases come with power supplies, but many of those
bundled supplies are not the best, and really, the case manufacturers
should stop bundling altogether, and just stick to the metalwork.
Finding unbundled computer cases, just makes shopping that much
harder to do.


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