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thinking about building a HTPC - Page 2

post #31 of 96
The SSD would be faster plus its silent, cool and small. Much better for a small form factor HTPC and well worth the $60 IMO.
post #32 of 96
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljo000 View Post

The SSD would be faster plus its silent, cool and small. Much better for a small form factor HTPC and well worth the $60 IMO.

I'm kind of waffling on that point... All the reasons you mention favor SSD, but on the other hand, boot time isn't an issue since I would be warming the projector up any time I'm waiting for it to boot, and I doubt HD speed is an issue for SCSI once up and running. Blazing fast is blazing fast. Size isn't an issue, and I haven't had overheating problems with the SCSI drives. Also, the SCSI drives in my workstation are as close to silent as I could ask for -- certainly not audible over the quietest of fans -- so hardly an issue when the theater room is rocking. The projector directly overhead will certainly be louder than the computer 10' behind me. So, I keep coming back to the fun challenge of how little can I build an awesome HTPC for, using existing stuff as much as possible. :-)

Dan
post #33 of 96
You could have saved on the PSU - a Corsair CX 430 v2 is $25 or so after rebates.
post #34 of 96
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiddles88 View Post

You could have saved on the PSU - a Corsair CX 430 v2 is $25 or so after rebates.

True, but the difference is only $5-10. Didn't seem like a big enough difference to sacrifice performance and quality.

Dan
post #35 of 96
Thread Starter 
Amazon updated the expected delivery date of the CPU from 11/19 to 11/09 to 10/16, so everything will arrive pretty close together now. Just gotta finalize the hard drive decision... I did find some info that supported my suspicion that SSD won't be much faster than SCSI, though. The max sequential read/write speeds of the SATA3 SSD Intel drives is apparently 450-500 MB/s, which isn't that much higher than SCSI's 160-320 MB/s, and nowhere near the 6 GB/s max of the SATA3 format. (I also talked to a friend who is getting nearly identical speeds on an older machine with SSD and SCSI, both at 100-111 MB/s max. The hardware appears to be the limiting factor.)

Dan
post #36 of 96
Dan, use the drives that you have. If you find problems with it later, then spend the $60 on the SSD at that time. If it works to your satisfaction, then you will have $60 to spend elsewhere.

That being said, I have SSDs in all my systems now, and love them. As others have said they are perfect boot drives for an HTPC - fast, silent, and low power. And depending on which one you choose, more reliable than a mechanical hard drive.

Stan
post #37 of 96
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanF View Post

Dan, use the drives that you have. If you find problems with it later, then spend the $60 on the SSD at that time. If it works to your satisfaction, then you will have $60 to spend elsewhere.

Makes sense to me, although it's not quite that clear cut. I still have to spend ~$20 for a used SCSI card and cable, but doing so frees up $100+ in comparable storage space expense. Plus, maybe I find a use for the card for a future project if I end up switching this one over to SSD.
Quote:
That being said, I have SSDs in all my systems now, and love them. As others have said they are perfect boot drives for an HTPC - fast, silent, and low power. And depending on which one you choose, more reliable than a mechanical hard drive.

You consider SSD that reliable now, huh? It sounds like they've improved a lot over the past year, but I'm still seeing lots of semi-recent reviews talking about how flaky they can be ... while at the same time praising their many positives.

Dan
post #38 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkap View Post

True, but the difference is only $5-10. Didn't seem like a big enough difference to sacrifice performance and quality.
Dan

The OCZ is worse actually. PSUs need to run with at least 40%+ load, otherwise they will suck a lot of power for nothing. You would have saved more on your energy bill with 430w than 600w.
post #39 of 96
I thought I needed to chime in here. As far as the SSD vs. SCSI debate.there is no debate. Blazing fast isn't blazing fast. Since your talking SCSI and not SAS I'm thinking your talking Ultra-320 SCSI. This is an older standard. This means that most likely any add in card you'd get would be PCI. This limits you to a max of 133 MB's a second, in reality your drive isn't going to approach that. I'd hazard a guess that most modern SATA spinners are going to be faster than an older SCSI drive.

SSD's are in a whole different world than any mechanical drives. It's not just sequential speeds it's random access. Everything just happens so much faster you won't believe it if you haven't tried it. I just built a new HTPC because I got the itch. I used a i3 3225 with a ASRock Z77 motherboard. I went with the Z77 because I got it with a Microcenter combo deal so the chip and board cost about $225 after tax. I put in a cheap OCZ agility 3 SSD I had. This thing boots into windows in about 7 seconds. It's so fast it's insane. I mean this thing is awesome. Now I wouldn't recommend that SSD, I just had from another project that didn't come together. I've been messing around with my kids computers lately and it's like night and day. They are just so much slower it's not even a comparison. I'm thinking about putting SSD's in them just for the few times I work on them. I don't have a whole lot of disposable income, but I'm thinking of spending it just because it makes that big a difference.

If you like the thrill of reusing old hardware then go ahead and use the old drive. You'll be missing out on a lot though. You probably won't see much difference with your new system. You really need an SSD to unleash the potential of your new hardware. As a side note I wouldn't want to use an old drive in my system without a good backup plan. The reason I've been messing with my kids computers is that 2 of them just developed bad sectors on their hard drives. I had to restore one of them from WHS and I'll probably have to do the same thing with the other if I don't just do a clean install. At this point unless you get a lemon SSD's are much more reliable than mechanical hard drives. Just pick a reputable brand. I like Samsungs, but the Crucials and Intels are good to. I'm going to say it one last time. A SSD is really the best thing you can get for your HTPC, it really does make that much difference. Anyway good luck with whatever you decide to go with.
post #40 of 96
Get an SSD. Full stop, no question. If you are worried about reliability, get an external hard Drive and back it up/image it regularly.

I have 2 Intel x-25M that "average" 2 years old. Never a problem. I also have a new-ish 240 GB Sandisk. No issues, but too new to say long-term. Right now, i would probably go Samsung.
post #41 of 96
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiddles88 View Post

The OCZ is worse actually. PSUs need to run with at least 40%+ load, otherwise they will suck a lot of power for nothing. You would have saved more on your energy bill with 430w than 600w.

Not sure I fully agree with your reasoning there. Many components now are listing 400W as a minimum, so I'd rather have excess capacity, along with a better rated unit, then worry about inefficiency running at low load. Also, my main workstation is 530W and I might put the new PSU in it as an upgrade.

duff99, keep in mind intended usage. From a HTPC standpoint, I'm only interested in DVD playback. I won't be using it for any DVR-like or HD playback purposes, and as already stated, boot time is a non-issue because I wait 15 minutes to warm the projector up any time I'm watching a movie. I don't see how how SSD will make any measurable difference in that case... And if I go with PCI Express, the max transfer rate is actually much higher than SSD, although the SCSI drive itself can't actually reach that. To each his own, though.

Dan
post #42 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkap View Post

Not sure I fully agree with your reasoning there. Many components now are listing 400W as a minimum, so I'd rather have excess capacity, along with a better rated unit, then worry about inefficiency running at low load. Also, my main workstation is 530W and I might put the new PSU in it as an upgrade.
duff99, keep in mind intended usage. From a HTPC standpoint, I'm only interested in DVD playback. I won't be using it for any DVR-like or HD playback purposes, and as already stated, boot time is a non-issue because I wait 15 minutes to warm the projector up any time I'm watching a movie. I don't see how how SSD will make any measurable difference in that case... And if I go with PCI Express, the max transfer rate is actually much higher than SSD, although the SCSI drive itself can't actually reach that. To each his own, though.
Dan

Those PSU minimum's are overestimations as people generally buy crap PSU's. You've bought a decent brand. Except it will run inefficiently and the excess right now will never be used. As for the SSD, my 64GB Samsung 830 boots up faster than my old media streamer. The whole system is *liquid*. Well worth it.
post #43 of 96
Thread Starter 
A quick search brought this up as the first result:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/337968-28-wattage

To summarize the opinions there, the PSU only supplies as much power as needed, 100W+ extra capacity is a good thing, and inefficiency concerns only set in at ~20% consumption.

Dan
post #44 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkap View Post

Not sure I fully agree with your reasoning there. Many components now are listing 400W as a minimum, so I'd rather have excess capacity, along with a better rated unit, then worry about inefficiency running at low load. Also, my main workstation is 530W and I might put the new PSU in it as an upgrade.
duff99, keep in mind intended usage. From a HTPC standpoint, I'm only interested in DVD playback. I won't be using it for any DVR-like or HD playback purposes, and as already stated, boot time is a non-issue because I wait 15 minutes to warm the projector up any time I'm watching a movie. I don't see how how SSD will make any measurable difference in that case... And if I go with PCI Express, the max transfer rate is actually much higher than SSD, although the SCSI drive itself can't actually reach that. To each his own, though.
Dan

I'll give you the to each his own. I'll also concede that you don't value boot times. There are some points that I and I'm sure everyone that owns a SSD can attest to though. First it really does make the whole experience better. Every time you have interact with the system that SSD will come in to play. It just makes everything so much faster and smoother. If you have to change screens, or browse though menus or lists of files it will make it better. You obviously haven't used one or this wouldn't be a debate. You seem to have a nice setup, and it appears that you appreciate quality. This really does improve the whole experience. That instant response just transforms the whole experience. When your trying to watch something with your wife and everything is lagging and you aren't quite sure if the receiver picked up the last button press on the remote it can get quite irritating. An SSD just makes it seem like a higher class system. You can think to yourself I just built myself a Kaleidoscope system at a tenth of the cost.

Now lets assume that all the above isn't that important to you. I still wouldn't use that old SCSI drive. The operative word in that last sentence was old. Anything with moving parts is going to have a finite life span. Hard drives are certainly no exception. Like I said since it's not Serial Attached SCSI it has to be one of the older standards. This means that it's an older drive. More than likely with quite a few hours on it. If you had said you had a modern SATA drive that you were going to pull out of another system I really wouldn't fight this hard. Over the years I've been pulling out IDE drives and replacing them with SATA drives as they die. Now I'm having to replace those SATA drives as they die. I've got a good backup strategy with WHS backing up my systems every night. I've had to use it quite often to replace failed drives on various systems. Like I said I just replaced the hard drive in my sons computer, and I'm going to have to do it soon with one of my daughter's systems. I'm sure these drives are newer than the ones your talking about. At this point SSD's are just more reliable than mechanical hard drives, and they have much longer life spans. The early one weren't the fast, nor that reliable. There was also a lot of talk about wearing them out. That really isn't a problem anymore. If you get one now I'm sure it will last longer than the computer your putting it in.

As for getting a PCIe card. I don't think you'll find one for $20 dollars. The cheapest I found was still bidding at over a hundred, most were at the $200 to $300 level. Something else I just checked on if you went with the ASRock board it doesn't have a PCI slot so you'd have to go with PCIe. Really it's a loosing proposition at this point. Look I'm cheap. I buy computer hardware at Goodwills and Salvation Army stores. I get a thrill getting things for cheap. I build a couple systems a year and I can't remember the last time I've had to build one from scratch. I'm always reusing parts or something I picked up second hand. There are just some things that you shouldn't cheap out on. I feel very strongly that reusing that old drive isn't the right choice. Like you said though to each their own.

Off the original topic, but something I want to throw out there. Since you've got the big screen and obviously value picture quality, why don't you do a little research into MadVR. Just to give you something else to occupy your time.
post #45 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkap View Post

A quick search brought this up as the first result:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/337968-28-wattage
To summarize the opinions there, the PSU only supplies as much power as needed, 100W+ extra capacity is a good thing, and inefficiency concerns only set in at ~20% consumption.
Dan

You realize your system is probably going to use less that 40 watts at the wall right. Which means that the computer itself is probably using less than 30. So if my late night math is right that's about 5 percent. Not trying to pile on. I really don't have a problem with the PSU. It's next to impossible to get a good quality ATX power supply that will run in it's efficient range with the systems we're building now a days. It's just that you were basically proving the previous poster's point.

Also I'd like to amend my previous post. I lost track of which board you ordered. You might have PCI slots, I don't know at this point.
post #46 of 96
I installed an HD 6450 video card & the manufacturer states to use a 400 Watt PSU as minimum. I read a lot of reviews, articles & postings & it seems most manufacturers overstate the power requirements because they presume if you are using a video card then you must be using some kind of power house PC, at least that's my take on it. Plus the review data never comes close to what the manufacturer suggests.

I have the video card & 2 dual tuner HD OTA cards. I used a Kill A Watt meter and when recording 4 programs & playing a 5th at the same time the meter indicated only 56 watts. I have a 430 watt 80+ rated PSU & obviously I'm below 20% capacity. I bought it because it had good reviews & was only $15 on sale, otherwise I would have got something a bit smaller.

That being said, a lot of comments say it's difficult to find a low power yet high quality PSU. 380 watts seems to be at the low end of the range for quality PSUs.
post #47 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkap View Post

Makes sense to me, although it's not quite that clear cut. I still have to spend ~$20 for a used SCSI card and cable, but doing so frees up $100+ in comparable storage space expense. Plus, maybe I find a use for the card for a future project if I end up switching this one over to SSD.
You consider SSD that reliable now, huh? It sounds like they've improved a lot over the past year, but I'm still seeing lots of semi-recent reviews talking about how flaky they can be ... while at the same time praising their many positives.

Certain brands of SSDs seem to be more reliable than others. Check the Newegg ratings. My personal experience:

Crucial M4 and Samsung 830 rock solid, fast and reliable.
Intel: Reliable
OCZ: You may as well buy two of them, because you will need the 2nd one when the first one fails. (Vertex 4 drives "might" be better - the earlier ones were poor)

As others have stated, you won't be disappointed with an SSD purchase. Choose a good model, preferably 128GB (generally much faster than the 64GB models), the 128GB are also only a little more expensive than the others. The last 128GB that I bought was something like $69 or $79.
post #48 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiddles88 View Post

Quality is horrific. They are cheap for a reason.

Lots of boards are cheap because they are basic, not because they are flaky.
post #49 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanF View Post

Certain brands of SSDs seem to be more reliable than others. Check the Newegg ratings. My personal experience:
Crucial M4 and Samsung 830 rock solid, fast and reliable.
Intel: Reliable
OCZ: You may as well buy two of them, because you will need the 2nd one when the first one fails. (Vertex 4 drives "might" be better - the earlier ones were poor)
As others have stated, you won't be disappointed with an SSD purchase. Choose a good model, preferably 128GB (generally much faster than the 64GB models), the 128GB are also only a little more expensive than the others. The last 128GB that I bought was something like $69 or $79.

My mom's OCZ SSD just died after about 9 months of use, very disappointing. SSD's should far outlast their spinning cousins.
post #50 of 96
Thread Starter 
Wow, lots to catch up on overnight.

duff99:

Funny that you mention "old hardware failure" concerns with regards to the SCSI drives. My experience has been that if drives are going to fail, it'll be in their first couple years of life. After that, they're good indefinitely. Now, I realize that's not literally true, but I've had backup IDE drives last for something like 12 years across 3+ different computers, and I've yet to have an issue with the older SCSI drives. Yeah, your point is valid, just it doesn't terribly worry me. If I were to be totally honest, though, my one concern with SCSI is OS compatibility (card and drives) in Linux, as not all the cards indicate being supported and it'll require some research/luck.

I went with the ASRock H77M motherboard which has 2x PCI and 2x PCI-E slots. You're right that most PCI-E SCSI cards are still selling for a lot more, but I've seen some in the range of regularly PCI. Too bad it doesn't have PCI-X, those cards are plentiful.

Thanks for the software recommendation (MadVR). Sounds like it would be good one to use, although from what I gathered, it's Windows-only, right? I'm not 100% against going with Windows for this build, but I'm hoping to be able to pull it off with Linux. (I did order 8GB of RAM, though, a) because it's hardly any more expensive than 4GB and b) in case I have to fall back to Windows.)
Quote:
You realize your system is probably going to use less that 40 watts at the wall right. Which means that the computer itself is probably using less than 30. So if my late night math is right that's about 5 percent. Not trying to pile on. I really don't have a problem with the PSU. It's next to impossible to get a good quality ATX power supply that will run in it's efficient range with the systems we're building now a days. It's just that you were basically proving the previous poster's point.

No, I didn't know that... Why is 400W the minimum requirement for stuff then? I haven't read up on that aspect, but I find it thoroughly counter-intuitive. That means even decade-old 200-300W PSU's are inefficient in current builds.

Mike99:

That would seem to support duff99's comments and my own confusion. smile.gif

StanF:

Where did you find a 128GB SSD for $70-80? (edit: I see the Samsung 830 is $89 on Amazon, but it's another $20 if you want the 3.5" bracket and cables, which are somewhat essential to a new build.)

jeffkro:

That's my fear with SSD. Granted, your mom's was the brand that StanF said to expect problems with, but in reading up on SSD reviews, there's still too many issues for my taste, going back a year or less. True, computer stuff matures quickly, that doesn't leave me feeling like the bulk of the kinks have been ironed out yet. I've never been an early adopter of technology. My preferences lean toward the tried and tested. That said, I haven't 100% decided on SCSI yet ... still watching prices on a couple things; will decide in the next day or two.

Dan
Edited by dkap - 10/7/12 at 8:18am
post #51 of 96
I did order 8GB of RAM, though, a) because it's hardly any more expensive than 4GB and b) in case I have to fall back to Windows.

Win7 runs great on 4 gigs of ram, it even runs pretty well on my 2 gig zacate system.

I have the crucial m4 drive in my gaming rig and its been rock solid so far.
post #52 of 96
Thread Starter 
If anyone's feeling brave, I found an eBay seller (I think I read somewhere that eBay links are disallowed here) that has Samsung 830 128GB SSD OEM drives (new, bulk purchase) for $76 shipped.

Dan
post #53 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkap View Post

Wow, lots to catch up on overnight.
duff99:
Funny that you mention "old hardware failure" concerns with regards to the SCSI drives. My experience has been that if drives are going to fail, it'll be in their first couple years of life. After that, they're good indefinitely. Now, I realize that's not literally true, but I've had backup IDE drives last for something like 12 years across 3+ different computers, and I've yet to have an issue with the older SCSI drives. Yeah, your point is valid, just it doesn't terribly worry me. If I were to be totally honest, though, my one concern with SCSI is OS compatibility (card and drives) in Linux, as not all the cards indicate being supported and it'll require some research/luck.

They work until they don't. I look at it like a bell curve. You tend to loose some at the beginning. Then most give you a nice long life. Then most will die at some point. I just know that those drives have to be older than what I feel comfortable with. I've got a stack of old IDE drives that are still functional. I've got a smaller stack that are bad. Lately I've been accumulating a stack of bad SATA drives. This has probably colored my opinion. You really just don't know when they're going to die. I just know that they will. When you think about it, with how fast they spin, and how tight those tolerances are, it really pretty amazing they last as long as they do. Just try to find some sort of back-up solution. You hear a lot of people talk about imaging their systems when they finally get them working right. It's really quite a lot of work to get everything just right. Once you do it would be pretty annoying to have to start over.

When your running a *nix there's usually a sweet spot in the hardware. To new and they haven't put support in for it yet. To old and they've removed support. It looks like your pushing it from both sides. A brand new motherboard, and an older card and drive. Your definitely right about the luck part, your going to need it. If you do try it I would try to stick with something with good enterprise support like with an LSI chipset.
[/COLOR]


I went with the ASRock H77M motherboard which has 2x PCI and 2x PCI-E slots. You're right that most PCI-E SCSI cards are still selling for a lot more, but I've seen some in the range of regularly PCI. Too bad it doesn't have PCI-X, those cards are plentiful.

I happen to like ASRock motherboards. I just built my latest HTPC with one and I like it a lot. I've also built one for a customer using ASRock. I think they're cheaper without dropping in quality like some of the really cheap brands. They've found a nice middle ground. It seems to me that it's like they're offering a low introductory price while they're building brand awareness.

Thanks for the software recommendation (MadVR). Sounds like it would be good one to use, although from what I gathered, it's Windows-only, right? I'm not 100% against going with Windows for this build, but I'm hoping to be able to pull it off with Linux. (I did order 8GB of RAM, though, a) because it's hardly any more expensive than 4GB and b) in case I have to fall back to Windows.)

Sorry missed that you were running Linux.


No, I didn't know that... Why is 400W the minimum requirement for stuff then? I haven't read up on that aspect, but I find it thoroughly counter-intuitive. That means even decade-old 200-300W PSU's are inefficient in current builds.
Mike99:
That would seem to support duff99's comments and my own confusion. smile.gif

I think it's a response to the fact that usually lower powered PSU's are usually poorer quality. One of the first systems I built used to act all flaky when I would game on it. A lot of people would have blamed the video card and could have given the manufacturer a hard time. It turned out to be the power supply I was using, even though it was rated high enough, was junk. It was a Cooler Master which isn't a no name brand. It was just a rebranded older model from when different voltages used to be more important. So it just cuts down on problems if you've got a lot of headroom. If you want something that is actually running in the proper range you'll have to go with a pico PSU.


StanF:
Where did you find a 128GB SSD for $70-80? (edit: I see the Samsung 830 is $89 on Amazon, but it's another $20 if you want the 3.5" bracket and cables, which are somewhat essential to a new build.)

You'll get cables with your motherboard. As for mounting, SSD's are so small and light that you can mount them almost anyway. I've got one mounted with a single screw, and another mounted with velcro. So mounting brackets and cables aren't really necessary if your trying to save a few bucks.


jeffkro:
That's my fear with SSD. Granted, your mom's was the brand that StanF said to expect problems with, but in reading up on SSD reviews, there's still too many issues for my taste, going back a year or less. True, computer stuff matures quickly, that doesn't leave me feeling like the bulk of the kinks have been ironed out yet. I've never been an early adopter of technology. My preferences lean toward the tried and tested. That said, I haven't 100% decided on SCSI yet ... still watching prices on a couple things; will decide in the next day or two.
Dan
Sorry missed that you were running linux.
post #54 of 96
Thread Starter 
Ah, sure enough, there are two SATA cables pictured with the motherboard. And I guess being solid state, the SSD wouldn't have to be mounted as securely for vibration purposes, so a makeshift mount makes some sense. I guess the Samsungs compare favorably to the Intels on price, then.

Dan
post #55 of 96
Thread Starter 
Just out of curiosity, has anyone checked their computer's load under start-up? I've been told to expect significant surges there, in which case the higher capacity of new PSU's may be of real value. Also that some systems require larger PSU's in order to increase the RAM capacity. Whether that's an indication of the power draw of such additions, or just an assumption that running more memory means more overall demands, is tough to say.

Dan
post #56 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkap View Post

Just out of curiosity, has anyone checked their computer's load under start-up? I've been told to expect significant surges there, in which case the higher capacity of new PSU's may be of real value. Also that some systems require larger PSU's in order to increase the RAM capacity. Whether that's an indication of the power draw of such additions, or just an assumption that running more memory means more overall demands, is tough to say.
Dan

Oksy I'm going to get some things out of the way first. When your trying to research things on the net your going to find a lot of information. Honestly most of it isn't good. The thing is that computers have changed a lot in the last few years. Things that used to be taken for granted just don't apply anymore. Since your new to this, or least haven't built in awhile, your not really able to tell what is good information, and what isn't. You might find things from reputable sites that are just outdated now. It might even be a recent article that is just written by someone that is repeating outdated information. So I think your doing the smart thing by bringing your questions here. This site is populated by people who specialize in HTPC's. They're just a different beast. I see articles from reputable sources about building HTPC's (computer mags, home theater mags). The things they're recommending are just wrong. The most basic Celeron or Pentium can handle HD playback. You don't need an overclocked i7. Also the cheapest video cards work for most playback. You don't need some 300 watt monster that needs two additional power supply connections. So keep asking questions because that's the way to learn.

As far as the actually quoted part. That significant surge is one of those holdovers from an earlier age, or least a different application. That surge usually come from hard drives spinning up. If you've got a lot of spinners in your system you get a big surge when they all spin up at once. This takes a lot more power than normal usage when it's already running. That's why you see nicer RAID and HBA cards with staggered spin-up, to reduce that initial hit. On my 20 drive server this is a concern, in your case I wouldn't worry about it.

For the memory. Older memory, and definitely certain types of memory, uses a lot more power. Especially something like FB-Dimm's. These are for older servers so don't worry about it. Todays ram uses so little power you really don't have to worry about it. This is one of these older notions that is just going to have to change one of these days. I was reading a power supply review on Amazon. The poster said they used a power supply calculator that said they're build was going to need over 200 watts. I know for a fact that it's a lot closer to 50. Their build was a Sandy Bridge generation Mini-ITX build. My more powerful Sandy build uses less than 50. These calculators are either pushed by power supply makers, or just haven't been updated to account for modern systems. So don't worry about a more powerful PSU to run more ram.
post #57 of 96
Thread Starter 
Excellent info, thanks! You are correct, it's all about who you ask... I was chatting with a friend who's a long-time corporate server builder/administrator, so his perspective is weighted toward the older architecture. The way you explained it makes perfect sense.

So, what's your gut feeling on the 600W PSU I ordered? Overkill to the point of compromised performance, or simply excess capacity that won't be an issue? I could put one of my older 200-300W PSU's in it, if the connections are sufficient, and minimize the unneeded purchase cost by putting the new one in my primary computer.

You all are slowly pulling me back over to the SSD side of the argument. smile.gif I originally downloaded the 32-bit Ubuntu per their official recommendation, only to realize I should look into why that is... Turns out they almost updated the recommendation to 64-bit but realized 25% of users still require 32-bit, so they stood pat. If I go with entirely new hardware (i.e., SSD), then I shouldn't have any problems there. Quite likely worth the extra few books for the increased performance potential down the road.

Dan
post #58 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkap View Post

Excellent info, thanks! You are correct, it's all about who you ask... I was chatting with a friend who's a long-time corporate server builder/administrator, so his perspective is weighted toward the older architecture. The way you explained it makes perfect sense.
So, what's your gut feeling on the 600W PSU I ordered? Overkill to the point of compromised performance, or simply excess capacity that won't be an issue? I could put one of my older 200-300W PSU's in it, if the connections are sufficient, and minimize the unneeded purchase cost by putting the new one in my primary computer.
You all are slowly pulling me back over to the SSD side of the argument. smile.gif I originally downloaded the 32-bit Ubuntu per their official recommendation, only to realize I should look into why that is... Turns out they almost updated the recommendation to 64-bit but realized 25% of users still require 32-bit, so they stood pat. If I go with entirely new hardware (i.e., SSD), then I shouldn't have any problems there. Quite likely worth the extra few books for the increased performance potential down the road.
Dan

If you've got a fairly modern 24 pin PSU you could use it. Since that new PSU is so far out of it's efficiency range you probably won't loose any efficiency with an older PSU. The one you've got will work, it's just not optimal. Short of a Pico-PSU there aren't really any that are in the optimal range. Just be careful that your PSU isn't to old. Just like old hard drives, old PSU's aren't where you want to cheap out. Older PSU's were designed when different voltages were more important. 3.3V used to be important now it's all about the 12V. So if it's got a 24 pin connection and SATA power cables it's probably okay to use. Older than that I wouldn't take the chance. So if you've got an acceptable PSU and you'd rather use the new PSU in a different system go ahead. You don't have to though. The one you bought will work fine, just don't except optimal efficiency.
post #59 of 96
Actually, this would be dead on efficiency:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151086

You do need a power cord, its OEM. Excellent quality too.
post #60 of 96
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by duff99 View Post

So if it's got a 24 pin connection and SATA power cables it's probably okay to use.

Yeah, the 305W PSU is 24-pin and has two SATA power cables, so it should do the trick as long as it's in decent shape. (It came from the case I'm most likely using for the build, which is a donor from a friend -- my other two case options are older and have a few more compromises, although one is a full tower, built like a tank model -- so I don't know yet what shape it's in.)

I suspect my main computer is pretty power hungry, so the new PSU could be of benefit there. Then I'll have it's current 530W PSU as a backup should anything go wrong. In which case, I'll surely soon find myself wanting to build another box. smile.gif

Dan
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