How important are watts when it comes to powering a computer for example is 300W enough for a Asus A7N8X-E AMD XP2700 or a Hercules 9800XT?
Here's a quote from AMD's FAQ for their processors : "Q. What
size power supply will I need with my AMD Athlon processor? A. For
a minimally configured low power-consumption system, you can use
any of the approved power supplies listed on our website. A
250-watt power supply is the minimum but you need to estimate the
system configuration requirements to ensure system stability.
Minimally configured means: 128-Mbyte RAM, 16-Mbyte AGP graphics,
internal V.90 modem, 10/100 NIC, floppy drive, CD-ROM or DVD, and
5400-RPM hard disk. If you are not certain of the final
user-configuration, it is safer to install one of the approved
300-watt (or larger) power supplies listed on the recommended power
supply listing. If the Athlon processor-based system will have more
powerconsuming accessories than the basic minimum, we recommend you
build your system using 300-watt (or larger) power supplies. By
using a larger power supply, the system is also robust enough to
handle future enhancements. For the latest recommended power supply
list, you must consult our web site at: amd.com
A 300W power supply will probably be enough for the parts you
mention, but remember that every part on your computer pulls
electricity. If you have two hard drives, a CD burner, and a DVD
ROM then you could have four times as much draw as just a single
hard drive. With a newer computer I would use at least a 350W
supply, and if I could find a cheap 400W I would consider that for
I have a system not unlike the one above: A7N8XE, AMD 3.2, 512
memory, Saphire 9600 XT, single SATA drive and CDRW.
I've blown up both 300 and 350 watt psus. The system isn't
faulty, its thirsty. Thirstier than AMD would be suggesting on
300w might be ok for email but you don't need a 9800XT GPU for
email. If you're compute intensive you need more power.
If you have a top system it should have a top PSU, nowerdays its
as important as any other component. Cheap unbranded components can
have a hidden cost (two blown up.) I have an Enermax 465w unit now
and it really rocks: quality build, steady voltages, cool and
When selecting a power supply, remember that headroom is a good
For example, if you normally listen to music at about 5 watts of
power, then why not just buy a 5 watt amplifier? Because you would
be running the amplifier at 100% load all of the time. Now, if you
buy a 100 watt amplifier, and you're listening to it at 5 watts,
then you're only using 5% of the load.
Same thing with a computer power supply. *WILL* it run on 300
watts? Probably. But are you running the power supply at a higher
load all the time? Yes.