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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?

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July 16, 2015 6:02PM

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:

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

future expansion.

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

their FAQ.

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.

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