Buying The Right Power Supply

Published Date
01 - Jan - 2005
| Last Updated
01 - Jan - 2005
Buying The Right Power Supply
As a result, my system does not boot when I connect an additional hard drive or an optical drive. Can you suggest a power supply that offers decent performance at an affordable price?
Rohit Kumar

Before buying a power supply, take note of the upgrade path you will follow. If you are a gamer, then at some point, you will invest in a high-end graphics card. Most next-generation graphics cards require external power, which is drawn from the system SMPS. Drives will also be a part of your future upgrade. It is advisable to make the power supply as robust as possible for your future demands.

For the AMD64 motherboard, you will require a 350W power supply at the least, but I suggest you invest in a 400W. You need to be careful, as the market offers a variety of 400W units, not all of which are truly rated at 400. The SL range from Antec is good value for money, and you can get a SL400 for Rs 2,450 with a three-year warranty. The VIP 400W SMPS from Kunhar peripherals is Rs 2 K with a three-year warranty.

Laptop Accessories Price List 
Product                                          Price Range (Rs) 
Dicota Carry Case                                       4,500  
Travel PAC universal power adapter              900 
Data cable for Reliance phones               350-650 
Standard optical mice                           350-1,000 
Microsoft wireless optical mouse                 2,100 
Presentation remotes                                  4,000 
Cyber Acoustics laptop speakers                 2,500 
Bluetooth adapter                                        2,000 
PC-to-PC USB 2.0 cable                                1,800 
USB hub                                                       1,000 
LED light for notebooks                                   400 
Notebook cooler from Antec                         2,400 
Note:These prices are indicative of the Mumbai market and may vary from city to city 

Waiting For PCI Express
Q. I have an AMD Athlon XP 1.7 GHz with a Gigabyte 7A2mmh motherboard, a 40 GB HDD, 256 MB of SDRAM and GeForce4 MX 440 graphics card. Is this sufficient for playing all PC games, or do I need to buy a better graphics card? And for a new card, will I need to change the motherboard?
Murtuza Madraswala

The GeForce4 MX series card can run most games; in fact, Doom3 and Half-Life 2 also run on these cards, but at extremely low settings and therefore without any special effects. You don't need to upgrade your motherboard if you are settling for an AGP 8X card, since these are backward-compatible. If you are a gamer, I suggest you stall your graphic card purchase for the moment. The reason is that all upcoming games will be more demanding in terms of CPU power and memory resources, and your processor can be a real bottleneck. Your current system will easily bog down with the  demands of a high-end game, even with a new AGP card. Your only solution would then be to upgrade your entire rig. However, all new motherboards will soon start sporting PCI Express slots, making your brand-new AGP card obsolete! I'd suggest you change your entire rig when PCI Express enters the mainstream.

Pen Drive Mightier... ?
Q. I need to carry my work between my office and home. Currently, I use a CD-RW. Sometimes, however, the data is not written properly and I am unable to work at home. The CD-Writer seems to be the culprit. Instead of investing in a writer, I would like to buy a pen-drive or some other compact solution. Since I often also transfer music and other stuff to my home PC, I was thinking of investing in a larger capacity drive. Can I get a 1 GB drive for around Rs 4,000?
Nilesh Prabhu

Pen drives are getting cheaper. Today, you will find 1 GB drives in the Rs 4-4.5 K range. The problem is that these drives are unbranded. The last time I asked about a Transcend 1 GB, it was Rs 5,250! I suggest you wait a couple of months. As far as storage devices go, put your money on reliability: opt for well-known brands. Also, check out external hard drives. A 20 GB drive would cost around Rs 7.2 K.
Note: Beware! Some cheap imitation flash drives are marketed as 512 MB, but when used, only 256 MB is reliable and usable.

Cabinets For All
Q. I recently bought a Pentium 4 3.2 GHz processor with an Intel 875PBZ motherboard and an nVidia FX5950 card. My assembler installed these in a Mercury case, with one exhaust fan. The system used to work perfectly, but after a while, my games started hanging. I installed the Intel Desktop Control Centre and it keeps popping up the message "Zone1 and Zone2 temperature exceeded." My friends tell me that my cabinet is not properly ventilated. Can you suggest something better?
Rohit Bhandari

Before investing in a new cabinet, check up on a few things such as the speed of the processor fan, the fan mounting, whether the heat sink properly touches the processor core, etc. Then, check the flow of air within your cabinet. If possible, make it cross-ventilated, so the air flows in from the front of your cabinet and goes out from the back. If none of this solves your problem, you'll need to buy a new cabinet. In good cabinets, you'll have plenty of room left after component installation. Make sure the cabinet is deep and spacious. For newer processors, buy cabinets with lateral blow holes that suck the hot air out from the sides. Check out cabinets from Antec and VIP.  

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