I'm wondering if my powersupply is enough?

I got a 550w Chiefmax atx switching power supply. I know it’s a real cheap one, but it certainly worked better than my last 350er, and it was free. I think it’s making a noise when I first boot up ( I hope it’s the power supply and not my hardrive. It stops after awhile). Might be the fan in the power supply making an almost grinding noise. If I cuff my hand over the powersupply fan it lessens the noise. Anyways I’m wondering if I were to buy a different power supply would I get a better performing computer? Even if it were less power? My video card is a chaintech agp 6600gt so it’s needs at least 350’s so the manuel says. Here are some specs for the Chiefmax. I am wondering what to look for in a good performing Power supply. The Chiefmax seems to be doing its’ job, but i’m curious if I’m missing out on something much better.

General Features:

550-watts total
Dual Fans with Laser Cut fan grill
ATX form factor
Ideal for Pentium 4 processors and AMD Athlon processors
Over-current protection
Over-temperature protection
12-inch ATX power connector
12-inch AUX ATX connector
12-inch 12V connector
Four (4) 12-inch power connectors
Two (2) floppy drive connection
One (1) Serial ATA Connector
115V ~ 10A/60 Hz
230V ~ 6A/50 Hz
+5V at 32A
+12V at 30A
+3.3V at 32A
-5V at 1A
-12V at 1A
+5VSB at 2A

When a PSU manufacturer boasts a fan grill as a ‘feature’, something isn’t right.

Seriously tho, I think you might be onto something about changing your PSU. I’ve never understood the mindset of skimping on a power supply. A lot of money is spent on CPU, RAM and vid cards. Why risk the investment by using a cheap power supply? A cheap power supply can potentially take out everything with it when it fails.

Does that happen often or even frequently? No it doesn’t.

I’ve seen it occur less than a handful of times myself, and that is enough for me to know, not to take chances.

The spec of your power supply is good providing they used good quality components it should last you some time.
It’s not difficult to obtain a new fan to replace the noisy one but you must be aware of the danger of opening up a mains powered unit (this should only be done whilst the unit is disconnected from the mains).
If you have the skills it’s a doodle if not get a friend or relation who is competent to do it for you. It may be however that all that is required is to clean the fans and power supply with compressed air or an aerosol can for that purpose.
If you decide to purchase a new power unit the only advice I can give you is to buy quality, if you do a search we discussed this on the board recently and various units were recommended.
Hope this helps you.

Hi :slight_smile:
I agree with brokenbuga. Placing a focus on dual fans & laser cut grille is probably to distract you. Take a look here.

Thanks guys. I did notice when I had the 350 watter ( came with my case )my computer would shut right down if I tried to rip a cd. Then I got this cheap power supply from the guy who built my computer for me. It seems to work fine ( except for the noise if its even the the power supply) but I wouldn’t mind having a better one that’s for sure. It sort of is the heart of everything I guess you would want a strong one. I’m gonna check that link out thanks. I may also try the can of air first, last time I was in there to change my modem it was gettin pretty dusty. I haven’t looked very hard for one not sure where to obtain one.

You weren’t kidding i’ve been researching, and I really don’t know if I want to buy another psu. I can’t find one that will touch those ratings for 70 bucks as far as I can tell. You can cheat on watts, but indicating how many amps there are at different voltage is harder to decieve the consumer. I can’t believe these psu’s can be had for around 15 bucks there not light either. Never had a crash yet running just about everything I could. But in the back of my head i’m thinking what if I got a better one? :bigsmile: How good would it run then? Anything to squeeze every little bit of performance out of my lame dial up internet service ( no high speed here).

I am checking out the Fortrons, and it still doesn’t have as good of specs on the amps at 12 volts, or any voltage for that matter at around the 70 dollar range. I’ve checked Antec they seem about the same. It may be cheap but it seems stable I just hate to spend 70-80 dollars on something that isn’t as powerfull. Then again it may be better, but how can they lie on the amps they usually tell most of the story.

What are the benifits of dual rail +12v?

That was a good point on the quality of the components it may be more powerfull, but when, or if it does crash it could screw everything up for me like another posted. The grinding noise has been running like that for a long time now with no difference in performance. If I do upgrade I don’t want to go more than 70 dollars and I’m leaning towards the Fortrons, and Antecs.

Wrong - They are boasting a laser cut fan grill, they’ve stopped using chainsaws :smiley:

(I think they are boasting the DUAL laser cut grills) :slight_smile:

I don’t know if i’m missing something but +12v at 30 amps seems pretty darn impressive even for 100 dollars let alone 15 bucks. :slight_smile:

Your system won’t run any faster with a new power supply, your dial up service will be the same. Your PSU maybe adequate for your system, 6600 series vid cards aren’t going to tax a system.

Dual and triple 12v rails are to accomodate the increasing load placed on the 12v rail by modern systems. Video cards, CPU, drives all tax the 12v rail nowadays.

It’s a long article, and dated, but it’s a very good read that still applies.

So wait a minute. Are they talking about using two lasers or cutting the grill with a single laser twice?

Thanks for your help so if I had dual 12v rails assuming I dont’ already. I highly doubt it at the price there going for. I could probally get away with less amps, because there would be two rails working?

That’s right, dual 12v rails generally have lower ratings because the load is spread across the rails.

Now it makes more sense thanks, and it also justifies a new purchase. :slight_smile: I am looking at Fortron ( seems like a good deal), Antec, Hiper. Here is one I’m thinkin hard on because it would be within my budget, but I keep thinking just a little more would get me better. Then the next thing you know your buying the absolute best.

I like the price!

^^^^^^^Well that’s the one I got. That an a better case fan. Here is what the fan looks like.


Well with the new fan, and new PSU my system tower is much more quiet when browsing the web. I was without a computer for a couple days, and I would almost swear that the PSU made multi tasking a bit faster, but now that i’m back in motion it seems normal. Wow this new PSU is much heavier than the old one. That Cheifmax is a feather weight!! Another thing I noticed is my graphics seem better in one game that I have. I have this option in the game Pitfall to increase the looks of the water. With the old PSU I didn’t even notice a difference at all. I thought geeze what a waste of money for that graphics card. Now it looks alot more realistic ( still cartoonish how it’s intended). You can really see how reflective the water is ( looks great!). I’m really glad I got that psu now. I betting that viewing a movie will be alot more stable. Sorry for all the posts, but i figured you guys may want to know if I noticed anything, and if I got the new one. Thanks for all the help.

Hi :slight_smile:
A good thread with a happy ending. :clap: Your right that a good PSU can have a surprising effect. Although so marginal not always noticed. Improvemnts to sound,picture & multi tasking + a quieter background are all the trademarks of this type of upgrade. :iagree:

Howdy :slight_smile:

I’m still really new here. Gotta love a happy ending though. :iagree: