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View Full Version : planning to build an SFF gaming PC. need some help please...


himura_drew
08-02-04, 11:50 AM
Hi guys!!

I'm planning to build myself an SFF ganming PC. One thing that bothers me though is that most of the PSUs that come with the cases tend to be around 200-250W only. Now forgive me if I'm making the wrong assumption (I'm still kind of new to the whole SFF business), but does this mean that these kinds of PCs won't be able to handle high-end graphics cards such as the GF6800 series (since these cards tend to be power-hungry, requiring at least a 300W PSU)? If so, is it actually possible to swap in a different PSU to replace the one that comes with the case?

Thanks!!

ricercar
08-02-04, 02:21 PM
While Shuttle says their 250W power supply handles gaming, I tested a GeForce FX 5800 Ultra in my Shuttle SN41G2 with PSUs of wattage 200, 250, 300, 350, 480, and 550 Watts.

1) My Shuttle Achme brand psu was utterly incapable of driving 3D modes above 800x600 (3DMark, UT2003/4, Far Cry etc). Repeatable bluescreen: first time, every time.

2) Synthetic benchmarking, FPS, and subjective quality were radically improved by moving from a 250 to 300W PSU. Too bad Shuttle stops at 250W. At 300W, UT2003 performance moved from adequate to fun, and 3DMark01 improved from 12K to 14K.

3) A 10-15% improvement occurred in synthetic benchmark performance at each ~50W increment of PSU from 200-480W. Benchmarks improved only 3% moving from a 480-550W psu. Above 350W the subjective differences lessened with each 50W increment, but game play really was significantly better above the Shuttle PSU range.

4) YMMV. There are A LOT of happy Radeon 9800 Shuttle owners posting at sudhian.com forums about their performance with 200 and 250W PSUs.

At this moment my Shuttle SN41G2 has a 5900 Ultra with a 480W external PSU (prepping for DOOM3). Yet for daily use, the Shuttle usually has the 480W PSU and a dual-DVI FX5700 Ultra.

I use the stock Shuttle 200W PSU only when I have to use an internal PSU to go onsite with my contracting job. Never for 3D games.

Son Goku
08-03-04, 03:50 AM
Looking at your PC specs... I seem to remember that AMD (or perhaps it was Asus, who had my mobo) recommended nothing smaller then a 300 W PSU for an Athlon CPU. That was the slot A varities though. They also listed some specific info on some of the volt lines for minimum... You'd be better off with a larger PSU...

To your final question, many of the cases I've seen, the PSU is held in place by 4 or so screws. It is possible to unscrew these, and remove the old PSU. Use the screws to put the new one in place. Alternatively it is possible to find a case without a PSU, though you might not find one you like... Top priority there is probably finding a case you like...

ricercar
08-03-04, 11:47 AM
Shuttle SFF psus definitely can be replaced. The hard part is finding a replacement PSU that fits.

And don't remove a PSU from its case to get it to fit in the Shuttle frame. To fit a 300W 1RU unit into my Shuttle, I removed the case from the PSU. The exposed psu heat sinks overheated the entire SFF to the point where I had to RMA a video card and a HD from heat death. Lots of people on the sudhian.com forums use external PSUs to prevent the heated air from messing with the SFF internals.