Last weekend I had a momentary (and my first) graphics stutter playing rFactor while I was driving. A few minutes later I was in the paddock space waiting for the session to end and the PC just shut off. Power supply turned out to be dead as a doornail.
Since Chris just did an upgrade, I asked him for some advice and he steered me towards Antec. For $70 from Newegg and about $7 bucks for UPS ground I had a new 500W Smartpower 2.0 when I got home from work on Tuesday. I resisted the temptation to install at that point as I had an 8:05AM flight out of Laguardia to start a business trip.
So, back at home here on Saturday, I just installed the new Antec, complete with modular cables. It’s really nice to be spared the bulky, fixed wiring loom and the cables have a nice mesh wrap covering them. I used three of the supplied cables. The SATA cable went to the pair of SATA drives. The first molex cable is powering my DVD drive, floppy (yes, I installed one), and the 6800GT. The second molex cable is covering the 3 case fans and the front power switch/LED’s. This Smartpower 2.0 also came with a fan control cable and a flip through the Asus manual told me where to connect that to the motherboard.
The wiring arrangement in the case must be better for airflow, as I have no less than a dozen small wire ties holding power cables in the small space between the chassis and the external case, as far away from intake and exhaust locations as I could get without making the bends in the wire too sharp. Two other changes were some re-routing of the (very long for the application) SATA cables from the drives to the mother board, and, maybe critically, the reversal of the side case fan from exhaust to intake. I probably wasnt doing myself any good having the PS, the two rear case fans and the side fan all doing exhaust, as I look at the Raidmax case and wonder if the oval grills low and forward, the strip of holes below the rear fans, and the small slots on the right side case cover would pass enough air to keep up with the exhaust. It’s a little cool today, but I did a little test with rFactor, letting 19 AI cars race at Orchard with the video on full screen. Neither the video card nor the exhaust fans have kicked into high RPM to this point, which is a pleasant surprise. I wish I had done some samples and written down the case temps per the BIOS, but since I blow out the case on a somewhat frequent basis, I’ll do some tests on case fan direction and see how it goes. As for now, things appear cool (:-P)