Thanks to Lockergnome for the link. I am going to relate a story to you that will have some of you smiling and some of you saying hey revoke his geek status. I have worked in the electronics field for 20 years and work within prescribed power constraints all the time. Thus you would have thought that when it came to my own PC’s that I would have figured it out sooner than I did when I started to have some weird problems.
I went to work and was talking to my trusted co-worker Steve who is 20 years my senior and knows his computers. I told Steve of the performance issues I was having with one of my systems. We went over it in detail and then he asked me a crucial question. How many hard-drives you have in that machine? I replied innocently 6 plus a CDR and DVD Writer. He then asked what size power supply I had in it? I then knew in a instant where he was headed. So as I went home that night with my tail between my legs I got to wondering how bad it was.
Pulling out my calculator and visiting a dozen or so websites to pull stats on power consumption I gulped pretty hard when the numbers came up 450 watts. I broke open the box and you guessed it their to my dismay was in bold print 250 watts rated power.
The next day I dropped in to a local computer store and purchased the biggest power supply they had on the shelf 550 watts and brought it home and swapped the 250 out. Sure enough as soon as I fired up the machine I could tell the hard-drives where spinning up faster etc. Performance problem went away instantly.
Lesson here is those of you power users that have a scrawny 250 watt power supply in your chassis you better head over to the referenced site and see if you too are running a little lean on total watts. [Power Supply Wattage Calculator]