It’s been generally an issue, most specially with those building budget-PCs, is the PSU. Often, this component of the computer gets overlooked. Yes, you buy a neat motherboard, the best ‘bang for the buck’ AMD processor (sorry Intel, I like AMDs) and RAM, and yet, you settle for your PC case’s bundled Power Supply Unit (PSU). Now, lemme see… If I were an ordinary user, I don’t think I’ll ever use up all the 500Watts that the PSU ‘can handle’. But if you’re a gamer, an overclocker, or a performance user, then it would be easy to gobble up all the 500 Watts (which is actually just about 300 Watts if you really test your PSU). But is is just that?
If on the practical (cheap) side, then yeah… I’d say stick to the PSU you have. I used my Pentium 133 until it was dead and the PSU never conked-out on me. But I guess back then, they still made quality “generic” PSUs. I’m not sure anymore with today’s fast production and surplus and poor quality assurance and the misleading labels.
Now, which PSU to get? For the regular desktop user with a few games on the side (like myself), 500Watts gives you enough legroom for expansion (a RAM, HDD and GPU upgrade could be next). If you can spend a few hundred bucks on that new nVidia 9500, try getting more peace of mind and buy a HEC Raptor first. 🙂