View Full Version : Old Tower, New Power Supply

05-22-2003, 01:11 PM
Hello. This is my first post. I'm new to this forum and plan on using it to help me revamp my old (1997) Gateway G6-266 machine. I'm more a software guy than a hardware guy, but a recent install of an 80GB HDD and complete dissatisfaction with GW2K support leads me to believe I'll get a better machine and value by doing it myself! (Excited and scared at the same time).

Old case: I looked at my tower case and it appears to be an ATX form factor ... (shouldn't have any problems with a new P4 MoBo)? I figure that I can reuse the case and save $$ (plenty of space and slots). Case entry sucks (all connectors have to be removed and about 10 screws), but like I said, I'm more of a software guy and don't plan on having it off alot (after it's revamped).

Power: I looked up the info on the PSU and discovered it's only a 200W'er. I figure a new one would be a good investment (maybe even necessary for a new P4 MoBo?). Can anyone recommend a good PSU? (I notice lots of folks recommend NewEgg for parts ... why? I live in Canada and usually shipping/import-duty kills US ordering ... can anyone recommend a Canadian supplier?) Is it best to figure power requirements and get only what you need or go above-and-beyond (i.e. - 300 or 400W ?) ... (will probably need to power 2-3 HDD's, DVD-RW/CD-RW, Zip, P4 MoBo, floppy).

Cooling: Case has only one fan (in front), blowing air thru case and out 'blow-hole' behind PSU. Should I think about adding another fan or is one enough?

Thanks for your comments and help. :)

05-22-2003, 01:33 PM
Here are a couple of on-line Canadian re-seller's.

Have bought from both before (Newegg doesn't ship to Canada anyway):

Bigfoot (www.bigfootcomputers.com) (Ontario)


ncix (www.ncix.com) (B.C.)

oh yeah, go for the extra fan and the extra power. 350 watts will probably do, but I would go 400 or 450.

Good luck!

05-22-2003, 03:40 PM
Malcore -

Thanks for the ncix link. I had no idea that such a great computer place was right in our backyard. Shoot ... after looking at their complex configuration capability, maybe I'll let them do all the work (did I say I was a software guy and not a hardware guy ;) )

Still, I'm overwhelmed by the number of different power supplies available! Some have their own fans. Things have changed a bit since 1997!!

Looks like the Enermax 350W w/2 fans would do me OKAY.

Is this a pretty quiet & stable PS? Any other ideas?

05-22-2003, 04:01 PM
Enermax is generally a good power supply. You can find out more about power supply options HERE. (http://www.tomshardware.com/howto/20021021/index.html)

However, if your current power supply doesn't have a fan in it, I would wonder if it is an AT format rather than an ATX. Does it have a place to plug in your monitor? If it does, it is probably AT and you will probably not be able to use the case for an ATX motherboard without some major modifications and since you are not really into hardware, that is probably not a good option for you.

People around here like newegg because the prices are good and the service is excellent (since you asked). You might want to check out any vendor you are thinking about ordering from HERE. (http://www.resellerratings.com)

05-22-2003, 05:11 PM
Budfred -

I was very concerned that I didn't have an ATX case (being 1997 and all). I noticed on the packing list that the PC was called "G6-266 MMD ATX PC". On the case itself, it's part number is listed as "ATX Tower".

I took a photo of the back end of my current box (hopefully it will be included, below). There appears to be a (closed) case fan (the 2nd, exhaust fan, I was thinking of adding). The current power supply doesn't have a fan, but it looks like it could (there is a cut-out for one).

Have a look. Perhaps you can confirm that it is indeed an ATX case.


Larger Version: Click here (http://image1ex.villagephotos.com/2696773.jpg)


05-22-2003, 05:52 PM
I'm not sure a standard power supply will fit in that case. I went out on a call a few months ago - it was on older Gateway, P2-333 processor I think, so prolly about the same age as yours. Power supply was bad, but a new ATX power supply wouldn't fit in it. It would fit inside the case, but the opening in the back was too small, and I don't think the screwholes had the standard distance between them.

You might want to find another computer (preferably a white box) and check out the measurements on the PSU.

05-22-2003, 07:53 PM
Walked down to a nearby computer shop and had a look at the PS screwhole and cutout configurations. Looks like the configuration is the same and if the cutout is small, I can modify it pretty easily with some power tools :D

Perhaps I'll kick off the revamp with this an Enermax EG365P-VE(FM) 350W purchase. If it doesn't fit and gets cumbersome, I'll buy a new tower.

I notice that this Enermax PS has a "Fan Monitor"ing function. Will most new MoBo's have a connector for this, or is this something I'll need to add to my list of MoBo features?

05-22-2003, 09:24 PM
You should not have any trouble with the fan monitoring system, but you may have some other problems with that case. Gateway, like most of the big computer makers, has a lot of proprietary stuff and may not fit standard ATX form factor boards. Keep in mind that a new case can run as little as $30US or so and for about $75US you can get a cool aluminum case with a window and lighted fan.... You may not want that kind of glitz, but it may be worth looking at to avoid the hassles of working with the Gateway case. You will probably also get front USB and/or Firewire ports with a new case.

And BTW: Enermax makes some really nice cases, some with their power supplies in them, so you may be able to save a few bucks getting a combo....

05-22-2003, 09:31 PM
It's my understanding that the fan monitoring system is self contained. In other words, I think it will work with any standard ATX motherboard of any age or manufacturer.

And I second Budfred's recommendation that you at least look into a new case. You can get some ideas here (http://www6.tomshardware.com/howto/20030428/index.html).

05-22-2003, 09:54 PM
Originally posted by stk
The current power supply doesn't have a fanIt probably has a fan, but blows power supply exhaust into the case, as was done on some early ATX systems. See next to last paragraph: http://www.pcguide.com/ref/power/sup/partsFan-c.html

Not a good idea as CPUs got faster and hotter.

05-23-2003, 02:30 PM
Thanks for everyone's comments. I believe that a new case will make life easier (and allow me to keep the old system as a semi-viable, self-contained antique :p ).

After following the above-posted links (Tom's Hardware) and snooping around on my own, I've settled on the Antec SX835II tower as a case. The 350W 'Smart Power' PS is a good one (though not the top of the Antec line). I like to have access to drive bays (no doors) and am not one for LEDs, Neon lights or windows.

I do like quiet, however, and believe that I'll replace the two case fans with some quieter ones. Like temperature-controlled, variable speed fans or super quiet fans. Any recommendations here?

Best price I can find for this case/PS combo (in Vancouver, Canada) is here: http://www.vibecomputers.com ($134 Cdn)

I especially like the fact that the case has a washable air filter (something I think most boxes could benefit from).

On to motherboards ... :)