Ideal PSU for HTPC


New Member
Dec 11, 2008
I have been little confused as to what/which is the right amount of wattage for an SMPS for a HTPC.

I have been looking at some HTPC cabinets which come along with a PSU e.g:
Glacial Altair A381 come with a Flex 270W PSU and so on. The manufacturer fells that this should be sufficient for an htpc. Antek also supplies some cabinet with similar PSU. While the sleek ones from Silverline only offer 200W!!

In most reviews as well, they feel that 270W or 300W should be sufficient?? :annoyed: While some other suggest that one must not look below 400W and some even suggest to go for 500W or higher :rolleyes:

Any idea as to how much would an HTPC consume if it has the following combination::eek:

1).Gigabyte MB+ AMB X2 processor (AMD processors are supposed to consume less power).
2).No graphic card..On board graphics sufficient. (HTPC presumably not used much for gaming).
3). A PCI sound card...( future upgrade possible)
4). One BR/DVD drive
5).Processor colling
6).Two small fans (say 80mm) for chassis cooling
7).Two HDDs 3.5" ( say 500GB each)

What else would consume power in an HTPC ??

Will be grateful for your views.... I don't want to go for an overkill...
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400 proper powersupply is OK for you.
VIP 400w gold is better & affordable.
Actually that's what I 've been looking at....until I reviewed the Glacial Altair A381 HTPC cabinet, which comes packaged with an SMPS made by HEC of 270Watts. It seemed quite low, until I checked with the supplier and he was convenienced that 270W is just enough.

All this made me really to start to think as to how much would each of the items listed actually consume and what the rationale is there whether to have 270W or 400W as you suggest or 500W as one of the integrators I've been discussing suggests!!:sad:
In terms of power, 250 watts is more or less all you need in a HTPC with a low-power graphics card and up to two hard disks. Nobody makes such small power supplies any more..

So do you suggest that the Glacial Altair A381 with Flex HEC 270W power supply should be sufficient ? The cabinet has LCD panel and few other onboard goodies and Costs around 9.5K..looks sleek but I think, it will be tight fit for the components.

Beware of cheap supplies bundled with cases (though some of the examples you have listed aren't all that cheap). They may be noisy both acoustically and electrically, and not provide stable voltages at all. Better put some coin behind the supply, and have peace of mind...
Do suggest some power supplies/ bundled cabinets for HTPCs... I am not sure whether the PSUs bundled with cabinets are std ATX ones since the one on the Glacial A381 have only 3 screws and is quite thin and narrow?
I am asking this question since I am about to pick up this cabinet for its looks and goodies....but tomorrow it should not happen that the PSU is inadequte and I am in the market looking for PSU and can't find any standard ones to fit. The size of the cabinet is about 10cm in height.

AMD processors do *NOT* consume less power than Intel counterparts today, but the motherboards offer accelerated graphics for most HTPC duties (video decoding), eliminating the need for a discrete graphics card, and reducing overall system power consumption..

:licklips: no need for seperate graphics card:yahoo: saves money!!

A typical PC with a wireless card and a discrete audio card, a AMD Phenom II X2 550, and a 780G chipset plus three hard drives/fans, draws about 90 watts at idle and 110 watts at load. As you can see, a 200 watt power supply can easily handle this. Even with a Quad-core , the power draw does not exceed 130 watts at full load.

Is there a seperate wattage chart available somewhere so that you could decide on the load or the PSU required....:p and as you suggest that with the above only 110W being used at load...maybe 200W at full load(I presume), then why the overkill for 400~500~700Watts?:sad:

Thanks once again
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guru - where are you getting this cabinet from? Can you please share a link to the specific model we are discussing. It sounds really interesting.
guru - where are you getting this cabinet from? Can you please share a link to the specific model we are discussing. It sounds really interesting.

Just see the link below to a review of the cabinet

Glacial Altair A381 (iMon) -

The distributor is based in Delhi, has an office in Mumbai on lamington road. He is supposed to get the cabinet in Mumbai next week. You can get the adress and phone numbers from the manufacturer site below :

Global GlacialTech

It is not how much power is put out but about the efficiency of the power supply.

The Antec NSK series for example has 80% rated PSUs that come with it. And yes, 280W is good enough when you do not have a graphics card.
that is a SFX power supply. Replacements are available, but those are usually very low-quality. Silverstone has a SFX power supply that is quiet and capable, but that is not available in India.

Fans usually draw between 2 and 6 watts each, hard drives about 8-15 watts, and a motherboard about 20 watts. Graphics cards vary a lot, and this is not that easy to judge, but basically between 25 and 250 watts.


Thanks, so if the htpc is of the following components ::)

let's assume
1).Gigabyte MB+ AMB X2 processor =20W+95W =115W
2).No graphic card..On board graphics sufficient=0W
3). A PCI sound card= 15W (say??)
4). One BR/DVD drive = 15 W (say)??
5).Processor colling = 5W
6).Two small fans (say 80mm) for chassis cooling=12W
7).Two HDDs 3.5" ( say 500GB each)= 15x2 = 30W
8).Front bay LCD+other perriferals= 10W
9). USBs= power drawing ones=10W

Total = 212 W (say)
PSU efficiency = 70% = 212/0.70 = 302W
System opt load = 90% =302/0.90 = 335W
Aging/depreciating factor = say 20% per year = 335/0.80 =419W

Are my assumptions ok????:eek:
The Power supply required would be around 400W for an htpc worknig at 90% load, @ Spiro recommended the same... Thanks...:eek:hyeah:

This clearly means the Glacial is out unless I can fit in a 400W supply???:sad:
200 watts is much more than sufficient. There's no free lunch. A system drawing 120 watts will be dissipating at least half of that as heat, maybe more. That's not easy to remove without a lot of cooling. Think of a 60-watt bulb in a tiny little space like an HTPC cabinet, and you'll get the idea.

My HTPC is built with an Athlon II x2 240, a nVidia 8300-based motherboard, 3GB RAM and has three hard drives and a soundcard. It will chug along at 40 watts all day, rising to 80 watts when playing back video. Music playback is as good as idle. For everything else, it is somewhere between those two numbers.

Thanks Spiro and Cranky,
So I am to square one...will check out the Glacial Altair A381 cabinet.

Cranky, which power supply do you use for your Htpc??
Can anyone help me with contacts to buy Coolermaster extreme power 350W OR Zebronics pro 350W SMPS in Bangalore? and would they deliver to my home? pain to drive to SP road to get the stuff.
I believe I mentioned this earlier. The NSK 2480 is not available. However, its vertically standing cousin the NSK 4480 ships with the same power supply. That is what I use and I am delighted with it.
Hi Cranky,

As you know I am going through this currently, although not particularly for a htpc but an all-purpose PC. However, I want as cool and as quiet an operation as possible. I have also shortlisted the Antac Solo upon your suggestion. However it does not come with a power supply. Initially I was thinking in terms of Corsair VX450, but some reviews say it, although very efficient and good, is not very quiet. Which power supply would you then recommend to go with the solo? Is the Seasonic 380 a quet one? Unfortunately, the EarthWatt EA 380 (also available in a green version these days) that comes with the Antec NSK 2480 and is very quiet is not separately available here (at least I could not find it in any online stores in India). Is the CX400 quiet? My case is, however, different from the others here, because I'd have to have a more powerful power supply because there is probably going to be also a 4850 or a 4770 graphics card in the set-up.


I've shortlisted the following horizontal cabinets:

1) My First Choice : Silverstone LC10BE, without power supply and remote. around 7500/= Distributor s Primeabgb in Lamington Road, Mumbai. A Power supply could cost another 2,500/= ( A VIP Gold 500W -2100/)

2).Glacial Altair A381, slim line with remote and 270W flex HEC PSU - around 9.500/=

3).Antek Fusion Remote Max : with remote but without power supply Distributor in Chennai, costs : Rs 12,710/= , add power supply 2500/=

4). The last one is DIY, buy an old horizontal IBM/Compac cabinet from lamington road: Around Rs 300/= to 500/=, throw everthing else out.
DIY :Repaint nicely with Black Paint compressed can : Rs250/=.
Buy/ reuse the older fans = Rs 500/=
and buy a nice PSU =Rs 2500/=
Total cost : 3,750/=

What Say??
Thanks Spiro and Cranky,
So I am to square one...will check out the Glacial Altair A381 cabinet.

Cranky, which power supply do you use for your Htpc??

I just enquired with the Delhi delaer of Glacial tech who is based in Ohkla-1. he is quoting 9500+ taxes for A381.
I just enquired with the Delhi delaer of Glacial tech who is based in Ohkla-1. he is quoting 9500+ taxes for A381.

they have a branch here in Mumbai and are offering the same...But if one has to spend so much on a cabinet then Silverline stuff is really too good.
I would suggest a Seasonic S12II 380W PSU. I recently bought one after my Antec EA430 died & I am very happy with the purchase.
It is extremely quite & powerful enough to handle my C2D E6550, 9600GT GPU & 4 HDDs with ease.
It is also 80+ bronze certified which means significant savings on electricity bill too.
let me share my inputs as I havefull blown HTPC and can recommend for HTPC you need ultra quiet operation. look for Thermaltake if you can find or source one here. I have the 600 watt one installed and can bet you will not come across the quietest and ultra cool PSU. i bought it in dubai for 7500 rs and not sure you can get it here or not. as for the wattage you need to look at graphics and sound card especially as they eat quite alot in HTPC along with usual stuff. I would advice 500 atleast as I have had a fair share of dissapointment after buying the 350 and then 400 watt ones.

i hope it helps.


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