Power Supply for Desktop PC

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by DiddyS, Oct 21, 2004.

  1. DiddyS

    DiddyS Guest

    Hi,

    I've been offered some AT desktop PC cases without any power supplies. As
    I've only ever worked on tower cases I'm wondering if a desktop case would
    need a different PSU with, maybe, longer cables or something because of the
    different layout.

    Thanks,

    Derek.
     
    DiddyS, Oct 21, 2004
    #1
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  2. DiddyS

    Thor Guest

    If they are AT dekstops (not ATX), then they will need standard AT power
    supplies in most cases. Same as in an AT tower, typically. AT power supplies
    are getting really hard to find though.



    "DiddyS" <> wrote in message
    news:gOOdd.91299$...
    > Hi,
    >
    > I've been offered some AT desktop PC cases without any power supplies. As
    > I've only ever worked on tower cases I'm wondering if a desktop case would
    > need a different PSU with, maybe, longer cables or something because of
    > the different layout.
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Derek.
    >
     
    Thor, Oct 21, 2004
    #2
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  3. DiddyS

    DiddyS Guest

    Hi Thor,

    Thanks for the info.

    Derek.


    "Thor" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > If they are AT dekstops (not ATX), then they will need standard AT power
    > supplies in most cases. Same as in an AT tower, typically. AT power
    > supplies are getting really hard to find though.
    >
    >
    >
    > "DiddyS" <> wrote in message
    > news:gOOdd.91299$...
    >> Hi,
    >>
    >> I've been offered some AT desktop PC cases without any power supplies. As
    >> I've only ever worked on tower cases I'm wondering if a desktop case
    >> would need a different PSU with, maybe, longer cables or something
    >> because of the different layout.
    >>
    >> Thanks,
    >>
    >> Derek.
    >>

    >
    >
     
    DiddyS, Oct 21, 2004
    #3
  4. DiddyS

    ric Guest

    DiddyS wrote:

    > I've been offered some AT desktop PC cases without any power supplies. As
    > I've only ever worked on tower cases I'm wondering if a desktop case would
    > need a different PSU with, maybe, longer cables or something because of the
    > different layout.


    It depends if the PSU required is a true AT desktop PSU (with the big
    switch on the side) or the "slim" size PSU which has wires to the ON/OFF
    switch on the front of the case.

    See:

    http://www.pcpowercooling.com/products/power_supplies/dimensions/dim_slim.htm
    http://www.pcpowercooling.com/products/power_supplies/dimensions/dim_full.htm
    (minus the side mounted switch)

    True AT desktop PSUs with the side mounted switch are getting *very* rare.
     
    ric, Oct 21, 2004
    #4
  5. DiddyS

    ric Guest

    Thor wrote:

    > If they are AT dekstops (not ATX), then they will need standard AT power
    > supplies in most cases. Same as in an AT tower, typically.


    AT desktop PSUs had the big switch on the side. AT tower PSUs did not.
    Later desktop cases used the "slim" size PSU, which attached to the
    case front panel ON/OFF switch. Very few desktop cases used the big
    AT size tower (used case front panel switch) PSU.
     
    ric, Oct 21, 2004
    #5
  6. DiddyS

    James Hilton Guest

    "Thor" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > If they are AT dekstops (not ATX), then they will need standard AT power
    > supplies in most cases. Same as in an AT tower, typically. AT power

    supplies
    > are getting really hard to find though.
    >
    >
    >

    Assuming that he doesn't already have a bunch of AT system boards, why not
    replace the AT power supply with an ATX power supply, Replace the switch
    with an "on only when pushed" type switch, or just use the reset switch,
    connect the reset switch to the power switch connector on the ATX main
    board. The main problem would be to make the board fit the case. An electric
    drill and a mini grinder work for me. The big question is, is it really
    worth all that work when you can buy a new ATX Case with a 350 Watt power
    supply for as little as $26 US (mabe less).


    > "DiddyS" <> wrote in message
    > news:gOOdd.91299$...
    > > Hi,
    > >
    > > I've been offered some AT desktop PC cases without any power supplies.

    As
    > > I've only ever worked on tower cases I'm wondering if a desktop case

    would
    > > need a different PSU with, maybe, longer cables or something because of
    > > the different layout.
    > >
    > > Thanks,
    > >
    > > Derek.
    > >

    >
    >
     
    James Hilton, Oct 22, 2004
    #6
  7. DiddyS

    Thor Guest

    "ric" <> wrote in message news:...
    > Thor wrote:
    >
    >> If they are AT dekstops (not ATX), then they will need standard AT power
    >> supplies in most cases. Same as in an AT tower, typically.

    >
    > AT desktop PSUs had the big switch on the side. AT tower PSUs did not.
    > Later desktop cases used the "slim" size PSU, which attached to the
    > case front panel ON/OFF switch. Very few desktop cases used the big
    > AT size tower (used case front panel switch) PSU.


    I've never seen them advertised as "slim" power supplies, but always as "AT"
    or sometimes "PS2 style" power supplies. I haven't even seen an AT case,
    desktop or otherwise that had the big, old side power switch. Seen plenty of
    IBM XTs and XT clones that had them though. I built plenty of AT form factor
    desktops around 1994-95 when they were still marginally popular, (often
    called a "baby AT desktop") and worked on quite a few in the years after
    that. They always had the same power supply that the AT mini and mid towers
    had. Dimension-wise, about the same size as an ATX supply, but with the
    monitor AC supply jack, and the front panel AC-line power switch, and
    two-piece motherboard power connector of course.
     
    Thor, Oct 22, 2004
    #7
  8. DiddyS

    JTJersey Guest

    On Thu, 21 Oct 2004 09:47:09 -0400, Thor wrote:

    > If they are AT dekstops (not ATX), then they will need standard AT power
    > supplies in most cases. Same as in an AT tower, typically. AT power
    > supplies are getting really hard to find though.
    >
    >

    I've got two laying around if anyone wants them. You can reimburse me for
    the shipping once you receive them. I hate seeing useful items sitting
    around.
    --
    Registered Linux User #267152
     
    JTJersey, Oct 22, 2004
    #8
  9. DiddyS

    DiddyS Guest

    Hi,

    Thank you to you all for your interesting comments and suggestions.

    I haven't actually got the cases yet, but if I can get them for the right
    price (i.e. next to nothing) it might be worth my while having a go at
    making something out of them.

    Thanks,

    Derek.
     
    DiddyS, Oct 22, 2004
    #9
  10. DiddyS

    ric Guest

    Thor wrote:

    > > AT desktop PSUs had the big switch on the side. AT tower PSUs did not.
    > > Later desktop cases used the "slim" size PSU, which attached to the
    > > case front panel ON/OFF switch. Very few desktop cases used the big
    > > AT size tower (used case front panel switch) PSU.

    >
    > I've never seen them advertised as "slim" power supplies, but always as "AT"
    > or sometimes "PS2 style" power supplies. I haven't even seen an AT case,
    > desktop or otherwise that had the big, old side power switch. Seen plenty of
    > IBM XTs and XT clones that had them though.


    I've got two running 286 systems that use the "AT" size PSU with the side
    mounted rocker switch.

    AT size supplies were the old "L" shape PSUs, that were 8.35" x 5.9" x 5.9"
    The desktop and the tower models were the same, but the tower model had the
    remote AC switch cable, and the desktop had the side mounted rocker switch.

    The "slim" size PSU was 5.9" x 5.5" x 3.4" (same as ATX) and had the remote
    AC switch cable.

    Their was also a "baby" sized AT PSU, which was basically the same dimensions
    as the "AT", but with the ledge of the "L" eliminated. The "slim" and "baby"
    names were interchanged by some retailers, resulting in much confusion.
     
    ric, Oct 23, 2004
    #10
  11. DiddyS

    Thor Guest

    "ric" <> wrote in message news:...
    > Thor wrote:
    >
    >> > AT desktop PSUs had the big switch on the side. AT tower PSUs did not.
    >> > Later desktop cases used the "slim" size PSU, which attached to the
    >> > case front panel ON/OFF switch. Very few desktop cases used the big
    >> > AT size tower (used case front panel switch) PSU.

    >>
    >> I've never seen them advertised as "slim" power supplies, but always as
    >> "AT"
    >> or sometimes "PS2 style" power supplies. I haven't even seen an AT case,
    >> desktop or otherwise that had the big, old side power switch. Seen plenty
    >> of
    >> IBM XTs and XT clones that had them though.

    >
    > I've got two running 286 systems that use the "AT" size PSU with the side
    > mounted rocker switch.
    >
    > AT size supplies were the old "L" shape PSUs, that were 8.35" x 5.9" x
    > 5.9"
    > The desktop and the tower models were the same, but the tower model had
    > the
    > remote AC switch cable, and the desktop had the side mounted rocker
    > switch.
    >
    > The "slim" size PSU was 5.9" x 5.5" x 3.4" (same as ATX) and had the
    > remote
    > AC switch cable.
    >
    > Their was also a "baby" sized AT PSU, which was basically the same
    > dimensions
    > as the "AT", but with the ledge of the "L" eliminated. The "slim" and
    > "baby"
    > names were interchanged by some retailers, resulting in much confusion.


    Well, I started in the business in the 386-486 days when those L-shaped
    power supplies were pretty much obsolete and gone from the marketplace at
    least in terms of what you saw being installed in the machines of that time.
    The one you describe as "slim" was by then, the norm for most AT form factor
    cases, Mini, mid, full and desktop in those days from my experience. But
    I've always seen it called AT or "PS2" never "slim" by both advertisers, and
    manufacturers. Perhaps they had pretty much dropped the "slim" designation
    by then. PC Power and Cooling seems to be the only one I've seen calling it
    the "Slim" model these days. So if he shops around for the supply most
    likely to fit, I believe he should be looking for "AT or "PS2" regardless of
    what it may or may not have originally been called, because that is what is
    going to yield the most wide array of choices.

    Here's a place I found still selling all the old form factors

    http://www.affordablesurplus.com/ps-at-power-supply-main.asp

    and here's a manufacturer with all the old form factors

    http://www.power-on.com/at.html
     
    Thor, Oct 23, 2004
    #11
  12. DiddyS

    ric Guest

    Thor wrote:

    > > AT size supplies were the old "L" shape PSUs, that were 8.35" x 5.9" x 5.9"
    > > The desktop and the tower models were the same, but the tower model had the
    > > remote AC switch cable, and the desktop had the side mounted rocker
    > > switch.
    > >
    > > The "slim" size PSU was 5.9" x 5.5" x 3.4" (same as ATX) and had the remote
    > > AC switch cable.
    > >
    > > Their was also a "baby" sized AT PSU, which was basically the same dimensions
    > > as the "AT", but with the ledge of the "L" eliminated. The "slim" and "baby"
    > > names were interchanged by some retailers, resulting in much confusion.

    >
    > Well, I started in the business in the 386-486 days when those L-shaped
    > power supplies were pretty much obsolete and gone from the marketplace at
    > least in terms of what you saw being installed in the machines of that time.


    Not in the full size tower or server market. The large "L" shape PSUs were
    still the mainstay of the server market when I left the PSU manufacturing
    business in 1998. The PS/2 (slim) size was just too small (then) for 450w
    to 600w PSUs. As late as 1997, we sold full size towers that would accept
    only the "L" shaped supply. In 1998, it was changed to a replaceable back-
    plate, which made either form factor usable.

    When specifying AT, be aware that that term was used for physical and
    electrical descriptions. The "L" size PSU met both, while the PS/2 size
    were AT electrically, but not physically. The first URL you gave seems to
    make this distinction. [The second URL was not working when I tried it.]
     
    ric, Oct 23, 2004
    #12
  13. DiddyS

    Thor Guest

    "ric" <> wrote in message news:...
    > Thor wrote:
    >
    >> > AT size supplies were the old "L" shape PSUs, that were 8.35" x 5.9" x
    >> > 5.9"
    >> > The desktop and the tower models were the same, but the tower model had
    >> > the
    >> > remote AC switch cable, and the desktop had the side mounted rocker
    >> > switch.
    >> >
    >> > The "slim" size PSU was 5.9" x 5.5" x 3.4" (same as ATX) and had the
    >> > remote
    >> > AC switch cable.
    >> >
    >> > Their was also a "baby" sized AT PSU, which was basically the same
    >> > dimensions
    >> > as the "AT", but with the ledge of the "L" eliminated. The "slim" and
    >> > "baby"
    >> > names were interchanged by some retailers, resulting in much confusion.

    >>
    >> Well, I started in the business in the 386-486 days when those L-shaped
    >> power supplies were pretty much obsolete and gone from the marketplace at
    >> least in terms of what you saw being installed in the machines of that
    >> time.

    >
    > Not in the full size tower or server market. The large "L" shape PSUs were
    > still the mainstay of the server market when I left the PSU manufacturing
    > business in 1998. The PS/2 (slim) size was just too small (then) for 450w
    > to 600w PSUs. As late as 1997, we sold full size towers that would accept
    > only the "L" shaped supply. In 1998, it was changed to a replaceable back-
    > plate, which made either form factor usable.


    I worked in the consumer PC manufatcuring business primarily, and all our
    full towers used the small PS2 form factor supply. We weren't building for
    the server market so a 450W supply was simply not needed in those days for
    your average 486 machine. Most consumer full tower PCs I have seen from
    those days likewise use the small supply.

    >
    > When specifying AT, be aware that that term was used for physical and
    > electrical descriptions. The "L" size PSU met both, while the PS/2 size
    > were AT electrically, but not physically. The first URL you gave seems to
    > make this distinction. [The second URL was not working when I tried it.]


    I would still argue that they are all part of the AT "family" of power
    supplies. The "PS2" size supply being the most commonly encountered by far,
    as to have become the defacto "AT" power supply as far as what you'll find
    being sold most places when you still find them. I've never seen any
    published spec for the AT form factor, unlike ATX which is easily obtainable
    on the web. Was there even an "official" published spec for AT cases, boards
    and PSUs? Seems to me that back then there was quite a lot more liberty
    taken with regards to designs. ATX radically changed all that, and made
    manufacturers conform to a far more rigid set of design guidelines. FWIW,
    the second link still works for me.
     
    Thor, Oct 23, 2004
    #13
  14. DiddyS

    ric Guest

    Thor wrote:

    > > When specifying AT, be aware that that term was used for physical and
    > > electrical descriptions. The "L" size PSU met both, while the PS/2 size
    > > were AT electrically, but not physically. The first URL you gave seems to
    > > make this distinction. [The second URL was not working when I tried it.]

    >
    > I would still argue that they are all part of the AT "family" of power
    > supplies.


    Of course. But in the mid 90s, if you ordered an AT power supply, you
    likely received the "L" shape PSU.

    > The "PS2" size supply being the most commonly encountered by far,
    > as to have become the defacto "AT" power supply as far as what you'll find
    > being sold most places when you still find them.


    Today? Yes. But the OP was getting AT desktop cases of unknown vintage. To
    assume that they accepted the PS/2 size supply would be foolish. Post 1998
    desktop cases, perhaps. Pre 1998 desktop cases, big risk. Many case makers
    waited until ATX became popular to abandon the "L" shape for their desktops
    (such as Cal PC.)

    > I've never seen any
    > published spec for the AT form factor, unlike ATX which is easily obtainable
    > on the web. Was there even an "official" published spec for AT cases, boards
    > and PSUs?


    I saw one back in the days of the 286 CPU. Nothing like the wealth of info
    at http://www.formfactors.org/ (it was printed - not online.) It gave only
    the dimensions of the "L" shape PSU, and the slightly smaller "Baby" size
    PSU, but the PS/2 (slim) size was not yet in existence. Perhaps a search
    through the archives at Intel or IBM.
     
    ric, Oct 24, 2004
    #14
  15. DiddyS

    Thor Guest

    "ric" <> wrote in message news:...
    > Thor wrote:
    >
    >> > When specifying AT, be aware that that term was used for physical and
    >> > electrical descriptions. The "L" size PSU met both, while the PS/2 size
    >> > were AT electrically, but not physically. The first URL you gave seems
    >> > to
    >> > make this distinction. [The second URL was not working when I tried
    >> > it.]

    >>
    >> I would still argue that they are all part of the AT "family" of power
    >> supplies.

    >
    > Of course. But in the mid 90s, if you ordered an AT power supply, you
    > likely received the "L" shape PSU.
    >
    >> The "PS2" size supply being the most commonly encountered by far,
    >> as to have become the defacto "AT" power supply as far as what you'll
    >> find
    >> being sold most places when you still find them.

    >
    > Today? Yes. But the OP was getting AT desktop cases of unknown vintage. To
    > assume that they accepted the PS/2 size supply would be foolish. Post 1998
    > desktop cases, perhaps. Pre 1998 desktop cases, big risk. Many case makers
    > waited until ATX became popular to abandon the "L" shape for their
    > desktops
    > (such as Cal PC.)


    I would disagree with that based on my own experience in the service field.
    I have repaired a *multitude* of desktop systems from 386 class through the
    present, and the L-shaped supplies are a virtual non occurrance in the
    consumer field from what I've seen, even going back to 1994. Seeing one is
    just about like running across a VESA local bus system. It's a rarity. The
    Ps2 supply (and the case that fits it) so much more prevalent in the field
    than any other AT supply, I would contend that the OP's chances of having
    acquired cases that require the L-shaped supply are extremely low to
    negligible. The overwhelming prevalence of Ps2 style supplies/cases predates
    1998 by several years from my point of view. I probably have 30 odd AT cases
    of various vintages and brands collected (or rather accumulated) over the
    years still sitting on the shelf collecting dust as a result of part-outs,
    upgrades, etc. and not a single one takes the larger supplies. I just don't
    think his odds of having such a case are nearly as high as you suggest.
    We'll have to agree to disagree, at least from our own base of experiences
    on this one.
     
    Thor, Oct 24, 2004
    #15
  16. DiddyS

    Fred Guest

    Thor wrote:

    > I have repaired a *multitude* of desktop systems from 386 class through
    > the present, and the L-shaped supplies are a virtual non occurrance in
    > the consumer field from what I've seen, even going back to 1994.


    I skipped all my classes.

    > Seeing one is just about like running across a VESA local bus system.


    Can you give a better estimate than that?

    > The overwhelming prevalence of Ps2 style supplies/cases predates 1998
    > by several years from my point of view.


    A year is a long time.

    > I probably have 30 odd AT cases of various vintages and brands
    > collected (or rather accumulated) over the years still sitting on the
    > shelf collecting dust as a result of part-outs, upgrades, etc.


    That is strange all right.

    > I just don't think his odds of having such a case are nearly as high as
    > you suggest.


    Are you terrified of failure?

    > We'll have to agree to disagree, at least from our own base of
    > experiences on this one.


    I disagree.
     
    Fred, Oct 24, 2004
    #16
  17. DiddyS

    ric Guest

    Thor wrote:

    > > Today? Yes. But the OP was getting AT desktop cases of unknown vintage. To
    > > assume that they accepted the PS/2 size supply would be foolish. Post 1998
    > > desktop cases, perhaps. Pre 1998 desktop cases, big risk. Many case makers
    > > waited until ATX became popular to abandon the "L" shape for their
    > > desktops
    > > (such as Cal PC.)

    >
    > I would disagree with that based on my own experience in the service field.


    And I based the statement on my experience in the sales/customer service
    field in the 90's. The two 286 computers I purchased in 1995 (for $99)
    also came with "L" shaped PSUs with the big red switch on the side.

    > We'll have to agree to disagree, at least from our own base of experiences
    > on this one.


    Yup.
     
    ric, Oct 24, 2004
    #17
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