Media Server Power Supply

Media Server Power Supply Guide

The first thing to know, is that not all power supplies are made equal. Power supplies with better fundamental designs that employ high quality components will be better. Try to stick to brands with a known track record. If you want, you can try to find power supplies with higher 80 Plus ratings. These ratings indicate the efficiency of the power supply. For a chart please visit theĀ 80 Plus Wiki. My other suggestion would be to find a modular power supply. When working in a small confined space, such as a HTPC case, it is nice to only use the connectors you need.

I personally would recommend going with a Platinum 80 Plus PSU. Prices are starting to drop on these units, if you are running your server 24/7 it should help you saves a few bucks in the long run. NOTE: Savings depends on the cost of your PSU, uptime of your server, and cost of electricity at your location.

You also need consider the power draw of your media server build. Why? Power supply efficiencies change depending on load, there no point of getting a 80 Platinum PSU if you are not going to be in a high efficiency load range. If you refer to theĀ 80 Plus Wiki, you’ll notice the requirement to be certified a certain level of efficiency. The reading are taken at 10%, 20%, 50%, and 100% of the power supplies max wattage. You can see that you should at least be within 20% of the max wattage approaching the sweet spot after 50%.

For example; I know that my media server pulls roughly 220 watts at idle..therefore I should shoot for a power supply that is roughly capable of producing 440Watts. This will place me in the 50% range, which should produce roughly maximum efficiency. In my case, I went with the Kingwin LZP-550W. At the time of purchase, this was the only Platinum unit available otherwise I would probably have chosen the Antec EA-450.

Here a few 80 Platinum PSUs:

NOTE: Seeing as how this is a media server build, SATA Power connectivity is crucial. Make sure you pick a PSU supply that has enough SATA power connectors to power all your hard drives. You may want to consider future hard drive additions.

Antec EarthWatts Platinum Series EA-450 450W Power Supply

Antec EarthWatts Platinum Series EA-650 650W Power Supply

KINGWIN Lazer Platinum Series LZP-550 550W Power Supply

KINGWIN LZP-650 650W Power Supply

Next we can choose a case for your media server build.

Check back often for more guides to help you with your HTPC build!