So, I agreed to build my girlfriend a PC that she can use for her course but, having fairly strong views on such things, I decided that whilst it was important to keep the cost down and adhere to a budget, it should be upgradeable in case she wanted to do more demanding things in the future. I found a great ASUS motherboard and paired this with some basic but decent parts. The whole lot came to around £430 inclusive of VAT and delivery, with a half decent 17” TFT monitor. Great, I thought. But hang on, this motherboard is nice and modern with provision for DDR2 and PCI-E (should one want to add a hefty graphics card in the future). Hence, it has a 24-pin connector on the motherboard (introduced by the ATX 2.2 spec I believe) and finding a reasonably priced PSU or case with integrated PSU that states it has this connector is absolute hell. The PC doesn’t need a 5 million watt supply, a decent 300W or above will suffice since there are going to be a very small number of components (I have looked into this properly and anticipate a maximum power draw of around 210W even if a PCI-E card is added in the future). I contacted Scan technical queries who told me that none of their cases with integrated supplies have 24-pin connectors, oh joy.
There’s no way she’s going to see the value in spending large amounts of money on a PSU or case, which I can fully understand, so unless I can find a case with PSU or PSU alone that doesn’t cost the earth and clearly states to me it comes with the requisite connector then I’m a little stuck.
I’m also aware that often you can connect a 20-pin to a 24-pin and run the PC fine but I’ve done this once before and stability was an issue – generally the motherboard manufacturer will recommend against it, I think. Also, you can get a 20-pin to 24-pin converter but to support this a hefty power supply is required, which would be expensive anyway.