So...I'm an idiot. Any help on power units

edited June 2021 in Cases and Power Supplies
My sons (12 and 14 yo) are trying to build a gaming system, and they know less about computers than me...and I'm pretty dumb.  I "get" how most things interface and what they do, but I don't have the time or the know how to deep dive into the compatibility questions I need to resolve to get their dreams off the ground.  And I suck at electrical stuff, so for all the components I need to address, the power unit freaks me out the most.

We've bought a lot of stuff on deals discounts, and I am really hoping its a good intro to gaming with the expectation they will upgrade over time.  Here's what they have, and I'm trying to understand what they need from a power unit.  Don't even need a model, just parameters (and yes, I know I'm trying to outsource my research, but feel free to re-read the subject line above).
MB - MSI B450M Pro-M2 Max
Processor - AMD Ryzen 5
RAM - Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB)
SSD - Western Digital WD Black SN750
Tower - Adevia Crusader - F - BK Mid Tower

Any suggestions on an appropriate power unit for this set up, and whether I've screwed up any of the selections to begin with?  And to further reveal how dumb I am (only knowing mechanical hard drives), how do you boot a machine off a SSD, and how do you load an OS without an external CD drive or the like?

As I said, I'm an idiot.  Just trying to make smarter kids than me.  Thanks in advance for any help.


  • TSTonyV
    TSTonyV ✭✭✭✭✭
    First Anniversary 5 Likes First Comment First Answer
    For that setup, pretty much any PSU would work, but since you plan to do upgrades over time, you'll want something that gives you some wiggle room. 

    We have a guide on Choosing Parts for your PC, with a section specifically dedicated to the power supply. I think it'd be worth your while to read through as it will give you a lot information on choosing various components and what things are good to look for.

    The PSU guide focuses on the more high-end power supplies, but it seems like you've got a budget system in mind so I'll list a few options that would be a good balance for budget and upgrade room.

    Also, one thing to note, is that the GT710 is a very weak card and not designed for gaming. You'd be better off with a GTX 1650 Super, or getting a Ryzen 5 3400G and using its integrated Vega 11 graphics. 
  • TheITDad
    No need to feel like an idiot everyone has to learn before you can know.  So overall for a starter gaming setup for your kids you look to be doing a great job.  Power supplies are pretty easy, what you need to know is the power draw of your cpu and gpu and make sure your power supply has a higher value on it for the power it can supply.  But to make it even easier for your setup you should be looking at a power supply between 500w and 600w.  The other thing that may cause some confusion is the "modular" label on power supplies.  All this does is change whether you can select which cables you have plugged in or if all the cables are just pre-built into the unit.  Generally getting modular or semi-modular (which means only some of the cables are built into the unit) costs a little bit more.  Lastly and probably most importantly is the rating.  To keep your pc safe and avoid damage you want to get a power supply that has at least an 80+ bronze rating.  This system is just an industry standard way of rating the efficiency of the unit and generally bronze is where you want to be at for a starter build, and gold isn't a bad one to look at either if you can get a good deal.  So again for your build I would look at an 80+ bronze power supply rated at between 500-600 watts and don't worry about it being modular just yet, you could possibly get away with a 450w unit if price becomes a concern but a bigger unit now will allow for upgrades later without upgrading the psu.

    For the next part with booting from the ssd.  There are a few ways to do this, the one I recommend requires a working pc for you to do it with.  That way is using the media creation tool that Microsoft provides that allows you to create a fresh windows 10 install that isn't activated but don't worry about that it can still be used until you get your authentication key.  The easiest way to do the media creation tool is to youtube it and see how to create and use it and the videos should walk you through creating the Win10 image.  And once the image has been created the mobo will default to booting from the drive that has windows on it.  Then if you add an extra spinning drive you will need to initialize them which again, youtube is a great place to find step by step guides for that kind of stuff.

    And lastly before this post gets to super long, youtube build guides are the way to go for first time builders.  The channels I would suggest are Bitwit, Linus Tech Tips, Jaystwocentz, and Pauls Hardware.  There are plenty of other build guides out there but these four are really good and can help with making sure you connect everything up properly and don't get overwhelmed.

    And again your not dumb, dumb people do and blame others when it doesn't work.  Smart people know their limitations and ask for help when needed.  So in my book, your pretty smart for knowing when you need help and seeking it out.  Enjoy building with your sons
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