Buying a computer system/power supply


QUESTION: Hi Bobbert,

I'm considering buying one of two Dell desktop computers (Inspiron model). One is $70 more because it is a lot smaller tower. Other than that they both have the same exact specs (4th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-4460S Processor (6M Cache, up to 3.40 GHz, 8GB Memory). The only difference I see is the power supply wattage. The standard size pc is a 300 watt power supply and the small one is 220w. Since they both have the same processor speed, will the 220w power supply handle it as well, or perform any differently compared to the 300 watt power supply? The advantage of the smaller pc is obviously the tower size, but are there any cons to it? I'm guessing the insides are more cramped together, if that matters.  Thanks

ANSWER: No, both the 220W and 300W PSU are sufficient for the Core i5. The smaller power supply and smaller case will limit your options for expansion cards however, so if that's a consideration you may want to select the larger machine. If not, the smaller machine wouldn't have any significant downsides if all other specifications are the same.

If you have any further questions, feel free to ask.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks. There's also the option of getting a wireless keyboard and mouse. Are there any real advantages to that, since the desktop will be stationary anyway? Or disadvantages, like malfunctioning more often? Thanks again

Wireless can be useful if you're likely to use the computer from a distance, like sitting on the couch, but otherwise there's no real advantages. If the wireless set is not rechargeable you'll have to replace batteries periodically, but that's probably the only real disadvantage. The days of wireless equipment being laggy or losing connection randomly are for the most part a thing of the past (of course if you have something that causes a lot of interference it may still be a problem).

If you have any further questions, feel free to ask.


Buying a computer system

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




I have nearly two decades of experience in IT, computer repair, and related fields and will attempt to provide the most solid, brand-agnostic advice when it comes time to purchase a new computer, or upgrade an existing machine. I can answer anything from the seemingly basic to the downright complicated - and will do my best to provide this information in a clear and concise manner.


I have been an enthusiast of PC's for many years, and can answer questions about the purchase/use of a new computer or the purchase, installation, and use of upgrades for existing computers. There probably isn't a whole lot related to the home computer that I haven't seen over the years.

15+ years of experience

©2017 All rights reserved.