coolerMicky writes:

I need to replace my PC’s hard drive. I have a Dell dimension 8400. It is about about 8 years old. I am looking to buy a Western Digital 320 GB, 7200 rpm. I have two questions: is a 350 watts power supply enough for this drive & will it generate too much heat for this PC? I was unable to find any specifics about the cooling fans within (if any). Any help to point me in the right direction will be greatly appreciated.

In this scenario, the stock 350-watt PSU in the old Dell should be just fine for powering a standard 7200 RPM HDD of any capacity assuming the previous HDD was also a 7200. If the previous hard drive was one that spins slower, such as a 5400 RPM, then it probably would be a good idea to upgrade to a higher-watt PSU of at least 500 watts if the Dell is all-original (meaning the Dell shipped originally with a 5400 RPM and a 350w PSU) – however there would be those who would say that’s probably not even necessary if it’s a like-to-like replacement of a 7200 RPM hard drive with another one.

If heat issues are a concern, the cheapest and easiest solution is hard drive cooling. Mount a fan and/or a heat sink on the bottom and it works wonders keeping the heat down on the cheap. This particular HDD cooler is only $9 USD and is specifically made for 7200 RPM HDDs.

Bear in mind If other components (like a video card) are blasting out heat, then you need a more advanced cooling system as the hard drive cooler only cools the hard drive and nothing else.