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Looking for a good psu for gaming

Last response: in Components
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April 11, 2014 5:33:53 AM

I am looking to buy a psu between £30 and £45 max. i seen a corsair cx500watt that catches my eye.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Corsair-Builder-Series-Modular-...

but never had a modular psu before any other recomendations???

I have windows 7 64bit,
i5 750 2.6ghz
4gb ram
ace psu 550w 12cm red fan (will be replaced)
hd radeon 7800 series 1gb
motherboard is intel DP55WB

More about : good psu gaming

April 11, 2014 5:39:46 AM

Mario Degabriele said:
I am looking to buy a psu between £30 and £45 max. i seen a corsair cx500watt that catches my eye.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Corsair-Builder-Series-Modular-...

but never had a modular psu before any other recomendations???

I have windows 7 64bit,
i5 750 2.6ghz
4gb ram
ace psu 550w 12cm red fan (will be replaced)
hd radeon 7800 series 1gb
motherboard is intel DP55WB



For that money I doubt you can get better than a CX500 (note if it's not an 'm' then it isn't modular however thats only usefull for making the cables look pretty).

The key things you need in a good PSU: Bronze 80+ certified and a single high current +12V rail (both of which the CX500 has). There are allot of cheaper PSU that have dual or more low current +12V rails (e.g. 2 x 18A 12v rails instead of 1 x 36A) and basically they're pretty useless.

Other brands of PSU to look at: Antek and Collermaster (but the latter avoid the rubbish GS models).
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April 11, 2014 5:46:07 AM

thanks for quick reply, do i need more watts than this. or is 500w more than enough for my build?
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April 11, 2014 5:47:19 AM

The important factor when determining PSU is how many watts over the 12V rail the PSU can supply with a stable current.

Problem with some PSU's that are advertised like "450w" etc is they don't really hold a stable current at those 450W. They work better at 350w-400w.

The goto brand for PSU's are

tiny voices said:

Stick with Antec, XFX, Seasonic, Corsair (not CX, CS, RM) only.



How to determine the PSU's 12v rating: (post link)

beenthere said:
You can determine exactly what your current or future PC configuration will require for wattage and amps. on the 12v rail(s) by working thru the information below. You start by checking the Video Graphics card wattage then convert that to 12v rail(s) amps. and check out PSU reviews to see if your current or potential new PSU can deliver the amps. you need on the 12v rails. It's pretty easy and once you know how to do it you'll be in a position to not only help yourself but also help other folks learn. These tools will make your PC user experience better and more reliable.

There are several websites that show the Graphics card Max power consumption in watts. (See the links below). Divide the watts by 12 to determine the amps. required on the 12v rail(s). Add 15 amps for the rest of the PC on the 12v rail and you now know the Minimum total 12v rail amps required under full load. It's best to have at least 5-10 amps. minimum reserve on the 12v rail(s) available under full load so the PSU is not loaded to 100%.

Here's an example:

Say your Vid card draws 240W under max load. Divide 240 by 12 to get 20 amps. on the 12v rail. Add 15 amps. for the rest of the drives, fans, etc. and you have 35 amps. Add 5 more amps for a minimum safety margin when the PSU gets hot under full load and you end up needing <40+> amps. total on the 12v rails.

If your PSU has a single 12v rail and it delivers 40+ amps. under full load then you are in good shape. If not you need a better/larger PSU. If you have a multi-rail 12v PSU then you need to check the label to see what the combined amps output is for the 12v rails under max load. If it's 40+ amps. combined, then you're good to go. If not then you need a better/larger PSU. The individual 12v rail max amps. may NOT be the same as the combined 12v rails max amps, so check the label and read proper PSU reviews to confirm the PSU is quality built and can deliver the claimed amps. under max load and temps. This is important for stable PC operation.

240W/12 = 20 amps + 15 amps. for the rest of PC + 5 amps. safety margin = 40+ amps. Minimum required

http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-560-ti-sli-re...

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_5...

As far as PSUs are concerned, be informed. Before you buy any PSU, read accurate, objective PSU reviews at reputable sites such at Toms', www.jonnyguru.com or www.hardwaresecrets.com on the EXACT model PSU that you are interested in as some brands have good and poor quality PSUs.

It's also worth noting that people often misunderstand the 80% power rating. This is a rating of the PSU's energy efficiency not it's output. 80% plus PSUs use less grid power to produce the same PC power. If it's 80% Bronze, Silver or Gold the cost savings on electricity is pretty small between Bronze, Silver and Gold models unless you are paying very high rates for electricity thus any 80% rated quality PSU is likely to be fine even if not Gold. For those who leave their PC on 24/7 a quality 80% PSU is a good investment.

For a basic PSU calculation you can determine the total power (wattage), required for your current or future system at the PSU calculator link below. Once you know the total PSU watts required then you need to confirm that the 12v rail(s) has enough amps. to support your Graphics card(s) and the rest of the PC system as shown above in the calculation example.

http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

IT'S ALWAYS BETTER TO TEACH A PERSON HOW TO FISH THAN TO GIVE THEM A FISH FOR DINNER!

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. INVEST SOME EFFORT IN LEARNING SO THAT YOU CAN NOT ONLY HELP YOURSELF BUT OTHER FOLKS TOO.

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April 11, 2014 5:54:35 AM

Mario Degabriele said:
thanks for quick reply, do i need more watts than this. or is 500w more than enough for my build?


Yes, a good 500w supply is ample. If you were considering going for dual graphics cards at a later date, or doing serious over-clocking then you should look at more.
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April 11, 2014 5:57:45 AM

ok, alot of info from B_S but learnt some important stuff when looking at psu.

one last thing, i know i should of asked already, whats the lowest i could safely go? 430w or should i just stay above 450w to give me some room to play with. I will never overclock and tend to stick with the single graphic card systems.
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April 11, 2014 6:01:01 AM

About "bronze", "gold" rating etc. This measurement is for how energy efficient the PSU is. It measures how much pwer the PSU draws from the wall, relative to its output. In other words, the rating measures how much power is drawn from the wall to reach that 450W. The PSU will output 450W regardless of which bronze/gold rating it has. The "bronze" rating is not a guarantee of quality. It does not specify how stable the output current of the PSU is.

But a "gold" rating can be a good indication of a quality PSU. But it's not a guarantee. A model without for example a "bronze" rating will probably be an older model, because it seem pretty standard for most current models to have such a rating.

So "bronze" determines energy efficiency. Less energy efficient PSU will waste more power. And will produce more heat. So the energy efficiency rating is still important to an extent. A bronze rating is good enough in terms of energy efficiency.

Edit: Please read cdrkf's post regarding this below as it provides more info.
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April 11, 2014 6:02:40 AM

Mario Degabriele said:
ok, alot of info from B_S but learnt some important stuff when looking at psu.

one last thing, i know i should of asked already, whats the lowest i could safely go? 430w or should i just stay above 450w to give me some room to play with. I will never overclock and tend to stick with the single graphic card systems.


Hmm, I think for the price I'd stick with that 500W PSU you've identified. With your system as it is now you could get away with less- however if you want to put in a faster graphics card down the line you might be limiting yourself if you go much lower. Also I don't think the cost saving between the CX430 and the CX500 for example is worth it as you're only looking at £5 to £10 saving.
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April 11, 2014 6:05:43 AM

B_S said:
About "bronze", "gold" rating etc. This measurement is for how energy efficient the PSU is. It measures how much pwer the PSU draws from the wall, relative to its output. In other words, the rating measures how much power is drawn from the wall to reach that 450W. The PSU will output 450W regardless of which bronze/gold rating it has. The "bronze" rating is not a guarantee of quality. It does not specify how stable the output current of the PSU is.

But a "gold" rating can be a good indication of a quality PSU. But it's not a guarantee. A model without for example a "bronze" rating will probably be an older model, because it seem pretty standard for most current models to have such a rating.

So "bronze" determines energy efficiency. Less energy efficient PSU will waste more power. And will produce more heat. So the energy efficiency rating is still important to an extent. A bronze rating is good enough in terms of energy efficiency.


Actually having a 'Bronze' rating does require the PSU to support a range of basic protection features and specifies a minimum hold up time. The cheap OEM things (that cost £20 for 800w) usually don't have the certification as they don't include all the protection circuitry.

Basically any bronze rated psu should at least be safe- although for it to be suitable to cope with a graphics card you need to ensure its got decent a decent +12v rail.
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April 11, 2014 6:12:16 AM

Also keeping in mind that some PSU models do not output a stable current at advertised wattage, "450w" for example. It you buy a PSU with higher wattage that might give more of a safety net. Although, models with high advertised wattage can be crap PSU's as well.

When it comes to PSU's you don't always get what you think you're buying. That's why the quote with the "goto brands" that have proven themselves over time.

Still I don't think that CX model is the worst you can get. But I don't actually have any experience with it so don't know.

Anyway, selecting PSU is not the time to be too cheap. Computer problems can often be caused by some crappy PSU.
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April 11, 2014 6:13:03 AM

ok sorted getting the corsair cx500watt for sure. thanks for all the help. :D 

just read ur last comment. and this is the most ive spent on a psu, my last one was £20 and i believe the cx500 is a significant improvement from my last as it is a trusted brand and at least has bronze certified.

again thank u for ur help.
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April 11, 2014 6:20:58 AM

cdrkf said:
B_S said:
About "bronze", "gold" rating etc. This measurement is for how energy efficient the PSU is. It measures how much pwer the PSU draws from the wall, relative to its output. In other words, the rating measures how much power is drawn from the wall to reach that 450W. The PSU will output 450W regardless of which bronze/gold rating it has. The "bronze" rating is not a guarantee of quality. It does not specify how stable the output current of the PSU is.

But a "gold" rating can be a good indication of a quality PSU. But it's not a guarantee. A model without for example a "bronze" rating will probably be an older model, because it seem pretty standard for most current models to have such a rating.

So "bronze" determines energy efficiency. Less energy efficient PSU will waste more power. And will produce more heat. So the energy efficiency rating is still important to an extent. A bronze rating is good enough in terms of energy efficiency.


Actually having a 'Bronze' rating does require the PSU to support a range of basic protection features and specifies a minimum hold up time. The cheap OEM things (that cost £20 for 800w) usually don't have the certification as they don't include all the protection circuitry.

Basically any bronze rated psu should at least be safe- although for it to be suitable to cope with a graphics card you need to ensure its got decent a decent +12v rail.


Didn't know that. Thanks!

So "minimum hold up time" is some sort of safety feature? Could you explain what it means?
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April 11, 2014 6:28:07 AM

B_S said:
cdrkf said:
B_S said:
About "bronze", "gold" rating etc. This measurement is for how energy efficient the PSU is. It measures how much pwer the PSU draws from the wall, relative to its output. In other words, the rating measures how much power is drawn from the wall to reach that 450W. The PSU will output 450W regardless of which bronze/gold rating it has. The "bronze" rating is not a guarantee of quality. It does not specify how stable the output current of the PSU is.

But a "gold" rating can be a good indication of a quality PSU. But it's not a guarantee. A model without for example a "bronze" rating will probably be an older model, because it seem pretty standard for most current models to have such a rating.

So "bronze" determines energy efficiency. Less energy efficient PSU will waste more power. And will produce more heat. So the energy efficiency rating is still important to an extent. A bronze rating is good enough in terms of energy efficiency.


Actually having a 'Bronze' rating does require the PSU to support a range of basic protection features and specifies a minimum hold up time. The cheap OEM things (that cost £20 for 800w) usually don't have the certification as they don't include all the protection circuitry.

Basically any bronze rated psu should at least be safe- although for it to be suitable to cope with a graphics card you need to ensure its got decent a decent +12v rail.


Didn't know that. Thanks!

So "minimum hold up time" is some sort of safety feature? Could you explain what it means?


Minimum hold up time isn't a safety feature exactly- its the amount of time the supply will keep outputting full power in the event of a drop in mains voltage (which does happen). A supply with a long hold up time will be more resistant to fluctuations in mains, a supply with too short a hold up time might drop out and cause your machine to reset under the same conditions (and it is something that happens from time to time).

The other features I believe are things like over current and voltage surge protection and again are related to protecting the components inside your PC from problems with the mains supply.
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April 11, 2014 6:36:33 AM

Thanks for the explanation. Appreciate it!
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April 11, 2014 9:45:15 PM

I'd suggest you get a modular XFX 550W PSU for easy cable management.
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