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What is my PC's wattage and what power supply do I need?

I am building my first medium-end gaming PC, and I don't know what wattage I will need for my power supply. Do I add all of the components' wattage? Do some components get their power from the motherboard? If my motherboard says it needs 200+ watts, does that mean I add the 200 to the total, or only if the components plugged into the motherboard are less than 200 watts? Anyways, I need to know the process in how to calculate it. I tried searching the web, but the things I have seen only show me a general wattage. I want to know my exact wattage and how to calculate it if I choose a different CPU or whatnot. Thanks!

My build with a power supply that may or may not work for me:
http://pcpartpicker.com/user/ProGaminGranny/saved/4G5G
17 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about wattage power supply
  1. Best answer
    That setup will draw a max of 200w at full load, the 430w PSU you have included would be plenty fine. If you don't mind some advice, I would switch to an AMD card if you plan to play games like Watch Dogs or BattleField 4, as they have Mantly, and would greatly benefit with a CPU like the 760k.

    If you are trying to stay under $500, I would go with this setup. The 6300 is a much better CPU, and the 265 is a little bit better GPU.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($108.00 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: ASRock 970 Pro3 R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($59.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Kingston Fury Black Series 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($36.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.43 @ OutletPC)
    Video Card: MSI Radeon R7 265 2GB Video Card ($149.99 @ Amazon)
    Case: Rosewill Galaxy-02 ATX Mid Tower Case ($34.00 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: Antec 450W ATX Power Supply ($37.99 @ Mwave)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $496.38
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-05-16 14:32 EDT-0400)
  2. The 430W psu you have sellected is more than enough for your rig, and any other higher wattage psu will just inefficiently suck up power from your wall and turn it into heat, ending up with way higher electricity bill and higher temperatures inside your case
  3. You are extremely overstating what would happen lol Any 80+ bronze or better unit up to about 700w would have just a few % difference in the efficiency rating. There would definitely be no difference in heat output, and ESPECIALLY no 'way higher' electricity bill or temperatures in the case. That is extreme exaggeration.
  4. If there is as you say "a few %" of difference in efficiency, where else do you think this loss in efficiency go to other than heat?
  5. Are you really suggesting that the difference between 86% and 83% efficiency (which with this system would equate to about 5w) is going to result in a way higher electricity bill and way higher temperatures? Obviously the efficiency loss is transferred into heat, that's basic physics. My point is 5w isn't going to do anything noticeable AT ALL WHATSOEVER to the electricity bill or case temperatures.
  6. Well perhaps my knowledge was too abstract, but it still affects the temperature and electricity bill, and 'noticeable' is very subjective
  7. At a max difference in efficiency of 5w, assuming 6 hours of computer use a day, you're looking at a $0.12 difference over the course of an entire month. That is well within the margin of error, and given fluctuations of A/C usage, and all other electrical use, no, there is no noticeable difference.

    And a drop in efficiency of 3% will create a heat gain within the margin of error as well, meaning it is not noticeable, or material in any way at all.
  8. HiTechObsessed said:
    That setup will draw a max of 200w at full load, the 430w PSU you have included would be plenty fine. If you don't mind some advice, I would switch to an AMD card if you plan to play games like Watch Dogs or BattleField 4, as they have Mantly, and would greatly benefit with a CPU like the 760k.

    If you are trying to stay under $500, I would go with this setup. The 6300 is a much better CPU, and the 265 is a little bit better GPU.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($108.00 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: ASRock 970 Pro3 R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($59.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Kingston Fury Black Series 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($36.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.43 @ OutletPC)
    Video Card: MSI Radeon R7 265 2GB Video Card ($149.99 @ Amazon)
    Case: Rosewill Galaxy-02 ATX Mid Tower Case ($34.00 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: Antec 450W ATX Power Supply ($37.99 @ Mwave)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $496.38
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-05-16 14:32 EDT-0400)


    Thank you! That helps a lot. As far as graphics cards, that looks good, but I found one that is cheaper and from my understanding is better.

    Here is the new one I found: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131562
    It is only $100 after the rebate, and according to gpuboss.com, it is better. But on gpuboss.com, the image of the card looks different, and it says the card costs $335. Also, the reviews on Newegg are mixed, some needed a replacement sent to them, but other than that it worked great.

    Here is the gpuboss.com comparison: http://gpuboss.com/gpus/Radeon-R7-265-vs-PowerColor-Radeon-HD-7850
    Which one should I get? It would be awesome to get the HD 7850 if it is truly better, saving me $50. But if the gpuboss info is incorrect, I should go with the R7 265. Could you help me figure it out? Thank you very much, it would be such a help.
  9. They're pretty much the same when it comes to performance. GPUBoss only rates based on physical numbers, not real world performance. With a price difference of $50, I would definitely go for the 7850, if that $50 is worth it to you :)

    I would actually recommend then to get a 2x4GB set of RAM with the savings, as 4 is a little on the low side. The 6300 + 7850 will be good for High settings at good frame rates in most games at 1080p :)
  10. HiTechObsessed said:
    They're pretty much the same when it comes to performance. GPUBoss only rates based on physical numbers...

    Awesome! Thank you very much for your help, is there any way I can give you a thumbs up, or a +rep to your profile? I really appreciate your help and would like to make it worth your time helping me :)
  11. lol well that's essentially what the 'Best Solution' is for, but I'm just glad to help out. Enjoy whatever you end up with!
  12. HiTechObsessed said:
    lol well that's essentially what the 'Best Solution' is for, but I'm just glad to help out. Enjoy whatever you end up with!

    Dang! The card just jumped up $40 right now... I am not sure if you know anything about this, but do you think there is a chance it will go down again?
    Also, I have had trouble finding a motherboard that has good reviews with the am3+ socket that the FX-6300 has... I am thinking of maybe sticking to the AMD X4 760k because there are cheap boards with good ratings for its FM2 socket. What do you think about that?

    Is this stuff I should continue to ask here, or should I be messaging you about this?
  13. If you're going to be gaming, I would definitely stick to the FX series (AM3+), as the FM2 has poor CPU performance. You'll see noticeable frame drops (lag) in the more CPU intensive games. You could change to the XFX and get 2 free games as well:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: ASRock 970 Pro3 R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($59.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Kingston Fury Black Series 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($52.88 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.43 @ OutletPC)
    Video Card: XFX Radeon R7 265 2GB Video Card ($139.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Rosewill Galaxy-02 ATX Mid Tower Case ($51.37 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: Antec 450W ATX Power Supply ($37.99 @ NCIX US)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $521.63
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-05-20 09:31 EDT-0400)
  14. HiTechObsessed said:
    If you're going to be gaming, I would definitely stick to the FX series (AM3+), as the FM2 has poor CPU performance. You'll see noticeable frame drops (lag) in the more CPU intensive games. You could change to the XFX and get 2 free games as well:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: ASRock 970 Pro3 R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($59.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Kingston Fury Black Series 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($52.88 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.43 @ OutletPC)
    Video Card: XFX Radeon R7 265 2GB Video Card ($139.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Rosewill Galaxy-02 ATX Mid Tower Case ($51.37 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: Antec 450W ATX Power Supply ($37.99 @ NCIX US)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $521.63
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-05-20 09:31 EDT-0400)

    Okay, cool. I have decided to go with the FX-6300 then. Here is my updated build.
    http://pcpartpicker.com/user/ProGaminGranny/saved/4L6j
    So first off, according to pcpartpicker, the fan is not compatible. I think it is, but maybe I am wrong.
    Second, I haven't chosen my RAM yet. Am thinking 8GB total and to stick with G.Skill or some brand like that. Should I go with 2 x 4GB sticks, or 4 x 2GB sticks? I think the more sticks the better, but I don't know much about this. What should I do?
  15. 2x4GB will give slightly better performance, and give you upgradeability. And also cheaper :) lol

    That fan would fit, but for the same price I would get a better cooler. The Zalman below is a good budget cooler :)

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($109.98 @ OutletPC)
    CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS5X Performa CPU Cooler ($14.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3P ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($74.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Team Vulcan 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($65.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: MSI Radeon R7 265 2GB Video Card ($139.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Rosewill Galaxy-02 ATX Mid Tower Case ($50.88 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.98 @ OutletPC)
    Total: $556.78
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-05-21 14:55 EDT-0400)
  16. Thanks for the info! I will go with the 2 x 4GB RAM, however I got a special combo deal with some Corsair Vengeance, which will be the same amount of money for a better brand of RAM. By the way, I got the Galaxy ATX case for $24 a few days ago, so that takes about $27 off of the cost :)

    I am buying the FX-6300 CPU with Newegg, OutletPC charges for shipping and I don't see a warranty beyond their 30-day warranty. I will just go with Newegg on that one. I am however buying the HDD with Amazon with $4 shipping. I also won't need the disk drive, I already have one from a previous computer.

    So the total cost of my PC, including a student discount copy of Windows 7, will be about $525 :)
    Thank you for assisting me in buying all of the components to my PC!
  17. For $525 that includes a copy of Windows, you've got a heck of a nice build there :) Will handily beat out the 'next-gen' consoles, and allow you do other things, as well as upgrade in the future :) Enjoy the build!
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