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Looking for a Good Power Supply For a Workstation/Gaming Build

I am working on my first build ever and am a real newbie both to Tom's hardware as well as computers in general. I'm picking out a power supply for my build which is as follows:

AMD 8320 overclocked to 4.2Ghz
Cooler Master Hyper TX3 aftermarket cooler
Biostar TA970 Am3+ Motherboard (will be replaced before overclocking)
8 GB of 1333 RAM
MSI Radeon R7 250X Graphics card (May look at Crossfire down the line with identacle card)
CD DVD R/W drive
250GB single disk Hard drive
A couple of stock fans that came with the case

I used a few power supply calculators and found around 520 watts needed at 90% load. I'm on a pretty tight budget, so cheaper is better, but I REALLY don't want this thing breaking down on me.
So, I started looking at the lists of the best brands and Newegg's PSU rating chart. I found this attractive looking EVGA 500w unit on amazon for a price I like.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H33SFJU/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Now that you know what I'm dealing with, I have a few questions:
What brands of power supply offer bang for my buck?
Do I need an 80+ Bronze, silver, gold, or not 80+ at all?
How much should I expect to spend? From what Iv'e seen its around 70-120$ for a 500w, or more,
Is EVGA an especially reliable and safe brand?
How much wattage do I REALLY need?
How long can I expect this EVGA power supply to last? How long for a better one?

I recently began taking a look at slightly more expensive PSU's how does this one look as compared to the other above?

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EON40CS/ref=twister_B00MXYPPRY?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Any answers to any number of these inquiries would be much appreciated. Thanks for helping out the new guy!
5 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about good power supply workstation gaming build
  1. Best answer
    You don't want either of those units. The W1, B1 and G1 NEX units are nowhere near the quality of EVGA's B2, G2 and P2 series units which are made by Superflower and are exceptional units.

    For your systems needs I'd go with something like this unless you have a definite plan to upgrade the GPU card at some point, and if you do, I'd pick a unit NOW that is capable of supporting it rather than having to buy a second unit with a larger capacity over AGAIN when the time comes. In all likelihood, this unit will probably be capable of running just about any single card you might choose to go with as well as any additional capacity required by your overclock.

    Keep in mind it comes with a 20.00 mail in rebate, so the final price is only 61.00, and I've had no trouble reclaiming the rebate on the last five EVGA units I've purchased.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    Power Supply: EVGA 750W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($81.99 @ NCIX US)
    Total: $81.99
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-04-24 20:43 EDT-0400


    If however you just want a unit that will work with what you have now, this is a FAR better choice than either of those two you selected above which are Tier 3 units as seen at the following link. You want something that's Tier 1 or 2 when using a gaming card or overclocking and for certain when doing both:

    PSU Tier list: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/id-2547993/psu-tier-list.html


    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 520W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($58.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Total: $58.99
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-04-24 20:48 EDT-0400
  2. darkbreeze said:
    You don't want either of those units. The W1, B1 and G1 NEX units are nowhere near the quality of EVGA's B2, G2 and P2 series units which are made by Superflower and are exceptional units.

    For your systems needs I'd go with something like this unless you have a definite plan to upgrade the GPU card at some point, and if you do, I'd pick a unit NOW that is capable of supporting it rather than having to buy a second unit with a larger capacity over AGAIN when the time comes. In all likelihood, this unit will probably be capable of running just about any single card you might choose to go with as well as any additional capacity required by your overclock.

    Keep in mind it comes with a 20.00 mail in rebate, so the final price is only 61.00, and I've had no trouble reclaiming the rebate on the last five EVGA units I've purchased.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    Power Supply: EVGA 750W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($81.99 @ NCIX US)
    Total: $81.99
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-04-24 20:43 EDT-0400


    If however you just want a unit that will work with what you have now, this is a FAR better choice than either of those two you selected above which are Tier 3 units as seen at the following link. You want something that's Tier 1 or 2 when using a gaming card or overclocking and for certain when doing both:

    PSU Tier list: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/id-2547993/psu-tier-list.html


    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 520W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($58.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Total: $58.99
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-04-24 20:48 EDT-0400



    Hmmm, okay I'll think about it over the next few days. Not quite ready to drop 70.00 (after rebate) on any power supply right now. Was really hoping to not need to spend more than $65 on this as I'm already stretching the budget as it is.

    Iv'e also decided I'm not going to double up on GPU's until at least mid 2016, by then I'll be ready able to pony up more cash and do a multi-part upgrade.

    The modular unit was a good choice, but I am definitely aiming for budget range and I now realize I will probably never need more that 650w.

    Thanks again for the response, and the advice on the b1/b2 thing, I never looked at that before.
    Hope these rebate processes aren't too difficult! (I hate snail mail).
  3. That Seasonic unit for 58.99 is about the least expensive unit I'd recommend with your configuration, especially considering the overclock. The FX-8350 at a 4.5Ghz overclock is probably going to pull about 250-300w by itself at full load and when you add to that the demands of the rest of the system, plus your GPU, which, while relatively small in terms of graphics cards is still enough to add about another 150w at full load and about 75w at idle.

    That's enough power draw to demand using a quality unit that can SUSTAIN that capacity, not just peak at it. Lower tiered units, meaning Tier 3 or lower, almost never are capable of sustaining their labeled capacity for long which means that if you push your system often, while gaming or during other strenuous use, you're going to be likely to be replacing that unit in less than a year. So, while lower priced units might look enticing at first, it won't take long for you to realize that a few more dollars now is a good investment to assure your system is capable of sustaining something near it's maximum performance for more than just short bursts and last long enough to make the investment worthwhile.

    That Seasonic unit is pretty damn good, and by the way it also comes with a 15.00 rebate, for now, but that can change at any time as rebate offers come and go quickly. The EVGA unit however would give you plenty of breathing room. In any case I would suggest not even considering any unit not listed in a position of tier 1 or 2 on the Tier list I linked to above. Just something to consider.

    I'd also consider this. There is NO need to buy an FX-8350. The FX-8320 is the exact same processor. The 8350 is simply clocked at 4Ghz from the factory while the 8320 is clocked lower. Physically they are identical. My 8320 is overclocked to 4.5Ghz with no problems, although it does require a good cooler. I use the Noctua NH-U14S. Simply overclocking the chip you have now a bit more and not purchasing a new processor would free up some investment money you could put towards the purchase of a really good PSU.
  4. darkbreeze said:
    That Seasonic unit for 58.99 is about the least expensive unit I'd recommend with your configuration, especially considering the overclock. The FX-8350 at a 4.5Ghz overclock is probably going to pull about 250-300w by itself at full load and when you add to that the demands of the rest of the system, plus your GPU, which, while relatively small in terms of graphics cards is still enough to add about another 150w at full load and about 75w at idle.

    That's enough power draw to demand using a quality unit that can SUSTAIN that capacity, not just peak at it. Lower tiered units, meaning Tier 3 or lower, almost never are capable of sustaining their labeled capacity for long which means that if you push your system often, while gaming or during other strenuous use, you're going to be likely to be replacing that unit in less than a year. So, while lower priced units might look enticing at first, it won't take long for you to realize that a few more dollars now is a good investment to assure your system is capable of sustaining something near it's maximum performance for more than just short bursts and last long enough to make the investment worthwhile.

    That Seasonic unit is pretty damn good, and by the way it also comes with a 15.00 rebate, for now, but that can change at any time as rebate offers come and go quickly. The EVGA unit however would give you plenty of breathing room. In any case I would suggest not even considering any unit not listed in a position of tier 1 or 2 on the Tier list I linked to above. Just something to consider.

    I'd also consider this. There is NO need to buy an FX-8350. The FX-8320 is the exact same processor. The 8350 is simply clocked at 4Ghz from the factory while the 8320 is clocked lower. Physically they are identical. My 8320 is overclocked to 4.5Ghz with no problems, although it does require a good cooler. I use the Noctua NH-U14S. Simply overclocking the chip you have now a bit more and not purchasing a new processor would free up some investment money you could put towards the purchase of a really good PSU.


    Oh, right, I looked up the 8320 vs 8350 thing a while ago and found the FX-8350 to be not worth the money or the trouble to get one. It's only on there because I copied and pasted that build list from an older thing I made before I knew that. Thanks for the reminder though I should remove that bit.

    You're also right about the Seasonic one looking the most attractive right now, even though there is no rebate anymore (bummer). I have narrowed it down and now it is a choice between: Seasonic 520W Bronze certified active PFC for $60.00 vs XFX XTR Series 550W CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Fully Modular Active PFC for $80.00. These are both good units (and both recommended by you I believe) but now it just comes down to budget or longevity.

    I do like the modular design and higher compacity in the XFX XTR unit, but I'm not a fan of it's higher price and I've never heard of them before.

    On the other hand the $60 price on the Seasonic is right up my alley and and I know they are a reputable brand. But the last thing I want is a case full of wires that could scare any novice like me away and overheat the thing.

    Oh well, you gave me good suggestions before so I will definitely be considering those two over the next couple of days before I actually buy. Thanks again for your time and effort!
  5. XFX units are made by Seasonic. Most PSU brands and models are not made by the company itself. The best units are made by Superflower, Seasonic, Delta and maybe a few Channel Well and FSP units. If you ever need to know who makes a particular series for the company, check out the Tom's Hardware who's who in power supplies article here:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supply-psu-brands,3762.html


    It's lists, at the time of the article, who makes each brands unit for each specific series.

    I try to stick to units made by Superflower and Seasonic (But not necessarily branded as Superflower and Seasonic) only as they make, IMO, the best units across the board. Even their less expensive units are generally reliable. Delta makes good units as well, but since the manufacturers often make units according to the specifications provided to them by the brand, they don't always have control of the component quality or design. Superflower and Seasonic are big enough to pretty much tell anybody wanting a unit built that's not up to their standards, to take a leap.
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