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Will I need a new power supply?

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March 27, 2006 3:32:28 PM

Quick question. Current system is as listed below. Planning to upgrade to a dual core Opteron 170 (might wait for AM2 though since then I'll be ready for quad core) and OC it to 2.5GHz, PCI-Express motherboard (haven't decided on SLI or Crossfire yet but not getting two cards to start either way), and either a 7900GTX or an X1900XT.

Currently have a 430W Thermaltake power supply thats probably almost 3 years old. Also will most likely be getting a 5th hard drive and hopefully changing out the 80GB for a 74GB Raptor. So with all of that, do you think I need to upgrade my power supply? I know for dual cards (not sure I'm doing it anyway) I'll need a 550-600W. I do plan to get the Physx chip though.

More about : power supply

March 27, 2006 5:07:53 PM

Personally, I would get a new PSU. The importance of the PSU is the most down-played thing I have ever seen. The PSU plays a major factor in stable OC'ing, as well as the overall system stability and performance.

I've done a lot of builds with dual-core Athlon 64's, and from that experience I would reccomend this PSU for your system:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

I assure you, you won't be disappointed with it.
a c 158 ) Power supply
March 27, 2006 5:59:41 PM

I agree that the PSU is often an afterthought when people build their rigs. I also agree that the Enermax Liberty is a great PSU. If you have the money and want the best, then that PSU would be close to the top of my list. Right there with the Seasonic S12 600W

That being said, I've seen a lot of what I would consider to be overzealous recommendations. Read this great review on Two Monster 600W, SLI PSUs and you should see what I mean. One PSU running two complete SLI rigs simultaneously! That and hot swapping 50W of load in the form of 4 HDDs. Take a serious, realistic look at your systems power draw - you don't to spend $155 to get a PSU for your rig. If you want to do that, then it's your money, but either the Antec TPII-550W or the Enermax 535W Whisper II model EG565P will be sufficient for your rig.
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March 27, 2006 6:49:10 PM

I realize the importance of a good PSU but I was just wondering if mine was good enough. I am looking at the Antec TP-II 550W. Sorry to the other guy, I know a PSU is important but I don't have $180 to spend on a power supply. The modular cabling is nice but not THAT nice. I'll most likely be getting the Antec since its in my budget and will give me the power I need reliably.
March 27, 2006 6:57:11 PM

Antec is very good, too. The Liberty is pretty much just creme` de la creme` from what I've used, personally. Rugger is right, you don't always need a $180 PSU. Me? I'm in the process of building a rig with 6 HDDs, a 1900XTX, a heavily OC'ed Opteron, and a water-cooling system. I'm going to need something with tons of watts and lots of stability.

And yeah, the modular cabling is quite nice - but absolutely not necessary.
March 27, 2006 7:07:14 PM

Quote:
I realize the importance of a good PSU but I was just wondering if mine was good enough. I am looking at the Antec TP-II 550W. Sorry to the other guy, I know a PSU is important but I don't have $180 to spend on a power supply. The modular cabling is nice but not THAT nice. I'll most likely be getting the Antec since its in my budget and will give me the power I need reliably.

The TP-II is a very nice power supply. It would fit your needs and budget perfectly.
March 27, 2006 7:19:25 PM

Quote:
That being said, I've seen a lot of what I would consider to be overzealous recommendations. Read this great review on Two Monster 600W, SLI PSUs and you should see what I mean. One PSU running two complete SLI rigs simultaneously!


Thanks for the link. Not only running 2 SLI rigs, but running under a sizeable load!
a c 158 ) Power supply
March 27, 2006 7:23:14 PM

69: NP - enjoy and share.

Fit: Agree with the TPII 550W should be more than enough PSU for you and would be sufficient for your updated rig even running Crossfire X1900XTs with an OC up to 2400.
March 27, 2006 7:28:52 PM

Thermaltake has something new coming out. It is a 250 watt powersupply just for graphics cards. It is only about 50 bucks. If you need more juice I'd suggest that.

thermaltake 250 watt sli power supply
March 27, 2006 7:28:57 PM

Quote:
69: NP - enjoy and share.

Fit: Agree with the TPII 550W should be more than enough PSU for you and would be sufficient for your updated rig even running SLi 1900XTs with an OC up to 2400.

That would be x1900xt's in Crossfire.
March 27, 2006 7:34:08 PM

You might just squeak by, but why risk the potential. I've seen Antec Truepower 550w P/S's on Newegg for under 90 bucks, but given the heavy specs on your new system, you might want something with 600w.
a c 158 ) Power supply
March 27, 2006 7:42:12 PM

Ya know...I was gonna say the 7900's at first, but switched to the 1900's and forgot to change to CF. Oops.
March 27, 2006 7:45:43 PM

Well I eventually plan to add two more harddrives to have 6 in total. I'd like to have more but the new case I'm planning to get will only fit 6. Well, 7 if I use one of the external 3.5" slots. But I think 550W can power all that. Like I said, don't know if I'll ever run cards in Crossfire or SLI. I'm planning to get the Physx chip if it takes off. If not I'm hoping that ATI will release Crossfire-Physics drivers since I'd really like to get an X1900XT because right now its the better buy vs. the 7900GTX. I want a 512MB card and you can't get the 7900GT in 512MB flavors.
March 27, 2006 7:52:44 PM

In case you did not see my post

I am running a system similar to what you are building, and I tested the power draw with a watt meter at the wall outlet.

Quote:
So far the highest power draw I have seen is running 3DMark06 with TV Wonder running in background and that was at
325 watts peak

That is a lot less than I would have guessed.

Based on this limited information from my PC, I preclude that my AMD Opteron rig overclocked at 2420MHz from 2200 consumes
≤ 200 Watts at Idle
≤ 250 Watts during Boot Up

and
≤ 350 Watts at Max 3D Benchmarking using 3DMark06

Note: This is only the PC measured at outlet from the Power Supply, my LCD Monitor is not measured in these results.


You still need a quality PSU, with my system for example, if it peaks out at 350 watts, you would need at min a power supply that can output 440 watts at 80% efficiency, if I understand it right.
March 28, 2006 1:26:02 PM

I saw it, I just like to have more than I need.

I'll probably wind up getting the same PSU you have. This Thermaltake is 3 years old and all I know is that right now, I can't overclock even 100MHz(the computer won't even boot up if I set the FSB to 210 and HTT to 4x). I don't know if its my RAM or the power supply but the RAMs getting replaced (because I eventually want 4GB so I'm going to 2x1GB sticks) so I don't mind spending $80 for a new power supply.
March 29, 2006 12:50:12 AM

At 3 years, it is not a bad idea at all to replace it... but the right now reason it won't oc 5% is probably the RAM or teh motherboard, especially if your voltages are holding steady within 5% of specs.
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