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The biggest noobie question you've ever heard!

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October 7, 2007 4:41:49 PM

I'm building my first rig and have bought all the components except the case and the psu. I was originally going to purchase a 500W Rosewill psu because of its good ratings and nice features, but I just used a wattage calculator and it says I only need 320W for my setup. Basically I have:
C2D E6750
Gigabyte P35-DS3L
XFX nVidia 8600GT
2GB Crucial Ballistix DDR2 1066
Seagate 7200rpm HDD

So my question is, if I buy a 500W psu but my computer only needs 320, will I be wasting a lot of electricity? I feel like its a waste to buy so much wattage when my computer doesn't need it, but I don't mind spending the money. I haven't found a weaker psu that I really trust so I'm alittle torn. I just dont want the electrical bill to jump up when it isn't necessary.
Thanks guys.
a b ) Power supply
October 7, 2007 4:58:28 PM

yes and no, no in that a PC will draw whatever power is required up to the limit of the PSU. Yes in that the 500W will be slightly (1-2%) less efficient at 320W than a similar 350W PSU would be.

But the effect is negligible, and the bigger PSU will run cooler, and therefore potentially quieter, and have a longer life as it is under less stress.
October 7, 2007 4:59:02 PM

Rosewill units are nowhere NEAR trustworthy units, if anything they are the antithesis of a quality unit. To answer your question, no you wouldn't be wasting electricity, it will only draw as much as it requires. However I'd like to point 2 things out, first if this system is for gaming then I SERIOUSLY recommend that you invest a Hell of a lot more on a decent graphics card, the 8600GT is a laughable card at best.

Second and more important, you need and should want a high quality unit, most people like to skimp on PSU only to regret it afterwards. What is truly important in PSUs nowadays are the 12V rails amperage, not the wattage of the unit, which is a common misconception. On top of that you want a unit that has high efficiency, STABLE rails, and no ripple, otherwise your system is prone to injury so to speak.

Here are some units I strongly recommend to anyone that needs a PSU:

PC Power & Cooling Silencer 610 EPS12V EPS12V 610W Continuous @ 40°C Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, cUL, CE, CB, TUV - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec NeoHE 500 ATX12V 500W Power Supply 100Vac to 240Vac +/- 10% UL, CUL, TUV, CE, FCC, CCC, CB, C-tick - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec NeoPower NeoHE 550 ATX12V 550W Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CUL, TUV, CE, FCC, CCC, CB, C-tick - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SeaSonic M12 SS-500HM ATX12V / EPS12V 500W Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CE, CB, TUV, FCC - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-520HX ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 520W Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CUL, CE, CB, FCC Class B, TUV, CCC,

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And this is the bare minimum that you should aim for in a PSU:

CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX ATX12V V2.2 450W Power Supply 90 - 264 V UL, CUL, CE, CB, FCC Class B, TUV, CCC, C-tick - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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October 7, 2007 5:07:07 PM

One thing to take into consideration is that there will be other components using power as well: fans, cd/dvd drives, LEDs, etc. these may be minor draws when compared to CPUs and HDDs, but they do factor in. Another question is whether or not you will eventually want to try your hand at overclocking, which will also increase your power requirements, as will future upgrades such as additional HDDs.

In my opinion, I would consider 500W to be your baseline. It is, afterall, better to have more power in reserve, than to find your PSU being the weakest link in your newly constructed system. I can't personally vouch for Rosewill PSUs having no prior experience with them (I'm using a Corsair 620 which I'm impressed with and have not noticed any substantial increase to the utility bill).

Good luck with the new build!
October 7, 2007 5:09:20 PM

My first suggestion would be to not buy a Rosewill PSU, they are not very good. To your next question, no you will not be wasting power. The computer will draw the power it needs, it's not like if you buy a 500w you'll be drawing 500w from the wall. A larger PSU will give you a little room for upgrades and over time the components in the PSU produce less power but I thing 450w is all you really need. Something like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... would be a better choice.
October 7, 2007 5:42:02 PM

i've had good luck with my Ultra 500w power supply. for 50$ it has served me well for over a year now. good luck with your decision
October 7, 2007 5:49:44 PM

I urge not to purchase Ultra units, they are known for making horrible PSU, right on par with Rosewill's quality (Or lack of quality for that matter). The only "decent" Ultra unit is the Ultra X3 1000W.
October 7, 2007 6:15:25 PM

I ordered a Rosewill 600W PSU and it's just fine. Do any of you bashing Roseiwll PSUs actually OWN a Rosewill PSU?
October 7, 2007 6:27:41 PM

Why would I? I already said I only purchase quality units... And it obviously will work at the beginning, but after some time let the ripple and unstable voltage kick in and wreck your components, only to leave you with a bigger electricity bill due to low efficiency...
October 7, 2007 8:44:40 PM

justinmcg67 said:
I ordered a Rosewill 600W PSU and it's just fine. Do any of you bashing Roseiwll PSUs actually OWN a Rosewill PSU?
Be afraid... very afraid.

Quote:
Tier 5 - Other than the units listed above for any of these brands, NOT RECOMMENDED
...
...
Rosewill
...


And it's not listed in any tier above tier 5.

Good luck with that Rosewill, keep your fingers crossed.
October 7, 2007 9:08:38 PM

Here's what you need to know. A PSU gets drawn out of it whatever the system needs. You could run a 1000kW PSU and you wouldn't waste much more electricity.

BAM
October 7, 2007 9:18:25 PM

Zorg said:
Be afraid... very afraid.

Quote:
Tier 5 - Other than the units listed above for any of these brands, NOT RECOMMENDED
...
...
Rosewill
...


And it's not listed in any tier above tier 5.

Good luck with that Rosewill, keep your fingers crossed.



Well Raidmax is also listed as Tier 5 and I've been using a 450W Raidmax PSU now for almost two years without any problems whatsoever. I don't know who credible that list is. And from reviews, the PSU I purchased seems to perform very well and has been a great buy for many customers.
October 7, 2007 9:20:24 PM

I really like Rosewill's mATX PSU. 200 watt, solid build, and very quiet. I've purchased two of them now, for HP Pavilions.

As for Rosewill's ATX PSUs, I tend to stick with OEM brands like Hipro and Bestec in the same price range.
October 8, 2007 1:40:40 AM

justinmcg67 said:
Well Raidmax is also listed as Tier 5 and I've been using a 450W Raidmax PSU now for almost two years without any problems whatsoever. I don't know who credible that list is. And from reviews, the PSU I purchased seems to perform very well and has been a great buy for many customers.
Best of luck to you.
October 8, 2007 2:21:51 AM

justinmcg67 said:
Well Raidmax is also listed as Tier 5 and I've been using a 450W Raidmax PSU now for almost two years without any problems whatsoever. I don't know who credible that list is. And from reviews, the PSU I purchased seems to perform very well and has been a great buy for many customers.


Ignorance is bliss, I suppose...
October 8, 2007 2:31:15 AM

Yes Rosewill is bad, but it's not the worst. They get like a 72% efficiency. Problem is that you may get a defective unit, and if that happens your pc could get fried :/  Stick with corsair or OCZ or a solid brand name.
a b ) Power supply
October 8, 2007 2:33:31 AM

PSU's are sorta like some cars. Take the Yugo/Chevette for example. They will get you to point A and back, most of the time. But when they break down, you'll possibly have other issues. Now if you take a Honda/Toyota for example, you can have a quality car that will do a more reliable delivery of goods from point A and back. Not to say that there aren't any Honda's/Toyota's that have had issues, but overall your going to have a better experience if you get the Honda/Toyota than you would if you had a Yugo/Chevette!

Edit: forgot to add linkage for possible PSU's. The FSP PSU listed is a bare minimum for a system. The others will leave you plenty of room for GPU upgrades later.

PSU - $48 shipped Best budget PSU w/good amps on 12V rails and 1 PCI-e connector
FSP Group (Fortron Source) AX400-PN ATX12V 400W Power Supply 120/220 - 240v NEMKO, TUV, CSA, IEC, UL, CE %u2013 Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

PSU - $60 shipped Hard to beat at this price
Antec earthwatts EA430 ATX12V v2.0 430W Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CUL, FCC, TUV, CE, CB, C-tick, CCC %u2013 Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - $100 shipped , hard to beat for this price.
Antec NeoPower NeoHE 550 ATX12V 550W Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CUL, TUV, CE, FCC, CCC, CB, C-tick %u2013 Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - $130 shipped Nice a quiet and cheaper from OEM, not from newegg.
ULTRA-QUIET PSU: SILENCER® 610 EPS12V
http://www.pcpower.com/products/viewproduct.php?show=S6...

PSU - $75 shipped - $20 MIR = $55! Can run a single 8800gtx system.
CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX 450W Active Power Supply Retail ***Free Shipping***
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

PSU - $100 shipped - $10 MIR = $90! Good solid PSU for the $, hard to beat.
Corsair 520W SLI Certified Modular ATX Power Supply - CMPSU-520HX
http://www.buy.com/prod/corsair-520w-sli-certified-modu...

PSU - ~$125 shipped Good solid PSU, straight from OEM and cheaper than Newegg
ULTRA-QUIET PSU: SILENCER® 610 EPS12V
http://www.pcpower.com/products/viewproduct.php?show=S6...
October 8, 2007 2:45:03 AM

Evilonigiri said:
Yes Rosewill is bad, but it's not the worst. They get like a 72% efficiency. Problem is that you may get a defective unit, and if that happens your pc could get fried :/  Stick with corsair or OCZ or a solid brand name.


72% Efficiency is bad for a $70-80+ unit, but that's nothing to worry about, what you should be worried about are unstable rails and ripple, those are the two worst enemies for PC components longevity. This is why I would stay as far as I can from Rosewill units.
October 8, 2007 2:46:54 AM

Please visit http://www.jonnyguru.com or other websits that seriously review PSUs.

You will learn they are not all equal.
The "Stats" on a PSU including efficiency do not always matter that much.


"Good" PSUs with lower ratings will often supply more real powre then cheap PSUs with higher wattage ratings.

You will also find that cheap PSUs can die quite painfully for your entire system.

You don't need to blow your retirement fund on a good PSU as there are some decent ones that are slighly below the top ones like Corsair, PCPC, and Seasonic.

Some of these PSUs include FSP and Thermaltake which can often be found on sale in the $50-$60 range for 500+ watt units.

I went for a Seasonic in my build because I could afford to.
However, there is just no reason to risk your system on PSUs of questionable quality. One issue with Rosewill is they do not make their own PSUs and do not have any one particular source for their PSUs. They tend to be low quality but you really never know what you are getting.

Some companies like Corsair which outsource their PSUs have all units i n various lines go to the same manufacturer and those tend to be higher-end PSU manufacturers.
October 8, 2007 3:01:01 AM

Not "higher" end... the best. Seasonic is just... god of PSUs :D 
October 8, 2007 4:02:54 AM

supremelaw, that was some good information that not very many people consider. Everyone wants the cheapest PSU they can get and they run it at 90-95%. In my opinion that is foolhardy. Also, very very few people understand the value of a good properly sized UPS, although since they have come down in price, maybe more people will start using them.
October 8, 2007 4:54:57 AM

I agree Zorg, I don't have a UPS but have considered buying one and most people's views on PSU's and UPS's are that if it doesn't increase my FPS then I'll just buy the cheapest and when you live by that rule your bound to kill your components. The most important part of the computer is ample, stable power because every part relies upon it.
October 8, 2007 9:35:11 AM

It's a sad day in computerland :cry: 
October 8, 2007 10:47:38 AM

emp said:
Ignorance is bliss, I suppose...


Well beign that I OWN the units and can personally speak on their behalf, while you don't, I'd liek to think my credibility towards such products greatly outweighs yours. Your receiving and giving opinions on products based off of someone else's opinion on the products who as well, doe snot actually own the product.

But I'm sure all the people who purchased the Rosewill PSUs and said they liked it must be wrong right... :sarcastic: 
October 8, 2007 12:17:50 PM

All you have to do is go on Newegg. You will find a quote that says something like - I own this PSU and it hasn't blown up on me yet so it is really good. If you like it and you are not concerned about it blowing your whole system up then rock on. I've seen super junk run for ten years, and I have also seen similar junk take out a $10,000 voice mail system within two weeks. The choice is yours. All I ask is that you don't foist your misinformation, which goes against the readily accepted understanding, on unsuspecting newbs.
October 8, 2007 12:38:54 PM

Wow... you just posted exactly what I was going to say. Anyway I've stated it above SEVERAL times and you still refuse to understand, PSUs don't run a test of strength, they run on a test of endurance, it's not like the first time you plug it either lives or dies, it will most of the time be fine FOR THE TIME BEING. Your rather electrically virgin components will be suffering OVER time from unstable rails and from the ripple, which will damage them OVER TIME for sure, on top of that you have to worry that maybe you are putting too much strain on a cheap unit and it may "blow" one day, and Rosewill units, just like any other cheap units hate to die alone (Guess they feel lonely on the PSU heaven...), Ram is very sensitive and graphics cards are directly plugged into the unit, so... You get the picture.

You may be fine with your unit NOW, but don't come asking my X or Y error is happening while playing intensive games, why I have degraded performance, or why my computer takes a few power cycles to boot, etc etc... Because you should know the answer by then.

Note: Also you mentioned newegg reviews, out of the every 10 tech savvy people maybe 1 or 2 REALLY know their way around PSUs, and you have to also factor in the people in that are oblivious to even graphics cards that also review on newegg, which leaves you to a minimal (if any) number of PSU savvy people making reviews on newegg. Haven't you wondered why the X1300, 7300, 8600, HD 2600 cards are reviewed as GREAT FOR GAMING however they suck beyond belief?
October 8, 2007 1:40:50 PM

Get an XClio, I've seen respectable reviews on them saying they are trustworthy and very efficient. They aren't nearly as expensive as similarly powerful and efficient units by other brands. As for your rig, I think it's a bit mismatched - 1066 Ballistix with a 8600GT, hmmm....
October 8, 2007 2:07:32 PM

emp said:
Rosewill units are nowhere NEAR trustworthy units, if anything they are the antithesis of a quality unit.

That's not true, unless I got lucky. I have a 550W Rosewill with QX6700 and nVidia 8800GTX, etc, and it runs perfectly fine. I've been running this for over 2 years now (the PSU) with no problems.
October 8, 2007 2:09:25 PM

KyleSTL said:
Get an XClio, I've seen respectable reviews on them saying they are trustworthy and very efficient. They aren't nearly as expensive as similarly powerful and efficient units by other brands. As for your rig, I think it's a bit mismatched - 1066 Ballistix with a 8600GT, hmmm....
Interesting, I see tier 2 and tier 5 on the Xclio. Which Xclio are you advocating?
October 8, 2007 2:15:52 PM

gwolfman said:
That's not true, unless I got lucky. I have a 550W Rosewill with QX6700 and nVidia 8800GTX, etc, and it runs perfectly fine. I've been running this for over 2 years now (the PSU) with no problems.
You got lucky. It is incumbent on you to come forth when your S.... I mean stuff blows up, in order to warn others. Don't be embarrassed we've all done it. Just be honest and tell the truth
October 8, 2007 2:32:00 PM

OP, if you're concerned about power consumption then get one that's certified over 80% efficient across the power output envelope. That means it'll be minimum 80% efficient at 320W, or 250W, or whatever your machine happens to be using at the time. I believe Seasonic has some that are certified, as does Antec.

Leaving yourself some headroom is never a bad idea.

Also, another reason for a UPS is that it will allow you to shut down gracefully in the event of an outage. For my RAID 5 system, this saves me an array rebuild on at least a monthly basis in my neighborhood, which seems to lose power often.
October 8, 2007 2:56:43 PM

drew455 said:
i've had good luck with my Ultra 500w power supply. for 50$ it has served me well for over a year now. good luck with your decision


I can say that too. I have an Ultra 600W that works for me perfectly (knock on wood). I got it almost like an "emergency purchase", and I said "what the heck, I'll sell it in a month and will get a good PSU", but it has worked pretty well.
a c 126 ) Power supply
October 8, 2007 3:27:25 PM

I've used a number of FSP PSUs this year alone, and will continue using them. I have discovered, however, that their PSU wattages are typically PEAK wattage, and the CONTINUOUS wattage rating is perhaps 50W less. Please choose your desired size accordingly.
October 8, 2007 4:00:31 PM

I have an ultra 500wfrom 2 years ago... and I will never buy one again. Its still running just fine, but it sounds like a friggen jet engine in my room.
October 8, 2007 4:07:41 PM

KyleSTL said:
Get an XClio, I've seen respectable reviews on them saying they are trustworthy and very efficient. They aren't nearly as expensive as similarly powerful and efficient units by other brands. As for your rig, I think it's a bit mismatched - 1066 Ballistix with a 8600GT, hmmm....


Unfortunately I was deceived by the reviews of Newegg saying that this was an awesome card if the 8800GTS was out of your price range. I don't do much gaming, other than alittle CSS here and there, but I am a quality freak. I already bought the card so I guess I'll use it now until the new cards come out. I'm running a 1.7ghz P4 right now with a radeon 9550 so anything will be an improvement.

Based on a couple recommendations from posters, I was considering the http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817104954 and the http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371006. These fit well into my budget but I don't want to buy risky PSUs either. Is the FSP safe to go with or should I really go for something a little more expensive? There's some bad Newegg reviews that make me nervous.

Thanks for all your help guys. I had no idea PSUs were so important. I thought I was being safe by spending $50 on a Rosewill instead of picking up one of those free PSUs after MIR :pt1cable: 
a c 126 ) Power supply
October 8, 2007 4:27:04 PM

That FSP is a decent unit. Just be aware that it is 450W peak. You can see from the label pic on Newegg that it is really a 400W PSU. It should be sufficient for your system.
October 8, 2007 6:25:07 PM

Those units should handle the load well enough, however you will have a limited upgrade path, you will most likely end up buying a new (more expensive) unit when you upgrade.
October 8, 2007 7:19:40 PM

emp said:
I urge not to purchase Ultra units, they are known for making horrible PSU, right on par with Rosewill's quality (Or lack of quality for that matter). The only "decent" Ultra unit is the Ultra X3 1000W.


Yes i do, it broke within 12 hours of getting it. So i bought a thermaltake toughpower 650w, thats quality.
!