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How much POWER do *I* need?

Last response: in Components
February 7, 2008 2:19:07 PM

I am building a comp from the ground up.
i have
4 gigs of corsair XMS2,
eVGA 780i mobo,
Intel E8400,
eVGA 8800 GT 512 mb superclocked (one day i will do SLI)
Sound Blaster X-Fi,
2 DVD burners,
a Fan controller,
Zalman 9500 CPU cool
(i might get a VGA cooler too)

thats the system for the most part. i plan to OVERCLOCK it to some extend,

do i need more then a Thermaltake PurePower 600watt? if so, will Thermaltake Toughpower 700watt be enough?

thanks in advance

P.S. are there online calculators to help me figure this out?

More about : power

a b ) Power supply
February 7, 2008 4:07:14 PM

600W is plenty for a single card setup. For SLI I'd want something bigger. Also, I heard some bad stories about combining Thermaltake PSUs and 8800-series cards. Normally, Thermaltake PSUs are good though.

The Toughpower 700W costs $175 at newegg with shipping. This PC P&C Silencer 750W gets better reviews (as in, best PSU of 2007 at Anandtech) and it's only $150 if you hurry:
Don't worry that it says Crossfire, it has the connectors for 8800GT SLI too.

I'd recommend 8800GTS G92 cards instead of 8800GT because they have good coolers. They're also faster, and overclock much better.
Related resources
February 7, 2008 4:46:39 PM

thanks for the input

i would like to OverClock my CPU to about 4ghz. i know the E8400 can handle it and i will have a good air cooler on it too.

with that said should i consider more power? perhaps a dedicated VGA PSU?

and regarding the 8800GTS G92. i already purchased 1 8800GT and i figure with a second (when price drops) i will have a good setup. i am worried that the superclocked version will run hotter then i would like
February 7, 2008 4:59:58 PM

Will be way more than you need.
February 7, 2008 5:02:25 PM

mcstagger said:
thanks for the input

i would like to OverClock my CPU to about 4ghz. i know the E8400 can handle it and i will have a good air cooler on it too.

with that said should i consider more power? perhaps a dedicated VGA PSU?

and regarding the 8800GTS G92. i already purchased 1 8800GT and i figure with a second (when price drops) i will have a good setup. i am worried that the superclocked version will run hotter then i would like

That PSU will be able to handle your OC as well as SLI 8800GT's/GTS's or Crossfire 3850's/70's with no problem. Your build looks good. GL with it.


February 7, 2008 5:06:14 PM

OK OK, i feel good about my decisions, just for the hell of it i am gonna repost my system in a more organized manner. if anyone see anything that stands out that i should re-think. let me know.

1 X EVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard

1 X EVGA 512-P3-N802-AR GeForce 8800GT Superclocked 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 (Will run SLI in the Future)

2 X CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) (4 gig total)

1 X Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive

1 X Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3500630AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

1 X ASUS 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA

1 X 500 gig 7200 RPM SATA

1 X 80 GIG 5400 RPM EIDD (External USB)

1 X BenQ DVD±Burner

1 x Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
1 x 120mm TriCool rear fan with 3-speed switch control
2 x 120mm TriCool blue LED front fans with 3-speed switch control to cool HDDs

1 X Zalman CNPS9500-AT

1 X Zalman Multi Speed Fan Controller - ZM-MFC1
a b ) Power supply
February 7, 2008 5:33:23 PM

OK, let's see. Since you have a GT already you have to buy another GT. It's OK if it differs in frequency or manufacturer AFAIK, but personally I'd pick the exact same model just in case.

Check out this review of the Accelero S1 cooler and 8800GT.
There are also two other good coolers for 8800GT: DuOrb and HR-03 GT.

Raptor: the short answer is don't bother. Long answer: Seagate 7200.11 or WD7500AAKS or Samsung SpinPoint F1 equal or beat the Raptor in lots of tests, they cost several times less per GB and make less noise. The Raptor does still win some benchmarks but not the most important ones.

February 7, 2008 7:26:34 PM

i like the looks of that Accelero S1. i'll get another GT soon, but i want to see how much room i have for all these cards and how much space the VGA cooler will take up.

my use for the Raptor was going to be for the OS and other programs that i want to load faster. the other 500 gb HDD are for storage and certain games.
a b ) Power supply
February 7, 2008 9:30:26 PM

You won't need the fan controller for the tri-cools. But I would use different fans anyway.
2GB of ram should be fine unless you plan to use 64bit OS.
I recommend a Samsung 203B (or 203N w/lightscribe) over the Asus DVD.
Check out for interesting reads on power supplies. You just can't beat the PC P&C 750 for $150 though...
February 7, 2008 9:58:07 PM

Got a more powerful system with q6600 @3ghz and nvidia 8800GT running off ancient (3 yr old) enermax 350watt eg-365p. Why in hell would you need 600 /700 powersupply ?
a b ) Power supply
February 8, 2008 1:22:22 AM

He wants **two** video cards. As for you, congratulations, since it's still working. Not all 350W PSUs are crap, and in fact Enermax is one of the best brands. Still, you're ignoring manufacturers' recommendations. If something goes wrong they'll have a good excuse to not honor your warranty. Also, PSU efficiency drops at the end of the range, which means a more powerful PSU could help you reduce heat and electricity waste.

February 8, 2008 2:11:16 AM

Yeah well one common mistakes these days is to buy and outrageously powerful power supply in order to run pretty ordinary system. Back in the days of 130+ watt PIV prescotts I used to seeplenty of 300-350watt PCs with Radeon 9800 (roughly 120 watt) cards.
Those system would easily run 24x7 for years at a time (still have one in the office running nearly 3 yrs now...)

Then we have an e8400+ -> 40 watts and 8800GT... maybe around 160 watt max... and suddenly you need 700 watt powersupply ?!

Majority of PSUs are most efficient when loaded between 50-90%... not around 20% which is what the load for an
e8400/8800GT will be for a 700watt ps. 20% load- roughly 60% efficiency.... vs 90% load roughly.... 75% efficiency for my eg365.

My system

gigabyte P35 ds3r
3x 500GB HD
1x Bdrom
8GB Ram
q6600 @3ghz
fully loaded @100->225watts.

Even with SLI and e8400 overclocked to 4Ghz a 500 watt PS will _easily_ hold up for years.
February 8, 2008 2:21:14 AM

Aevm: A single 8800gt hardly uses 8-9amps. Arstechnica's test show that total system consumption peaks at 360w with SLI 88GT and E6850. The most I would get for 88GT x2 is 550w.

P.S: High quality PSUs in the 450-500range that I've seen are 80+% across the board.

The Corsair 550VX is an excellent PSU. The single 12v rail means that amps that would be diverted to CPU can be accessed by the GPU should it need the boost.
a b ) Power supply
February 8, 2008 2:58:59 AM

Yeah, the 550VX is a very good PSU.

Here's a quote from nVidia's Web site:

Q: What are the recommended power supply requirements for both the GeForce 8800 GT in single and multi-GPU configurations?
A: GeForce 8800 GT graphics cards require a minimum 400 W or greater system power supply (with 12V current rating of 26 A) for single GPU operation. Please refer to for a list of recommended SLI certified power supplies for multi-GPU configurations.

So yeah, congrats if your 350W PSU can take an 8800GT and an overclocked quad. Others may not be so lucky.

For 8800GT SLI, nVidia's certified PSUs look like this:

I pasted the list from a "View source", sorry about all the HTML garbage.

<!-- \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ -->
<!-- For Dual GeForce 8800 GTS, GeForce 8800 GT, or Dual GeForce 7950 GX2-->
<!-- \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ -->
<form name="form2">
<b class="header_green">For Dual GeForce 8800 GTS, GeForce 8800 GT, or Dual GeForce 7950 GX2</b><br>
Choose from the following manufacturers:<br>
<!--<div id="psuB" class="hide">-->
<SELECT name="dual8800gts" onChange="jumpMenu('parent',this,0)">
<option>Please select:</option>
<option value="">Amacrox AX750-EP 750W</option>

<option value="">Amacrox AX1000-EP 1000W</option>
<option value=" ">Antec TruePower Quattro 1000 (TPQ-1000)</option>
<option value=" ">Antec TruePower Quattro 850 (TPQ-850)</option>
<option value="">Antec TruePower Trio 650W</option>
<option value="">AcBel Model PC6018</option>
<option value="">AcBel Model PC7030</option>

<option value="">Athenatech PS-1KWXF 1000W</option>
<option value="">ATNG Power APE-1100X(F) APFC 950W</option>
<option value="">ATNG Power APE-1000X(F) PLUS APFC 850W</option>
<option value="">ATNG Power APE-900X (F) PLUS APFC 750W</option>
<option value="">ATNG Power APE-1100FM</option>
<option value="">ATNG Power APE-1000FM</option>

<option value="">ATNG Power APE-900FM</option>
<option value="">BFG Tech PC System Power Supply 800W</option>
<option value="">Channel Well CWT-1200VC</option>
<option value="">Channel Well CWT-1000VC</option>
<option value="">Cooler Master Real Power M1000 (RS-A00-ESBA)</option>
<option value="">Cooler Master Real Power Pro 750W (RS-750-ACAA-A1)</option>

<option value="">CoolerMaster Real Power Pro 850W (RS-850-EMBA)</option>
<option value="">Cooler Master Real Power Pro 1000W (RS-A00-EMBA)</option>
<option value="">Cooler Master Real Power Pro 1250W (RS-C50-EMBA)</option>
<option value="">Coolmax CUQ-1350B 1350w</option>
<option value="">Coolmax CUQ-1200B 1200w</option>
<option value="">Corsair TX750</option>

<option value="">Dynapower DP-800PL 800W</option>
<option value="">Dynapower DP-900PL 900W</option>
<option value="">Dynapower DP-1000PL 1000W</option>
<option value="">Enermax INFINITI 720 SLI EIN720AWT-00</option>
<option value="">Enermax INFINITI 650 SLI EIN650AWT-00</option>
<option value="">Enermax Galaxy DXX 850W SLI™ (EGX850EWL-00)</option>

<option value="">Enermax Galaxy DXX 1000W SLI™ (EGX1000EWL-00)</option>
<option value="">Enlight ECP-750AAB A 750W</option>
<option value="">Epower Xscale EP-1000P10 1000W</option>
<option value="">Epower Xscale EP-1200P10 1200W</option>
<option value="">ETASIS ET-850 850W</option>
<option value="">ETASIS ET-750 750W</option>

<option value="">FSP Everest 800 800W </option>
<option value="">FSP Epsilon 800 800W </option>
<option value="">FSP Everest 900 900W </option>
<option value="">FSP Epsilon 900 900W </option>
<option value=" ">FSP Epsilon 1010 1010W </option>
<option value="">FSP Everest 1010 1010W </option>

<option value="">FSP Group Everest 800</option>
<option value="">FSP Group BoosterX 3 (FSP300-1E01)</option>
<option value="">FSP Group FX760E 760W</option>
<option value="">FSP Group FX700-GLN-E 700W</option>
<option value="">FSP Group FSP700-80GLC 700W</option>
<option value="">Gigabyte Odin 1200W (GE-MK20A-D1)</option>
<option value="">Gigabyte ODIN Pro_800W(GE-M800A-D1) 800W</option>

<option value="">Gigabyte ODIN GT_800W(GE-S800A-D1) 800W</option>
<option value="">HEC Group (HEC750DR-AT) 750W</option>
<option value="">Hiper HPU-4M880</option>
<option value="">Hiper HPU-5B680</option>
<option value="">Hiper HPU-5B880</option>
<option value=" ">Hiper HPU-5M730</option>

<option value="">Hiper HPU-5K680</option>
<option value="">Hiper HPU-5K880</option>
<option value="">Hiper HPU-5B770 770W</option>
<option value="">Hiper HPU-5K770 770W</option>
<option value="">Kingwin ABT-650MA1S 650W</option>
<option value="">Kingwin ABT-700MA1S 700W</option>

<option value="">Kingwin ABT-750MA1S 750W</option>
<option value="">Kingwin ABT-800MA1S 800W</option>
<option value="">Kingwin ABT-900MA1S 900W </option>
<option value="">Kingwin ABT-1000MA1S 1000W </option>
<option value="">Koolance PSU-1200ATX-12S 1200W</option>
<option value="">Listan be quiet! Straight Power BQT E5-700W</option>

<option value="">Listan be quiet! Straight Power BQT E5-650W </option>
<option value="">Listan be quiet! Straight Power BQT E5-600W</option>
<option value="">NZXT PP800 800W</option>
<option value="">NZXT Precise Power PRC-1000 1000W</option>
<option value="">OCZ Technology GameXStream 850W (FSP850-80GLN)</option>
<option value="">OCZ Technology GameXStream 700W</option>
<option value="">PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad</option>

<option value="">PC Power and Cooling Turbo-Cool 860W</option>
<option value="">PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 1200 W</option>
<option value="">PC Power & Cooling Turbo Cool 1KW-SR 1000W</option>
<option value="">PC Power & Cooling 1KW-Quad SLI (TC1KW4E) 1000W</option>
<option value="">PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 1KW (TC1KW) </option>

<option value="">PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 1KW-Quad SLI (TC1KW4E)</option>
<option value="">Raidmax RX700</option>
<option value="">Seasonic X900 (SS-900HP) 900W</option>
<option value="">Seasonic M12-700 700W</option>
<option value="">Seasonic S12 Energy Plus 650W</option>
<option value="">Seventeam Electronics Co., Ltd ST-850E-AD 850W</option>

<option value="">Seventeam Electronics Co., Ltd ST-1200E-AF 120</option>
<option value="">Seventeam ST-1000E-AD 1000W</option>
<option value="">Seventeam ST-750EAJ 750W</option>
<option value="">Sigma SP-700 70</option>
<option value="">Silverstone Decathlon DA750 750W</option>
<option value="">Silverstone Decathlon DA850 850W</option>

<option value="">Silverstone Olympia OP750 750W</option>
<option value="">Silverstone Olympia OP850 850W</option>
<option value="">Silverstone Zeus ST75ZF 750W</option>
<option value="">Silverstone Zeus ST85ZF 850W</option>
<option value="">Sirtec High Power HPC-1000-G14C 1000W</option>
<option value="">Sparkle SPI9000GCM 900W </option>
<option value="">Sparkle SPI10000GCM 1000W</option>

<option value=" ">Spire RocKIT SP-1000W</option>
<option value=""> WattSmart 750W EPS12V Ver 2.91 80 PLUS</option>
<option value=""> WattSmart 850W EPS12V Ver 2.91 80 PLUS</option>
<option value="">Startech WattSmart 650W EPS12V Ver 2.91 80 PLUS</option>
<option value="">SuperFlower Aurora PSU (SF-800R14A) 800W</option>
<option value="">SuperFlower Aurora PSU (SF-750R14A) 750W</option>

<option value="">SuperFlower Aurora PSU (SF-700R14A) 700W</option>
<option value="">TACENS Supero 1000W</option>
<option value="">TACENS Supero 700W</option>
<option value="">TACENS Supero 600W</option>
<option value="">Tagan BZ ESA 1300W</option>
<option value="">Tagan TG-700-U25 700W</option>

<option value="">Tagan TG700-U33 ITZ 700W</option>
<option value="">Tagan TG-700-U35 700W</option>
<option value="">Tagan TG-800-U25 800W</option>
<option value="">Tagan TG-800-U33 ITZ 800W</option>
<option value="">Tagan TG-900-U95 900W</option>
<option value="">Tagan TG-900-U96 900W</option>

<option value="">Tagan TG-900-U33 ITZ 900W </option>
<option value="">Tagan TG-1100 BZ 1100W</option>
<option value="">Tagen TG-1100 BZ ESA 1100W</option>
<option value="">Tagan TG-1100-U95 1100W</option>
<option value="">Tagan TG-1100-U96 1100W</option>
<option value="">Tagan TG-1100-U33 ITZ 1100W</option>

<option value="">Tagan TG1300-U33 1300W</option>
<option value="">Thermaltake Purepower W0177 RX 750AP 750W</option>
<option value="">Thermaltake Toughpower 1500W (W0171)</option>
<option value="">Thermaltake Toughpower 1200W (W0133)</option>
<option value="">Thermaltake Toughpower 1000W (W0155)</option>
<option value="">Thermaltake Toughpower 850W (W0131)</option>

<option value="">Thermaltake Toughpower 750W (W0117)</option>
<option value="">Thermaltake Toughpower 700W (W0106)</option>
<option value="">Thermaltake Toughpower 650W (W0104)</option>
<option value="">Thermaltake Toughpower 600W (W0144)</option>
<option value="">Thermaltake Toughpower W0131RU 850W</option>
<option value="">Thermaltake Toughpower 850W (W0131)</option>
<option value="">Thermaltake Toughpower 850W (W0172)</option>

<option value="">Thermaltake PurePower TWV500W</option>
<option value="">Thermaltake ToughPower 700W</option>
<option value="">Thermaltake ToughPower 750W</option>
<option value="">Topower/ePower TOP-1000W</option>
<option value="">Ultra Products X3 1000 Watt (ULT40064)</option>
<option value="">Ultra Products ULT-XP750APFC 750W</option>
<option value="">Ultra Products ULT-XF800APFC 800W</option>

<option value="">Ultra Products X-Finity 800W</option>
<option value="">XClio GreatPower X14S4P4 650W</option>
<option value="">XClio GreatPower X14S4P4 700W</option>
<option value="">XClio GreatPower X14S4P4 750W</option>
<option value="">Xigamtek NRP-HC1001 1000W</option>
<option value="">Xigamtek NRP-HC1201 1200W </option>

<option value="">Xigamtek NRP-HC1501 1500W </option>
<option value="">Zalman ZM750-HP</option>
<option value="">Zalman ZM850-HP</option>
<option value="">Zalman ZM1000-HP 1000W</option>
<option value="">Zippy Gaming PSL-6850P(G1)</option>
<option value="">Zippy Gaming PSL-6850P(G1)-PCIE4</option>

<option value="">Zippy Gaming PSL-6800P(G1)-PCIE4 800W</option>
<option value="">Zippy Gaming PSL-6800P(G1) 800W</option>
<option value="">2theMax (Topower) SP-1200</option>
<option value="">2theMax (HEC) RF Extreme 750 750W</option>
FSP Group BoosterX 3 (FSP300-1E01) - not certified for Dual GeForce 8800 GTS

They range from 650W to 1500W. The Silencer 750W is on the list. I can also guarantee it's a quiet and reliable PSU, since I own one. More details here:

Anyway, TBH I couldn't care less what PSU the OP buys. I don't sell PSUs for a living, and I don't get commissions from PC P&C. If he wants a 350W PSU and it works, I'd be very happy to hear details and I'll personally recommend that particular type of PSU to everybody :)