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I need help picking a good PSU

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September 18, 2008 9:13:04 AM

Hi all. I am building my first PC and need some help here. I have no clue on what kind of power supply unit to get. here's my build so far.

Win Vista 64-bit
1 ASUS Striker II Extreme
1 Intel Core 2 Duo E8600
2 OCZ Fatal1ty Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) for 8g total
2 PNY VCG98GX2XPB-OC GeForce 9800 GX2

http://secure.newegg.com/Shopping/ShoppingCart.aspx?Sub...

I'm basically wondering how many watts I should be looking at, brand names and features I should be looking for would help too. I do plan on over clocking eventually. But going to be running on a fan/heatsink configuration. Also was wondering if I should be looking at SLI certified PSU's and if they take advantage of the cards power management features (or is that something to do with the GPU, IDK) as the EPP RAM do. I am an extreme novice, so any help would be great :) . Any suggestions for case that has good air circulation and will fit the monsterous GPU's, optical drive and HDD would be great as well.

Thanks,
Airik

More about : picking good psu

September 18, 2008 10:31:10 AM

Case: Antec 900 very good air circulation

PSU: If u dont want modular get the Corsair 750 TX if yes to modular (cables can be removed) get a Thermaltake 750/850 just make sure they have a 6 and 8 pin PCIE connector
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September 18, 2008 5:16:59 PM

Silverion77 said:
Case: Antec 900 very good air circulation

PSU: If u dont want modular get the Corsair 750 TX if yes to modular (cables can be removed) get a Thermaltake 750/850 just make sure they have a 6 and 8 pin PCIE connector


ok, thanks for the advise. i was looking at that one... the Corsair 750 TX, but didnt know if i should have been looking at the 1000w+ ones. read a newegg review that just one of those GPU's "pulls 300w under full load". im sure thats untrue. thats why i was checking here. and IDK if i want modular. will it be better, and why? another thing thats unclear is the 12v rails. what should i be looking for there? sorry for all the newb questions. i guess i just need more detailed answers. remember im just learning as i go, and would like to make my own -informed- choice (with help of corse :) ). any more input would be great.
September 18, 2008 6:00:31 PM

your not gonna need anything past 750 if your not planning on putting in a second card (although that x2 is definitely gonna suck the juice). Im not entirely sure how the x2 uses the 12v rails, but you want as much amperage as you can get on one rail, because that thing is gonna need it. if you have the money (they are a bit more expensive but apparently excellent psus) go with a pc power and cooling drive; they only have one rail that is very well powered so you wont even have to worry about that. actually, now that i look at it that corsair has only one rail too, with 60A on it, so that will work just fine. Also, from what i have seen sli certified psu or not doesnt really matter at enthusiast level, but it does give you a good guide as to whether it has the power to do what you need it to. Modular cabling just allows you to remove and move cables, which is nice for system air flow, appearance and ease of use; however, you do lose a tad bit of wattage to them (not really enough to matter though).
September 18, 2008 6:17:25 PM

"your not gonna need anything past 750 if your not planning on putting in a second card"

thats just it. i will be using a second card.... also any explanation on the 12v rails would be great. im guessing that you plug in fans etc. there to lessen the load on other components. or would it rob a steady voltage from those components?
September 18, 2008 6:30:36 PM

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/243648-28-power-suppl... read this, although it doesnt provide that much help.
Alright, now i see that you have a 2 in front of your 9800x2; im gonna give some advice, and you take it how you want; quad sli is most likely going to be very bottlnecked by your processor, and since you have the fastest processor on the market you cant just get a better processor to make up for it. toms hardware (i think) did a test on this and determined that at this point there really isnt much reason for more than two gpus. I would suggest saving your money for your next rig or future upgrades. I hope that if im wrong on that someone corrects me, but that is my current understanding of the situation.
September 18, 2008 6:40:53 PM

masterclam said:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/243648-28-power-suppl... read this, although it doesnt provide that much help.
Alright, now i see that you have a 2 in front of your 9800x2; im gonna give some advice, and you take it how you want; quad sli is most likely going to be very bottlnecked by your processor, and since you have the fastest processor on the market you cant just get a better processor to make up for it. toms hardware (i think) did a test on this and determined that at this point there really isnt much reason for more than two gpus. I would suggest saving your money for your next rig or future upgrades. I hope that if im wrong on that someone corrects me, but that is my current understanding of the situation.


lol ok, even though it "doesnt provide that much help" ill read that. and i was thinking i would be bottlenecked by the processor. but there are a few reasons why i was thinking about getting 2 graphics cards. one was with the hope of getting a core 2 extreme later on for cheeper. another was that i cant find the 9800 gx2 anywhere but newegg, and fear that if i only got one that later on if i did want to run sli i wouldnt be able to find another one. would that be something to be worried about? i wonder if they are trying to phase them out due to them out performing the gtx 200 series in some aspects and wanting you to buy the more expensive card in the line up
September 18, 2008 6:49:28 PM

yeah availability is definetely something to take into consideration, but i still think that quad sli is just going to be too much even for a core 2 extreme; it might be better to look at a more powerful single gpu nvidia that will still be available a couple years down the road when you need more power and can get a faster processor. Remember, the longer you wait to buy any part, the cheaper its gonna be (as long as its still in stock at least)
September 18, 2008 6:53:42 PM

do you think i should look into a single better GPU? or would that be bottlenecked as well?...
EDIT
"it might be better to look at a more powerful single gpu nvidia that will still be available a couple years down the road" oops sorry its been a long night of loosing sleep over this build and wasnt paying attention lol
September 18, 2008 6:54:34 PM

im a heavy gamer so i want the best i can get... ya know? also was thinking of having 2 or possably 3 monitors so wouldnt 2 gpu's be better for that. i could just get 2 lesser ones that equal one gx2
September 18, 2008 7:09:00 PM

you can have 2 monitors fine on one vid card, i think you will need a second for 3 though. I know how it feels to be a heavy gamer :D . What resolution are you going to be running at?
September 18, 2008 7:11:08 PM

you know, i havent gotten as far as to look at monitors but im sure ill be running the best resolution i can find :D ... any suggestions there?
September 18, 2008 7:24:28 PM

price is the deciding factor on monitors; bigger monitors will run higher res, which require more power; look for the lowest ms response time you can for gaming, as higher response times end up with "ghosting" where you get kinda trails across your screen when you move fast. Even at high resolutions, the single better gpu is probably a better option at this point, but look around the net for reviews/benchmarks before you make a decision
September 18, 2008 8:09:37 PM

masterclam said:
price is the deciding factor on monitors; bigger monitors will run higher res, which require more power; look for the lowest ms response time you can for gaming, as higher response times end up with "ghosting" where you get kinda trails across your screen when you move fast. Even at high resolutions, the single better gpu is probably a better option at this point, but look around the net for reviews/benchmarks before you make a decision


thanks, i'll do that. yea i was thinking that having 2 gpu's would give me more bang for my buck. i'm just wondering why you say 1 would be better. i'm guessing it would effect the response time?
September 18, 2008 8:20:25 PM

Read through this. It doesn't have sli'd 9800 GX2s, but it'll give you a good feel for the performance of the cards. This is probably particularly pertinent:

"Dual chip cards like X2 and GX2 should be approached with caution. While the performance of the current 3800 and 9800 chips is so powerful that the cards will easily survive more than two GPU generations, game driver optimization are usually neglected long before then. A good example of this is the GeForce 7950 GX2, which would still have enough power, but is almost always beaten by the 7950 GT SLI. If it is possible, it is better to use two individual cards. They are almost always clocked higher, have less in the way of temperature problems and are almost always quieter. Plus the driver optimization are better for individual cards."
September 18, 2008 8:26:30 PM

Wait...Airik did u buy those cards yet??

I just realized that theres 2 but the problem is that the GX2 scales rather badly....u might be better getting 2 260s or 4870s
September 18, 2008 8:34:56 PM

Yeah although it used to be the dream of everyone to have quad SLI, it just doesn't make much sense these days.

Add in the comparative stability of the Intel chipsets, and it makes more sense to go with an x48 board and a couple 4870s, or even just one 4870 to start.
September 18, 2008 8:43:00 PM

Silverion77 said:
Wait...Airik did u buy those cards yet??

I just realized that theres 2 but the problem is that the GX2 scales rather badly....u might be better getting 2 260s or 4870s


no i didnt buy them yet. seems i have a lot more research and comparison to do. thanks for all the help here everyone. i'll have to post my new selection of components later to get some input.
September 18, 2008 8:51:02 PM

Yea a single GX2 atm is great for the price, but the low amount of memory leads to rly bad quad scaling
September 18, 2008 9:00:12 PM

"Yea a single GX2 atm is great for the price, but the low amount of memory leads to rly bad quad scaling"

well thank you for looking out... so from my understanding i would be better off with 2 single cards running in sli. so question is, are all the nvidia cards with "X" in the model name actually 2 cards in one? if so i should just look at the "GT" cards correct? though im tempted to just get 1 gtx 280, for sli im looking at 2 9800 gt's
September 18, 2008 9:09:25 PM

no only the GX2 is dual cores

The GTX 260 and 280 are single core single cards
September 18, 2008 9:55:19 PM

if it has an "x2" then it has two cores. if you have the budget for two 9800gx2s i would go with a single 260 or 280, and when you need more performance and prices drop you can get a second and sli it later, or as silverion said, 2 260s would be reasonable as well

My personal recommendation at this point would be one 280, and get a second if you need it later
!