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Which power do I need ?

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May 6, 2009 10:29:55 PM

I plan to build the following config:

* CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE 3.2GHz
* M/B: Gigabyte MA-790XT-UD4P
* RAM: OCZ Extreme Edition 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3-1600
* GFX: XFX or eVGA GeForce GTX 260 or GTX 275
* HDD: WD Caviar 640GB 7200rpm SATA
* DVD: Pioneer DVD-RW 20x SATA
* Case: not sure yet (thinking at LIAN LI PC-65B...). I guess that's not so important as for the PSU
* PSU: that's precisely my question !


Could you indicate the minimum power I need for a PSU and recommend a few brands? Is there any other of the PSU specs I need to take into account to get the correct/suitable PSU for my config?

This system will be powered on 24/24.

More about : power

a b ) Power supply
May 6, 2009 10:40:02 PM

A good quality 400W+ PSU would be sufficient, just make sure it has enough PCIe connectors for the video card. Seasonic and Corsair are good brands.
a c 248 ) Power supply
May 6, 2009 11:01:31 PM

A single GTX 260 video card will draw about 200 watts and 16 amps at full load. The GTX 275 has similar requirements. The power consumption may be a little lower. Different references show slightly different figures.

If you do not overclock the cpu, then the rest of your system will probably use another 200 watts. Your minimum requirement would be a high quality 500 watt power supply.

If you overclock the cpu then, then the rest of your system will probably use about 300 watts. Your minimum requirement would be a high quality 600 watt power supply.

The Antec Earthwatts EA500 would be a good choice for a 500 watt power supply. It can handle just about any single video card made:

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

Here's a link to a technical review over at jonnyguru.com:

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
Related resources
May 7, 2009 1:51:34 AM

If your system is powered up 24/7 then you should find out what your system draws at idle or what your system draws the majority of the time (I found an approximation by using another power supply temporarily, and using a power meter and guestimating on efficiency). Since most power supplies tend to be most efficient close to 50% of their rated power you should find one that is most efficient when you're idle yet can handle the power requirements when you are gaming or doing other power intensive tasks. You should at least look for a power supply that is 80+ efficiency rated if not higher. Some well known brands to look at are PC & Power Cooling, Corsair, Seasonic. Have fun on your search.
a b ) Power supply
May 7, 2009 5:00:14 AM

GTX260 uses just over 100W, so the entire system will not top 300W. 425W (the smallest with 2 PCIe connectors) would have no trouble with that.
May 7, 2009 6:35:00 AM

Many thanks for your answers!

I forgot to indicate that I might try to overclock the graphics card. Does this make any change as for the minimum power required for the PSU?
a b ) Power supply
May 7, 2009 7:18:38 AM

Well get a high quality 500W...it should be able to handle that overclock...
But if you want to overclock the CPU also, then get a 550W PSU...

500W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

550W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The corsair 550VX is one of the best but at that price, I would get the 650TX, which could handle more ...and it costs the same...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Here are few Modular PSUs...OCZ...
Though they might not be as good as the Corsair or Seasonic, Silverstone, they are still very good PSUs and have enough power to run that setup...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b ) Power supply
May 7, 2009 7:30:10 AM

Well now totally off the topic...
I just noticed that you have just planned to build the rig...
Looking at the graphics card options,
Are you nvidia specific? If yes, then its fine...
But if you are also OK with ATI, then I guess instead of the GTX 275, you should get the HD 4890...
Reason :
1. You can later crossfire 2 HD 4890s on that mobo and not SLI the GTX 275.
2. Even the HD 4890s are very good overclockers.

Another best alternative :
If you are OK with crossfire, then drop all the graphic card options and get 2 4770s in crossfire...They perform as good or better than the 4890s/ GTX 275 and cost $100 each...

But finally the choice is yours...
May 7, 2009 9:50:36 AM

gkay09, thanks for your well advised comments, and I appreciated a lot that you drifted off the topic to give me suggestions on the graphics card too.

As for the PSU, I will go for a 550W, just to be sure. I'll see what I can get on my local market.

As for the graphics card, I don't really favour of one of the 2 main chips manufacturers over the other one, but here where I am, I heard more people give me positive feedback about GeForce. Based on all what I read, it seems like Nvidia and ATI have similar performance/price products. The 2x 4770 option is a great suggestion, and I have read the article about it on tomshardware.com. However, when I built the config, I was not considering doing any crossfire (or SLI), and this is why I selected the GA-MA790XT-UD4P (over the more expensive GA-MA790FXT-UD5P) . This M/B does not allow x16 x16 CF (only x16 x8). So, I will very likely go for one single GFX card - either GTX 260 or 275. In fact, the main purpose of this platform is not gaming. I am only an occasional gamer (I have a 24" 1920x1200 monitor), and I want to have enough processing and displaying power for the applications I will use in the next 5 years, which is the minimum time I expect to use the system. I am in Asia and I can't buy from Newegg (unfortunately...), so, again, I'll see what I can find on my local market.
May 7, 2009 1:36:24 PM

well, even if you only have x16 x8 crossfire, the x8 is plenty for single gpu cards, so if you do go with the 4890, then it wouldnt be a problem
a c 248 ) Power supply
May 7, 2009 3:34:45 PM

theAnimal - what about peak efficiency at 50% of load? I'm having a bit of a problem with that.
a b ) Power supply
May 7, 2009 6:38:19 PM

JohnnyLucky said:
theAnimal - what about peak efficiency at 50% of load? I'm having a bit of a problem with that.


If your PC will always or mostly be under load (ie Folding@Home), then you should determine how much that load will be and double it for best efficiency; however, if you are mostly idle then you should not be running at 50%.
May 9, 2009 10:33:13 PM

I will very likely go with the following PSU, which was recommended to me by the local vendors for its good quality/price value, and costs $48: Tsunami Technologies Power'On 685W

Has anyone heard of this brand? ANy comments?
a c 248 ) Power supply
May 9, 2009 11:27:28 PM

The unit does not appear to be available in the USA.
a b ) Power supply
May 10, 2009 3:21:46 AM

morbius1 said:
I will very likely go with the following PSU, which was recommended to me by the local vendors for its good quality/price value, and costs $48: Tsunami Technologies Power'On 685W

Has anyone heard of this brand? ANy comments?


Looks like crap to me. Buying a PSU based on price is a bad idea; it's the most important component in your system.
May 10, 2009 6:10:52 PM

Quote:
- High-efficiency up to 75%

Yes, it's in the specs. But what does it mean exactly?
May 10, 2009 7:13:41 PM

I have been trying to look for alternatives. Apparently, the Seasonic and Silverstone brands are not available here. I am not sure for Corsair yet and I am still looking for it...

In the meantime, I have been recommended the following units:

* Thermaltake: http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/Product.aspx?C=1247&ID=1536

* Raidmax: http://www.raidmax.com/specs/RX630SS.html

* Gigabyte: http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products/PowerSupply/Products_Spec.aspx?ProductID=2795&ProductName=Superb%20550

Could you let me know what you think of them?
May 10, 2009 9:02:57 PM

morbius1 said:
Quote:
- High-efficiency up to 75%

Yes, it's in the specs. But what does it mean exactly?



It means it is junk. All good current PSUs achieve well over 80% efficiency, with some hitting 90%.
a b ) Power supply
May 10, 2009 10:46:09 PM

morbius1 said:
I have been trying to look for alternatives. Apparently, the Seasonic and Silverstone brands are not available here. I am not sure for Corsair yet and I am still looking for it...

In the meantime, I have been recommended the following units:

* Thermaltake: http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/Product.aspx?C=1247&ID=1536

* Raidmax: http://www.raidmax.com/specs/RX630SS.html

* Gigabyte: http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products/PowerSupply/Products_Spec.aspx?ProductID=2795&ProductName=Superb%20550

Could you let me know what you think of them?


Stay away from Raidmax. The other 2 are OK, but are both equivalent to ~400W due to low 12V amps.

Do you have a website we can look at?
May 12, 2009 3:12:46 PM

Do you have a website we can look at? said:
Do you have a website we can look at?

If you mean a website for shopping for computers, the answer is no. Online shopping is not much developped here yet, and people would rather go to local shops.
May 12, 2009 3:20:21 PM

Quote:
None of those are very good, where in the world are you?

Corsair, Pcpower and cooling, BFG, OCZ, FSP (Fortron Source) Antec, all are good brands, make sure you get one thats a minimum 80% efficient. Surely one of those brands is available.

I am in Thailand. I think that I have seen some Corsair PSUs in some local shops, but the wattage was around 800W, much more than what I need. I'll take another look around and see if I can find a Corsair or another good brand PSU of appropriate power for me (~550W).
!