* 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?
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:
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.
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...
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...
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.
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%.
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).