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Budget Build - Which PSU?

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April 28, 2009 6:02:26 PM

I'm building a budget desktop soon, and have two PSUs in mind right now. Which would you pick and why?

OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
Antec BP550 Plus 550W Continuous Power (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)

This is the build it will be powering:

CPU: AMD Phenom II X3 720
MOBO: BIOSTAR TFORCE TA790GX
Cooler: Sunbeam CR-CCTF92-4 92mm
RAM: Corsair 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) DDR2 800
GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 512MB
HD: Western Digital 320GB 7200rpm
Case: Rosewill Wind Ryder RZLS142A-P YW
Drive: Pioneer Black 20X DVD±R


The Antec has continuous power... is that a good feature to have? Both are modular. Antec is $5 more than the OCZ (after rebate) but doesn't require a rebate for that price... and it's free shipping while the OCZ is not. So which is better?

For a little more info, I most likely won't crossfire two cards ever and just continue using a single card. I will also be overclocking the CPU.

Any other suggestions for a PSU? I'd like to buy a PSU that I can keep for an upgrade in 2/3 years or so from now.


Thanks for your help. :) 

More about : budget build psu

April 28, 2009 6:55:54 PM

When they say "5550W continuous power" what they mean is that the peak wattage is higher, but it can sustain 550W all the time.

However, given the relative builds of the two units, I would go with the OCZ. The Antec Basiq series is not considered good, while the OCZ unit has at least some good marks from folks.

Modular is generally not something you should consider at that price range. The higher quality units aren't modular until you get into much higher prices.

Here is what I would recommend, if you can afford it:

Corsair 450VX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PC P&C 500W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair 520HX (modular)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
April 28, 2009 7:15:41 PM

Thanks for your reply Proximon.

The Corsair 450VX is really the maximum price I want to spend on the PSU. What do you think of the Corsair 400CX? Will that be enough for this build? Do you think future components will become more power efficient or will they increase in requirements?

Or will the OCZ be good enough?

These are a couple more options:
BFG Tech LS SERIES LS-550 550W Continuous (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
BFG Tech LS-450 450W (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)

Is the BFG LS-450 a good choice rather than the Corsair? It's $15 cheaper.

Thanks again.
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April 28, 2009 7:39:43 PM

Rated wattage isn't everything. The LS-550 would certainly be a good choice.

I see no trend for lower power consumption, but we might just see little change... We get more speed for the same power lately, it seems.

I don't want to paint a bad picture of the OCZ. It's just under-reviewed by people that actually know what they are doing. It's an OK budget choice in my book, but not one I would personally go for.

The BFG LS-550W and LS-450W are reviewed by at least one person that knows something. They both get high marks.

I was trying to consult the LS-450 review over at [H]OCP to see if I could recommend it for sure, but the site seems to be having problems, or I am. It's probably a good choice, they gave it a gold award and they are the second best PSU testers out there.
April 28, 2009 8:09:36 PM

Check out the HD 4770 too. It's almost as fast as the HD 4850, consumes less, and it's about $100.
April 28, 2009 8:19:09 PM

You've picked good parts so far.
The Corsair 400CX is enough power for your system but it won't necessarily allow you to do the most common future gaming upgrade - a new video card.
April 28, 2009 8:22:38 PM

I agree with Proximon the OCZ is the best of the two you first listed.
The BFG LS-550 is a good choice for a possible future GPU upgrade.
The BFG LS-450 is near the same quality as the Corsair 450VX.
April 28, 2009 8:26:03 PM

aevm said:
Check out the HD 4770 too. It's almost as fast as the HD 4850, consumes less, and it's about $100.


You can find the 4850 for the same price (after rebate) as the 4770 right now and it performs better, so I'm sticking with that for now. But this computer might not be purchased until June, so we'll see how prices and new cards go. :) 
April 28, 2009 8:30:18 PM

WR2 said:
I agree with Proximon the OCZ is the best of the two you first listed.
The BFG LS-550 is a good choice for a possible future GPU upgrade.
The BFG LS-450 is near the same quality as the Corsair 450VX.


Ok, thanks for your input. I'm leaning towards those two BFG LS PSUs right now. Would an HD 4870 and my system run on the LS-450 do you think?

Maybe I should just get the LS-550 so it's possibly more future-proof with higher performance cards and such.
April 28, 2009 9:07:05 PM

LoRuHaMaH said:
This could be a little out of your budget, but completely worth it when its this much off, and you can use this thing for years to come even with SLI, and your future upgrades.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - CoolMAX 950W


You have to be careful with that sort of PSUs. For example it claims 950W but offers only 66.6 A combined on 12V. The Corsair 850TX for example claims only 850W but offers 70A so it's in fact more powerful. Coolmax can't really be trusted IMO.

Anyway, both these PSUs are wrong for a person who is almost sure he'll never have two video cards.

April 28, 2009 9:09:05 PM

aevm said:
You have to be careful with that sort of PSUs. For example it claims 950W but offers only 66.6 A combined on 12V. The Corsair 850TX for example claims only 850W but offers 70A so it's in fact more powerful. Coolmax can't really be trusted IMO.

Anyway, both these PSUs are wrong for a person who is almost sure he'll never have two video cards.
Alrightie, so I learned something today haha, thanks for the tips, good advice for me and the next time I buy a PSU.
April 28, 2009 9:12:22 PM

aevm said:
You have to be careful with that sort of PSUs. For example it claims 950W but offers only 66.6 A combined on 12V. The Corsair 850TX for example claims only 850W but offers 70A so it's in fact more powerful. Coolmax can't really be trusted IMO.

Anyway, both these PSUs are wrong for a person who is almost sure he'll never have two video cards.


Haha, exactly. ;) 

I'll go with the LS-550. For now. I always seem to be changing my mind on everything, but it's usually a good thing I think. Thanks for all of your help. :) 
April 28, 2009 10:07:54 PM

In case you missed it there are LS-450/550 reviews on the site Proximon linked: LS-450/550 review.

The "500 Watt or greater" Sapphire recommends also takes into account "average" 500W PSU so I feel the LS-450 would be plenty of power for a single 4870. The LS-550 would give you a great chance to do the usual next gen video card update for a mid-life upgrade.
April 29, 2009 1:50:24 AM

imo: It is best to get a psu greater than 650 watts. It leaves a lot of room for upgrading video cards versus a 500 watt psu. A decent 650 watt psu can handle a 4870x2 without a problem.

I have had my psu, a enermax liberty 500 watt with 32 amps on the 12v, for 11 months, and my upgrade options are quite limited. I'm running an oc'd 8800 gts 512 at the moment @ 1920*1200 res. My only decent upgrade options are a 4870 1 gig or a gtx 260 core 216, both of these cards are at the upper limits of my psu range.

So the big questions are: What resolution do you plan at gaming at? Do you plan on upping your resolution, which typically means a new graphics card along with the cost of having to upgrade your psu to handle the new gpu?

*Make sure the psu you pick has the proper connectors for an upgrade ie pci-e 8 pin connectors.*
!