This is my outline build (I'm not actually buying the important things like motherboard processor or graphics card until after the new releases stuff listed here is what I would buy if the new releases weren't around the corner)
amd phenom x4 955
4gb ocz platinum
wd caviar green 1tb
asus crosshair 3
scythe mugen 2
I was originally looking at the ocz stealth xstreme 700w but from reviews it didn't seem absolutely top quality, it was good but there seemed to be a few issues with rippling
I'm from the UK so I have to say I'm screwed on pricing in UK power supplies seem some of the worst in this regard.
These are the 3 power supplies I looked at that seemed ok priced with great reviews from hardware secrets were
So any opinions of which one to choose would be great, or any other great 750w psu I've missed and should consider. (also the only review site I looked at was hardware secrets, which seems to contain the best psu reviews, the only thing wrong with them is they said good quality psu would be 5% of pc budget which for me would mean £45)
As jonsy2k and Newf already pointed out, all three power supplies are excellent choices. I would suggest searching for the best UK price instead of trying to decide on a particular brand and model.
Another excellent web site for technical reviews is jonnyguru.com. If I am not mistaken there are technical reviews for all three psu's you are considering. Use the search feature at the top of the web page to find the reviews.
Newf would a 550w psu really power a quad core build with dual graphics cards and a fair few fans, the reason I chose 750w is because I read that power supplies are usually near there best efficiency at 40-80% utilization and I wanted headroom for future upgrades.
JohnnyLucky I'll look the website you suggested. I'm used to looking at model first then price for the other components, but seeing how many psu's there are your way is probably much better.
Newf is correct. I wasn't paying attention to your list of components. I am growing old disgracefully and sometimes I miss important things.
The general rule of thumb is a high quality 500 - 550 watt power supply can easily power any single video card made. A high quality 750 watt power supply can easily power two video cards operating in dual mode.
Your list shows a single Radeon HD 4870x2. At least I ssume that's what you meant and not two 4870 cards operating in Crossfire mode. One HD 4870x2 uses about 270 watts and 23 amps at full load. Two 4870 video cards operating in Crossfire mode use a combined total of about 295 watts and 25 amps at full load. The source of the information is an article about video power consumption published last January right here at Tom's hardware.
The Corsair 550 watt power supply that Newf suggested is an excellent power supply that can easily power your components. It has a single large 12 volt rail rated at 41 amps. You'll be in the range for peak efficiency.
Sorry I did actually mean 4870s in crossfire (thanks for providing info on both). However I do not actually reckon I will get them as there are rumours that the new DX 11 cards will be here as early as September 10th, however I think there codenamed evergreen (whether that’s actually due to power usage is besides the point ) and may actually use about the same power as a 4870 or 4890. Also I’m not exactly set on the 955be as it would be silly (to me anyway) to buy it now without hesitation when I5 is around the corner.
I’m now left wondering what the best course of action may be, I plan to keep my system for a very long time in computer standards (3-5 years), so I do want to have some headroom so I’m worried that if I upgrade significantly in the future 500/550w power supply won’t be enough, however I could buy a lower power supply now then buy another as needed.
Would 550w still be fine and efficient with light to moderate over clocking and 4 case fans with a few usb devices in like an ipod and a portable hard drive (I should have said about this stuff from the beginning I do apologise for forgetting to put it in)?
Thanks a lot. Btw you should really get a more reliable crystal ball mines 100% correct about everything it predicts (shame all it says is its raining somewhere )
I think I've been persuaded to go to a 550w power supply (or a bit higher if its not a lot more). I may even drop my pc spec a bit down to one card and without overclocking, that way I will have a lot more room to manoeuvre in the future (when I get fed up with the performance I can overclock and add a 2nd card which will be a cheap way to upgrade)
One last question, I've heard that power supplies may degrade (losing efficiency or power or both) over time, does degrading happen to top quality psus or only cheap crap?
degradation can happen to both high quality psu's and crap psu's. The high quality psu's use heavy duty components so degradation does not happen as quickly and is not as noticeable. High quality psu's can last for years without developing any problems. My own pc has a Corsair power supply that is three and one half years old. I have upgraded my system twice. The psu is still running like a champ.
From time to time we've had questions about upgrading from people who have not upgraded their systems in as many as five years. All of their components were still in good working order. They just wanted to upgrade.
I think we even had one fella who claimed he hadn't upgraded in ten years. I seem to recall he had an Intel Pentium III system and was running Windows 95. Go figure.
Of those PSUs listed, the Antec Truepower New 750W model was seen by jonnyguru as better than the Corsair. It is the one I would choose. For a single video card, I'd get the 550W model.
Of course, either Corsair or PC Power & Cooling would be solid choices as well. In that league, it is safe to buy on price.
I was pursuaded to choose a lesser watt power supply befor I saw the reviews on these particular psus jonnyguru, Its slightly wierd that hardwaresecrets and jonnyguru disagree on what the better power supply is, but I guess margins are small.
Im now choosing between the corsair vx550, tx650, and ocz stealthxtrem 600w.
I'm tempted by the tx650 which is £8 more than the vx550, and £18 more than the ocz, the ocz although reviewed well seems to be louder than the others on load and has a few minor ripple problems.
The only problem with tx650 is there are virtually no decent reviews on it.
Noise is bad, ripple is worse (unless its wine, then it's really awful).
Go with whatever Corsair you are comfortable with.
All electronics will degrade somewhat over time. Good ones degrade less, and usually you can't tell. I'm currently online with a system using an Antec Truepower psu that should be dead by now. It has the same rock steady voltages today that it had when new.