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Is this 520W or 620W good? Good enough to power my PC?

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January 12, 2010 1:40:39 PM

I am planning on upgrading my PSU along with the other parts of my PC...
and the PSUs I have in mind for great price with Active PFC, 80+ Certified, Single Rail, Continuous are..

520W Antec Continuous Power
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

620W Antec Continuous Power
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

The specs that I am planning on powering up are:
ATI Radeon HD5770
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Quad-Core (Overclocked to 4.0 Ghz)
5GB of mixed DDR2 RAM (1GB and 2GB @ 667 & 2GB @ 800-1066 High Performance)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA770-UD3
Screen Resolution: 1280x1028 (1440x900 later on)

Would it be good enough to power it up? How about if I switched the GPU to HD4890/5850?
Please answer the questions above, don't ask me to upgrade parts other than the PSU. :hello: 
a c 144 ) Power supply
January 12, 2010 2:50:27 PM

The 520 would power one of the more powerful cards you mentioned, but the 620 is only $10 more than the 520.

I'd buy the 620.
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a c 144 ) Power supply
January 12, 2010 4:27:17 PM

No, I wouldn't. I've seen a lot of PSU calculators. I have also measured motherboard power consumption.

But look at what I said:
"The 520 would power one of the more powerful cards you mentioned, but the 620 is only $10 more than the 520.

I'd buy the 620."

I always overspec a PSU. My goal is to operate a PSU at about 50% of its capacity or certainly no more than 70%. It helps that I am never on a tight budget.
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a b ) Power supply
January 12, 2010 9:14:02 PM

I have a very similar system running on a Corsair CX400 and it's fine. Unless you're planning on Crossfire-ing the 5770 later on the 520W will be fine.

Personally I'd get a 550W Corsair one over the Antec, but that's just me.

And why are you running mixed RAM anyway? You'll be losing out on dual-channel memory and the high-performance RAM will slow down to match the other stuff.
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January 12, 2010 10:00:51 PM

my general rule on psu's is to go 15% -30% over on power requirements to have a psu that will last several years of bulds
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January 12, 2010 10:15:43 PM

LePhuronn said:
I have a very similar system running on a Corsair CX400 and it's fine. Unless you're planning on Crossfire-ing the 5770 later on the 520W will be fine.

Personally I'd get a 550W Corsair one over the Antec, but that's just me.

And why are you running mixed RAM anyway? You'll be losing out on dual-channel memory and the high-performance RAM will slow down to match the other stuff.


Should I get all equivalent ram? (Like all the same type, brand, etc..)?
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a b ) Power supply
January 12, 2010 10:36:01 PM

Don't necessarily need the same brand - if it's the same speed and latencies then dual-channel will kick in if you're using RAM in pairs (called ganged mode in AMD platforms usually, or set unganged mode to off).

RAM however now comes in dual or triple-channel kits depending on the platform you're buying for. DDR2 is going up in price now that everything's moved over to DDR3 but you can still get 4GB kits for good prices.
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January 12, 2010 11:38:07 PM

LePhuronn said:
Don't necessarily need the same brand - if it's the same speed and latencies then dual-channel will kick in if you're using RAM in pairs (called ganged mode in AMD platforms usually, or set unganged mode to off).

RAM however now comes in dual or triple-channel kits depending on the platform you're buying for. DDR2 is going up in price now that everything's moved over to DDR3 but you can still get 4GB kits for good prices.


Ok cool. Im planning on removing my previous sticks or maybe overclocking them to the equivalent of this pair of OCz Gold I am buying: http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=23482&vpn=OCZ2G8...

The OCz have dual channeling and I do run an AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition CPU.. so would I have to turn on/off the ganged/unganged mode in my BIOS?
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a b ) Power supply
January 13, 2010 12:12:59 AM

LePhuronn said:
Don't necessarily need the same brand - if it's the same speed and latencies then dual-channel will kick in if you're using RAM in pairs (called ganged mode in AMD platforms usually, or set unganged mode to off).


Actually both ganged and unganged mode are still dual channel if the modules are in pairs the difference between ganged and unganged is with ganged the memory controller is set to a single 128 bit controller so only a read or a write can be done on each clock cycle (whixch is faster in single threaded apps) while in unganged mode the memory controller is setup as 2 64 bit channels so each 64 bit channel can either perform a write or a read on each clock cycle (which is faster for multi core apps) kind of like a 2 lane highway between the RAM module and your CPU where in ganged mode both lanes can only carry traffic in one direction per clock cycle but in unganged mode each lane can go either direction on a given clock cycle depending on the system needs !
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a b ) Power supply
January 13, 2010 7:55:25 AM

Thanks for the clarification JDFan - I consider myself corrected!

So then, is it best to be ganged or unganged, say for a Warcraft gaming box? I've set my housemate's to ganged believing that was dual-channel y'see. Plus I'm attempting to unlock the cores on her Black Edition Phenom II X2 and doing a hefty overclock soon.
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a b ) Power supply
January 13, 2010 12:59:05 PM

The difference is marginal either way compared to the speed and latency of the module and having them in dual channel to begin with - and it really depends on the uses - If you use mainly multi threaded software then unganged is probably best where ganged is faster if using more single threaded applications (again the difference is marginal so probably not anything to worry about) - I have my system which is an unlocked Phenom II X3 720 with DDR3 1600 Ram set to unganged dual channel mode - here is an everest screenshot - ( http://i212.photobucket.com/albums/cc189/JDFanning_buck... ) - It shows the throughput in that mode which was a bit higher than the same settings with ganged mode so I left it set that way. - IT shows the CPU as an X4 20 due to having the 4th core unlocked.

IF trying to unlock the core and OC I'd suggest first getting a good idea of what the OC can do with 3 cores and then restart with the 4th core unlocked and see where it can go - From reading I've seen some say the can get a better OC from just the 3 cores and with most games not making effecient use of a 4th core you may get better performance from just 3. - also are you using a good Heatsink\fan I haven't pushed my chip any further than 3 ghz. because it was starting to get a bit warm for 24\7 use with the stock cooler (I'm waiting to get a better cooler before pushing it ) - Good luck on it and let me know how it goes (I think they may have been disabling perfectly good cores to fill demand for the chip during the holiday shopping season - (as it seems more people are having luck with stable unlocks lately).
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a b ) Power supply
January 13, 2010 1:33:01 PM

I'm only attempting the unlock simply because I can. If I can go from a perfectly good Black Edition dual core to a working Tri or Quad core then bonus. The machine's built purely for playing Warcraft on my 50" TV so core unlocking or OC is purely playtime for me when she's not using it.
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a b ) Power supply
January 13, 2010 1:46:03 PM

LePhuronn said:
I'm only attempting the unlock simply because I can. If I can go from a perfectly good Black Edition dual core to a working Tri or Quad core then bonus. The machine's built purely for playing Warcraft on my 50" TV so core unlocking or OC is purely playtime for me when she's not using it.


For that it should be fine either with or without the cores but good luck with it ! - Mine was exactly the same I bought the X3 because the price was right (got it and the MOBO for $193 in a combo from Newegg) - in total it took $495 to upgrade my old socket 754 Athlon 3200+ w a 7800GS AGP card to my new Phenom II X3 720 with 2 GB DDR3 1600 Ram and a Sapphire 5770 video card and that includes a new case, wireless keyboard\mouse, which was definitely worth the investment !!

Being able to get it working as a quad is just an extra as I would have been fine with the performance of it as a tricore but got lucky !
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