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What Wattage should I buy?

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  • Hard Drives
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February 20, 2010 4:21:15 AM

After searching the web for articles on how to reliably get a PSU, I have decided to ask the experts at the TH fourm!
I was wondering what wattage PSU I should get for this build.

The HDD, MB, Media Drive, and Processor are:

AMD Phenom II X4 925: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASUS AM3 790GX: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
WD Caviar Blue 7200RPM 500GB HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Samsung OEM DVD-Burner: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The video is on the motherboard, so no videocard is needed.
What wattage should I get for this build? Also, what brands would you use for the PSU?

Thanks a lot!!!
--Dylan

More about : wattage buy

February 20, 2010 5:48:15 AM

While you can probably run that system with around 300 W, I suggest you get 500 W. It's just a precaution, just in case you decide to install more accessories or decide to put in a discrete video card. Brands like Thermaltake, Corsair, Enermax, Silverstone, and many others are good brands.
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a b ) Power supply
February 20, 2010 6:08:41 AM

Hi there,

I would suggest you stick with the most reliable brands: Corsair, Antec, Seasonic, or OCZ. Depending on how important energy efficiency is to you there is excellent models ranging from $40 and up.

You dont need high wattage if you arent running a gaming class graphics card-- so the emphasis should be on getting a quality unit. (realistically your system only needs like 200w--but i'm going higher in order to get a well-built unit)

Low cost, but high quality option: Corsair 400CX $39 after MIR.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I own this PSU and its fantastic. Almost silent, 3 year warranty, 82%+ efficiency, blows cool air out of my case, etc. Its also powerful enough to run a medium range graphic card if you ever decide that you want to in the future.

If you want to pay a little more this Seasonic 380W has a better warranty (5 year) and runs slightly more efficiently (87%)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You wont regret getting a quality brand power supply-- cheap PSUs are what kill most mass produced PCs, and a high quality one can help protect your computer from shocks and etc.
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February 20, 2010 7:16:00 AM

Antec EA 380 for $40 is another good option if you don't ever plan on adding a high end GPU.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you do have some GPU upgrade plans(would be kind of a waste of a 790gx board if you didn't) then let us know what they are so we can help you select a more appropriate PSU.
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February 20, 2010 7:58:10 AM

Get at least a PSU rated at over 80% efficiency. Also get more wattage than you need for future upgrades to your graphics cards, extra hard drives, dvd drives, ect. Don't worry about using extra power with a higher output PSU, it will only pull the wattage that is required for your system. Your system probably only pulls about 200 watts now, but some newer top tier graphics cards like NVIDIA's GTX 275 or GTX 295 will pull over 200 watts when playing intense high res games. Also the price difference isn't that much, so get a good one around 500 watts and sleep better knowing you can upgrade latter if you want.
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February 20, 2010 8:28:46 AM

I would recommend any 500W OCZ PSU. They are quiet, reliable, and opens room for upgrading later.
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a c 154 ) Power supply
February 20, 2010 2:13:23 PM

To find out how big you need, go here:

http://www.antec.outervision.com/

To find out what to buy, go here:

http://www.silentpcreview.com/Recommended_PSUs

To get a 2nd opinion, go here:

I agree with the 500 watt minimum, my recommendation is the bolded one among the choices below:

Antec EA-550 - 9.5 performance rating @ $69
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...


Corsair VX550 - 9.5 performance rating @ $94 ($10 MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

Seasonic X-650 - 10.0 performance rating @ $159 (X series and M series are the ones to buy, others ....ehhhh). The M12II-430 is a good choice.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Silverstone ST50EF-Plus 500W $99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Silverstone ST45NF 450W - 9.5 performance rating (NLA @ newegg)
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

Silverstone Zeus ST56ZF 560W 8.0 performance rating @ $89 (after 420 MIR)
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ - OCS PSU's are a bit hard to judge, not often reviewed and they change their series names a lot (GameXtream, ModXtream, Evostream. Here's a review of a GameXtreme which garnered a 7.5 The newer Z series managed a 8.5 but it still doesn't put it in the quality range of the ones above.
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
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a b ) Power supply
February 20, 2010 5:23:31 PM

logan the huge said:
Antec EA 380 for $40 is another good option if you don't ever plan on adding a high end GPU.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you do have some GPU upgrade plans(would be kind of a waste of a 790gx board if you didn't) then let us know what they are so we can help you select a more appropriate PSU.


This Antec is a good option for you too. You don't have any reason to spend more for a 550w or 650w power supply.
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February 20, 2010 5:45:19 PM

logan the huge said:
Antec EA 380 for $40 is another good option if you don't ever plan on adding a high end GPU.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you do have some GPU upgrade plans(would be kind of a waste of a 790gx board if you didn't) then let us know what they are so we can help you select a more appropriate PSU.

So are you saying that the 790gx board is a waste of money if I am not going to get a video card? Because the 790GX comes with on board video. Do you think this on board video will be enough for just running business programs like QuickBooks, Word, Excel, ect? Or is this board even overkill for that?

Thanks!
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a b ) Power supply
February 20, 2010 5:47:32 PM

Onboard video will be fine for business programs, but many cheaper boards come with it.

This board has two graphics card slots-- and you need 0. You are paying extra for stuff you wont use.

You could either get a cheaper board and $20 graphics card that would be vastly better than the integrated graphics, or we can find a cheaper board with integrated-- i'll look.
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February 20, 2010 6:44:13 PM

deadlockedworld said:
This might be a cheaper option:

CPU and Motherboard for $209.98 combo. (although its still more than you need)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...


Thanks a lot for the help! From what it sounds like, a very inexpensive graphics card on an inexpensive motherboard should be enough for running these applications.

I found a combo deal that has a MB with no internal video, and the Phenom II 4X.: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Should I put an inexpensive video card onto this, or is this still overkill for what I am doing?
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a c 248 ) Power supply
February 20, 2010 6:48:54 PM

If you are sure you will only be using mainstream office applications and only want on-board video, then the Corsair CX400 would be an appropriate choice:

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

If you think you might install a video card:

The general rule of thumb is a high quality 500 to 550 watt power supply with sufficient current (amps) on the +12 volt rail(s) can easily power a system with any single video card made.

A high quality 500 to 550 watt psu will have a +12 volt rail rated at 40 amps.

In addition the power supply should be at least 80+ Bronze certified for energy efficiency. There are some models available which have achieved 80+ Silver and 80+ Gold Certifications.

Corsair and Seasonic are two of the brands that have a reputation for high quality power supplies that consistently earn high marks in technical reviews. They are reliable, stable, and come with a 5 year warranty. Some of the newer models come with a 7 year warranty. Lately we've been seeing a few other brands offering some high quality units. One example would be the Antec Earthwatts series which is a major improvement over Antec’s older psu’s like the Basiq models.


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February 20, 2010 6:53:41 PM

JohnnyLucky said:
If you are sure you will only be using mainstream office applications and only want on-board video, then the Corsair CX400 would be an appropriate choice:

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

If you think you might install a video card:

The general rule of thumb is a high quality 500 to 550 watt power supply with sufficient current (amps) on the +12 volt rail(s) can easily power a system with any single video card made.

A high quality 500 to 550 watt psu will have a +12 volt rail rated at 40 amps.

In addition the power supply should be at least 80+ Bronze certified for energy efficiency. There are some models available which have achieved 80+ Silver and 80+ Gold Certifications.

Corsair and Seasonic are two of the brands that have a reputation for high quality power supplies that consistently earn high marks in technical reviews. They are reliable, stable, and come with a 5 year warranty. Some of the newer models come with a 7 year warranty. Lately we've been seeing a few other brands offering some high quality units. One example would be the Antec Earthwatts series which is a major improvement over Antec’s older psu’s like the Basiq models.


Thanks for the idea, but I think I will get the PSU with the Case in a combo deal, here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
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a b ) Power supply
February 20, 2010 6:56:13 PM

That antec case and PSU is a good option for you--you dont need anymore power than that.
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a c 248 ) Power supply
February 20, 2010 6:59:34 PM

The Antec Earthwatts EA500 is a very good power supply. If you ever decide to install a video card the power supply will be able to deliver the necessary power.
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February 20, 2010 7:09:45 PM

Mkay, Thanks to all that helped me with this build. My (semi) final layout will be:

AC Freezer 7 Pro: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
WD Caviar Blue 500GB HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G.Skill 4GB 1600 MHz Ram Kit: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Gigabyte MB + AMD Phenom 4X 925 Combo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Antec 300 Illusion Case + Antec Earthwatts 500W PSU Combo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Totaling out (with tax and shipping) to be... dun dun da da.... $621.44!

I think it looks good, any comments, improvements, or questions before I start the build?

And again, thanks to all the people who helped me through this (rigorous) process!
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February 20, 2010 9:31:59 PM

logan the huge said:
Hold up, there's a problem. That MB is a DDR2 board and won't work with your memory.

You need one of these that has 1600mhz memory support and preferably dedicated sideport memory for the on-board graphics:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...


Well I found one without the sideport memory, and is compatible with the processor and the ram, but it has no on board graphics so no sideport. Should I buy an inexpensive GPU to go with this, or just sacrifice the price savings in the combo to buy the MB and CPU separately (I think if I do this then it is not cost effective).

Here is the board without the onboard graphics and CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Also, it is compatible with 1666MHz ram, but it will adjust the ram to work with it, right?
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a b ) Power supply
February 21, 2010 12:52:24 AM

Nice catch-- I must have seen the 1333 and thought it was ddr3.

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February 21, 2010 2:23:36 AM

Wow, its going to be hard to select a best answer! Special thanks to deadlockedwo and Logan the Huge, you guys were a huge help.

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKB 500GB 7200 RPM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 92mm Fluid Dynamic CPU Cooler: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Combo:
Antec earthwatts EA500 500W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.2: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Combo:
AMD Phenom II X4 925 Deneb 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO AM3 AMD 785G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

So, Ill run this by you guys once more, I promise! See anything wrong? Comments, questions, ideas? Ive looked over this a few times, and have yet to find anything that is incompatible.

Thanks again guys!
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February 21, 2010 3:43:29 AM

I would change the cpu cooler to the CM Hyper 212+. It's bigger, better and less expensive.
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-RR-B10-212P-G1-Univ...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Amazon is cheaper with free shipping so I'd get it there.

You can also check Tom's recent CPU cooler comparison test which featured both the Freezer 7 92mm and the Hyper 212+.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/lga-1156-heatsink,2...

Also, unless there's a special reason you need an IDE hard drive I would definitely avoid those and get one of these instead:
Seagate 7200.12 500GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
Samsung F3 500GB (which seems to have disappeared from newegg) :??: 

Other than that, I think you're good to go.
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a b ) Power supply
February 21, 2010 4:16:26 AM

ok-- we are getting the tom's spin here-- hes looking for a workstation not a high performance overclocking machine.

1. You do not need to buy a CPU cooler. The processor comes with one that will work just fine. Only people that are overclocking need better coolers.

2. I think the motherboard you have chosen is really sweet-- but if you want to save money you definitely have cheaper options. Once again this is board designed for a high end computer and has slots for multiple graphics cards.

Go on newegg and look up the AM3 Socket and AMD Northbridge (ati 4200) -- you can find motherboards for $59 that do everything you need one to do.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

3. Everything else looks sweet :-)
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