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Can I get away with 400W PSU for this i7 Build?

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February 24, 2010 10:59:50 AM

System will not be used for gaming. Most demanding tasks it will see is large database queries. Will not be overclocking anything.

I'm wondering if the Corsair CX400W is more than enough power or if I'd be pushing its limits and should stick with the HX650W linked below. Ideally, I'd like the system to be as quiet as possible.

Oh fine - if the CX400W is fine given all the above would it still be ok if I overclocked the processor. Who knows maybe I'll catch that bug (hopefully not) :D 

Thanks!

RAIDMAX SMILODON ATX-612WB Black 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Foldout MB Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EVGA P55 LE 123-LF-E653-KR LGA1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I7860 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model TW3X4G1333C9A G - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2M160G2XXX 2.5" 160GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-650HX 650W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

BFG BFGE96512GTOCE GeForce 9600 GT OC Video Card - Overclocked Edition, 512MB GDDR3, PCI Express 2.0, SLI Ready, (Dual Link) Dual DVI, HDTV, HDMI Support
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite...

More about : 400w psu build

a c 243 ) Power supply
February 24, 2010 12:06:08 PM

No overclocking, the CX 400 would be fine.
Start overclocking and stability testing and you're going to be pushing it a bit, but not to the point that the little Corsair couldn't handle it.
If you think that you will OC and may want to upgrade to a more powerful video card, go for the higher wattage now, the 550 would be enough for a single high end card.

a b ) Power supply
February 24, 2010 12:34:34 PM

Hi newcomer and welcome to the Tom's hardware forum.

Today a 500W PSU is the minimun that you need for a rig. Now, you have a very good processor with a old GPU, change that GPU and the RAM for one with CL7 or CL8.
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February 24, 2010 12:43:06 PM

+1 delluser1

Overclocking maybe pushing it for the CX400. Also with that PSU you are limited to what additional hardware you can install. I would recommend the 650HX/TX or if money is limted the corsair 550VX is enough even when you upgrade your vid card a tier or 2.
February 24, 2010 12:53:50 PM

Thanks for the responses. There's no chance I'll be going to a higher end card. The 9600 shown is more than I need. System is actually for online poker, so its one 2560x1600 30 inch monitor and a 1650x1080 20 inch in portrait. I will never play a game on it.

Couple more questions:

1) Would the CX400 be quieter than the HX650, or louder b/c it would be running at a higher % of its capacity.
2) If the 400W model ends up "not being enough", will I fry my CPU/etc or just the PSU?
3) What hardware limitations are you referring to. I'll never add another card, but might add a 7200 RPM HD at some point if I fill the SSD...

Thanks!
February 24, 2010 1:10:05 PM

An additional HDD will increase load on you PSU but not much. What I meant on additional hardware are peripherals like sound card, HDD, optical drives, fans etc..

I think you're safe on adding a 7200 HDD but to be on the safe side buy green HDDs like this one.
a b ) Power supply
February 24, 2010 1:42:27 PM

The difference between a green and a black is only like 3W. A hard drive will not draw more than 10W.

The 400W is more than enough providing 360W for your graphics card and CPU - the main power draws. I'm not sure how much the 9600GT draws but is is certainly less than 100W. If you really want to be safe you could get a lower power drawing radeon 4670 for $70 that will perform the same and not require a dedicated power connector (all power off the PCI-e bus). For your uses you would be fine with a 4650 though for $10 less

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a c 243 ) Power supply
February 24, 2010 2:11:39 PM
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digable said:
Thanks for the responses. There's no chance I'll be going to a higher end card. The 9600 shown is more than I need. System is actually for online poker, so its one 2560x1600 30 inch monitor and a 1650x1080 20 inch in portrait. I will never play a game on it.

Couple more questions:

1) Would the CX400 be quieter than the HX650, or louder b/c it would be running at a higher % of its capacity.
2) If the 400W model ends up "not being enough", will I fry my CPU/etc or just the PSU?
3) What hardware limitations are you referring to. I'll never add another card, but might add a 7200 RPM HD at some point if I fill the SSD...

Thanks!

1) Noise is subjective, but the 400 would probably be slightly louder than the 650
2) The 400 won't end up "not being enough" for your configuration, unless you attempt to overload the system with a bunch of hard drives, a high end vid card and a massive overclock.
3) Another hard drive won't hurt at all, I wouldn't sacrifice performance by buying a "green" drive, there's just not enough drop in power consumption to justify it in my opinion.

So you have a little understanding of power consumption;
I7-860 at 3.8
GTX260 OC 65nm 192 core ( uses about 2.5 times more power than a 9600 GT )
1 HD
Corsair H50 with dual fans
365 watts from the wall when stressing with Prime and Furmark, that's a 307 watt load on my 84% efficient psu, with your 9600GT and no overclocking your load would be much lower.
Keep in mind also that this is pushing the components to peak power use, playing on-line poker would never consume anywhere near the amount of power that the stability tests do.
February 24, 2010 4:11:58 PM

Thanks for the great response delluser. So the fact that the 9600 GT I'm looking at comes with a factory overclock isn't a big deal with respect to power usage?

Was also considering:

9500 GT (stock speed)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

8600 GT (factory OC)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But if they're all pretty much the same in terms of power usage I'll just stick with the 9600 GT.

Thanks again.

PS: If there's a site that has all the power usage stats for cards out there let me know and I can just look it all up myself and stop spamming this board with my noobness. :) 
a b ) Power supply
February 24, 2010 4:39:18 PM

If you are looking at lower end cards against the 9600GT you could get at 4670 for $62. Any of the cards in this price range would be completely fine on a the Corsair 400cx.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Why are we discussing 400w vs 600w? The Corsair 450vx is $54 after MIR and would be an excellent, and totally safe choice. While the 400w is enough--the 450 offers the better 5 year warranty, and has higher power efficiency.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


In a mock system: Power use:


Performance:
February 24, 2010 4:44:49 PM

I'm sorry. If you can afford an SSD, you can afford a proper PSU. Btw, I have a 650 HX and it's just swell.
February 24, 2010 4:50:33 PM

It's not that I can't afford to get a higher wattage PSU, I just don't want to spend money that doesn't need to be spent, I.E. I'm not getting a high end graphics card b/c my system will literally never run a game. I've just read a bunch of stuff on people buying way too much PSU for their actual needs, hence the original post.

Re: the Radeon cards, I was having an easier time finding nVidia cards with 2 DVI outs than ATI, although there are some XFX 4000 series cards I could get for $50-$70 that would probably work fine.
a b ) Power supply
February 24, 2010 5:18:06 PM

For $20 its definitely worth a shot. It wouldn't be good to game at your high resolutions, but I'm sure it could run poker just fine.
a b ) Power supply
February 24, 2010 7:48:30 PM

digable said:
Hahaha - I just looked on craigslist out of curiousity and there's a guy selling this exact card:

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

I'm just going to offer him $20 and be done with it. :D 


It's more than what you need so it will last you for a while. You don't game don't give into the pressure some others seems to be putting on to get a mid-end GPU. And you don't need more than the 400W system. 360W for the CPU and GPU is more than enough, especially with a 4650.

That card will even game a little on some games, low res on pretty much any game but cryostasis. And will be good for watching HD movies if you ever do that. That's a good find too because XFX's warranty is transferable so if that card is still under warranty the warranty will be yours too. If you don't manage to get it, this card is $30 after mail in rebate before shipping:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
February 24, 2010 7:50:40 PM

Thanks Enzo,

Need the dual DVI outs tho. There don't seem to be any mega cheap options give that.

And just so I'm clear, people are recommending different video cards because they preform better than the ones I mentioned in gaming? They are all going to draw pretty much the same power correct?
a b ) Power supply
February 24, 2010 8:24:59 PM

digable said:
And just so I'm clear, people are recommending different video cards because they preform better than the ones I mentioned in gaming? They are all going to draw pretty much the same power correct?


None of the cards suggested use enough power to warrant more than a 400w power supply. You only need to worry about the power supply in high end cards.

The only reason I was suggesting a 450w was for the better efficiency and better warranty in a new build. I have the Corsair 400CX and its great--it would handle this build just fine.
February 24, 2010 9:15:07 PM

I also have a 400cx and it is as silent as it gets. You have to stick your ear next to the PC to hear it.

Better than that only one without a fan, but those are too expensive.

Like many others said, it is just fine for what you intend.

But, like deadlockedworld said, if you can get the 450w version you 'll get better eficiency, I myself also have an HX450w, it's the professional version, but the only real advantages over the VX450w is the 7 year warranty (the VX has a 5 year warranty) and the fact that it is modular, but some thinik this is not a real advantage, some even think it's the opposite. But either way, both the VX and HX are 80 plus bronze certified, whereas the 400w is only 80 plus.

So, yes, you do get a more efficient power supply if you go for the 450w version, plus an additional two or five years warranty (3 versus 5 versus 7)
March 4, 2010 1:15:47 AM

Best answer selected by digable.
March 4, 2010 8:01:03 AM

the 400 watt psu might do, but i sort of agree with the above thread,,,get at least a 500watt psu to be on the safe side,,,the corsair hx650 is great, but costs..i have it, and it actually puts out allmost 700watts..corsair psu,s are usually underrated in watts.
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