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ATI Radeon HD 5850 with a Corsair HX450w PSU

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March 29, 2010 10:11:05 PM

Hi everyone!

I have a slight doubt and I wonder if you guys have any experiencing on this:

I have a Corsair HX450w 80 Plus Bronze Power Supply (Professional Series, 7 year warranty), and currently I'm using a Gigabyte 8800GT 512MB Turboforce Editon graphics card (factory overclocked from 600Mhz to 700 Mhz, shaders from 1500 to 1715Mhz, memory only up to 1840Mhz from 1800) and I am thinking of upgrading to a Radeon HD 5850.

I know that ATI recommends a minimum of a 500w power supply for this card, but then again they take into account that people may have lots of add-on cards and peripherals connected or factor in those who buy cheaper, lower quality PSU's.

My PSU has a single 12v rail with a 33A rating and 2 PCie 8Pin/6Pin connectors, so I think it can do it, but I haven't found what Amperage the Radeon needs, so I'm not entirely sure.

The stock clocked 8800GT has a TDP of 110w, since mine has a very decent GPU overclock, I would figure it is probably somewhat higher (tweaktown review confirms, not more than 10w). That is not a huge difference to the HD5850's 151w, but again, the Amperage is the only thing that I'm left thinking about.

What do you guys think ?

The rest of the system is frugal:

MB: gigabyte EP45-UD3LR
Ram: 4GB Corsair XMS2 DHX DDR2 800 DC (stock clocks)
CPU: Core 2 Duo E8400 (E0 revision) (stock clocks)
HDD: WD Caviar Black 500GB
Sony Opticarc DVD-RW Lightscribe drive
Multi card reader
Floppy Drive (yes, indeed, have a lot of oldies to backup heheh)
Avermedia TV tuner


Thanks!
March 29, 2010 10:32:55 PM

You will do fine, corsair usually under rate their PSU

And if you're willing to overclock, overclock your CPU to around 3.6GHz, E8400 at stock will bottleneck your 5850.
March 29, 2010 10:38:14 PM

You should be ok with that PSU. Corsair makes some great ones and the 5850 is remarkably low on power usage for how much graphics power its got. I would be a little careful about OCing the crap out of the CPU and/or GPU though.
Related resources
March 29, 2010 10:49:39 PM

You should be fine, The HX seris are the best PSUs ever made, and underrated by Corsair.
March 29, 2010 10:59:51 PM

Won't be a problem unless you OC everything to the nines and try and run Prime95 and Furmark at the same time LOL

and even then it might sail through...

Games will never push your system that far.
March 30, 2010 12:32:07 AM

Thank you guys!

I won't be doing any overclocking of either CPU or GPU, so I should be fine then :D 

xyzionz, as for the E8400 bottlenecking, yes, I figure it might a little, if it really needs to be overclocked I might try, but my current monitor is a 3 year old LG 20" widescreen which has a resolution of 1680x1050, so I guess it should be fine.

I guess I will be able to max out almost every game on the market with this rig, which is exactly the goal. What do you guys think ?

In about a year I'll probably buy a Core 2 Quad Q9550 if the price is right before building a completely new rig a year after that.

P.S.: I just went to the Corsair site and realized they had a Power Supply search feature on their main page, so I inserted the required data (what kind of CPU, how many GPU's, how many HDD's ) and they had a few recommendations.

And there were two problems I thought important to share just in case someone has the same idea as me: the HX 450 is not in the recommendations, but I guess that is because it is not currently available in North and South America as is noted on the HX 450 page.

But despite this, the VX 450 and VX 550 are listed. The 550 doesn't present any problem, but the VX 450w, despite also having a single 12v rail, the same 396w on that rail and the same 33A rating, it only has a single 6 Pin PCIe connector, instead of the HX 450's two 6/8 Pin connectors.

Given that the Radeon HD 5850 requires two 6 pin PCIe connectors (and the 5870 one 6 pin and one 8 pin), that power supply should not be in the recommendations.

I just sent an email to Corsair giving them feedback on these two problems:

- not listing the HX 450, when they should, even if they had to put a reminder where it is available;

- listing the VX 450w, when they shouldn't.
March 30, 2010 1:50:10 AM

Put it this way, I run:

Q6600 @ 3GHz
Asus 5850
Lots HDD's
Seasonic 500w PSU

I have my main box plugged through a Voltage / Amp meter...

5850 @ Stock - 725/4000 1.087v
3DMark 2006 - Avg245w Max283
FarCry2 Benchmarking 1920x1080 Very High 0xAA - Avg275w Max282w

5850 @ OC - 913/4800 1.2v
FarCry2 Benchmarking 1920x1080 Very High 0xAA - Avg315w Max328w

Not too bad for the whole system, you should be fine even with OCing.
Prime95 and Furmark running at the same time will draw a large amount more power than you would ever find in almost any real world situation.
March 30, 2010 4:05:37 AM

Pailin said:
Put it this way, I run:

Q6600 @ 3GHz
Asus 5850
Lots HDD's
Seasonic 500w PSU

I have my main box plugged through a Voltage / Amp meter...

5850 @ Stock - 725/4000 1.087v
3DMark 2006 - Avg245w Max283
FarCry2 Benchmarking 1920x1080 Very High 0xAA - Avg275w Max282w

5850 @ OC - 913/4800 1.2v
FarCry2 Benchmarking 1920x1080 Very High 0xAA - Avg315w Max328w

Not too bad for the whole system, you should be fine even with OCing.
Prime95 and Furmark running at the same time will draw a large amount more power than you would ever find in almost any real world situation.



That looks very good! I will be safe then. When I bought my E8400 back in September 2008 I had a difficult time deciding between the E8400 and the 4 core goodness of the Q6600. I don't regret it, but I have to say it's nice to see the Q6600 still soldiering on at 3Ghz.

I've been thinking of buying a Voltage / Amp meter to see how much it consumes (with the 8800GT and the Radeon 5850 for example), can you recommend me something good and not too expensive ? Thanks!
March 30, 2010 4:07:58 AM

I use the kill-a-watt inline meter (which should be pretty cheap). The type I really would like is what I have seen at work: the ones that just clamp around the wire. Those would be convenient.
March 30, 2010 7:36:09 AM

http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculator.jsp
This will help ye!

I agree also that Corsair has always underrated their PSU.

My PC specs is Q6600 (@3GHz if I need it such as for games, but If I use it only for internet or movies, it will be runnning on stock speed), 4GB RAM, currently with HD3850...I am planning also to get one but I will wait a bit untill the price of HD5850 has dropped a bit. HD5850 is still too expensive for me right now. I have put also a new PSU into the budget just in case it is necessary.

Thank you for everyone on this thread for giving all the information, because I am also looking an answer to this question/thread.
March 30, 2010 1:13:48 PM

My system has been running at 3.6GHz initially and mostly 3GHz as cooler since 20/12/2007 flawlessly ^^

Just for curiosity I just ran with 5850 @ 725/4000 1.087v:

My system Idles at 167w

Prime95 Blend
Furmark @ 1920x1080 4xMSAA

Avg 485w
Max 525w

According to Furmark, my 5850 was running at 149w during the test techPowerUp also confirms their stock 5850 Furmark tests drew 150watts + they made physical measurements and didn't use software...

My system running only Prime95 draws about 230 - 300w

149 + 300 = 449

Which shows that Furmark pushes your CPU a lot. I used to think it focused more on the GPU.

Furmark on its own draws 430 – 475w.

Have to say I am impressed my 500watt Seasonic handled loads up to 525 without a sweat :D 
March 30, 2010 1:56:13 PM

oh, as to which power meter...

any cheap digital one should do. I have used 3 different ones now and they are all within a very small margin of each other. A few watts or so at most.

Currently I am using on made by Nikkai power - never heard of them before, but is a nice little unit :) 

as EXT64 mentioned that Kill A Watt thing is exactly the kinda thing I use too:


Kill A Watt $21.50 with free shipping.
March 30, 2010 4:42:36 PM

I would suggest you don't try running both Prime95 and Furmark at the same time- just to be safe. Your PSU would probably handle it ok, but its not worth pushing it past reasonable limits on purpose:-)
March 30, 2010 6:52:33 PM

A quick follow-up on the Corsair VX 450w:

I just received the reply from Corsair concerning me e-mail, here it is:

"The VX450 does not have the cables, you're right, but with an adapter it could easily power that solution. The processor you have is very efficient from a power perspective, so you won't need any huge wattage unit for that processor.

I'd say that the HX450 is more than enough for a 5850 and a Core 2 Duo E8400. Your system should see a nice increase in performance during games or other 3D apps."

And he's right, I had just forgotten about molex adaptors when I wrote the e-mail. So there you have it, if you own a Corsair VX 450w with a system similar to mine, you won0't have problem with a Radeon HD 5850. Just be sure if your GPU vendor bundles an adapter or make sure you buy one.
March 30, 2010 6:54:15 PM

The HX 450 not = to VX450
March 30, 2010 7:00:16 PM

builderbobftw said:
The HX 450 not = to VX450



I know they are not the same, ff you read the comment I wrote before my last one, you'll understand what I'm talking about.

A small recap: the HX 450 (the one I own) can handle the load, and so can the VX 450, as long as you have a molex adapter to power the GPU, that's what Corsair is telling me.

March 30, 2010 7:26:39 PM

EXT64 said:
I use the kill-a-watt inline meter (which should be pretty cheap). The type I really would like is what I have seen at work: the ones that just clamp around the wire. Those would be convenient.


Thanks! I'll probably buy one of those kill-a-watt meters.

Pailin said:
oh, as to which power meter...

any cheap digital one should do. I have used 3 different ones now and they are all within a very small margin of each other. A few watts or so at most.

Currently I am using on made by Nikkai power - never heard of them before, but is a nice little unit :) 

as EXT64 mentioned that Kill A Watt thing is exactly the kinda thing I use too:


Kill A Watt $21.50 with free shipping.



Thanks for the link! As for your Seasonic PSU - and the ones from Corsair, which I believe are all made by Seasonic, I learned that, like many of you said before, they underrate their PSU's not just to be safe, but because that is almost a necessity to make them 80 Plus or 80 Plus Bronze or upwards certified. My Corsair 450w apparently could be rated at 550w but would lose the 80Plus certification. It would work faultlessly, just not that efficiently. That's probably why your PSU is working just fine with those high wattages (Ouch, by the way! Those two programs at the same time really drive the system to very demanding levels)

flyinfinni said:
I would suggest you don't try running both Prime95 and Furmark at the same time- just to be safe. Your PSU would probably handle it ok, but its not worth pushing it past reasonable limits on purpose:-)


I surely won't. Unless it's winter time and my heater is broken, that is hehehe.
March 30, 2010 7:33:32 PM

Your PSU is more than fine. The HD5850 actually only uses slightly more power than your current 8800GT(15ish watts.)
March 30, 2010 7:36:20 PM

not all made by seasonic

seasonic makes all from 650watts down cept the vx550 made by CWT and cwt makes all the power supplies from 750 watts and up

but here is some power charts



March 30, 2010 7:36:27 PM

Amazing the efficiency and power of these 5xxx series chips eh? 15ish watts more than an 8800GT, but how much more graphics power? Technology amazes me.
March 30, 2010 7:54:01 PM

The 5850 and 4850 being about equal amazes me. I guess that is why when my 4850 had the dinky stock fan it ran so hot, and my 5850 is quite cool even OC'ed.
March 30, 2010 8:03:59 PM

guanyu210379 said:
http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculator.jsp
This will help ye!

I agree also that Corsair has always underrated their PSU.

My PC specs is Q6600 (@3GHz if I need it such as for games, but If I use it only for internet or movies, it will be runnning on stock speed), 4GB RAM, currently with HD3850...I am planning also to get one but I will wait a bit untill the price of HD5850 has dropped a bit. HD5850 is still too expensive for me right now. I have put also a new PSU into the budget just in case it is necessary.

Thank you for everyone on this thread for giving all the information, because I am also looking an answer to this question/thread.



That PSU Calculator is very neat indeed! Thanks!
March 30, 2010 8:15:38 PM

obsidian86: thanks for the correction! Are CWT PSUs as good in quality as the ones made by Seasonic ?
March 30, 2010 8:23:52 PM

Another quick follow-up directly from Corsair:

They just explained to me why the HX 450w is not listed in the recommendations, but the VX 450w is.

Although the HX 450 is still listed on the website, despite the note that says it is not available in North or South America, in fact it has just recently been discontinued due to poor sales. That's why they removed it from the recommendations. The reason it is still listed is because there is still stock left in Europe.

It's a pity, but I understand why it didn't sell well: it's a bit expensive for what people generally think of such a moderately low wattage PSU, that it won't handle the latest GPU, especially because the GPU manufacturers like to stay on the safe side on their recommendations.

They have to live with the fact that there are a lot of lower quality PSU’s around that don’t provide the advertised wattage, let alone necessary amperage, and GPU vendors generally adjust their recommendations up a notch because of that. They prefer to be on the safe side, which is understandable.

Anyway, that brings up a distortion in that a higher wattage PSU won’t do so brilliantly when the computer is idling, more so with today’s CPUs and GPUs that idle at fantastically low values.

That’s the reason I bought the HX 450, because it manages to excel across the board, and will in fact, in my opinion, suffice for 85%+ of gamers.
March 30, 2010 8:59:28 PM

Not true that 85% of hardcore gamers use under 450Watts.
March 30, 2010 9:01:18 PM

Depends on your definition of "hardcore" I guess. I wouldn't hesitate putting an HD5870 on a 450w Corsair.
March 30, 2010 9:04:47 PM

I'm not sure about 85% of HARDCORE gamers using less than 450W. I would say maybe 85% of GAMERS use that, but I would say most HARDCORE GAMERS use a good bit more that 450W. Look at the system specs for most of the people on this forum that are answering questions and see how many are less than 500W :-p True a lot of us have more than we really need, but I like a bit of extra headroom for expansion and I think thats pretty common with enthusiasts:-)
March 30, 2010 9:05:40 PM

Yeh, Carrying old PSUs and Cases onto new builds make you feel warm and fuzzy
March 30, 2010 9:06:06 PM

i would not buy the 5850 if i were you. i will tell you why.

i have an e6750 OC'd at 3.4ghz, which is faster than your e8400 stock. i have a 5770. if you look on the gpu charts posted on tom's hardware, the 5770 can hit a 17,7xx 3dmark06 score with the best components. with my system i can only manage a 14,3xx, which is a good 23% less than what the 5770 actually can do. the 5850 is even better than the 5770.

unless you plan to upgrade your cpu soon as well, there is no need at all for a 5850. i think a 4850 would be more than enough. in hindsight i may have purchased the 4850, although it doesn't have dx11 and the price difference between the 48 and 57 is negligible.

your PSU is completely fine, no worries there. i have a thermaltake 500w and my system runs just fine with a 30% OC on the cpu. granted your gpu is more powerful (if you were to get the 5850), i still think you will be fine.
March 30, 2010 9:08:58 PM

That is the overall score though. Only compare GPU scores, and even better, test real games as 3DMark never really followed "reality".
March 30, 2010 9:11:11 PM

A core2duo at 3.4 ghz really should not be the problem. Don't make assumptions then pass on that info as if it is good advice.
March 30, 2010 9:13:41 PM

The OP will see some very nice benefits from a 5850, especially with a little OCing on the CPU.
March 30, 2010 9:14:29 PM

jyjjy said:
A core2duo at 3.4 ghz really should not be the problem. Don't make assumptions then pass on that info as if it is good advice.


what is the assumption? TH gets 17,7xx in a popular benchmarking tool with the same card i (along with others i have read that have similar components) get in the 13-15,xxx range. seems fairly obvious if you wanted to perform on the 17,xxx level you would need more of something, cpu being a likely culprit.
March 30, 2010 9:16:58 PM

Like he said- compare just the GPU scores rather than the overall score. in 3dMark 06, the CPU score can make a pretty big difference in the overall score.
March 30, 2010 9:23:25 PM

flyinfinni said:
Like he said- compare just the GPU scores rather than the overall score. in 3dMark 06, the CPU score can make a pretty big difference in the overall score.


i understand, but games need more processing power sometimes, at which point your gpu isn't going to help that much no matter how powerful it is. otherwise people would just be buying a 5890 and then look for a used p4 cpu or something. there has to be a balance, and i think that a c2d is slightly unbalanced with the new 5xxx cards for the most part.

i'd be interested to see benchmarks of all c2ds+5xxx cards vs ix+5xxx cards with in-game fps averages, just to see what balance really is ideal.
March 30, 2010 9:25:42 PM

tuffluck said:
what is the assumption? ... cpu being a likely culprit.

^^^ You are also assuming that the synthetic benchmark will reflect real in game performance.
March 30, 2010 9:30:22 PM

tuffluck said:
There has to be a balance, and i think that a c2d is slightly unbalanced with the new 5xxx cards for the most part.

Yes, there has to be a balance but a c2d at 3.4 ghz is not something that will unbalance a system with a card like the HD5770. 3DMark is specifically designed to give a higher score with a better CPU. If you want to check for a CPU bottleneck you can try increasing resolution. If the FPS stays basically the same then there is likely a CPU bottleneck.
March 30, 2010 9:33:38 PM

jyjjy said:
Yes, there has to be a balance but a c2d at 3.4 ghz is not something that will unbalance a system with a card like the HD5770. 3DMark is specifically designed to give a higher score with a better CPU. If you want to check for a CPU bottleneck you can try increasing resolution. If the FPS stays basically the same then there is likely a CPU bottleneck.


oh okay, actually i did this with bf:bc2. when i went to a 1920 resolution the framrate dropped from 1650. i am running 1920 fine now, just had to scale down the settings otherwise. so that means there is not a cpu bottleneck? i thought it did. if that's the case i may OC my gpu...
March 30, 2010 9:40:03 PM

You just showed that your PC doesn't have a CPU bottleneck since you had to lower GPU stressing settings to make a higher resolution run properly. If you want more info and stuff about balancing your system with different CPUs and GPUs, go read the Tom's "building a balanced gaming system" articles- there are a couple parts.

Edit: heres a couple links to the articles-
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-balanced-plat...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/balanced-gaming-pc,...
March 30, 2010 9:45:29 PM

Yeah, a cpu bottleneck means that the card can get higher frame rates but the cpu is at its limit already. When you increase resolution it will put a good deal more strain on the GPU but not really on the CPU. So if the game is being GPU limited the frame rates will go down but with a CPU limit they will stay the same.
Also what is the bottleneck can change based on both the game and the resolution. Like at 1024x768 the HD5770 can deliver a huge number of frames in most games so then the CPU might be a bottleneck there. When you increase the resolution at some point it will switch from the CPU to the GPU that is limiting frame rates, and that point will vary based on both the game and the settings being used.
March 30, 2010 10:46:28 PM

have a nice little link for you to check out:

5870 CPU Scaling Review

In games you get to turn up all the options and don't forget AA which a nice 5850 or better can take in its stride even on lower CPU's

Having a lower spec CPU means you will miss the higher frame rates - often 50+ or even over 60fps.
March 31, 2010 12:45:28 AM

builderbobftw said:
Not true that 85% of hardcore gamers use under 450Watts.


My estimated guess is that you are right. But then again I said nothing about Hardcore gamers. I said 85%+ of gamers. The other 15% will exactly be the harcore gamers. People who buy an HD 5970, who do Crossfire or SLI, and those who manage to buy a GTX480. Those are hardcore gamers.

jyjjy said:
Depends on your definition of "hardcore" I guess. I wouldn't hesitate putting an HD5870 on a 450w Corsair.


After all the help from you guys and the reading and the Corsair official reply and PSU recommnendations, neither would I. As long as I didn't overclock the CPU/GPU too much, or at all, the 450w will even handle a 45nm Quad-Core and a 5870.

flyinfinni said:
I'm not sure about 85% of HARDCORE gamers using less than 450W. I would say maybe 85% of GAMERS use that, but I would say most HARDCORE GAMERS use a good bit more that 450W. Look at the system specs for most of the people on this forum that are answering questions and see how many are less than 500W :-p True a lot of us have more than we really need, but I like a bit of extra headroom for expansion and I think thats pretty common with enthusiasts:-)


Exactly!

tuffluck said:
i would not buy the 5850 if i were you. i will tell you why.

i have an e6750 OC'd at 3.4ghz, which is faster than your e8400 stock. i have a 5770. if you look on the gpu charts posted on tom's hardware, the 5770 can hit a 17,7xx 3dmark06 score with the best components. with my system i can only manage a 14,3xx, which is a good 23% less than what the 5770 actually can do. the 5850 is even better than the 5770.

unless you plan to upgrade your cpu soon as well, there is no need at all for a 5850. i think a 4850 would be more than enough. in hindsight i may have purchased the 4850, although it doesn't have dx11 and the price difference between the 48 and 57 is negligible.

your PSU is completely fine, no worries there. i have a thermaltake 500w and my system runs just fine with a 30% OC on the cpu. granted your gpu is more powerful (if you were to get the 5850), i still think you will be fine.


tuffluck said:
oh okay, actually i did this with bf:bc2. when i went to a 1920 resolution the framrate dropped from 1650. i am running 1920 fine now, just had to scale down the settings otherwise. so that means there is not a cpu bottleneck? i thought it did. if that's the case i may OC my gpu...


Like you ended up figuring out, you were hitting a GPU ceiling. The 5770 is not the best for 1920x1200/1920x1080 at max. settings. You may be able to in some games, though, but it's far from a rule. That card is good to play the large majority of games at max settings with 1680x1050. 1920x1200 at max settings is 5850 territory.

I know that the E8400 might be a (small) bottleneck, but my current 20" monitor is a 1680x1050 affair so my goal for now is to be able to max everything out at that, and I guess I will succeed. Afterwards I will buy a Q9550 if the price is right, possibily overclock it a little, and with that a new 24" monitor capable of 1920x1200.

The 4850 does not provide me with any meaningful additional features over the 8800GT Turboforce Edition I have. It's barely faster. And although you seem to think different. you made a good choice, the 5770 is better than a 4850, in many respects (It's almost as fast as a 4870, specially with the latest 10.3 Catalyst, DX11, eyefinity - altough in this case it might not have enough firepower to run games on it, but it's nice to be able to work on 3 monitors)

EXT64 said:
That is the overall score though. Only compare GPU scores, and even better, test real games as 3DMark never really followed "reality".


Exactly. Performance in real world applications is still the best way to go. The 3D mark score may be X or Y, but how many FPS you get in the games you play is what matters.
March 31, 2010 1:25:47 AM

i think i spoke a little ignorantly/prematurely. i thought that my bottleneck was my cpu, but i guess i was wrong. i guess i didn't expect my OC'd e6750 as good as it is :) 

thanks for the info.
March 31, 2010 3:58:10 AM

tuffluck said:
i think i spoke a little ignorantly/prematurely. i thought that my bottleneck was my cpu, but i guess i was wrong. i guess i didn't expect my OC'd e6750 as good as it is :) 

thanks for the info.



You're welcome :) 
!