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Power Consumption for Upgrade

Last response: in Systems
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May 11, 2010 11:08:51 AM

Howdy all. My current build is as follows:

OCZ ModXStream Pro 500w
Intel Core2Duo E6550 2.33ghz @ 2.96ghz (around 1.29 vcore)
ASRock P43Twins1600 LGA775
1x XFX Radeon HD 4870 1gb
2x 2gb G.SKILL Ripjaws DDR3 1600 (1.5v)
2x SATA 7200rpm HDD
1x SATA DVD-RW
2x 120mm Case Fans
2 or 3 Powered USB Devices (not including mouse / keyboard)

My PSU has done quite well with this configuration for around 9 months now, and I'm at a point where I'm looking to switch to socket AM3 and have already ordered the following motherboard / CPU as upgrade items.

AMD Phenom II X2 555 BE 3.2ghz
ASRock M3A785GXH/128M AM3 AMD 785G

My main question is if I am overextending the capability of my PSU at stock specs for the 555 BE. Wattage calculators are showing close to 450w at 90% load and 30% cap aging, and I'm not entirely comfortable with the number.

My secondary question deals with whether or not I can push any sort of overclock without an upgrade to my PSU. I'd like to try for at least 3.6ghz at a max of 1.4 vcore, but on the aforementioned wattage calculator I'm showing about 465w at 90% load and 30% cap aging. 505w at 100% load (which concerns me because I'll be running P95 to test overclock stability).

In addition, minus the overclock, would I have any headroom to try for core unlocks at stock clock / voltage (3.2 & 1.35v, possibly 1.4v)?

I don't have any equipment to test power draw from the wall, though I'm seriously considering purchasing some. For the cost I may as well upgrade my PSU and just not worry about it though, lol.

Just looking for a little guidance, and your input is very much appreciated.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 11, 2010 11:20:28 AM

I would strongly suggest a more powerful PSU if your calculators are estimating 450W use. Things to consider:

1) You have had the PSU awhile, as it gets older it can become less efficient and lose its power, so you may not be getting the full 500W from it.

2) You plan on OCing the CPU...perhaps in time you will want to OC the GPU as well? That is even more power.

3) You may want to XFire your GPU, OCing your CPU is not much help if your GPU is already giving all it can.

4) Do you feel comfortable having your PSU pushed to the limit everytime you play games?

5) Eventually you will likely want to do more upgrades, you will need a new PSU sooner or later, better to do it now rather than risk the system with an old PSU when inevitably you will one day be buying a new one anyway.

As a gamer, personally I don't like having anything less than a 550W PSU. In fact, I usually buy a 750W so there is plenty of wiggle room. A PSU only uses what it needs, so you aren't wasting extra power by having a 750W PSU if your system is only using 500W, so I say pay the extra for the wiggle room
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May 11, 2010 11:38:20 AM

Well, I bought the PSU back in October, so it's still pretty fresh.

I do currently have my GPU overclocked (790mhz GPU clock up from 750mhz and 1100mhz memory clock up from 900mhz), but that's more to slightly counteract my weak CPU than anything else.

I completely understand and agree with what you're saying on future upgrades / overclocking capability, but just don't have it in the budget right now to spend $70 to $100 on a quality PSU with higher wattage. I have two 18A 12v rails in this PSU, low capacitor aging (6 to 12hr/day use for 9 months), and the optimist in me says that should be plenty at least for stock clocks across the board. My wattage (according to the calculator) goes down to 400w at 15% cap aging, and with my usage I'd be surprised if cap aging was above 10%. I'd even go so far as to say a 1.4v 3.6ghz overclock on the CPU should be OK, but I'm not likely to give that a shot until / unless I've owned the processor for at least 60 days running at stock and at that point I'd likely upgrade the PSU anyway. Especially since the PSU I'll be using for my current CPU / mobo (to go to my wife) is a shitty HEC 450w with a fan that occasionally grinds.

So, count overclocking out of the equation. Will the PSU I have handle the components I'm planning to upgrade to at stock clock for at the most two months?
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 11, 2010 1:29:22 PM

Without OCing, and the fact your PSU is actually not very old, I would say yes it will be sufficient.
In fact, I doubt you will need to OC your new CPU until you have a new graphic card (not that the 4870 is a slouch by any means) unless you are playing very CPU heavy games.
When you are ready to do the OCing and unlocking you may even have enough cash to get a new PSU.

So, yes, at stock your PSU will manage. OCing should also be ok though I would monitor it closely.
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May 11, 2010 2:15:45 PM

Great, thanks!
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May 11, 2010 2:16:56 PM

Best answer selected by cookies.
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