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80PLUS? ......... B?S?G?

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September 26, 2011 5:33:10 AM

Hello all,

I am in the process of purchasing a new PSU for my soon-to-be built PC.

My first question has to deal with the 80PLUS certified badge. I know that this is important for both power efficiency as well as the safety and longevity of your PC components, but I was wondering what is the difference between just Standard, Bronze, Silver, and Gold?

From what I've seen, the standard guarantees minimum ~80% (even some 86%) efficiency while moving up the ladder to gold, which guarantees ~90% efficiency. What I don't seem to understand is the HUGE price difference between these PSUs. A standard 80PLUS can cost ~$50 where an 80PLUS GOLD costs ~$200 for a PSU of the same wattage, with Active PFC, and from a reliable quality brand. Is there some other difference I am missing?


Now, I am looking at the OCZ ModXstream 700W, which is $75 less a $30 rebate, totaling $45. This is a semi-modular PSU, Active PFC, 80PLUS certified. I realize OCZ may not necessarily be the brand of choice for a PSU but I have heard that they are still acceptable.

So... Good deal? or should I go for something else; any recommendations for a cheap but good PSU? I am looking for something within this wattage range as I will most likely be using CFX or SLI later on.

Thanks in advance~

More about : 80plus

a b ) Power supply
September 26, 2011 6:08:59 AM

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/OCZ-ModXStream-P... the 700w would be built similarly just higher wattage so we assume the 700w modxstream is a good unit. No you arent missing anything with the 80plus rating, more efficiency = more $$. For $45 i would snap up that OCZ psu. The only bad thing stated in the review was the use of taiwan made Teapo capacitors, which may not last as long as good brand Japanese capacitors used in more expensive models. I havn't heard any particularly bad things about the newer OCZ models yet though and they have been out for a few years.
September 26, 2011 8:02:01 PM

Alright, sounds like a good deal then. (Kinda dislike the Taiwanese capacitors being used in place of Japanese ones...) Do you personally think there is a noticeable difference in lifespan of the PSU?

If I didn't get this particular PSU, is there another you would recommend? I guess buying a 80PLUS GOLD will save you money in the long run, so maybe it is worth the investment?
Related resources
a b ) Power supply
September 26, 2011 8:42:01 PM

As far as PSUs are concerned, be informed. Before you buy any PSU read accurate, objective PSU reviews at reputable sites such as www.jonnyguru.com or www.hardwaresecrets.com on the EXACT model PSU that you are interested in as some brands have good and poor quality PSUs. You generally get what you pay for when it comes to PSUs.

You can also get an accurate rating of how much PSU power is required for your current or future system at the PSU calculator link below. Once you know the total PSU watts required then you need to confirm that the 12v rail has enough amps. to support your Vid card(s) and the rest of the PC system.

There are several websites that show the Vid card power consumption in watts. Divide the watts by 12 to determine the amps. required on the 12v rail(s). Add 15 amps for the rest of the PC on the 12v rail and you now know the Minimum total 12v rail amps required under full load. It's best to have at least 5-10 amps. reserve on the 12v rail available under full load so the PSU is not loaded to 100%.

It's also worth noting that people often misunderstand the 80% power rating. This is a rating of the PSU's energy efficiency not it's output. 80% plus PSUs use less grid power to produce the same PC power. If it's 80% Bronze, Silver or Gold the cost savings on electricity is pretty small between Bronze, Silver and Gold unless you are paying very high rates for electricity so any 80% rated quality PSU is fine even if not Gold. For those who leave their PC on 24/7 a quality 80% PSU is a good investment.


http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-560-ti-sli-re...

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_5...

a b ) Power supply
September 26, 2011 9:11:20 PM

beenthere said:
As far as PSUs are concerned, be informed. Before you buy any PSU read accurate, objective PSU reviews at reputable sites such as www.jonnyguru.com or www.hardwaresecrets.com on the EXACT model PSU that you are interested in as some brands have good and poor quality PSUs. You generally get what you pay for when it comes to PSUs.

You can also get an accurate rating of how much PSU power is required for your current or future system at the PSU calculator link below. Once you know the total PSU watts required then you need to confirm that the 12v rail has enough amps. to support your Vid card(s) and the rest of the PC system.

There are several websites that show the Vid card power consumption in watts. Divide the watts by 12 to determine the amps. required on the 12v rail(s). Add 15 amps for the rest of the PC on the 12v rail and you now know the Minimum total 12v rail amps required under full load. It's best to have at least 5-10 amps. reserve on the 12v rail available under full load so the PSU is not loaded to 100%.

It's also worth noting that people often misunderstand the 80% power rating. This is a rating of the PSU's energy efficiency not it's output. 80% plus PSUs use less grid power to produce the same PC power. If it's 80% Bronze, Silver or Gold the cost savings on electricity is pretty small between Bronze, Silver and Gold unless you are paying very high rates for electricity so any 80% rated quality PSU is fine even if not Gold. For those who leave their PC on 24/7 a quality 80% PSU is a good investment.


http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-560-ti-sli-re...

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_5...


Seriously beenthere. You're just copy and pasting that in EVERY PSU thread without actually answering or attempting to answer the OP's question. Make some effort to actually try to answer the OP's question without just blanketing them with that info and not telling the OP any answers to their inquiry.

To OP. The reason for higher efficiency units costing more is their build quality and what they put in it. Sure you may have some good parts making you an 80+ bronze units but those same parts cannot make something a gold unit. You need higher quality parts in order to achieve higher efficiency and this is why they're expensive.
a c 92 ) Power supply
September 26, 2011 9:23:08 PM

The higher levels of 80+ will cost more because they use electricity. Lets say you needed to provide your computer with 500W.

500W / .7 = 714W from the wall
500W / .8 = 625W
500W / .9 = 556W

As you can see the more efficient your PSU is, the less electricity you'll get billed for. At some point the extra cost of the gold or platinum PSU will pay off due to a lower electric bill. I maintain that the difference in energy used isn't enough at current prices to make it worth while so just worry about getting 80 or 80 bronze. Your gaming habits and electrical costs might be different however.
September 26, 2011 9:41:53 PM

Thanks all for the helpful replies.

I'm honestly not that big of a power user, I never leave my computer on 24/7 so I'm not too concerned about the electricity, as long as it's reasonable. So I'm happy to hear that a standard 80PLUS is still a good buy.

I was primarily concerned that a standard 80PLUS PSU would still decrease longevity of my other parts .... compared to an 80PLUS GOLD??? But most likely not, right?

I've looked it over and over, and I think the OCZ MXSPRO700W is the best deal out there atm. I'm only looking to SLI 2 9800GTs (MAX TDP 105W) so do you think 700W is powerful enough? If I don't choose to use the 9800GTs, I will most likely stick with a single more powerful GPU, which I also believe a 700W PSU will be good for.


** I am using a Corsair CX430 V2 PSU in a budget build which I believe uses the Taiwanese Teapo capacitors as well. That seems to run flawlessly so I think I'm good with the quality issue for now.
a b ) Power supply
September 27, 2011 1:35:29 AM

^ thats a good price on that unit, but the OCZ is cheaper......and you dont need 850w
a c 92 ) Power supply
September 27, 2011 1:42:41 AM

Quote:
I was primarily concerned that a standard 80PLUS PSU would still decrease longevity of my other parts .... compared to an 80PLUS GOLD??? But most likely not, right?


Correct. A PSU can shorten the lifespan of parts by allowing to much ripple through the lines. (Imagine a lot of tiny little spikes.) This has nothing to do with the efficiency. If you don't leave it on 24/7 then yes, an 80+ or 80 bronze will do you fine.
September 27, 2011 5:57:16 AM

I wasn't able to find the exact wattage requirement using the PSU calculator link so I'll ask it here.

Would anyone happen to know the wattage requirements for a 9800GT SLI + 9600GSO. So that's 3 GPUs, 2 in true-SLI and the other just for kicks... O_o (well not really, just 3 monitor support)
a c 92 ) Power supply
September 27, 2011 8:49:46 AM

Around 450W. You can use the 9600GSO as a PhysX card if you play any of those games. If not, I'd pull it.

Does Nvidia's surround view go down to the 9800 series? If it does you don't need the 9600GSO.
a b ) Power supply
September 27, 2011 10:56:22 AM

450W should be good for THIS system. Another thing to think about is when and if you will upgrade this system, or will you sell it and do a total rebuild. If you are going to sell it, the 450W is fine, but if you plan to upgrade a piece or 2 at a time, i would recommend going with a 600W+ unit. This will help you in the future to keep upgrade spending a little lower.
a c 92 ) Power supply
September 27, 2011 11:31:31 AM

The big problem depending on what 9600GSO you have is power all the cards. 450-500W PSUs only have two 6pin plugs. You'll need a third to power the 9600GSO. You could use an adapter, but you might want to get a bigger PSU that has enough plugs.
September 27, 2011 3:42:41 PM

Thanks for all the responses.

First of all, I will be getting the OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W PSU which has only two (2) 6-pin (well one 6-pin and one 6+2-pin) PCI-E plugs, but that is OK for the 9800GTs which require 1 plug each. For some reason, the 9600GSO does not require additional power (no space to even plug in) O_O. So theoretically, this should work, right?

I thought I would need this sort of configuration (for 3-4 monitors) after seeing:
http://www.slizone.com/object/sli_multi_monitor.html#co...

Let me know what you guys think.
a c 92 ) Power supply
September 27, 2011 6:52:20 PM

Here is their info on surround.

http://www.nvidia.com/object/3d-vision-surround-system-...

They never brought it down to the G92 series, the GTX2xx series is as low as it goes. What you want to do won't work like Eyefinity. You'll have three monitors but it they won't act as one.
September 28, 2011 5:00:33 AM

Hotdamn. You're right.

I guess I'll just run the 9800GTs in SLI with 1 or 2 separate monitors then.

At least now I don't have to go buy an even more expensive motherboard and more monitors... phew.

On the other hand... is a an XFX AMD 5750 for $80 which supports eyefinity ... T~T Choices choices... *sigh*
a b ) Power supply
September 28, 2011 5:05:47 AM

IIRC the 5750 is equal to the gts 250 which is about equal with 9800GT's in SLI.
Also eyefinity with such a low mid range card will give you quite crappy frame rates...
September 28, 2011 5:16:31 AM

Yeah I just did some more research.. 5750 is a bad decision LOL

I quickly jumped over to looking at the XFX 6850 1GB GDDR5! $150 w/Dirt 3... good deal? I really can't decide what to chose... the GTX460s cost around $150, don't they?
a b ) Power supply
September 28, 2011 6:36:16 AM

When i built my friend his budget comp; we got his Asus 6850 Direct cu for $130...

A 6850 and 460 trade blows a lot of the time. Whichever is cheaper!
a c 92 ) Power supply
September 28, 2011 6:50:48 AM

Correct, except the GTX460 uses more power (needs two PCIe plugs) and it still won't handle 3 screens. The 6850 is about as low as you want to go if you are using three screens. The 6950 is better, but costs ~$200.
!