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What PSU to select

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December 19, 2011 10:42:12 PM

The gaming box croaked so I am starting from scratch with a better PSU. The existing AK680 is behind the curve for my GTX 260 so I have looked at some 850W models.

Seems the XFX 850W is the best deal out there for a new unused PSU.

I realize this is not he greatest PSU out there but I have a tight budget from which to work with.

I use 125W processors and I have a GTX 260 which wants 200W and 4 sticks of RAM and 1 hard disk.

Eventually the GTX 260 will be replaced but its still viable.

More about : psu select

a b ) Power supply
December 19, 2011 11:13:47 PM

the GTX260 does not use that much power*. as is, any quality PSU 500w+ (34a+ on the 12v) will do the job. the xfx 850 will obviously do the job, as will the xfx 550w and any PSU in-between. in fact the xfx 850 will run two GTX260 and have a lot of room to spare.

* 182w at stress, even less power is used during gaming. under 300w total system power during gaming




http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nvidia-gtx-280,1953...
a b ) Power supply
December 19, 2011 11:28:41 PM

Just get a 500W box from a good company. That's Antec, Corsair, Silverstone, XFX, NZXT, Seasonic or OCZ.
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December 19, 2011 11:43:16 PM

^+2

The first three repliers posts have you covered...

...except that you should be a little careful with OCZ as some of their models are hit and miss. Also, I hadn't heard of NZXT making that great of PSUs. I'll have to look into that.
December 20, 2011 12:05:54 AM

Thermaltake PSUs are meh.
Not all of them, and I think I actually heard decent to good things about that specific model.
I would still take the precaution of getting a solid PSU.
The PSU is probably one of the most important aspects in a build.
Never go cheap on a PSU.
Apparently, the OCZ PSU I recommended has reports of shutting down the system @ full power.
Corsair tends to make solid PSUs.
Reviews on this PSU seem positive.
The only drawback they say is it gets a bit loud @ full load and that it could be more efficient.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
December 20, 2011 12:11:55 AM

veganfanatic said:
I have seen all brands of PSU come up dead. Seems a PSU is not rock solid.

This is a better model but it costs 2x compared to the cheaper model I first posted.

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/250898356324?ssPageName=STRK:MEW...



http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page673.htm

It isn't about failure, it is about the power supply's ability to completely destroy your system when it fails, good brands have voltage regulators that will initiate controlled failures, some will quite literally blow up. Often cheap brands of ill-repute are of ill-repute for a reason: they are often inefficient, fail to deliver their specified wattage or worse, fail completely and take out the system.

The power supply is without a doubt the most important component of a PC. Please do not skimp on it or you will almost certainly regret it.

I bought a Corsair TX 850 V2 and it was failing everytime on boot, but it didn't damage any components, can't say the same would be true with other brands out there. I linked a review site, several manufacturers compiled, I recommend Hard OCP and Hardware secrets. Good luck!
December 20, 2011 12:14:44 AM

I have some funds coming up, so I will look at the sector again before I pull the trigger
December 20, 2011 12:18:54 AM

I should mention I have even examined the AX-1200 in the unlikely event I can scrape up funding.
December 20, 2011 12:32:20 AM

veganfanatic said:
I should mention I have even examined the AX-1200 in the unlikely event I can scrape up funding.

Overdone TBH.
You only need that much power running 4 GTX 580s with a power hungry CPU.
Don't go more than 850W.
That's really the most future-proof and affordable option for majority of users.
a b ) Power supply
December 20, 2011 12:33:49 AM

Unless you plan to go SLI, 500W will be *plenty*. Even if you do, 750W will do for anything but two 580s.
December 20, 2011 12:35:39 AM

The AX850 is much more reasonable in cost.
a b ) Power supply
December 20, 2011 12:35:40 AM

veganfanatic said:
I should mention I have even examined the AX-1200 in the unlikely event I can scrape up funding.


save yourself some money and get the corsair tx650, if you want a step up get their HX620.
December 20, 2011 1:04:41 AM

AbdullahG said:
Thermaltake PSUs are meh.
Not all of them, and I think I actually heard decent to good things about that specific model.
I would still take the precaution of getting a solid PSU.
The PSU is probably one of the most important aspects in a build.
Never go cheap on a PSU.
Apparently, the OCZ PSU I recommended has reports of shutting down the system @ full power.
Corsair tends to make solid PSUs.
Reviews on this PSU seem positive.
The only drawback they say is it gets a bit loud @ full load and that it could be more efficient.

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

From what I've read on Hardware Secrets, the OCZ ModXStream Pro's are good enough. I'd get the 600W for $49.99 AR w/ free shipping if I was on a budget.
December 20, 2011 1:11:11 AM

kajabla said:
Unless you plan to go SLI, 500W will be *plenty*. Even if you do, 750W will do for anything but two 580s.
If overclocking is considered, I'd say 850W for two GTX 570's or GTX 470's or dual GTX 480's. But that's really just a caveat to your statement that was overall pretty accurate.

I'd say get a 600W or 650W if you plan to SLI GTX 260's. Get a 500W if you're sticking to a single card. But due to the market prices right now, 500W PSUs seem to be a waste of money so I have to say either the $50 600W solid OCZ I linked earlier or a better XFX, Antec, or Corsair 650W like this one for $60 (after rebate + S&H): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For a 500W PSU, you'll only find decent prices for Antec, Corsair, & OCZ PSUs. Note that OCZ is typically a tier below them: http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx
a b ) Power supply
December 20, 2011 1:51:41 AM

XFX is cheap too.
a b ) Power supply
December 20, 2011 2:36:25 AM



that thermaltake has as much real world power as the HX620. I would get the corsair TX650, it has the same power as the thermaltake, better platform, and costs cheaper.
December 20, 2011 3:02:05 AM

kajabla said:
XFX is cheap too.
XFX is cheap for 650W PSUs, but it doesn't go under $50. Corsair CX500's are often $40 and Antec Neo Eco 620C's are occasionally $35 (after rebates).
dirtyferret said:
that thermaltake has as much real world power as the HX620. I would get the corsair TX650, it has the same power as the thermaltake, better platform, and costs cheaper.
The TX650 is good, but more expensive than XFX 650W PSUs for comparable performance. The Thermaltake is not on that level of performance.
December 20, 2011 3:14:33 AM

OP, is there a reason you're only looking at ebay instead of Newegg?
a b ) Power supply
December 20, 2011 3:26:52 AM

dalauder said:

The TX650 is good, but more expensive than XFX 650W PSUs for comparable performance. The Thermaltake is not on that level of performance.


they are the same price out the door on newegg.ca, the exact same platform and the corsair does not have the fan issues the xfx has
December 20, 2011 10:49:07 AM

I am still more inclined to look at 700W models as I want to have lots of upgrade headroom.

Video cards top out at close to 400W for a GTX 590 which is too expensive at the moment.
December 20, 2011 2:44:48 PM

How about this, good price and best quality psu's money can buy, Corsair use this companys internals for all there psu's.
All the power you need and will last years.
Just dont scrimp on a psu, its most important thing in system, stick with names with history of quality and reliability like corsair, seasonic, 1000's of post on these forums all saying same thing.
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=52174&vpn=S12II%20620...
December 20, 2011 7:32:58 PM

Right now the XFX 850W unit seems like the best bang for my $

The Coolmax is the most affordable, but 3 rails seem rather typical these days for low end units.

I will have to see what funds are available.
December 20, 2011 8:31:45 PM

Don't even mention Coolmax. That will destroy your system.

I don't think you're close to buying a GTX 590, so don't bother with a PSU for it. If you're planning on a second GTX 260, spend enough to get an SLI PSU. If you're not, then just get a CX500. You don't need to get a 700W PSU unless you plan on using it. Otherwise, you're just wasting money.
December 20, 2011 8:33:28 PM

850W is only useful if you expect you'll be running dual overclocked GTX 570's on an overclocked system.

If you value your money as much as I do, just get the CA$45 XFX 650W: http://www.ncix.ca/products/?sku=59616&vpn=P1650SNLB9&m...

It'll run SLI GTX 260's as well as ANY single card in the future. It'll also handle dual GTX 560Ti's--so long as you don't do too much overclocking (even then, it should be fine).
December 20, 2011 9:47:29 PM

850W would be efficient with my GTX 260 at around 50% load so its a reasonable choice, the 650W unit seems respectable but its not widely available yet

price I saw was $75+tax+shipping for the XFX 650W

this is the crappiest PSU I have seen of late, http://www.ebay.ca/itm/EchoStar-650-W-Watt-ATX-Dual-Fan...

seems I need to continue to research, funding will be available Jan 5 and then 8 days to transfer to paypal

a c 243 ) Power supply
December 20, 2011 10:02:26 PM

veganfanatic said:
850W would be efficient with my GTX 260 at around 50% load

I've got an overclocked Q9650 and an overclocked 260, with a couple of hard drives , an H50 and a total of 4 fans, it puts about a 50% load on an HX620 when gaming.
Can't see your system putting a 50% load on an 850w unless you're just using power viruses.
December 20, 2011 10:36:57 PM

I look closely at the supplied cables and many power supplies seem to lack the desired PCI Express cables. This suggests factories are still cranking out crap.

My goal is to be able to power up to a 400W video card as that is the worse case I can see now.

I have a page on power supplies on my gaming site. http://www.hardcore-games.tk/wp/psu.php

That page took a lot of work to make. The PSU offerings are all elite models, way out of my current budget.
December 21, 2011 2:18:37 AM

veganfanatic said:
850W would be efficient with my GTX 260 at around 50% load so its a reasonable choice, the 650W unit seems respectable but its not widely available yet

price I saw was $75+tax+shipping for the XFX 650W

this is the crappiest PSU I have seen of late, http://www.ebay.ca/itm/EchoStar-650-W-Watt-ATX-Dual-Fan...

seems I need to continue to research, funding will be available Jan 5 and then 8 days to transfer to paypal
Oh--I assumed you would fill out the rebate and send it in. Like Delluser1 indicated, an 850W is useless with your current build. But it's your money, so do as you please I guess.

You can handle ANY single video card with an XFX 650W. Btw, what 400W video card are you talking about? Even a 6990 is only 375W. That PSU you linked really is as terrible as you say. But I've seen 19A on 575W PSUs (Logisys), which is a bit worse than 26A on 650W.

The page you linked does a good job at explaining some basics, but it neglects things about the quality of the PSU such as ripple and OCP where the brand really makes a difference. I was surprised reading the jonnyguru review to see that Cooler Master 1200W performed well. They don't have the best reputation, but that unit is solid. Overall, that page is very useful (I think I used it a year or two ago, it looks familiar), but I have a couple comments.

Be careful what you say with something that talks as if it's a definitive source of fact--since noobs lack the knowledge to critique it. The "ADD IT UP" section of that page doesn't make any sense. Maybe it could have an explanation, but it seems to indicate that a PSU with an 8-pin and 6-pin connector has to be 700W, which simply isn't true (See Antec 600-620W units).

Also, this statement varies from completely wrong to partially wrong: "During the system startup power demand is at its highest. We strongly suggest adding 100+ watts to cover the extra load. Keep in mind that a PSU is more efficient at partial loads." Attach a Kill-a-Watt and tell me your power usage at startup. Now compress a file using 7-zip and the LZMA2 algorithm and max threads and tell me your power usage. Now try using your graphics cards (do BF3 on High during Multiplayer)--startup doesn't max out power usage (however, the "On" button creates a power spike). The PSU is most efficient between 20%-80% loading. So a 1200W unit wouldn't just be out of your budget, but be less efficient than a smaller unit. It would actually draw more power from the socket idling than a 500W unit (of the same 80 plus rating).

The statement that a more efficient PSU will pay for itself quickly is also suspect. By my math (lots of assumptions) it'll take 4 years or so.
December 21, 2011 10:50:16 AM

right now that XFX 850 seems to be the most favorable but I am still working on scraping up more $ to consider the AX850


The add it up section is meant to be conservative so that a user would not go but an underpowered PSU which would likely fail prematurely


I simply assumed all wires are saturated with load.

Better safe than sorry. I would love to see factories stop manufacturing those crap power supplies like the one I found and move to a higher capacity 12V design which is all that matters now.
December 21, 2011 11:21:44 PM

veganfanatic said:
The add it up section is meant to be conservative so that a user would not go but an underpowered PSU which would likely fail prematurely

I simply assumed all wires are saturated with load.
Fair enough...but a note on brands and other considerations like ripple and how much of total wattage should come from +12V rails may be more relevant. That section could lead one to think a TX650 is somehow lying on it's quoted power, which simply isn't true.

Btw, I personally think the AX series is completely unnecessary overkill for most users. That's why I have a TX850.
December 22, 2011 9:13:01 AM

Things like ripple etc are hard for me to test as I lack the expensive equipment to test it. My main focus, does the rig run or not.
December 22, 2011 8:47:37 PM

I can't test that stuff (well, I can see it on a Kill-a-Watt, but I can't save it to a graph), but that's why I always look for reviews on Hardwaresecrets.com or jonnyguru.com--they have very thorough testing methodologies. And the extra features really do make the difference of reliability between a so-so PSU and a great one.

Modular cables are a nice bell & whistle, but they tell you nothing about reliability or safety. OCP is important to protect equipment and prevent fires if something goes wrong and not all cheaper PSUs have it. Product warranties matter because when a PSU dies, it can take parts with it. 7-year warranties say a lot about reliability. And, obviously, reliability is integral to "does the rig run or not?"

But don't forget we're not just talking about whether or not a PSU fails. We're talking about the quality of output power throughout the lifetime of all the products it powers. Fluctuating power slowly damages components and reduces their lifetime--that's why ripple matters.

I'm not trying to say your webpage is useless. What I am saying is that your page neglects the elephant in the room: Brand actually makes a huge difference when it comes to PSUs.

Brand (& more so, Quality) is more important than modular cables and usually more important than total power capacity since many system builders are like my friend who got a 1000W Kingwin because he thought he might SLI his 8800GTS, which would've been fine with a 600W unit. At the end of the day, if you get an Antec, Seasonic, or Corsair, the PSU will have all the connectors you go through the trouble of explaining (which is very helpful--thank you for explaining it). But just because you get a Cooler Master with all the connections, it doesn't mean it's as likely to turn your machine on one random day two years from now.
December 22, 2011 9:39:41 PM

I have looked at the brands and I have noted that most now have a standard basket of features. This is due to the commodity voltage controlled oscillators used in switching PSUs,

What is needed is better standards, so that the crap can be weeded out of the market.
December 26, 2011 7:17:46 PM

seems that several of the PSU models I had on this page have disappeared

Guess there are problems with etailers too
!