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Multiple high efficiency Pico power supplies?

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May 24, 2012 6:42:05 PM

Wondering if anyone has tried multiple Pico power supplies? They are 95% efficient but their limit is about 200 watts. I thought I might use one for the motherboard and one for the video card and everything else. That way when my computer is on standby I can cut the power to one of the Pico's (not the mb one) to really draw minimum power. Any problems with this?

Or are standard type power supplies getting better in efficiency? 95% is pretty hard to beat but if I could get close it would be tempting to simply things with one PS.
a b U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
May 24, 2012 7:29:33 PM

Cutting the power to components is a bad idea. When you cut their power, any volatile memory is cleared. If the computer is maintaining standby power to prevent this, you're going to have issues when powering back up.

And yes, there are PSUs with >90% efficiency. They're pricey, but they're out there.

80 Plus Gold gets you a minimum of 87% efficiency, with 90% or better at 50% load.

80 Plus Platinum gets you a minimum of 90% efficiency, with 92% or better at 50% load.

Some power supplies improve on this further. The SeaSonic X650 Gold delivers a minimum of 92% efficiency according to testing, despite only being certified as Gold.
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a b ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
May 24, 2012 7:39:56 PM

also modern card HD7XXX for instance use very little when idling.
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a c 76 ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
a c 137 V Motherboard
May 24, 2012 7:45:27 PM

Honestly, if you're truly worried about efficiency enough to go through the trouble of a setup like, just turn the system off instead of putting it to sleep.

Regardless, power consumption while the system is sleeping is next to nothing, anyway. No real need to worry about PSU efficiency there.
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a b U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
May 24, 2012 7:49:59 PM

DJDeCiBeL said:
Honestly, if you're truly worried about efficiency enough to go through the trouble of a setup like, just turn the system off instead of putting it to sleep.

Regardless, power consumption while the system is sleeping is next to nothing, anyway. No real need to worry about PSU efficiency there.

+1

Also, using several power supplies may actually use more power, even if you flip the switch, due to ghost power draw. We're talking about pennies a day here, though. Where I live, a kilowatt hour is $0.097. If I idle a PC for a year in sleep mode while it's drawing 10W, then it costs me a whopping $8.50.

It's seriously not enough to bother with. The amount of money you'd spend trying to fix the "problem" is much greater than it would have cost you if you just ignored it.
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a b ) Power supply
a c 204 U Graphics card
a c 476 V Motherboard
May 24, 2012 7:51:00 PM

dont forget 200w is voltage times amps. 200/12v is 16.6 amps. a lot of power supply pull more that that. and that number may not hold up as 100 percent load..still have the 3.3 and 5v rails. i would be looking at forums that have load tested the power supply and that they pass with low ripple. a lot of the cheap no name ps blow up or pop when loaded.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWt3St_MhSY&feature=rela...
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May 24, 2012 8:58:16 PM

To clarify, I wasn't going to cut power to the motherboard. Just the additional power that goes to the video card, optical drive, hard drives and fans. Does anybody know if there's any power that goes to the hard drives when the computer is on standby? I thought there wasn't any. I could just take a voltmeter and measure the molex outputs when its on standby next time I guess.
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May 24, 2012 9:01:50 PM

I hadn't realized that 2 power supplies would draw more than one. I thought 2 would just draw what is needed. That brings up an interesting point.

I'm looking to moving this system into a mobile application so that's why I'm always looking at power consumption. I realize that for a home user its insignificant. But when you run on solar panels, everything adds up very fast.
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a c 76 ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
a c 137 V Motherboard
May 24, 2012 9:02:58 PM

tom2u said:
To clarify, I wasn't going to cut power to the motherboard. Just the additional power that goes to the video card, optical drive, hard drives and fans. Does anybody know if there's any power that goes to the hard drives when the computer is on standby? I thought there wasn't any. I could just take a voltmeter and measure the molex outputs when its on standby next time I guess.


There's not really any power draw from those components in sleep mode, but that's exactly why you don't need to worry about doing what you're wanting to do.

A single 80 Plus Gold PSU will be just fine.

Although, for the absolute maximum efficiency, just go for a 80 Plus Platinum unit. You won't do any better than that with the setup you're proposing.
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May 24, 2012 10:49:38 PM

Any recommendations for a lower cost, lower power power supply that is very efficient? I'll be using it with an 1155 board, 4 or 8gb's of 1600mhz ram, and a lower end i3 or i5 CPU. And a lower end radeon 5450 1gb PCI-E video card. No gaming done here.
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a b U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
May 24, 2012 10:53:32 PM

Could you clarify what you mean by lower cost? $25? $50? $100?
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May 25, 2012 12:20:35 AM

Guess around $50-70. Didn't know they got down to $25.
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a b U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
May 25, 2012 1:30:24 AM

Good ones don't, but a lot of people have unrealistic expectations of power supply cost.

This PSU is on sale for $70, and will easily power a non-gaming PC. It's also 80 Plus Gold certified. That's about as cheap as you're going to find an 80 Plus Gold unit.
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a b ) Power supply
a c 173 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
May 25, 2012 2:24:00 AM

Cut out the 5450 and subsist on the igp and then go for a i3 2120T as it is only 35w full load stock. A High quality 200w unit or 250w will work just fine. Hard drives don't use that much power these days but you can set in bios to power down drives after a certain amount of time when not active. A SSD for boot and another but cheaper SSD for pagefile will keep the system very lean on power while giving you some decent performance without compromising to much on life. Go for 8gb ram as anything less for modern use isn't going to cut the mustard in the years to come let alone now days when firefox sucks up 2gb by it's self.

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May 25, 2012 7:35:54 PM

I'm going to be getting a 1080p camcorder. Will an integrated graphics processor packaged with most modern motherboards be OK for that?

If I can live without the 5450 do think that will save much power?
I've been putting the paging file on my old Sata drive. Is that better than leaving it on the SSD?

I'm now using a low end SSD for my OS and its much faster in some regards. Of course I've reloaded the OS so all my previous problems have sailed into the sunset.
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