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Do I need to upgrade my PSU?

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June 6, 2012 1:25:34 PM

Hello fellow tom's forumers,
Here's my question : I've got an Antec Earthwatts 500W 80+ bronze PSU, a Gigabyte GTX 670 (+182 on core clock and +350 on the memory clock), an AMD Phenom II *4 965 BE @ 3,8 GHz with a Cooler Master Hyper 412S, a 500GB WD Caviar Blue and 3 case fans (the ones included with the Corsair Carbide 400R). I'm now planning on buying a Samsung 830 128 GB SSD, a z77 motherboard and an i5 2500K (I want to OC it to 4 GHz or more), and maybe one or two additional case fans if I need them.
Do you think I need to buy a PSU with a higher wattage (I won't have much money left after buying these components)?
Thanks for your help :) 

More about : upgrade psu

a c 139 ) Power supply
June 6, 2012 1:48:58 PM

Hello nico53laval;

I think'd you'd be OK with that plan. The i5-2500K & MB will use less power than the X4 965+MB.

What's the reason for the upgrade? It's not a huge jump up in performance to really be worth it, IMO.
June 6, 2012 1:59:08 PM

WR2 said:
Hello nico53laval;

I think'd you'd be OK with that plan. The i5-2500K & MB will use less power than the X4 965+MB.

What's the reason for the upgrade? It's not a huge jump up in performance to really be worth it, IMO.


Don't you think it will improve my Skyrim/BF3 and other CPU-heavy games performance (I think my GTX 670 might be bottlenecked by my CPU in Skyrim for example)? Do you think the SSD is a worthy upgrade, then?
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a c 139 ) Power supply
June 6, 2012 2:08:09 PM

I really like the idea of the SSD upgrade. But it won't actually improve your gaming performance.

A ~$375 will get you some better performance. Is it worth $375?
(X4 @ 4.0 missing on the chart)


BF3 probably not quite as much improvement.



a c 139 ) Power supply
June 6, 2012 2:24:20 PM

A bit more performance.

Have you tried reducing graphics settings a bit till you get smooth, fluid gameplay in the most intense gameplay?
Those game still look pretty awesome on high graphics settings.
June 6, 2012 2:36:31 PM

I mean : is the PSU enough if I OC the 2500K to 4,5?
a c 139 ) Power supply
June 6, 2012 2:37:56 PM

Yes it is.
a c 158 ) Power supply
June 6, 2012 2:39:10 PM

The 965 BE is a 125W part and the 2500K is a 95W part. Did you bump up Vcore to hit 4Ghz on the 965 BE; I would think no? You'll probably have to bump it to ~1.3V get the 2500K to 4.5. You might end up with a slightly higher power consumption with the 2500K at 4.5; but the difference won't be massive. If your system runs stable with the 965BE, then it should be able to handle the 2500K at 4-4.5Ghz. Out of curiosity, have you measured your PC's power draw from the wall using a Kill-a-Watt meter (Just the PC...not the monitor, speakers, etc)? If so, then what are you drawing?
June 6, 2012 2:44:57 PM

Rugger said:
The 965 BE is a 125W part and the 2500K is a 95W part. Did you bump up Vcore to hit 4Ghz on the 965 BE; I would think no? You'll probably have to bump it to ~1.3V get the 2500K to 4.5. You might end up with a slightly higher power consumption with the 2500K at 4.5; but the difference won't be massive. If your system runs stable with the 965BE, then it should be able to handle the 2500K at 4-4.5Ghz. Out of curiosity, have you measured your PC's power draw from the wall using a Kill-a-Watt meter (Just the PC...not the monitor, speakers, etc)? If so, then what are you drawing?


I can't OC over 3,8 GHz @ 1,45V or my PC crashes on Prime 95? Do you think it's because of the motherboard or....?
a c 158 ) Power supply
June 6, 2012 2:53:30 PM

Could be the MB, the CPU, the memory...we've got some great CPU OC guys in that section of the boards. I'd go get some of their advice before dropping $375 on a new CPU/MB....I personally don't think it's a good price/performance upgrade.
a c 139 ) Power supply
June 6, 2012 2:53:52 PM

What motherboard are you using?
June 6, 2012 3:01:22 PM

WR2 said:
What motherboard are you using?

A Gigabyte MA770T-UD3P
June 6, 2012 5:19:26 PM

What would be a more worthy upgrade then? (in your opinion)
a c 158 ) Power supply
June 6, 2012 5:42:31 PM

What resolution are you gaming at? Game settings? What games are experiencing bad performance that you want to improve? What type of bad performance (low FPS, low video quality settings required for better FPS, etc)?
June 6, 2012 6:16:44 PM

1680*1050 I play every game with the highest settings. (BF3, Batman AC, Anno, Skyrim with 2K textures and loads of graphics mods but I chose a max resolution of 2048*2048 for the texture mods since I'm not sure 2 gigs of VRAM are enough for 4096*4096) I'm not sure whether Skyrim is lagging or not (I've got a feeling but I'm not sure) but I want to improve my Anno (1404/2070) and Skyrim performance (to be able to set shadows to ultra for example). Also, loading times for a modded Skyrim or for Anno are very long that's why I was thinking of installing them on the SSD. Another issue is that with the current Kepler drivers, some people including me experience huge tearing and stutter with VSync on in some games (Batman AC and Anno for me) and since I have a 60 Hz monitor VSync is needed for a really fluent experience so IDK if my Skyrim and Anno issues are due to that problem or to my CPU (although I think those 2 games are very CPU-intensive).
June 6, 2012 6:34:38 PM

WR2 said:
I really like the idea of the SSD upgrade. But it won't actually improve your gaming performance.

A ~$375 will get you some better performance. Is it worth $375?
(X4 @ 4.0 missing on the chart)
http://media.bestofmicro.com/7/F/315195/original/CPU%20Clock.png

BF3 probably not quite as much improvement.


My 2 cents....


I don't think this benchmark is a really good example of what the Sandy Bridge i5 can do vs the Phenom 2 965 BE.

Even still the i5 performs about 10% or more better then the Phenom.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/288?vs=102

That's a stock i5 vs a stock 965BE. It should be noted that the i5 2500k can easily go past 4.5ghz especially with a cooler master hyper 212 plus. Add on another 1.2ghz and I really think there is a significant different is processing power.

In your case however, even though I think the i5 is that much more powerful then the 965, there wouldn't be much of a reason to upgrade. You have a very powerful GPU and a decently powerful quad core chip. The SSD would reduce loading times and things like that but not improve frame rates much if at all.

As far as your original question goes. No, I don't think your system will draw enough power to need more then what you have.

Invest the $20 and buy a Kill-A-Watt meter to measure how much power your system draws under a heavy load. I think you'll find that even full blast your system is drawing about 400 W of power.
a c 158 ) Power supply
June 6, 2012 6:45:39 PM

Skyrim is definitely CPU intensive even without a ton of mods; mods crush load times and overlapping/redundant mods can really crush performance. I highly recommend doing a culling of your mods...only keep the ones that you really want and aren't redundant. I'm running an i3 2120, 8GB of RAM, and a 1GB HD6950 on Ultra settings with a moderate amount of mods installed and have no issues with gameplay. You should be outperforming me. I highly recommend the SSD...especially with Skyrim mods. As far as the stuttering with Vsync, I'd seriously be thinking drivers...go to the nVidia support forums and do some searching for issues with your specific card/game. If nothing comes up then put in a ticket for tech support; there may be known issues that you simply aren't aware of at this point.

June 6, 2012 8:55:49 PM

Rugger said:
Skyrim is definitely CPU intensive even without a ton of mods; mods crush load times and overlapping/redundant mods can really crush performance. I highly recommend doing a culling of your mods...only keep the ones that you really want and aren't redundant. I'm running an i3 2120, 8GB of RAM, and a 1GB HD6950 on Ultra settings with a moderate amount of mods installed and have no issues with gameplay. You should be outperforming me. I highly recommend the SSD...especially with Skyrim mods. As far as the stuttering with Vsync, I'd seriously be thinking drivers...go to the nVidia support forums and do some searching for issues with your specific card/game. If nothing comes up then put in a ticket for tech support; there may be known issues that you simply aren't aware of at this point.

I followed the STEP guide (for a perfect Skyrim) and I know for sure my mods aren't redundant. ATM, I don't think I experience lag in Skyrim but I still would like to make Skyrim even more beautiful. What do you think? Will coming games be more CPU-intensive? If not, IDK if it's worth investing into a new CPU+board only for Skyrim. Do you think it would improve performance in BF3/The Witcher 2 or other games also?
If not, what do you think is more worth upgrading for my PC and the games I play? -an SSD (that's not a huge cost so I'll probably go for it) -a new monitor (I've got a 1680*1050 60 Hz LCD display, 3D sure would be nice but is it worth it and would my GPU be powerful enough?) -8 gigs of RAM (I have 4GB of kingston Value RAM; IDK if more RAM would impact my Skyrim performance with texture mods) -better cooling (my PC is quite well cooled but Summer is coming ^^) -a bigger HDD (I'm kind of short on space right now) -something else (like sparing my money to get a Galaxy Note 2 when it comes out in replacement of my Note)
!