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PSU Advice on First Build

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July 12, 2012 4:44:52 AM

Ok, so I'm trying to finalize all my components for my first build. I'm doing a Micro ATX build. I plan on using an old 9600 GT for a video card in the interim and upgrade to something around a 550Ti/560SE/HD 6850 range in a month or two. I just want to put my current cash into building a solid system around the $600 range. However, I'm concerned about the Amps required on both the 9600 GT as well as my potential upgraded card in the future. I want to be future-proofed somewhat too and not have to upgrade PSUs two months down the road. Any help would be appreciated.

Here's the planned build so far:

Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 mATX
CPU: Core i5 3570 (no K, not really interested in OC, maybe overkill but $199 right now)
MB: ASRock H77M LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX
Memory: 8 GB (2 x 4GB) Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600
HD: Crucial M4 128 GB SSD
Optical: Asus 24x DVD-RW

So, pretty basic build but new tech. I plan on using a couple 500GB external drives for seldom-used file storage and use the SSD for OS and main programs. I do use it for gaming but I'm not concerned with being able to max anything. I'm coming from a 5 year old iMac with 2.4 GHz C2D and HD 2600 Pro graphics running WinXP on Boot Camp. Medium or medium/high settings will be an upgrade! However, here's where my dilemma begins.

PS: Antec VP-450 450W. It's highly reviewed and a great price. My other options I'm considering are the Seasonic M12II 520W and the OCZ ModXStream 600W. I'm not concerned about overall watts with the 9600 GT at all but rather just with the amps required. This could be even more of an issue with a 550Ti/6850 range card but I'm not a power supply expert, so I need some advice here. My setup will be pretty spartan. 1 optical, 1 SSD, 2 sticks of RAM, 3 fans, 1 video card. The power supply is really the last thing I'm trying to nail down. Thanks for the help!

Note: I also already have a copy of Windows 7 waiting for it, so I didn't include that in the $600 price range.

More about : psu advice build

a c 259 ) Power supply
July 12, 2012 5:00:41 AM

A good ~450w power supply is all you need for any of those cards.

This is made by Seasonic and modular for $59 after rebate and is a great unit.

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

You pretty much can't go wrong with Corsair, Seasonic, PC Power and Cooling, XFX, Silverstone, Enermax, OCZ and Antec.
July 12, 2012 5:05:33 AM

anort3 said:
A good ~450w power supply is all you need for any of those cards.

This is made by Seasonic and modular for $59 after rebate and is a great unit.

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

You pretty much can't go wrong with Corsair, Seasonic, PC Power and Cooling, XFX, Silverstone, Enermax, OCZ and Antec.


I did figure the wattage would be fine. I was just concerned with the amps and the fact that the Antec VP-450 is a true dual virtual rail and advertised at 18A per rail. I know some video cards mention the need for more amps than that but that's for the whole system, correct?
Related resources
July 12, 2012 5:13:41 AM

anort3 said:
Correct. Here is a handy little guide of the manufacturers recommended wattage by card.

http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page362.htm

That guide assumes a "generic" power supply though. The brands I listed are all high quality.


Awesome. I appreciate the input and the link. That's a handy resource for when I go to upgrade my card in a couple months. I'm actually finalizing everything right now and going to buy all my components tonight or in the morning. Thanks for the help.
a c 259 ) Power supply
July 12, 2012 5:14:30 AM

Actually the Antec VP-450 supplies 30 amps on the 12v rail total. In most cases you don't add the rails. I trust this guide.

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

As you can see there is a VP-450 and a VP-450P and both have 360w 12v rails. Since amps x volts = watts you just divide 360 by 12 and get 30 amps.
a c 259 ) Power supply
July 12, 2012 5:17:32 AM

That database is the best on the internet. If you ever need to know anything about power supplies it has almost every brand along with it's rated power and real manufacturer and links to all the real review sites.

Here is the link to the main database.

http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page541.htm
July 12, 2012 5:47:14 AM

I'm new to this also but then when I built my rig I chose to have a much better PSU that could support any future upgrade on GPU. If you can then you should probably invest in a much better PSU because you may also want to upgrade your components and you will be needing a much powerful PSU.
a c 259 ) Power supply
July 12, 2012 6:08:05 AM

keithyuri said:
I'm new to this also but then when I built my rig I chose to have a much better PSU that could support any future upgrade on GPU. If you can then you should probably invest in a much better PSU because you may also want to upgrade your components and you will be needing a much powerful PSU.



Any single GPU setup even with a GTX 680 or HD 7970 only needs a 550w power supply.
July 12, 2012 7:39:46 AM

anort3 said:
Any single GPU setup even with a GTX 680 or HD 7970 only needs a 550w power supply.




Yes Sir it can but what I meant was if he plans on future upgrade such as SLI or CrossfireX. :) 
July 13, 2012 9:38:22 PM

anort3 said:
Any single GPU setup even with a GTX 680 or HD 7970 only needs a 550w power supply.


Hey, out of curiosity, do you think the 450W PSU would run a 560 SE? The chart shows needing 520W for a regular 560 but I know the SE is a bit of a downgraded version of it. Thanks! By the way, the HD 6850 looks to be the best value that can run on 450W, at least according to PassMark Video Card Benchmarks. Benching at around 2700 compared to just over 2000 for the 560 SE and just under 1900 for the 550Ti. Any experience with the 6850?
a c 259 ) Power supply
July 13, 2012 10:55:30 PM

The HD 6850 is very close to my GTX 460 1GB in performance but uses less power. A GTX 560 ( non Ti ) is a rebadged highly overclocked GTX 460 1GB. An HD 6850 is fine with a good 450w PSU.
July 13, 2012 11:21:20 PM

anort3 said:
The HD 6850 is very close to my GTX 460 1GB in performance but uses less power. A GTX 560 ( non Ti ) is a rebadged highly overclocked GTX 460 1GB. An HD 6850 is fine with a good 450w PSU.


Thanks once again. I appreciate the help and quick responses. You're awesome! I'm a quick study and I've learned a lot just researching through hundreds of components to make my selections. Building it all up Tuesday night after everything arrives. The 6850 looks like a solid option, especially at its price point. I take it you prefer the GTX line to the HD though?
a c 259 ) Power supply
July 14, 2012 12:08:41 AM

I bought my card the week it was released. It was the best "bang for your buck" at the time. The HD 6850/6870 were released a few months later. I usually go with who ever has the best card for the price when I buy.

I have also overclocked the card to 840-1680-2000 from 675-1350-1800 stock and have run these clocks since day 1. That made my card a GTX 560 before the GTX 560 was released. A stock GTX 560 is 820-1640-2000.

Have you read Tom's Best Graphics for the Money article?

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

It also includes a hierarchy chart.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...
July 14, 2012 12:42:21 AM

anort3 said:
I bought my card the week it was released. It was the best "bang for your buck" at the time. The HD 6850/6870 were released a few months later. I usually go with who ever has the best card for the price when I buy.

I have also overclocked the card to 840-1680-2000 from 675-1350-1800 stock and have run these clocks since day 1. That made my card a GTX 560 before the GTX 560 was released. A stock GTX 560 is 820-1640-2000.

Have you read Tom's Best Graphics for the Money article?

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

It also includes a hierarchy chart.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...


Yeah, I've checked out the hierarchy chart a couple times during this process. As of now, I'm thinking I may choose the 6850 and then just use the Overdrive thing in the Catalyst software to up it to like 850/1150 instead of 775/1000 like this guy did here: http://www.overclock.net/t/917048/gigabyte-hd-6850-over... ... Would that be a decent setup? I don't want to push it too hard and make it run really hot or draw a lot more wattage but a little bump might be nice. I should have a decent airflow setup in my mATX case, so hopefully it will stay cool enough.
a c 259 ) Power supply
July 14, 2012 12:52:14 AM

A 6850 will be a pretty good card for 1920 x 1080. I can max most every game I play with my 460. Fallout 3 + NV, Dragon Age 1 + 2, Portal 1 + 2, Bioshock 1 + 2, Far Cry 1 + 2, Skyrim with the HD texture pack, STALKER SOC, Deus Ex, and many others.

I am just now to the point I am wanting to upgrade. I have had this 460 for right at 2 years and that's generally my upgrade point for a GPU. I am going to wait another few months and see how the GTX 660 is and get a new card around September or October.
July 14, 2012 12:53:03 AM

anort3 said:
I bought my card the week it was released. It was the best "bang for your buck" at the time. The HD 6850/6870 were released a few months later. I usually go with who ever has the best card for the price when I buy.

I have also overclocked the card to 840-1680-2000 from 675-1350-1800 stock and have run these clocks since day 1. That made my card a GTX 560 before the GTX 560 was released. A stock GTX 560 is 820-1640-2000.

Have you read Tom's Best Graphics for the Money article?

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

It also includes a hierarchy chart.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...


Also, any idea how much wattage increase that little bump would create? I know there's no voltage increase but I'm a rookie on the whole power supply correlation with clock speeds and things.
July 14, 2012 12:55:35 AM

anort3 said:
A 6850 will be a pretty good card for 1920 x 1080. I can max most every game I play with my 460. Fallout 3 + NV, Dragon Age 1 + 2, Portal 1 + 2, Bioshock 1 + 2, Far Cry 1 + 2, Skyrim with the HD texture pack, STALKER SOC, Deus Ex, and many others.

I am just now to the point I am wanting to upgrade. I have had this 460 for right at 2 years and that's generally my upgrade point for a GPU. I am going to wait another few months and see how the GTX 660 is and get a new card around September or October.


I also promise that was my last question. Haha. You've been really helpful though and I'm learning now thanks to you!
a c 259 ) Power supply
July 14, 2012 1:28:45 AM

MR315 said:
Also, any idea how much wattage increase that little bump would create? I know there's no voltage increase but I'm a rookie on the whole power supply correlation with clock speeds and things.



It would be pretty small. Nothing to worry about as far as your power supply is concerned.
!