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Is 500W enough to power this?

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July 31, 2012 1:49:42 PM

Hello, I have designed a PC for DAW use. Below are my specs, I have chosen a 500W FSP Aurum Xilenser PSU to power this. I believe the maximum power output would be 490 odd watts (plus 20%).
Am I likely to come across any problems with this do you think? I really have no knowledge on power supplies. I really wanted the fanless PSU to help with keeping sound to a minimum but I could replace it with either a Corsair tx650 or a Corsair hx750-80. Any thoughts please?

Case FRACTAL DEFINE R3 - BLACK PEARL CASE

Processor (CPU)
Intel® Core™i7 Six Core Processor i7-3930K (3.2GHz) 12MB Cache

Motherboard
ASUS® SABERTOOTH X79: SOCKET 2011, R.O.G

Memory (RAM)
32GB KINGSTON HYPERX GENESIS QUAD-DDR3 1600MHz X.M.P(8 x 4GB KIT)

Graphics Card
Change to: 1GB AMD RADEON™ HD6770 - DVI,HDMI,VGA - DX® 11

Memory - 1st Hard Disk
180GB INTEL® 520 SERIES SSD, SATA 6 Gb/s (upto 550MB/sR | 520MB/sW)
2nd Hard Disk

120GB INTEL® 520 SERIES SSD, SATA 6 Gb/s (upto 550MB/sR | 520MB/sW)
3rd Hard Disk

1TB WD CAVIAR BLACK WD1002FAEX, SATA 6 Gb/s, 64MB CACHE (7200rpm)

1st DVD/BLU-RAY Drive 24x DUAL LAYER DVD WRITER ±R/±RW/RAM

Memory Card Reader INTERNAL 52 IN 1 CARD READER (XD, MS, CF, SD, etc) + 1 x USB 2.0 PORT

Power Supply 500W FSP AURUM XILENSER - 100% Fanless SILENT 80+ GOLD PSU

Processor Cooling INTEL CERTIFIED LIQUID CPU COOLER FOR SOCKET LG2011

Operating System Genuine Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit w/SP1 - inc DVD & Licence

More about : 500w power

July 31, 2012 2:20:07 PM

Please excuse my igonorance on this question, if a PSU has 4 PCIe connectors (like the one I have ordered) what does this mean? That it can only power 4 PCIe outputs?
a b ) Power supply
July 31, 2012 2:35:31 PM

Graphics cards will either use one, or two of those PCIe connectors each in the form of either a 6 or 8 pin. The 6670 will only use one 6 pin. 500w will power that system, however a 7770 is probably worth the extra $10, I use one and it's fantastic.
Related resources
July 31, 2012 2:39:55 PM

Thanks, so if there is 3 remaining PCIe connectors on the PSU after the Graphics card does that mean only 3 PCIe inputs on the motherboard can be powered at one time? As there is 5 PCIe inputs on the Sabertooth and 1 PCI, is this related?
July 31, 2012 3:16:04 PM

Or am i right in thinking that the 4 PCIe connectors will power the GPU seperatly from the motherboard leaving all the PCIe inputs free on the Sabertooth?
July 31, 2012 3:26:30 PM

Devices that interface with the motherboard through the PCIe lanes normally only require the power provided to them through the motherboard. This is not the case with graphics cards. They use so much juice that they require a direct connection to the Power supply (through the 6 or 8 pin PCIe connector) to run. So to answer your question, yes, the PSU is directly powering the GPU, but the GPU will still populate one of the PCIe lanes so it can communicate with the motherboard.



As an aside, isnt it pointless to have 4 PCIe connectors on a 500W PSU? I mean the only way you would use more than 2 PCIe connectors is if you were doing crossfire/SLi and you need more than 500W to power that kind of setup.
a b ) Power supply
July 31, 2012 3:27:06 PM

jackURbody said:
Please excuse my igonorance on this question, if a PSU has 4 PCIe connectors (like the one I have ordered) what does this mean? That it can only power 4 PCIe outputs?


PCI-E outputs??

4 PCI-E connectors means it can power 4 graphics cards that each use 1 PCI-E connector OR it can power 2 graphics cards that use 2 PCI-E connectors. They are for graphics cards, nothing else.
July 31, 2012 3:29:26 PM

dalmvern said:
Devices that interface with the motherboard through the PCIe lanes normally only require the power provided to them through the motherboard. This is not the case with graphics cards. They use so much juice that they require a direct connection to the Power supply (through the 6 or 8 pin PCIe connector) to run. So to answer your question, yes, the PSU is directly powering the GPU, but the GPU will still populate one of the PCIe lanes so it can communicate with the motherboard.



As an aside, isnt it pointless to have 4 PCIe connectors on a 500W PSU? I mean the only way you would use more than 2 PCIe connectors is if you were doing crossfire/SLi and you need more than 500W to power that kind of setup.



ahh ok thanks, I understand now. i think! haha cheers.
July 31, 2012 3:35:06 PM

Try to hit 80% usage of your power supply for the maximum efficiency which is a general idea amongst most power supplies. Id go with a 650 if you plan to only stay with one card, 750 if you plan on using a 2nd card down the road. Honestly most PSU's i have as of late, i don't hear them at all, i always hear the case fans or GPU's fans if they are ramping up but even then they are pretty quiet compared to most. As for the 4 pci' thats more for SLI, if you honestly say u needed 5 connections say for a freak card, you can get 2 molex to one pci-e power connector. Just as long as your PSU transformer is rated for the juice and is a good brand you will be alright, never skimp on a PSU. Hope that helps!
July 31, 2012 3:37:17 PM

I wouldn't use that PSU, never even heard of the brand. Use a Corsair or Seasonic brand instead, a bad PSU can do a lot of damage...

edit: Ignore this, after doing a little more research, I see that I jumped to conclusions. It's not a bad PSU (though I've never heard of the brand).
a b ) Power supply
July 31, 2012 3:38:08 PM

jackURbody said:
Hello, I have designed a PC for DAW use. Below are my specs, I have chosen a 500W FSP Aurum Xilenser PSU to power this. I believe the maximum power output would be 490 odd watts (plus 20%).
Am I likely to come across any problems with this do you think? I really have no knowledge on power supplies. I really wanted the fanless PSU to help with keeping sound to a minimum but I could replace it with either a Corsair tx650 or a Corsair hx750-80. Any thoughts please?

Case FRACTAL DEFINE R3 - BLACK PEARL CASE

Processor (CPU)
Intel® Core™i7 Six Core Processor i7-3930K (3.2GHz) 12MB Cache

Motherboard
ASUS® SABERTOOTH X79: SOCKET 2011, R.O.G

Memory (RAM)
32GB KINGSTON HYPERX GENESIS QUAD-DDR3 1600MHz X.M.P(8 x 4GB KIT)

Graphics Card
Change to: 1GB AMD RADEON™ HD6770 - DVI,HDMI,VGA - DX® 11

Memory - 1st Hard Disk
180GB INTEL® 520 SERIES SSD, SATA 6 Gb/s (upto 550MB/sR | 520MB/sW)
2nd Hard Disk

120GB INTEL® 520 SERIES SSD, SATA 6 Gb/s (upto 550MB/sR | 520MB/sW)
3rd Hard Disk

1TB WD CAVIAR BLACK WD1002FAEX, SATA 6 Gb/s, 64MB CACHE (7200rpm)

1st DVD/BLU-RAY Drive 24x DUAL LAYER DVD WRITER ±R/±RW/RAM

Memory Card Reader INTERNAL 52 IN 1 CARD READER (XD, MS, CF, SD, etc) + 1 x USB 2.0 PORT

Power Supply 500W FSP AURUM XILENSER - 100% Fanless SILENT 80+ GOLD PSU

Processor Cooling INTEL CERTIFIED LIQUID CPU COOLER FOR SOCKET LG2011

Operating System Genuine Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit w/SP1 - inc DVD & Licence




Running a PSU at or near capacity is like driving your car around in first gear. It will work fine for a while but you're wearing it out prematurely. Stress is very bad for electrical gear. For a few dollars more you can buy a large quality PSU. Think of it as a cheap insurance policy.
a b ) Power supply
July 31, 2012 3:50:24 PM

geekapproved said:
They are for graphics cards, nothing else.

PCIe power cables can be used for any device that requires large amounts of 12V power, not just GPUs. GPUs just happen to be the only thing that commonly uses them in a typical PC. Someone might use PCIe connectors to power a TEC, vapor cooling compressor, cigarette lighter mod, heap of CCFL case lights or fans, etc. too.
July 31, 2012 4:27:25 PM

ram1009 said:
Running a PSU at or near capacity is like driving your car around in first gear. It will work fine for a while but you're wearing it out prematurely. Stress is very bad for electrical gear. For a few dollars more you can buy a large quality PSU. Think of it as a cheap insurance policy.


There are two seperate design brackets for PSUs. Higher quality units are built such that they can output their rated power all day every day for years (and have the ability to output more than their rating for short bursts). Cheap units will struggle to reach their output rating, and explode after they've been pushed too hard for too long.

After doing a little added research, I see that the unit is actually a good quality unit (didn't recognize the brand so I assumed the worst) http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/FSP/AURUM_Xilenser_5... the biggest issue I see is the lack of over-temperature protection, which could be a very real threat in a passively cooled PSU.

However, keep in mind that with silent PSUs, you are going to have to be careful that it is properly cooled by your case's airflow configuration. They can run without a fan, but depending on the design, how much load it's under, ambient temperature, and airflow it may not be capable of outputting near it's rating for long. That said, I wouldn't expect your build to be too demanding on the PSU, the processor may consume up to 125W or so, I would expect your GPU to be under 150W or so under load.

As long as you run in a cool environment, and your case has good airflow that runs through the PSU, you should be fine.


Here is a good review from tom's on some other fanless options, along with similar cautionary notes.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supply-silent...

a b ) Power supply
July 31, 2012 5:40:41 PM

djscribbles said:
There are two seperate design brackets for PSUs. Higher quality units are built such that they can output their rated power all day every day for years (and have the ability to output more than their rating for short bursts). Cheap units will struggle to reach their output rating, and explode after they've been pushed too hard for too long.

After doing a little added research, I see that the unit is actually a good quality unit (didn't recognize the brand so I assumed the worst) http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/FSP/AURUM_Xilenser_5... the biggest issue I see is the lack of over-temperature protection, which could be a very real threat in a passively cooled PSU.

However, keep in mind that with silent PSUs, you are going to have to be careful that it is properly cooled by your case's airflow configuration. They can run without a fan, but depending on the design, how much load it's under, ambient temperature, and airflow it may not be capable of outputting near it's rating for long. That said, I wouldn't expect your build to be too demanding on the PSU, the processor may consume up to 125W or so, I would expect your GPU to be under 150W or so under load.

As long as you run in a cool environment, and your case has good airflow that runs through the PSU, you should be fine.


Here is a good review from tom's on some other fanless options, along with similar cautionary notes.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supply-silent...



Your analyticals are great for those wo understand them or even want to. Most people don't fit either catagory unfortunately. That's why I always suggest spending a little more and not having to worry about the capacity of a PSU. BTW, no power supply of any description can run at 100% for as long as it can run at 50%.
a b ) Power supply
July 31, 2012 5:52:36 PM

ram1009 said:
BTW, no power supply of any description can run at 100% for as long as it can run at 50%.

Maybe not but a quality PSU will be able to run for weeks at 100% load and 55C ambient temperature while crappy units have a tendency to spontaneously self-destruct (or at least shut down) before hitting 80% load even at an ideal 25C ambient temperature.

There is little doubt about which category is most trustworthy.
July 31, 2012 6:43:46 PM

thanks for the advice guys, in the end i have amended my order to a Corsair 750w hx750-80. iv heard its reasonably silent and only cost an extra 5 pounds. maybe a bit overkill for the moment but i may upgrade the GPU or add some DSPs in the future. Thanks.
a b ) Power supply
July 31, 2012 7:29:04 PM

InvalidError said:
Maybe not but a quality PSU will be able to run for weeks at 100% load and 55C ambient temperature while crappy units have a tendency to spontaneously self-destruct (or at least shut down) before hitting 80% load even at an ideal 25C ambient temperature.

There is little doubt about which category is most trustworthy.



As I said in my first post, the motor in your car will run in first gear for a while but not as long as it would in high gear. If it's a high quality motor it will run a little longer but never as long as in high gear.
a b ) Power supply
July 31, 2012 8:59:42 PM

ram1009 said:
As I said in my first post, the motor in your car will run in first gear for a while but not as long as it would in high gear. If it's a high quality motor it will run a little longer but never as long as in high gear.

If I had to choose between a car with a single-speed transmission in low gear or high gear, I would choose the low-gear version since the high-gear one would be stalling or burning clutches all the time, which makes it nearly unusable and just as expensive to run.
August 1, 2012 12:08:08 PM

ram1009 said:
As I said in my first post, the motor in your car will run in first gear for a while but not as long as it would in high gear. If it's a high quality motor it will run a little longer but never as long as in high gear.


If I had to choose an analogy, I'd choose a different one :p 

But seriously, I kinda doubt that analogy applies. Capacitors loose their ability to hold their charge over time, and the fan wears based on the load level of the PSU (the only mechanical component); the rest comes down to whether or not the output being generated is within the the range it was designed to operate in.

Your PSU will not wear out quicker if you operate at 30% of the designed operational output or 50%, 90% you may see some reduced life; but even then, with adequate cooling, it shouldn't matter. The biggest difference is that "Designed operational output" isn't the same as the output rating of a PSU (neither really has a firm definition), one 500W PSU maybe designed so that it can operate at 400W all day, and reach 500W from time to time, while another will be designed to operate at 500W all day and reach 600W from time to time. The difference is entirely in how they are designed, and the liberties taken with labeling.
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