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Final help on build (Beginners build)

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April 23, 2012 8:06:41 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: This week

Budget Range: Less than a 1000

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Homework, streaming

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, monitor, case, Windows 7, mouse, SSD

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: any site cheapest is best

Country: USA

Parts Preferences:no preference

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: In the future

Monitor Resolution: NO idea

Additional Comments: These are some of the parts i have decided already. Feel free to help me change some things around that make it cheaper but still have it as a quality build.

CPU: i5 2500k 179.99 (I don't think the Ivy Bridge is a good enough improvement. I think i rather wait till the next processor. Unless someone changs my mind.

Case: Corsair 500r 116.16

Graphics Card: 7850 OC 269.99 I feel that this is a card that will last me a while. Unless someone can offer a better card for a better value i won't change this.

PSU: Need Help on this

CPU Cooler: Need help on this

Mobo: Asrock Extreme4 134.99 I like this mobo cause it allows me to use my cases USB 3.0 header or w/e. Is there a cheaper alternative where it'll still allow me to use my 3.0 case headers?

Ram: 46.99 G.Skill RipJaws 2x4GB I think this is the best option out there unless there is something that is cheaper

HDD: WD Blue Caviar 79.99 This is the best option for me if i want to keep my prices down.

SSD: Crucial 64GB. I bought this already, and is only using it for booting.



April 23, 2012 8:28:40 PM

Switch the GPU to an MSI Twin Frozr II OC for better performance (really... a lot better. It's soooo nice yet quiet). Still a 7850, though.

PSU: I think you'll be fine with a PC Power and Cooling 750W Silver Rated Silencer MK II... it's only like $110 before rebates, and will allow room for crossfiring in the future.

CPU Cooler: Hyper 212 Evo will do if you don't have any specific preferences (silence, etc.). I'm assuming you don't because of your build, though.

Everything else looks fine! It's really a nice build! FYI, if you want a sexy case, check out the NZXT Phantom... especially the one with green trim. However, Corsair has a great case overall as well.
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April 23, 2012 8:58:33 PM

Thanks for your help on the CPU cooler, I'm not sure about the PSU cause I never heard of that brand but it seems as it comes at a cheap price. I think I'll still get a Sapphire Radeon 7850 OC, because it is more readily available then the MSI version.
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April 23, 2012 10:27:30 PM

Can anyone offer their opinions on my current build?
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April 23, 2012 10:50:18 PM

I agree with ddan49. You can go with a P&C Silencer MK II 750w or get a Corsair Enthusiast series 750w. Either one is fine.

Hyper 212+ or Hyper 212 Evo. They both have nearly the same performance, just a little price gap.

You can switch those Ripjaws for Ripjaws X Series.


Here are the links to my suggestions:
-PSU: PC P&C Silencer MK II 750W ($99.99 - $20 MIR = $79.99 @ Amazon)
-CPU Coolers: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus ($24.51 @ Amazon) OR
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO ($34.60 @ Amazon)
-RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB ($41.99 @ Newegg.)
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April 23, 2012 11:00:30 PM

Is 750W a bit overkill for my setup? Or is it just enough
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April 23, 2012 11:01:42 PM

Also, do you have a microcenter nearby to pick up the i5 2500k? If so, you can get the MOBO/CPU combo. That'll get you $50 off your Asrock Extreme4 Mobo.
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April 23, 2012 11:04:09 PM

navare said:
Is 750W a bit overkill for my setup? Or is it just enough

You could go with a 650W because the 7850 has very low power consumption.
If you plan to get 2 7850s down the line, I would stick with a 750w to ensure there is sufficient power, especially if you plan to overclock.
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April 23, 2012 11:10:03 PM

Oh wow, I didn't know that. It allowed my build to get under $1000. What's the big difference between the Ripjaw and ripjaw x
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April 23, 2012 11:13:01 PM

The only real difference is the look of the heatsink and the price. I personally like the Ripjaws X Series more, and it was cheaper.
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April 23, 2012 11:25:25 PM

I run a Radeon 6850, AMD Phenom 960t, and the same ripjaws 8gb you have, and my 650w psu works just fine. You could probably run a 650w, but if you are looking to run SLI/Crossfire in the future, I'd stick with 750w. It will last you longer.

However, before purchasing a 7850, an article was recently published on Tom's Hardware showing that the 7000 series is a more energy efficient than the 6000 series, but slightly lacks the same visuals. I'd save some money and find a 6870 for around $200. It takes up some more power, but it will give you better performance for 1/3 the cost. A 650w psu would work for a 6870.

Here's the article so that you can decide for yourself:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/image-quality-drive...

Also I agree with the guys above, a Hyper 212+ or Hyper 212 Evo will do the job for cooling. They are basically universal for sub-$1000 builds. I run the evo and it works great for me.
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April 23, 2012 11:37:33 PM

tree319 said:
I run a Radeon 6850, AMD Phenom 960t, and the same ripjaws 8gb you have, and my 650w psu works just fine. You could probably run a 650w, but if you are looking to run SLI/Crossfire in the future, I'd stick with 750w. It will last you longer.

However, before purchasing a 7850, an article was recently published on Tom's Hardware showing that the 7000 series is a more energy efficient than the 6000 series, but slightly lacks the same visuals. I'd save some money and find a 6870 for around $200. It takes up some more power, but it will give you better performance for 1/3 the cost. A 650w psu would work for a 6870.

Here's the article so that you can decide for yourself:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/image-quality-drive...

Also I agree with the guys above, a Hyper 212+ or Hyper 212 Evo will do the job for cooling. They are basically universal for sub-$1000 builds. I run the evo and it works great for me.

I got a 7850 for my build, but this is really my first gaming build so I couldn't tell you the visual difference. 6870 won't give better performance than a 7850 though.
If you consider moving away from a 7850, the next best option is a 560 Ti.
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April 23, 2012 11:54:51 PM

I would not rule out ivy especially with the board your looking at.

If you have a microcenter nearby dont forget taxes and fuel/time.

Get different Ram. The one u posted is not on the compatibility list for your board.
http://www.asrock.com/mb/memory.asp?Model=Z77%20Extreme...

I like that case but I would rather have a bigger faster HD. up to you though. Im waiting about a week longer to see more prices and benchmarks of ivy.
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April 24, 2012 12:55:16 AM

Okay, there's a lot of strange advice going around.

1) Any RAM is compatible as long as the socket matches (240-pin)
2) A 6870 will NOT give better performance than a 7850. Not even CLOSE. The 7850 uses less power, and its graphics are a LOT better. The article on tomshardware about the 7850/7870 DOES say that they had problems with it, but then they said they realized it was because of some incompatibility and driver issues (which have been fixed).
3) A 650W will last you probably for even two GPUs. Use the eXtreme PSU calculator to find out how much power you will use. People usually buy PSUs with too much wattage. Also, PC Power and Cooling is a GREAT manufacturer. They have less PSUs available than Corsair or Seasonic, but they are ranked just as high for reliability and performance. Look up some reviews (from actual reviewers like Anandtech) if you don't believe me. Overall, though, the 750W is "overkill", but PSUs operate best between 20% and 80% of full load. Also, it will give you some room.
4) Yeah, go to microcenter if possible. But gas costs enough that it might not be worth it.
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April 24, 2012 12:56:51 AM

ddan49 said:
Okay, there's a lot of strange advice going around.

1) Any RAM is compatible as long as the socket matches (240-pin)
2) A 6870 will NOT give better performance than a 7850. Not even CLOSE. The 7850 uses less power, and its graphics are a LOT better. The article on tomshardware about the 7850/7870 DOES say that they had problems with it, but then they said they realized it was because of some incompatibility and driver issues (which have been fixed).
3) A 650W will last you probably for even two GPUs. Use the eXtreme PSU calculator to find out how much power you will use. People usually buy PSUs with too much wattage. Also, PC Power and Cooling is a GREAT manufacturer. They have less PSUs available than Corsair or Seasonic, but they are ranked just as high for reliability and performance. Look up some reviews (from actual reviewers like Anandtech) if you don't believe me. Overall, though, the 750W is "overkill", but PSUs operate best between 20% and 80% of full load. Also, it will give you some room.
4) Yeah, go to microcenter if possible. But gas costs enough that it might not be worth it.

Thanks for clarifying. I have no idea why all of a sudden there are some strange suggestions....
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April 24, 2012 2:15:13 AM

Thanks guys! Microcenter is only 15 mins away, so gas cost isnt much of a concern for me. All I need to do is wait for a good deal on a PSU at around 600W-750W. I also decided to get the RipJaws X.
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April 24, 2012 2:17:40 AM

I think the PC Silencer I reommended is the best bang for the buck because it's silver rated. However, if you want modular, etc., then it might be a good idea to wait.

I recommend slickdeals.net for finding good deals, as well as checking tomshardware's daily deals (in the news "feed" thing at the main website. Tell me if you can't find it).
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April 24, 2012 2:34:53 AM

Thanks for your help ddan49. What do you think of OCZ Fatal1ty 750W Also a question on what is the difference between a modular PSU compared to a normal one or w/e
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April 24, 2012 2:44:12 AM

I generally try to stay away from OCZ, but I have heard very mixed reviews on it. Some say it's great, others say it's not. I think if you are okay with the lights, you can get it.

Also, a modular PSU allows for easier cable management because the cables you don't use you can detach. A non-modular has all of the cables attached (even ones you don't use), so it can get a little messy. However, non-modular run a smaller risk of a connection coming loose because there are no removeable connections. Most opt for a semi-modular, but, alas, those are not very common.
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April 24, 2012 3:21:46 AM

Now that I've been thinking about it and going over my parts, I believe the Asrock Extreme4 is a little too much. Would the Pro3 z77 or Pro 4 Z77 be good enough? Are those mobo's able to allow me to use the USB 3.0s on my case?
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April 24, 2012 3:26:18 AM

Both Z68 and Z77 allow USB 3.0s... I'm not sure about headers, though.

Also, I think you'd be better off with a Z68 Extreme3 than a Z77 Pro3
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April 24, 2012 3:54:15 AM

Gold! :o 

Get the deal! It's a great deal!
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Best solution

April 25, 2012 7:41:48 AM

OP, ddan49 gave you excellent advice in his list of 4 items up above. However, his recommendations for the 750W PSU below that is not something I agree with. Save yourself some cash and get a 650W PSU.


PSU:
There is almost no difference between an 80+ Bronze, Silver, or Gold PSU. In terms of cost for electricity, it'll save you $2/year. In terms of reliably providing high quality performance, it depends on a lot more than an efficiency rating.

As far as your PSU, any 650W Antec, Seasonic, Corsair, or XFX will do. Power supplies appear to be crazy expensive right now. I can't recommend purchasing anything I saw on Newegg. I'd wait a week or two myself and see what deals show up in my email.


MONITOR:
I must call attention to the fact that you said, "Monitor Resolution: NO idea". Do you mean you haven't bought a monitor yet? What model monitor are you using? If you're using a tiny screen or CRT, this must be considering in a GAMING build. Your monitor has a significant impact on your gaming experience and I cannot recommend it be neglected.


CASE:
Additionally, I think a $115 case is a bit expensive for a $1000 build. I instead recommend the excellent Thermaltake V9 for $70: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
That is, unless someone can tell me where it's lacking.

A deal on the PSU could easily get it down to $70 and the case just saved you $45.


HDD/SSD:
Hard drives are just too expensive right now and SSD prices are plummeting. Pick up a 128GB Crucial M4 or Vertex 3 for $120, a 120GB Agility 3 for $100, a 120GB Petrol for $80, or something similar. The Crucial M4 has a great reliability record. Or there's the 180GB Agility 3 for $141.

120GB is enough to last you until HDD prices start dropping.
EDIT: I didn't see you already bought an SSD. In that case, I'd skip the HDD for now. Do you have an old one sitting around that you can reuse? I just bought a Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB off of this forum for $55 and it's working great.


GRAPHICS:
I cannot personally recommend paying a cent extra for a factory overclocked graphics card, however a little extra for excellent cooling (read as "heat pipes w/ dual fans") is worth something. I'd personally probably get the $240 HIS 7850: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Depending on your screen, you could spend more on graphics. I wouldn't, but I typically recommend 30%+ of total cost on graphics for a gaming build.

Personally, I'd get a GTX 560Ti and overclock it. Then plan on a second sometime. But that's not the latest/greatest--just the most bang for your buck.


RAM:
Thanks to recent work by Geil and some other companies, all colors (red, orange, yellow, blue, black, silver) of RAM are now available. I thought those red Ripjaws kinda screw up your color scheme. I'd go for Ripjaws X, btw. That's G. Skill's newer line, so you'll be more likely to find matching heatsinks down the line if you add more RAM. As far as companies for memory, I recommend G. Skill, Corsair, Kingston, Mushkin, or Geil and 1600CL9 1.5V.
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April 25, 2012 12:09:01 PM

^Everything up there is good advice. I mean, I don't know if you have a color scheme you want to do (do you have a window?), and how soon you want to buy. For example, I'd buy an HDD if I was waiting now and buy an SSD later. RAM is steadily going up.

Also, dalauder, what did you mean by "I'd wait a week or two myself and see what deals show up in my email."? Newegg deals? I know slickdeals.net has a few great deals sometimes, but it's not exclusively computer hardware.
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April 25, 2012 5:24:15 PM

The case is something i bought as an impulsive buy. I bought it to at least get me started so i don't keep putting it off. My case doesn't have a window because the side is covered as mesh, so i doubt you can see the inside. This means there isn't a preference on the color scheme. The 7850 is something I see as alot better than the GTX 560 TI because of the low power draw and the better performance (I think). For the HDD is it possible i use an external as my main storage, until I find a good deal? Would having 750W be better for the future if i decide to upgrade, or would having 650w still be fine?
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April 25, 2012 5:40:07 PM

Also, I do plan on running it at 1920X1080
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April 25, 2012 6:42:43 PM

That's pretty expensive, but if you need 850W, get it. I don't think you do... are you ever going to run two cards? Three?
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April 25, 2012 6:56:58 PM

Yeah, I mean, if you (navare, OP) want/need the wattage, I'd totally go with e9812149's PSU. It's a nice deal. Especially because it's gold rated. However, at the moment, 850W just seems like overkill. Especially when you can save like $50 on a decent PSU that'll satisfy your wattage needs. Also, remember to ask someone about amps per rail! I don't know it, but a member over at the PSU section does.
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April 25, 2012 7:15:52 PM

For excellent help on your PSU, though, go over to the PSU section. They REALLY know what they're talking about. WATTAGE ISN'T ALL THAT MATTERS! Amps, rails, and stuff like that matter too! You can either ask someone over there to help you (preferably, you would ask them to verify a PSU. That's easier than asking them to recommend one), or buy the eXtreme PSU calculator to calculate your amps per rail and other useful things for like $2 (I think). It'll calculate your power needs for free, though. It's very reliable, although I usually go 100W over the recommended (and that's recommended with 25-50% capacitor aging).
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April 25, 2012 7:37:53 PM

The eXtreme PSU Calculator puts you at 462w with the setup you have now, using a 4.1ghz overclock on the 2500k (used my settings) and the 7850 w/ the case and 4 fans included, your HDD and SSD at 90% load w/ 30% capacator aging.

Running 2 7850's in crosfire puts you at 569w using the same overclock and other specs as above.

So find a quality 650w like these for example:

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650

XFX Core Edition PRO650W
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April 25, 2012 7:58:42 PM

Thanks for your help Pezcore, I might have to return the 750W PSU I bought. I think that I would pick the XFX one because there is a rebate on it on amazon make it $77.
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April 25, 2012 8:02:48 PM

Which 750w PSU did you buy? Since you already bought it, depending on which model it is, there is no harm in using it.
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April 25, 2012 8:05:12 PM

I bought this one Seasonic 750w It had a 40 dollar discount it so it was about $110
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April 25, 2012 8:07:20 PM

Perfect. I have that same PSU, although I didn't get quite the deal you got on it...

I love mine. For the price you got on your's I'd keep it as the price per watt you paid is a really good deal and you have a very quality PSU. The price per watt you paid for that X750 = less than the price per watt over either the tx650 or the xfx 650 I reccommended, so you got a tremendous deal. (not to mention a gold rated, fully modular PSU to boot :) )
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April 25, 2012 8:09:32 PM

Keep it. Great deal. Seriously... just keep it. You won't find a better one at that price.
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April 25, 2012 8:49:34 PM

Could anyone answer the question if an external HDD could become my main hard drive until I find a good deal on an internal?
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April 25, 2012 9:03:25 PM

You cannot use USB HDDs to install an Operating System.
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April 25, 2012 9:25:24 PM

I meant as storage. The SDD would be used to boot my OS. I want to hold off and buy another SDD for storage.
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April 25, 2012 9:33:40 PM

Oh, then yes, storage is possible.
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April 25, 2012 9:41:52 PM

Thanks for all your help guys, I have decided on everything except for my storage which may or maybe not be a HDD or SDD. Depending on the price.
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April 25, 2012 11:14:43 PM

Oh, and also, keep in mind that transfer speeds will be MUCH slower on an external than an internal. I'm currently with an SSD and an external (2.0, although my laptop's so old it only has the original USB ports) HDD... the speeds are slow. I believe that for internals, it's like 70mb/s, while for externals it's much slower, due to the USB bottleneck. If you get an external 3.0, I'm sure it would be faster than what I have. Then again, my external is on USB 1.0.

Feel free to post any more questions or feedback, or pm!
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April 26, 2012 1:54:16 AM

ddan49 said:
...and how soon you want to buy. For example, I'd buy an HDD if I was waiting now and buy an SSD later. RAM is steadily going up.

Also, dalauder, what did you mean by "I'd wait a week or two myself and see what deals show up in my email."? Newegg deals? I know slickdeals.net has a few great deals sometimes, but it's not exclusively computer hardware.
Oh--OP, go ahead and buy everything but the PSU now, like RAM especially. All I meant about waiting was on the PSU. Yesterday, Newegg.com had no good 650W PSU sales. So I'd wait until the weekend.
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April 26, 2012 1:58:38 AM

Oh yeah, DEFINITELY buy the RAM now. It's going up as we speak. I think it's up like $3 from a month ago... which is scary, although not terrible. We freak out when gas goes up 20 cents, and this isn't much different ;) 
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April 26, 2012 2:08:19 AM

navare said:
Would having 750W be better for the future if i decide to upgrade, or would having 650w still be fine?
A 650W could handle two GTX 560Ti's actually. If you're buying a 7850, you could probably run two on 550W (but don't go buy a 550W because I said that). I'd still get a 650W in case the Radeon 8000/GeForce 700 series have similar power draw to the current series and you decide to go with an 8870, which would also run in Crossfire on a 650W with no problem. I hope that wasn't too confusing (with all the numbers).
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April 26, 2012 2:38:13 AM

Everything has been bought except for the CPU, MOBO, and either a HDD or SDD. I have already decided on the MOBO, but I'm waiting for more reviews on the Ivy Bridge version of the i5. Regarding the HDD or SDD, I'm waiting to find good deals on them.
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April 26, 2012 2:46:13 AM

ddan49 said:
For excellent help on your PSU, though, go over to the PSU section. They REALLY know what they're talking about. WATTAGE ISN'T ALL THAT MATTERS! Amps, rails, and stuff like that matter too! You can either ask someone over there to help you (preferably, you would ask them to verify a PSU. That's easier than asking them to recommend one), or buy the eXtreme PSU calculator to calculate your amps per rail and other useful things for like $2 (I think). It'll calculate your power needs for free, though. It's very reliable, although I usually go 100W over the recommended (and that's recommended with 25-50% capacitor aging).
Capacitor Aging? I'd heard that 10%-20% is what you should assume. I typically use the 15% value for that PSU calculator. Although, I haven't used that calculator for anything other than to support my statements for over a year.

Wattage/Amps/Rails:

Wattage: The amount of power delivered. Watts (W), are the unit of power and are equal to Current (Amps) x Voltage (Volt) related by the equation P = VI. The total wattage delivered on the PSU's +12V rail(s) is very important, but the quality of that power is also important. Fluctuating current and voltages can damage components, especially over time. That's why you don't buy a Cooler Master PSU (or worse yet, a Logisys). The +12V rail is important because the CPU and GPU(s) on modern computers draw nearly all their power from this source.

Amps: The current running through a wire. On a +12V rail, the power delivered equals your Amps x Voltage. So for a 7850 that draws 130W (according to AMD), you'll need 130W/12V = 10.83A of extra power per extra 7850 you add. This power requirement increases with overclocking, so it's safer to assume maybe 160W draw or 13.33A.

Rails: Essentially separate sets of circuits running from the PSU. They are physically separated (or sometimes not ACTUALLY separated) various ways by voltage, but in the end, each rail gets a certain number of Amps running down it. So you have the 3.3V, 5V, +12V, & -12V rails. Some PSUs have multiple +12V rails to adhere to an archaic 20A maximum per rail standard. There's a lot of debate over the benefit of multiple +12V rails, so I tend to ignore it and figure a good brand (Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, XFX, & a couple others often too expensive to consider) will give me enough power in the end. I prefer a single +12V rail unit because I don't have to worry about accidentally connecting all my graphics cards to the same rail (if I read the diagram in the manual that says which cable is which rail incorrectly).

So if I've got 20A on my 5V rail, it can supply 100W. But the 5V rail isn't important because effectively nobody runs out of power to supply the devices that use the 3.3V & 5V rails (peripherals like fans, HDDs, Optical drives). So when you look at a cheap 575W PSU from Logisys, you may see it has 25A on the +12V rail. 25A x 12V = 300W, so something fishy is going on. Don't buy bargain brands (sorry Logisys, you're my unfortunate scapegoat of terrible PSU manufacturers). You'll see a Corsair CX430 has 28A on the +12V rail--more power than a "575W" PSU!


So how much power do you need?
Well HWMonitor reads my i7-2600K @ 4.5GHz at 104W power usage under a full LinX load. Make not of the fact that LinX is a torture test (in some respects moreso than Prime95). My results are in agreement with anandtech: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-rev...

So if you're at 126W (see link) + for your total system then add in two 7850's (160W each overclocked?), you're at 446W power usage. That's really only gonna happen IF you run a GPU & CPU torture test simultaneously. (With an i7-930 @ 3.8GHz + GTX 470 w/ heavy OC I hit 450W).

Do not confuse power draw "at the wall" with power required by your computer. If your PSU was 85% efficient, then you'd read 446W/85% = 525W at the wall. This still means that, technically, a 500W unit would satisfy your system's power needs.

Now people say, "But you don't want to be at your upper limit all the time". This is where capacitor aging is particularly relevant. Your capacitors (just think "PSU parts" likelihood of failing increases with time exposed to elevated temperatures. So your good PSU isn't going to start outputting 20% less power once it ages--you just want to give it a little headroom to keep it from getting hot and breaking.

So we'd take 446W and add 20% (conservative) = 535W power supply. Consider that you may be adding more than the single HDD used in this test. People tend to be overly conservative and I like to be in recommendations too. I'm certain an Antec 620C could handle an overclocked i5-2500K w/ two 7850's system 620W units aren't that common, so I'm simply saying 650W. That also leaves you plenty of leeway in case you choose a different graphics card down the line.


EDIT: Of course, realistically, you don't even need this much power. It's okay for your PSU to be at 95% capacity when torture testing. Real gaming will see it between 60% and 85% with spikes to 95%, which any good PSU can handle without even producing too much heat.
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April 26, 2012 2:49:16 AM

ddan49 said:
.Then again, my external is on USB 1.0.
Do you want a USB 2.0 PCI expansion card? I've got one in a Pentium 4 socket 478 machine that's pretty much not in use.
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April 26, 2012 2:52:05 AM

ddan49 said:
Oh yeah, DEFINITELY buy the RAM now. It's going up as we speak. I think it's up like $3 from a month ago... which is scary, although not terrible. We freak out when gas goes up 20 cents, and this isn't much different ;) 
Exactly why I just bought 16GB (4x4GB) 1600CL9 two weeks back for $79. I've got some friends doing builds and that RAM will get used up within the next month or so.
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