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Can my 3 year old 500W PSU handle an HD5870?

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August 25, 2012 1:35:31 AM

First of all; hi everyone. I have a nearly three year old PSU in my current rig and I was wondering if it could handle an upgrade to an HD5870? After using the PSU calculator below and finding out that the system would require around 494 Watts of power with a brand new PSU and about 580 with one with 30 percent capacitor aging and reading various forum posts about how most 500W PSUs can provide about 450 under heavy load, I have no clue what to do. I could upgrade to a brand new 600 Watt Corsair or High Power one but that would really strain my budget and can cause serious short term financial issues. Or I could get a simple 400 Watt one from High Power or other well known brands and just use it only for the HD5870 until I can get one with 600W or more since there is enough room in my case for two PSU's (either directly in front of the current one, or on the top which however would force me to remove the top 25 CM fan which I have no problem of doing.). Also for the second option, would 400W be an overkill or be a safer choice to use only with an HD5870?

Calculator:
http://www.extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.js...


My current rig:

Gigabyte X48-DS5
Intel Q6700 @ Stock
8800GT 512 MB @ Stock
2x2 GB DDR2 800 Rams
2x 7200 RPM Sata HDD
High Power 500W PSU
Cooler Master HAF-932 case with 3x 24 CM fans (one Led two regular but only one of the regulars is connected at the moment) and 1x 120 mm exhaust fan


Thanks a lot for answers in advance.
a c 76 ) Power supply
August 25, 2012 2:31:21 AM

If this is it http://www.highpowersupply.com/HP500G12S.html it looks to be a decent enough unit with 432W max combined on the 12V rails. I can't find any reviews on it, but it at least seems to be a decent unit.

In reality, those wattage calculators always over estimate, so I'd say you're ok. On the edge, but ok.

AMD only recommends a 500W PSU for the 5870, anyway, and that's an over estimation as well, for poor quality PSU's.

I'll say this though, when you are able to spend the money on a new PSU, it might not be a bad idea, just to be safe.
a b ) Power supply
August 25, 2012 2:56:01 AM

+ DJDeCiBeL

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August 25, 2012 3:42:49 AM

DJDeCiBeL said:
If this is it http://www.highpowersupply.com/HP500G12S.html it looks to be a decent enough unit with 432W max combined on the 12V rails. I can't find any reviews on it, but it at least seems to be a decent unit.

In reality, those wattage calculators always over estimate, so I'd say you're ok. On the edge, but ok.

AMD only recommends a 500W PSU for the 5870, anyway, and that's an over estimation as well, for poor quality PSU's.

I'll say this though, when you are able to spend the money on a new PSU, it might not be a bad idea, just to be safe.



Mine is the A12S model and except for not having the 80+ rating, specs are the same as far as I can tell with giving 18A's at each 12v rails and 432W combined. Also can 3 year constant-ish usage cause serious capacitor aging, for around 30 percent for instance? Also as a side note; I had a Powercolor HD5870 PCS+ which is an overclocked version with a non-stock cooler and it worked just fine with this build. Although I was using an Intel E5200 at the time and had to sell the card a week later due to serious bottleneck (managed to bought it new for really cheap from a deal only to play Bad Company 2). But now I have a Q6700 so I am still not fully convinced about the sufficiency of the PSU I currently have. Also if I buy another PSU on top of what I have(maybe a 400W High Power one just to be safe) what should I need to look for when it comes to amps and 12V rail wattage? I will only get it to use with HD5870 and nothing else so keep that in mind. Also thanks a lot for the quick and detailed answer.
a c 76 ) Power supply
August 25, 2012 4:04:47 AM

I wouldn't worry about getting a separate PSU just for the GPU (in fact I don't recommend it at all). That can cause more problems than it may seem to solve because of loading issues, and voltage differences (remember that the GPU also gets power from the slot).

I think that your current PSU will be just fine for now. It may be older, but I doubt the capacitors are aged THAT badly.

I'll still say that when you do have the cash to get a new PSU, you should probably think about it, at least, but when you do, I would go with a name brand like SeaSonic, Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, Antec, XFX, or Silverstone. Something that actually has verifiable quality.
August 25, 2012 4:45:44 AM

DJDeCiBeL said:
I wouldn't worry about getting a separate PSU just for the GPU (in fact I don't recommend it at all). That can cause more problems than it may seem to solve because of loading issues, and voltage differences (remember that the GPU also gets power from the slot).

I think that your current PSU will be just fine for now. It may be older, but I doubt the capacitors are aged THAT badly.

I'll still say that when you do have the cash to get a new PSU, you should probably think about it, at least, but when you do, I would go with a name brand like SeaSonic, Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, Antec, XFX, or Silverstone. Something that actually has verifiable quality.



I understand. As long as the current PSU can do its job for another two or so months, I will be fine. Thanks a lot for answering all the questions I had.
a c 76 ) Power supply
August 25, 2012 4:54:23 AM

You're welcome. :) 
August 25, 2012 5:01:59 AM

DJDeCiBeL said:
You're welcome. :) 



Sorry to bother you again but I had another question, although it doesnt have much to do with the current topic. My motherboard has the option for 8 pin CPU power connector but ever since I bought it, I always used the 4 pin connector coming from my PSU. Although I had never had any stability issues with my E5200 or Q6700, I was wondering if it would make any difference if I used an 8 pin connector. Is there any possibility that it could damage the motherboard or CPU? And also if I use the 8 pin, should I take out the 4 pin cable of the main power cable that goes directly to the motherboard (located on the right side of the motherboard instead of near the CPU)? Also some people claim that using 8 pin instead of 4 pin causes performance increase even in games like WoW (adding the link of the topic below). Could there be any truth to this? Again, thanks a lot in advance and sorry if I caused any trouble.


http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/289500-10-power-con...
August 25, 2012 5:12:26 AM

DJDeCiBeL said:
You can connect it if you want, it certainly won't hurt anything. The extra 4 pins just provide extra power for overclocking, basically.

And no, you wouldn't remove the 4 pin connector of the 20+4 pin connector. You need that, regardless. What's needed to run is the 20+4 pin connector and the 4 pin CPU connector.

After that, it's like I said, the extra 4 pin CPU connector just provides extra power to the CPU if needed. It won't help performance at all as far a I know (unless you overclock too, when you do it).

I don't even understand the figures that jimmy is getting in that thread. They don't make any sense to me, just going on everything I know. 90% CPU usage, down to 20-30%? That can't be right.

Also, I don't understand how adding the ability for more power to a CPU that doesn't even need it or use it would help performance in the slightest. It just doesn't make any logical sense.


True. Again, thanks a lot for everything. I really appreciate it.
a c 76 ) Power supply
August 25, 2012 5:13:13 AM

You can connect it if you want, it certainly won't hurt anything. The extra 4 pins just provide extra power for overclocking, basically.

And no, you wouldn't remove the 4 pin connector of the 20+4 pin connector. You need that, regardless. What's needed to run is the 20+4 pin connector and the 4 pin CPU connector.

After that, it's like I said, the extra 4 pin CPU connector just provides extra power to the CPU if needed. It won't help performance at all as far a I know (unless you overclock too, when you do it).

I don't even understand the figures that jimmy is getting in that thread. They don't make any sense to me, just going on everything I know. 90% CPU usage, down to 20-30%? That can't be right. That deserves more investigation, honestly. I'd love to see some benchmarks and actual data to back that up.

Also, I don't understand how adding the ability for more power to a CPU that doesn't even need it or use it would help performance in the slightest. It just doesn't make any logical sense.
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