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PSU Recommedations for new mid-level gaming PC

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Last response: in Components
November 9, 2012 4:35:52 PM

Hi to all,

I'm just about to build a new gaming PC in the next few weeks and I would really like a few recommendations for suitable PSU's. I've read up on PSU's to try to learn as much as I can over the last month so I choose a good one, I think I understand the basics like never buy cheap non-brand ones, check the minimum wattage and amperage for each component and to make sure you have the right plugs for your PC. But before I choose one I would really like to get a few ideas from you guys please as I'm not very experienced.

UK build.
No preferred websites, just UK ones.
Mild OverClocking.
ASRock Extreme6
i5 3570k Ivy
Sapphire HD 9750 Vapor-X 3GB
Budget £70

I know my budget isn't very high but if I could get a good quality PSU that would allow me to add a second 7950 next year that's within my budget that would be brilliant, but it's not essential.

Thanks guys

More about : psu recommedations mid level gaming

November 9, 2012 4:39:01 PM

Oops, excuse the shoddy spelling it the title, *Recommendations* =)
a c 194 ) Power supply
a b 4 Gaming
November 9, 2012 4:51:08 PM

The link at http://www.extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.js... will suggest the size you need. Allowing for some overclocking, to Crossfire a pair of HD7950s you will need a decent 650W PSU. I would suggest anything built by Seasonic (e.g. their own, or XFX, or some Corsair, or some Antec), new FSP (e.g. Aurum or Raider), or Enermax/LEPA.
Related resources
a b ) Power supply
a b 4 Gaming
November 9, 2012 5:40:21 PM

Hm, I'm not super-familiar with UK sites, but at scan.co.uk the best match is a Corsair CX750 for £67:
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/750w-corsair-builder-ser...

It would be nice to get a slightly higher-quality unit, but the budget prevents that. The CX750 is acceptable though.

Onus said:
The link at http://www.extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.js... will suggest the size you need. Allowing for some overclocking, to Crossfire a pair of HD7950s you will need a decent 650W PSU. I would suggest anything built by Seasonic (e.g. their own, or XFX, or some Corsair, or some Antec), new FSP (e.g. Aurum or Raider), or Enermax/LEPA.

Yeah, but just to get the 4 PCIe power connectors the 2 7950s require, you often have to buy PSUs rated higher than 650W.
November 9, 2012 5:55:27 PM

euphoria4949 said:
Oops, excuse the shoddy spelling it the title, *Recommendations* =)

Alright, but I can't forgive that 'it.'

The CX750 is made by CWT, and I know that Onus (whose name change had me confused for a bit) finds them rather disagreeable. Euphoria, if you're willing to spend a few extra pounds, you could also have a Seasonic-made XFX Pro 750W Core for £74. I know it's over budget, but it's the most affordable PSU that I can find with 4 8-pin PCIe connectors (although you could always just use molex-to-PCIe adapters, I think that's generally frowned upon).

You could get away with the XFX Pro 650W Core if your next 7950 isn't the Vapor-X edition, as it has two 8-pin and two 6-pin connectors... but that would be absurd.
a b ) Power supply
a b 4 Gaming
November 9, 2012 6:18:49 PM

mousseng said:
Alright, but I can't forgive that 'it.'

The CX750 is made by CWT, and I know that Onus (whose name change had me confused for a bit) finds them rather disagreeable. Euphoria, if you're willing to spend a few extra pounds, you could also have a Seasonic-made XFX Pro 750W Core for £74. I know it's over budget, but it's the most affordable PSU that I can find with 4 8-pin PCIe connectors (although you could always just use molex-to-PCIe adapters, I think that's generally frowned upon).

You could get away with the XFX Pro 650W Core if your next 7950 isn't the Vapor-X edition, as it has two 8-pin and two 6-pin connectors... but that would be absurd.

Damn, I didn't notice that 7950 requires 2 x 8-pin PCIe connectors. That's crazy! Even the regular 7970 only requires an 8-pin and a 6-pin. Most 7950s get by with 2 x 6-pin PCIe.
November 9, 2012 6:55:48 PM

You're right, it does only need an 8 and a 6. Newegg lists it as two 8-pins, though, which I (mistakenly) assumed was accurate.

Curious.

Since that's the case, euphoria could grab an XFX Pro 650W Core for £65.30.
a c 194 ) Power supply
a b 4 Gaming
November 9, 2012 10:53:52 PM

That Corsair CX doesn't show that it's the V2 version though, so it may be an original Seasonic-built model; those are fine. But yeah, XFX PSUs are built by Seasonic.

The name change was on the advice of a moderator, as apparently the seemingly random (they weren't to me) letters and numbers I used before had allowed me to be confused with someone else, and not in a good way. Since I use the name "Onus" elsewhere, including on Newegg reviews, HardwareSecrets, and other sites, I was happy to make the change.

Edit: As mousseng has apparently seen me post elsewhere, the V2 version of the Corsair "Builder" is made by CWT, not Seasonic, using inferior Samxon capacitors from a line known to fail early. This comes from a discussion and links at HardwareSecrets, which I consider a reliable source for information about PSUs.
a b ) Power supply
a b 4 Gaming
November 9, 2012 11:03:07 PM

In any case, there are definitely better options on the table now than that CX750 I linked.
a c 194 ) Power supply
a b 4 Gaming
November 9, 2012 11:39:29 PM

Yes, the 750W Truepower New would be a great choice too; that's also built by Seasonic.
November 10, 2012 1:56:24 AM

Wow, thank you to you all for your help, and an even bigger thank you for pointing out that the Saph 7950 VapX only uses 1x 6pin and 1x 8pin. I had read on a few sites that are selling it that it uses 2x 8pin which is why I was struggling to find a decent PSU with 4x 8pins, the cheapest ones I found with 4x 8pins were £100+ which is too much.
I spoke to a guy on here a day or two ago and he mentioned he had the Saph 7950 VapX, so I'm going to message him to find out for sure. Obviously only needing 1x 6pin and 1x 8pin does give me a few more options =)

I really like the look of the Antec Truepower New TP-750, it's Antec which is good and it seems like a lot of PSU for the money but it has a quad 12v rail and I'm completely ignorant to muti-rail PSU's, don't I have to balance them between each component or something like that :??: 
- http://www.scan.co.uk/products/750w-antec-true-power-ne...

I was also looking at this one XFX 650W XXX Edition, it's semi-modular which is a good thing, right? To keep my case fairly neat and tidy. But I was concerned that 650w might not be enough if I added a second 7950 next year :-\ What do you think, would 650w be enough for 2x crossfire 7950???
http://www.dabs.com/products/xfx-650w-xxx-edition-semi-...

a c 194 ) Power supply
a b 4 Gaming
November 10, 2012 2:12:52 AM

My first post has a link to the PSU sizing calculator. Even making assumptions about fans and drives, 650W would easily be enough.
The Truepower New line was built by Seasonic, and has reviewed well. It too is semi-modular.
There is no need to "balance rails" on a modern, quality PSU. Basically, a single 12V rail is split into multiple rails using current limiters on each one. It is safer, because it limits the amount of current that can flow on a single cable; an unusual current drain caused by a near-short somewhere might go unnoticed on a single-rail unit (looking merely like a heavy load), but it will trip the OCP circuit on a multi-rail unit. The additive trip-points are more than the total for the rail, so no power is "trapped" on an underutilized rail. Each individual trip point is set higher than the load that should appear on any one cable, even if two connectors on it are attached to a power-hungry video card.
a c 87 ) Power supply
a b 4 Gaming
November 10, 2012 9:49:23 AM

euphoria4949 said:
Wow, thank you to you all for your help, and an even bigger thank you for pointing out that the Saph 7950 VapX only uses 1x 6pin and 1x 8pin. I had read on a few sites that are selling it that it uses 2x 8pin which is why I was struggling to find a decent PSU with 4x 8pins, the cheapest ones I found with 4x 8pins were £100+ which is too much.
I spoke to a guy on here a day or two ago and he mentioned he had the Saph 7950 VapX, so I'm going to message him to find out for sure. Obviously only needing 1x 6pin and 1x 8pin does give me a few more options =)

I really like the look of the Antec Truepower New TP-750, it's Antec which is good and it seems like a lot of PSU for the money but it has a quad 12v rail and I'm completely ignorant to muti-rail PSU's, don't I have to balance them between each component or something like that :??: 
- http://www.scan.co.uk/products/750w-antec-true-power-ne...

The Antec Truepower New TP-750 has a very sensible +12V rail layout, so all you have to do is connect the cables you need.

Onus said:
That Corsair CX doesn't show that it's the V2 version though, so it may be an original Seasonic-built model; those are fine. But yeah, XFX PSUs are built by Seasonic.

Edit: As mousseng has apparently seen me post elsewhere, the V2 version of the Corsair "Builder" is made by CWT, not Seasonic, using inferior Samxon capacitors from a line known to fail early. This comes from a discussion and links at HardwareSecrets, which I consider a reliable source for information about PSUs.

There was never a CX750 V1. This is the first time there has been a 750W unit in the Corsair's CX series. It is based on the CWT PUQ B design, which is also used in the Corsair GS 80 Plus Bronze series, amongst others. It also uses Samxon capacitors.
a c 194 ) Power supply
a b 4 Gaming
November 10, 2012 12:56:20 PM

Ah, I see. Sad that Corsair seems to be relying on its name. I may have to hunt down some more reviews, apparently there's a particular line of Samxon caps ("GF" iirc) that are the problem.
a c 151 ) Power supply
a b 4 Gaming
November 10, 2012 1:28:27 PM

mousseng said:
You're right, it does only need an 8 and a 6. Newegg lists it as two 8-pins, though, which I (mistakenly) assumed was accurate.

Even Sapphire's own site says the card REQUIRES 2x8-pin power connections but as stated above, actual boards only have 6+8.

8+8 would be quite startling since that would imply 300-375W power draw from the GPU.

Total system power in benchmarks with that card top out around 300W but that includes the CPU, HDD/SSD, RAM, fans, PSU losses, etc. so it is unlikely the GPU itself actually uses more than 200ish watts which means it should be fine with either 8+0 or 6+6 power cables unless it draws no 12V power from the PCIe slot.
November 10, 2012 8:56:48 PM

Silvune said:
The Antec Truepower New TP-750 has a very sensible +12V rail layout, so all you have to do is connect the cables you need.

There was never a CX750 V1. This is the first time there has been a 750W unit in the Corsair's CX series. It is based on the CWT PUQ B design, which is also used in the Corsair GS 80 Plus Bronze series, amongst others. It also uses Samxon capacitors.


Yeah I agree, the Antec New TP-750 looks like a brilliant PSU for the money, kind of almost too good as other PSU's with the same specs seem to be £15/20 more, so I've been trying to find reviews on it to see if there's something I'm missing like it doesn't come with a plug LOL :D 
And as for Corsair, I think I'm gonna avoid them. I know Corsair is a good brand but I keep hearing about their budget and mid-level PSU's having problems unless you get one that is Seasonic built, I read a few horror stories about them last year I think so just to be on the safe side I'll go for an Antec, XFX or something like that.

InvalidError said:
Even Sapphire's own site says the card REQUIRES 2x8-pin power connections but as stated above, actual boards only have 6+8.

8+8 would be quite startling since that would imply 300-375W power draw from the GPU.

Total system power in benchmarks with that card top out around 300W but that includes the CPU, HDD/SSD, RAM, fans, PSU losses, etc. so it is unlikely the GPU itself actually uses more than 200ish watts which means it should be fine with either 8+0 or 6+6 power cables unless it draws no 12V power from the PCIe slot.


Yeah I found that quite weird myself, the 7970, if I'm not mistaken, only requires 1x6 and 1x8-pin, so the 7950 surely wouldn't require more.
I'd spoken to a guy on another thread earlier in the week and I remember him saying he had the Sapphire 7950 VapX, so I messaged him this morning to ask what plugs his one needs. He replied he thinks from memory it was 1x6 and 1x8-pin but he wasn't at home to check. I'll message him again tomorrow to find out if he is at home and can have a look to be 100% sure.
a b ) Power supply
a b 4 Gaming
November 10, 2012 9:11:23 PM

I suppose it's possible Sapphire have had different revisions of the 7950 Vapor-X, one with 8 + 6 pin and one with 8 + 8. Even 6 + 8 is a lot, seeing as the 7950 originally launched with 6 + 6.

This thread seems to indicate as much:
http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?p=4448045
November 10, 2012 9:38:28 PM

Sakkura said:
I suppose it's possible Sapphire have had different revisions of the 7950 Vapor-X, one with 8 + 6 pin and one with 8 + 8. Even 6 + 8 is a lot, seeing as the 7950 originally launched with 6 + 6.

This thread seems to indicate as much:
http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?p=4448045


Hmmm the plot thickens! =)
Yeah I think you could be right, 2 variations, v1 requiring 1x6 & 1x8 and v2 needing 2x8. The vast majority of sites I've checked say it's 2x8pins, so I guess I'll have to take that as fact..... I think.... maybe :??: 
a c 151 ) Power supply
a b 4 Gaming
November 10, 2012 10:18:46 PM

Sakkura said:
I suppose it's possible Sapphire have had different revisions of the 7950 Vapor-X, one with 8 + 6 pin and one with 8 + 8. Even 6 + 8 is a lot, seeing as the 7950 originally launched with 6 + 6.

My best guess is that the 8+8 "requirement" is a result of miscommunication between Sapphire's engineering and marketing departments.

Many current boards have 8+8 connectors simply for the convenience of not having dangling 6+2 cables and enabling the customer to pick 6+6 / 8+0 to meet minimum requirements or 6+8 / 8+8 for overclocking.

As for the hypothesis of there being models/revisions with 8+8 connectors, photos of the PCB's backside do show through-hole soldering pads for 8+8 which means the board is definitely designed for it but they decided to put a 6-pin connector instead. One possible reason for this might be that Sapphire got too many questions from people thinking they really needed 8+8 much like I believe marketing did - remember: Sapphire's site still says 8+8 *required* even though boards ship with 8+6 which makes the requirement impossible to meet!
November 10, 2012 11:06:59 PM

Silvune said:
There was never a CX750 V1. This is the first time there has been a 750W unit in the Corsair's CX series. It is based on the CWT PUQ B design, which is also used in the Corsair GS 80 Plus Bronze series, amongst others. It also uses Samxon capacitors.

In addition to this, the only CX-V1 model that was manufactured by Seasonic was the CX400 - the rest were made by CWT, as the CX-V2s are.

Another thing to note, Corsair has actually discontinued the CX-V2 line (happened a while back, can't remember when), and they've since moved on to their third revision (still with CWT), but they dropped the version designation from the name (so it's now just CX430, CX500, etc). Source.

As for euphoria, I think you'll be fine either way it goes with using two 6-pins and two 8-pins. As has been pointed out, I don't think it's plausible that the 7950 V-X draws over 300W (or even close, really), regardless of overclock.
November 10, 2012 11:45:29 PM

mousseng said:
In addition to this, the only CX-V1 model that was manufactured by Seasonic was the CX400 - the rest were made by CWT, as the CX-V2s are.

Another thing to note, Corsair has actually discontinued the CX-V2 line (happened a while back, can't remember when), and they've since moved on to their third revision (still with CWT), but they dropped the version designation from the name (so it's now just CX430, CX500, etc). Source.

As for euphoria, I think you'll be fine either way it goes with using two 6-pins and two 8-pins. As has been pointed out, I don't think it's plausible that the 7950 V-X draws over 300W (or even close, really), regardless of overclock.


Right.... I feel a bit embarrassed asking this, please forgive me I am a n00b when it comes to PSU's but are you saying that even if Sapphire the 7950 VaporX requires and has 2x 8pins sockets, it would run perfectly fine and stable at it's full potential and overclock even if I only connected 1x 6pin and 1x 8pin???
I am sorry if I've completely misunderstood what you was saying.
November 11, 2012 1:32:14 AM

Yeah, that's pretty much what I'm saying. From this article:

Quote:
Because of both the physical design as well as the use of the sense signals, the six-pin power supply connector plug is backward compatible with the eight-pin graphics card socket. This means that if your graphics card has an eight-pin socket but your power supply has only six-pin connectors available, you can plug the six-pin connector into the eight-pin socket using an offset arrangement...


Considering that reference 7950s employ two 6-pin connectors, you should be solid with a 6- and 8-pin per 7950VX. There's quite a bit of good, relevant information on that page I linked, so I'd recommend reading it if you have the time.

Also, don't feel embarrassed. Tom's is a learning environment.
November 11, 2012 7:32:00 PM

mousseng said:
Yeah, that's pretty much what I'm saying. From this article:

Quote:
Because of both the physical design as well as the use of the sense signals, the six-pin power supply connector plug is backward compatible with the eight-pin graphics card socket. This means that if your graphics card has an eight-pin socket but your power supply has only six-pin connectors available, you can plug the six-pin connector into the eight-pin socket using an offset arrangement...


Considering that reference 7950s employ two 6-pin connectors, you should be solid with a 6- and 8-pin per 7950VX. There's quite a bit of good, relevant information on that page I linked, so I'd recommend reading it if you have the time.

Also, don't feel embarrassed. Tom's is a learning environment.


Right ok, got it now, I think lol. Thank you for being patient with me and helping me make the PSU decision a lot easier.

Although what just freaked me out a little was ASUS's PSU calculator on their site, according to ASUS I need a "Minimum" 650w PSU to run a i5 3570k + 7950, and if I got a second 7950 to crossfire them I need a minimum of 900w!! :o 
I know PSU calculators are not 100% accurate but I'm getting wildly different recommendations from each one I use! Most of them (apart from ASUS) calculate that 500/550w would be fine for 1x 7950, but if I add a second 7950 I get anything from 600w to 750w, plus of course ASUS's 900w recommendation! Slightly confused by these findings :??: 
November 11, 2012 8:05:18 PM

Keep in mind they (manufacturers and retailers) are not telling you how much power you actually need for those cards - they're covering their asses because there's such a wide range of hardware users can have. You could have a ridiculously power-hungry processor, a mislabeled or otherwise bad power supply, etc, etc. They don't want to have people calling them up saying "u sed i needed 600w so i bought a $20 600w psu and now my compooter broked," so it's easier for them to use very high estimates.

In short, that's primarily a liability thing on their part. They're not expecting most consumers to take their time and actually research, plan, and carefully select computer parts.

Also note that not all power supply calculators use actual measured power consumption numbers - some erroneously use a card's TDP (thermal design power - that is, how much cooling is necessary) as a power figure.

If you'd like some reassuring numbers, take a look here.
November 11, 2012 9:19:45 PM

mousseng said:
Keep in mind they (manufacturers and retailers) are not telling you how much power you actually need for those cards - they're covering their asses because there's such a wide range of hardware users can have. You could have a ridiculously power-hungry processor, a mislabeled or otherwise bad power supply, etc, etc. They don't want to have people calling them up saying "u sed i needed 600w so i bought a $20 600w psu and now my compooter broked," so it's easier for them to use very high estimates.

In short, that's primarily a liability thing on their part. They're not expecting most consumers to take their time and actually research, plan, and carefully select computer parts.

Also note that not all power supply calculators use actual measured power consumption numbers - some erroneously use a card's TDP (thermal design power - that is, how much cooling is necessary) as a power figure.

If you'd like some reassuring numbers, take a look here.


Oh right I get ya now. So based on that info 2x 7950's CrossFired shouldn't draw more than around 400w combined, which would mean that a good 650w PSU would power them both absolutely fine. That's very relieving as I'm already £350 over budget, I originally didn't intend to buy a new monitor or mouse and keyboard, and those PSU calculators made me think I would need to buy some £150 1kw PSU!

I did see in that testing that the 7950 isn't very good at running a few particular games, of which is a game I was planning on spending countless hours playing! In fact playing that game was one of the main reasons for building a new PC. Hmmm very frustrating :??: 
November 11, 2012 10:45:30 PM

mousseng said:
Keep in mind that that particular review is 10 months old now - driver updates, the latest ones in particular, will have improved performance across the board.


LOL every question/concern I've had, you've been able to solve :) 
Thanks pal, I really do appreciate it.