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Building the most power efficient computer at 850 watt supply

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March 7, 2013 11:13:16 AM

Help I plan to upgrade my 3 years old computer. These are the parts that I currently have:
Case: thermaltake level 10 gt
Power supply: 850 watt 80+
Monitor plasma TV 1920x1080 60 inches
DVD drive: LG drive something

I like to have 1 or maybe 2 ssd and 3 harddrives in raid 5. Money is not really the main issue but power efficiency is. But please don't ask me that if money is not the main issue why don't you change the supply and monitor setup?

Lastly, it is gaming rig.
March 7, 2013 11:37:00 AM

Is a Platinum 80+? That will make the biggest difference when going for efficiency. An AX860 is a good example of a very efficient PSU.

Do you want components which draw less power then, or are just efficient? Cards with higher ASIC will be more efficient, but you can't tell before you buy them, it's pretty much a lottery. Also the power draw will change depending on the model.

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March 7, 2013 11:56:34 AM

uhm..my psu is an old antec quattro 850W 80+ bronze (81% efficiency at full load)

ah...let me re-state my question, I want the best overall gaming rig that will run under this particular supply at 1920x1080 resolution. And I plan to have 1 - 2 ssd and 3 2tb harddrives in the future. I hope all of these components shouldn't break my PSU in the long run, so I am looking for components which draw less power. Thanks for clarifying my question. :) 
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March 7, 2013 12:15:01 PM

For a 1080p resolution, not many setups are going to draw anywhere near the 850w ceiling. The power draw on the system I recommend, would never exceed 600w, and is probably not even 500 most of the time, so well within the comfort zone of the PSU.

For graphics the absolute max I would recommend getting is a 7970 Ghz edition. It'll be overkill for a single 1080p, but if money is not an issue, go for it. Otherwise if you want to save a bit, pick up either a 7950 or a 670 GTX depending on your preference. You can easily run a dual card setup on that power supply, or even triple, but the performance gain at 1080p will be negligible (or rather unnoticeable) and you're just adding extra heat, cost, noise and the plethora of issues that multi-card setups tend to create. You can ALWAYS add a 2nd GPU later on down the road, but selling one will lose you quite a bit of money.

For the rest of the system, I like an ASRock Z77 paired with a 3570k (or again if money is no issue, a 3770k, though it won't make any difference for gaming performance). Get some nice 1600Mhz+ RAM and a solid CPU cooler like the Noctua NH-D14 and you'll be good to go.

Here's the build in a more readable form:

PCPartPicker part list

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($80.36 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($49.30 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($449.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $904.63

Would you like me to recommend SSDs and hard drives, or have you already picked some out?

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March 7, 2013 12:29:14 PM

With 850watts you can build pretty much anything. But a 670 or 680 will give you better frame times then a 7970...a 660ti will suffice @1080p.
As for you cpu and hard drives Chose a 3570 or 3770k on a decent MB and you ca use as many fans HDD's and SSD' as your MB will support and you willhave plenty of power left over :ouch: 
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March 7, 2013 12:33:40 PM

Best answer selected by txp158.
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March 7, 2013 12:53:34 PM

Frame latency has been pretty much fixed by AMD for 79xx, I was gaming on a 7950 a week ago and it felt exactly the same as my GTX 670 now. 13.2 Betas too good! A good quality 7970 will overclock so much more than say a 680 as well.

Best of luck with your upgrades,

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