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How Many Watts (pc Build)


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I normally build low end pc's for work or for friends. I just grab a case that comes with a cheap supply and it works.

I'm doing my first high-end rig. and I don't want to over spend with the power supply but I really dont want to under shoot it.

I plan to upgrade the ram/hdd/and add another dvd burner in the future.

HP Black 24X Multiformat DVD Writer - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16827140042

Western Digital Caviar 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16822136073

BIOSTAR TForce TA790GX A3+ AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16813138141

Crucial 2GB Desktop Memory - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820148149

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 125W Quad-Core Processor - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16819103808

I currently have a 1000W supply on my list, previously had a 500W

again I don't wanna over shoot it cost wise but really dont wanna buy something that cant handle my specs

EDIT

Should probably mention I'll be using an Antec 900 gaming case with about 6 blue led fans

Edited by acer5050
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I'd use that website with a little caution. It recommended that my system needed only a 382W supply when I know only reccently I had to replace my 520W supply with an 850W one (I upgraded from 2 7600GT's to a single 9800GX2)

I guess you're on a budget... which really does suck, but as I have said in the past don't scrimp if you can. A friend in work once told me "buy cheap buy twice". If (and that's a big IF) you can afford it try and buy a Corsair HX Series PSU, while I can't claim that they offer anything over and above any other large braded maker their packaging and overall branding rivals that of Apple (yes that's right, boxes that shit comes in does it more for me than the products themselves) :D

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I'm planning on getting a 700w at this point vs a 1000w going with integrated graphics for now.

Was going to go all out on this but I wrecked my car so you can guess where my build money went.

I'll end up starting with 2gb ram and a 500gb hdd and I'll have to upgrade as I go

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It's a pity about that site apparantly not being as reliable as it might. Surely there's a logical (and easy) way of calculating PSU requirements for a particular hardware configuration? I'm also looking into building a new PC for someone soon and have almost come to the conclusion of think of a wattage ... and double it!

I agree with the principle of paying a bit more for quality and it'll last longer, rather than scrimp and save because it will cost in the long term.

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I've got a Corsair TX750 in my "gaming" rig, runs fine. Granted I am only running a C2D 3.16Ghz, with 8GB DDR2 800 RAM and a GTX260 (no SLI). I haven't had any problems.

I don't know if you've already bought the case yet, but I despise the Antec 900 that I threw my server in. It does push a lot of air, but I don't really like it all that much. No PVM-type fans, just the kind that use the huge molex connectors. Blarg!

I am thinking of swapping it out for an HAF case.

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Buy a decent PSU from Corsair or another reputable manufacturer. Do not skimp on cost. Hell get a 1000W just to have if you upgrade further.

Might seem a stupid question ... but I suspect that the 1000W is the maximum power that it can take from the wall supply? If the PC/HD/RAM/Expansion cards need only, say, 200W, is that all that the power supply will draw from the wall? Obviously, I'm concerned about the increasing cost of gas and electricity so wouldn't want to put an overly-powerful PSU into the kit. I realise that a 1000W PSU would allow for expansion or upgrading in due course.

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I've got a Corsair TX750 in my "gaming" rig, runs fine. Granted I am only running a C2D 3.16Ghz, with 8GB DDR2 800 RAM and a GTX260 (no SLI). I haven't had any problems.

I don't know if you've already bought the case yet, but I despise the Antec 900 that I threw my server in. It does push a lot of air, but I don't really like it all that much. No PVM-type fans, just the kind that use the huge molex connectors. Blarg!

I am thinking of swapping it out for an HAF case.

Yes I did already buy it, I did notice that with the fan. I like it so far but then again its been sitting in the box empty for about 2-3 months now sine I ran into cash problems

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I suspect that the 1000W is the maximum power that it can take from the wall supply? If the PC/HD/RAM/Expansion cards need only, say, 200W, is that all that the power supply will draw from the wall?

You would suspect correctly. However there is a bit more to it than that.

(making numbers up here) Efficiency is on a curve, where say at the low end (say 150W) the supply is 40% efficient (in which case the supply actually pulls 360W) and at 900W it might be 98% efficient (where it actually pulls 910W).

Every extra watt (of inefficiency) is expelled as heat out the back or front of the unit. Just something else to think about. While ultimately ***better*** to have a larger than needed supply, its not always best to have the largest possible number.

Edited by bobdole369
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Indeed. It's best to get a PSU that closely matches your power requirements, but that is hard to do sometimes.

I suppose it is personal preference. For me, I've got the server in the dining room and it lights up the whole room at night.. who needs a night light? :P

I got it cuz it was cheap at the time and it had a hell of a lot of drive bays, but the lack of a "power" light (the Lighted fans are supposed to be the "power light" but meh), kinda annoyed me, since I couldn't turn off the light on the fans without replacing them.

If I redo my server, I'm probably going to buy a prebuilt server from System76 since it would be in a server case with server type parts.

Edited by Charles
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I think if you are going with integrated graphics, the 500w was probably enough. Adding a beefy GPU, then you might be stretching it, but probably still within reason. If you start maxing out the HDD's then step up to a 650 or larger. Most GPU's are only going to need between 250 - 300 watts, but ones built in to the board often don't need as much and wont add to the overhead of additional parts, airflow, heat, etc.

Also, with a built in GPU and 1 HDD, you probably wont need that many fans. Two on front, and an exhaust on the rear(plus PSU fan) and the CPU fan should be more than enough. Add a heafty GPU and more drives then yes, you will want more cooling, but only if the GPU doesnt come with its own fan. Most high end cards should these days, but even then you might add more fans for better air flow since the added GPU will also create a different path of air flow in the case and additional heating.

Less addon parts, less heat, less power needed. More cards and disk drives added, more fans and more power needed, but I think you can easily get away with the 500watt PSU in your scenario. Once they start adding, then they will probably want to beef up that power, but thats a cost they can decide to factor in now, or later. If they know they are going to start adding cards and drives, then step up with a heavier PSU from day one, and they will be able to expand later without having to replace it.

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Interesting comments from all for me to consider. The system that I plan to build will probably be predominantly onboard graphics etc., but I will have 2 SATA II drives. I take the point about efficiency and suppose that, if the PSU is insufficient, I can swap it for a higher rated one and use the original as a spare for testing etc.

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Interesting comments from all for me to consider. The system that I plan to build will probably be predominantly onboard graphics etc., but I will have 2 SATA II drives. I take the point about efficiency and suppose that, if the PSU is insufficient, I can swap it for a higher rated one and use the original as a spare for testing etc.

I'm running 2.2ghz 1st Generation AMD Phenom X4 (larger wafer), two 500gb SATA drives, a DVD/CD burner, ATI HD 2400 XT PCI-Express GPU, 4GB ram, 1 rear exhaust fan, CPU fan, an Audigy Creative Sound Card and only have a 300watt power supply. My temps are generally pretty cool even under heavy load such as video editing or gaming. Although my GPU card isnt a high end gaming card, it handles most stuff pretty well. I probably should go up a notch on the power supply, but I have been using this configuration for about 2 years now, and havent had any issues.

So, you would be surprised that you dont need the worlds largest power supply for a moderate system like you are building. These days, 500watt is a good middle ground, and wont kill the piggy bank, not fail to handle most of what you are doing, even if adding a bigger GPU and more drives, I think its more than enough.

Edited by digip
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Well, to clear up some common misconceptions here... PSU wattage is not nearly as important as efficiency. When you get an 80+ power supply, for the most part, they have been rigorously tested to perform at 80% efficiency at room temperature. A lot of power supply manufacturers will build their power supplies with low quality capacitors, then test the power supply at an extremely low temperature (think, -10* c), then list the wattage produced at the low temperature as the maximum wattage.

Honestly, your system would be perfectly set with a 500w quality power supply, an 1000w power supply would be total overkill, and raise prices on your energy bill twofold. Not only is 500w enough for that system, you could also add in a GPU without any problems (so long as you're not putting in a GTX295 or 5970, lol).

If you'd like to explore quality power supplies, Jonny Guru does full strip down testing, including ripping apart and testing the components and testing the wattage at different temperatures.

If you don't want to get into that much depth, just grab one of these adequate power supplies.

Corsair 550w

Earthwatts 500w

Earthwatts 500D

SeaSonic 550w

Just a sidenote, there are certain brands that generally put out good power supplies, being: Antec, Corsair, SeaSonic, Silverstone come to mind. There are also certain brands that can have a home run, but generally have crappy power supplies... OCZ, Rosewill, BFG, Coolermaster come to mind. Make sure to read reviews about these supplies before you purchase one.

Good luck :)

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I've used Corsair PSUs in two of the machines I've built (for myself anyway). Two of the other ones are OCZ ones. I haven't had any problems with any of them.

The Antec 900 case I got came with a 500W Earthwatts PSU that would cause a surge when the machine powered down, so it had to be replaced.

YMMV ofc.

Edited by Charles
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The Antec 900 case I got came with a 500W Earthwatts PSU that would cause a surge when the machine powered down, so it had to be replaced.

Haha that's brilliant, I just have images of the lights in your whole street dipping while you reboot.

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Hahaha! It wasn't that bad, but the whole machine would switch on for a couple seconds then turn off whenever I shut it down. I was afraid of having hardware damage/data loss so I replaced it with an OCZ that was on sale at Newegg. So far it's worked flawlessly, which is great, considering the machine is on 24/7.

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my system specs are below...

i have a 1050w evo psu, but i was sold a faulty unit, so for a week, i used intergrated radeon 4200 and took my 2 5870's out and ran it on a 300w psu.

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