Tuesday, May 8th 2007

Humongous Power Supplies and what you Really Need

Manufacturers are nowadays bound to their respective marketing gurus resulting in ridiculously exaggerated trends which the usual customer tends to overlook. Let us talk about power supplies for instance. With 1000 Watt power supplies available from many companies and 2000 Watt power supplies just around the corner one can come quickly to the conclusion that you really need that much power.
But you don't! Mostly every website out there who puts PC hardware states the electric power consumption or gives a rough figure about it. If you then add those numbers together for every component you have you might be surprised about the result. For Example, the guys from Legion Hardware put together a dead fast machine consisting of a quad-core Intel CPU, two GeForce 8800GTX cards, a feature-packed ASUS Striker Extreme motherboard and four 1GB DDR2 memory modules. Additionally the system had four Seagate 320GB hard drives and six 120mm case fans and let's not forget the water-cooling system. Now reckon what wattage the power supply they used to power that beast was rated at!
550 Watt - They took a Thermaltake Purepower 550w and it works like a charm for more than two months now.
Power supply output ratings are actually quite inaccurate and can be very misleading. This is why it is very important to purchase a trusted and respected brand name.
If you came this far I would suggest you reading that article, it's well written and outlines every aspect of what to have in mind when purchasing a decent power supply.Source: Legion Hardware
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45 Comments on Humongous Power Supplies and what you Really Need

#1
WarEagleAU
Bird of Prey
Thanks Bastieeh. I always thought that more than 700W PSUs were not really needed. I look forward to reading about this. Also, it will be interesting to know if they overclocked anything and upped any voltages.
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#2
d44ve
So then I dont need to use this gas generator here for my computer???
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#3
LiNKiN
Staff
by: d44ve
So then I dont need to use this gas generator here for my computer???
:slap: Should've known that from the start. :slap:
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#4
ryboto
it's ridiculous that people assume they need that much power. Unless you're running quad sli, you're only going to consume 200-300 watts MAX, if you fully stress your system(cpu/gpu). Most users could get away with a 300-350W quality power supply, no sense in these 600W monsters.
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#5
d44ve
by: LiNKiN
:slap: Should've known that from the start. :slap:
but I put on a flowmaster exhuast system on it!

I think I need to keep using it. I am thinking about adding an extra 120mm fan in the future.
Posted on Reply
#6
LiNKiN
Staff
by: d44ve
but I put on a flowmaster exhuast system on it!

I think I need to keep using it. I am thinking about adding an extra 120mm fan in the future.
Go buy a 24" box fan from walmart, mod it, and throw in some blue led's. Enjoy.
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#7
WarEagleAU
Bird of Prey
And yet, its amazing how most Computer building mods (not moderators, just know it alls :) ) recommend a good 600W or more beastie ::shame::
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#8
d44ve
by: LiNKiN
Go buy a 24" box fan from walmart, mod it, and throw in some blue led's. Enjoy.
ahhhh snap! I gettin me some twenty fours!!!
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#9
bretts31344
Exactly why I got my 520 watt Corsair PSU. It is way more than enough for my system.
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#10
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
i got the 700W OCZ gamestream knowing it was more than i needed but that is because i was using a 550w coolmax which would turn it self off after i overclocked my GPU/CPU. obviously coolmax is crap but i wasnt going to risk it. now only if this ocz had the right connectors for dual R600 cards...
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#11
Zero Cool
I have a 500W PSU and my computer uses 480W, quite close assuming the power consumption was guessed by my friend :)
Posted on Reply
#12
LiNKiN
Staff
Maybe sneekypeet will crash this party with his 3xx watt Bestec which is running a DFI, X1950pro, and an overclocked AMD chip!
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#13
sneekypeet
Unpaid Babysitter
its 250 and 14 amp sir...lmao
Posted on Reply
#14
LiNKiN
Staff
by: sneekypeet
its 250 and 14 amp sir...lmao
even better!!!!!!!!!!!! Check his specs folks! Bestec FTW!!!
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#15
d44ve
how do you find out what you computer is actually using?

I know they have those online calculators, but those are not that accurate.
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#16
Sasqui
by: d44ve
how do you find out what you computer is actually using?

I know they have those online calculators, but those are not that accurate.
Search for a product called "Kill A Watt" - I have it plugged into my puter right now (see specs). At full load, it draws 360 watts at the plug... at 75% efficiency, that's only about 300+w the puter is actuall drawing.
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#18
overcast
by: Zero Cool
I have a 500W PSU and my computer uses 480W, quite close assuming the power consumption was guessed by my friend :)
Your computer does not even come close to using 480W.
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#19
HousERaT
This is all fine and good as long as you don't overclock. That's where the extra power is needed.
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#20
Sasqui
by: HousERaT
This is all fine and good as long as you don't overclock. That's where the extra power is needed.
It definitely draw some extra power, but look at my post above and system specs. E6600 @3.5Ghz and overclocked X1950XTX, all that draws only ~300w (measured).
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#21
Zero Cool
by: overcast
Your computer does not even come close to using 480W.
I checked it with a Watt Calculator program. said 480
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#22
HousERaT
by: Sasqui
It definitely draw some extra power, but look at my post above and system specs. E6600 @3.5Ghz and overclocked X1950XTX, all that draws only ~300w (measured).
That's not a wicked cruel system. No reason in the world why that should challenge a good 500w PSU. I'm referring to the system in the article. No way that's a maxed out, overclocked system with all that stuff, a quad core and two GTXs.
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#23
Garb3
they do said that the system in the article generates a max of 530watt demand
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#24
Beertintedgoggles
by: Zero Cool
I checked it with a Watt Calculator program. said 480
Typing in my system into eXtreme's online power supply calculator, I supposedly need 694W. I've measured my current draw with RTHDRIBL maxing out one of my cores and vid card, and prime95 on the second core. When measured from the wall outlet with a Fluke current meter, I'm only drawing 230W. Of course I'm sure a rather large majority of that is coming from the +12V rails but it's still quite a long way off from the rated 550W of my PSU.
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#25
XooM
Quality over quantity. Thats all it really comes down to. a six bajillion watt supply from generic inc., or a 480 watt supply from PCP&C?
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