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Power Supply Upgrade?

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by -Spanky-, Apr 10, 2010.

  1. -Spanky-

    -Spanky- New Member

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    My recent venture into overclocking has led me to believe that my 550-Watt isn't up to the task anymore. It's an Antec TP3-550, made by Seasonic. I've had it for a little over 2 years and use it every day. For the most part, my system specs are updated.

    Long story short, in overclocking I get weird results and instability where others have had success. More often, stress programs/Windows freezes rather than spitting out an error. Also, not that I trust it 100% but I went here: http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine and set in my config with 30% capacitor aging and it came out to 561 Watts. I think mine might be getting towards the beginning of the end.

    Anyway, I'm looking up PSU's and I like the CORSAIR 850HX (aside from the price :rolleyes:) but I'm concerned about longevity. I know it's a solid PSU made by Seasonic but how would it stand up if I'm using it 3 or 4 years from now with a totally new system? It's possible I might go SLI with a new CPU and overclock it as well. I probably won't ever have more than 2 hard drives though. I thought about this and looked at another option, the CORSAIR 950TX. I don't necessarily care about modular-ness but that thing has a lot of cables. I noticed JonnyGuru had a review on it and said it was made by CWT however looking at the Newegg pictures, it has the same UL number as Seasonic. I was wondering if anyone could comment on it, if they have one and could post the UL number?

    So my question would be, would the 850HX be enough for 4 years down the road with a higher performance system? Or should I go with the possibly lower-end 950TX? I dropped $90 on the PSU I have at the time and I hoped it would last longer and I don't want to make the same mistake.
     
  2. dr emulator (madmax)

    dr emulator (madmax)

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    well i can understand your concerns but i would have thought the 850w hx should be adequate for anything you throw at it, as long as your not planning on a heavy crossfire or sli in the future, plus the fact they come with a jaw dropping 7 year warranty

    i will be getting a 850hx in the near future for a i7 build, as the hx 650watt i have is pefect for my needs and is very quiet and energy efficient
    (but only fits in one machine:rolleyes::laugh:), plus i love the modular cables (keeps the birds nest down :laugh:)
    so ye i would get one
    my last psu was a hyperx which was ok but wasn't very stable
     
  3. -Spanky-

    -Spanky- New Member

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    Yea I really like the warranty. I just... get a little concerned about capacitor aging and the possibility of down the road wanting to do a SLI setup with a newer generation card, mobo and upper-end CPU, not high end $1500 but decent. Could anyone calm my nerves about this? It's not like I'm going to buy one tomorrow, just trying to gather info about it now :)
     
  4. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    I think the 850w PSU is enough to last you 4 years and some more, but to do SLI it really depends on what ATI and Nvidia is aiming for. ATI is going down the "green" route with low power consumption, low enough for 500w psus to comfortably run the lower end cards on xfire. However, Nvidia chose the "performance" route, and the 850w might struggle even with one card (I know 850HX can run GTX480 SLI, but just making a point here). Its actually quite hard to predict what is going to happen 4 years down the road. I mean, 4 years ago AMD was kicking P4 and dual cores is the king of the hill.
     
  5. -Spanky-

    -Spanky- New Member

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    Ok, but do you think that my 2 year old 550 is causing me frustration?
     
  6. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    Might, then again, might not. Maybe you can go back to stock and see how it goes?
     
  7. angelkiller

    angelkiller

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    I think you're ok regarding power. Wattage wise, you're way in the clear. That PSU calculator tells how large of a PSU you should get. So you're pretty much spot on.

    The only way the PSU could affect your OC is the quality of electricity it's giving the computer. But freezes don't necessarily mean PSU problems. In my experience, random freezing means that you're close to being stable, but the chip still needs more voltage. YMMV. Every chip OCs differently too. So comparing it with others' OCs is only worth so much. In this situation, I think your OC is more to blame than your PSU.

    850W is overkill unless you know you'll be doing SLI/CF with high end cards. If you do want to replace your PSU, I think a nice 650W unit made by a reputable manufacturer will be about as future proof as you can get. (imo)

    As for high powered graphics cards, Fermi is just repeat of AMD's R600. Nvidia will probably die shrink it at some point to lower power consumption. And I'll bet that their next architecture will be much more power efficient and lower powered than this.
     
  8. francis511

    francis511

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    I had trouble with a 600w psu and a gtx 275. Then I got a 700w psu and now it`s working fine.
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  9. angelkiller

    angelkiller

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    I don't mean to discredit you, but that's doesn't prove much. Was your 600W PSU faulty or could it not provide enough power? You can't answer that question and I would guess that your 600W unit wasn't up to par. 600W is plenty for any single card setup.
     
  10. -Spanky-

    -Spanky- New Member

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    It's really hard to tell :) CPU is perfectly fine, I ran 450MHz FSB and 3.68GHz on the CPU and it went 4+ hours on Linpack, 8+ hours on Prime95. Since it was what I would call stable, I fired up GTA4 while Prime95 was running for fun, when I closed GTA4 after 12 minutes or so of playing, the computer locked up. Maybe a power spike that pushed the already-on-the-limit usage past what the PSU could handle?

    I'm just guessing in the dark here. I've had this one for 2 years and use it every day (not 24/7, I turn it off at night). It's hard to know for sure, I'm just hoping someone that has more experience or knowledge than I do can give me a better idea.
     
  11. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, it certainly wouldn't hurt to get a bigger PSU if for nothing else, it will run more efficiently.
    If I remember correctly, PSUs hit their sweet sport for efficientcy at about 50% of their rated power output (correct me if I'm wrong gents :toast: )

    So let's say that are drawing 450 watts. A 750 or 850 watt PSU will be supply that power more efficiently than the 550.

    As far as your computer locking up, have you eliminated all the other possibilities ?
    For instance, your graphic card or something else?
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2010
  12. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    The last time I read it was about 70-80%. Someone else please confirm.
     
  13. I see SPY!

    I see SPY! New Member

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    According to Corsair, at least. I suppose any other good power supply will have a similar chart.
     
  14. angelkiller

    angelkiller

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    What you said about PSUs and efficiency is all true. However, the OP is only drawing ~250W, which makes a leger PSU overkill.

    All PSUs are most efficient at around 50%. Not because of the manufacturer, but because of how PSUs work in general. Just FYI.
     
  15. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree, AK, if he is not drawing more than about 300 or 400 watts, his PSU should be fine unless it is starting to fail.

    But don't forget bragging rights. "I got a 4 Jigawatt PSU !!" :laugh:
     
  16. -Spanky-

    -Spanky- New Member

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    Maybe for my GPU?

    [​IMG]

    *EDIT*
    Crap, I realize that chart is wattage at the AC outlet. Couldn't you just say that 80% (give or take) of that would be going to the GPU?

    According to that and PSU calculators, I should be using about 380 watts just for my GPU and CPU alone (at max load).

    I'm all for efficiency, that's definitely a reason to upgrade. But, $175, that extra cash doesn't come around as often as I'd hope and I don't want to have to spend it on a PSU if I don't have to. But, I have no problem paying extra (when I can) to buy parts that are going to last a long time. I would hate to buy one just to find out.

    I did read up and it seems like if a PSU can't provide the power that the system needs, the whole computer shuts down. I've only had 1 unexplained shut down and I wasn't around when it happened. I've hooked up a multimeter and the 12v only moves 0.02v between BIOS and full load inside Windows, then it's at 12.12v. I don't know how the whole rails thing works but maybe my load isn't balanced right or something. This PSU does have 3 rails for the 12v.

    I tried to replicate the freezing while I had my multimeter hooked up and I couldn't. Maybe I'm just a total noob at overclocking and am looking for excuses to cover that up :laugh:
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2010

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