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Thread: Which PSU should I get?




  1. #1
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    Default Which PSU should I get?

    Hey guys,

    I'm thinking of building a new PC specifically for gaming, and am wondering which PSU I should get.
    I'm really troubled by this since I don't know the first thing about PSU, so hoping for your help with this.

    Here are the components I'm getting:

    CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor
    Mobo: ASRock Z97 EXTREME4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard
    RAM: G.Skill Trident X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2400 Memory
    HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
    GPU: Sapphire Radeon R9 290 4GB Tri-X Video Card

    This is the store I'm using as I can get a special deal there:
    https://www.umart.com.au/umart1/pro/index.phtml?bid=9


    But like I said before, I really don't know anything about power supplies, and really confused when looking at this list:
    Choose A Power Supply - PCPartPicker Australia

    I have no idea what the different efficiencies are, what are the recommended watts for my build and whether it's modular or not,
    since this is my first time building a PC.

    Here's some additional information, I don't know whether they are useful or not:
    1. Yes I'm planning on overclocking in the future, but not decided on air or liquid cooler yet, should I leave more headroom for this?
    2. I'm not using an optical drive.
    3. I will buy a SSD later as well.


    And for the PSU, are there some brands or series which are better than the others? And should I leave more headroom (more watts)
    for the PSU for future proofing, so I can switch out parts like the GPU in the far future without hassle?

    I'm really looking for the best bang for the buck here, but don't want to damage those expensive parts I paid and also not too limited as well.

    Anyways really appreciate any help you guys can give!

    Best Regards,
    sapped

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Which PSU should I get?

    Those parts add up to < 450W. If you add water cooling and another R9 290, you're pushing 700W under full load. So, if you're sure that the items on your list are all you'll need, a 500/550W unit is fine. If you see a Crossfire setup in your future, you're more in the 750W range.

    If you have a few bucks to spare, a Gold- or Platinum-rated 80+ unit will generate less heat, and thus run quieter. You can get completely silent (like, they don't even have a fan, so they can't make noise) PSUs up to a little over 500W.

    For a small list of components like yours, full-modular PSUs are really nice, since you only have to run the cables you need.

    Of course, all those features add to the cost, so you have to do the bang-for-the-buck analysis.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Which PSU should I get?

    Hey mate thank you so much for your reply, really appreciate this.

    So you're saying 750W is the best bet for future proofing? I forgot to mention this last time, but I'm also planning to
    add a SSD sometime in the future as well. So would rather spend a little more now and not be limited in the future.

    I've just been wondering, what other differences are there between 80+ Titanium, Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze etc.?
    Like are better quality ones less likely to blow up and damage other components?

    Since Gold and Platinum ones generate less heat, and runs quieter, do they also consume less electricity/power?
    If this is the case I would very much want to spend on the higher quality ones, as it's more efficient in the long
    run when the electricity bill comes.

    Also if I may ask, what does semi and full modular affect? I just wish to learn more about this haha :P

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Which PSU should I get?

    No non-defective PSU is going to "blow up and damage other components". Even if you routinely abuse and overload the PSU, the failure mode is going to be "oops, no power!", not "oops, my machine exploded!"

    The 80+ rating is about efficiency; how much input power goes to the load, as opposed to being turned into heat. Check wikipedia for details. It matters as follows:

    Say you have an older 70% PSU supplying a load of 700W; how much input power does that require? 700/.7=1000W. Where does the other 300W go? Into the PSU box as heat, that then gets dumped into your room. And, every 3 hr 20 min your machine is running, you're paying for another KWH of electricity.

    Switch to an 80+ Platinum PSU. Now it only needs 700/.9=778W, or 78W of heat, and it takes 12hr 49min to burn that KWH.

    Using the numbers from my last electric bill, that's $177/year if the machine runs 24x7 at full load. Which, of course, it doesn't; mine runs 24x7, but probably closer to 20% average load. Still, that's over $35/year, which means that my 80+ Platinum PSU will pay back the cost differential over a standard PSU in less than a year, and will pay for itself completely in about 4 years. After that, it can start paying for the rest of the computer...

    If you think Crossfire is a possibility then yes, 750W or so is your future-proofing.

    Keep in mind that these numbers are max-load values. Unless you spend all of your computer time running demanding shooters with everything overclocked, your typical load is going to be 15%-25% of maximum. Which makes the efficiency rating even more important: for example, 80+ Platinum PSUs must maintain 90% efficiency down to 20% of max rating, where older PSUs--especially of the budget persuasion--could be down to 60% or less at low loads. With those old cheapo units, you could literally be paying for twice as much power as your box was actually using.

    Modular is also about only paying for what you're using--in this case, in cable space. First, the basic rule is: larger-capacity PSUs have more cables. Makes sense, since they're there to power more stuff. But what if you don't have that much stuff? Basically, you're always going to be using:
    1 24pin ATX
    1 4+4pin CPU + 1 6+2pin GPU (same wires, just a different split); PSUs in this range have at least 3; mine has 5
    1 6-pin SATA; PSUs in this range have at least 3; mine has 5

    Here's a shot of my PSU:Which PSU should I get?-2014-12-29-13-32-50-jpg
    As you can see, there are 4 empty connectors; two 6pin SATA and two 8pin PCIE/CPU (this board uses a second 4+4 CPU cable). If this were a non-modular PSU with the same cabling, that's 4 cables, totaling about 10 feet, that would be sticking out of the PSU and I would have to put somewhere. In fact, here are the cables that aren't being used, lying on a regular 8-1/2x11 sheet of paper:http://i.imgur.com/RVwQVYP.jpg. If I didn't have the external drives and a fan controller (i.e. had about the same as your setup), 2 more of the 6pin SATA would be empty--which would be another 3 feet of cable in a non-modular PSU.

    Full-modular PSUs aren't dramatically more expensive than non-modular, but there is a price difference. For me, it's worth it, since I don't have to figure out what to do with 10 feet of unused cables.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Which PSU should I get?

    The best value for a high end 80Plus gold rated power supply is the EVGA 750 watt 220-G2-0750-XR model for $145 (AUD).
    Super Flower is the manufacturer and the G2 uses their Leadex platform.
    It's performance is equal to high end Seasonic power supplies.
    The G2 power supply has a 10 year warranty after you register it with EVGA.
    **edit** The only drawback with the G2 is that it measures 180 mm from front to back and other brands are usually about 160 mm.
    This might be an issue with some computer cases that have a bottom fan mounting location next to the power supply.

    JonnyGURU - EVGA Supernova G2 750W Review

    HARDOCP - Why 80Plus is Irrelevant to You When Buying a PSU is a good read that discusses premium psu prices and higher efficiency. Even if you could save 5 cents per day compared with a gold rated psu, that would amount to a savings of $18.25 per year with a platinum rated psu. The Antec EA-750 Platinum model is about the same price but psu reviews point out that the EA-750's performance and component selection is inferior.

    EVGA - PSU Review Database has excellent information and links to most of the best psu review sites for each psu model.

    RealHardTechX has similar web pages for other psu vendors.

    eXtreme Power Supply Calculator - The most trusted PSU Wattage Calculator is an excellent site to determine the optimal size for your power supply.

    I agree that a 750 watt power supply will best meet your needs if you later use a dual video card setup.

    Which PSU should I get?-80plus-en-chart-png
    Last edited by profJim; 12-30-2014 at 01:55 PM.
    Q9650 @ 4.10GHz [9x456MHz]
    P35-DS4 [rev: 2.0] ~ Bios: F14
    4x2GB OCZ Reaper PC2-8500 1094MHz @5-5-5-15
    MSI N460GTX Hawk Talon Attack (1GB) video card <---- SLI ---->
    Seasonic SS-660XP2 80 Plus Platinum psu (660w)
    WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data)
    Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD (boot)
    SLI @ 16/4 works when running HyperSLI
    Cooler Master 120XL Seidon push/pull AIO cpu water cooling
    Cooler Master HAF XB computer case (RC-902XB-KKN1)
    Asus VH242H 24" monitor [1920x1080]
    MSI N460GTX Hawk (1GB) video card
    Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium
    HT|Omega Claro plus+ sound card
    CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD UPS
    E6300 (R0) @ 3.504GHz [8x438MHz] ~~ P35-DS3L [rev: 1.0] ~ Bios: F9 ~~ 4x2GB Kingston HyperX T1 PC2-8500, 876MHz @4-4-4-10
    Seasonic X650 80+ gold psu (650w) ~~ Xigmatek Balder HDT 1283 cpu cooler ~~ Cooler Master CM 690 case (RC-690-KKN1-GP)
    Samsung 830 128GB SSD MZ-7PC128B/WW (boot) ~~ WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data) ~~ ZM-MFC2 fan controller
    HT|Omega Striker 7.1 sound card ~~ Asus VH242H monitor [1920x1080] ~~ Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium ~~ CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD U.P.S
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Which PSU should I get?

    IMO, Gold, Platinum, and Titanium rated efficiency PSUs are superior not simply because they use less power (and the power cost difference is not that significant), but their high efficiency is an advantage in other important areas.

    In order to meet the efficiency ratings, their design and parts must be more sophisticated and of higher quality than lesser models. Increasing PSU efficiency is actually caused by causing less power to be wasted during the process of converting AC current into DC current. Power that is wasted is usually converted into heat, which then must be dealt with which creates more problems, such as fan noise and increased physical size and weight of the PSU. Excess heat also degrades electronic components faster.

    Cheap PSUs are inferior in all areas of performance and life span. You must have a good PSU in a PC, you don't want it to be questionable in any way as it is the base for the rest of the PC.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Which PSU should I get?

    Hey guys, some complications just occured, and in dire need of your advices.

    Turns out they don't have any EVGA SuperNova G2 750W in stock at that store, they only have the 850W ones.
    However I need to buy all the components from that store in order to get the special deal there.
    So I really don't know what to do at the moment.

    The store staff say they may have new stocks arriving on the 20th of Jan, should I wait until then for the 750W one ($145 AUD),
    or just purchase the 850W one ($179 AUD) right now?

    750W already seems to be overkill when 650W is already enough for my new rig, and add another 100W on top seems to be a big waste.

    I don't think I will go CrossFire since there's a lot of compatibility problems associated with the games I play. But on the slim chance that
    I do decide to pick up another Sapphire R9 290 card in the future, will the 850W PSU be enough considering I'm also heavily overclocking
    my CPU (i7 4790k) to 4.7Ghz? And add multiple fans, maybe even water cooler on top.

    So I'm really lost on what to do. If I just stick to a single R9 290 in the future, will the 850W be a wastage? Like will it even be in the optimal
    efficiency range for different load levels?

    If so then I don't think there will be any point in spending more money on a less efficient PSU for my need. Although should I leave more
    headroom anyway if I decide to upgrade to a new GPU many years later?

    So what are your opinions about this? Really appreciate any feedbacks.

  8. #8
    profJim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which PSU should I get?

    The EVGA G2 is overkill for a single card setup, but it's still within reason.

    The optimal psu efficiency is usually when you you are usng 40 - 60% of the psu's rated capacity.

    It's recommended that you don't exceed 80% of the psu's capacity when running intensive games for many hours.

    JonnyGURU - EVGA Supernova G2 850W Review -- Total score: 9.9 out of 10!!

    The only other option that I see is one of the XFX 650 - 750 watt gold rated power supplies.

    If you check the reviews or the XFX page on RealHardTechX I'm pretty sure that you will find tha the XFX 650 - 750 watt models are made by Seasonic.

    I really like power supplies made by Seasonic, but right now the EVGA Leadex models are putting a world of hurt on other high end psu manufacturers and vendors.
    Q9650 @ 4.10GHz [9x456MHz]
    P35-DS4 [rev: 2.0] ~ Bios: F14
    4x2GB OCZ Reaper PC2-8500 1094MHz @5-5-5-15
    MSI N460GTX Hawk Talon Attack (1GB) video card <---- SLI ---->
    Seasonic SS-660XP2 80 Plus Platinum psu (660w)
    WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data)
    Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD (boot)
    SLI @ 16/4 works when running HyperSLI
    Cooler Master 120XL Seidon push/pull AIO cpu water cooling
    Cooler Master HAF XB computer case (RC-902XB-KKN1)
    Asus VH242H 24" monitor [1920x1080]
    MSI N460GTX Hawk (1GB) video card
    Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium
    HT|Omega Claro plus+ sound card
    CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD UPS
    E6300 (R0) @ 3.504GHz [8x438MHz] ~~ P35-DS3L [rev: 1.0] ~ Bios: F9 ~~ 4x2GB Kingston HyperX T1 PC2-8500, 876MHz @4-4-4-10
    Seasonic X650 80+ gold psu (650w) ~~ Xigmatek Balder HDT 1283 cpu cooler ~~ Cooler Master CM 690 case (RC-690-KKN1-GP)
    Samsung 830 128GB SSD MZ-7PC128B/WW (boot) ~~ WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data) ~~ ZM-MFC2 fan controller
    HT|Omega Striker 7.1 sound card ~~ Asus VH242H monitor [1920x1080] ~~ Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium ~~ CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD U.P.S
    .


  9. #9
    profJim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which PSU should I get?

    FYI, from HARDOCP - Power and Temperature - ASUS Radeon R9 290 DirectCU II OC Video Card Review
    Power Testing

    We tested the power utilization at the wall of the entire system without a video card, and with each video card at idle and full load. For full load power and temperature testing we used real gaming and recorded the highest value in each game. To measure power consumption we use a P3 International Kill-A-Watt device to measure power consumption from the wall. The entire testing system, excluding the speakers and monitor, are plugged into the Kill-A-Watt device. Therefore, power consumption numbers include all components, not just the video card.


    With a 90% efficient power supply, the psu output would be about 396 watts.
    Q9650 @ 4.10GHz [9x456MHz]
    P35-DS4 [rev: 2.0] ~ Bios: F14
    4x2GB OCZ Reaper PC2-8500 1094MHz @5-5-5-15
    MSI N460GTX Hawk Talon Attack (1GB) video card <---- SLI ---->
    Seasonic SS-660XP2 80 Plus Platinum psu (660w)
    WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data)
    Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD (boot)
    SLI @ 16/4 works when running HyperSLI
    Cooler Master 120XL Seidon push/pull AIO cpu water cooling
    Cooler Master HAF XB computer case (RC-902XB-KKN1)
    Asus VH242H 24" monitor [1920x1080]
    MSI N460GTX Hawk (1GB) video card
    Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium
    HT|Omega Claro plus+ sound card
    CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD UPS
    E6300 (R0) @ 3.504GHz [8x438MHz] ~~ P35-DS3L [rev: 1.0] ~ Bios: F9 ~~ 4x2GB Kingston HyperX T1 PC2-8500, 876MHz @4-4-4-10
    Seasonic X650 80+ gold psu (650w) ~~ Xigmatek Balder HDT 1283 cpu cooler ~~ Cooler Master CM 690 case (RC-690-KKN1-GP)
    Samsung 830 128GB SSD MZ-7PC128B/WW (boot) ~~ WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data) ~~ ZM-MFC2 fan controller
    HT|Omega Striker 7.1 sound card ~~ Asus VH242H monitor [1920x1080] ~~ Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium ~~ CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD U.P.S
    .


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Which PSU should I get?

    Hey mate, thanks for your replies, really appreciate it.

    After some extensive research, the only ones I'm considering to buy are from the tier one on the PSU tier list.
    And these are the ones available in store:

    https://www.umart.com.au/umart1/pro/...d=9&sid=133836
    https://www.umart.com.au/umart1/pro/...d=9&sid=127832
    https://www.umart.com.au/umart1/pro/...d=9&sid=124066
    https://www.umart.com.au/umart1/pro/...d=9&sid=126035
    https://www.umart.com.au/umart1/pro/...d=9&sid=127803
    https://www.umart.com.au/umart1/pro/...d=9&sid=129420

    However these ones are also incredibly overpriced, even the Seasonic X-650W one cost more than the EVGA G2-850W.

    What's even more outrageous is that their ripple supression and voltage regulation are worse compared to the
    EVGA SuperNova G2, even those Platinum ones from Corsair and Seasonic!

    700-750 watts comparison thread (fully modular)

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