Help selecting new PSU

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Help selecting new PSU

Postposted on Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:32 pm

Hey guys,

So after a rather serious lack of foresight the other day I came home to a dead computer with water pooling round the bottom (rain and wind and an open window... don't ask) and am in the process of trouble shooting and working out whether I'll be building a new PC a few months sooner than expected...

Long story short, I'm starting by buying a new PSU and will swap it out first and just see if the rest of the components are still good, but my intention is that the new PSU I purchase will carry over to the new gaming PC I intend to build sometime in the next few months in any event, so I want to make sure it will have enough juice for whatever I throw in.

My current system is a Q6600 with a Radeon 4890HD, a few terabyte hdds, 4Gb DDR2, dvdrom drive, and was previously running on a Corsair HX620.

I haven't really kept up to date with the market but I've been holding off putting together the new PC because of the latest graphics card releases and now for the new range of intel/AMD chipsets. At the moment I'm working from a rough guesstimate based on having a Radeon 6970 or something like a Geforce GTX480/570, and a Core i7 950, with 8-12Gb DDR3 ram and a few terabyte HDDs.

My question is what sort of wattage should I be looking at to ensure I've got more than enough power to cater for building an up to date gaming machine (and possibly future-proofing for any of the upcoming chipsets?) in the next few months based on these sort of specs? I'd be grateful for any recommendations for a particular PSU as well. I don't have a massive budget for absolute top of the line, but don't mind paying a little bit more for a quality PSU. The HX620 served me very well, but I'm guessing I'll want a fair bit more than HX620 to power a new gaming rig with the latest mid-high range graphics card/CPU.
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Re: Help selecting new PSU

Postposted on Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:29 pm

Hopefully something from your old system is salvageable. :-?

You also didn't need that extra wattage of the HX620 in your current system. It will run stable on less. :wink:

As for a new power supply, with your proposed build a good quality PSU at 500W will be adequate. The single component that can draw the most power is the graphics card, so bare in mind if you decide to change your mind from a 570 and get say a 580 you would need to increase the PSU to about 550W. Likewise, if you go down the SLI route, 2 570's will command a good 600-650W for safety.

As for brands and recommendations, I have always used Seasonic for the last few PC's. Not the cheapest, but very good quality power supplies. Anything from Corsair's TX or HX series is also a good choice, and come a close 2nd to Seasonic's PSU's. You generally wont get a bad PSU from Antec, Be Quiet!, Cooler Master, Enermax (expensive) and Zalman neither - Your not short on choice. I would probably choose one that's modular too, and make sure it has at least 2 6-pin PCI-E power cables (Your proposed GTX 570 needs a pair of these). Most mid-to-top end supply's will come with 6+2-pin PCI-E power cables, and are better still as they can power top end graphics cards like the GTX 580 / Radeon 6970 should you decide on one later on.

Personal recommendation: Seasonic M12II-520 (From experience)
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Re: Help selecting new PSU

Postposted on Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:01 am

Thanks very much for the detalied and informative reply rcs2k4!

I'm going to go and grab a new PSU tommorrow and see how it goes (fingers crossed!), but I've checked the parts list for my local supplier and they don't have a large range of Seasonic PSUs. (after reading some more reviews of the GTX570s and 6970s I'm also reconsidering whether I might actually try the SLI route later down the road....)

Anyway, given my options I'm looking at either the Corsair HX650 or the TX750, for $138 or $147 aussie dollars. From what I understand the HX650's are built by Seasonic anyway? (although the TX750 is done by Channel Well (CWT)). From my quick research I believe both have no problems with multiple PCI-E cables (including 6+2 pin), and from what you've said I'm guessing either of these will be more than adequate for any of the current range of graphics cards I'm considering? (with the exception of me later whacking in another 6970 for a crossfire setup, but I don't think that's likely). After reading a few conflicting reports I'm also not entirely clear on whether the HX650 does in fact use multiple rails.

I'd be grateful for any advice or recommendation anyone can give as to which would be the better option.

Also, I'm guessing its difficult to predict but I'd like to buy a power supply that will get me through at least one more graphics card/processor upgrade in the next 12 months (i.e. 2011 xmas holiday period). Do you think the 650 watt would still be a pretty safe bet for a single card graphics upgrade in the next 12 months?

Edit: actually I've just found out they apparently have the Seasonic M12-II 80plus bronze 620, for $139, but again I'm concerned about this being a little low in the event I upgrade the graphics card in the next 6-12 months (i also think from memory the HX650 has a better 80plus certification...)
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Re: Help selecting new PSU

Postposted on Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:12 am

I concur with the above- my rig below, basically an overclocked Q9550, 4 sticks of 2GB DDR2, a GTX570 which takes two 6-pin connectors, four hard drives with two at 1TB and two at 2TB (all but one 1TB are WD Green), and an SSD, no power issues whatsoever. I could power another GTX570 and more hard drives with my HX620 if I wanted. The 520w Seasonic is more than enough for a single GPU system with a couple of drives.
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