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Thread: What size power supply (PSU)?

  1. #1
    Bronze Member Island_Boy_77's Avatar
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    Post What size power supply (PSU)?

    Hi all
    I've been building systems for a few years now, and have heard conflicting stories about the size of power supply to use. I am looking to build a flight sim computer for a friend, and was going to use a ThermalTake 450W power supply. There are 2 possible scenarios that my friend is looking at:
    1) AMD Phenom 9950 Black Edition 2.6GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ Quad-Core Processor
    Asus M3A32-MVP Deluxe / WiFi AMD Socket AM2 / AM2+ Motherboard
    DDR2 1066 4GB (2x 2GB) RAM
    ATi HD4870 512MB DDR5 PCI-E Video Card
    VelociRaptor 74GB SATA 10000RPM 16MB Cache Hard Drive x 2
    Lite-On 20X Dual-Layer DVD-RW Optical SATA Drive
    ThermalTake 450W PSU

    OR

    2)
    AMD Phenom 9950 Black Edition 2.6GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ Quad-Core Processor
    Asus M3A78-EM AMD Socket AM2 / AM2+ Motherboard
    DDR2 1066 4GB (2x 2GB) RAM
    ATi HD4870 512MB DDR5 PCI-E Video Card
    Raid Edition 160GB SATA II 7200RPM 16MB Cache Hard Drive x 2
    Lite-On 20X Dual-Layer DVD-RW Optical SATA Drive
    ThermalTake 450W PSU

    The main difference between the 2 systems being the class of hard drive (the RAID editions are not being in RAID configuration and are 7200rpm) and the motherboard (ATX in system 1, mATX in 2). Further, he will be running possibly 2 x LCD screens of at least 19" wide, possibly 22" wide. Also, CH Products Yoke & Pedals (USB), USB headset, possibly USB webcam and normal speakers.

    I haven't found a way to easily calculate the possible total load, and this would be my first Quad Core system build. The Phenom listed is 140W, I know that much. The discussions I have seen reckon that 450W is fine for most mid-range gaming systems (which this would be classified as). A friend of mine thinks that with the extra screen, the Quad Core and the ATi 4870, I'm going to need either a 550W or 600W.

    Any thoughts, comments or suggestions?

    Cheers
    Peter

  2. #2
    Succeded in braking Windo TZ Veteran Dehcbad25's Avatar
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    The video card and the CPU will use the most power. I personally don't calculate Watts. Quality and number of rails is more important. Termaltake are good PSU so you are covered on that. Considering that there is usually little difference from 450 to 550, why not use a 550 Watts PSU?
    Make sure mainly that the PSU has all the connectors that you will need, like 20+4 power, 4+4 EATX, 6 pin PCI-e, and at least 3 12 v rails (1 rail will be PCI-e dedicated). I usually believe that a 450 Watts is too little for any configuration that I would use. 500 is my minimun, and I use usually 550 or 600 Watts. Having too much is not bad, but having too little could be.

  3. #3
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    well ya should use solution 1:

    flight simulator

    well ya gotta have dx 10 for that
    so you need ms flight sim X

    A velociraptor not worth the price just to increase your boot time by 2 sec. Your better off learning how to configure vista for adequate performance.

    Dx10 is better crossfire so solution 1 will work better when if your friend can get an identical card.

    When your friend does, the psu is not going to cut it, for 2 4870 id say you atleast want 650 watt miniumum. Planning on a new system myself, from what I've researched 850 seems like the sweet spot for what i want.

  4. #4
    Bronze Member Island_Boy_77's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. I'm only going to use 1 x graphic card, not 2: we're just going to run 2 screens off the one card. The rationale behind the Raptor drives is their fast access times. I'm not worried about boot time: but like all graphic-intensive "games", FSX makes a lot of hard drive reads regularly, so it made sense to have the fastest drives available. We did consider a 3-disk RAID array, and the cost is about the same as the 2 x Raptors, but I'm just not a big fan of RAID. Lastly, we'll be running under DX9, as apparently FSX runs better under that than DX10: weird, but apparently it is so.

    Any further thoughts? Is there a place on the web that has some sort of online wattage calculator? I did find one before posting this, but it is at least 18 months out of date and does not feature any of the new hardware we'll be using.

    Cheers
    Peter

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