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Thread: 3 PSUs. pros/cons. Which is "best"

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    Default 3 PSUs. pros/cons. Which is "best"

    I am planning a gaming build and would like to hear pros and cons for these three PSUs I am zeroing in on. Suggesting a fourth PSU is fine also, but hopefully I already have three above average choices.

    In a PSU I am looking for: clean, quality, sufficient, quiet, efficient, functional (and finally) inexpensive power.

    Rosewill CAPSTONE-550
    SeaSonic S12G-550
    Antec EA-550


    Likely build components (est. 314W, no OC, no SLi):
    CPU: i5-4590S
    Video Card: ASUS GeForce GTX 970
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H97M-D3H MicroATX
    Memory: 2x4GB DDR3-1600 1.5V
    Storage: ~120GB SSD
    Storage: 1TB 7200RPM IHD
    Case: Fractal Design Define R4 ATX Mid Tower
    Power Supply: ??
    Optical Drive: Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer
    OS: Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit)
    Monitor: 144Hz 24.0" 1080p
    Sound Card: yes

    My impressions of those three PSUs:
    Video card maker "recommends" 500w with 28A on 12V, so even though I see some potential 450/460W units which should do the job, I set the lower limit at 500W.
    All three (or their "family" members of different watts) have been rated well.
    Hopefully none of the three would be the loudest component of the system.
    Antec is, but barely, platinum yet costs ~$20 more.
    Warranty years: Rosewill 7, SeaSonic 5, Antec 3.

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    Seasonic or Rosewill. EA-550 Platinum is actually pretty mediocre design and outside of efficiency doesn't have much going for it.

    If you could get Antec EDGE, that would be a different story, as it's Seasonic G-series, but quieter, with better fan.

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    The Rosewill Capstone 450 is only 50 dollars after MIR, and won't have any problem with your PC because the power consumption never gonna pass the 300W, and the Capstone can deliver 37A @ the 12V of course, which is more then enough.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817182066
    Last edited by -The_Mask-; 10-15-2014 at 03:47 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimgreene View Post
    In a PSU I am looking for: clean, quality, sufficient, quiet, efficient, functional (and finally) inexpensive power.
    ...snipped out...
    Likely build components (est. 314W, no OC, no SLi)
    More likely around 230-250W, under normal (not synthetic) loads.

    Now some unrequested advices:
    Quote Originally Posted by jimgreene View Post
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H97M-D3H MicroATX
    Why a mATX board in a roomy R4? Anyway, for less than 10 USD more, an ASUS H97M-Plus would look like a better option.


    Quote Originally Posted by jimgreene View Post
    Storage: ~120GB SSD
    For contemporary standards a 120/128Gb unit is speed crippled and too small (usually SSDs slow down themselves as they fill up) : something like a Crucial MX100 256Gb would look like a more decent pick.


    Quote Originally Posted by jimgreene View Post
    My impressions of those three PSUs:
    Video card maker "recommends" 500w with 28A on 12V, so even though I see some potential 450/460W units which should do the job, I set the lower limit at 500W.
    All three (or their "family" members of different watts) have been rated well.
    Hopefully none of the three would be the loudest component of the system.
    Antec is, but barely, platinum yet costs ~$20 more.
    Warranty years: Rosewill 7, SeaSonic 5, Antec 3.
    As already said, the FSP-based Antec EA is a somehow inferior unit, quality and performance wise.
    If you're going for something like an ASUS Strix (or a Palit Jetstream, or a MSI Gaming), any of the quoted PSU may be audible (maybe the EA a tiny bit less): with reference to that, an XFX XTR or an Antec True Power Classic may be quieter options than the Seasonic.

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    Thanks all for responding.
    This will be my first build, I've been researching, online, for the last month.
    Trying to sift through marketing and varied statements by many to get to how the build might actually pan out is daunting. For PSUs, finding out about quality via internet postings has been very tough.
    Now that I have done some researching, I am moving from lurking to posting and engaging.

    From your responses I am guessing I had a good "short" list.
    I had a feeling Antec EA was not quite at the quality of the other two.
    I admit I am compromising on quality for price … to some extent … otherwise I would spend 2x or 2.5x for the best of the best. There are diminishing returns, but hopefully I draw my (minimum quality) line in a good place.

    I have read SeaSonic places their G above S12G, though a review put the S12G within the "acceptable quality" level and hardly lower than G.
    As the Antec EDGE is Seasonic G-series quality, yet costs more, I did not look at that (also for me in USA EDG550 is $15 > SSR-550RM).

    I had been eyeing the Rosewill Capstone 450 before these others (500+) … bbuutt ASUS said 500w min.
    This brings me to ask about something I suspect but have never seen any post declaring: Video card makers state conservative high wattage ratings to make sure that even lower quality PSUs can suffice. Is that true?
    The other unknown to me is what the system will pull at the max. usage. BTW My game standard for system specs is BF4. I have read reviews showing video cards using more watts than their TDP ratings. This gap between spec and real watt usage has me concerned since I have not been able to get more of an idea of what it is, except in terms of "peak", "spike", and maybe ~115%TDP max.
    I would love to save another $20 going from 550 to 450. As long as the system would never spike past 95% of rating (~430W) and would usually work at the best part of the efficiency curve (45-65% of rating typically). Added bonus, idle watts being higher in percent of rating is an efficiency plus.
    What are your formulas used to determine 230-250, 300 ? The est. 314W I put in comes from pcpartpicker. And from extreme.outervision I get recommended PSU of 447W or 478W depending on whether the two case fans are regular or high performance (which I do not know).

    Re: quiet. (I would love to consider a Palit 970. Do they sell in US? ) If I understand correctly, loud to quiet is SeaSonic & Capstone -> XFX XTR & Antec TP & EA. I will gage quiet by what I hear when using the computer at load from almost a meter away, not when the case panel is open and I have my ear a decimeter away.
    I am focusing on the Capstone series now. Hopefully it is considered "quiet" among quality PSUs.

    Re: mobo. The case is picked for quiet factor mainly, coolness second. The mobo is by price and yes I do want quality with that also. I would take an ATX board as long as I do not have to pay for features I am not going to use. Typically an mATX will have less features and thus cost less, which is fine as long as it has the minimum of what I need (see below for the one item I need on mobo for future proofing). I have also considered the ASUS H97M Plus. What do you see as worth $10 more?

    Re: SSD. Thanks for pointing that out. Currently it is just a placeholder for watts and connector considerations. Maybe in a year I wil actually get one. I will be buying to get better than sATA6G/HDD limited speeds so I would need to connect the SSD to a fast enough bus. This is one feature of the mobo I have to consider for the future.
    I admit I am still confused about where the bottle neck might be when using an SSD. What interface protocol do I use to get my money's worth out of as SSD? Is it m.2? Which is a size variation of SATAexpress (which supports either SATA or PCI Express)? Confusing.Bleh. I need to make sure the premium I will pay for the SSD will not be negated by some bottleneck (to SSD speeds) in another part of my system.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/...ming-port.html
    Last edited by jimgreene; 10-15-2014 at 02:53 PM. Reason: more detail

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    Video card makers state conservative high wattage ratings to make sure that even lower quality PSUs can suffice. Is that true?
    yes, we say it almost daily here.

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    And of course they don't have a clue about the other hardware.

    Your average power consumption in a heavy game is about 200W, with peak load less then 275W, always.

    The fan in the Rosewill Capstone 450W is a 1200RPM model and should be (almost) inaudible with such a low load.

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    I will be buying to get better than sATA6G/HDD limited speeds so I would need to connect the SSD to a fast enough bus. This is one feature of the mobo I have to consider for the future.
    I admit I am still confused about where the bottle neck might be when using an SSD. What interface protocol do I use to get my money's worth out of as SSD? Is it m.2? Which is a size variation of SATAexpress (which supports either SATA or PCI Express)? Confusing.Bleh. I need to make sure the premium I will pay for the SSD will not be negated by some bottleneck (to SSD speeds) in another part of my system.

    well, short answer is that the bus does limit the very highest speed SSD.
    However, even the worst SSD is 4-6x faster than the best HDD on the same bus.

    Today the standard SSD is becoming cheap. a 500 unit is often on sale for $200 and would easily accommodate not only your OS, but also your gaming files. (you could even get away with a 256 depending on the number of games and files you want fast access) Heck, the Samsung 1000 was on sale for $400 recently.

    The new M.2 is great, but the cost benefit ratio is not there for a budget system. Yes you can get faster speeds, but at twice the cost...good for OS boot disk to keep costs down, but then you are looking at a second SSD for game storage...and really limited improvement in real time rig response...

    So short answer:
    Yes, huge benefits for a standard SSD boot drive(easily affordable even to full system size)
    M.2 looks good for the future, but standard is still evolving (MB, M2.2 or something coming out soon) and price is very high for the step up in performance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimgreene View Post
    What are your formulas used to determine 230-250, 300 ?
    Personally I've no particular formula: my guess estimates come either from personal experiences or suitable data collected over the internet.

    About the expected max power draw, you should also consider that usually not all the parts are stressed at the same moment: to say, a mechanical HD demands the most power at spin up, when you're gaming the CPU isn't stressed as much as the GPU, and so on.
    Another aspect to take into account, when you evaluate power draw web findings, is the type of load they used: a synthetic load (benchmark/stress testing) requires a noticeably higher power than a "real life" load (gaming, rendering, and so on) for the CPU (the same thing does not apply to latest Nvidia, as they "recognize" stress testing, then automatically cutting the power requirement).

    Now, just for instance, about your specific requirements, you can find a reasonable guess estimate of total power draw for an oc'ed ASUS GTX 970-equipped rig on TechReport: using Crysys 3 they found 295W at the wall (AC).
    That means, given the Corsair AX850 used, an about 265W at the PSU (DC).
    But they used a 130W Core i7 3820k (Sandy Bridge-E), not a 65W Core i5 4690S (Haswell), which is way more frugal.
    They are not that clear about the actual CPU load percentage, but from various web reviews I'm expecting a lower power draw for an Haswell-equipped rig of at least 20-25W less, but more probably that not around 50W less should be a more reasonable assessment.
    IIRC similar, consistent findings are reported by Guru3D with a more power hungry 4.6GHz oc'ed six cores i7 3960X, reporting the whole power draw of a Strix GTX 970-equipped rig at 276W (when GPU is stressed).

    So, long story short, that's why I don't expect a power draw in excess of 230-250W, and probably why The Mask is expecting even a lower power draw, around 200W (but he should have different and maybe more precise data, given that he talked about an absolute maximum of 275W).


    Quote Originally Posted by jimgreene View Post
    If I understand correctly, loud to quiet is SeaSonic & Capstone -> XFX XTR & Antec TP & EA. I will gage quiet by what I hear when using the computer at load from almost a meter away, not when the case panel is open and I have my ear a decimeter away.
    I am focusing on the Capstone series now. Hopefully it is considered "quiet" among quality PSUs.
    I can't speak about that Capstone, the original Golden Green platform (on which Capstone is based) was a relatively quiet one: given the low max fan speed, it should be noticeably quieter than any G-series derivative (the S12G is mainly a fixed cabling G) at load.


    Quote Originally Posted by jimgreene View Post
    Re: quiet. (I would love to consider a Palit 970. Do they sell in US? )
    The ASUS Strix or the MSI Gaming are about as quiet as the Palit is.


    Quote Originally Posted by jimgreene View Post
    Re: mobo.I have also considered the ASUS H97M Plus. What do you see as worth $10 more?
    A better, more granular fan control, which helps to lower the overall system noise. On the cheap side, even the ASRock H97M Pro4 offers a better, more granular fan control than the Gigabyte.


    Quote Originally Posted by jimgreene View Post
    I need to make sure the premium I will pay for the SSD will not be negated by some bottleneck (to SSD speeds) in another part of my system.
    In a Haswell rig there's no botleneck/penalty to use a SATA SSD.
    Among M.2 PCIe SSD, currently only the Samsung XP941 really worths, but it's way expensive.

    Anyway, even if I was the one to first give my unsolicited advices, take note that my last three answer are OT, and frankly I don't know for how long moderators will allow similar talks in this (PSU specific) forum.

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    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/M...Gaming/23.html

    is the most accurate and comprehensive source for isolated GPU power consumption in my experience.

    As mentioned by Quest for silence, figuring out the rest of the rig comes down to experience for an accurate estimate.

    The good news is that even ball-park high estimations work unless you are an extreme case (extreme OC, massive water/fans liquid helium cooling, laser shows..)

    I have the Asus Strix 970...picked it up on one of the few days it was in stock at the EGG.

    Folding at constant 90% load (WU 9201) and typing here now...I am drawing 254 watts AC at the wall(folding is nearly 100% GPU load) My old AMD 985 is something like a 150 watt CPU if I recall. The highest total I have recorded gaming is 350 watt.
    CPU OC to the limit, 16 GB 1866 memory, 1 HDD, 1 ssd, 4 case fans, all in one liquid cooling on CPU, GPU OC to 1400

    So, when we say that your rig will not tax a 450 watt (high quality gold or PLAT) PSU...we speak with confidence and experience...

    RE: fan noise is very acceptable on the 970 STRIX.
    It is the reason I bought it. You can game in the TV room and not have to turn up the TV...WIN.
    PS,
    I do crank the fan up when folding...near 100% load 24/7/365 can be hard on the vrm, so I error on the side of cation.
    But even with the fan set at 68% noise is very low with the card.
    PSS
    I have the capstone 750 because I was running two 7970 in the past.
    Had it for a couple years now and no issues...quite enough for me, but I am not obsessive about the noise...fans on case and all in one cooling are louder.
    Last edited by mdk777; 10-16-2014 at 08:41 AM.

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