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Thread: Observations/Questions about people using MUCH more power than needed.

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    Default Observations/Questions about people using MUCH more power than needed.

    In my research for buying power supplies for a couple new builds, I'm finding myself rather amazed at the wide discrepancies I'm seeing between the various "power supply calculators" as well as with the recommendations on various sites. For the systems I'm building, I'm seeing recommendations for everything from 360 to 850 watts depending on where I look. I'm sure that the "360 watt" recommendation (which came from an online PSU calculator) is an "absolute minimum," but even with this consideration, the recommended range I'm seeing is just too wide to make sense. I can understand SOME degree of difference, but this seems bizarrely wide. The basic system is:

    Asus P5E3 Deluxe Wifi
    E8400 CPU
    2GB 1333 DDR3 RAM
    Geforce 8800 GTS OC 512
    Soundblaster Audigy 2 ZS
    3 (perhaps 4) 120mm case fans
    CDRW/DVDRW Combo
    Floppy
    3 to 6 hard drives (some in removable racks with their own fans)
    Misc USB devices, etc.

    For this, the PSU I ended up getting was the Silverstone OP700. I was told by someone in this forum that this was plenty, but not all the recommendations I see agree on this -- and they differ by large amounts.

    The bottom line is that based on what I'm reading, it seems like a lot of people -- and even manufactures -- are buying or recommending way, WAY more power than necessary for a given system. A decent about of headroom and room for upgrades is understandable, but I see people getting 1000 or 1200 watt supplies for systems that my research indicates would need only 650 watts or so even WITH the headroom for overclocking and upgrades.

    I don't know what the "correct" information on all this is, but it "seems" like there is some sort of social phenomenon happening where people are asking for VASTLY more power than their systems actually require, even with future upgrades factored in.

    What are other people's takes on this? I'd be really interested in hearing what the experts have to say.

    Thanks,

    Larry

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    Imo running at around 60% PSU capacity at full load, is ideal. Efficiency sweet spot, the unit runs cool, quiet, stable, last longer, peak output quality, etc.

    Your system, when OC'ed and in full load, would probably use less than 400W in the most intense games. Even tho your unit is more than enough, it should run at its best in this conditions.

    Nothing wrong with running an system like yours with an quality 450W+ unit, but its better to have some headroom.

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    Which source do you trust the most ? 700w out of that good PSU is more than good enough for your rig, under NORMAL circumstance, no buts no ifs. I believe the more credible pundits in this forum would agree with that statement.
    Intel C2D E8400 @4.2 GHz 495x8.5
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    If your system at stock speeds, in heavy gaming, draw more than 275W DC (+-5%) I'll never ever wrote a word about PSU's.

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    I like having more power than I need but I'm an extreme case. I'm not above buying three TEC's and hooking them up to my PSU. If I was running a PSU that would keep me at a level where the draw of my PC was at 60%-75% the PSU's rated capacity, I'd be screwed should I decide to up and chill my rig. Rather than having to add a pair of Meanwell 325W 12V PSU's to power the pelts, I'd rather just be able to plumb each pelt into my 1Kw and still have a comfortable margin of overhead.

    As I say I'm the exception rather than the rule. I think a lot of people are scared by multi rails and over compensate for what they don't understand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lalittle View Post
    Observations/Questions about people using MUCH more power than needed.
    Well, to be perfectly honest nobody is using more power than they need since a power supply only puts out what's demanded of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by lalittle View Post
    For this, the PSU I ended up getting was the Silverstone OP700. I was told by someone in this forum that this was plenty, but not all the recommendations I see agree on this -- and they differ by large amounts.
    For a single graphics card, ANY single graphics card, that 700W is way more than enough. You could get along with a 550W even. But should someone, anyone, be telling YOU that YOU made a bad decision because the power supply is "too much"? No. There's really little to no disadvantage to buying a "too large" PSU outside of cost and who is some forum punk to tell you how to spend your money? Anyone that calls someone out for buying an "oversized" power supply is just being a snotty little know-it-all, and those that are telling people that they only need 380W power supplies will likely have to buy replacements for their burned out power supplies in a year or two time.

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    .............But should someone, anyone, be telling YOU that YOU made a bad decision because the power supply is "too much"? No. There's really little to no disadvantage to buying a "too large" PSU outside of cost and who is some forum punk to tell you how to spend your money? Anyone that calls someone out for buying an "oversized" power supply is just being a snotty little know-it-all, and those that are telling people that they only need 380W power supplies will likely have to buy replacements for their burned out power supplies in a year or two time.
    TRUE THAT, if you HAVE the money to burn, there's no reason why you shouldn't get the best property that you can buy. As long it's a REAL good PSU -not some overpriced bling2 product, you'll be enjoying your system without worrying too much about PSU overload, failure, or peripherals damage as the effect of a bad PSU gone awry.

    Especially, since the efficiency of a good PSU class under small load is ever improving -BFG ES800w for example, you can even knock perhaps the small chink over this particular decision of going BIG with it, since you'll be using a big, honking unit yet it won't damage the earth like American muscle cars did.

    Thermaltake Toughpower 700w, best computer peripheral ever bought in my rig, it has been going strongly for 18 months and counting, enduring three major system changes seamlessly, yet it never ceases to amaze me regarding its stability & reliability.
    Intel C2D E8400 @4.2 GHz 495x8.5
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    TT Kandalf (original)

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    Thanks for the responses. It sounds like it's a matter of people essentially buying more powerful supplies because there is little reason "not" to other than cost, and of course since it's better to under-tax the PSU in the long run.

    That said, it seems like there is a tendency for some people to honestly think they "need" a LOT more power for a given system than they really do. I think that the PSU calculators are largely to blame for this since they tend to recommend a VAST amount of headroom (i.e. well over double the needed wattage.) As I said, for the system I listed above, I've seen some calculators "recommend" 750 or 850 even watts, which based on the responses here would be ridiculous overkill.

    Thanks again,

    Larry

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyGURU View Post
    Anyone that calls someone out for buying an "oversized" power supply is just being a snotty little know-it-all,.
    Well I guess that depends on the situation. I very often see people post up a list of components of say a Core 2 Duo, 8800GT and a single Hard drive along with say a $170 PC P&C Silencer 750. Then they ask for suggestions on how to save money. I think it is only natural to tell them they could easily power their system with a $90 Corsair VX550 and save $80 right there.

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    That's rarely the situation I've seen. Usually it's:

    "Which is best? PCP&C 750W? Corsair 750W? BFG 800W?" and then someone says, "Earth Watts 380W" out of the blue.

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