PSUs: how much power do you really need?
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May 8, 2007, 04:33 PM
HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Join Date: Feb 2007
Oh man does that article give people the wrong impression.
It is basically saying: well, just because this PSU is powering my system, it is doing so without any problems. Not once I did a see a mention of ripple or voltage regulation in that whole article and those are two things that are PARAMOUNT when choosing a power supply. If there is excess ripple (considering the quality of that unit and the amount of stress being put on it I'm sure there is) that person is probably damaging their components without even knowing it.
It is articles like this that leave me stunned how some people deem themselves fit to talk about products they don't know a bloody thing about. It actually really pisses me off.
Let's take this apart.
Even with all this high-end hardware installed we were only able to generate a maximum power demand of 530 watts.
How was this measured? There is no mention if they used a clamp meter on the PSU cables or a load detector (read: Kill-A-Watt, Power Angel, etc.) on the power plug itself. Nor was it mentioned what programs they used to put load on the system. Many people use background applications as they game and that is what I do in my PSU reviews. With my system (X2 3800+, SLI 8800GTS, 1HD, etc) I was able to draw 423W from the mains during my tests...they are completely flawed when determined that their system draws only 530W under extreme load.
What I can tell you so far is that most gamers will not build a system that uses more than 450 watts of power at full tilt. Therefore, they require no more than a 500 watt power supply!
Are you kidding me? With 90% of that power being drawn from the +12V rails, many 500W PSUs have their 12V OCP circuits set as around 18A (216W). Now, a pair of 8800GTX cards draws about
under load so then right away, your OCP will trip and shut down your computer. Again, how this guy is SAFELY running what he lists is beyond me...
Currently the latest Intel Core 2 Duo and AMD Athlon64 X2 processors only consume 65 watts of power when at full load.
WRONG!!!! This is a common mistake of many rookies; they state the TDP of the chips rather than the actual power consumption. Truth be told, after doing countless tests and consulting many other sites, I have determined that the power consumption of the X2-series is between 78W (3800+) and 104W (5200+).
NCIX FORUMS - Looking to buy a Power Supply? Look here...
Even with SLI 8800 GTX graphics cards, there is really no need to purchase anything greater than a 600 watt power supply.
A distinction MUST be made between quality and crappy PSUs. Just saying "Antec, OCZ, Thermaltake" means NOTHING as each of these manufacturers has massive differences in the quality of their PSUs.
There is so much more that I can say but I think it is enough to advise you guys to take this article with a serious grain of salt.
Last edited by SKYMTL; May 8, 2007 at
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