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psu question for gaming

This is a discussion on psu question for gaming within the RAM and Power Supply Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hello, I've always been helped here in the past with expert advice and while I do know a thing or


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Old 07-29-2016, 01:29 PM   #1
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Hello, I've always been helped here in the past with expert advice and while I do know a thing or two about psu's and buiding pc's for games I'm finding myself in a sort of dilemma lately.

To make a long story short, I have build a pc last year with the following specs

- i3 4170 (tdp: 54w)
- gigabyte h81m-ds2
- 2 x 4 gb ddr3 kingston 1333 mhz
- western digital 500 gb (no ssd, 7200 rpm)
- msi nvidia gtx 750 1gb
- antec earthwatts green 380W (ea-380d) bronze rated , 88 percent efficiency (what is says on the box)

Now I would want to upgrade my gpu to play the upcoming game no man's sky and I would like to know how far I can go, I'm looking at the rx 470 that will be released shortly that has a tdp of 110W, but that's not the maximum it can use, so i've read. I've also been looking into the gtx 960 which has a tdp of 120W.

But it doesn't end there, I have another system that I would probably rather use if possible , it's an i5-2500 on p8p67-m motherboard, it would use the rest of my hardware from the other pc.

I still have another psu laying around here as well, the corsair vs 450 W, I could also use this one but I'm inclined to use the antec one since it probably has better build quality and the following review says the vs 450 has bad voltage regulation.

Corsair VS450 Review

Now my question is, what psu do I use, and what is the maximum that i can go with both systems for gpu's. I've read that the i5-2500 under load doesn't use all that much more than that I3, however the motherboard is 5,5 years old.

I know it will run a lot of gpu's , but I want to be safe so I don't run into any failures. I ask this question on this board because I know that safety is here the first priorty.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-30-2016, 09:06 AM   #2
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Since you have a lot of "what if" scenarios, I recommend you use the eXtreme Power Supply Calculator to determine your minimum and recommended power supply unit (PSU) requirements. Plan ahead and plug in all the hardware you think you might have in 2 or 3 years. This might include extra hard drives, a bigger or 2nd video card, more RAM, etc. I recommend setting Computer Utilization to 16 hours per day and CPU Utilization to 100%. These steps adjust for capacitor aging and ensure the supply has adequate head room for stress free (and perhaps quieter) operation. These steps also add a little padding or buffer space for unplanned future upgrades or added hardware demands.

Note that all power supply calculators tend to pad their results. It is always okay to buy too big a PSU (except maybe for the budget) but always bad to buy too small. But the eXtreme PSU calculator is, by far, the most conservative when it comes to padding results, and that is due, in part, because it has the most flexibility.

With this calculator, you can plug in various CPUs and graphics card and quickly see how they will affect your power requirements.

To ensure a quality, efficient PSU, select one that is 80 PLUS certified and is EnergyStar Compliant. 80 PLUS certified PSUs are required to have fairly linear efficiencies. This is important because a computer's power demands range from very little when idle to near maximum when taxed (such as during heavy gaming). 80 PLUS certifications require PSUs run at or near peak efficiency regardless the load or power demands. Non-linear PSUs typically are most efficient when the load is in a narrow range between 70 and 90% of the PSU’s capacity. The efficiency typically drops dramatically above and below those amounts. Their efficiency "curve" is a steep "bell curve" while a quality supply's curve will be relatively "flat" (linear) across the expected range of loads.

I generally recommend power supplies that have earned 80 PLUS "Gold" certification or better. While these highly efficient supplies cost more up front, you will easily recoup your investment (and more) in lower energy costs over the lifespan of the power supply. You will also save in facility air conditioning costs (at least in the summer). And you will be feeding your computer better quality power too.

I've been using EVGA Gold supplies lately in all our builds and am very happy with them.
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Old 08-10-2016, 06:41 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill_Bright View Post
Since you have a lot of "what if" scenarios, I recommend you use the eXtreme Power Supply Calculator to determine your minimum and recommended power supply unit (PSU) requirements. Plan ahead and plug in all the hardware you think you might have in 2 or 3 years. This might include extra hard drives, a bigger or 2nd video card, more RAM, etc. I recommend setting Computer Utilization to 16 hours per day and CPU Utilization to 100%. These steps adjust for capacitor aging and ensure the supply has adequate head room for stress free (and perhaps quieter) operation. These steps also add a little padding or buffer space for unplanned future upgrades or added hardware demands.

Note that all power supply calculators tend to pad their results. It is always okay to buy too big a PSU (except maybe for the budget) but always bad to buy too small. But the eXtreme PSU calculator is, by far, the most conservative when it comes to padding results, and that is due, in part, because it has the most flexibility.

With this calculator, you can plug in various CPUs and graphics card and quickly see how they will affect your power requirements.

To ensure a quality, efficient PSU, select one that is 80 PLUS certified and is EnergyStar Compliant. 80 PLUS certified PSUs are required to have fairly linear efficiencies. This is important because a computer's power demands range from very little when idle to near maximum when taxed (such as during heavy gaming). 80 PLUS certifications require PSUs run at or near peak efficiency regardless the load or power demands. Non-linear PSUs typically are most efficient when the load is in a narrow range between 70 and 90% of the PSU’s capacity. The efficiency typically drops dramatically above and below those amounts. Their efficiency "curve" is a steep "bell curve" while a quality supply's curve will be relatively "flat" (linear) across the expected range of loads.

I generally recommend power supplies that have earned 80 PLUS "Gold" certification or better. While these highly efficient supplies cost more up front, you will easily recoup your investment (and more) in lower energy costs over the lifespan of the power supply. You will also save in facility air conditioning costs (at least in the summer). And you will be feeding your computer better quality power too.

I've been using EVGA Gold supplies lately in all our builds and am very happy with them.
Sorry for the late reply, but at first I didn't actually realize the help that was in this post.

As you can see I'm on budget here, I can buy a psu gold but the problem is that I don't use my computer a lot for gaming anymore. In this case I have no choice or I have to buy a ps4 which is way more costly or just less interesting (I do most of my gaming on the xboxone since I mostly play xbox one exclusives).

So I would try to work with what I have, I have used the psu calculator that you suggested me and I put in the specs for the i5-2500 and a gtx 950 (with the 100% tdp and 16 hours). The calculator suggested me 365 watt so I suppose my 380W bronze antec should be sufficient.

I could of course use the vs 450 but I've read on another forum these psu's are only made to operate below temperatures of 40°c and since my psu is also a bit of a heat dissapator (it's in top of my case) I'm reluctant to use that one. My antec is 70 w less but it has a bronze rating and better build quality in general.

So do you think the 380w antec would be safe to use with this setup, or would it still be advised to buy a better one?


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Old 08-13-2016, 06:02 PM   #4
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its not about better one.

Look at the recommended gpu for your graphics card then add 30% then you will be safe.

I have never understood people who are willing to take a risk on the power supply for their computer. The PSU is the most important part of your system, there is no point in having a decent pc but powering it with an under powered or rubbish make of psu. You might as well just throw your pc out the window if your doing that.
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Old 08-13-2016, 06:05 PM   #5
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plus stop focusing on tdp because the amount of power you use is dependent on environmental factors as well as power factors. Your system needs 450w at least and I would actually suggest 500w.
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Old 08-13-2016, 06:28 PM   #6
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Hi there,

Although I think Antec makes good power supplies(I have used Antec PSUs in the past without any problems), 380-watts is a bit on the underpowered side for your system.

One brand I see people recommend a lot these days is "SEASONIC". Check this link out: seasonic power supplies, Power Supplies, Power Supplies, Components - Newegg.com

Hope everything works out well.
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Old 08-13-2016, 07:02 PM   #7
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I have to agree with greenbruce here and would suggest 500 watts as well as a minimum these days and remember these older psus do degrade so if we don't like 380 and you know it has lost some efficiency I would buy new. Bill mentioned EVGA Gold psus and I agree they are good quality at better prices. Of course Seasonic and XFX are fine as well. Antec and Corsair depend a lot on the real maker as some of them are OK but most are not great quality.
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