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How Much Power Do You Really Need? (a little psu testing today)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I bought a kill-a-watt meter today and decided to do some testing. I've been a bit nervous about running my overclocked Q9550 and 5870 on an Antec Earthwatts 500w PSU. Some have told me to upgrade my PSU, some have even told me via PM, in a very concerned tone, without me even asking them! Others have noted that I should be fine. Lets see whats going on here!

Test Bed: Sig Rig
CPU: Q9550 @ 4.0Ghz 1.26vcore
GPU: HD 5870 @ 1000mhz core 1250mhz memory 1.21v
Ram: G.Skill 2x2gb 1066 @ 942mhz

Intel Speedstep Disabled

At system idle, the PSU was pulling 115watts from the wall. The HD 5870 does a great job of keeping the power consumption down at idle clocks of 157mhz core 300mhz memory and .95v being fed to it.

* A note about speedstep: Unless EIST, or speedstep will lower your idle VCORE, it's not worth having it enabled in my opinion. Speedstep on my rig, only lowers the multiplier due to having changed my voltages manually and enabling LLC. When speedstep was enabled my CPU would downclock to 2.8ghz yet my voltages remained the same. This only led to a 2-3w idling difference, nominal in my opinion.

At full system load(CPU prime95 small ffts, and GPU furmark), The PSU was pulling 450w from the wall. At this level of PSU load, the antec earthwatts was reported to being 82% efficient. Factoring that in, my components were only taking 369w from the PSU.

Seeing these kinds of numbers was surprising to me. With all the bickering back and fourth about my PSU, I figured I must be at least at it's maximum threshold. The numbers proved this wrong, and with power to spare might I add.

This by no means states that any power supply will do. Just that the amount of power needed is GREATLY exaggerated by most people. Quality is the key.

Thanks for listening in!
Edited by Smykster - 6/8/10 at 2:12pm
post #2 of 9
Power supply recommendations are always over-inflated. Nowadays with so many 80Plus certified PSUs, you don't have to worry as much about grabbing a ridiculously over-spec unit, since you know approximately what it will deliver at a given load.
mitx
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mitx
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post #3 of 9
Sounds about right. I've run my system on an Antec EA430. Computers draw less power than you'd think. Hell, even I overestimate a lot of the time. Having a bit larger power supply than strictly, 100% necessary does give the benefit of better voltage stability and ripple suppression. But really, a quality 500W power supply can run 90% of the rigs on OCN, only time you need more is with SLI/CFX. The key word is quality.

Is your Antec the EA500, EA500D, or EA500D Green? The EA500 is a decent SeaSonic S12II unit, I dissected the 430W version, see the pics through my sig links. The EA500D is a Delta version that doesn't have as good ripple suppression, but has better soldering. The EA500D Green is just the EA500D with improved efficiency and a green paint job.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses, and it's an EA500
post #5 of 9
That sounds right, people seem to think that all modern GPU's/CPU's consume much more power than older CPU's/GPU's when in reality, they consume around the same or even sometimes less.

For example a 5970 could easily run on a good 500w, like the S12II 520, with an overclocked Quad Core. You don't need a 1kW unit for a 5970.
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post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GameBoy View Post
That sounds right, people seem to think that all modern GPU's/CPU's consume much more power than older CPU's/GPU's when in reality, they consume around the same or even sometimes less.

For example a 5970 could easily run on a good 500w, like the S12II 520, with an overclocked Quad Core. You don't need a 1kW unit for a 5970.
Indeed, there is an emphasis of both power and efficiency with newer technology.
post #7 of 9
Nice! But Can you make a tutorial How to Test the Things Please coz Im no Pro in that side Thanks.
~`Power Sukr!`~
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~`Power Sukr!`~
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post #8 of 9
usually about 30 amps is enough for a gaming copmuter.
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post #9 of 9
Good read. Learned alot.
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