Questions about my PC & upgrades.

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Hardware' started by Chiumiento, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. Chiumiento

    Chiumiento Senior Member

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    I have a lot of questions about my PC.

    Here is question one. -

    I am planning on getting this Graphics card for my PC sometime in the future. This is the card I plan on getting. Newegg.com - HIS IceQ 5 H577QT1GD Radeon HD 5770 Turbo 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity. I have checked everything I can think to. I am pretty sure it will work just fine with my computer. What I am wondering is will this PSU was looking at work okay with my computer. I know I have to look for amps and other stuff like that. But I am not completely sure what to look for. So I am asking you all your advice on this. The only other thing I plan on adding to my computer other than the graphics card is RAM. I plan on maxing my RAM out at some point to 16 GB. Maybe another HDD at some time. But that will not be for some time. So will the graphics probably. Any way here is the PSU I am looking at. OCZ / StealthXStream / 600-Watt / ATX / 120mm Fan / SATA-Ready / PCI-e Ready / Active PFC / Power Supply at TigerDirect.com

    Is anyone knows any other card or PSU. That is better please feel free. I can not spend any more on the graphics card. But I could probably go to about $80 or $90 on the PSU.
     
  2. Digerati

    Digerati Fantastic Member
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    Well, you did not give us any information about your CPU, drives, fans, and other power users. While a good 600W supply will probably due, there will not be much if any headroom left. A good PSU is able support a full load for long periods of time, but it does mean its fan may need to run at full speed (and noise level) most of the time too. And should you decide to upgrade your graphics card, or add a second card, you may not be able to without having to replace a perfectly good, but underpowered PSU.

    Here is my canned text on sizing up a PSU:
    Use the eXtreme PSU Calculator Lite to determine your minimum power supply unit (PSU) requirements. Plan ahead and plug in all the hardware you think you might have in 2 or 3 years (extra drives, bigger or 2nd video card, more RAM, etc.). Be sure to read and heed the notes at the bottom of the calculator page. I recommend setting Capacitor Aging to 30% (see my note below), and if you participate in distributive computing projects (e.g. BOINC or Folding@Home) or extreme 3D animated gaming, I recommend setting both TDP and system load to 100%. These steps ensure the supply has adequate head room for stress free (and perhaps quieter) operation, as well as future hardware demands. Research your video card and pay particular attention to the power supply requirements for your card listed on your video card maker's website. If not listed, check a comparable card (same graphics engine and RAM) from a different maker. The key specifications, in order of importance are:
    1. Current (amperage or amps) on the +12V rail,
    2. Efficiency,
    3. Total wattage.
    Don’t try to save a few dollars by getting a cheap supply! Digital electronics, including CPUs, RAM, and today's advanced graphics cards, need clean, stable power. A good, well chosen supply will provide years of service and upgrade wiggle room. Look for power supply brands listed under the "Good" column of PC Mech's PSU Reference List. Another excellent read is Tom’s Hardware, Who’s Who In Power supplies: Brands, Labels, And OEMs. Note that some case retailers “toss in” a generic or inadequate PSU just to make the case sale. Be prepared to “toss out” that supply for a good one with sufficient power.

    Most PSUs have an efficiency rating of around 70%. This means for every 100 watts of power a PSU draws from the wall, only 70 watts is delivered to the motherboard, with the rest wasted in the form of heat. The best supplies are 85 to 90% efficient, and as expected, cost more. I strongly recommend you pick a quality supply with an efficiency rating equal to or greater than 80%. Look for 80 PLUS and EnergyStar Compliant labels. 80 PLUS PSUs are required to have fairly linear efficiencies. This is important to ensure the PSU is running 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 and the efficiency may drop dramatically above and below those amounts.

    Too big of a PSU hurts nothing but your budget. Your computer will draw from the PSU only what it needs, not what the PSU is capable of delivering. If a computer needs 300 watts it will draw 300 watts regardless if the PSU is a 400W, 650W, or 1000W PSU. In turn, the PSU, regardless its size will draw from the wall only what it needs to support the computer. In this example, it will draw 300 watts, plus another 45 – 90 watts, depending on the PSU’s inefficiency.

    As noted, the eXtreme Calculator determines the minimum requirements. If the calculator (with the changes I suggested) recommends a 400 watt minimum, a quality 400W supply will serve you just fine. But a quality 550W – 600W supply will have, among other things, larger heat sinks to dissipate potentially more heat. It might have a larger fan too. The 400W supply will run most of the time closer to capacity, while the larger supply will be loafing along, rarely breaking a sweat. To help the smaller heat sinks get rid of the wasted 80 watts (20% of 400) of heat, the fan in the 400W supply may need to run full speed, while the fan in the larger supply, with bigger sinks just loafs along too – but in near silence.

    Don't forget to budget for a good UPS with AVR (automatic voltage regulation). Surge and spike protectors are inadequate and little more than fancy, expensive extension cords.

    Note: Capacitor Aging. All electronics “age” over time. Electrons flowing through components bang around and create friction and heat causing wear and tear, altering the electrical characteristics of the device. Over time, this weakens the device resulting in eventual failure. Power supplies have always suffered profoundly from aging effects resulting in a loss of capacity. In recent years, capacitor technologies have improved. The best PSUs use the best (and most expensive) capacitors which suffer less from aging effects than older capacitor types. If planning on buying a new, high-end PSU, setting capacitor aging to 10% may result in a more realistic recommendation. However, headroom “buffer” will be significantly reduced. You can expect your PSU to last 5 years or longer. Since it is better to buy too big rather than too small, and since it is hard to predict what your power requirements will be in 3 years, using 30% for Capacitor Aging ensures you have enough headroom for virtually any upgrade.​
     
  3. Chiumiento

    Chiumiento Senior Member

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    The reason I did not put info about my computer was because I have all that info in my profile in computer specifications. I will not be getting anything more than a new graphics card maybe a second hard drive and I will eventually max out my RAm that is a total of 4 sticks. That will be all I will be doing to this PC. After that I will be building my self a new PC. But thank you very much. I just got done using that site just before I had made this thread actually. It recommended a 480 Watt supply. Either way I think I will stick with the 600 Watt. I think that will give me plenty of power for what I have in store for this PC. I just wanted to ask others opions and see if anyone might know of something I could get that was around the same price that wopuld be better or anything like that. Thank you for your opinion I really appreciate it.
     
  4. Digerati

    Digerati Fantastic Member
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    Yeah, I never go by that unless you say that is the computer in question. Many people have several computers in their home or that they are responsible for. So I cannot assume the one listed is the one we are talking about.

    As far as future graphics upgrades, just remember that graphics cards can easily be the most power hungry device in your computer. So a new card could demand quite a bit more than the existing card. DDR3, on the otherhand, is about 30% more efficient than DDR2, so that gives you more wiggle room. 600W should be just fine. Bigger is fine too, but I would not go less than 600W.
     
    #4 Digerati, Feb 25, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2011
  5. Chiumiento

    Chiumiento Senior Member

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    Thank you. I am a little more relaxed That I will be all set to finish my upgrades after getting the PSU.
     
  6. Digerati

    Digerati Fantastic Member
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    Sounds good. Just make sure you power down AND UNPLUG from the wall, and then touch bare metal of the case BEFORE touching anything to discharge any static buildup in your body.
     
  7. Chiumiento

    Chiumiento Senior Member

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    I actually have a anti static bracelet. But thank you. I think a lot of people overlook this little issue. I honestly never even thought of it until I saw a write up about it.
     
  8. Digerati

    Digerati Fantastic Member
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    Yeah, the problem with ESD is a static discharge may be so tiny, well below the threshold of human awareness yet strong enough to destroy a CPU or memory module. So we can zap a CPU without even knowing sparks flew. :(
     
  9. foxyladi14

    foxyladi14 New Member

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    mr fixit will fixit.
     

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