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How Large a PSU am I Going to Need?Follow

#1 Jun 09 2011 at 1:08 AM Rating: Good
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I've got a new rig coming up, and I was wondering what a good size PSU would be. I'm two-way SLI-ing the GPU, and I think I want enough headroom that I could go back and put in a third if I ever got to that point. Here's the build thus far:

COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1 Black Steel/ Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case
ASUS P8Z68-V PRO LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
EVGA 012-P3-1571-KR GeForce GTX 570 HD w/Display-Port (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
Intel 510 Series (Elm Crest) SSDSC2MH120A2K5 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

I'm still missing (in addition to the PSU, obviously), a keyboard/mouse, a monitor, and a DVD drive, but that last one's cheap and easy to pick up in person at the local Frys, and I'd rather shop for the peripherals in person anyways (unless I see a good deal on newegg or something).

This is my first build, though, so if there's any glaring mistakes like parts not being compatible or some crap, please for the love of circuitry, point them out. Feel free to be as condescending and mightier-than-thou as you want, as long as I can learn from it. :D

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#2 Jun 09 2011 at 4:03 AM Rating: Decent
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1000 watt to be on the safe side. It'll be a bit much, but you'll have some wiggle room.

http://www.corsair.com/learn_n_explore/?psu=yes

Just a tip, read the MoBo manual on where to put your memory and remember each one of those packs is a set. I've heard a lot of people having issues with 1600 when they don't pay attention to what stick they put where. I've also heard a lot of people need to tweak power settings with 1600, but again that's most likely them not paying attention to what they are doing.
#3 Jun 09 2011 at 7:48 AM Rating: Excellent
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Yeah, if 3 way SLI is on the table, at least 1,000 watts. prefferably larger.
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#4 Jun 09 2011 at 8:45 AM Rating: Good
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Someone linked me this. No clue how reliable it is, but worth giving it a quick try.

[EDIT]

Also, I'm not entirely sure if that's the right motherboard for you if you intend to use this primarily for gaming. I can't look into it right now, but I will later when I get back from class. You probably want a P67 board.

Edited, Jun 9th 2011 10:49am by idiggory
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#5 Jun 09 2011 at 10:23 AM Rating: Good
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Thanks, 1000W is about what I was leaning towards, I was even thinking about a 1200, but a 4-way SLI most likely isn't going to happen, so yeah. Wouldn't want to over do it. Thanks.

idiggory wrote:
Also, I'm not entirely sure if that's the right motherboard for you if you intend to use this primarily for gaming. I can't look into it right now, but I will later when I get back from class. You probably want a P67 board.


Really? I don't know much about motherboards. I was reading, though, that a Z68 combines the best of both the Sandy Bridge motherboard chipsets, but if you think it's better, I'm more than willing to reconsider.
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#6 Jun 09 2011 at 12:50 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:

Really? I don't know much about motherboards. I was reading, though, that a Z68 combines the best of both the Sandy Bridge motherboard chipsets, but if you think it's better, I'm more than willing to reconsider.


It very well may be better--I hadn't even HEARD of it. I've only seen the P67s and the H67. P67 allows for overclocking and can make full use of a GPU, H67 is built around maximizing the built in graphics capabilities of the SB processors, but doesn't handle GPUs as well (and can't overclock).

Looking into it, all I can tell about the Z68 is that it allows you to overclock and function without a GPU (by using the onboard one). That doesn't apply here, since you plan to use a GPU. There may be more differences, of course.

But there very well might be other advantages I haven't found. In any case, I don't think you lose anything compared to the P67 (like I originally suspected). But what you gain for the increased cost might not even apply, since you have a GPU. If you're comfortable with that, then don't change anything. And, of course, in this scenario you'll at least have the built in graphics if your GPU ever fails and you need to wait for a new one.
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#7 Jun 09 2011 at 3:11 PM Rating: Decent
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#8 Jun 09 2011 at 6:39 PM Rating: Excellent
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You're basically in between gaming chipset releases at the moment. The socket 1366 boards have a theoretically bigger pipeline, due to the 6 ram slots as opposed to the 4 on the socket 1155 and 1156 boards, but the chipsets that go with those 1155 and 1156 boards are significantly newer and have some nice features. The corresponding Socket 1365 boards and chipsets, and the follow on socket 2011 boards have been delayed for unspecified reasons, even before the Tsunami.

For now, the Socket 1155 boards and chipsets are the faster, but they lose a ram channel. you're likely looking at a 3-4 month wait if you hold out for Socket 1365. If i were building an upper end gaming rig, I'd personally probably go with a socket 1366 board, but there are arguments either way.
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#9 Jun 09 2011 at 6:58 PM Rating: Good
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I don't really understand why. All the benchmarks I've seen have the next gen processors outpacing the last gen by a decent margin. Only the top, top, TOP tier last gen processors are doing better (and that's only by 1-3 fps). And those cost a ludicrous amount of money.

An extra 8GB of RAM just doesn't seem worth such a significant drop in processing power to me...
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#10 Jun 09 2011 at 9:55 PM Rating: Excellent
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Depends on the application really. Things that use alot of long continuous operations will utilize that third ram channel. Plus if you are getting a socket 1366 board, you are probably putting an intel i7-970 gulftown Hexacore CPU in it. Which is absent from your list there. You can find benchmarks out there to support either position. The only ones you should really pay attention to are the ones specific to your game and to your apps. http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_lookup.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i7+970+%40+3.20GHz .

when the sandy bridge chipset rolls out in the 1365 board format with the additional ram slot, that combination should blow everything else out there away in terms of performance.
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#11 Jun 09 2011 at 11:21 PM Rating: Good
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That's fair, I suppose. I'd still rather save the $200 on the processor to invest in a second video card or an SSD though. I just can't commit that much money to a system that's on the way out. Okay, to be fair you'd need to replace the mobo eventually, which'll be a pain, but it's a hell of a lot cheaper to just grab that CPU now and wait the year until the new boards are out.

Of course, if we aren't considering budget constraints, it's a whole different story.
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#12 Jun 10 2011 at 10:08 AM Rating: Good
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Thanks guys, learning a lot from this.

I think I'm going to stick with the Z68 for now, but I'm going to be dropping down from an i7-2600k to an i5-2500k. From what I've been reading, it isn't worth the extra $100 just for Hyper-threading, and the i5 will actually outperform the i7 on some games (only by a small, not noticeable margin, though).

Honestly, though, I don't have a lot of attachment to the Z68, and it really just boils down to whichever I can find that has the features I need and is cheaper. Virtu and Quick Sync sound cool and all, but I'm not sure how much use I'd get out of it. The only thing I might really benefit from is the SSD caching, which sounds hella cool, but unnecessary for me, since I found a nice deal on a good sized SSD in the local Frys this weekend. So I won't be doing that.

That said, I haven't really found a better board to go with yet. I'll keep searching, but the Z68 I posted is, for the moment, the default.
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#13 Jun 10 2011 at 10:31 AM Rating: Good
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There are a bunch of P67 boards with decent reviews that will cost you $100 less. If you aren't going to make use of the Z68 features, there's really no reason to spend so much more. Hell, you might as well just keep the same CPU and go for the P67.

I just really don't see much reason to go for the Z68 in this scenario. It just feels like paying more to get a dvd player in your SUV when you don't even have kids or a family to utilize it.

And, regarding the SSD, are you going to keep the TB HDD and add in the SSD, or are you replacing it?
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#14 Jun 10 2011 at 1:43 PM Rating: Good
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idiggory wrote:
There are a bunch of P67 boards with decent reviews that will cost you $100 less. If you aren't going to make use of the Z68 features, there's really no reason to spend so much more. Hell, you might as well just keep the same CPU and go for the P67. I just really don't see much reason to go for the Z68 in this scenario. It just feels like paying more to get a dvd player in your SUV when you don't even have kids or a family to utilize it.


Yeah, after shopping around for a bit, I came to the same conclusion, I think. Out with the Z68.

idiggory wrote:
And, regarding the SSD, are you going to keep the TB HDD and add in the SSD, or are you replacing it?


I actually found a 2TB drive for about the same price as the listed 1TB, so I went for that. I plan on having both a SSD and the HDD in the same computer. What's hilarious is that they bumped the 2TB HDD up to SATA III, it seems, even though it wouldn't be able to reach it.

Also, about the SSD, I just realized I made a pretty big mistake. This weekend in the Frys ad they had a Samsung 128GB SSD for about 30 dollars less than what Newegg listed it as. Well, I jumped for that, but now that I'm home, I'm looking at the box and seeing that it's SATA II, not III like I expected. Too good to be true, and I'm an idiot.

I was wondering if it'd be worth it to go return the SATA II and spend the difference to get a SATA III? Assuming I have the required things on the motherboard, would I notice enough of a difference to warrant the extra ~$50?-$60? I noticed Newegg has a SATA III I could go for at ~$230.

Basically, would I notice the difference between SATA II and SATA III enough to warrant the extra effort? I think I would, most likely, but I want to be sure.

Edited, Jun 10th 2011 3:45pm by IDrownFish
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#15 Jun 10 2011 at 2:18 PM Rating: Good
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Well, that depends.

In order to make use of a SATA III connection, you'll need to buy a mobo that supports it. Afaik, they are backwards compatible, so you can still use that HDD with a Sata II board.

All I can find regarding SSDs is from last year. But apparently they still weren't quite fast enough for the upgrade to III to be worth it. That was expected to change though, so a newer SSD model might be enough to warrant the upgrade. This is probably something you'll need to look into entirely on a by-product basis atm.

That said, I was under the impression that mechanical drives were incapable of reaching the speeds necessary to cap out Sata II, so III was irrelevant. But it might not be the case anymore.

If you rather be safe, go with Sata III. If you are willing to look more into it, then you might be able to go with Sata II with no ill effects.
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#16 Jun 10 2011 at 2:34 PM Rating: Good
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Yeah, you're right about the mechanical drives not being able to benefit from SATA III. They just did it as a marketing ploy, and I ended up buying it for completely unrelated reasons. Namely, it was the same listed price as the 1TB, and only about $10 more than a 1.5TB on newegg, so I figured why not.

Anywho, thanks for the advice. I think some time in the next day or two I'm going to head up to Frys and get a refund. I'm still kicking myself over that, but to be fair it didn't specify SATA II or III in the ad. Oh well. I'll grab the one that's $40 off on newegg, and be done with it.
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#17 Jun 10 2011 at 3:35 PM Rating: Good
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I really wish I had the cash to invest in a SSD for my planned rig. D: The data I'm seeing online is making one look really, really sexy for my OS and main programs. I'm considering a hybrid HDD, but it's still largely cash I could put elsewhere...

Are you still thinking you are going to go with the i5 instead?
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#18 Jun 10 2011 at 7:17 PM Rating: Good
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Yeah, I ended up going with the i5. That was the other thing I picked up on the Frys trip. They had it for about $30 less than mewegg, IIRC, so I jumped on that.

Edited, Jun 13th 2011 12:13am by IDrownFish
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#19 Jun 10 2011 at 8:06 PM Rating: Good
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I'm putting together two builds right now, for the i3-2100 and the i5-2500k. Which I choose to actually build depends on the final cost of the two, vs. the actual funds I can get together.

There are WAY too many options. >_<
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#20 Jun 10 2011 at 11:30 PM Rating: Good
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Oh, also, if you haven't ordered your GPU yet, you might want to look into the 560 Ti. It's 100 less than your card, and actually has slightly better benchmarks on Tom's Hardware.
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#21 Jun 11 2011 at 12:10 PM Rating: Good
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I haven't yet, and I'm going to take a look at that. Thanks for the tip.

See, this is why these forums are awesome.
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