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PSU advice needed

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AgentRev

Registered
Joined
Aug 2, 2011
I'm not sure what exactly happened to my first thread, so I will repost it again:

Hey there people,

I'm here because recently I had some PSU-related issues and I might need advice on a few points.

Alright, let's start off with my current hardware specs:

Code:
OS:	Win 7 x64 Home Premium
CPU:	Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300 (stock = 2.5 GHz; OC'd to 3 via an FSB increase to 400MHz)
Mobo:	[URL="http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_775/P5KPLCM/#specifications"]ASUS P5KPL-CM[/URL] (cheap, but gets the job done)
PSU:	[URL="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817153116"]Thermaltake TR2 TRX 650W[/URL]
RAM:	4GB (2 x 2) DDR2 (unknown brand, scavenged from boxing-day Acer computer with the CPU)
GPU:	ZOTAC nVidia GTX 460 768MB 192-bit (OC in MHz: Core = 800, Shader = 1600, Mem = 4200)
HDDs:	WD Caviar Blue 640GB, Hitachi Deskstar 500GB
ODDs:	Pioneer SATA DVD Burner, Samsung IDE DVD Reader

Now for the story (all PSUs were purchased at the same store):

In early July (this year), my OCZ GameXtream 850W failed on my *** exactly a week after warranty had expired (duh). It was a refurbish I snatched at a 50%-off promo last year at a local computer store.

After this event, I started seeking out a new PSU. Started off with a refurbished OCZ GameXtream 700W again from that local store, returned it after 2 days due to lack of trust in refurb OCZs, and coil whine + fan noise.

Second attempt, a BFG 800W. Returned after 3 days because it would not fit in my microATX case, it had very noisy fans, aaaand I had not yet acknowledged that BFG had gone bankrupt last year (no warranty).

Third attempt, a Thermaltake TR2 TRX 650W. Seems pretty decent, runs cool and quiet. Modular cables free up some space in my tiny mATX case, which is always a plus. According to TT's PSU online wattage calculator, it is sufficient for my current specs. I didn't have any direct problems with it yet.


And the problem(s):

Up to 3 days ago, the most demanding thing I was doing on my computer was some Minecraft (;)), which in itself is not very demanding. Then I decided to get back to SCII and BFBC2. I did a couple SCII games without running into any problems, however during some intense BC2 games, my computer instantly shutted down about 2-3 times. Had to play a bit with the PSU power switch to be able to turn my comp back on.

I ran my CPU, FSB, and GPU on the frequencies mentioned earlier for about a year now without any problems, but I think it can be narrowed down to 2 possible points: either the mobo is starting to show signs of weakening, or (most likely) the PSU has some wattage and/or amperage troubles.

Using another online PSU calculator, it showed my config would draw a max of about 30A on the +12V rail, which is well within the bounds of my PSU's 44A rating.


Now, while the shutdown problem remains unsolved, here's the most important part: in a few days, I plan on upgrading the mobo to an ASUS P5N-T Deluxe (will buy ATX case), in order to accomodate a third 2GB RAM stick and a second GTX 460 for SLI.

Changing the mobo will definitely rule it out (hopefully), so hopefully I'll be able to see if the problems come from the PSU, and if it requires a change.


Alright, now the important part:


With the upgrade described 3 lines earlier, and with the same CPU and GPUs overclock mentioned in top specs, will I need to get a better PSU? I tried the new config on the PSU calculator, and it says it could draw at max about 45A and 548W on the +12V, which is a little over the TR2 TRX's specified limit of 44A and 528W.

Ideally, I try to buy retail, because I hate waiting on shipments (I'm in Canada) and it's a lot easier to get exchanges or refunds.

In my price range, the 2 possible upgrades from that same store are the following:

  • the 750W flavour of the TR2 TRX, which has a +12V limit of 56A and 672W
  • an X-Supply 750W, a company which has seemingly no trace of existence on the Internet from my researchs; specs marked as N/A on store website. Only available info is the item thumbnail.

I'd like to hear recommendations (even from online stores) or advice about my problems, if you have any. My golden rules is that the PSU must be as silent as possible (under ±20dB), noise can drive me mad. I would consider the TR2's noise level as par.

Also, ideally I'd like if recommended PSUs could have only a single +12V rail. I also found a second store where I could get Antec, Corsair, and Seasonic PSUs ranging from 650 to 850W.


Sorry for the lengthy post, I always try to give as much info as possible.

Side note: as of Aug 2, I have 10 days left to return or exchange the 650W TR2 TRX.
 
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AgentRev

Registered
Joined
Aug 2, 2011
Also, a list of available PSUs I found at another retail store, with prices:


I don't care shelling out the extra money to buy retail. Miscellaneous priorities:

  1. Can power 2 GPUs
  2. Quiet
  3. Modular
  4. Single +12V rail
  5. Cost
 
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RollingThunder

Destroyer of Trolls & Spammers
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
Agent,

Our sticky list is "Tried and True." Reviews done by professional testers, not by NewEgg unfounded opinions ("Well, it turned on so it's a good one" etc.)

http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=589708

Anything on that list specifically should serve you well. Pending your specific SLI card wishes, power output recommendations cal also be more specific.

This sticky is also excellent regarding single rail vs. multiple rail power supplys. Don't condemn or eliminate multiple rail power supplys until you read this.

http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=548862

RT
 
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AgentRev

Registered
Joined
Aug 2, 2011
Yeah I know, I read those 2 stickies. Trust me, NewEgg reviews are definitely not one of my references :p. There's a lot of info in my post, and my PSU knowledge is not perfect, so some things are just assumptions. I included as much info as possible so more knowledgeable users can examine my case more thoroughly.

If someone tells me about a multirail PSU that can do the job, I'll surely examine the possibility.

There are so many brands, rebrands, and models out there, so it is certainly a bit confusing for a lot of persons. I do know things about computer hardware, but I am certainly not jonnyGURU :D
 

theflyingrat

Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2001
Location
St. Paul, MN, USA
Any quality 500W power supply is way more than enough to do the job for a Q8xxx at 3GHz and a single GTX 460. You will never, ever, ever get close to pulling 550W out of a power supply with that equipment. The power supply calculators out there are often-times ridiculously, wildly off the charts with their estimates; I pay them no more mind than Newegg reviews, personally.

Much of what I'd recommend would simply depend on what the shops around you have on hand. Anything you listed is very overkill - not a bad thing, but not really necessary either. Guess at least it'd be around for when you upgrade!

With a good multi-rail power supply, nothing in your rig will pull more than what they can produce. Your CPU will pull maybe 16A while overclocked a lot more heavily than yours is right now. Your video card won't pull much more than 12A, even while overclocked.

Here's my advice :
- Stick to the 500-650W family of PSUs. They'd give you good efficiency with your rig even when under full, overclocked, balls-out-mode stress.
- Find a good modular unit, especially since you're running a smaller case.

The Seasonic M12-II models would be right up your alley. Same platform as the S12-II, but modular IIRC. The Corsair HX series would offer the same. The XFX modular units are often-times more reasonably priced than either, and compete directly with these. The NZXT Hale 90 and Kingwin Lazer Gold units are amazing power supplies (built on the SuperFlower GoldenGreen platform), as well. The modular cables on the NZXT are top-notch, and the Kingwins are pretty good, too. They're pricey, though, and not as widely-available as the Corsairs or Seasonics, it seems...

Take your pick - there's plenty out there.
 
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AgentRev

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Aug 2, 2011
Well, keep in mind about the upgrade I will be doing in a few days (new case, new mobo, SLI). I might aswell want the PSU to support an upgrade to upcoming AMD Bulldozer, which I will probably acquire in a year or 2.

Nonetheless, here's a small list of 500 to 600W PSUs available:


There are actually a lot more, but others are from a 3rd store which doesn't allow me to check the inventory status.
 
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theflyingrat

Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2001
Location
St. Paul, MN, USA
In that case, I think the 650W-750W families would be ideal. The Antec EA-750 (if I wanted to stick to a budget) and XFX Black Edition 750W would be my picks, personally. :)
 
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AgentRev

Registered
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Aug 2, 2011
I'll probably grab the Antec TruePower New 750W, considering jonnyGURU has a pretty good review about it.

I was first thinking about the Corsair 750TX V2, but I think the $5 price difference is worth the modular aspect of the TP-750. Even if it's a quad rail compared to 750TX's single, I highly doubt having any issue in that regard.

As jonnyGURU notes, it could be considered more of "semi-modular" since like 50% of the cables are already onboard, but I can honestly say that all those will be hooked. In general, what I consider as cable clutter are extra Molexes and SATAs.


Thanks for the help :thup:.
 

theflyingrat

Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2001
Location
St. Paul, MN, USA
That would make an excellent choice. Good luck with it!

Oh, and the TX? WAY too many cables for a small case. I have enough trouble hiding the spares on mine in my gargantuan NZXT Phantom! It would serve you well, but you'd be doing a LOT of cable management in there! It's like a massive, overgrown spider!
 
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AgentRev

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Aug 2, 2011
Haha, well I am planning to get an Antec Two Hundred because my good ol' mATX definitely won't be able to contain an Asus P5N-T. Antec's PSU slot is at the bottom, so anyway there's plenty of space under HDDs to contain extra cables.

I have a couple ATX cases laying around, but they are a pain in the *** to deal with, since they are entirely held together with Phillips screws. Even the front panel. :screwy:

I whish PSUs weren't such troublesome pieces of hardware, otherwise I would get them off NewEgg or eBay. The retail price is just as much as what would you pay on the Internet with shipping (or a little more), but with a nice tax addition of $20. :bang head Yay for Quebec's dual taxes.