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Clear System Specs - Power Demands


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First: Hello!


Second: I apologize if nobody else finds the wording in my post more useful than the normal "will it work" questions. As I'm sure you're aware, it can be really hard to find the right search terms to get the answer you want. I would appreciate either a reply or a pointer to where I can find my own answers (I'm happy to do footwork).


Like so many others, I'm debating between the HX520 and the HX620. I have used the power calculators as recommended by the sticky. Simply put, I keep finding way to many conflicting recommendations. Some places recommend massive 850w PSU's while other people seem to take the opposite "Forget that, 300w is all you'll ever need!" stance.


First the specs. I am intentionally generic in the hopes that it makes for a more basic answer. I'm designing a system rougly as follows (these are fairly maxed out anticipatory specs)


Quad Core (overclocking not likely)


Single DX10 video card

3-4 SATA HDD's

0-2 IDE optical drives

1-2 SATA Optical drives

TV Tuner


3 120mm fans



The responses I keep reading on the Corsair's are along the lines of "Unless you overclock or use SLI, the HX520 will be great". But then the power calculators are telling me to expect a ~900watt draw. I've tried a few different calculators (those that have more modern options, like the one at extremevision). Other responses are rather vague (like the "Corsair HX series" sticky) simply saying it will be good enough for the majority of users.



I appreciate any answers or guidance on this. If nothing else, what are the main factors I should look for? Is anything besides overclocking and dual video going to make a substantial impact (eg, multiple HDD and optical drives).



Thanks a bunch,

-- Trelin

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Update: I realized that on the extreme.outervision.com calculator I had mistakenly selected a quad-core system with "quad" cpu's. Correcting that dropped me down to reasonable levels.


One more question though: does the calculator give recommendations based on all hardware being driven at 100% simultaneously? That is, does it factor the maximum possible draw from all hard drives, TV tuner, etc.?


Also, I do plan on keeping this system for 4-5 years, so would 20% be a recommended level for the "Capacitor Aging" compensation? (And out of pure ignorant curiousity, does the fact that the Corsair's use capacitors rated at 105C have any kind of impact on this? Are they higher quality?)



-- Trelin

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  • Corsair Employees

The Caps we use are some of the best you can get for this application; I would suggest reading some of the reviews about PSU they well most of them explain a bit about this.


Quad Core (overclocking not likely) Not sure of the power consumption as of yet check with Intel or AMD depending on which platform. But from what I have seen so far about 145 Watts

4GB DDR2/DDR3 = 50 Watts

Single DX10 video card = 70-160 Watts depending on the specific card

3-4 SATA HDD's = About 25-55 watts per drive check with the drive maker

0-2 IDE optical drives = 10-30 watts again check with the drive maker

1-2 SATA Optical drives =10-30 watts again check with the drive maker

TV Tuner = Can be hard to know but 30-100 watts check with the maker of the card

Soundcard = 10-30 watts again check with the drive maker

3 120mm fans = about .5-5 watts per fan Max.

Not counting what the MB will use that’s about 600 Watts Max being conservative I would suggest our HX620W.

The PSU calculator's are there for reference and they are only as accurate as the information you enter in them.

But the first step is asking the respective makers for the max power consumption to find the power that you need and if you have hi power requirements for your Video card and a lot of HDD's you will need more 12 Volt power available.

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