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How important is a computers power supply?
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Krush411
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#1
18th November 2010
Old 18th November 2010
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How important is a computers power supply?

So I'm getting a desktop computer for recording music and editing. Will be running Adobe Audition 3.0 plus lots of plug ins.

The Comp I'm looking at has great specs, i7, firewire, 8gb memory, etc..

BUT, its power supply is 350 Watts.

Is this a problem for editing music and recording vocals? For my purpose do I need a higher level power supply? If so, why?

Thanks
#2
18th November 2010
Old 18th November 2010
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Doomcore is offline
430w will be just fine, you'll have even some energy to spare. Unless if you are buying some newer monster video card, than you really need something above 600w.
Krush411
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18th November 2010
Old 18th November 2010
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It's not even 430 w its 350 watts.

But your saying 350w is enough for intensive audio editing with lots of plug ins?

So the watts number doesn't need to be high unless I'm gaming?
#4
18th November 2010
Old 18th November 2010
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jcschild is offline
no a 350 or 430 is NOT enough for an i7
i am surprised that thing boots.. it wont for long.

dont add any hard drives or internal cards or try to upgrade the video card..
minimum is really a good quality 500w and thats only with a few drives and a card or 2.

good power is very important especaially for logevity

Scott
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#5
18th November 2010
Old 18th November 2010
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dementedchord is offline
FWIW... toms hardware just did a thing on supplies... seems seasonic is the one to go for... there's alist of what they OEM'd as well forinstance the eartworks and true power lines from antec and some of the corsairs... new egg has a great deal on a corsair this weekend... 5oowts iirc...
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#6
18th November 2010
Old 18th November 2010
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The quality of the PSU is very important.

I plugged my rig into a power meter and it reads 310W when I run Prime95. This includes two monitors as well. Add to that 50W maximum for my graphics card and you have 360W max and this is what i'm running...

i7 920 @ 3.200Ghz
GA-EX58-UD5
3GB RAM
5 Hard drives
Optical drive
5 Case fans
650W Be Quiet PSU.

Yep a 650W PSU! I could've gone with a high quality 450W PSU and be done but I plan on upgrading my graphics card so I wanted the extra power for this. But the same system would slowly kill a cheap 450W PSU over time.
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#7
18th November 2010
Old 18th November 2010
  #7
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robertshaw is offline
i7 9xx extreme maxs out (full CPU load) around 280 but it takes alot to max out an i7
Idle they run under 150

so figure out what other peripherals you have and assess it form there
just add up the total pwr consumption for all devices
#8
19th November 2010
Old 19th November 2010
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The total output wattage thing is pretty much meaningless. I've been using a Shuttle Silent-X 250w PSU for yonks and that thing was always the subject of 'can I use this graphics card with my dinky psu?' For modern computers the total output of the psu is not as important as the amperage it can supply on its 12V rail(s). On your PSU there should be a sticker that looks like:





This one is the famous Silent-X PC40. The little psu that could. I had an nVidia 8800GT and an Intel E6750 running on this thing and it was a charm (still works!). The label tells you all you need to know about what it can do.

+12V x 16A = up to 192W of the total output can be supplied as +12V power which is what all the power hungry components in your PC like to suck on. That includes your cpu, graphics card, all that good stuff.

-12V x 0.3A = up to 3.6W of the output can be supplied as -12V power. This is something of a legacy since hardly anything uses this or -5V lines anymore. Back in the day it was old ISA bus cards which mostly disappeared a long time ago.

Then we get to the capacity which can be supplied at low voltages:

+5Vsb x 2A = up to 10W of the output can be supplied as standby power which is always active, even when the computer is in (you guessed it) sleep states or hibernation. It keeps certain things like the keyboard powered so that a keystroke input can wake the system up.

+5V x 19A = up to 95W. Typically used to power the PCI bus and storage disks etc.

The +3.3V line in this psu and many others is regulated down from the +5V line. This one can supply

+3.3V x 18A = up to 59.4W of the total output to stuff like the USB bus, RAM and supply power over SATA.

The combined output of the +3.3V and +5V lines however cannot exceed 105W. The total combined output is 250W so the psu cannot supply the maximum rated current on all of its supply rails at the same time. Theres some juggling going on depending on the power requirements of your computer. Most modern PCs lean heavily on the +12V rail(s) so when you look for a psu you should really be looking at how many +12V rails the psu has and how much amperage it can supply on each +12V line.
#9
19th November 2010
Old 19th November 2010
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Hi!

I used to work for a taiwanese PSU manufacturer so I'd love to flex my geek muscles on this matter!

Are you going to be recording Vox in the same room as your computer? If yes, the PSU is important.

Its not so much the power but the efficiency. The way power supplys waste electricity is through heat and if they make heat, then need to turn the fan on to cool things down.... Which means a noisy computer to contend with.

A few years ago they introduced the 80Plus standard for testing powersupplies and then bronze, silver and gold awards for efficiency. I would say silver and up = quailty power supply. I am all for green power but I'm not going to pretend that you are going to make the extra money back compared with a run of the mill PSU any time soon.. You will however get a quieter supply without a doubt. You'll also generally get a MUCH better quality PSU if you buy an 80PLus model because it takes a LOT more engineering to make an efficient PSU and the parts are generally a lot higher quality. This means that it will probably last longer as well (so you will save here even if it takes 2 yrs to make the difference in electricity bill back). I know some manufacturers offer 4 yr warrantys on PSU's now because they are made to such a high standard.

Since the cost difference between a 350 and 550 is pretty small in studo cost terms I would allow yourself some room to upgrade. Graphics cards EAT power and you might want to be working with a LOT more screens in the future, who knows. Or sound cards, or hard drives, or maybe we will all be using kinect type stuff in 3 yrs. Who knows? Think of it in house terms... Although you might not have kids right now, if you are moving into a house for the next 5 years with the wife, you would probably want an extra bedroom or 2 just in case!

If I worked at Radioshack or Best Buy, I would probably suggest 350w to a grandma who wants to send emails and read about gardening online, anyone else is likey to want to take advantage of new technology in the next few yrs so although it might do for now, it wont for long.
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#10
19th November 2010
Old 19th November 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatInTheFurnace View Post
Are you going to be recording Vox in the same room as your computer? If yes, the PSU is important.

Its not so much the power but the efficiency. The way power supplys waste electricity is through heat and if they make heat, then need to turn the fan on to cool things down.... Which means a noisy computer to contend with.
+1. I was going to say this, but you beat me to it.
Krush411
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#11
19th November 2010
Old 19th November 2010
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatInTheFurnace View Post
Hi!

I used to work for a taiwanese PSU manufacturer so I'd love to flex my geek muscles on this matter!

Are you going to be recording Vox in the same room as your computer? If yes, the PSU is important.

Its not so much the power but the efficiency. The way power supplys waste electricity is through heat and if they make heat, then need to turn the fan on to cool things down.... Which means a noisy computer to contend with.

A few years ago they introduced the 80Plus standard for testing powersupplies and then bronze, silver and gold awards for efficiency. I would say silver and up = quailty power supply. I am all for green power but I'm not going to pretend that you are going to make the extra money back compared with a run of the mill PSU any time soon.. You will however get a quieter supply without a doubt. You'll also generally get a MUCH better quality PSU if you buy an 80PLus model because it takes a LOT more engineering to make an efficient PSU and the parts are generally a lot higher quality. This means that it will probably last longer as well (so you will save here even if it takes 2 yrs to make the difference in electricity bill back). I know some manufacturers offer 4 yr warrantys on PSU's now because they are made to such a high standard.

Since the cost difference between a 350 and 550 is pretty small in studo cost terms I would allow yourself some room to upgrade. Graphics cards EAT power and you might want to be working with a LOT more screens in the future, who knows. Or sound cards, or hard drives, or maybe we will all be using kinect type stuff in 3 yrs. Who knows? Think of it in house terms... Although you might not have kids right now, if you are moving into a house for the next 5 years with the wife, you would probably want an extra bedroom or 2 just in case!

If I worked at Radioshack or Best Buy, I would probably suggest 350w to a grandma who wants to send emails and read about gardening online, anyone else is likey to want to take advantage of new technology in the next few yrs so although it might do for now, it wont for long.
Thanks for the knowledge man. Based on your expertise, can you suggest a good PSU from BestBuy.com?
#12
19th November 2010
Old 19th November 2010
  #12
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Pete Kaine is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krush411 View Post
Thanks for the knowledge man. Based on your expertise, can you suggest a good PSU from BestBuy.com?
That is the worst selection of PSU's I think I've ever seen.

They haven't even managed to get a decent Corsair revision on the list.

Out of all of them the loan Antec that they have if I had no other choice. I'd say get on newegg and order a decent psu through.

Enermax or Seasonic.
Krush411
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#13
20th November 2010
Old 20th November 2010
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Ok, so the comp I am now looking at the PSU is 460 watts.

All I am using this comp for is recording vocals and editing music in a DAW such as Audition 3.0, or Reaper, etc.. and throwing in lots of plug ins, etc.. purely for music editing/creation.

Never will run a computer game on it.

With that in mind, with what I am using it for, will the 460 watt PSU suffice?
#14
20th November 2010
Old 20th November 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krush411 View Post
Ok, so the comp I am now looking at the PSU is 460 watts.

All I am using this comp for is recording vocals and editing music in a DAW such as Audition 3.0, or Reaper, etc.. and throwing in lots of plug ins, etc.. purely for music editing/creation.

Never will run a computer game on it.

With that in mind, with what I am using it for, will the 460 watt PSU suffice?
christ. really? read man. trust the opinions of those in the know. . . the ADK guys.
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