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Thermaltake PSU, good enough?


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#1
Junkman

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Someone OKed this choice, but on doing some more reading I'm starting to have my doubts. On the other hand, I still haven't found any really good explanations for what makes a good PSU good. So, I've just bought the components for my new system, still waiting for them arrive. They are:
AMD X2 4600+
2Gb Corsaire PC2 6400 RAM
ASUS X1950Pro GPU
MSI K9N Neo-F Mobo

So this is the PSU I got:
Thermaltake TR2 W0101
http://www.thermalta...02/w0101102.asp
This is the best link to its specs I could find.

So, is it good enough? And (especially if it's not) could someone give me some quick pointers on what to look for? I tried looking for a PSU on the list of good PSUs at the THForum that someone here linked to in their sig line, but I couldn't find any of those here (Denmark) except a few that were very expensive.

Also, I'm wondering about power surge protection. Lost a PC to a power surge a few years back, fried everything, and boy did that suck. So I wanna be sure that's not gonna happen to my nice pretty new machine. PSU descriptions mention surge protection, is this good enough in most modern PSUs, and more specifically is it good enough in the Thermaltake I listed? And if not, is it a good idea to buy a surge protector from a hardware store?

Thanks alot, and I'd appreciate a speedy answer as to whether that PSU will do so I can cancel the order in time if I have to.
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#2
Troy

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Okay, for your graphics card, according to this link, it recommends 30Amps, 12v rail. This is for non-crossfire. According to the ThermalTake link you provided, it looks like this PSU only supplies 16Amps, but I could be reading it wrong. If anyone else could double-check this please and comment that would be good.

Power supplies don't come with surge protectors built-in, I strongly recommend you do purchase one from a hardware store. Also, a good idea for your computer is a UPS - uninterruptible power supply.
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#3
Junkman

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Thanks for the reply Ruthandtroy, that helps. I posted this on the TOms Hardware forum and people said the same thing. Which raises another question which may seem stupid... how to do you tell how many amps a PSU provides? The only place I can find a reference to output amps is under the list of rails, and on the sets of specs for several PSUs that I've looked at, none of the 12V rails I've seen come even close to 30 amps. And it's not like the X1950Pro is a state-of-the-art super-powered card. So I suspect I'm reading it wrong. You're not supposed to total the amps on all the 12V rails are you? If I'm reading it correctly then I'm gonna have a [bleep] of a time finding the right PSU (well I've already had a [bleep] of a time, but it'll be a little more [bleep]).
Other people have suggested a UPS too, but I just did a quick search for products I can get here (Denmark) and they were all super expensive. The very cheapest for 500W or more were around $200US, and most were much, much more. So I'm wondering if I can do without :whistling: All I need is to protect from power surges so things don't get fried, is a UPS necessary for that? Or is it just to prevent you from losing data from a sudden power loss? Cause if it's the latter, then for those prices I can do without. I've already pretty much expended my budget on my PC components, and I'm now having to stretch farther than I thought to get a decent PSU, I really don't have any more cash for these things. So please help me find the cheapest possible way I can protect my computer. I was really hoping I could just pick up a good old fashioned surge protector from the local hardware store. Will that do?
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#4
Troy

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As for your PSU, I'm not extremely knowledgable about these, it was just something I picked up on when I was double checking it for you. As for your UPS, (Don't get confused :whistling: ), I don't have one of these either, I am only using a surge protector at the moment because I can't afford a UPS. That way, my computer will turn off and I'll lose any unsaved data, but (hopefully) there won't be any surge charging into my computer and frying everything... Not ideal but for the budget it's probably okay.

And the X1950 series is a pretty wicked card, it was one of the fastest DX9 cards...
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#5
Junkman

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I know it's pretty good, but it's a couple of years old now, and there are much faster cards. So I was just surprised to see that the fairly powerful modern PSUs I was looking at all fell well short of the ampage required to run it, which leads me to believe I was reading the PSU stats wrong.
I'm glad to hear you confirm my thoughts over a UPS. For that much money, I can just be sure to save things regularly.
And thanks again for replying.
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#6
Lungfixer

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As long as you're not running dual GPU's in SLI or Crossfire, the Thermaltake should be a great power supply. I use the ToughPower 650W in my system and I love it.

If you ARE considering SLI or Crossfire, I suggest you go with the OCZ Game-X-Stream (available in 600W or 700W). Although they do NOT use the modular cable system, these power supplies both feature four 12V rails, the main difference is the 700W allows for a maximum combined 12V load of 680W, whereas the 600W model allows for 580W. OCZ is the first company I have seen that actually prints on the side of the PSU what connectors are tied to each 12V rail. This takes the guesswork and frustration (or opening up a PSU and voiding the warranty) on power supplies with more than two 12V rails. Some top of the line NVIDIA & ATI video cards in multi-GPU (SLI/Crossfire) configurations can actually draw so much current on the 12V rails, that if a PSU is not configured correctly they can shutdown from just barely going over the current limit allowed on a particular rail. OCZ eliminated this issue altogether by having the two PCIe connectors on different rails!!

The fit and finish on these units are TOP NOTCH!! One of the sales reps at Fry's Electronics showed me the internals on an open OCZ PSU. I was expecting it to be packed with tons of components and large heatsinks struggling to keep everything cool (as is often the case with 650-700W PSUs). Imagine my surprise when I saw how little there was. By using higher quality components less heat is generated with the OCZ units, and less components are used...which in turn means smaller heatsinks, better airflow, and better power conversion efficiency. Simply put, the GameXStream is a better power supply in every way. OCZ has uncompromising quality, excellent warranty, and over-the-top features...this should be the FIRST choice for anyone that requires a serious power supply to run their system.
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#7
SRX660

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I would beware on using a thermotake PS. While they are not bad , i find them to be too noisy for me. I switched to using PC power & cooling ones. I also find the enermax PS's to be good while being pretty quiet. As for having a 30 amp 12 volt line, it is almost impossible to fin a PS rated at this. This equated to 360 watts for just the graphics card. I do think a lower amp line will run the card as it also gets some power thru the PCI-E connection. I would look for 20 to 24 amp 12 volt line power supplys.

Just remember the amps times the voltage on the line gives you the wattage. From this you can figure out what is needed by switching the formula around. For instance, a 200 watt graphics card divided by 12 volts gives you 16.6 amps needed to run the card. When ASUS says its card needs 30 amps then it must pull 360 watts of power. If so then you will need a 800 or higher watt PS for your needs. Always remember that quality PS's do cost more money but can save your computer from frying from low voltage problems.

Another thing to remember is that most PS's are rated at only 80% (or lower) efficiency, so a 600 watt PS really only puts out 480 watts.

A UPS is good if you have frequent power outages like i have here in florida. I run them so my computer does not shut off and restart every time the power goes out for a second. If you do have power outages then a good UPS will let you shut down the computer normally and keep the hardware from damage.

SRX660
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#8
Guest_MarkN_*

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All I can tell you is that I had concerns about my 8800GTS getting enough Amps also, it requires 24amps. So I emailed Antec support, because I have a 650 True Power Trio with 3, 12v rails rated at 19amps each. And here is their answer, which is word for word from Antec. "Mark,
You can plug your video card directly to the PCI-Express connectors. The power
supply will draw additional amps from the other available rails on the power
supply. You shouldn't have any problems using this video card with your power
supply. Thank you for contacting Antec." Now this does not mean that the Thermaltake will also draw from the other rail, but I would assume so. And yours has 2 12 volt rails one at 14amps and one at 15amps, which would still not supply your card with 30amps.

Edited by MarkN, 09 July 2007 - 02:45 PM.

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#9
Junkman

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Yeah, it's all a little confusing ain't it? :whistling: I wondered if the multiple rails would each supply some ampage, but I wasn't sure. Is it the case that each rail of the power supply plugs into hardware separately, so that if you need a part to access more than one rail then you need to plug it in more than once? Last time I saw a computer put together was at least five years ago, and since then all I've done is replace a harddrive and a disc drive, so I know almost nothing about what plugs into what.
Some of these issues seem quite straightforward and you'd think it'd be easy enough to get straightforward answers somewhere, but I've looked and I can't find them. On the issue of efficiency for example, you said, SRX, that an 80% 500W PSU would only actually supply 400W, but on another thread I read that the listed wattage is the output after efficiency is taken into account. So a 500W PSU actually would deliver 500W, but would draw 625W from the wall. Does anyone know for sure which it is? Cause this seems a rather major point, and if we're expected to calculate for efficiency losses ourselves then that throws everything off and I'm back to square one...
I've scrapped the Thermaltake order, by the way. A couple people said it was rubbish, and I don't want to buy until I'm sure I'll get something that can run my GPU (and everything else). Does anyone else happen to have an X1950Pro, and if so can you tell me what PSU you're using?
I just looked up some stats on it and they said that it requires 450W. I'm assuming they mean it needs to be plugged into a build that uses 450W total, cause if the card uses 450W all by itself then that's just ridiculous and I'm screwed :blink:
Thanks very much for the replies so far, they've helped. But clearly I need more enlightening.
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#10
Troy

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But clearly I need more enlightening.

Me too :whistling:
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#11
SRX660

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Some good reading on power supplies.

http://www.jonnyguru.com/index.php

http://www.overclock...pply-guide.html

http://www.hardwares...com/article/181

Read and learn.

SRX660
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