I am totally confused with PSU calculation

Nov 16, 2018
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Dear all,

I know there are dozens of threads regarding psu calculation. But, the more I read, the less I seem to understand. By now I am just confused and would appreciate some professional input.

My system:
ASUS P8P67
i7 2600k
MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X
2x Kingston HyperX DDR3-2133
2x Samsung SSD EVO 850 500Gb SATA
HDD 10k RPM SATA
Case Fan 120mm
Case Fan 80m
CPU Fan Arctic Freezer Xtreme
Optical Drive DVD RW
bequiet! Straight Power 10 500W

My system is not overclocked
Mostly it is used for gaming 4-6h a day. Lets say 8h, to be safe.

MSI recommends 500W
https://www.msi.com/Graphics-card/GEFORCE-GTX-1070-GAMING-X-8G/Specification

The PSU Calculator by outervison recommends 450W

The PSU calculator by bequiet also recommends 450W

I have been running this configuration for about 1,5 years now. However, recently my mainboard and cpu broke. I brought my pc to a local repair service and the technician said, my psu is way too small for this system. He would at least recommend a 750W PSU for it. He concluded, that my components did not receive enough power and eventually stopped working.

Question 1: is my PSU really to small for this system?
Question 2: I am planning to replace the broken components with
msi x370 gaming pro
ryzen 5 1600x
How many Watt would you recommend in this case?

Many thanks and best regards,
Dan
 

Aeacus

Glorious
Herald
Since Phillip summed it up nicely, i'll talk about watts.

GTX 1070 is 150W GPU, add the rest of your system at around 200W to it and you're looking 350W. OC your CPU and/or GPU as well and you're looking to add another 100W or so to it, making the total power what your PC can consume at about 450W or so. Here, 550W PSU would do fine for your PC.

That being said, i suggest you look towards any Seasonic PSU in 500W range since you can't go wrong with Seasonic but you can go wrong with Corsair. Corsair CXm series PSUs, at best, are mediocre build quality units while anything from Seasonic is either good or great quality (depending on series).
E.g: Focus 550, Focus+ 550, PRIME Snowsilent 550 or PRIME Ultra 550 Platinum
pcpp: https://pcpartpicker.com/products/compare/bkp323,KmgzK8,XndxFT,dstQzy/

Focus and Focus+ are the newest PSU lines from Seasonic and they come with 7 years (Focus) / 10 years (Focus+) of OEM warranty while PRIME series is the best offered by Seasonic and you'll get 12 years of OEM warranty with them.
All my 3 PCs: Skylake, Haswell and AMD are also powered by Seasonic. Full specs with pics in my sig.
 

alkatraz333.jh

Prominent
Jan 14, 2018
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450 watts is for sure too small for that system. As time goes on, PSU's provide less and less power as the capacitors age. So its likely out putting less than 450 watts at this point. 750 watts is too much however. I would go with 650 watts. And i would recommend a corsair power supply for that. Anything from the CX series specifically.
 
Nov 16, 2018
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Hi!
many thanks for your reply.
I was wondering if the technician was right with his conclusion. My CPU burnt-out. Could this be caused by too little power? I am suspecting that the age of my components in combination with the newer ones could have caused the malfunction. I read in several threads that PSUs would shut down in self-protection in case the system demands more power than what can be delivered.

My PSU (bequiet straight power 500W) is only 1.5 years old. I would really like to refrain from replacing it already.
Also, with your recommendation of 650W, does it mean that PSU calculators + specification sheets from the manufacturer are not trustworthy?

best regards,
Dan
 

Phillip Corcoran

Titan
Moderator
PSU calculators are fine as long as you are aware that the figure you end up with is the total system load --- but on top of that you need to add a decent safety margin and that's where variations come in to play depending on who's giving you the advice. For example, my safety margin would be at least 100 watts in excess of system requirements while others may tell you that 50 watts excess is sufficient. Having too much in reserve (within reason) is way better and safer than having barely enough.

Don't forget too that the PSU make & model is important as some cheap ones don't even push out anywhere near the wattage that they claim to. They're the ones to avoid.
 

Aeacus

Glorious
Herald
Since Phillip summed it up nicely, i'll talk about watts.

GTX 1070 is 150W GPU, add the rest of your system at around 200W to it and you're looking 350W. OC your CPU and/or GPU as well and you're looking to add another 100W or so to it, making the total power what your PC can consume at about 450W or so. Here, 550W PSU would do fine for your PC.

That being said, i suggest you look towards any Seasonic PSU in 500W range since you can't go wrong with Seasonic but you can go wrong with Corsair. Corsair CXm series PSUs, at best, are mediocre build quality units while anything from Seasonic is either good or great quality (depending on series).
E.g: Focus 550, Focus+ 550, PRIME Snowsilent 550 or PRIME Ultra 550 Platinum
pcpp: https://pcpartpicker.com/products/compare/bkp323,KmgzK8,XndxFT,dstQzy/

Focus and Focus+ are the newest PSU lines from Seasonic and they come with 7 years (Focus) / 10 years (Focus+) of OEM warranty while PRIME series is the best offered by Seasonic and you'll get 12 years of OEM warranty with them.
All my 3 PCs: Skylake, Haswell and AMD are also powered by Seasonic. Full specs with pics in my sig.
 

alkatraz333.jh

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Jan 14, 2018
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I would have to disagree with anyone that says corsair PSU's are mediocre. Cant go wrong with any of the. Ive had CX's in my build, had an HXI ever since launch on my workstation pc, and just recently upgraded to an RM1000i. I dont trust the health of all my other components with any other company. Plus corsair's warranty is the best there is, next to Logitech. Never heard a bad thing about them. But other than that, i would agree with everything else these 2 said. The only reason i said go with a 650 watts would be for future proofing, and uping to that wattage wouldnt be much more money anyways.
 

Here is Tom's PSU discussion and review thread:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-3612443/power-supply-discussion-thread.html
It's a long thread, but if you read through it, you will see that there are some questionable Corsair PSUs, depending on when they were made, and even some questions about their more current models, most notably the CX series. Most everyone agrees that the HX and RM series are decent PSUs, While the CX series has been highly recommended since they were released, they have come under fire recently due to issues appearing after aging.
 

alkatraz333.jh

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Jan 14, 2018
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This is the same website where they told people to "just buy" the 2080ti without question. lol
 

Aeacus

Glorious
Herald
Forum staff have no say about what editors put out when they are making those articles. And due to that, sometimes, the articles may not contain the best suggestions. Also, that specific "just buy RTX GPU" article is the personal opinion of that editor and not the whole consensus of Tom's Hardware.


You may disagree with my statement about Corsair but the fact is that Corsair has released mediocre and even low quality units. Best example: Corsair VS series.

Seasonic, in the other hand, hasn't never made a bad quality PSU in their time (unless you count some noisy fans in their older models). PSU build quality wise, Seasonic is the leading OEM in the world. And depending on who you ask, either Seasonic or Super Flower is considered the best PSU OEM in the world.
Did you know that Corsair AX series (except AX1200) is made by Seasonic?

Since the talk is about Corsair CX series, i'll take Corsair CX550m as an example.
Older models of Corsair CXm series (with green labels) were so bad units that they ended up being low quality PSUs. Corsair has since improved their CXm line (with gray labels) and now, they are better but not enough to be considered as good quality. All Seasonic units are either good quality or great quality.

While CXm series are cheap, you won't get solid build quality and all Japanese caps as you can get with many Seasonic units. Here's one in-depth review of CX550m,
link: https://www.hardwareinsights.com/corsair-cx550m-farewell-group-design/

Corsair CX550m does provide some good results but it also provides some bad results. Like hold-up time that is way lower than the ATX PSU standard specifies it to be. CX550m has hold-up time of 11.20 milliseconds while the ATX PSU standard for hold up time is a minimum of 16 milliseconds. For comparison, Seasonic PRIME 650 80+ Titanium (best 650W PSU money can buy at current date) has hold-up time of 30 milliseconds.

And it's just not the hold-up time, there are other, more apparent things that doesn't make it good quality unit. One of them is the very noisy sleeve bearing fan used in it. At minimum, you're looking 39 dB(A) from the fan, which can rise up to 43.1 dB(A). It's like having 140mm Noctua industrial 3000 RPM fan in your PC running at max speeds. Also, lifespan of sleeve bearing is 20.000 to 40.000 hours. While in Seasonic PSUs, you'll either see double-ball bearing fans in older models (60.000 to 75.000 hours) or fluid-dynamic bearing fans in newer models (100.000 to 300.000 hours).

Since CX550m it has nice list of good things and also bad things, it's a mediocre quality unit. If there were more bad than good (including price) it would be a bad unit and vice-versa.
I, personally, wouldn't use it. While it can be used just fine for an office PC that never sees any high loads and also where the PSU noise isn't that important. But for home use in a gaming PC, where PC longevity and noise are important factors, i'd use and also suggest using better quality and more silent PSU.

Different persons have different standards (some have higher standards while others have lower standards) and it's up to every person to decide how good of a build quality components are safe to use in their PC. But keep in mind that PSU is the most important component inside the PC since it powers everything.
Since i care a lot about all my PCs, i won't put a mediocre quality unit into my PC that fails to meet ATX PSU standards set in place for all OEMs to follow, so that the PSUs are safe to use and doesn't damage other components.
In fact, i've gone above and beyond regarding PSUs in my PCs. Some may call me nuts that i payed €206.80 for a PSU that sits in my Skylake build (Seasonic SSR-650TD) while i would've been safe with a PSU that costs €69.70 (Seasonic SS-520GM2). While that can be true and i could've saved a lot of money, i feel safe and comfortable that my main PC is powered by the best offered by Seasonic.
I won't suggest expensive PSUs when the budget is way restricted. But i still suggest getting a PSU that at least meets all the ATX PSU standards, even if it's fully wired (like Seasonic SS-520GB).

Also, you said Corsair warranty is best there is. How so?
Do they offer 12 years of warranty for their PSUs like Seasonic offers for their PRIME series?
No.
Do Corsair offers transferable warranty for their PSUs like Seasonic offers?
No.
Corsair does have good customer support but so does Seasonic.
 
Nov 16, 2018
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Thank you all very much for your replies. As it turns out, your answers vary as much as the information I could gather with my research ^^
However, I'll try to recapitulate and answer my questions with your input.

Q1: I was wondering whether the technician was right with his diagnosis, that my components (CPU & Mainboard) broke, because my psu (500W) did not deliver enough power.
A1: According to Aeacus 500W should have been plenty for my system. As stated, I did not and I will not overclock it. Therefore, I assume another reason for malfuction is likely (age, incompatibility to newer components)

Q2: Do i have to replace my current PSU (Bequiet! Straight Power 10 500W)?
A2: Aeacus recommends Seasonic in 500W range. I do not consider bequiet to be mediocre. Also, I am not planning to add more components. Hence, my current 500W PSU should be sufficent to not put my sytstem in danger of another breakdown. It probably didn't cause it in the first place anyway. So, I will stick with my current PSU.

please correct me, if my conclusions are wrong at some point.
 

Aeacus

Glorious
Herald

When PSU fries component(s), it's mostly due to the poor PSU build quality rather than not enough wattage to power the components. With good quality unit, and when components attempt to draw more power than PSU can deliver, PSU shuts down without any damage to the rest of the components. Poor quality units blow up well before they reach their marketed wattage levels and due to cheap craftsmanship, it's very likely that they also bring some components with them as well. While when good quality PSU blows, it's quite unlikely that it would take any component with him. That's why PSU build quality is important.
This video here shows nicely what i'm talking about,
youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6snWfd1v7M

Wattage wise, your Be Quiet! Straight Power 10 500W is enough for your system. Though, the build quality of Be Quiet! Straight Power 10 500W is mediocre. E.g it has cheap Chinese made Teapo capacitors on it's primary side. While Teapo caps in it are rated for 105°C, seeing high-quality Japanese made 105°C caps in the PSU (e.g Nippon Chemi-Con) would be far better sight.

As far as replacing PSU goes, that's up to you. I, personally, wouldn't use anything below good quality in my PCs.
 
Nov 16, 2018
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I think I've got your point. It's better to be safe than sorry. I understand that you aim for high end PSUs to protect your system. However, many articles recommended my PSU as upper middleclass with all kind of safety functions. What I mean is, of course one could do better, but it is not like I went for the cheapest PSU out there and spent only 20€. Actually I spent around 100€ back then. I know price is not equal to quality, but it definitely counts as indicator. Also, the PSU has really high user ratings 4.9/5 out of 110 see here
I recognize it is no PSU for enthusiasts, but it seems to be good enough for most people. Nevertheless, next time I am going to buy a PSU I will definitely consider your advice and look for seasonic.

Talking about safety functions OPP is the one which would have protected my system, if the psu was too small, right? I have been using this configuration for 1.5 years and never experienced a PSU shutdown. But, occasionally the system froze.
Are there known cases of OPP failure in mediocre PSUs? I couldn't find any articles with quick research. Are you implying that poor quality capacitors could counter safety functions?

Here is a quote from the straight power manual:

SAFETY FUNCTIONS
All be quiet! power supplies have numerous safety functions. They are designed to protect the power supply
and the components connected to it against damage. If one of these safeguards is triggered, the system will
reboot or power off in most cases. If this happens, you should immediately check the PC for errors.
For more info on troubleshooting see the “Troubleshooting” chapter.


The be quiet! Straight Power 10 series has the following safety functions:
OCP (Over current protection)
If the load on the individual circuits exceeds the specified limit, the power supply is automatically switched off.
UVP (Undervoltage protection)
This safeguard is triggered if the voltage on the circuits drops below a certain limit. The power supply is
automatically switched off in this case.
OVP (Overvoltage protection)
The overvoltage safeguard is triggered if the voltage in the circuits is too high; the power supply is deactivated.
SCP (Short circuit safeguard)
The fuse protecting the power supply’s secondary circuits prevents physical defects of the power supply and
the components connected to it.
OTP (Temperature safeguard)
In the case of excessive heat build-up in the power supply, the power supply immediately and automatically
switches off. You cannot switch it back on until it has cooled down. Please ensure that the PC has sufficient
cooling.
OPP (overload protection)
This safeguard is triggered if the total output of the power supply exceeds the specified maximum load. This
can happen if the output of power supply is insufficient for the system (incorrectly dimensioned).
 

Aeacus

Glorious
Herald
As i said above, different people have different standards. Some want to have the best PSU money can buy while others are fine with good enough PSUs. And of course, there are a lot of people as well who have 0 clue about PSUs and cheap out on those by getting the cheapest unit they could find.
While for me the PSU quality is very important, it doesn't mean this must be so with everyone. I'm here to educate people in avoiding crap and low quality PSUs, while when it comes to using mediocre quality units, that decision i'm leaving for people to make.

When i buy PSUs (or other PC hardware), i do not look user reviews since it doesn't say how good of a quality product i'm getting. User reviews only say how much the said product is liked by users.
For example, in PCPartPicker (the #1 source which almost everyone in Tom's Hardware forums use to suggest parts and builds), Straight Power 10 500W has 0 user ratings while e.g Seasonic G-550 (predecessor of Focus 550) has 64 ratings,
pcpp: https://pcpartpicker.com/products/compare/DPCwrH,9PnG3C/
I wonder why? Do you know the answer?

Instead, i read reviews from trusted sources to know how well the product is made and how it performs. While i wasn't able to find Straight Power 10 500W review, i was able to find same series 600W and 800W unit review,
600W, link: https://www.kitguru.net/components/power-supplies/zardon/be-quiet-straight-power-10-cm-600w-review
800W, link: http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Story&reid=399

Here's Seasonic Focus+ 550 (80+ Gold) review as well (one of the PSUs i suggested above),
link: http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Story&reid=529


Though, if your Straight Power 10 500W did fry your MoBo and CPU, why would you keep using it? I'd replace the defective PSU out alongside fried MoBo and CPU, so that the new hardware you buy wouldn't be fried as well.

Also, OPP wouldn't saved your system since OPP kicks in once PC components attempt to draw more power than PSU can deliver, which i don't think was the cause of your MoBo and CPU failure. Like i said above, your PC at max load, draws about 350W which is well below of PSUs max wattage output (500W). Here, i can't tell why your Straight Power 10 500W did fry your MoBo and CPU but my best guess is that it feeds a bit too much voltage to your components.

According to the ATX PSU standard, safe voltage ranges are:
+12V DC rail - tolerance ±5% ; +11.40V to +12.60V
+5V DC rail - tolerance ±5% ; +4.75V to +5.25V
+3.3V DC rail - tolerance ±5% ; +3.14V to +3.47V
-12V DC rail - tolerance ±10% ; -10.80V to -13.20V
+5V SB rail - tolerance ±5% ; +4.75V to +5.25V

Anything lower or higher than that aren't safe for PC components. Lower voltage can cause data corruption while higher voltage can fry components.

To counter high voltages, your PSU also has OVP. Though, according the ATX PSU standard, the OVP should kick in on +12V rail at minimum of +13.6V and at maximum of +15.6V. Those trigger points are way too high and it's up to PSU OEM to set them at lower points so that the high voltages wouldn't damage the components. +15V on +12V rail would fry the MoBo on the spot while +13V on +12V rail would do gradual damage until MoBo gives in. Oh, CPU also uses +12V rail and so does the GPU.
Further reading about PSU protections: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supplies-101,4193-21.html

Also, the PSU 101 article link above is great source in understanding how PSUs are made and how they work, if you want to know more about PSU's inner workings. E.g it also contains PSU capacitors tier list, so you'd know which are great caps, which are good caps and which caps to avoid,
link: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supplies-101,4193-5.html

Sad thing in PSU world is that many crap quality PSU makers add a lot of features on the PSU retail box and specs sheet without actually adding them to the PSU. Here's one such example where PSU label states the PSU has loads of protections in it,
review: http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Story&reid=324
how that PSU actually performs, well, that you can read from JonnyGuru review.

 

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