Power Supply for Gaming Build: 550W or 750W? (Asking for Help)

Welsh Heron

Jun 19, 2013
Alrighty, so I'm new to the world of of the PC enthusiast, but I've decided to make my debut with a budget-built gaming PC. I've got most of the components picked out, but I'm rather confused as to how much power my build will need to operate. Here are my build's specs so far:

MoBo: GIGABYTE GA-970A-D3 (AM3+)

CPU: Phenom II X4 965
{TDP: 125W}

Graphics Card: GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost 2 GB
{Minimum Power Supply: 450W}
{Max TDP: 134W}

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB)
{Voltage: 1.5V}

HD: Western Digital WD Blue (1TB)

Optical Drive: ASUS 24X DVD Burner

Note: Remember, this is my first PC build. While I've done extensive research to try and ensure that the parts are compatible, I won't try to pretend that I'm an expert. Please, if you notice something right off the bat (I'm not asking for you to go out of your way to look for incompatibilities...I'll make another forum thread for that), I'd greatly appreciate if you'd tell me about it. Thanks.

One more thing. I'm not really concerned too terribly much about whether or not the links I have above show the best possible price for the components. At the moment, I'm designing the build...when I get to the point that I can start ordering parts, I'll go on a search for the best price (as I'm still working on a highschool student's budget, I've become a surprisingly good price-hound), so unless you have information on a fantastic or limited-time deal, please don't bother giving me price suggestions. I don't want to take up any more of your time than I have to.

You may have noticed that I included below each of the links the 'power specs' that I saw on the product review page on each of the sites I visited. I included them in case they would help speed up your reading (so you perhaps didn't have to visit EVERY link I put up), but I honestly have no idea what these mean (or rather, how they add up to the power supply I will need).

You may also notice that in my components list, I have no case listed. That's the other part that I'm missing at the moment, and though I won't explicitly ask your advice on cases, I've noticed that a lot of cases come with PSU's. Are these usually any good? If you know of any good PSU/Case combos, I'd love to hear about them, and maybe kill two birds with one stone (Note: I could care less what the case looks like, as long as it's cheap and works well). But then again, just recommending a PSU will help me more than enough. I only put this paragraph in in case someone happened to have one such combo in mind.

Just one more thing before I let you respond (or go back to what you were doing): Like I stated before, I'm on a relatively tight budget, so I'm looking for the cheapest reliable PSU that I can find. I know that PSU's are NOT something to cut costs on, but that said, I still don't see the reason in buying a gold-plated one (so to speak).

I look forward to your responses! And thank you in advance for taking the time to help out a newcomer.


Nov 11, 2011
Now graphic card manufacturers put out the suggested minimum power supply for a whole system. People sometimes think it is just for that card but it is for the whole system. So, with that video card, you will need a good 450W supply. Preferably from Antec, Corsair, Seasonic or XFX.
For a system using a single GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST graphics card NVIDIA specifies a minimum of a 450 Watt or greater system power supply that has a maximum combined +12 Volt continuous current rating of 24 Amps or greater and that has at least one 6-pin PCI Express supplementary power connector.

Total Power Supply Wattage is NOT the crucial factor in power supply selection!!! Total Combined Continuous Power/Current Available on the +12V Rail(s) rated at 45°C - 50°C ambient temperature, is the critical factor.

Overclocking of the CPU and/or GPU(s) may require an additional increase to the maximum combined +12 Volt continuous current ratings, recommended above, to meet the increase in power required for the overclock. The additional amount required will depend on the magnitude of the overclock being attempted.

The Seasonic S12II Bronze 520W (SS-520GB), with its maximum combined +12 Volt continuous current rating of 40 Amps and with one 6-pin and one (6+2)-pin PCI Express supplementary power connectors, is more than sufficient to power your system configuration with a single GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST graphics card.

This model is selling for the same price as the 430 Watt model so this is a very good deal.

Dark Lord of Tech

Speedy Gonzales
It was just a couple of specials coming off.

XFX Core Edition PRO550W (P1-550S-XXB9) 550W ATX12V 2.2 & ESP12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

XFX 550w $86.00
CX 500 $72.00
Seasonic 520 Bronze $75.00
XFX 650 was $89.00 now $108.00
CORSAIR CX430M now $71.00

Welsh Heron

Jun 19, 2013

I believe Blackbird is referring to the PSU that you recommended. It is actually $10 more than the PSU that bigcyco1 recommended, but that's fine for my purposes...I still have a little money left in my budget to buy the larger wattage, and I'd honestly rather err on the side of caution, especially since I intend to eventually play around with overclocking.

jnkweaver, thank you for that interesting tidbit of information...I now understand what all of those numbers mean, so that will be useful to me when I decide to build another PC in the future. (And on a personal note, that's rather convenient that the GC states explicitly how much power the system needs [approximately])

bigcyco1, thanks for the PSU suggestion! If I wasn't going to mess around with overclocking, I would most likely go with your suggestion. However, as that is the case, I think I'll err on the side of caution and go with the larger wattage. Thank you for taking the time to get me that link though! I'll bookmark it for later, possible less-wattage-intensive build.

...and Blackbird, if I'm not mistake, the price at the moment is ~$60. Granted, it's due to a price reduction, but it doesn't seem to show signs of closing anytime soon. Is this what you were referring to?

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