Over-powered Power Supply

When total wattage means less than being efficient

Steve Smith talks about power supply wattage, and misconceptions carried from past experience.

Episode #6-32 released on April 25, 2016

Watch on Youtube

Your Power Supply is an important part of your computer. You can think of it as the heart and soul. It is what allows your computer to be capable of doing tasks by converting alternating current into direct current for your mainboard, RAM, CPU, GPU, HDD, SSD, etc. can use. However, there is a lot of misinformation related to modern power supplies that are no longer true, that may have once been true, before.

Let us start by a fact, manufactures write everything about your hardware, and the usage requirements in manuals. Take the time to read the manual of everything you own, mainboard, RAM, CPU, GPU, etc. It will greatly inform you about the potential power requirements, usage cases, and in some cases provide troubleshooting details to help you.

How about another fact? The clock speed wars are basically done, processors for mainboards, and graphics cards are basically sitting idle in clock speeds, however, they are being made more efficient in the way they process tasks, information, calculations, and how they use power. So efficient, that graphics cards and processors require far less power than old graphics cards and processors from before due to cuts to the size of the dies used to make the processors.

This means, that the overall amount of power used and required by a computer is lower, not higher. Power supplies are, also, far more efficient at converting and producing the wattage they are designed to output. Good quality power supplies with 80+ ratings are the types of power supplies you want to focus your budget on, and they don't have to be expensive, but a few extra dollars into a lower wattage, 80+ rated, power supply will provide for better stability overall in your computer.

Which leads me into my point, computers with multiple graphics card implementations. Many still believe that you need thousands of watts of power to be able to deliver the necessary power to graphics cards in SLI or Crossfire configurations. I see it periodically, even on my own channel. And, this is simply not true. Most consumer motherboards capable of SLI and crossfire only have two PCI-E lanes that are long enough to support graphics cards. This being said, they are either X16, or X8 PCIE slots. My own personal rig meets the same expectation. I use two GTX 970 Cards, in SLI, and the total maximum draw is 541 watts. Why? Because the CPU and graphics card are that efficient, and my power supply is also efficient, as well.

If you are one of those thinking that I'd need a thousand watts, I have news for you, you don't. Maybe 10 years ago, but this is no longer true today. Frankly, you can use a 1600 WATT 80+ power supply to power 8 AMD graphics cards, so 4 or less graphics cards, would definitely need less than 1000 watts.

Read the manual of your mainboard, do your research, and read the power requirements of your future graphics cards. Because there is one sad fact about having an over-powered power supply many negate, and it's the fact that the power supply will be less efficient, not more efficient, if you don't put enough load on your power supply. And, for what it is worth, being a person who is both a gamer, and ecological, I would rather be efficient, then waste needlessly power. What do you think of this?

Host : Steve Smith | Music : Jonny Lee Hart | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions

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