Often times, people make some really, lousy assumptions when it comes to PSUs. Often time, its simply because they dont know, and in this case, may have asked the wrong people. First, they assume that just because the video card says it needs a 500 watt PSU, that any 500 watt PSU will run it. False. Thats a 500 watt minimum wattage, and thats assuming you have a generic system-not to many peripherals. Second, what many people overlook, is the amperage output on the +12v rails, which supplies the power to your video card, and other components. There is a sticker on the side of your PSU that has all the different rails-there should be at least one, if not more rails marked +12 and under the +12 there will be a number with a a beside it, for example, 18a. Most Generic brand PSUs usually have only one +12v rail, usually rated at 15 amps or less, and since I cant even find a win brand online, Im guessing yours is generic. If your PSU cant put out enough wattage to handle your video card and other components, or theres not enough amperage to power everything, then your PSU will fry, and you risk frying other components.
People also assume that since the PSU says 500 watts that it will hold 500 watts under load-thats not true. With most lower end PSUs, thats your peak wattage-as in, thats where it will fry, it will only hold that wattage for less then a minute usually. Most of your higher end PSUs will label their PSUs with their continuous wattage-so always make sure you research the PSU and make sure that that 500 watt is continuous power, not peak.
When people ask me what to purchase for parts, I always recomend that you not skimp on the PSU or the motherboard-always buy the best of those that you can afford. Dont buy the off brands, spend the extra for the big brands such as Antec, Coolermaster, OCZ, or Corsair-and try to go for at least 100 if not 150 watts more then what you actually need, in order to give you room to upgrade later. As for the +12v rails, some people prefer a single rail setup, while some PSUs use multiple +12v rains. I prefer the multiple rails, but theres nothing wrong with the singles as long as its a high quality unit, and I would recomend you find one with at least 40-50 amps on the rails (if multiple, all of them combined) if not more. Stay away from the off brands, and if you can, I really like the modular PSUs but thats not a necessity, what you want is probably a good 550-600 watt PSU of good manufactur, such as this
Edited by the_patriot11, 21 June 2012 - 11:04 PM.
Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit.
Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.
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