Pushing the limits of my PSU

By Technochicken
Jan 27, 2011
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  1. I'm about to order a new (used) video card, a 9800GTX+, which is quite power hungry. I am confident that my PSU will be able to handle the card, but, since it is an nVidia card, I could theoretically install my PCIe x1 8500gt along with it in order to run triple monitors.

    I have used a PSU calculator, which gives a result of around 400 watts. If I add in the extra 30% usually recommended, my PSU does not make the cut.

    Here are all the components I would like to power:

    PSU- PC Power and Cooling Silencer 500 watt- 35A @ 12 V

    Phenom II X3 710, not overclocked
    GeForce 9800GTX+ 512 mb
    GeForce 8500GT 256 mb, modded to fit PCIe x1
    4x1Gb DDR2
    2x3.5" HDD's (one is a WD green)
    DVD drive
    Coolit Eco CPU cooler
    5 fans

    Any opinions on whether or not my PSU could handle both cards?


  2. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    Theoretically your PSU will do ok. The 35A on the 12V rails is decent enough. However, it's a very tight call. If the efficiency is low you may experience problems. OCing will be out of the question.

    If I were you I would look into getting a >=600W power supply.
  3. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157

    check and make sure the PSU calculator doesn't add the 20-30% for you. the last time I used the Antec calculator I think it did.
  4. Technochicken

    Technochicken TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 729

    According to the eXtreme Power Supply Calculator, I need at least 436 watts but it recommends 486 watts with 100 % system load (which happens frequently, since I run some distributed computing software) and 20% capacitor aging.

    Getting a new PSU is not an option at the moment, so I am basically just figuring out whether it is worth it to try running both video cards. I'll will most likely build a completely new system in a year and a half or so, so it is not really worth investing too much in this current one.

    Here's a thought: I have a few spare PSU's of decent quality lying around (both are 470 watt Silencers). There may be some way use one of those for the video card, and the 500 watt one for the rest of the system, sort of like those FPS PSU's you have, red.
  5. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,433   +143

    It's a pretty decent powersupply, I would go ahead and try.
  6. Technochicken

    Technochicken TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 729

    Just reporting back, I have both GPU's installed now and have seen no signs of instability. I switched the heatsink for the passive cooler on my old 3650, which required drilling out the mounting holes on the 8500gt so that the pins would fit through. I just need to find another matching 17" monitor.

    Total desktop resolution of 4224x1080. I have SoftTH working in a few games (Portal, Crysis demo, Half Life Deathmatch), so I can span games across all three monitors.
  7. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157

    cool, throw a pic up in mid game when you get a chance would ya?
    Does the triple head setup have bezel comp?
  8. Technochicken

    Technochicken TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 729

    It does, but I have not set it up yet, and I'm not sure if I can specify different bezel widths for each side. I also have issues because the left and right monitors are different resolution and have different pixel densities. Right now, SoftTH has to run the left monitor at the same resolution as the right one (1024x768) to get it to work in games. The newest version of SoftTH supports mixed resolutions, but it makes most games crash. I'll be sure to get a picture of games soon. Also, here's a screen cap showing how useful it is to have triple monitors:
  9. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157

    I agree, i am ordering two more 26" monitors myself. and apparently like you, i do a lot of PS work.

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