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Why buy a 1000W power supply?

By Bubbabigsexy ยท 11 replies
Mar 11, 2008
  1. I am building my new system and I have planned on buying a 1000W power supply for it. My question is: "Is a 1000W power supply really necessary or am I just wasting my money?" Is there any use for having a 1000W power supply? What could it do that a normal 600W or 750W power supply can't do?

    I was buying a 1000W power supply because I want my new PC to last for awhile and not have any problems. There is really no specific reason I am getting one other than to have a more powerful computer. So I am buying top end products. But I am thinking spending $200 on a 1000W power supply might be over kill. What do you think?
  2. Acclamator

    Acclamator TS Rookie Posts: 261

    Well it really depends how powerful the 12V rails are; yes a 1000W PSU is a very solid investment.
  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    1000 Watts has very little to do with it. A 600 watt power supply with steady output and quality components is just fine. Just avoid crummy ones.
    But read the files on power supplies on this forum. There is a fairly complete posting on power supplies and their ratings.
    There are 1000 Watt power supplies that have such uneven output and unreliable components that you can have even more trouble with them.
    Use the reviews. Not the wattage, because wattage means little. Amps, and steady output under load count for a lot more.
    Nearly all the power supplies you can get now are made in one provice in China... 87 different brands of them. Only one, PCPower and Cooling is still made in the US of A. A few other good ones, are made in Singapore and Hungary.
    Read the reviews here. Read those at www.tomshardware.com, www.anandtech.com and others.
  4. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,313   +100

    Any way you can back that up Raybay? Even if it's true, why is a PSU made in China of lesser quality than that of one made in Singapore etc.

    No, it's not a "solid" investment nor a wise one. The average PC today does not need anything near a 1,000w PSU to power it. Why not invest for tomorrow? Because a decent 1,000w PSU is going to cost more now than it would be to buy a PSU rated for an output sufficient enough for today's PC and then another down the road for your new PC. Furthermore, PSU's, like any component, will fail in time. There is no guarantee that your PSU will last you the duration of two whole systems (3-4 years on average per PC is 6-8 years for two).
  5. kpo6969

    kpo6969 TS Maniac Posts: 710

    Capacitor aging-Google it
  6. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,103   +422

    IMHO, it is difficult to evaluate your need for a 1000W, 600W or 750W power supply without knowing what other components you plan to use in your new PC, especially the number and model of graphics cards. I know you said top end but what does that mean? Also, which brand and model power supply do you have in mind? All 1000W PSUs are not created equal.
  7. tastegw

    tastegw TS Enthusiast Posts: 188

    i have learned that "buying for show" isnt really the best route to go.

    if you are not running 2(or more) high end video cards, you dont need the 1k psu.
    like one poster said, a 600w high quality psu is most likely all you need and can do the job just as well as a sub-par 1k psu.
  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    I'd argue a good 500W would work for almost any system. Basically if you have to ask, a good 500W will work. If you are running components that are going to require above that, you probably already know enough about hardware to not need to ask what PSU you need.

    I'm running the system in my specs on a 485W which is overkill.
  9. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    I agree with you totally, SNGX1275.
    The point of the one province in China, is that many of the power supplies made there are often made in the same plant. they are nearly all the same... but when one puts more wattage without changing the engineering, to meet a marketing brochure, then you have probably gained nothing.
    The part the differentiates the power supplies is the UL code on the label Some brand names and models have identical UL code is the same, meaning it has been tested by United Laboratories, and accepted for US distribution.

    As to backing it up, a Gurgle search will provde you with plenty. There have been some super articles by PCPower and Cooling in CPU magazine, among others.

    In general, wattage is not very important once it is above 550 watts, as long as the distribution along the 12V rail(s) is correct. Amperage that is steady is critical. A great cooling fan. Quality transisters, resistors, circuit boards... and the ability to maintain steady output underload.
    Except for a few of the PC Power and Cooling power supplies, you don't know what you have, if anything, with a high wattage unit.
    Look at the intensive reviews at www.tomshardware.com, www.anandtech.com, or do a Gurgle search for power supply reviews... for those that are tested under load, and tested for heat and circuit fidelity.
    As mentioned above, if it has reserve power after supplying the needs of the video graphics card, the engineering is probably good regardless of the wattage on the label.
    The power supply postings on this forum that list acceptable models is pretty good, although they downrate some pretty good power supplies that I have never seen fail.
    Properly referenced, the power supply in most of the computers you will work on are referenced as "Constand voltage switching power supply," and this is supposed to mean that the power supply puts out the same voltate to all the interal components, no matter the voltage of the AC current that runs it, or the capacity of that power supply. Switching power supply refers to the techniques used in regulation to assure that the power supply perform these tasks in a small, standard sized unit, at a low price.
    But it has become a place to make a lot of profit. It wasn't that long ago that a good power supply cost $35 and a great one cost $65. Most of the rest is money in the bank, not performance for the computer. Only the improved designs of video graphics components changed that mix.
    Most failures were to lousy components in the power supply. Some were sold in volume for $5.00 each to the likes of such manufacturers as Compaq and the rest.
    There are basically needs for +3.3 Volts, +5 volts, and +12 volt rails, which were techically set aside to be independent within the power supply. But the cheapos started finding ways to share circuitry, making them less independent than they should be, and thus a lot less reliable.
    Finally, the power supply must ensure that the system doesn't run unless and until the voltages supplied are able to operate the system properly. The power supply should actually prevent startup if there is not sufficient power detected by the motherboard. This Power Good signal must always be present in order for the motherboard to run.
    When the power supply is well built with quality components that do not burn out like a light bulb, then good power results. When the power dips or rises, the signal that there is good power is gone, and the computer resets.
    In gamer systems, there are many devices that detect that power output is correct. Video cards won't run without it. Memory will not. So that output of the power supply must be adequate for all demands, regardless of what demands are made on it. Poor components and circuits too far out of range foul up this system. Some computers quit. Some burn out key componets before they have time to quit.
    The better the circutry, the better the power supply meets the demands on all these rails. Some are not engineered well enough to do so. Some do not have electrical components adeequate to the task. Some burn out.
  10. Acclamator

    Acclamator TS Rookie Posts: 261

    FALSE. A PSU is less likely to become "outdated"; you can also use it in future systems.
  11. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,313   +100

    Don't be silly, nothing I said is FALSE.

    You generalize, "less likely". Again, as I said in my initial post, there is no guarantee that it will work the way you want it to for 6-8 years, and you are in fact taking a risk with your money by investing in the belief that it will (when it would cost you less to buy two NEW PSU's to begin with).
  12. kpo6969

    kpo6969 TS Maniac Posts: 710

    Capacitor aging-Google it
    Depends what you mean by "future"
    subtract 10-15% /year of use
    amount of usage?
    That's like saying your buying x video card to "future-proof" your system.
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