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PSU Question


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I've built gaming PC's before with large PSU's, but with a server build I have a question. Is there a specific brand people prefer for server builds? Is it better to get a lower wattage unit (450 watt) over a large unit (600 Watt+)? I have my build listed out below.

 

 

OS: Windows Home 2011

Case: Fractal Design Define Mini MicroATX Tower

Memory: Kingston 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Unbuffered DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Server Memory Model KVR1333D3E9SK2/8G

CPU: Xeon E3 1230 V2 (Ivy Bridge)

Motherboard: Supermicro MBD-X9SCM-F-O LGA

HD OS: 2 x 250GB HDD (Raid 1)

HD: 3 - 3 TB Green Drives (Raid 5), May go 4 - 3TB Green Drives if I go (RAID 10)

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This question comes up fairly often. People sometimes think that a higher wattage PSU means it will use more power all the time than a lower power one. It's not true. Wattage is not 'pushed' by a power supply - it is 'drawn' by the components that need the power: e.g. CPU, fans, HDDs, etc.

 

The ideal is to get a power supply that will have enough capacity to handle the maximum load but will be using about 50% of it's capacity most of the time. That can be tricky if the maximum load is very high but the most common load is very low. In that case, you pretty much have to get a PSU that can hancle the maximum load.

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I've had good luck with CoolerMaster and OCZ. The OCZ cables tend to be a little stiff but are wrapped. CM uses a flat cable design. Ikon is right....an overpowered 350w PSU will use more juice than a 600w at normal load.

 

If you have time to dig back thru the BYOB podcasts, Doc and the guys did a show on power supplies, rails, etc. Much over my head but I followed the logic.

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SeaSonic (SeaSonic X Series) is all I've been buying and I've been very happy with it's quality.

 

A handy calculator is available at Newegg for estimating the MINIMUM PSU required http://images10.newe...calc/index.html

 

Be sure to get a PSU whose specs exceed your estimated worst case loading of your system (all possible HD's installed and looking a peak start up load for everything -- RAID Video ect. cards -- you might possibly put into that box in the future).

Edited by Joe_Miner
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I'm currently using PSU's from 3 different manufacturers:

  • Antec Basiq 550W - 80 PLUS
  • Cooler Master Silent Pro 600W - 80 PLUS Bronze
  • Seasonic X650 650W - 80 PLUS Gold

Seasonic has a good number of PSUs on Newegg that would do the trick. Like John said, do the calculation. Then pick out a nice 80 PLUS that goes a bit beyond the requirement. I see a 430W 80 PLUS Bronze in that list that would more than cover you for $59.

 

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From everything I've experienced, read, and heard, SeaSonic is the Cadillac of PSUs. But I think Antec, CoolerMaster, and some others also make very good ones.

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