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Redeemed
11-18-06, 06:36 AM
The title says it all. :(

Okay. The computer I'm using now, I original built for my girlfriend. It's specs are as follows:

AMD Athlon64 3400 (s754)
Epox 8NPA SLi mobo
2GB G.Skill DDR500 @CAS3
2x7600GT's
4x80mm fans w/LEDs
1x120mm fan w/o LEDs
CD-Burner
DVD-ROM
TTGI/Superflower/Link Depot 550watt single rail PSU (w/ 30amps on the 12v rail)

I have 98% of the components for my computer. But, since I do not have all of the components for my computer, I have been using the computer I built for her in the time being.

Needless to say, when my two 8800GTS's arrived I was more than anxious to try them out. So, in goes the first 8800GTS all by itself. It runs fine, and the performance just blows me out of the water. 3DMark05 ran perfectly smooth in all the tests at 1920x1440, 16xAA/16xAF, HQ mode (in driver CP), and all options within 3DMark05 itself maxed- it never dipped below 30fps in any of the tests. I was speechless.

3DMark03 proved even better. At the same settings I was getting almost constantly above 100fps in the first test- and close to or above 100fps in all the other tests. I was shocked. My two 7600GT's could never come close to such numbers.

Quake4 played beautiful with every in-game option maxed, and the AA/AF manually set to 16/16 in the driver CP. It would seldom dip below 30fps (and even then the game play felt perfectly smooth, so I'm thinking fraps might have been reporting the numbers wrong)- and it averaged in the 45fps+ range. Again, I was purely stunned.

I pop BFME in (the first one), and I crank everything as high as I can, and it is constantly at 30fps the entire game. That is with 3 hard armies against me. And each army had its limit of soldiers. So, I'm lead to believe BFME has a fps cap of 30fps, being it never went higher or lower than 30fps.

Everything was working beautifully, and I was about as happy a camper as I could be.

Then, I got the urge to try out SLi. Originally, I wasn't even going to attempt SLi with my two 8800GTS's untill they were in my computer- as I knew the PSU I bought for my computer could easily handle these two cards.

Anyhow, the urge was too great and I popped both 8800GTS's into this computer. Windows loaded just fine. I got to the desktop no problem. I installed the drivers without a problem. I restarted Windows without incident. I got to the desktop, everything worked great. I open up the Driver CP and adjust things as I wanted them. Then, I fired up 3DMark03, and cranked everything up with that. I ran the test. I got about 75% through the first test, and my computer just instantly shut itself off.

I didn't think anything of it. I instantly assumed that I had just over-loaded the PSU. I didn't figure I damaged anything. I pulled the second 8800GTS out, and fired the computer back up.

Everything seemed to be working ok... for a while. Then, I started getting fluctuations in my performance. It got to the point to were I couldn't complete a run of 3DMark (either 03 or 05), and Quake4 ran almost continiously at 30fps, only occassionally jumping into the 50's, and frequently dipping into the 20s.

BFME became unplayable at the settings that used to be playable. I wound up having to drop the resolution down to 1024x768 in order to get my 30fps back.

And FEAR ran worse on the 8800GTS than it did with my two 7600GT's. Okay, I had heard that uninstalling the drivers and reinstalling them could solve this problem. So I tried that, and it'd work, for a short while. So I uninstalled and re-installed... a few times. And then on the last time right after the driver had just finished installing I got a message saying that since my card was not recieving sufficient power, its performance level had been lowered (i.e. clock speeds reduced).

I figured that would explain the sudden and significant decrease in performance. So, I turned the computer off and tried switching the molex connectors (I have to use the Y-adapter that comes with the eVGA card as this PSU doesn't have any PCI-e connectors). Still got the same message.

So, today, just before work I decide I'll remove the GTS and put my two 7600GT's back in. I figured even if I had damaged this PSU by putting in the two 8800GTS's, it should run two 7600GT's just fine. Wrong. I put both cards in, fire the computer up, re-install the drivers... no problem. I restart the computer, and right when it was at the Windows splash screen the computer just dies. It wont even boot up.

I thought just a few choice words right then and there. But, I had ran out of time, I had to be off to work. So, all night long I'm fearing that I might have fried my GF's computer- and I was expecting to have to buy all new components for it. I wasn't too pleased at all.

Well, I get home around 3:30 this morning, and I pull the second 7600GT out and leave just the one in. I press the power button and the system fires up just fine. And as you can see, I'm using the computer without a problem... yet.

But I fear trying anything 3D at all as I know that will cause the video card to draw more power from the PSU.

Okay, now to the main reason for sharing this (other than just venting):

Originally, with today's paycheck, I was going to use it to purchase a crap load of fans and round cables (for my computer, as well as my GF's and my Mom's). Instead, I'm thinking that I'm going to get the fans and round cables for my computer, and just get a new PSU for my GF's computer. I can get new fans and cables for my GF's and Mom's computer with next Friday's pay check.

My question: I am wanting a 600watt or greater PSU that will last atleast 3 years. This is including any potential upgrade. Currently, my GF doesn't game much. Mostly cause her current computer (not the one I built for her) isn't really capable of gaming, but also cause there aren't really any games that interest her. But, my best friend's wife has recently gotten my GF interested in Guild Wars. As such, I'm hoping that my GF might find interest in other titles as well. She really digs the whole midieval theme as such she might like games such as Oblivion and Dark Messiah of Might and Magic. In which case she's gonna' need a rig with atleast some gaming horsepower, which is why I configured her new rig as it is. Anyhow, if she does develop an interest in computer gaming, she might want to upgrade (eventually) to, let's say, two 8600GT's or such. As such, I'm looking for a PSU that could handle next year's or even 2008's mainstream components.

I'm thinking of the Seasonic 650 watt PSU that seems to be so popular, but if there are any others you guys could recommend I would greatly appreciate it. My budget limit is $150, not including shipping. I would prefer less than $150 of course.

In advance I would like to thank you all for your input and PSU recommendations.

CaptNKILL
11-18-06, 06:48 AM
How about this monster?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817341002
$120 after mail in rebate.

Or maybe this one for slightly less $$$.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817341001

Redeemed
11-18-06, 07:00 AM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817341002

^^^ :p

That is actually the PSU I bought for my computer. And would you believe that when I purchased that (probably several months ago), it was less than $100. :p

Yeah, I've considered that one. If I had a skimpy system I could probably run two 8800GTX's on it... but it'd have to be really skimpy on the rest of the hardware. :o

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817341001

^^^ And that one was my second choice. I'm thinking of going with this one. I doubt she will need more than 600 watts with that many amps any time soon. Maybe if she upgrade to the GeForce 9600GT and wants to go SLi, then she might need some more juice. ;)

Hey, I appreciate those recommendations CaptNKILL. But if anybody else has any other recommendations I'm all ears. I appreciate and thank you all in advance for your advice and recommendations! :D

SH0DAN
11-18-06, 07:55 AM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817163111


I would rather have a 560 Zeus(Etasis) then a 600 watt OCZ.

Redeemed
11-18-06, 04:21 PM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817163111


I would rather have a 560 Zeus(Etasis) then a 600 watt OCZ.

That PSU costs more money than the 600 watt OCZ one, and has less amps on the 12v rail than the OCZ one. I'd be paying more for merely a name, and that is not something I consider worth my money.

And with only 38amps on the 12v rail, I'm sure that this PSU wouldn't be very "future proof" if my GF ever attempts to do an upgrade of the video cards.

I have heard many great things about Silverstone, but the amperage is just too low for me to consider. It only offers 10 more watts than the one I'm using and only 8 more amps than the one I'm currently using. I'm looking for something a bit more.

But, I do thank you for your input. I knew somebody was bound to mention a Silverstone PSU- unfortunately all the ones I'd like to go for are a bit too spendy.

I'm not sure, I might just limp along with this system as it is till next Friday when I could afford a really good PSU for my GF's rig. I know, the longer I run on the PSU the more I risk damaging components- but I want a quality PSU that will last a long time. And I think that my budget is jut too low for such a PSU.

What do you guys say- new PSU now, or wait till next Friday and buy a better PSU?

K-1
11-18-06, 04:41 PM
Would a 550 watt PSU normally be able to handle two 8800GTS's? I've the Antec Truepower 2.0 550 watt and have been considering going for SLI GTS.

spoop
11-18-06, 04:43 PM
Would a 550 watt PSU normally be able to handle two 8800GTS's? I've the Antec Truepower 2.0 550 watt and have been considering going for SLI GTS.

No.

K-1
11-18-06, 04:44 PM
No.

good to know, thanks :D.

Redeemed
11-18-06, 04:47 PM
Would a 550 watt PSU normally be able to handle two 8800GTS's? I've the Antec Truepower 2.0 550 watt and have been considering going for SLI GTS.

Well, from a wattage only standpoint it should be able to. But wattage alone is not what you need to look at. You also need to know how many amps it has on its 12v rail.

I had a hunch this PSU wasn't going to handle the two GTS's all that well due to the low number of amps available. But, I tried it any way as I never expected it to damage anything. I figured in the worst case scenerio the system would just shut off. Well it did that, but it also crippled my PSU.

Everything seems to be stable now with just 1 7600GT in, but I haven't tried any gaming yet. So, it seems some how my PSU can no longer deliver the 550watts it is rated at. :(

Check your amps. If you can do 40 or greater on the 12v rail, you should be fine I would say.

I think this PSU would have survived if I removed all the case fans, one of the optical drives, and one hard drive. But, I didn't, and now I suffer the consequences. :(

If you don't know how to check the amps, there is a sticker on the side of your PSU that will list such specifications. ;) Antec usually makes pretty solid PSU's. But check the amps just to be safe. I know for a fact it will run one GTS just fine, but make sure you have 40 or more amps on that 12v rail if you are wanting to go with two GTS's. ;)

Xion X2
11-18-06, 06:01 PM
Yeah, unfortunately it sounds like you permanently damaged that PSU. No PSU's are made to run at max capacity 24/7--that's why I've been telling guys to go with higher-wattage PSU's--even if they don't think that they need them. Because when you're pushing it to maximum capacity on a daily basis, eventually it'll fry.

Say you have a PSU that's 600W. And say you try to run dual-GTS's which take somewhere around 550W. Well then when you factor in the efficiency rating on this PSU in question, it's probably 80% or so if it's a good one. So now you're looking at 500W that it can push consistently 24/7. So you're overstepping the wattage by 50W or so and pushing it beyond what it's safe to run at 24/7. Eventually, it'll give out on you. They're not made to do that.

If the Seasonic 650W is as cheap as you say it is, it'd be the best to go with. You're going to be shelling out 190$+ for a good name-brand PSU over 650W.

K-1
11-18-06, 06:36 PM
thanks for the in depth response Redeemed, looks like my PSU comes up a bit short http://www.antec.com/specs/TPII550_spe.html

Redeemed
11-18-06, 08:14 PM
Yeah, unfortunately it sounds like you permanently damaged that PSU. No PSU's are made to run at max capacity 24/7--that's why I've been telling guys to go with higher-wattage PSU's--even if they don't think that they need them. Because when you're pushing it to maximum capacity on a daily basis, eventually it'll fry.

Say you have a PSU that's 600W. And say you try to run dual-GTS's which take somewhere around 550W. Well then when you factor in the efficiency rating on this PSU in question, it's probably 80% or so if it's a good one. So now you're looking at 500W that it can push consistently 24/7. So you're overstepping the wattage by 50W or so and pushing it beyond what it's safe to run at 24/7. Eventually, it'll give out on you. They're not made to do that.

If the Seasonic 650W is as cheap as you say it is, it'd be the best to go with. You're going to be shelling out 190$+ for a good name-brand PSU over 650W.

You know, right after I figured I fried the PSU I started thinking about that discussion you and I had about dual G80's and PSU's. :o

And Xion, it wasn't a Seasonic, it was a Silverstone- but the OCZ has far more amps on 4 rails, while having more wattage as well- for less. The OCZ it is for me. ;)

Well, I'm probably gonna' settle for the same PSU I'll be using in my rig- the OCZ GameXstream 700. But, I ran some tests and this baby is stable and steady with one 7600GT. So I'll just hold out on the new PSU untill next Friday. I'm keeping graphics and all eyecandy toned down just to be safe though.

Thank you guys for all of your feedback and support. I really do appreciate it. I know how dumb of me it was to try and run those two GTS's- but it was a mean tempation! :firedevil

Lesson learned. ;)

thanks for the in depth response Redeemed, looks like my PSU comes up a bit short http://www.antec.com/specs/TPII550_spe.html

No problem. I would hate for somebody to make the same stupid mistake that I did. I'm just glad I can still use this 7600GT and game a bit. ;)

Redeemed
11-18-06, 10:31 PM
Okay, so I went ahead and put what was going to be my PSU into my GF's rig. I also have both GTS's in aswell. ;) Runs like a dream. :firedevil

Gonna' place an order for a new PSU and the case fans/cables for my new rig tonight. :D

Nice to have this rig up and running properly again. :)

Xion X2
11-19-06, 12:23 AM
Okay, so I went ahead and put what was going to be my PSU into my GF's rig. I also have both GTS's in aswell. ;) Runs like a dream. :firedevil

Gonna' place an order for a new PSU and the case fans/cables for my new rig tonight. :D

Nice to have this rig up and running properly again. :)

You may want to give both the Silverstone ST75ZF and PCP&C Silencer 750 a look. I know you're running GTS's and not GTX's, but remember that OWA's OCZ 700W failed on him. Both the Silverstone ST75ZF and that PCP&C 750W Silencer are on SLIzone's certified 8800GTX SLi lists, I believe.

stevemedes
11-19-06, 01:06 AM
Major bummer bro.
I second the Silverstone recommendation. :)

Redeemed
11-19-06, 02:04 AM
You may want to give both the Silverstone ST75ZF and PCP&C Silencer 750 a look. I know you're running GTS's and not GTX's, but remember that OWA's OCZ 700W failed on him. Both the Silverstone ST75ZF and that PCP&C 750W Silencer are on SLIzone's certified 8800GTX SLi lists, I believe.

But isn't OWA running quite a bit more in his rig than I'll have in mine?

Either way, no, I hadn't heard that OWA's PSU crapped out on him. :( I know what it is like and it really sucks. I'm just glad I had this OCZ one lying around. ;)

And Xion, I'll look into those two PSU you mentioned. I'm not getting the new PSU untill this upcomming Friday. That means I'm waiting untill next week to build my new rig, but atleast I'm capable of using the two GTS's now. :p

Major bummer bro.
I second the Silverstone recommendation. :)

Yeah, it was definitely a lesson that I learned. :(

And I thank you for your recommendation. I will strongly consider it. In all honesty, I'm considering getting the exact same PSU that Xion has... but I'll make that decision come next Friday.

Xion X2
11-19-06, 03:19 AM
^ Last I heard, he wasn't running that much. Other than the GTX's, his system was very similar to yours.

If you go with either of those PSUs I recommended or if you decide to go with my exact model, I'd recommend you get them from performance-pcs.com. They have them cheaper than anyone else and will sleeve the cables for you for a small fee.

Redeemed
11-19-06, 03:22 AM
WOW! Newegg just got an awesome new PSU. I'm definitely grabbing it next Friday. :D

Here is the specifications:

850 Watts

12v1 has 18 Amps

12v2 has 18 Amps

---And here is the best part:

12v3 has 30 Amps

And 12v4 has 30 Amps also. :D :D :D

I'd say this beast is well prepared for any future video card to come for some time. Remember, G81 will more than likely be at 65nm, and that is probably what G90 will be. And then G91 will probably be at 45nm. As such, I can't see GPU's consuming significantly more power than what the 8800GTX currently does. As such, this PSU should be more than sufficient for some time to come.

Yes, I know that this PSU is well over $100 above what I was originally wanting to spend. But, I was originally going to place the order for a new PSU now. Instead, I shall wait. This new PSU will be for my rig! :firedevil :firedevil :firedevil

Anyhow, I thought I would post this to get your guys' feed back on this PSU. What do you guys think of it? I've always thought Thermaltake was a pretty decent company. Would I be wrong to assume such?

Here is the linky:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817153043

PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE! Tell me what you think of this PSU. Since I'd be spending so much on it I'd like to be certain that it is worth all that cash.

Thanks again! :)

Redeemed
11-19-06, 03:24 AM
^ Last I heard, he wasn't running that much. Other than the GTX's, his system was very similar to yours.

If you go with either of those PSUs I recommended or if you decide to go with my exact model, I'd recommend you get them from performance-pcs.com. They have them cheaper than anyone else and will sleeve the cables for you for a small fee.

Thanks for the advice. You must have posted that just as I was typing my last post.

What do you think of that Thermaltake PSU I linked to? According to what you and I talked about a while ago, that should be up to anything I could throw at it for some time to come.

The only reason I could see not getting that PSU would be due to poor manufacturing. But I've always been under the impression that Thermaltake was among the best manufacturers out there.

What's your take on that PSU?

Xion X2
11-19-06, 03:33 AM
Thermaltake's power-supplies are kinda "meh" from my personal experience. A buddy of mine had a 680W Toughpower that was pure crap and wouldn't run a 1900XT system. But then that was back when he and I didn't know any better about rail-distribution, so we may have had his connectors arranged wrong.

But there's no way I'd go with one of those over a Silverstone or PCPower & Cooling if I had a choice. These are the best on the market, along with the Zippy's which you can just hardly ever find.

But that's just me. I can see the appeal of the amp ratings on that one and ultimately it comes down to what you feel happier with. But I will link you here to a thread that will back me up on whatever I tell you. It's not just a personal opinion of mine.

FYI:

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=108088
Tier 1 Brands - The Most Powerful And Stable Components On The Market
Enermax Galaxy
PCP&C TurboCool
PCP&C Silencer >610
Zippy/Emacs SSL
Zippy/Emacs GSM
Zippy/Emacs PSL
Silverstone ZF (Etasis 85/75/56)
Seventeam ST >600 (SSI, V2.91)

Tier Z - Less Powerful Than Tier 1 Zippy Units...but they're still Zippys
Zippy/Emacs HG2
Zippy/Emacs HP2

Tier 2 Brands - Top Quality components With Top Notch Stability - For Those With Price/Availability Issues With Tier 1
Antec Neo HE
Akasa PowerGreen 80+
CoolMax CTG-750W/850W/1KW
Cooltek CT
Corsair HX
Enermax Liberty
Enhance ENP-GH
Fortron (FSP) GLN
iStarUSA PD2
iStarUSA PD3
OCZ GameXStream
OCZ EvoStream
PCP&C Silencer <610
Seasonic S12
Seasonic M12
Seasonic Energy Plus
SevenTeam ST <600
Silverstone EF
Supermicro/AbleCom
Thermaltake Toughpower >600W
Xclio GreatPower
Zalman ZM

Xion X2
11-19-06, 03:38 AM
P.S. -- that Thermaltake also has modular cables. And, although modulars look pretty sweet, unfortunately they lose some of the current that standard wiring has, so you'll be losing a little through the transfer. How much is anyone's guess. Maybe zilch, maybe a noticeable amount of power. But it's a fact that they're more for looks than effectiveness.

But I'm not going to try and twist your arm either way about this. As I said, the amp ratings are impressive and I can see the appeal. It would probably do just fine, but since it's a large hunk of cash you'd be laying down I'm going to give it to you straight. It's not as good as what a Silverstone or PCP&C, or Zippy would be.

Redeemed
11-19-06, 03:53 AM
P.S. -- that Thermaltake also has modular cables. And, although modulars look pretty sweet, unfortunately they lose some of the current that standard wiring has, so you'll be losing a little through the transfer. How much is anyone's guess. Maybe zilch, maybe a noticeable amount of power. But it's a fact that they're more for looks than effectiveness.

But I'm not going to try and twist your arm either way about this. As I said, the amp ratings are impressive and I can see the appeal. It would probably do just fine, but since it's a large hunk of cash you'd be laying down I'm going to give it to you straight. It's not as good as what a Silverstone or PCP&C, or Zippy would be.

Thanks, that is the kind of response I was hoping for. ;)

Another thing that got my attention was that it is supposed to be 85% efficient. From what I can find that is the only PSU with that high of a rating. The only one to come close would be PC P&C 1KW which was 83%, had less amps, and cost over $150 more.

I'm going to have to think about this long and hard. This thermaltake PSU is an extremely tempting buy. But, as you mentioned, this is quite the hefty amound of cash I'll be throwing down- so I want to make it worth it.

Thanks again for all your feed back and input. I've got some deciding to do for the week. In the mean time, I'll keep investigating other options.

Despotes
11-19-06, 10:29 AM
Check out the high ripple--250mV!?

http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/product/Power/ToughPower/w0131/w0131.asp

The Silverstone Zeus 850 watt is top tier, Johnny recommended AND it's less expensive. http://www.eastluna.com/hardware/details.php?id=2012

SH0DAN
11-19-06, 12:59 PM
My budget limit is $150, not including shipping. I would prefer less than $150 of course.


Based off the above original request this is your best choice...


http://www.jonnyguru.com/review_details.php?id=30

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=121873

Redeemed
11-19-06, 02:12 PM
Check out the high ripple--250mV!?

http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/product/Power/ToughPower/w0131/w0131.asp

The Silverstone Zeus 850 watt is top tier, Johnny recommended AND it's less expensive. http://www.eastluna.com/hardware/details.php?id=2012

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817256007

You guys are hounding me about how good Silverstone and Seasonic are. :p I must confess, so far that Thermaltake has the most impressive specs of all the PSU's I've seen and as such that is the one I'm the most tempted to get. But, you guys don't seem to like Thermaltake much as a company.

I'm going to be ordering through Newegg.com. The only other place I'm willing to go through would be Performance PCs. That Silverstone you linked to Despotes is actuallythe same price as the Thermaltake. But I'm assuming the Silverstone would be more worth that price.

You know, I have owned one Seasonic PSU in the past- and it was a 350watter. I was able to run a crap load on that PSU and never once did I encounter any problems... ;)