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When building a new PC, I sometimes struggle to determine what capacity (watts) power supply to use. Is there some sort of online calculator that exists that allows you to choose your various components and will calculate the power consumption?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Here you are!
eXtreme Power Supply Calculator Lite v2.5

http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

But it does say it's for non-commercial use only.

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Ah, I see, that seems useful! –  Ivan May 14 '09 at 16:30
    
Perfect, thanks! –  Matt Hanson May 15 '09 at 0:41

I'm no electricity expert, but don't you just sum up the watts of each component?

You can also use the fabulous Kill-A-Watt.

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Your Kill-A-Watt suggestion has a bit of a 'chicken and egg' problem. It is kinda hard to turn on the computer to measure how much power you need until after you have purchased the power supply. Summing the watts should give you a useful rough number. You'll want to leave yourself a little bit of headroom, and room for growth. –  Zoredache May 14 '09 at 18:11
    
Oh right, I had a lapse, sorry :) –  Ivan May 14 '09 at 22:18

Always go for an A brand powersupply. I am partial to Enermax myself, but there are many good makes out there now. I tend to overspec my powersupplies by a factor 2. A brand PSU's can deliver the power as stated on the label, but only tend to keep their fans quiet until around 30% of their peak load.

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Personally, I wouldn't bother calculating it. I would look at the Motherboard/CPU power requirements, look at the recommended PSU wattage for the video card I was going to run, and almost double it.

High-quality 1000W PSU's are cheap now, so there is no real reason to skimp out.

The only case I could see myself actually calculating it would be if I was running some sort of multi-cpu/multi-gpu setup, or a home-grown raid array with 30 hard drives.

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