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Any downside to PSU wattage over-head?

Sammyt555
  • 53 months ago

I am considering getting a way bigger PSU than I currently need to allow for the potential to xfire GPUS in the future.

Is there any downside to having a PSU 200 watts more than I currently need without the 2nd card? Any potential to damage components or is t the only risk my electric bill?

Comments

  • 53 months ago
  • 3 points

There's a small efficiency hit when running a large PSU at low power (<15% capacity). Higher ranking 80+ rated units will have better efficiency, including in the low power range. Components will run fine and there won't be any risk of damage. The biggest disadvantage is the extra cost of an oversized PSU, but it will save you money in the long run if you leave enough room for a planned upgrade instead of having to buy a new PSU and graphics card at the same time.

The advantage of a larger unit is reduced stress and longer PSU life. A good rule of thumb is keep the estimated maximum wattage below 90% of the PSU's capacity. Typical loads like gaming should aim between 40% and 60% for best efficiency, but this is difficult to estimate.

Get a quality unit instead of grabbing the one with highest wattage. Read reviews that do actual load testing to make sure you're getting a reliable one that won't blow up or kill your hardware. Here are two sites with tons of reviews and testing:

http://www.hardocp.com/reviews/psu_power_supplies/

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Review_Cat&recatnum=13

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

No. PSUs use only the power they need. That's why they don't use 500W on stand-by for example.

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