Why High Wattage Power Supplies Are Stupid


High wattage power supplies are almost always a bad idea just due to being too expensive. I mean, sure. That is, of course, as long as you’re not doing some asinine projects, such as seven gamers or eight gamers or ten gamers, one CPU. And even then running seven freaking graphics cards, two 140W TDP CPUs, and a small mountain of SSDs does legitimately take some solid wattage. Your standard gaming PC? Does not. Tunnel Bear is the simple VPN app that makes it easy to browse privately and enjoy a more open internet. To try Tunnel Bear for free check out the link in the video description. We have a number of videos about not needing super high wattage power supplies, but it became even more blatantly apparent when our massively overkill setup of a high-end enthusiast 6850K and Dual GTX 1080s drew just over a third of the wattage, well under heavy load, of a standard flagship power supply at 1200 watts. What the [bleep]? Now, I know, I know. This isn’t a new idea as I already said, and I do have a fairly recent video on it, a super craptastic Workshop video that you actually probably shouldn’t bother watching because, well, it’s garbage, but be quiet!’s own Christoph Katzer has an article on this back from 2008, when he used to work with Anandtech, which is named “Debunking Power Supply Myths” and is actually a wonderful read. In his Final Thoughts section he notes that few people, if any, need more than an 850W power supply. That’s from 2008. Components have been getting progressively more and more efficient this entire time, and it doesn’t stop there either. Power supplies have also been getting more efficient as well, with the increasing abundance of highly rated 80 Plus versions across the board. Recommended power supply ratings for various computer components have started to react to this as well. Which is great. For example: ZOTAC’s crazy new AMP Extreme GTX 1080 featuring an oversized two and a half slot cooler and AMPle amounts of power. Sorry, terrible joke. It only recommends a 500 watt power supply for the whole system. And Cooler Masters power supply calculator seems to sing a similar tune. An i5 6600 K with 16 gigs of RAM, a GTX 1070, an SSD, a hard drive, a few USB devices, a 240 millimeter all-in-one CPU cooler, additional three fans and gaming peripherals all equated to an estimated grand total of… …344 Watts at load, and a recommended power supply of 394 watts. But as I’m sure a few of you are acutely aware, this isn’t the whole story. And I wouldn’t buy a 400 watt power supply for that computer any day. I just wouldn’t really be comfortable with that. Not only do the capacitors within a power supply degrade slightly over time as it ages, but there is also the efficiency curve to consider and the overall build quality of the power supply. Each power supply’s efficiency curve is more or less unique, but let’s use the curve of the Corsair 1200i for example. You can easily see the rise and the fall, best in the middle, worst at excessively high and excessively low usages. Ideally if your power bills are high, you’d like to sit the load power of your system at a highly efficient point in this curve. As long as that makes sense to offset the cost of the power supply for that particular purpose. Another graph, supplied by Corsair, and the reason I chose this power supply as the example, is the fan noise graph. People going for absolutely silent systems can greatly benefit from low power usage components, because certain power supplies are able to go into a zero RPM fan mode below certain amounts of wattage or usage. At 30%, a 1200i would give you 360 watts of zero RPM fan mode headroom. Plenty enough for a 6850k and a GTX 1080, which is a really high-end set up. But don’t use this video as an excuse to buy a cheap crappy power supply. Buy a good power supply. Skimping on this component is just fundamentally a bad idea. That being said, buying a 1200 watt power supply for your system, when it will only peak at like 300 watts and you don’t care about zero RPM mode, is just lighting your money on fire. There’s no point in doing that. If you’re worried about your choice of power supply, check out JonnyGURU power supply reviews I’m pretty sure he’s been reviewing power supplies for longer than I’ve been interested in computers in total. And that guy knows a lot. Alright, guys if you dislike the video because you’re like, “Pffft, I knew all that already”, hit the dislike button. Hit the like button if you liked it, and feel free to get subscribed. Check out power supplies at Amazon, and also linked to the video description is our merch store. Which I think will soon have these shirts, I’m not entirely sure … and the forum community which you can discuss things like the intricate qualities of power supply components as you read them on JonnyGURU because I’m not going to get into that type of power supply review. Nope, not happening. Check out this video. Whoever is editing this will pick their favorite video on any one of our three channels. Actually, no. Pick a Techquickie video because I’m wearing the shirt. There we go.

100 thoughts on “Why High Wattage Power Supplies Are Stupid

  1. yes power supplies go out all the time, more often than any other part of a desktop computer, i wouldn't buy a 1200 watt supply either its just a waste of money, any supply from 500 to 750 watts should be okay for most systems

  2. this video came out as i was already mining win 5 cards and psu prices went trought the roof on psus in 2017 , evga 1200 super novas went from $120 to almost $400

  3. Two years later and a high end gaming rig with single CPU (9900k) and GPU (2080 Ti) takes like 600 watts under heavy load and you actually need at least 650 watts PSUs again.

  4. in 2005 i build my first expensive PC at about $1500 totaling at the end…. One of the PSU's at that time that caught my eye was the industrial quality build SilverStone 750w ($185 in 2005) that when I opened it was amazed of the build quality! Big ass commercial Capacitors, giant 12v rail, thick wiring, silent fat blade fan, honey comb exhaust and the fucker was heavy in weight! It was also the first Full modular PSU… were are talking about 13 years ago and yet this power supply is still working like new! It has never failed and always kept clean. Of course its not an 80+ PSU but still works like a charm as it only draws the watts that the hardware demands for and never is at full loads or never goes over! This power Supply is old and works for older motherboards such as the LGA 775 socket do to those only asking for a 4 pin mobo power cable and newer motherboards need an 8 pin power cable and other type of cables that this old psu doesn't have and don't make as addition accessories anymore… So running it on a nice simple Hackintosh with 8GB ram on a Asus Commando gaming mobo with 1TB Sammy Evo SSD would have to change PSU's with a BeQuiet! Dark Power Pro 10 or 11 (I get them for $50 to $80 ea. brand new) once I change the mobo to an Asus server motherboard with 16GB or ram and a Xenon!
    Yup, 13 going into 14 years SilverStone Full modular PSU going strong!

  5. I mean 1000 watts is probably the most needed 750 is probably better but I love 1000 because I it can handle top notch overclocking for the next upgrades I make.

  6. Mid Range Single card Gaming PC: Just get a name brand, single rail Gold Certified 750 watt PSU…   A PSU only draws and produces what your system requires plus a little for overhead.  $85.00 to around $65.00 on sale..   There are plenty of power supply calculators online, just keep in mind how many components you have, video cards etc etc etc…   Overclocking, do you have all DIMM slots full and running SLI with a custom water loop.??  That can all be calculated. Keep in mind a PSU does not draw it's max all the time, only what the system is pulling and a tiny bit extra. Rule of thumb, calculate what you need at full load and then add 100 watts. Done and Done, just make sure you get a single rail PSU with more than enough AMPS required. Oh and PLEASE do NOT recommend ZOTAC cards, they are complete $H!T.

  7. I want to buy rx 580 and have 500 watss on my tiny rig. Will it be enough? They say minimum is 500 but i'm using 1 monitor, not overclocking anything… so?

  8. I think I fucked up though. My 850w Corsair heap of shit broke, so I RMA'd it, and sold it. I then got a 650W EVGA Supernova g3, which is now powering a 1080ti and 1700x. I kind of didn't think i'd upgrade from a 970 to a 1080ti. So now im worried that if I want to upgrade to Zen 2 (3700x or above) and overclock, I'll be maxing that 650w with a 1080ti running at full whack.

  9. This is a little misleading, some AMD cards I’ve had can draw more than 350 Watts under max load, I had two running plus an AMD FX6100 and with the rest of the components it’s will easily top 700-800 at certain times, fair enough this is the absolute maximum it could pull, but you don’t ever want your PSU coming close to maximum output, that’s when you’ll start seeing issues.

    Since the days when my card was popular things have changed, most newer GPU’s won’t use half as much, but that needs to be made clear in the video, if you’re building a new setup with all new components then yes, a 600 Watt power supply will be more than good enough.

  10. I build a dikless server with ryzen 2200g , 2 ssds, 1hdd..16gb RAM.. using a generic 700watts power supply. Running cool with table voltages..

  11. Youre stupid , theyre not expensive at all 230 $ for a platinum 1000w and your good for the rest of time forever ? Whatever u say bud

  12. Loved this video! Wish I had seen this before my friends pushed me to get a 1200W power supply for my PC…maybe I need new friends 😂😂

  13. I know this is a little old, but I can't find a more recent one and I have a power supply dilemma. I need to replace a power supply on an older system.
    Which is recommended for an older Phenom II X4 965 BE, Radeon HD 6950 system that would run pretty much 24/7 (light gaming Linux box)? A Corsair RM550 550 Watt Gold Rated versus a Corsair TX650 650 Watt Bronze for the same price?

    GOLD
    https://www.corsair.com/us/en/Categories/Products/Certified-Refurbished/Power-Supplies/RM-Series%E2%84%A2-RM550-%E2%80%94-550-Watt-80-PLUS%C2%AE-Gold-Certified-Fully-Modular-PSU-%28Refurbished%29/p/CP-9020053-NA/RF

    BRONZE
    https://www.corsair.com/us/en/Categories/Products/Certified-Refurbished/Power-Supplies/Enthusiast-Series%E2%84%A2-TX650-V2-%E2%80%94-80-PLUS%C2%AE-Bronze-Certified-650-Watt-High-Performance-Power-Supply-%28Refurbished%29/p/CMPSU-650TXV2/RF

  14. True, watts are overrated. The key is to look for a high megapixel PSU, so that you can run things like Photoshop and watch 4K video.

  15. I have a GALAX GTX 1060 6GB OC, i7 8700 , Asus prime h310m e motherboard, corsair vengeance lpx 8gb 3000mhz ddr4 ram . Is a corsair 650W PSU enough for that?

  16. not true but some what true. you can over watt to much when not needed but how ever when buying a power supply I like to tell people look at the equipment specs you have up the watts then add 20% this is for the fact you may want to add something that draws more down the line ( aka switching a gpu from nvidia out with a power hungry ati card) but the main thing is for the fact a lot of companies under rate their psu and chances are you are buying a part made in china so it is underrated. the best thing to do and very few people do is make one your self or have obe made buy someone qho know and trust. you also spend $500 and just buy a none quality electronics testing psu with voltage controle multi line outpute and wattage controle. but fro the most part 500 to 650 watt psu for gaming is way more then you need.

  17. Damn I got a good deal on a Corsair hx850i 😎… what kind of system could I build with this efficiency. I was going to go with a 1060 i7 with a liquid cooler
    16gb ssd and 1tb drive . I’m thinking this is too much power now .but maybe I’ll up my game . Suggestions ??

  18. I bought a 650w and a 750w power supply about 4 years ago. Plus I bought the best I could find from PC Power and cooling. They made the best. These have gone though every new build and at least getting one that can run anything I will need them too is a plus so I don't get stuck having to buy a new one because I went basic on this part.    To me the Power Supply is the most important part. I came up thought the days when you bought a cheap case that had a included power supply for around 40.00 for the whole thing and then found I had a erratic running system because the included power supply was shit. I started to look into power supply builders and how stable they could hold the voltage levels under high surge loads and how clean they ran with low ripple voltage.  This was worth it, PC Power and Cooling were the highest rated at the time and they still work great to this day.       I'm kind of sorry they merged with another company because I can't remember just who they went with, maybe Corsair but not sure. Anyhoo, I think people should at least get a max wattage they know they will need and add 50w or so to that so they will never have a issue where they are stuck and either have to buy a new one or limit what they want to do to their system.       I guess you can never have enough and you can always have too much too. Pick and chose, pick and chose…  Add a few extra hard drives, add a monster video card, overclocking everything, and then you can buy a 7hm Ryzen, replace all those older Hard drives with SSD's and heck, I now have about 150W more than I need or more.. Crazy huh, so add another video card in and go crazy… But buy the best Power supply you can because it will keep your system as stable as it can be run so if you have weird lockups at least you know it isn't the power supply doing it. A bad power supply will give you massive headachs  running it down so never go cheap in that area.

  19. When my pc requires 400 wat and i bought 750 wat 80 plus gold PSU ? Is that okay? I have money to spend and i tought it would be nice to have good quality psu… i just need to now if it will run properly

  20. One word-killawatt. It measures your consumption, so you know exactly how much you're using. A single vid card system never uses above 500 watts

  21. Pretty sure anyone running a single gaming gpu needs only about 500-600 watts and if that gpu is not a flagship then you can even overclock without really caring about the power consumption

  22. i dont know mych about computers but i have an is3 2100 and a Nividia gtx 780 graphics card i think and a 240 watt power supply and everything has been good for about 3-4 years but the 240 fried twice playing scum so i guess i need amore power. ive played games likeWOW for 12 hrs straight sometimes and everything was good back hten i paid 500 bucks for the computer which i thought was a good deal but now the same cmputer or even better sells for like 150 bucks brand new i think……but that might be becasue the power supplies are garbage

  23. This video fails to take into account that people might like their psu to always run without the fan even turning on, I had an option to buy new seasonic fanless 600w titanium from the store for 180€ or grab a used corsair hx1200i for 80€ thats platinum efficiency, and given my 5ghz 8700k and overclocked strix 2080 rarely takes more than 400w and the hx1200i doesnt even bother turning on the fan before 500w so thats basically the same fanless psu with 9 years of warranty left for 80€. And yes I know it wont run as efficient as a lower watt titanium unit but who cares about the 2% difference anyway? High wattage psu aint always a bad choice ya know.
    Yes there are new psu in the store for 80€ like the seasonic focus 550 and whatnot, but tell you what once those fans turn on they are not that silent, plus most decent 1 gpu machines will even get the fans spinning on 750 or 850 gold units.

  24. Planning a new build and wondering what POWER SUPPLY
    I should use?

    Dual water cooled build plans:
    GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS XTREME WATERFORCE LGA 1151
    Intel i9 9900K
    Samsung 970 EVO M.2 SSD, 2TB x2
    Samsung 860 PRO 2.5" SATA III 2.5in SSD, 2TB X1
    Corsair Dominator Platinum 64GB DDR4 3300MHz CL16 Quad Channel Kit (8x 8GB)
    Thermaltake WaterRam RGB Series DDR4 3200MHz 32GB (8GBx4) X2
    GeForce RTX 2080 Ti LIGHTNING Z 11GB with led water cooling system
    Thermaltake The Tower 900 Full Tower E-ATX Gaming Case, Black
    Thermaltake Pacific RGB LED 6-Pack PETG G 1/4" Thread 16mm OD 12mm ID Fitting Kit Cooling X2
    Thermaltake Pacific Liquid Cooling System RL560 560mm Radiator with 4 led RGB fans X2
    Thermaltake Pacific Addressable RGB LED 5-Speed Adjustable D5 Pump/Reservoir Combo Certified Cooling X2
    RGB Fans: 4 each for each of the 2 water system 2 more for hard drive and general case ventilation 10 fans total
    4 independant led strip systems
    I Plan to do lots of extreme overclocking

  25. I don't like the trend where people suggest power supplies, which are enough, but barely. That can cause you problems, which you can avoid just by buying PSU, which is 100W larger than it should be. It's more quiet and it may last longer. Price difference is almost nothing, so I would always buy slightly too big rather than recommended one.

  26. I would really appreciate an update to this topic from LTT. I have a 8700k and a 850w evga g2 psu. Just picked up a 2080ti and i was wondering if 850w is enough

  27. I went for the build quality being better in my 1000 watt EVGA g3 over my last corsair 750 watt. The EVGA is 10 times better.

  28. This are all good to know infos, but i still dont know how to find the right psu for my system. So i went for platinum and 850W and a good brand name.
    But honestly i was just taking any random psu without really knowing what i am doing. I understand you cannot say buy this brand or that but pleasy be more specific, eg. say exactly what amount of watts should you buy if you have a i 9900 and a rtx2080 on a aorous master or any other mainstream setup. Because i am watching this here to find out what psu i need and vague information dont really help me a lot.

  29. i got a really good corsair 1000 wat supply back when i thought id do SLI but i dont now should i really replace it? its like some gold standard thing i paid like 200 bucks for something good

    my question is it more expensive each month in terms of electricity

  30. Well. In 2019, newest graphic cards TDP is 280W. Then add overclocked i7 8700k processor 200W. +Memory+Drives+VRM etc so lets say 550W. Now the efficiency of power supply is lets say 80%. That comes to 690W from wall. So you most propably don't wanna run your PSU on full level, so I would get at least 750W for that scenario. This is without SLI and anything very special can be done in air cooling too.

  31. Never had a problem with a PC with too much power capacity. Debugging a PC with too little? Pain in the ass. Randomly does weird shit and you don't know why. Worth the money to get the extra several hundred Watts of headroom. Just built PC: calculated abs max power ~= 550W. PSU rated for 1kW. And I stop worrying about that factor. I have margin. Differential cost to me? $50. 1/10 the cost of the GPU I put in this thing and one of the things which will go crazy when the PSU is overloaded.

    I would not wish on my worst enemy the pain of debugging a PC with an overloaded PSU. Random crashes and misbehaviors. Have done this. Do not want to do this again. Overkill is the way to go on this one.

  32. I have four systems for our family in the house… pretty much all what would be considered "mid-range" gaming systems. We have one EVGA 650w-G3 (i7 w/GTX-1660Ti), two EVGA 550w-B3 (i5 & i7 w/GTX-1060) and one EVGA 450w-BT (i5 w/GTX 1050Ti) to power our PCs. Nothing excessive, but all quality PSUs.

  33. True, having more watts is NO guarantee of more fps.
    But having a supply that has more available wattage than you computer needs is ONE guarantee that you won't be stressing it out. It is a stressed power supply that will fail. I have repaired MANY power supplies (AAMOF, I'm working on one right now – too), and ALL of the failures are due to just one reason: too much heat due to over-stress equals blown components.
    . . . . It is just that simple . . . .
    Buy/use a larger supply than your system needs; and it won't fail.
    Unless it was a crummy quality supply to begin with . . .

  34. My prebuilt computer came with a 480w PSU that was terrible. Granted I knew buying it that was one of the major components they skimped out on, but I wasn't expecting to need to replace it only 5 months later. It got to the point that whenever I turned on any task that required it to draw power it would pop my circuit to that part of the room. This was so bad it triggered on Chrome.

  35. I use a kill-a-watt device to monitor power draw and it's kind of shocking how little power my system uses compared to the recommended wattage.

  36. i have R7 380 and i7 2600 , and i dont know what power supply to buy , i wanted standard 650w psu but ppl says its bad and dont buy it buy coolermaster or EVGA , but how the hell is 500w cooler master better than 650w ?

  37. i think if your not buying a high wattage power supple for the higher end components idk what your doing.

  38. What power supply should I buy?
    I want at least 80+ Platinum.
    Give me some good options to choose from and suggest me if you have nothing better to do.

    My system:
    i7 9700k
    +
    RTX 2080 Super (with three fans)
    +
    16gb DDR4 RAM of 3200Mhz
    +
    Motherboard (not decided yet but of best quality)
    +
    Air cooling system (with 7 fans)
    +
    27 inch monitor of Asus of 144hz, IPS panel with 4ms response time
    +
    Best quality high end gaming keyboard and mouse

    You may also suggest me which UPS and/or power surge protector should I buy for my rig.
    The UPS should be enough to keep my entire system running for at least 10-15 minutes when there is a power🔋cut.

    THANK YOU 🙏💕

  39. So, is 750 Watts OK in 2019?… I've been messing around with a PSU calculator (let me explain), picking very specific CPUs and videocards (and the rest of the configuration), also setting the clocks and voltages and all that… But I keep getting either just under 650 Watts or over, which makes me feel like I should go with 750W to have some overhead. Also for possible future upgrades. – However, the specifications of the PSUs I'm looking at show a much higher PEAK Wattage, which I don't know if it's already enough overhead. – The 650 one can peak to 780 or so and the 750 one can go to 900. But I don't know if that's just really momentary and not for more prolonged use.

  40. I used 2 known to be good and working PSU 600 and 650 watt on another
    computer neither of them would boot a MSI 470 and a MSI 570 M.B. both
    did boot on a 700Watt PSU. Both boards would draw far less than 600 Watts Any Explanation?

  41. this is fucking dumb, ur whole point is its dumb cause u don't use the extra power that it could provide. Well duh. People use those psu wattage calculators and they range from a number half or twice as large as the number of the next calculator. So instead of talking about power supplies being dumb why dont u talk abou the damn calculators being dumb….considering ur using a ffucking calculator in ur own estiamtes..only ONE calculators at that.

  42. Easy choice:
    If only 1 person is using the PC (You) get a 850W PSU.
    If there's 2 or more people using the PC at the same time which requires more GPUs, get a 1500W PSU.

  43. You only need a 1200w PSU if you are doing LN2 overclocking of the CPU. If you are building desktop with a single high end GPU and top of the line mainstream CPU a 500W PSU will do just fine and 650W for mild overclocking.

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