Articles: Cases/PSU

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Home PC

Next comes an affordable home PC that can be used for casual gaming (the graphics card is not good enough for very heavy 3D games).

  • Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (2.60GHz)
  • CPU cooler: TITAN DC-K8M925B/R
  • GlacialTech SilentBlade II GT9225-HDLA1
  • ASUS M3A78 (AMD 770 chipset)
  • System memory: 2x1GB Samsung (PC6400, 800MHz, CL6)
  • Hard disk drive: 250GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS
  • Graphics card: 512MB Sapphire Radeon HD 4650
  • Optical drive: DVD±RW Optiarc AD-7201S
  • System case: IN-WIN EAR-003 (400W)

I installed Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (32-bit) and necessary drivers on the PC.

Here are power-saving technologies to you: the CPU needs over 50W at the peak but less than 10W at the minimum. The power consumption on the +5V rail also varies greatly – by about 2 amperes.

Note the blue line showing the +12V consumption of the mainboard and the drives: it lowers at the middle of the boot-up process. This is the moment when the graphics card’s power-saving technologies are turned on. In this configuration, the graphics card is powered by the mainboard’s PCI Express slot.

Well, the graphics card and CPU graphs cover the others here. The power consumption of these components is fluctuating constantly because neither is loaded fully (at some moments the graphics card is waiting for a new portion of data from the CPU and at other moments the CPU is waiting for the graphics card to finish the current frame).

By the way, the ordinary “wall outlet” method of measuring the power draw would only show us the average value here, but we can see the full picture.

FurMark loads both the graphics card and CPU uniformly, yet the latter is still not working at its limit, its power draw being but occasionally higher than 3A.

Prime95, on the contrary, puts a heavy load on the CPU but leaves the graphics card without much work. As a result, the CPU is consuming over 60W. The power draw on the +5V rail grows up, too.

The simultaneous run of Prime95 and FurMark produces a uniform load for all the components, the CPU proving to be the most voracious of all.

This voracity is not alarming, though. The whole PC needs only about 137W in the hardest operation mode.

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