Articles: Cases/PSU

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Gaming Computer

The next configuration is a mainstream gaming PC. It allows playing most of today’s games at good settings and has a reasonable price tag:

  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8600 (3.33GHz)
  • CPU cooler: GlacialTech Igloo 5063 PWM (E) PP
  • Mainboard: ASUS P5Q (iP45 chipset)
  • System memory: 2x2GB DDR2 SDRAM Kingston ValueRAM (PC6400, 800MHz, CL6)
  • Hard disk drive: 500GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.12
  • Graphics card: PCI-E 512MB Sapphire Radeon HD 4850
  • Optical drive: DVD±RW Optiarc AD-5200S
  • Card-reader: Sony MRW620
  • System case: IN-WIN IW-S627TAC

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

As usual, we can witness the CPU and graphics card turn on their power-saving technologies – at seconds 5 and 12 of the boot-up process, respectively. The computer is good and boots up fast. Thus, the lack of load does not mean silence and low power consumption: the graphics card and CPU both depend on the driver in this respect.

There is one new graph in the diagram showing the consumption of the graphics card’s additional power connector.

The graphics card’s power draw is changing quickly and greatly. The current on the additional power connector may drop below 4A and then rise up to over 7A. The CPU takes it easy: judging by the power consumption graph, it is idle most of the time.

Interestingly, FurMark provides a very high average load for the graphics card but without such 7A peaks as we have seen under 3DMark. However, the combined +12V consumption is higher under FurMark than under 3DMark because of the higher consumption of the CPU.

The graphics card takes a rest under Prime95. There is a current of only 1A on the additional power connector. The CPU does not consume much, though. Its consumption is no higher than 50A although this number includes the loss on the CPU voltage regulator.

When FurMark and Prime95 are running simultaneously, we have the maximum power consumption of the system. As you can note, the graphics card consumes more than the CPU, especially as a couple of amperes of the blue graph refers to the graphics card, too. I mean the power it receives from the mainboard’s PCI Express slot.

However, the total power draw of the computer is rather modest: 189W. A 300W power supply will ensure a 50% reserve of wattage, and there is absolutely no point in purchasing anything better than a 400W PSU for this configuration.

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