Power supply choices for P180 - choices at local retailer

gramboh

Platinum Member
May 3, 2003
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Hello,

I'm building a rig in a week or two and have a few choices for the PSU. I prefer to buy from my local retailer due to their warranty protection and to avoid shipping issues/costs. Below are a list of the PSUs I'm interested in for the following system:

CPU: Intel C2D E6600 - hoping to OC to 3.4-3.6GHz if I am lucky
HSF: Thermalright Ultra 120 w/ Scythe S-Flex 120mm 1600rpm
MB: Asus P5B-E 1.02g or P5B Deluxe (non-wifi)
RAM: 2GB OCZ PC2-6400 EL Platinum XTC Rev2 or Corsair PC2-6400C4
Video: eVGA 8800GTS 640mb Superclocked
HDD: 2x Seagate 7200.10 320gb
DVDRW: Liteon 20X SATA DL DVDRW
Audio: Creative Labs X-Fi OEM
Case: Antec P180b

I don't think the PSU will power anything else other than keyboard/mouse/gamepad, my external USB drive is self powered. My requirement is good enough power for my system and possibly quad-core upgrade in the future as well as relatively quiet (120mm fan a must). I'd prefer to spend $110-120CDN range, but have included some $150 for reference.

PSU choices (prices in CDN$):

Antec TruePower Trio 550W Power Supply w/ Triple +12V $109.95
BFG PC System 650 Watt Power Supply w/ Dual +12V $139.95
Corsair HX 520W Modular Power Supply w/ Triple +12V $10 Mail-in Rebate! $119.95 After Rebate
Corsair HX 620W Modular Power Supply w/ Triple +12V $15 Mail-in Rebate! $154.95 After Rebate
(Deleted the Enermax 535W EG565AX-VE because of 80mm fan)
OCZ 600W GameXStream Power Supply w/ Quad +12V $15 Mail-in Rebate! $114.95 After Rebate
SilverStone Element ST50EF-Plus 500W Power Supply w/ Dual +12V $109.95

Right now I'm thinking mainly of the Corsair HX 520W and OCZ GameXStream 600W due to price. I've heard the Corsair HX series are very quiet and the fan only spins up after you go over a certain amount of power consumption. I remember reading that it can pay to buy the 600W as it spins up at a higher threshold of wattage consumption. How does the OCZ compare in terms of noise? Both seem to have more than enough power.

Thanks for any advice.
 

Gimmeamarlboro

Junior Member
Jan 26, 2005
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Hi. Can't give you any first hand experience with the Corsair but I will almost definately be buying one myself in a couple of weeks. I'll be going for the HX620 - I'm currently in the process of deciding on parts for a new build and this is one of the only parts I'm firmly decided on. Have read loads of reviews and can't find any where that says this psu isn't rock solid. Just my 2cents :)
 

gramboh

Platinum Member
May 3, 2003
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I'm tempted to spend the extra for the HX620W (~$40) over the OCZ 600W but I've read some good reviews on the OCZ, saying it is relatively quiet. The modular on the Corsair is appealing though. Let me know how it works out for you.
 

Hajpoj

Senior member
Dec 9, 2006
288
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I have the silverstone in my P180 so it's great imo.

The 4/8 pin mobo connector might be an issue though depending on where the plug is on the mobo. It's kind of a reach on the top left, but it works perfectly if you use ties.
 

herbiehancock

Senior member
May 11, 2006
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I've got the Corsair HX620 and I've never heard it at all. I'm water cooling my cpu, so there's no loud cpu fan to hide its noise.

The build quality of the Corsair is a bit better than the OCZ, by the way. The Corsair is built to spec by Seasonic.....and actually uses better internal components than the comparable Seasonic, the S12 600W. The capacitors, for instance, are rated in the Corsair for higher temps than the Seasonic it's derived from......85C in the Seasonic vs. 105C in the Corsair. Add to that the modular cables, the 5 year warranty, and the complete silence and you soon see why the Corsair is probably one of the most bought power supplies right now.

To top it off, it's efficiency is over 80% and it's ATI Crossfire certified.



The Silverstone is a nice unit but I'd rather save $30 or so and buy the power supply Silverstone gets the ST50_ef From....the Enhance ENP-5150GH. The Enhance 5150GH is essentially the same power supply as the Silverstone because Enhance supplies Silverstone with that power supply. The Enhance give up sleeving on the cables and nothing else to the Silverstone....at a much cheaper price ($69 U.S.) from eWiz.com.

The OCZ.....well, they do get some decent power supplies from different suppliers (very few power supply "manufacturers" actually make their own.....even the prized PC Power and Cooling makes none and instead outsources all their power supplies, both the Silencer and Turbo-Cool lines). The GameXstreme is made by FSP.....decent, but they seem to have significant ripple issues under load. May not matter to you, but poor regulation of its output under load makes me suspect how high quality the build and parts really are.

Spend some time at Jonnyguru.com and read his reviews. One of the very few power supply review sites you can actually trust and use for factual information. Very few, if any, other review sites have invested the time and money assembling the equipment Jonny has, like a SunMoon power supply tester, Stingray oscilloscope to trace ripple, etc.

 

Cheezeit

Diamond Member
Apr 21, 2005
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I was making the same decision as you and got the Corsair 520. It will easily power everything in your rig with room to OC. The enhace herbiehancock mentioned is also very good, but it is not as quiet, not modular, and does not have sleeved cables. To me the corsair was worth the extra 20 dollars over the Enhance.
 

Cookie Monster

Diamond Member
May 7, 2005
5,161
32
86
Im currently use the Corsair HX520 (bought for 80 dollars at buy.com), and i must say that i cannot hear a single sound from the PSU. Makes my case fans more louder than usual.

I reccomend the corsair, because really its a seasonic in disguise and seasonic makes some of the worlds best PC PSU. Efficent and quiet are its key strengths. Theyre modular to, so thats just an icying on the cake.
 

gramboh

Platinum Member
May 3, 2003
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Thanks for the info guys, you are a great help.

Hajpoj: My roommate has that Silverstone in his Coolmaster 300 elite, it's nice and quiet (especially at idle) but with an Asus P5B board, the 4/8pin is at the top left of the mobo, so in a P180 it would be tough without cutting holes in the backplane to route the cable.

Herbie: I've read Jonny's reviews of the OCZ and Corsair, and it is clear the Corsair is a better quality PSU. The ripple on the OCZ is a bit concerning althuogh I doubt I would ever reach those loads, but it's still important to know. Jonny's reviews are amazing in the amount of detail he goes into. I'm also interested in the OCZ for it's fast acting fan controller as I have my PC in my room and my GF complains about how loud it is (she goes to sleep earlier than me so I'm usually up for an hour messing around).

Cheezeit: What are your PC specs? I figure the 520W at 80+% efficiency is fine for my proposed specs and even to drop in a quadcore CPU later.

I'm probably going for the Corsair 520. The only thing I'm concerned of is that I read somewhere in the forums that a user had a 520 with an older system, upgraded a bunch of stuff and found that the PSU fan was on all the time and it was bugging him so he upgraded to the 620 and it was quiet again most of the time.

For my specs (in first post) is it worth $35 to upgrade to the 620W to ensure the PSU fan isn't spinning up (when not 3D gaming)? Or will the 520 be quiet most of the time.

Thanks again
 

nyker96

Diamond Member
Apr 19, 2005
5,630
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81
I just installed the SilverStone Element ST50EF-Plus 500W (ewiz model Enhance 5150GH $70 shipped), it is very quiet and efficient. I also did a ton of research on net was choosing between the Element and HX520 and damn well almost bought that back when it has some rebates for $86. I'm just setting this up for a DS3+E4300+7900GS combo later. I ended up choosing this due to it's higher efficiency at low wattage and slight price break. However seems you are building a high end system, in that case I would go 520HX. But a word of caution with your system I think may be a little safer to go with a 600W.
 

Cheezeit

Diamond Member
Apr 21, 2005
3,298
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Don't the 520 and 620 both use the same fan? I don't think noise will be much of a difference. One thing that is really overemphasized now is huge wattage. I have antec 900 w 5 fans, 1 dvd drive, 1 hdd, and getting my DS3, 7900GS, E6400 by next week. In truth, the 400w enhance could power this. With the corsair 520, you will have ample room to upgrade, even to sli if you wanted.
 

PianoMan

Senior member
Jan 28, 2006
505
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I recently switched to a 520 after my Antec True Power 480W started getting flakey and wouldn't play with my DFI mainboard (which are notoriously picky).

Fits into a P180 case just fine. The power connector on my mobo's on the opposite edge of the I/O shield - connectors next to the CPU may be stretching a bit (but should fit, after draping it over the vid card).

I'm running the same config (3800+ X2 @stock, 2MB, 3HDD, 1900XT, x-Fi) and where the Antec would get noticeably hotter, the Corsair hasn't broken a sweat - at hard gaming levels, I would detect just a little more air out of the rear (the P180 design helps, too).

Good PSU - glad I switched over.

PM
 

gramboh

Platinum Member
May 3, 2003
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Yeah I've read wattage requirements are generally exaggerated and 600W isn't needed except for SLI, many HDD, high OC's, lots of fans etc. My system should be fine with the HX520, I think I will get it.

nyker96: what I read is that the fan kicks in the hotter the PSU gets, and the 520W has to work harder on the same setup so the fan spins up with a lower load and takes longer to spin down, whereas the 600W doesn't work as hard so it doesn't warm up as much and thus doesn't spin up the fan as much.

My retailer has a 7 day return policy so I may try the 520 and if it's bugging me upgrade.

Thanks!
 

stillkicking

Member
Jun 29, 2004
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I have an OCZ 700 in my P180B. The 4/8 pin will reach the upper left corner running it across the MB. I plan on getting an extension and running along the side. The only complaint I have about this combo is that the cables are quite stiff and the case is really not very roomy considering its size. As you have probably read elsewhere cable management is not very easy. As far as cutting holes to reach the backside the side panel is flush against the MB plate. I saw a very well done mod on the Antec 900 which is similar with a tight side fit and the author managed to run his cables on the backside without the side panel bulging. However, since the P180B is a closed case I would rather get some extensions and tie downs and stay within the normal area. Have fun.
 

nealh

Diamond Member
Nov 21, 1999
7,078
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I would suggest get an 12v 4pin/8pin extensions...unfortunately the P180 has very poor placement of opening to allow passage of the ATX and 4/8pin 12v cables
 

nyker96

Diamond Member
Apr 19, 2005
5,630
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Originally posted by: gramboh
Yeah I've read wattage requirements are generally exaggerated and 600W isn't needed except for SLI, many HDD, high OC's, lots of fans etc. My system should be fine with the HX520, I think I will get it.

nyker96: what I read is that the fan kicks in the hotter the PSU gets, and the 520W has to work harder on the same setup so the fan spins up with a lower load and takes longer to spin down, whereas the 600W doesn't work as hard so it doesn't warm up as much and thus doesn't spin up the fan as much.

My retailer has a 7 day return policy so I may try the 520 and if it's bugging me upgrade.

Thanks!

Got ya, tx for the info. Good luck with your build! when comes to noise I say HX line definitely got my 5150GH beat, it's quiet all the way up to 300-350W even. Mine can't do that but since I live next to the trains, I can sleep even while an earthquake is going on. :]
 

wgoldfarb

Senior member
Aug 26, 2006
239
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I don't know about the 520, but I just got the 620 for an E6600, an Asus P5B Dlx and an Antec P180 case. The PSU is incredibly silent. The Auxiliary 12V 8 pin cable does reach all the way to the top rear of the Mobo, but it does have to drape over the GPU. While there is a little bit of slack it is not nearly enough to go all the way around. This is probably going to happen with almost any PSU on the P180. If this is too much of an issue you could always get an extension, and route the cable all the way around the MoBo. I tried routing mine under the mobo but the cable is too thick. I did not try to route it under the MoBo tray, as it would have required some dremel work.

EDIT: For the P180 the modular cables of the Corsair are great, because the bottom compartment can get a little crowded with all the extra cables, and it could impede airflow to the PSU. If you want the PSU to be as silent as possible, adequate airflow is a must, so the less clutter you have in that bottom compartment, the better. I have all the slack from my cables tucked away in the space above the PSU, so that the space between the PSU and the front of the case is fairly clear.
 

gramboh

Platinum Member
May 3, 2003
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Originally posted by: wgoldfarb
I don't know about the 520, but I just got the 620 for an E6600, an Asus P5B Dlx and an Antec P180 case. The PSU is incredibly silent. The Auxiliary 12V 8 pin cable does reach all the way to the top rear of the Mobo, but it does have to drape over the GPU. While there is a little bit of slack it is not nearly enough to go all the way around. This is probably going to happen with almost any PSU on the P180. If this is too much of an issue you could always get an extension, and route the cable all the way around the MoBo. I tried routing mine under the mobo but the cable is too thick. I did not try to route it under the MoBo tray, as it would have required some dremel work.

EDIT: For the P180 the modular cables of the Corsair are great, because the bottom compartment can get a little crowded with all the extra cables, and it could impede airflow to the PSU. If you want the PSU to be as silent as possible, adequate airflow is a must, so the less clutter you have in that bottom compartment, the better. I have all the slack from my cables tucked away in the space above the PSU, so that the space between the PSU and the front of the case is fairly clear.


Cool, thanks for the tips! I will order some 4/8 pin aux power extensions. Quick question, did you mount your PSU with the fan on the top or the bottom?

Thanks
 

wgoldfarb

Senior member
Aug 26, 2006
239
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Originally posted by: gramboh
Quick question, did you mount your PSU with the fan on the top or the bottom?
Thanks

I have my fan facing down, but I did think about it quite a bit. I read many threads of people asking the same question, and the answers were very inconsistent. Many say it does not matter. Others say that it is more efficient for the fan to face down because hot air rises (if you mount it with the fan facing up your fan will be fighting the hot air from inside the PSU trying to go up). Others say that if the fan is up you will be using the warmer air from the top of the compartment to cool the PSU, instead of the cooler air at the bottom. So, while there is no consensus, from an airflow point of view, it seems you cannot go wrong with the fan facing down. Another consideration I have seen is the reach of the cables, but on the Corsair PSU the cables all come out from the middle, so you gain nothing by inverting the PSU, at least from the point of view of cable length and reach.

There is one thing that made a definite difference: I have my fan facing down, so that the space above the PSU is empty and can be used to store extra cable slack. If the fan faces up this space is not available, and it might add some more cable clutter to the compartment. The P180 is very hard to work with in terms of cable management (it pays to do some advance planning!). Since this was my first build, anything that made cable management easier was a definite plus.

 

gramboh

Platinum Member
May 3, 2003
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Ahh I see, I will mount facing down as well for the reasons you outlined. This will also be my first build by myself. I built an Athlon 1200 back around 99-2000 with the help of a friend so I know the basics, but I had my shop assemble my last PC. With this one, I want everything to be the way I want it so I'm going to do it myself. I know the P180 is going to be hard to work with, but I can't find any other case that appels to me in the same price range (the Antec 900 looks like it will be loud, the CM Stacker is too big and the Silverstone cases are too pricy).

Hopefully it goes well! Definitely going to plan ahead and I will order some 4/8pin ATV12 extenders.

Another question related to that, the P5B Deluxe uses 4 pin 12V aux power right? And 24 pin for main ATX?
 

wgoldfarb

Senior member
Aug 26, 2006
239
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The P5B deluxe uses a 24 pin main ATX power connector, and you can use either a 4 pin Aux EPS or an 8 Pin aux EPS connector (the Mobo' connector has 8 pins, so if your PSU has an 8 pin AUX EPS connector you can use it, but if it has a 4 pin connector you can use it too. The MoBo comes with a cap installed on the 8 pin connector to cover 4 of the 8 pins. If you want to use a 4 pin connector just plug it in. If you want to use an 8 pin connector just take the cap off, and use all 8 pins) .

Regarding cable management, all I can recommend is lots of advance planning, lots of patience, and lots of zip ties :D What I tried to do (with moderate success) is to hide all unused cable slack in the top compartment behind the top HDD cage, so it does not interfere with airflow. I ran all the fan power cables under the MoBo. In the bottom compartment I put all the slack in the power cables on top of the PSU. SATA drives do help quite a bit, as you don't have to deal with ribbon cables!

This was my first build, and although the case was probably not the easiest to work with, it was not a big deal either. Overall I am pretty happy with it.
 

warriorfan23

Senior member
Nov 11, 2001
355
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I just put together my p180 with a corsair 620hx and I must say PLANNING IS KEY. It probably took me an extra 30 minutes plugging and unplugging power connections. Oh and getting the 4pin connector to the top of the case on my gigabyte ds3 WITH a Tuniq Tower installed challenged the dexterity of my fingers to the max. I should have planned everything out before installing...

Also I can say that this PSU is super silent!
 

idiotekniQues

Platinum Member
Jan 4, 2007
2,572
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i have the 620 corsair, which btw will run two 8800's in sli as per various tests - and it fit the 4pin with a ninja installed on a gigabyte dq6, an asus 650 and an asus p5b deluxe.

however i did buy a short extension cord for 4 bucks and now it runs over the rear exhaust fan, much nicer.
 

gramboh

Platinum Member
May 3, 2003
2,207
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I wasted a good 30-40min trying to find an 8 pin EPS12V extension (going P5B Deluxe it supports 4 and 8 pin) in stock at online retailers in Canada.

Eventually I realized you can find them easily/cheaply on eBay so I bought one there. I'm hoping with a 12inch extension cable the routing will be easier. From what I've read the rest of the cables (24pin power etc) shouldn't be as much of a pain with the 520HX/P180 combo.

 

trOver

Golden Member
Aug 18, 2006
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I have the OCZ 600watt, and it powers my 6600 @3.2ghz, asus p5w-dh deluxe, 2 gig ram, 3hd's, 1 dvd drive, 4 case fans, and mouse/keyboard.

DEAD silent, very stable voltages, and cool LED fan!