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Power supply. Rule of thumb?

I am building a new computer, requiring a higher than standard Power Supply output.  When should one use more than 400W for example?

Both noise and heat are to be minimized!!!!, but not in lieu of stability and performance.

1 Solution
Do you're best to figure out both the 12 and 5 DVC load. (thing like an AGP Pro card pull on both).

Do you're best to buy 2X the actual load. This will miminize ripple, etc...

Noise is an issue in some cases (I do some digital audio and fan noise is a real PITA.) I'm looking at cooling with a water system that has three large fans that run a a very low speed in my next case.

PC Power & Cooling has power supplies that are very well built, and offer max cooling or quiet. It's a physics issue so you get one or the other. That is why I am looking at water cooling with multiple large fans running very slowly above the radiator at the top of the case.

It's a calculation of the number of mechanical devices in your system (drives,fans,etc...) your CPU specification, your GPU specification (if applicable)and what you intend on adding later on. Basically it all boils down to this, if you are going to be running a machine with multiple hard drives, a high end video card, and 2 or 3 case fans, multiple CPU's, etc... then you are going to need at least a 400w P.S. to keep things running smmothly.You also have to keep in mind that as the fans run , they get dirty, then they start pulling more current.So what may suffice now, may not 6 months down the line. Noise problems can be reduced by buying higher quality fans and for that matter a better quality power supply with a low noise emmision. My question for you would be, what do you consider a standard P.S. output to be and what exactly is it that you are installing that requires a higher wattage P.S.
sheggeAuthor Commented:
The ref to PC Power & Cooling was a real help.  The address http://www.pcpowercooling.com/maxpc/index_cases.htm had a great table to break down the appx reqmts.

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