Over the last few years my PC was growing and growing. In the meantime it has included
a bluray drive,
a Ryzen 9 5900X,
64 GB of ECC RAM
and a Radeon RX 5600 XT.
Now I was wondering if my 550 W PSU can handle that. If I use PSU calculators like https://www.bequiet.com/en/psucalculator I get a max “Wattage” for my setup of 442 W. Which is pretty close to 550 W.
I do not have any issues but I wanted to be sure. So I ordered an energy meter (Basetech EM-3000). It is a simple device and with 16 € pretty cheap. And the accuracy is good enough for my use case.
My first measurements are surprising to me. I tried to get as much load on the PC as possible. I used “stress-ng --cpu 24” to get 100 % load on all cores and then I played Counter Strike on steam with the highest graphics settings I can afford on my Radeon RX 5600 XT. The result is surprising.
The power consumption of the PC never exceeded 260 W. This is far less than what I expected. I though these are interesting findings which some of you might find useful.
I am positively surprised about the low energy consumption of my PC and I will certainly not upgrade my PSU.
The energy comsumption while idle is 85-95 W.
And if I also put load on the HDs with a fio benchmark run on all devices the energy consumption peaks at 290 W.
You should look more into what the amperage rating is on the 12v rail (or if it has multiple 12v rails=bad) of that 550w psu is. Wattage is one thing amperage a different animal. I burned out an 800w multi 12v rail PSU from a very dependable supplier on a 5800x and a 6700xt in 3 months. You also need to take into consideration the power draw of that cpu when it starts accessing that amount of ram. To be short calculators are nice and all but real life is really more important. In short INHO that psu is way undersized for what you are planning.
The PSU is a BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 11 and the vendor says the following about AC/DC:
If I use stress-ng to make use of all the RAM (e.g. stress-ng --vm 10 --vm-keep --vm-bytes 40G) - on top of all the other stress I mentioned above - it does not make a big difference in terms of energy consumption.
I am not in the planning phase. This PC is operational already since 2019. The last change was the Ryzen 9 CPU. With the Ryzen 7 3700X this PC configuration has been running since 2019.
Well depending on your use case I guess you can play it by ear. I am just one of those people that make the last thing they try and get questionable with is a power supply. CSGO is not very GPU intensive if you have another title that is very GPU dependent try your testing again with that. Super scientific way to know if your ok…test for an hour and put your hand on the PSU. If it is hot to the touch you are in trouble. The PSU ratings on power supplies are only good for the rated temperature range they are specified to run at. Once they get hot those numbers drop dramatically. The recommended wattage for that GPU is 450 watts which leaves you with 100 watts for the rest of you system. I am trying to find the amperage draw for that card to see if those 20amp 12v rails will be ok. But if you feel confident soldier on and enjoy your system!
I agree my calculations have it maxed out with little room and i always like to leave 100 watt leeway so i put extra 200 watt and i know i’m safe. In my opinion i would be more inclined to be using at minimum 750 Watt and most likely 850 Watt. The minimum power supply alone for the RX 5600XT is 550 watt.
PSU calculators generally over estimate usage by a large margin. Unless it gives you the option they calculate 80-90% full load time which isn’t realistic.
Your 550w should be fine, but the important parts are efficiency, efficiency curve, and how long you want to wait for a replacement.
I generally use Seasonic Gold 650w, my system (5600x, 5700xt, etc.) In TOTAL including 40w from my monitor never breaks 260w During gaming, Rendering, etc.
My PSU technically doesn’t reach the peak of its efficiency curve with my system so some power is wasted. I’ll have several years though before it wears out enough to even matter with my system though so its OK.
Which I really don’t understand because unless you have a REALLY power hungry CPU the 5600XT is usually only gonna pull 100-125w. 450w PSU of decent quality is just fine for 5600xt. My 5700xt hardly ever goes over 125w so I lowered Power Cap to 145w because it runs cooler at that point and I lose only 3fps in my heaviest games due to lower frequency.
Yeah I know, What Im saying is their minimums only make sense if your PSU is absolute trash, I wasnt speaking to “you” but to AMD. Those obviously exist but a 5600xt definitely doesnt need a 550W PSU because it doesnt use much power. Though can we really expect too much from AMD, Nvidia, or Intel when some of their marketing makes people think things like “this CPU draws 125W” when it really is more like 300W, among many other posted metrics/specs/etc. that arent “lies” but arent “truths” either.
Yes, in the meantime I also believe that my 550 W will be sufficient. Especially because the PSU is a bequiet Dark Power Pro 11 Platinum, which is at the high end of PSUs.
In the meantime I also found a nice article in c’t (my favorite german computer magazin) about PSUs. And this article also suggests that 550 W is enough.
This article is also elaborating on PSU calculators on the internet and that many of them exaggerate the power consumption. Probably because most of the them are associate with PSU vendors and they want customers to purchase bigger and more expensive PSUs. They say that they have received best result with this free calculator: https://netzteilrechner.com/ This calculator recommends a 509 W PSU for my setup and this incl. 50 W buffer.
In a nutshell I can say that the energy meter was a good investment.
I just go by the manufacturers recommendations. I also use various calculators based on the exact parts I’m using because it does make a difference. When you look at m.2 drives like Pci-e 4 the faster ones draw more power which also creates more heat. Heat is the enemy! New specs coming out for DDR5, Pci-e 5.0 etc and newer chipsets and processors I’m sure it will change. I always go at minimum 100w above my calculations. The fact is it’s just like buying anything it doesn’t cost much difference getting a 500w watt or a 650w. Most of my systems have 650w currently. My 13 year old has a 500 Any new systems i will be using 750w to 850w. I’m not an overclocker but i want the power supply to handle it with ease so it’s not taxed. I have also never ever replaced a power supply in over 30++ years. But i have replaced many in other peoples computers.