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Computer Power Usage - Solving The Mystery

By Codrut Nistor

Posted in Online-services

Some people simply don't care about the power requirements of their computers and I must admit I was one of them for a pretty long time. Even now I think that "no name" power supply units can get the job done for some low-end computers as long as they get power from some decent UPS... Unfortunately knowing exactly how much power your computer needs requires a nice database and some basic math knowledge or a tool like the one we'll talk about today. No need to ask which one is better and easier to use I think... so let's get this started shall we?

Computer Power Supply

If you got a Dell or another brand name then you can forget about this topic since the manufacturer added a PSU that should get the job done just fine as long as you're not going to add 3 more hard drives 2 optical drives and overclock the hell out of that processor of yours. When building a new system or having problems with the old one...

... eXtreme Power Supply Calculator is one of the best tools to use for figuring out the amount of power your computer needs to work properly. I don't say this simply because I found it and I am too lazy to search for others but because I had some problems in the past and about 2 years ago when I build my new computer it was pretty hard to find all the info I needed and do the math to ensure myself that a 400W PSU would be enough for my computer since ATI recommended a 450W PSU for the X1950 Pro-based cards and my hardware supplier only had 400W or 500W ones in stock with the last one killing my budget a little. :|

Computer power usage is no longer a secret with eXtreme Power Supply Calculator since you can easily add the basic details of your hardware setup and compute the amount of power needed. Sure you always need a bit of extra power and you should also need to take into account the efficiency of your PSU. For example if you find that your computer needs 275W of power a good 400W one should be fine but you may run into problems with some poor "no name" one rated at 400W... but without any information on efficiency.

Computer Power Needed

While the Lite version( offers all that a lot of users will find to be enough for their computer power usage mystery solving needs eXtreme Power Supply Calculator Pro also allows you to see the power requirements of systems using more video cards (including 3-Way SLI and Quad CrossFire X setups) amperage needs recommended UPS rating and it even allows you to print the results for between $1.99 (3 days access) and $9.99 (200 years "Lifetime limited access" which I am sure will make Duncan MacLeod very angry...).

These being said we'll part ways now but not before I give you one last tip - when you're choosing the components of your system be sure to select 100% TDP and also add at least 4 USB devices as well as 1-2 extra fans. After all it's always better to have more power than barely enough and you're not joking with this kind of stuff believe me!