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How Much Wattage Do I Need for My System?

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redro_guy 1 month ago

EDIT: Updated with more information

I'm looking at getting a new PSU for my system which can be found here:



Motherboard: ASUSTeK SATA 6Gb/s DDR4

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 1600 6-core processor

GPU: AMD Radeon RX 580

RAM: Single 8gb XPG ADATA DDR4 stick

Storage: 1 TB Hard Drive

PSU: Thermaltake 500W 80+

Cooling: Deep Cool brand fan mounted on the mobo that came with the PC

I have a 1080p monitor and typically like to play games like Fallout 4, Warframe, Dark Souls 3 and Star Wars Battlefront 2 on medium to high settings.

My current PSU is the Thermaltake 500W 80+ PSU it came with. I know I need a new one but I'm not sure how to best determine what's right for my build. I've looked at the Cooler Master PSU calculator but can't quite figure out how to fill in some of the information. I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how much wattage I need or be willing to help me figure out how to fill out this PSU calculator, as I'm unsure about some of the specific components it asks for information on. I'm not entirely sure if my current PSU is modular or not as I've not found much solid information on it, so I'm not sure what would be compatible with my system. I'm not sure how I would even tell, but I've been trying to read up on PSU's to figure out what I can. Again, any advice or recommendations are much appreciated.

Comments Sorted by:

Enrico411 2 points 1 month ago

A good 450W/550W psu would be more then enough. Also don't use psu calculators they are not really accurate.

In case you want to change to a new psu what is your budget for it?

redro_guy submitter 1 point 1 month ago

I'm alright to spend up to $60, maybe $80 max. I figure it's not worth upgrading if it isn't going to be a real good one. Thanks for the advice on the wattage.

Any recommendations for reputable quality PSU brands? I keep seeing SeaSsonic and Corsair CXM pop up... how are those?

kschendel 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

In general you have to look at the specific line; most PSU's aren't actually made by the branded manufacturer.

Seasonic is pretty good across the board, except for the older 520/620 watt units (M12II and EVO); the Prime series are among the best you can get, and Focus/Focus Plus are very good. Corsair RMx and Bitfenix Whisper M are excellent. EVGA has so many models it's hard to keep track, but G2 and G3 are good. Corsair CX/CXM are good budget PSU's. There are lots more (e.g. Antec Earthwatts are based on the Seasonic Focus) but those are the ones that come to mind at the moment.

redro_guy submitter 1 point 1 month ago

I had this PSU recommended to me and I had decided to go with it, but it seems to the very first thing you recommended against. It has highly favorable reviews and enough power for my system, what issues have these units had in particular?

redro_guy submitter 1 point 1 month ago

The Corsair TXM seems nice. 50 watts more than what I've currently got, which really should be enough for my system from what I've read. Price is about on point with the SeaSonic, with less watts though, I guess that's for the gold instead of bronze? Still not entirely understanding the difference, going to have to read up on it some more.

Any advice for actually removing the PSU and eventually replacing it? I'm not excited about the prospect of possibly screwing up and doing some irreversible damage, and voiding the warranty in the process no less. Thanks for the help.

kschendel 1 Build 2 points 1 month ago

What Encrico411 said; the EVO's aren't terrible, they simply have been passed by. They don't handle difficult loads as well as modern designs. If they were $20 they would be great, for similar pricing as the more modern designs there's no real reason to choose the EVO.

redro_guy submitter 1 point 1 month ago

Any alternative recommendations? I thought the Corsair TXM recommended looked pretty good.

Granddy 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

They're missing a **** ton of protections, somewhat loud and has a group regulation design.

I guess 20 dollars does sound reasonable for that unit now since the build quality on it is still ok.

Levyrat 2 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

I've heard people raise questions about the Corsair CX series, but I've used a couple of them without any problems, and so have a lot of other people. If I was you, I'd get the CXM 550W.


This is assuming you actually have a problem with your current PSU. I don't think two shut downs over a few months is definitive. Still, if you get a new PSU and still have the problem, you've eliminated one possible cause, and you have a spare PSU. Go for it...

redro_guy submitter 1 point 1 month ago

What else might be the cause? The only thing I can think of is cooling, as my PC feels noticeably hot playing some games, but monitoring software shows my GPU and CPU temps not exceeding 80 degrees. I'm not sure what else it could be other than those two things.

Levyrat 2 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

What else might be the cause?

That I don't know. I'd guess either the power supply or the motherboard is the culprit in a sudden shutdown. It seems to me like it could even be caused by a dirty/corroded/loose connector instead of a bad component.

redro_guy submitter 1 point 1 month ago

Well the PC isn't even a year old and I just recently cleaned it out, so the dirty/corroded part is out of the question. If it's a loose connector, would that be one of the PSU connectors or could it be a connector somewhere else? I don't think its the motherboard, and while I'd love for it to be as simple as a loose connection I don't see how that would've occurred at any point. I will check regardless once I open up my PC to take a closer look at the dimensions of my PSU.

Kind of nervous about taking the thing out, as I've never done so before. Any words of wisdom?

Levyrat 2 Builds 2 points 1 month ago

Any savvy computer repairers reading this, please chime in with any corrections or additions.

I'm really just thinking out loud. My formal electronics troubleshooting experience was several decades ago, and it involved 1950s-era equipment that used tubes and mechanical logic circuits. I'm not a computer tech.

But I think some things are still pertinent, like checking that connections are clean and tight. Doesn't matter how new something is. You can get bad parts straight out of the factory, and a sneeze or drop of sweat during assembly can add unwanted foreign material. Also, I've seen a couple of YouTube reviews of pre-built computers that found connectors not fully seated.

I'm not saying it's the likeliest problem, but checking connections is kind of a standard troubleshooting/service technique, at least in my mind.

You don't have to completely tear down the computer to do it. It's basically the same steps you'll have to do to replace the PSU, but using the same PSU.

Power it down. Unplug it. Open the case. Disconnect one of the power cables at a time. Some of them are pretty tight or have a little plastic catch you have to press to get it free, so don't force anything. Take your time. Use a flashlight to make sure that all the metal parts are still metal colored, then reconnect it.

redro_guy submitter 1 point 1 month ago

Thanks for the advice, I'll be careful when doing it and take my time like you said. I'll take pictures before removing anything that way I won't forget what goes where when I'm done.

JustARandomPcBuilder. 0 points 1 month ago

The 500w psu will be fine but if you really want to upgrade invest in a quality 650w 80+ psu from a good brand ,but you dont need it imo.

redro_guy submitter 1 point 1 month ago

The reason I'm upgrading the PSU is because my PC has shut off twice in the past few months, and I think it has something to do with the power supply. My other components (GPU, CPU) don't go above 80 degrees, and since this problem happens so infrequently I don't think it should have anything to do with the RAM. I could be wrong though, I'm open to suggestions.

legomaster 6 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

The psus that pre-builts use are junk. I would look at the cxm series for a good replacement psu.

legomaster 6 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

Brand has nothing to do with the quality of the psu, every brand has both good and junk psus.

redro_guy submitter 1 point 1 month ago

I know wattage (in the form of 12V primarily) is the obvious thing to look out for, and continuous = good, peak = bad. I'm not too sure about if I should get semi-modular, non-modular or fully modular, and how to tell which my current PSU is, as I can't find anything on the specific model online. I've never replaced a PSU before so non-modular sounds easiest but I'm worried about airflow. Any advice?

Levyrat 2 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

...how to tell which my current PSU is...

You can tell if a PSU is modular or not just by looking at the cables coming out of it.

  • If all the cables connect to a connector on the power supply, it's fully modular.
  • If some of the cables connect to a connector on the power supply, it's semi-modular.
  • If all the cables run straight into the power supply case without any connector, it's not modular.

Non-modular is okay if you have room to tuck unused cables out of the way. Semi-modular lets you leave out cables you don't need, so it's more versatile for cable management. Fully modular gives you a bit more versatility, but I think it's mainly useful if you're going with a custom cable set or something like that.

If you go with anything modular, be sure to mark the unused cables so you know which power supply they came from. According to the internet, cables from one PSU won't necessarily work with another PSU.

redro_guy submitter 1 point 1 month ago

If I go fully or semi-modular, will the extra cables I need come with the PSU itself or do I have to buy those separate?

Levyrat 2 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

I've only used a couple of semi-modulars myself, and they both came with a full set of cables. I assume that's standard practice.

LostElement 7 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

Brand doesn't matter. Only model and series does.

Efficiency doesn't not mean quality either. Neither does Modularity.