You know, it's amazing what a PC consumes power wise these days. Manufacturers really need to take a good look at this problem as it is a growing concern. Take a Pentium 4 3.6 GHz Prescott based PC armed with a Radeon x800 XT PE, three HDs, a DVD-writer and CD Writer. This is actually the test system used in today's review. When windows boots it'll use up no more than like 120-130 Watts.
OCZ PowerWhisper Technology with 120mm fan
OCZ PowerShield PCI-Express lead
OCZ EZMod advanced cable management system
Supports ATX/BTX/PCI Express/SATA
3 Year warranty backed by OCZs exclusive PowerSwap replacement program. No more endless return-for-repair loops!
95~132Vac / 190~264Vac 10/6a
450W: +3.3V(28A), +5V(45A), +12V(26A)
520W: +3.3V(28A), +5V(52A), +12V(28A)
Over-voltage/Short-Circuit protection **International Version Only
The minute when the processor, graphics card, HD and optical drives all are actually 100% used your wattage will rise to about 300-400 Watt. That's still leaves plenty of room to play around. However for every additional HD or optical drive you need to add 10 Watts and that's where the problem nowadays is. Do you have a dual CPU based rig? That'll cost you about an extra 80 Watts and then there is additional cooling. Therefore always choose a PSU with plenty of 'breathing' space for future upgrades and devices.
At this time and age I suggest you get at least 400 Watt. With a lot of HD's and extra's like active fans, case-mods with lights thus a high-end rig, go for something even higher than 400 Watt. The 520 Watt PSU today is not that bad of a specification for today's high-end computers.
God, I even forgot to mention SLI graphics card setups. See, my point is we need a good PSU these days. And in the near future probably diesel backed up generators in your garden :)
Right, when we look at the specifications on the ModStream 520 we'll notice the following:
+ 5 Volt
+ 12 Volt
- 5 Volt
+ 5 Volt STB
You know, in this hardware game it's all about math. Everything can be calculated. Let's see if OCZ delivers what it claims on the box. When we do a rough calculation (exclude the 3.3 volts rail) this info would bring us towards a peak of ~622 Watt.
(5v*52A=) 260 W + (12v*28A=) 336 W + (12v* 1A=) 12 W + (5v*0.8A=) 4W + (5v*2.5A=) 12.5W = 622 Watts
As you can observe from the calculation, OCZ is giving you some spare power, nice. The most important aspect of a power supply nowadays is the amount of power it can deliver, at minimum you should always go for 400 Watt.
OCZ Technology ModStream 520W PSU The specific model we take a peek at today is the OCZ-520 12U. It's a 520 Watt PSU yet with the reserve to take it even up a notch, this baby can peak at 620 Watt ! Now that's what I call a cup-D sized power supply.