When you start blueprinting a
system build, where do you start? Regardless of its function, from
the most run-of-the-mill e-mail machine to ultimate gaming rig -- I start with the power supply. Consider
the fact; before a single ampere of current touches your
motherboard, it has to come from the power supply. The quality and quantity of
power you have for your entire system is decided by this one single component.
Lucky for us, there are more than just a few power supplies to choose from. Want lights and a Plexiglas cover?
Someone will be sure to stock it. How about something totally fan-less to keep your PC as quiet as possible?
Yup, got that too. What about a power supply for that
rig! Needless to say, once you start specializing parts, the field gets reduced
ultimate gaming rig,
you'll probably be using two video cards. So that means more PCI Express plugs
and the current load on the 12 volt rails to support them. The SLI or
Crossfire motherboard itself will also need a tad more power. That's in addition
to your internal hard disk and optical drives, and we haven't even started case
and CPU cooling yet. Something else to consider is your future expansion. Sure,
a 300 watt power supply is probably more than enough for an entry level
computer. But that's not what we're looking to build here. Oh no! I want
to assemble a gaming rig that will carry me well into the DirectX 10 Era. SLI,
an overclocked Core 2 Duo, and oh yes - lets add some water cooling!
When I started my search for
power supplies, I had a list of requirements that had to be fulfilled. For
future expansion and plenty of overhead, I set the power limit at 1,000 watts.
It needed to be able to support an SLI setup based on two 8800GTX video cards,
so that means four PCI express power plugs. Of course we're going to be using
SATA drives, so SATA plugs are a must. Water cooling means a DC pump, so we'll
need molex connectors for that as well as the case cooling fans and the optical
drives. The desire for active Power Factor Correction is a given, so the unit
can maintain its highest level of efficiency. A modular cord system would be
nice so we can keep cable clutter to a minimum. Last of all, we do have a budget
to adhere to. Of all the power supplies that I had to choose from, Enermax led