Question Is my PSU bottlenecking my GPU?

Aug 11, 2021
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Hello all,

I own a Dell G5 desktop gaming PC that comes with a 360W power supply. I've noticed that my graphics card works as it should when playing less intensive games like Mass Effect Legendary Edition or The Outerworlds (30-60% usage), but interestingly its usage drops to 0-5% when playing graphically demanding games like Red Dead Redemption 2, and my CPU usage spikes to 90-100% to compensate. I'm wondering if my power supply is bottlenecking my GPU's performance because it can't supply enough power to it under stressful loads, but I have no idea of knowing for sure if my low power supply is the culprit or my GPU is malfunctioning. I've tried using various online PSU calculators to see if my system specs are too much for it to handle, and results have ranged from "you're in the clear" to "upgrade your PSU immediately," so I don't know what to believe. To boil down my question: Is my PSU too weak to supply enough power to my PC under stressful loads? I also have a follow-up question if the answer to the first question is "No": Do I have any wiggle-room with my current PSU to upgrade to a better graphics card in the future?

Unfortunately, I can't upgrade my PSU because Dell is stupid and loves using their own proprietary 6-pin motherboards that nothing supports, so finding a compatible aftermarket PSU is out of the question.

Here are my specs:
  • Nvidia GTX 1650 Super GPU (single-fan)
  • Intel Core-i5 10400F CPU
  • 16 GB Ram 2666mhz
  • 1TB SATA SSD + 1TB NVMe SSD
  • 360W L360EBM-00 80+ bronze PSU
Thank you in advance.
 

Jacob 51

Upstanding
Dec 31, 2020
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Hello all,

I own a Dell G5 desktop gaming PC that comes with a 360W power supply. I've noticed that my graphics card works as it should when playing less intensive games like Mass Effect Legendary Edition or The Outerworlds (30-60% usage), but interestingly its usage drops to 0-5% when playing graphically demanding games like Red Dead Redemption 2, and my CPU usage spikes to 90-100% to compensate. I'm wondering if my power supply is bottlenecking my GPU's performance because it can't supply enough power to it under stressful loads, but I have no idea of knowing for sure if my low power supply is the culprit or my GPU is malfunctioning. I've tried using various online PSU calculators to see if my system specs are too much for it to handle, and results have ranged from "you're in the clear" to "upgrade your PSU immediately," so I don't know what to believe. To boil down my question: Is my PSU too weak to supply enough power to my PC under stressful loads? I also have a follow-up question if the answer to the first question is "No": Do I have any wiggle-room with my current PSU to upgrade to a better graphics card in the future?

Unfortunately, I can't upgrade my PSU because Dell is stupid and loves using their own proprietary 6-pin motherboards that nothing supports, so finding a compatible aftermarket PSU is out of the question.

Here are my specs:
  • Nvidia GTX 1650 Super GPU (single-fan)
  • Intel Core-i5 10400F CPU
  • 16 GB Ram 2666mhz
  • 1TB SATA SSD + 1TB NVMe SSD
  • 360W L360EBM-00 80+ bronze PSU
Thank you in advance.
Yes. That's a pretty low wattage PSU to be handling a GTX 1650.

Are you noticing frame drops or stutters?
 

--SID--

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Jan 23, 2021
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Yes. That's a pretty low wattage PSU to be handling a GTX 1650.

Are you noticing frame drops or stutters?
A PSU doen't cause framedrops and stutters.
It's a 360w Dell and it's more than enough for a ~220w system otherwise Dell has a big problem when they sends millions of PCs with an unsufficient PSU.

@Cory Compton If the CPU load is 100% during a drop than that's the problem.
 
Aug 11, 2021
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Yes. That's a pretty low wattage PSU to be handling a GTX 1650.

Are you noticing frame drops or stutters?
No drops or stutters, though I'm definitely concerned about the CPU running at full capacity because it starts running loud and hot despite the game running fine.
 
Aug 11, 2021
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So it sounds like the 360W PSU should be enough to handle my system specs, which in that case either my GPU is malfunctioning or maybe my games are poorly optimized (though I have messed around a lot with the RDR2 settings and tested both super low and ultra settings, and the results have always been the same). With that being said, would I have any leftover room to upgrade to a better graphics card with my current PSU? Likely wouldn't be a huge upgrade, perhaps a 1660 Super which only pulls 25W more power.
 

--SID--

Notable
Jan 23, 2021
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With that being said, would I have any leftover room to upgrade to a better graphics card with my current PSU? Likely wouldn't be a huge upgrade, perhaps a 1660 Super which only pulls 25W more power.
No problem. I measure a max of 255w at the wall socket for a system with i5-11500, be quit Pure Rock 2 cpu cooler, PNY GTX 1660 Super, 2x16GB RAM and 2 NVME SSDs on a Asrock H570 motherboard, 3 casefans and a Corsair SF450
 
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