Power Requirements and Specs For Popular Graphic Cards Guide

This is a reference to help guide you in the right direction for a power supply based on you graphics card.

Tom's did a really good review sometime back on Graphic's cards and Total System power consumption its a little old but still a good read.
Tom's Hardware Power Usage Review

Power Supplies
Guide to buying PSUs
A list of PSUs (a bit out of date but most recommendations still apply)

Suggested Brands
Corsair, Antec, SilverStone, Seasonic, and OCZ. Read the reveiws for the OCZ's some arent as good as others so be careful when choosing a power supply.

350 watt This will be enough for any processor and an entry level GPU

400 watt This will be enough for any processor with a low to mid range GPU

500 watt This will be enough for any processor and just about any mid range GPU

550 to 650 watt This will be more then enough to run just about any single GPU, except for the HD 5970,HD 4870 x2, GTX 480, and GTX 295.

For Dual GPU setups add another 75 to 100 watts for low to mid range GPUS for the upper midrange to the high end add a 150 watts on average per GPU. See my list for more info on some popular GPUs and what I suggest for them.

To figure out how many amps you need on the 12 volt rail use this formula (watts / 12 = amps) so if the card requires 650 watts simply divide 650 by 12. This formula only works for 12 volt for different voltages there are different dividers.
650/12=54.16 so if it requires 650 watt PSU it will need 54 amps on the 12 volt rail, for PSU with multiple 12 volt rails you will need to find the max combined output for it. Now this number may be a bit higher then it actually needs but it will give you a rough estimate since AMD and Nvidia dont give the amperage requirements for all their cards.

High End ATI Cards

Radeon HD 6970

Core Engine Clock: 880 MHz
Stream Processors: 1536
Memory Size: 2GB GDDR5
Memory Clock: 1375 MHz
Interface: 256-bit
Max Power Consumption: 287 Watts
Average Consumption: 157 Watts
Idle: 22 Watts

■A 550 Watt unit with one 8 pin PCI-E connector is recommended. Power supply should have at the very least 38 Amps on the 12 volt rails combined.
■For Crossfire I would recommend getting a 750 watt unit with a minimum of 56 Amps combined on the 12 volt rail.

Radeon HD 6870

Core Engine Clock: 900 MHz
Stream Processors: 1120
Memory Size: 1GB GDDR5
Memory Clock: 1050 MHz
Max Power Consumption: 163 Watts
Average Consumption: 108 Watts
Idle: 17 Watts

■A 500 Watt unit with two 6-pin PCI Express® power connectors is recommended.
■For Crossfire I would recommend nothing less than 600 watts.


Radeon HD 5970 (Hemlock) 2GB 512 (256 x 2)-bit GDDR5

Core Clock: 2x725 MHz
Stream Processors: 3200 (1600 x 2)
Effective Memory clock: 4000 MHz
Power consumption on Idle: 51 watts
Power consumption full load: 300+watts

■This is a sick graphics card will give great performance for years to come will need at least 650 watt PSU with one 6 pin PCI Express connector and 2 150 watt 8 pin connectors but this will definitely test any 650 watt PSU to its max. If you plan on overclocking it I would recommend a 750 watt PSU to allow some head room. 850 watt PSU is recommended for crossfire but I would suggest going with a 1000watt PSU for this beast to allow for overclocking.
■ Recommended 54 Amps on the 12 volt rail for a single card and 70 Amps for Crossfire.

Radeon HD 4870x2 2GB 512-bit(256-bitx2) GDDR5 N/A not manufactured anymore

Core Clock: 750mhz x2
Stream Processors: 3200(1600x2)
Effective Memory Clock: 3600Mhz
Power Consumption at Idle: 49 watts
Power Consumption at Full Load: 300+watts

■Recommended is a 650 watt PSU with one 6 pin PCI Express connector and one 8pin connector. 1000 watt PSU with two 6 pin and two 8 pin connectors is recommended for crossfire.
■Recommended 54 Amps on the 12 volt rail for single card and 70 Amps for Crossfire.

Radeon HD 5870 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 Eyefinity 6 Edition

Core Clock: 850MHz
Stream Processors: 1600
Effective Memory Clock: 4800 MHz
Power consumption on Idle: 34watts
Power consumption at full load: 228watts

■600 Watt or greater power supply is recommended with one 75W 6-pin and one 150W 8-pin PCI Express power connector required 900 Watt and 2 6-pin and 2 8-pin connectors for CrossFireX
■Recommended 50 Amps pn 12 volt rail for single card 75 Amps for crossfire.

Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 $399.99 to $499.99

Core Clock: 850MHz
Stream Processors: 1600
Effective Memory Clock: 4800 MHz
Power consumption on Idle: 27 watts
Power consumption at full load: 190 watts

■Recommended is a 500 watt PSU with two 6 pin 75watt PCI Express connectors. If you plan to crossfire you will need a 750 watt PSU.
■Recommended 42 Amps on the 12 volt rail for single card and 63 Amps for Crossfire.

Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB 256-bit DDR5 $299.99 to $369.99

Core Clock: 725 MHz
Stream Processors: 1440
Effective Memory Clock: 4000mhz
Power Consumption on Idle: 27 watts
Power Consumption on Full Load: 150 watts

■Recommended is a 500watt PSU with two 75 watt 6 pin PCI express connectors. 600 watt PSU with four 6 pin connectors to run crossfire is recommended but I suggest a 650 watt for some head room.
■Recommended 36 Amps on the 12 volt rail for single card and 50 Amps for Crossfire.

Radeon HD 5830 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 $229.99 to $279.99

Core Clock: 800 MHz
Stream Processors: 1120
Effective Memory Clock: 4000 MHz
Power Consumption at Idle: 25 watts
Power Consumption at Full Load: 175 watts

■Recommended is a 500 watt PSU with two 75 watt PCI Express connectors. 600watt with four 6 pin connectors is recommended to run crossfire I would suggest 650 watt for some head room.
■Recommended 36 Amps on the 12 volt rail for single card and 50 Amps for Crossfire.

For all the above Cards you should have atleast 40 amps on the 12 volt rail.

Mid Range ATI Cards

Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 $134.99 to $179.99

Core Clock: 850 MHz
Stream Processors: 800
Effective Memory Clock: 4800 MHz
Power Consumption at Idle: 18 watts
Power Consumption at Full Load: 108 watts

■Recommended is a 450 watt PSU with one 75 watt 6 pin PCI Express connector, but could be run on a quality 400 watt PSU. 600 watt with two 6 pin connectors will be needed for crossfire.
■Recommended 37 Amps on 12 volt rail for single card and 50 Amps for crossfire. This card can run on lesser this is just recommended and will be able to run with at least 30 Amps on 12 volt rail.

Radeon HD 4850 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 $97.99 to $129.99

Core Clock: 625mhz
Stream Processors: 800
Effective Memory Clock: 1900mhz
Power Consumption at Idle: 58 watts
Power Consumption at Full Load: 187 watts

■Recommended is a 450 watt PSU with one 75 watt PCI Express connector. A 550 watt PSU is recommended for crossfire I suggest 600 watt for some head room.
■Recommended 36 Amps on 12 volt rail for single card and 46 Amps for Crossfire. This card can run on lesser this is just recommended and will be able to run with at least 30 Amps on 12 volt rail.

Entry Level Gaming cards

Radeon HD 5670 (Redwood) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 $79.99 to $129.99

Core Clock: 775mhz
Stream Processors: 400
Effective Memory Clock: 4000 MHz
Power Consumption at Idle: 15 watts
Power Consumption at Full Load: 64 watts

■Recommended is a 400 watt PSU to run this card no 6 pin connectors required this card. You will have no problems running on a 300 to 350watt PSU. 500 watt PSU is reccommended to crossfire this card you could get away with using 450 watt no problem.
■Recommended 30 Amps on the 12 volt rail for single card and 41 Amps for crossfire but this card will run on units with as little as 25 Amps on 12 volt rail.

Radeon HD 4670 1GB 128-bit DDR3 $62.99 to $122.99

Core Clock: 600mhz - 750mhz
Stream Processors: 320
Effective Memory Clock:1600mhz
Power Consumption at Idle: 14 watts
Power Consumption at Full Load: 64 watts
■It is recommended to have a 400 watt PSU but you will be able to run this with a 350 watt PSU no problem on most systems and 300 watt if its a good PSU. The 4670 does not require any additional power connectors. For Crossfire 550 watt is recommended but you will have no problem running this on 400 to 450 watt PSU.
■Recommended 30 Amps on the 12 volt rail for single card and 41 Amps for crossfire but this card will run on units with as little as 25 Amps on 12 volt rail.

For all the above Cards you should have atleast 30 amps on the 12 volt rail.

Low Powered Cards

Radeon HD 5450 (cedar) 1GB 64-bit DDR3 & 512MB DDR2 Low Profile $42.99 to $69.99

Core Clock: 650mhz
Stream Processors: 80
Effective Memory Clock: DDR2 800mhz DDR3 1600mhz
Power Consumption at Idle: 6.4 watts
Power Consumption at Full Load: 19.1 watts

■They suggest 400 watt PSU but I have no doubts that you can run this with a 300 to watt PSU no 6 pin connector needed. No crossfire for this card.

Radeon HD 4350 512MB 64-bit DDR2 Low Profile card $39.99 to $124.99

Core Clock: 600 MHz
Stream Processors: 80
Effective Memory Clock: 1600 MHz
Power Consumption at Idle: 5 watts
Power consumption at Full Load: 25 watts
■300 watt PSU will be more than enough for this card. 350 watt for crossfire. The more expensive ones for this model are the ones that support crossfire.

Note: Radeon HD 4550's are the same as the 4350's just with 1GB memory instead of 512MB Power draw is Identical between the two. They would make great low powered HTPC video cards.
 
NVIDIA Cards


High End NVIDIA Cards

GeForce GTX 580

Cuda Cores: 512
Graphics Clock: 772 MHz
Processor Clock: 1544 MHz
Memory Clock: 2004 Mhz
Standard Memory Size: 1536 MB GDDR5
Interface: 384-bit
Max Power Consumption: 244 Watts

Recommended Power: 600 Watts with one 6 pin and one 8 pin PCI-E connectors. For SLI 750 watts is recommended and I would not go any lower then that for this card in SLI. In single card operation a quality 550 watt unit will power this fine but if you are buying the 580 I doubt you would be running it on a small unit anyways.

GeForce GTX 570

Cuda Cores: 480
Graphics Clock: 732 MHz
Processor Clock: 1464 MHz
Memory Clock: 1900 Mhz
Standard Memory Size: 1280 MB GDDR5
Interface: 320-bit

Max Power consumption: 219 Watts
Recommended Power: 550 watt with Two 6-pin PCI-E connectors. For SLI 750 watt unit is recommended, but should run fine on a good 650 watt unit.
■This card should have no problems with as small as a 450 watt unit as long as its a quality unit.

GeForce GTX 480 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5

Core Clock: 700mhz
Shader Clock: 1401mhz
Cuda Cores: 480
Effective Memory Clock: 3696mhz
Power Consumption at Idle: 54 watts
Power Consumption at Full Load: 320 watts plus

■Now this GTX 480 is a true pig when it comes to power requirements Nvidia says minumum of 600 watt with one 6 pin PCI Express connector and one 8 pin connector with. In my opinion I wouldnt put anything less than a 650 watt PSU with this card this will allow for overclocking head room. In SLI you gonna need dam near every bit of a 1000 watt power supply.
■Recomended is 50 Amps on the 12 volt rail and 71 Amps for SLI.
Nvidia seems to be recommending to use a power supply with a single 12 volt rail to power this card but plenty of people have run this card with power supplies with multiple rails.

GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5

Core Clock: 607mhz
Shader Clock: 1215mhz
Cuda Cores: 448
Effective Memory Clock: 3348mhz
Power Consumption at Idle: 40-45watts
Power Consumption at Full Load: 250 watts plus

■The recommended power supply is 550 watt with two 6 pin PCI Express connectors. For SLI 700 watt power supply is recommended I suggest 750 watts to give some head room.
■Recommended 46 Amps on the 12 volt rail and 58 Amps for SLI.

GeForce GTX 465 (Fermi) 1024MB 256-bit GDDR5

Core Clock: 607 MHz
Shader Clock:1215 MHz
Cuda Cores: 352
Effective Memory Clock: 3206 MHz
Power Consumption at Idle: 33 watts
Power Consumption at Full Load: 200 watts

■The recommended power supply is 550 watt with two 6 pin PCI Express connectors. For SLI 700 watt power supply is recommended.
■Recommended 46 Amps on the 12 volt rail and 58 Amps for SLI.

GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 768MB-1GB 192-256bit GDDR5

Core Clock: 675mhz
Shader Clock: 1350mhz
Cuda Cores: 336
Effective Memory Clock:
Power Consumption at Idle: 29 watts
Power Consumption at Full Load: 180 watts
■The recommended power supply is 450 watt with two 6 pin PCI Express connectors. For SLI 650 watt power supply is recommended.
■Recommended 36 Amps on the 12 volt rail 50 Amps for SLI.

GeForce GTX 295 1792MB 896-bit(448x2) DDR3

Core Clock: 576mhz
Shader Clock: 1242mhz
Cuda Cores: 480 (240x2)
Effective Memory Clock: 2000mhz
Power Consumption at Idle: 55 watts
Power Consumption at Full Load: 318 watts

■The recommended power supply is 680 watts with one 6 pin PCI Express connector and one 8 pin connector. For SLI 750 to 850 watt will be more then enough power to run it. They say add 250 watt per card in SLI in reality about 175-200 watt extra per card will be plenty.
■Recomended is 56 Amps on the 12 volt rail for single card and 62 Amps for SLI.

GeForce GTX 285 1GB 512-bit DDR3

Core Clock: 648mhz
Shader Clock: 1476mhz
Cuda Cores: 240
Effective Memory Clock: 2484mhz
Power Consumption at Idle: 29 watts
Power Consumption at Full Load: 210 watts

■The recommended power supply is 550 watt with two 6 pin PCI Express connectors. A good 500 watt power supply will run this with no trouble. For SLI 700 watt PSU is recommended.
■Recommended is 46 Amps on the 12 volt rail and 58 Amps for SLI.

GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit GDDR3

Core Clock: 633 MHz
Shader Clock: 1404 MHz
Cuda Cores: 240
Effective Memory Clock: 2268 MHz
Power Consumption at Idle: 31 watts
Power Consumption at Full Load: 225 watts

■The recommended power supply is 550 watt with two 6 pin PCI Express connectors. A good 500 watt power supply will run this fine. 650 Watt is recommended for SLI.
■Recommended 46 Amps for the 12 volt rail and 54 Amps for SLI.

For all the above Cards you should have atleast 40 amps on the 12 volt rail.


Mid Range NVIDIA Cards

GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit GDDR3

Core Clock: 576mhz
Shader Clock: 1242mhz
Cuda Cores: 192
Effective Memory Clock: 1998mhz
Power Consumption at Idle: 30 watts
Power Consumption at Full Load: 165watts

■The recommended is 500 watt two 6 pin PCI Express connectors. A good 450 watt power supply will work. For SLI you should have at least a 600 watt power supply.
■Recommended 42 Amps on the 12 volt rail for single card and 50 Amps for SLI.

GeForce GTS 250 1GB 256-bit GDDR3

Core Clock: 738 MHz
Shader Clock: 1836 MHz
Cuda Cores: 128
Effective Memory Clock: 2200mhz
Power Consumption at Idle: 41 watts
Power Consumption at Full Load: 174 watts

■The Recommended power supply is 450 watt with one 6 pin PCI Express connector. This card will run just fine on a 400 watt power supply. For SLI a good 550 watt power supply will be more than enough to run them.
■Recommended 32 Amps on the 12 volt rail for single card and 42 Amps for SLI.
The 9800GTX is basically the same exact card so power requirements are the same for it.

GeForce 9800GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3

Core Clock: 600mhz
Shader Clock: 1500mhz
Cuda Cores: 112
Effective Memory Clock: 1800 MHz
Power Consumption at Idle: 34 watts
Power Consumption at Full Load: 120 watts
■The Recommended power supply is 400 watt with one 6 pin PCI Express connector. I know from my own experience that this card has no problems running on a 350 watt power supply. For SLI a good 500 watt power supply will be perfect.
■Recommended 33 Amps on the 12 volt rail for single card and 42 Amps for SLI.

For all the above Cards you should have at least 30 amps on the 12 volt rail.

Low End Low Power Cards

GeForce GT 240 512MB or 1GB 128-bit GDDR5

Core Clock: 550 MHz
Shader Clock: 1340 MHz
Cuda Cores: 96
Effective Memory Clock: 3400 MHz
Power Consumption at Idle: 12 watts
Power Consumption at Full Load: 85 watts
■The recommended power supply is 300 watts no additional power needed. This card can run with a 250 watt power supply just fine. No SLI capabilities on this card.

GeForce 9600 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3
There are 2 models of this card a 96 watt version and a 59 watt version.

■96 watt
Core Clock: 650 MHz
Shader Clock:1625 MHz
Cuda Cores: 64
Effective Memory Clock: 1800 MHz
Power Consumption at Idle:7 watts
Power Consumption at Full Load: 96 watts
■59 watt
Core Clock: 600 MHz
Shader Clock: 1500 MHz
Cuda Cores: 64
Effective Memory Clock:
Power Consumption at Idle: 6 watts
Power Consumption at Full Load: 59 watts
■For these cards a 300 watt power supply is more than plenty to run them. Unlike the GT 240 this card can be in a SLI configuration in SLI you will need 400 watt power supply if you have the 96 watt version, and 350 watt power supply for the 59 watt version.

More still to come.
 
All my power requirements are straight from AMD the only one I feel I overstated a little was the 5970 in crossfire and the 4870x2 in crossfire the rest are exactly what AMD says and then I give my opinion on what I would run.
 

shadow187

Splendid
Exactly. But we know better here. An HD5770 will run off of a 450Watt PSU, an HD5670 will run off a 250Watt PSU, etc. The only time you ever buy a 250Watt PSU is with an OEM machine, which won't be overclocked.
 
Exactly. But we know better here. An HD5770 will run off of a 450Watt PSU, an HD5670 will run off a 250Watt PSU, etc. The only time you ever buy a 250Watt PSU is with an OEM machine, which won't be overclocked.
Well I have the 450 watt recommended for 5770 600 is for crossfire. I dont think you read through eveything i said 400watt was reccomended for the 5670 but then i said 300 or 350 watt would run it fine.
 

flyinfinni

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I would drop the 5830 from the list of "popular" cards since its really not a good card compared to 5770 and 5850. If you are gonna keep it there, you should add the 5750, but I would just drop both.
Also- like others are saying, it is fine to list the ATI suggested PSU requirements, but I would also put in more accurate minimum requirements for a standard desktop type system with that graphics card.
 
Thanks for the suggestions its still a work in progress. The 5830 might not be that popular but I do see quite alot of people ask about it in the cpu and home built sections. I never see anyone ask about the 5750

After I am done with the nvidia section I will tweak per suggestions thats what is great about a forum.
 
Actually I think it is best to state the manufacturers recommendations even though they are overestimated. The reason for that is that there are far too many low budget, low quality power supplies of questionable performance and value. There are far too many people who spend quite a bit of money on a graphics card and then turn right around and buy those cheap psu's.
 

jsc

Champion
Moderator


That's also why the PSU calculators crank in an overly pessimistic fudge factor.

There is a lot of junk out there. There's even some junk masquerading as good PSU's. OCZ comes to mind.
 

Yea it depends on which model you get with OCZ you have to be careful some of them are junk but they do have a couple that are half decent if you are on a budget.
 

moody89

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It's nice to see a guide on this kinda stuff, particularly when we see so many questions on this subject. Funny enough I was thinking earlier how someone should do a guide on PSUs etc particularly graphics cards requirements so its nice to see this up. Sticky when finished ;)
 
Pretty good. A general guide will be overstated, as we know that total wattage does not tell the entire story.
I think an additional suggested/required amperage rating would be a good addition. I fell the amps supplied on the 12 volt rails of a particular PSU is critical information as well.
Just my 2 cents.
 

Yea I was actually thinking of doing that, it will be my next addition
 

bkm23

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nice work, great info, but I have a question

you said gtx 295 needs 318 watt which is more than the gtx480 and for the sli I qoute "For SLI 750 to 850 watt will be more then enough power to run it" how come the fermi needs 1000 w while the 295 which is more power hungry requires 750 - 850 w can you explain it to me.
 

Nvidia suggests 680 watts for the 295 and they say add 250 watts per card now from what we know since the card has been around for awhile it can run on less then what they say as for the new fermi no one know for certain really yet. Now for the fermi they suggest 1000 watt for SLI I believe the only reason I can think of they suggest a higher amount for the fermi is that they know that the card could use alot more power then what they suggest it does.
 

bkm23

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thanks that explains alot, we still have to wait for a retail fermi card to find out, and another question does it matter if the psu is 80% silver or gold. some say that 750 w 80 silver equals 940w and 850 equals more than 1000,, well i have a hx 750w corsair and a friend said that it can run gtx480 in sli but the fan will spin louder. Ill wait for the actual reviews after 12th april ans see
 

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