The power supply is a fundamental component for the proper functioning of any PC. She is in charge of supply each component with the energy it needs, and also must do it with the right power and intensity. It is clear that if the power supply fails everything fails. We must keep this reality in mind and not skimp on media when choosing that component.
In general, the most basic and economical models, those that are priced at 10 to 20 euros, are a good option for Low consumption PCs focused on low intensive tasks, and they can also offer optimal performance in higher performance configurations as long as we assemble low consumption components. A computer that uses a graphics card with a TDP of 35 or 75 watts, for example, could work without a problem with such a power supply.
Each PC has a specific consumption and specific power requirements, so you need a specific type of power supply that It must meet minimum requirements. I know that many of our readers have doubts about this topic, and that is why I have decided to shape this guide, where we will see clearly and concisely what power supply we need to move different graphics cards without problems.
Keep in mind that we will list the minimum level to ensure proper operation with a typical configuration, without excesses. This means that if your PC is going to have additional LED lighting systems (LED strips, for example), many fans and a high overclock you will most likely have to opt for a power supply higher than that minimum that we are going to see.
I explain it better with an example. A Core i9 9900K type configuration at stock frequencies with a 240mm liquid cooling kit, six fans, four LED strips, two storage units (SSD and HDD) and an RTX 2080 Ti records, on average, a consumption of 540 watts, which means that with a quality power supply that has a power of 600 watts we could move it without problems.
However, that same team with the 5 GHz processor and some of overclock on the RTX 2080 TI I would be around socks 600 watts, which means that it would be advisable to opt for a quality power supply with a power of 650 watts.
Previous considerations: power and efficiency
Not all power supplies are the same, we must be clear about that already. A power supply of 20 euros that has a power of 600 watts will not have the same build quality as one that costs 100 euros. Nor will it offer the same real power, will offer lower efficiency, will have more unstable voltages and lower amperage.
Everything we have indicated in the previous paragraph is essential when choosing a good power supply. Low cost sources They are usually a danger if we use them incorrectly, because although they claim to have a high power, their real capacity is much lower, an issue that together with their low construction quality and very limited amperage form a problematic combination if we let ourselves go and use them to move powerful equipment. The end will be catastrophic.
The power must be associated with the amperage. It is essential to balance both values so that everything works correctly. Nor should we neglect efficiency, a value that usually also serves as an indication of how advanced a power supply is. Thus, models of higher quality and reliability usually have energy efficiency certifications 80 Plus Gold (Corsair RM850M), 80 Plus Platinum or 80 Plus Titanium (Corsair AX1000), while models with tighter prices come with 80 Plus Bronze certifications (Corsair CV550) or 80 Plus Silver.
Each efficiency certificate guarantees that a power supply is capable of offering and of maintain a certain real power based on the workload I faced. The rest of that power is lost as energy consumed by the source's own operation. These are the different certifications that currently exist (percentages with 100% workload):
- 80 PLUS White: 82% efficiency.
- 80 PLUS Bronze: 85% efficiency.
- 80 PLUS Silver: 87% efficiency.
- 80 PLUS Gold: 89% efficiency.
- 80 PLUS Platinum: 80% efficiency.
- 80 PLUS Titanium: 94% efficiency.
To all this we must also add the theme of the necessary wiring. If we are not going to use a dedicated graphics card, we have nothing to worry about, but otherwise you have to take into account the additional power connectors that you will need. If our power supply does not have enough additional power connectors, we can use the Molex adapters to PCIE.
What power supply do I need: AMD Radeon graphics cards
Low-end graphics cards do not require, in most cases, a powerful power supply, but as a counterpart they usually offer a pretty weak performance.
AMD has been stuck for several years in the GCN architecture. With it he shaped the mythical Radeon HD 7000 GPUs, and also the graphic solutions they use PS4-PS4 Pro and Xbox One-Xbox One X, but over the years it has become a poor architecture in terms of energy efficiency.
The jump to RDNA architecture efficiency has improved dramatically, but it has not been up to expectations either. It is commented that this is due to the fact that AMD has maintained some aspects of the GCN architecture, so it is likely that with the RDNA 2 architecture we will see a notable improvement in this regard.
Without further delay we go to see what power supply do we need to move each of AMD’s best-known graphics cards.
- Radeon RX 5700 XT – 34A and 600 watts (1 x 6 pins and 1 x 8 pins).
- Radeon RX 5700 – 32A and 550 watts (1 x 6 pins and 1 x 8 pins).
- Radeon RX 5600 XT – 30A and 500 watts (1 x 8 pins).
- Radeon RX 5500 XT – 26A and 450 watts (1 x 8 pins).
- Radeon VII – 38A and 750 watts (2 x 8 pins).
- Radeon RX Vega 64 (standard) – 38A and 750 watts (2 x 8 pins).
- Radeon RX Vega 56 – 32A and 600 watts (2 x 8 pins).
- Radeon R9 Fury X – 34A and 600 watts (2 x 8 pins).
- Radeon R9 Fury – 33A and 600 watts (2 x 8 pins).
- Radeon R9 Nano – 28A and 550 watts (1 x 8 pins).
- Radeon R9 390X – 31A and 550 watts (1 x 6 pins 1 x 8 pins).
- Radeon R9 390 – 30A and 550 watts (1 x 6 pins 1 x 8 pins).
- Radeon RX 590 – 28A and 500 watts (1 x 8 pins).
- Radeon RX 580 – 27A and 500 watts (1 x 8 pins).
- Radeon RX 570 – 25A and 450 watts (1 x 6 pins).
- Radeon RX 480 – 30A and 500 watts (1 x 8 pins).
- Radeon RX 470 – 28A and 450 watts (1 x 6 pins).
- Radeon RX 560 – 18A and 350 watts (1 x 6 pins).
- Radeon RX 550 – 16A and 300 watts.
- Radeon RX 460 – 17A and 350 watts.
- Radeon R9-380 – 28A and 500 watts (2 x 6 pins).
- Radeon R9-370 – 17A and 450 watts (1 x 6 pins).
- Radeon R9-285 – 25A and 500 watts (2 x 6 pins).
- Radeon R9-280X – 30A and 550 watts (1 x 6 pins 1 x 8 pins).
- Radeon R9-280 – 25A and 500 watts (1 x 6 pins 1 x 8 pins).
- Radeon R9-270X – 24A and 500 watts (2 x 6 pins).
- Radeon R7 260X – 19A and 450 watts (1 x 6 pins).
- Radeon HD 7790 – 21A and 450 watts (1 x 6 pins).
- Radeon HD 7770 – 19A and 450 watts (1 x 6 pins).
- Radeon HD 7750 – 16A and 400 watts.
What power supply do I need: NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards
NVIDIA has achieved best results that AMD in terms of energy efficiency with its latest architectures, although it is true that with Turing, the basis of the GeForce RTX series 20 and GTX series 16, the jump has been much smaller than expected, especially if we remember what which Pascal (GTX series 10) meant against Maxwell (GTX series 900).
If we take a look at the configuration of the Turing graphic core we will realize that the presence of RT cores and tensor cores justifies that poor evolution in terms of efficiency against Pascal, an architecture that lacks both. The rise in clock frequencies, the use of GDDR6 memories and a minimum process reduction (12 nm versus 16-14 nm) have finished explaining that the efficiency improvement in the 20 series RTX has been so weak.
In spite of everything we can find solutions that present more than reasonable consumption for the performance they offer, in fact NVIDIA markets more powerful models than the Radeon RX top-of-the-range AMD and that, however, have lower consumption.
After this brief summary we enter to see what power supply do we need to move each of the main NVIDIA graphics cards.
- GeForce RTX 2080 TI – 36A and 650 watts (2 x 8 pins).
- GeForce GTX 1080 TI– 35A and 600 watts (1 x 8 pins and 1 x 6 pins).
- GeForce RTX 2080 Super– 36A and 600 watts (1 x 8 pins and 1 x 6 pins).
- GeForce RTX 2080 – 35A and 600 watts (1 x 8 pins and 1 x 6 pins).
- GeForce RTX 2070 Super– 34A and 550 watts (1 x 6 pins and 1 x 8 pins).
- GeForce RTX 2070 – 32A and 550 watts (1 x 8 pins).
- GeForce GTX 1080 – 32A and 500 watts (1 x 8 pins).
- GeForce RTX 2060 Super– 32A and 550 watts (1 x 8 pins).
- GeForce RTX 2060 – 30A and 500 watts (1 x 8 pins).
- GeForce GTX 1070 TI – 32A and 500 watts (1 x 8 pins).
- GeForce GTX 1070 – 30A and 500 watts (1 x 8 pins).
- GeForce GTX TITAN X – 38A and 600 watts (1 x 6 pins 1 x 8 pins).
- GeForce GTX 980 TI – 38A and 600 watts (1 x 6 pins 1 x 8 pins).
- GeForce GTX 1660 TI – 26A and 450 watts (1 x 8 pins).
- GeForce GTX 1660 Super – 26A and 450 watts (1 x 8 pins).
- GeForce GTX 1660 – 24A and 450 watts (1 x 8 pins).
- GeForce GTX 1650 Super – 20A and 350 watts (1 x 6 pins).
- GeForce GTX 1650 – 16A and 300 watts.
- GeForce GTX 980 – 30A and 500 watts (2 x 6 pins).
- GeForce GTX 1060 – 20A and 400 watts (1 x 6 pins).
- GeForce GTX 970 – 28A and 500 watts (2 x 6 pins).
- GeForce GTX 1650 – 16A and 300 watts.
- GeForce GTX 1050 TI – 16A and 350 watts (1 x 6 pins).
- GeForce GTX 1050 – 16A and 300 watts.
- GeForce GTX 960 – 20A and 400 watts (1 x 6 pins).
- GeForce GTX 950 – 19A and 350 watts (1 x 6 pins).
- GeForce GTX 750 TI – 18A and 350 watts.
- GeForce GTX 750 – 16A and 300 watts.
- GeForce GTX 740 – 16A and 300 watts (1 x 6 pin version with GDDR5).
Final notes: what problems will I have if I use an inadequate power supply?
If you use a power supply that has insufficient power or inadequate amperage you may not notice anything in the short term, as long as the difference between the minimum level and the capacity of your source is not very large.
However, maintaining this situation for a long time will cause your power supply to work at full speed continuously, which will shorten its lifespan and can result in stability problems, performance losses without apparent cause, blockages, restarts and blackouts.
In case we force the power supply after having reached that point its end will be clear: will stop working and some component may be carried with it when it "dies." It is obvious to say that it is a risk that is not worth taking, and that is why we must always be very careful when choosing the right source.
On the other hand, if we use a power supply that falls well below the minimum requirements the team may not even start, with that make the threat to turn on but turn off with each new attempt.