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Video Card Power Requirements

  • Graphics Cards
  • Power Consumption
  • HD
  • Power
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics Cards
July 12, 2007 10:52:30 PM

I found this info on another forum and thought it might be useful here.
----------------------------- Graphics Power Requirements---------------------------------------------------

This table shows GFX cards power consumption, not what the recommended PSU requirements are, but rather the actual draw of the card. These are the full load power consumption figures for the GFX card only.

All readings taken from here unless other wise noted with a * or some other symbol etc. Readings with a % (percent) symbol are the official "peak power consumption" from the manufacturer. For everything else, see the legend below.

ATI Multicard

HD 2900 XT CF____}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}| ' 295W

X1950 XTX CF_____}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}| 230W

X1900 XT CF______}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}' 201W
X1950 Pro CF_____}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}|' 123W
X1900 GT CF _____}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}| 150W ²
X1800 XT CF______}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} 216W
X1800 XL CF______}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} 124W (XL with XT master card)
X1600 XT CF______}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}| 94W
X1600 PRO CF____}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}| 82W ²
X1300 PRO CF____}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} 72W

X850 XT CF_______}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} 152W
X800 XL CF_______}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}| 110W

ATI Single Card

HD 2900 XTX______
HD 2900 XTX______
HD 2900 XT_______}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} 161W ²
HD 2900 XL_______
HD 2600 XT_______}}}}}}}}}}}|' 47W ^
HD 2600 Pro_______}}}}|18W ^
HD 2400 XT_______}}}| 14W ^
HD 2400 Pro_______
HD 2400 LE _______

X1950 XTX________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}' 125W ²
X1900 XTX________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}' 121W ²
X1900 XT_________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}' 109W ²
X1900 XT_________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}|' 99W ^ (R580+ 256MB model)
X1950 Pro________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}| 66W ²
X1900 GT ________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}|' 75W ²
X1800 XT OC _____}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} 110W ² (XT OC version, 700/1600)
X1800 XT_________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}|'103W ²
X1800 XL_________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}' 57W ²
X1800 GTO_______}}}}}}}}}}}} 48W ²
X1650 XT_________}}}}}}}}}}}}}|' 55W ²
X1650 Pro________}}}}}}}}}}|' 43W
X1600 XT_________}}}}}}}}}}| 42W ²
X1600 Pro________}}}}}}}}}}' 41W ²
X1300 XT_________}}}}}}} 28W
X1300 Pro________}}}}}}}|' 31W ²

X850 XT PE_______}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}| 74W
X850 XT__________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} 68W ²
X800 XT PE_______}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}|' 63W ²
X800 XT __________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}| 58W
X800 Pro _________}}}}}}}}}}}} 48W ²
X800 XL __________}}}}}}}}}}}}' 49W ²
X800 GTO ________}}}}}}}}}}}} 48W ²
X800 GT__________}}}}}}}}}|' 39W ²
X800_____________}}}}}}}}}' 37W
X700 PRO ________}}}}}}}}' 33W ²
X700_____________}}}}}}}' 29W
X600_____________}}}}}}}}}}| 42W
X300_____________}}}}}}}}' 33W
X300 SE__________}}}}}}}|' 31W

9800 XT__________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} 60W ²
9800 Pro_________}}}}}}}}}}}|' 47W ²
9700/9800________}}}}}}}}}}| 42W
9600 XT__________}}}}}| 22W ²
9600 Pro_________}}}}| 18W ²
9500/9600________}}}}' 17W
9000-9200________}}}}}}}}|' 35W

7x00-8500________}}}}}}}| 30W
<=32MB AGP/PCI _}}}|' <15w

FireGL range
GL V7530________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} 112W #
GL V7300________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} 112W
GL V7100________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}| 78W ³
GL V5200________}}}}}}}}}}} 44W
GL V3200________}}}}}}}}}}}}}|' 55W

GL X3-256________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}|' 67W
GL X1-256________}}}}}}}}}}}| 46W

nVidia Multicard

8800 Ultra SLI ____}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} 248W
8800 GTX SLI_____}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}| 246W
8800 GTS SLI_____}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}| 198W

7950 GX2 SLI_____}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} 220W ² ("Quad SLI" )
7900 GX2 SLI_____}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} }}}' 301W ("Quad SLI" )
7900 GTX SLI_____}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}|' 199W
7900 GT SLI______}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}|' 143W
7800 GTX 512 SLI _}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} 196W ³
7800 GTX SLI_____}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}' 177W
7800 GT SLI______}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}' 129W
7600 GT SLI______}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}|' 95W
7600 GS SLI______}}}}}}}}}}}}}| 54W ²
7300 GS SLI______}}}}}}}} 32W ²

6800 Ultra SLI_____}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}' 161W
6800 GT SLI ______}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}| 126W
6800 GS SLI______}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} 124W
6600 GT SLI ______}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}|' 111W

nVidia Single Cards

8800 Ultra________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}|' 163W *
8800 GTX ________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} 132W ² (768MB)
8800 GTS OC_____}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}' 117W ² (640MB 576/1350)
8800 GTS ________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}| 106W ² (640MB)
8800 GTS ________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}|' 103W ² (320MB)
8800 GS _________ ?
8600 GTS ________}}}}}}}}}}}}} 47W §
8600 GT _________ }}}}}}}}}}}43W
8500 GT _________ }}}}}}}}}} 40W
8400 GS _________ ?
8300 GS _________ ?

7950 GX2 ________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}| 110W ²
7900 GX2 ________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}|' 143W %
7900 GTX ________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} 84W ²
7950 GT _________}}}}}}}}}}}}' 49W $
7900 GT _________}}}}}}}}}}}} 48W ²
7900 GS _________}}}}}}}}}}}' 45W ²
7800 GTX 512_____}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}| 94W ²
7800 GTX ________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} 80W ²
7800 GT _________}}}}}}}}}}}}}} 56W ²
7800 GS _________}}}}}}}}}}}}} 52W
7600 GT _________}}}}}}}}} 36W ²
7600 GS _________}}}}}}|' 27W ² (underclocked GT)
7300 GT _________}}}}}}' 25W $ (OC version, 500/1400)
7300 GS _________}}}} 16W ²
7300 LE__________}}}}}} 24W
7200 GS _________ ?

6800 Ultra________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} 72W ²
6800 GT _________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}' 55W ²
6800 GS_________}}}}}}}}}}}}}| 54W ²
6800 ____________}}}}}}}}}| 38W ²
6600 GT _________}}}}}}}}}}}} 48W ²
6600 ____________}}}}}}|' 27W ² (GDDR2 model)
6200 ____________}}}}}}}}|' 35W

FX 5950 Ultra_____}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}' 73W ²
FX 5900 Ultra_____}}}}}}}}}}}}}}|' 59W ²
FX 5800 _________}}}}}}}}}}}}}' 53W
FX 5700 Ultra_____}}}}}}}}}}}| 46W ²
FX 5700 _________}}}}}} 24W ²
FX 5600 _________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}' 65W
FX 5200 _________}}}}}}}}| 34W

GF4 Ti __________}}}}}}}}|' 35W
GF3 Ti-GF4 MX ___}}}}}}}| 30W
<=32MB AGP/PCI_}}}|' <15w

Quadro range

FX 5600__________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}' 157W
FX 5500__________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}' 89W
FX 4500__________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}' 109W
FX 4400__________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}| 110W
FX 4000 PCI-E ____}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}' 85W
FX 4000 AGP _____}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}' 105W
FX 3450__________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}|' 83W
FX 3400__________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}' 101W
FX 1400__________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}|' 75W
FX 1300__________}}}}}}}}}}}}}}|' 59W
FX 540___________}}}}}}}}|' 35W
FX 330___________}}}}}' 21W

S3 Single Cards

Chrome S25_______}}}}}' 21W
Chrome S27_______}}}}}} 24W ²

Ageia Single Cards
PhysX PPU________}}}}}}} 28W


' = 1 Watt
| = 2 Watts
} = 4 Watts

none = Obtained from
- Likely to be above actual wattage needed but are still quite accurate
? = Rating yet to be obtained. A placeholder for the card
% = The official "peak power consumption" from the manufacturer
² = Found at xbitlabs:
- [...] rcons.html
- [...] power.html
- [...] n2006.html
- [...] power.html
- [...] 00gto.html
- [...] noise.html
- [...] xtx_7.html
- [...] 0gs_6.html
- [...] 0xt_4.html
- [...] 640_6.html
- [...] gts_7.html
- [...] re_14.html
³ = Found at tomshardware:
- [...] s/
- [...] page8.html
# = Found at
^ = Found at
- [...] =2821&p=13
- [...] i=3023&p=4
$ = Found at
+ = Found at
~ = Found at
- [...] index.html
* = Found at
- [...] 87&page=10
& = Found at
§ = Found at
I may refer to these links though out the rest of this article by their symbol key.

Getting power to them cards!

The PCI-Express standard allows between 60W and 75w to a graphics card through the PCI-E slot itself, without the need for an additional power connector. But with more and more graphics cards coming out that require either a Molex or 6-pin PCI-E power adapter, this is a dead give away that a PCI-E card needs more than 75W to operate stably (7800GT for example). Each 6-pin PCI-E connector can provide another 75W . So a PCI-E GFX card with a 6-pin power connector attached can draw up to 150W max, with a dual card setup they can draw up to 300W max between them both.

PCI-Express 2.0 will arrive soon and will offer a doubling of power to discrete cards, up to 150W.
The new 8-pin PCI-E power connector that's just starting to come out is in line with the PCI-E 2.0 standard. This means it'll provide 150W to the card with the PCI-E slot to provide the remaining 150W for a total of 300W. This new connector is not to be confused with the EPS 8-pin motherboard power connectors already shipping with most power supplies, it's keyed differently and the polarity is reversed, so you really don't want to try and force the wrong connector in. The extra two pins are to be two extra grounding connections, but one is believed to be eventually replaced with a +12v sensor.
P CI Express WiKi:

The AGP 3.0 standard (AGP 8x) can only deliver a maximum of 41.8 W (6A from 3.3V, 2A from 5V, 1A from 12V = 41.8W and an additional 1.24W could come from the 3.3V auxiliary at 0.375A). AGP cards that need an extra power input will have a molex power connector (9800 Pro for example). By adding the four-pin Molex connections, manufacturers extended the life of AGP cards as each supplied 6.5A or 110.5W from these right angle connections (12V + 5V or 17V x 6.5A = 110.5W). Which makes a total of 151.8W available to AGP cards with a single molex connector.
The old AGP Pro Standard adds 16 power pins to the end of the AGP slot, near the back of the board. There are two power levels, they are called AGP Pro 50 and AGP Pro 110, with the numbers specifying watts. AGP Pro 50 requires you leave the first PCI slot empty and draws it's power from that slot's power lines. AGP Pro 110 requires you leave the first 2 slots empty. This was mainly used for professional graphics workstations.
AGP Wiki:

For PCI, according to the PCI Local Bus rev 2.3, sections and 4.4.1, "requires that an add-in card must limit its total power consumption to 25 watts (from all power rails)."
"Power Supply Rail Tolerances:
Power Rail Add-in Cards (Short and Long)
3.3 V ±0.3 V 7.6 A max. (system dependent)
5 V ± 5 % 5 A max. (system dependent)
12 V ±5% 500 mA max.
-12 V ±10% 100 mA max."
PCI Wiki:

Edited for Clarity and Errors 14JUL07

Credit: mark84 at
I downsized it and added some info/fixed some errors

More about : video card power requirements

a b U Graphics card
July 13, 2007 12:00:08 AM

a c 143 U Graphics card
July 13, 2007 12:21:12 AM

Yup, this should be a sticky.
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
July 13, 2007 1:29:44 AM

foz said:

This table shows GFX cards power consumption, not what the recommended PSU requirements are, but rather the actual draw of the card. These are the full load power consumption figures for the GFX card only.

These numbers are definitely not full load power draw on all the cards, some of them are obvious guesses, especially the HD2900XTX numbers, 270W Puh-lease !! :heink: 

XTX______}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} }}}}}| 270W ~ (OEM 12.4" )
HD 2900 XTX______}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} 240W ~ (Retail 9.5" )

Nice guess but the number is 30W difference and the only difference between the two is the 16 extra watts of the large CFM fan [24W versus 8W]?

HD 2900 XT_______}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}| 161W ²

So the difference between the XT and the XTX retail cards is 79W ?!? :pfff: 

HD 2900 XL_______}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} 180W ~

And the lower clocked cutdown XL is consuming 19W more than its more powerful cousin? :heink: 

HD 2600 XT_______}}}}}}}}}}}|' 47W ^

Not card draw, it's a system power estimate calculation if you follow the link.

These following set of numbers seem completely inaccurate;

HD 2400 XT_______}}}| 14W ^
HD 2400 Pro______}}' 9W &
HD 2400 LE ______}}}}}}' <25W +
8600 GTS ________}}}}}}}}}}}|' 47W ²
8600 GT _________}}}}}}}| 30W ^
8500 GT _________}}}}}}}}}} 40W

So power consumption of the HD2400Pro ins 50% higher going from an HD2400Pro to XT and from a GF8600GT to GTS, yet later it's said OCing has no power draw effect. Also the lower models draw more power? Not according to most reviews. Having 2 sets of 3 different reference sources for those cards doesn't allow for any consistency.

In nVidias case they've gone from 130nm with the FX series to 110nm with the 6?00 & 7800 series. That's why there's not a huge drop from 6?00 to 7800 series cards, they're both made on the same manufacturing process but with a newer presumably more efficient architecture.

No they're not. The GF6800GT and GF6800Ultra were both 130nm, the GF7800 is 110nm. Only the midrange crippled refresh of the GF6800plain was 110nm and it had less transistors and lower clocks. The efficient architecture came from the GF7900 refresh which went with 90nm , and less transistors for the same functionality and higher clocks all with less power consumption. But the GF7800 was not the same FAB process as the cards it replaced.

The new 8-pin PCI-E power connector that's just starting to come out is in line with the PCI-E 2.0 standard. This means it'll provide 225W to the card with the PCI-E slot to provide the remaining 75W for a total of 300W.

That's not right.
The PCIe 2.0 Slot provides 150W from the slot and the 8pin connector can supply 150W as spec;

Power consumption does not change a great deal when overclocking (as seen on page 6 of the first ² link)

The link is broken, but if that's based on the mention of a 20mhz increase giving a 1W increase in power consumption, that's a pretty weak overclock, and the wattage difference is so small as to be easily influenced by the margin of error in either direction. Overclocking is a diminishing returns geometric thing where the higher the overlock the more power used, the hotter the part, the more resistance, the more power, and for truely large OCs you really need good observation to have something worthy of making a statement about all overclocking.

So when looking for a power supply to power these configurations make sure they can cater for a bit more (40W at least) than DOUBLE the single cards requirements, this will ensure stability and allow for some overclocking head room (which I'm sure you'll be doing with these setups

I don't like that statement because it ignores the idea of the amperage supplied to the rails. That's more important than a PSU with high PR wattage sticker but much of it concentrated in the 3.3 and 5W ranges.

So now for the recommended PSU specs.. ..Of course all this depends on your CPU and other components which have to share the available power, which is another section on it's own!

Same with that section. Outdated and focuses on PR wattage ratings and not amperage, and then at the end realizes why that may be a problem, so add that Caveat.

It needs alot of updating and correcting to be sticky worthy IMO. It's a good start to be sure, but it needs to be cleaned up, and more concise.

Like Spitfire's previous recommendation list which was very good, if it's not updated and checked it becomes pretty useless very quickly.
July 13, 2007 3:19:47 PM

Thanks for the long reply GrapeApe! I actually got this from the link at the bottom of the post. I think I will redo this post and take out all the opinions and fluff at the bottom and keep this as more of a reference list then as a guide. I will definitely fix all the errors you found and search for some better sources and remove the cards I cannot find info on. Any other suggestions?
a b U Graphics card
July 13, 2007 11:00:58 PM

foz said:
Any other suggestions?

I would suggest addig picture or diagrams of the floppy , molex , 6pin and 8 pin connectors/sockets.

It'd be nice to have the amperage recommendations from the IHVs.

And in the AGP section mention the keying for 3.3V, 1.5V, 0.8V , and maybe mention AGP PRO50 and PRO110.

Just some thoughts.
July 14, 2007 12:48:55 AM

Added Pics and new links 14JUL07
August 1, 2007 5:29:28 AM

I hope this isn't a stupid question, but I just got a 8800GTX that has two power connectors. My PSU is modular and has two PCI-e outputs. Do I need to connect both of these to the card or just one?