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Running a GTX 460 768mb with ONE 6-pin

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 11, 2010 6:25:56 AM

Now bare with me, I know this sounds unorthodox.
I run my computer in a micro-ATX case (the X-QPack2).
A couple days ago I ordered the Palit GTX 460 768MB version, seeing as it was $10 cheaper than the EVGA version. Now looking at size, the 460 is tiny, especially Palit's version. However, checking out my current ASUS, 8800 GTS I came up with a potential problem.
Palit's version of the card comes with its 2 6-pin power connectors on TOP of the card. In this particular micro-case, the top of the card only has about 75mm of leeway before it hits the CD-drive tray, starting from about 6.75" down the card (that tray itself is empty, but I can't find any way to actually remove the tray). Judging by this, it looks like the tray will block at least 1 of those power connectors.

Now, I'll probably just have to email Newegg and send this back, then spend the extra money on the EVGA model.
BUT, doing a tiny bit of a research, I came to an alternative that I wanted an opinion on.


I read somewhere that with newer GPUs, if you don't supply enough power to the cards, you won't get full performance, but the card will still run. I also read that the PCI-E slot itself gives 75w of power, and a single 6-pin cable gives another 75w. I ALSO read that the 768mb version of the 460's max power draw is around 150w.
Now, since my CPU would already bottleneck the 460 a considerable amount, I really don't need the card's max performance, at least not yet.

All this considered, would it be possible to run this card on 1 6-pin connector?
If not, why?
Are there any possible dangers?
Once again, I know this sounds a bit ridiculous, but I'm just verifying whether or not this would be possible.

Thanks!
a b U Graphics card
September 11, 2010 11:09:59 AM

First, the PCI-e socket can provide 75 watts of power. I doubt if it is providing a significant amount of 12 volt power to the card.

Second, a GTX460 needs about 7 amps (84 watts).

Third, an 8 pin (or 6+2) PCI-e connector can provide 150 watts (12.5 amps). The extra two wires are ground leads.

Fourth, combining #2 and #3, I estimate that a 6 pin PCIe connector should provide adequate power to the video card.

I'd try it.
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a c 153 U Graphics card
September 11, 2010 11:11:27 AM

You can, I wouldn't, but it should work to an extent.

Can you take a picture of the inside of your case, with the card in it and post it?
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September 11, 2010 2:20:21 PM

jsc said:
First, the PCI-e socket can provide 75 watts of power. I doubt if it is providing a significant amount of 12 volt power to the card.

Second, a GTX460 needs about 7 amps (84 watts).

Third, an 8 pin (or 6+2) PCI-e connector can provide 150 watts (12.5 amps). The extra two wires are ground leads.

Fourth, combining #2 and #3, I estimate that a 6 pin PCIe connector should provide adequate power to the video card.

I'd try it.


I'm a little confused, just tell me if I'm understanding this right:

The slot itself doesn't provide sufficient 12v power,
The 460 only needs 84w
A 6-pin actually provides 150w
So I should be fine?

This whole concept is just a little strange for me.
Thanks for the answers so far, it at least looks like this is becoming more of a real possibility.


@Helltech
I won't have the card until Monday evening, though I can take a picture of the currently installed 9" ASUS 8800GTS if that would help.
I did experiment with bending the tray metal out of the way with a set of pliers, though unfortunately it runs through the entire case and it's not as easy as I'd thought it'd be.
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a b U Graphics card
September 11, 2010 3:10:27 PM

I don't know why 8 pin connectors are being brought up here. The card does not have them. A 6 pin connector will not ever pass on 150 watts. Yes the only difference between connectors is 2 pins, that are grounds. But thats how electricity works !
Since the card does not have 8 pin power sockets , its voltage system is not set up to work any other way than with 2- 6 pin connectors.
Op don't try to run the card with one connector. This sounds a lot like someone trying to hook up a 240V Air conditioner to 120V household socket by micky mousing a cord. Which usually ends up in a disaster.
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September 11, 2010 3:24:02 PM

I appreciate the input but I'm not really messing with anything, and I don't see too much danger in trying to run something with too little power. The worst I can see happening is lowered performance and losing the ability to overclock the things. Or, maybe the inability to even run the card.

Then again, if it is dangerous, that's why I made this thread. It's perfectly possible I'm wrong. Specifically, what dangers could occur from supplying too little current to the card?


I'd like a few more answers to consider before making up my mind. I was surprised how few concrete details there really are to these cables.
Of course, the best case scenario is that all my measurements are wrong and the card manages to have enough room for both connectors.
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a c 173 U Graphics card
September 11, 2010 3:24:57 PM

-You are wrong about the GTX 460. Sure average load is around 100-140w depending on clocks. 84w is the 9800gt, 5770,3870, while the GTS 450 is 109 at stock clocks. The rated TDP is 160w for a stock clocked 460 1gb. The max power before losses is 225w as for the VRM ratting they don't say but my guess is around 190w-200w max with vram and fan accounted.
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a c 130 U Graphics card
September 11, 2010 4:18:25 PM

Ok so here are the answers i think you want to hear.

Some cards "Can" run without the Extra PCIE connectors. Some 4770's have been tested and found to work ok.

As far as what "Could" happen well Graphics Cards Draw or Pull Power. This "Could" cause the card to burn out by constantly trying to draw too much power over the single cable.

This drawing could also fry the PSU or basically any part of the PC.

While it seems like some of the power is there for the Overclocks the card is capable of i personally feel its not worth the risk.

Mactronix :) 
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September 11, 2010 5:50:32 PM

Alright, it sounds like it's not worth the risk experimenting, that's all I need to know.
Thanks for all responses!
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September 11, 2010 5:50:41 PM

Best answer selected by klbg.
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a c 273 U Graphics card
September 11, 2010 5:50:48 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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