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5870/6870 PSU requirement???

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 25, 2011 8:53:58 PM

In light of the recent $500 SBM article, I have taken a sudden interest in trying to minimize unnecessary expenditures. I am looking into building a system for my brother this summer and was curious as to what kind of power supply you need to power a 5870/6870. The antec PSU used in the $500 article was able to handle a 6850. Will the PSU below be able to handle a 5870/6870? AMD's site recommends a 500 watt PSU BTW.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I also understand that summer is quite a ways away and that my video card selection will quite possibly change. My question is really more out of curiosity. Thanks!
March 25, 2011 8:58:27 PM

430W is for sure not enough. If you want to power that card you will need AT LEAST 550W (a very nice high efficiency model), but it'd be better to get a 650W.
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March 25, 2011 9:06:30 PM

So what I'm reading is that I should aim for something >500. If that is actually true, then can someone tell me how in the article below they were able to power a 6850 with only a 380W Antec Earthwatts???

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/budget-gaming-pc-ph...

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/budget-gaming-pc-ph...

I have also included the power consumption link for the $500 SBM. This article seems to contradict what you guys are saying. I would typically think that for a 5870 I would need something around 600W, but after reading this article I'm not so sure that is true.

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a c 194 U Graphics card
March 25, 2011 10:18:46 PM

You can do it on a 380W unit, its not a good idea as you are running really close to the capacity of the unit at that point so it will age much faster. The SBM systems arent really good picks for a system, they are built to see how much performance they can get out of a small budget, so they tend to go for the smallest cheapest PSU that can handle it, i would not run that thing for multiple years on an EA 380 especially not if you want to make any upgrades to it
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March 25, 2011 10:26:08 PM

hunter315 said:
You can do it on a 380W unit, its not a good idea as you are running really close to the capacity of the unit at that point so it will age much faster. The SBM systems arent really good picks for a system, they are built to see how much performance they can get out of a small budget, so they tend to go for the smallest cheapest PSU that can handle it, i would not run that thing for multiple years on an EA 380 especially not if you want to make any upgrades to it


So what about the 430W unit? Do you think that would be ok for long-term use?

Here are some power draw charts for the 6870/5870...

6870
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6870-rade...

5870
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5870,2422...

5870 w/liquid cooled OC
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/powercolor-5870-lcs...
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a c 194 U Graphics card
March 25, 2011 10:32:48 PM

A 6870 yes, a 5870 would be pushing it as it draws significantly more than a 6850 which is much closer to a 5750 power-wise, i would definitely move up to at least an EA500D for the 5870, if you are going to spend $200 on a GPU that will be outdated in a few years shouldnt you at least spring for a PSU that will last you for 5? The case and the PSU are the only two parts that dont decrease in value over time much and will be useful for multiple builds.
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March 25, 2011 11:36:58 PM

hunter315 said:
A 6870 yes, a 5870 would be pushing it as it draws significantly more than a 6850 which is much closer to a 5750 power-wise, i would definitely move up to at least an EA500D for the 5870, if you are going to spend $200 on a GPU that will be outdated in a few years shouldnt you at least spring for a PSU that will last you for 5? The case and the PSU are the only two parts that dont decrease in value over time much and will be useful for multiple builds.


No I completely agree with the point you are trying to make. The question I pose is more of the theoretical sort. What is the minimum power I could theoretically get away with for a 5870/6870? When I go to build I will definitely impose a personal "safety factor" to insure that the PSU was good for long-term use and possible upgrades later on. But it helps to know what the bare minimum is. If I thought the bare minimum for that kind of video card was 500W, I would have bought a 600-650W PSU. If what you say is correct about being able to get away with the 430W, then I will probably go for something around 500-550W as long as it has similar efficiency.

Thanks for everyone's input!
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