Do I have enough watts for my graphics card?

I have a 500 watts power supply and just bought the XFX 6970 graphics card. I noticed that it was recommended that I have a 550 watts power supply. Can I still use the graphics card? Will it damage some of my components?

Computer specs:
AMD Phenom II X6 1055t overclocked @3.4 Ghz
Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 motherboard
8 gb ram
1 tb hard drive
500 watts power supply
13 answers Last reply
More about watts graphics card
  1. Make/model of your PSU?
  2. Silver Power SP-SS500 500W PSU
  3. Yes, that unit should be sufficient to power your 6970.
  4. I highly disagree. TDP for the 6970 is 234 according to Tom's. Putting you well with in your blackout range. If it were me I would go for a 650 or 750W. This will give you room to grow as well. Your call, but stuff blows up when there is not enough power.
  5. Remember 500W is the max not the running wattage.
  6. It will run for a while but you may find it will cook your PSU over a short time. Depends on the quality of the PSU too. I upgraded my kids' PC with a new video card and the cheap PSU failed in a few short weeks. Replace with a cheap Rosewill and that too fried taking the MOBO with it. Do yourself a favor and buy a good PSU. Bronze 80 rated are good yet still reasonable priced.
  7. captjack5169 said:
    Remember 500W is the max not the running wattage.

    Not necessarily true...there are PSU mfrs out there that advertise max vice continuous load specs, but this is not one of those instances. The OEM for this PSU is Seasonic; a very reputable mfr that puts out quality products. Would I do a lot of overclocking on the GPU/CPU with this PSU...maybe after I determined system stability at stock speeds. TK is right that this PSU should handle his system.
  8. I wasnt suggesting that either of you are wrong. I was suggesting that being wrong could be expensive. This is one of this instances where I would like to be wrong, but better safe than sorry.
  9. *Let me clear this up:

    Every PSU has a TOTAL amount of power that it can provide, such as 850Watts. However, this power is distributed on different voltages (+5, +12 etc).

    The graphics card uses the +12V rail to get its power, thus you need to look at this. They also list the specification as AMPS, not Watts.

    Therefore, you need to:

    1) find the AMPERAGE requirement and make sure the +12V rail of the PSU (or combined +12V rails) are higher than the specification listed for the graphics card (a GTX 570 uses 38Amps I believe, for example).

    (If more than one +12V rail exists, don't simply add them up. You must use the actual "combined" value listed; if you don't see the "combined" value you can still add them up and if you have 30% more Amps than needed you should be fine.

    Each rail can supply up to a certain amount of Amps if no other rail is used, but the value drops when other rails are used, hence the "combined" value.)

    2) If that's okay determine the TOTAL WATTAGE requirement. Use an online calculator. Make sure to include the higher CPU value for overclocking if you do so.
  10. States that:

    550 Watt or greater power supply with one 150W 8-pin PCI Express® power connector and one 75W 6-pin PCI Express® power connector recommended.

    150W /12v = 12.5a
    75W/12v = 6.25a

    His unit has two 12v rails. 12v1 is 17a; 12v2 is 17a
    Even if the maximum power draw of the card is 234w that is still significantly less that what is provided by the two rails giving plenty of room for the other components. I would be surprised if the 8 pin is shared with the same rail as the CPU. Assuming the CPU is shared with the 6pin line, that is still only 200w / 12v = 16.66 which is still under 100% load for the unit.

    eta: The combined W of the 12v rails is 408... which is still in excess of the total w of the card + cpu @ 100% draw. The platform is Seasonic, which is a well respected maker of power supplies, so unless the vendor in question (Silver Power) is lying about what kind of unit is under the hood, he should be fine.

    eata: It is always possible that the unit is miss labelled. The UK and their Caveat Emptor ways. If you provide us with the information off the label, we can try to more accurately tell you for sure one way or the other.
  11. I don't got the label, but I found a little information about the PSU:

    Output power:
    +3.3V - 24 A
    +5V - 24 A
    +12V1 - 17 A
    +12V2 - 17 A
    -12V - 0.8 A
    +5VSB - 2.5 A

    Silver Power SP-SS500 features:

    Compatible with Intel ATX 12 V Ver. 2.2
    80 Plus certified, high efficiency
    High reliability forward converter circuit design
    Environmental friendly “Super Low Noise” fan control
    Excellent thermal management with high quality ball bearing 12 cm fan
    Active Power Factor Correction with high PF value of >0.98
    Low power consumption in stand-by mode, meets Energy Star 4.0 requirements
    2× built-in PCI Express graphics card connectors, 1× 6 Pin & 1× 6+2 Pin
    6× serial ATA hard disk connectors for your SATA drives
    Stable output voltages under any load condition
    Protection against over voltage, over power and short circuit
    Silver Power SP-SS500 is OEM from Seasonic with good quality.

    Input Voltage AC 110-240 V
    Frequency Required 50/60 Hz
  12. Those are the numbers that TK used in his accurate calculations above. What he was requesting are the numbers on the label physically glued onto the PSU. I seriously doubt they are different, but better safe than sorry.
  13. Specifically if any number that would let us check the actual unit that is being sold...

    Like the 80+ certification number.
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