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What graphics card could I get away with on a full system w/ 450W PSU?

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Corsair
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics Cards
November 20, 2011 10:00:38 AM

I have a Corsair 450W VX PSU, and am thinking about giving myself a little boost in games with a new graphics card to replace my 512mb 4850, but not sure what I could get away with given that there is quite a lot of stuff in my system already.

-Q6600
-2x2GB RAM
-3 SATA HDDs
-1 DVD drive
-3x120mm, 1x140mm
-Fan controller

Everything is running at stock, but even so, with so much in there I'm just a bit worried that I'd be pushing my PSU to the limit, and potentially make it unstable.

Right now I'm looking at something like a 5870, 6850 or a 6870. I asked another forum, and they said I could easily run any of them, but I'm not convinced.

More about : graphics card full system 450w psu

a b U Graphics card
November 20, 2011 10:15:53 AM

Did you look at the othwr requirements You wan't get a 'Hotter' GPU without a PSU upgrade? 450 Won't cut it/
It might run until something 'Smokes' not to mention the 'drag down' on other voltages.
Yeah, you can run on that.
Other replys may have a different view.

November 20, 2011 10:33:01 AM

I did, and most of them say 500w recommended. However I've seen other people (http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?t=18337...) who are able to run even a GTX 580 on a 450w PSU, and as I said, other people have told me I should be able to run those cards I mentioned just fine. I know I SHOULD upgrade my PSU for peace of mind, but I mean if other people are able to do it, I may as well try.

Btw, since I can't edit my original message for some reason, my PSU allows 33A on the 12v rail, with a maximum output of 396W.
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
November 20, 2011 10:37:10 AM

Go for It, then!
November 20, 2011 10:41:06 AM

I think a 100-110 watt GPU would be the maximum your PSU would allow. Going above that would be a risk. That leaves you with the GTS 450 // GTX 550ti, which isn't much of an upgrade in the first place. On the other hand, even if you had a more sufficient PSU to accommodate better cards, that Q6600 of yours would be a bottleneck for anything above a GTX 460.

a b U Graphics card
November 20, 2011 11:48:37 AM

viktorbkk said:
I think a 100-110 watt GPU would be the maximum your PSU would allow. Going above that would be a risk. That leaves you with the GTS 450 // GTX 550ti, which isn't much of an upgrade in the first place. On the other hand, even if you had a more sufficient PSU to accommodate better cards, that Q6600 of yours would be a bottleneck for anything above a GTX 460.

the Q6600 is still a good cpu, and with an overclock would be just fine with a new card.
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Corsair-VX450W-P...
heres a review stating that your PSU can deliver well over the 450w sticker, and even be at over 80% efficiency and stable while doing so. Id be sure to say that if you are looking at a 6870 you should be able to run it no problem at all. the only question would be the two 6 pin power connectors, which you could use an adapter for one if you really have to and dont want to buy another PSU. All in all, i think you can run the 6850 or 6870 with your current psu.
November 20, 2011 7:04:32 PM

A 450W PSU isn't going to support an overclocked Q6600 and a 150W++ graphics card. The Q6600 can certainly be overclocked to accommodate bigger and faster cards, but recommending the OP to do all that on a 450W PSU is not sound advice.
a b U Graphics card
November 20, 2011 7:27:13 PM

I'm proving all of you wrong just by being here.
HD 6870, go for it.
November 20, 2011 7:46:14 PM

Since you are here, try to keep in mind the different TDP ratings on processors. Your Phenom II x2 is a 45nm CPU with a 80W TDP rating, while the Q6600 is a 65nm CPU with a 105W TDP rating.

When people give advice on these boards, they should have the responsibility to consider the ramifications. Stressing a PSU to its limits, means putting an entire system at risk. This might not matter to the person giving the (ill conceived) advice, but it matters to the person who might heed it in the end.
a b U Graphics card
November 20, 2011 8:05:56 PM

Well said Victor - why gamble? Get a bigger PSU & rest easy.
-Bruce
BTW he also has 3 HDDs
a b U Graphics card
November 20, 2011 8:33:17 PM

viktorbkk said:
Since you are here, try to keep in mind the different TDP ratings on processors. Your Phenom II x2 is a 45nm CPU with a 80W TDP rating, while the Q6600 is a 65nm CPU with a 105W TDP rating.

When people give advice on these boards, they should have the responsibility to consider the ramifications. Stressing a PSU to its limits, means putting an entire system at risk. This might not matter to the person giving the (ill conceived) advice, but it matters to the person who might heed it in the end.


Yeah.. it's a 80w TDP rating indeed.. but not at that clock he's using it!!
BTW, if we took these diference into consideration, we talking here about 25W only

a c 224 U Graphics card
November 20, 2011 8:33:48 PM

So? Spinning harddrive uses around 5W or so? Even if you assume 7W, 7W * 3 drives = 21W. 2 sticks of ram, lets round up to 25W. Lets toss in some fans and optical drives, 35W? I usually assume 50W for the rest of the system, this time that might actually be true.

Also please remember that the Corsair 450W is a good PSU, and more like a 500W. Someone already linked a review where it was outputting more then 500W, and still above 80%, etc. 150W for an OC'd CPU, 50W for the rest of the system and you are using 200W, leaving 250W for the rest of the system. Others have also said they are using higher end cards, so the math is right.

It's pretty much a question of plugs. 6850 if you don't want to use adapters, 6870 if you don't mind. These are 130W and 151W (?) cards, not even close to your 250W limit.
November 20, 2011 8:47:03 PM

Why risk it? Gimping out on power is about the dumbest thing you could do when trying to cut costs. Insufficient power=potential damage to any and all components. Sure, some people may be able to run it no problem, but it would be more expensive to have to replace all your components if you fry everything.

Just get a new psu and give yourself some extra headroom so you can do some OC'ing.

You'll have to upgrade your psu eventually so it looks like now is the time if you want to upgrade your gpu. For a single card, i'd recommend 650w.
a b U Graphics card
November 20, 2011 8:52:19 PM

4745454b said:
So? Spinning harddrive uses around 5W or so? Even if you assume 7W, 7W * 3 drives = 21W. 2 sticks of ram, lets round up to 25W. Lets toss in some fans and optical drives, 35W? I usually assume 50W for the rest of the system, this time that might actually be true.

Also please remember that the Corsair 450W is a good PSU, and more like a 500W. Someone already linked a review where it was outputting more then 500W, and still above 80%, etc. 150W for an OC'd CPU, 50W for the rest of the system and you are using 200W, leaving 250W for the rest of the system. Others have also said they are using higher end cards, so the math is right.

It's pretty much a question of plugs. 6850 if you don't want to use adapters, 6870 if you don't mind. These are 130W and 151W (?) cards, not even close to your 250W limit.

+1, what i was getting at with the adapters... if you are ok with that, then go for it, if not then get yourself the 6850. as I stated before, you shouldnt have an issue running them. people see the 500w rating and think they cant run it on a 450w... you arent stressing your psu to the point of breakdown at all, in fact, that review i posted said that it is basically the same psu as the Antech earthwatts 500w.
a b U Graphics card
November 20, 2011 8:53:03 PM

xdmds said:
Why risk it? Gimping out on power is about the dumbest thing you could do when trying to cut costs. Insufficient power=potential damage to any and all components. Sure, some people may be able to run it no problem, but it would be more expensive to have to replace all your components if you fry everything.

Just get a new psu and give yourself some extra headroom so you can do some OC'ing.

You'll have to upgrade your psu eventually so it looks like now is the time if you want to upgrade your gpu. For a single card, i'd recommend 650w.

I run a gtx570 on a 600w psu, am i going to fry my system?
a c 143 U Graphics card
November 20, 2011 9:23:40 PM

And the moderator mousemonkey stated that he runs the GTX 560ti in SLI in a 620W PSU.

And tom's article stated that a high end enthusiast PC equipped with a GTX 580 draws about 448W.

the question is, will you be doing a serious OCing to your system including GPU, CPU ?
a b U Graphics card
November 20, 2011 9:55:56 PM

ilysaml said:
And the moderator mousemonkey stated that he runs the GTX 560ti in SLI in a 620W PSU.

And tom's article stated that a high end enthusiast PC equipped with a GTX 580 draws about 448W.

the question is, will you be doing a serious OCing to your system including GPU, CPU ?

Even with an OC to the cpu im sure OP will be alright; that's is a great psu he has.
a c 224 U Graphics card
November 20, 2011 11:04:09 PM

Seriously guys? Lets have a look at what some have wrote in this thread.

Quote:
You wan't get a 'Hotter' GPU without a PSU upgrade? 450 Won't cut it/
It might run until something 'Smokes' not to mention the 'drag down' on other voltages...A 450W PSU isn't going to support an overclocked Q6600 and a 150W++ graphics card...Stressing a PSU to its limits, means putting an entire system at risk...Insufficient power=potential damage to any and all components...For a single card, i'd recommend 650w.


Some so of that is sound advice, other is pure non sense. 650W for a single card? Unlocked and OC'd PhII x2 only uses 80W? Can't load up a seasonic build PSU? Guys, this is a seasonic built 450W PSU, which in testing has been able to do 500W+ with ease. I believe it has 33A on its 12V rails, one amp less then my 500W PSU. Power wise, it can handle a Q6600 and 6850 or 6870 with ease. There is the matter of whether a Q6600 can handle a 6870, but with a mild OC he should be fine. Even the B3 stepping of the Q6600 should be able to hit 3GHz, probably without even a voltage bump. This isn't just a 450W PSU. Go do some reading on it before commenting.
a b U Graphics card
November 20, 2011 11:50:11 PM

4745454b said:
Seriously guys? Lets have a look at what some have wrote in this thread.

Quote:
You wan't get a 'Hotter' GPU without a PSU upgrade? 450 Won't cut it/
It might run until something 'Smokes' not to mention the 'drag down' on other voltages...A 450W PSU isn't going to support an overclocked Q6600 and a 150W++ graphics card...Stressing a PSU to its limits, means putting an entire system at risk...Insufficient power=potential damage to any and all components...For a single card, i'd recommend 650w.


Some so of that is sound advice, other is pure non sense. 650W for a single card? Unlocked and OC'd PhII x2 only uses 80W? Can't load up a seasonic build PSU? Guys, this is a seasonic built 450W PSU, which in testing has been able to do 500W+ with ease. I believe it has 33A on its 12V rails, one amp less then my 500W PSU. Power wise, it can handle a Q6600 and 6850 or 6870 with ease. There is the matter of whether a Q6600 can handle a 6870, but with a mild OC he should be fine. Even the B3 stepping of the Q6600 should be able to hit 3GHz, probably without even a voltage bump. This isn't just a 450W PSU. Go do some reading on it before commenting.

I linked the necessary Info for OP to make his decision with confidence, as well as 4745454b bringing sound advice to the table based on research and facts. Speculators wanting op to buy a new piece of hardware unnecessarily need to research this psu and find that it has more than enough power and efficiency to run op's system with ease and still have headroom for an overclock on his q6600 that will also handle a 6850/6870.
a c 143 U Graphics card
November 21, 2011 12:06:46 AM

True, a high end modern system with the HD 6870 draws about 290-300W with GPU in full load.

When i said a serious OCing such as the Q6600 @ 3.4, HD 6870 @950/1 GHz OC
This will require more AMP in the 12V rail, system will be pushed to the max and the PSU will crack.
a b U Graphics card
November 21, 2011 12:15:21 AM

ilysaml said:
True, a high end modern system with the HD 6870 draws about 290-300W with GPU in full load.

When i said a serious OCing such as the Q6600 @ 3.4, HD 6870 @950/1 GHz OC
This will require more AMP in the 12V rail, system will be pushed to the max and the PSU will crack.

True, op needs to be aware of the extreme cases, but knowing this he will most likely not try huge overclocks. This could be a nice cheap easy upgrade but others have turned it into a vague contest of psu labeled wattage
a c 143 U Graphics card
November 21, 2011 12:18:30 AM

+1
a c 224 U Graphics card
November 21, 2011 12:58:26 AM

Quote:
When i said a serious OCing such as the Q6600 @ 3.4, HD 6870 @950/1 GHz OC
This will require more AMP in the 12V rail, system will be pushed to the max and the PSU will crack.


I'm not as convinced. If the system under stock would be around 300W, do you really think you can OC 150W according to label, 200W+ according to tests? You are talking about needing to OC by 150W+. Even OC'd I bet that unit can do it.
a b U Graphics card
November 21, 2011 1:06:42 AM

4745454b said:
Quote:
When i said a serious OCing such as the Q6600 @ 3.4, HD 6870 @950/1 GHz OC
This will require more AMP in the 12V rail, system will be pushed to the max and the PSU will crack.


I'm not as convinced. If the system under stock would be around 300W, do you really think you can OC 150W according to label, 200W+ according to tests? You are talking about needing to OC by 150W+. Even OC'd I bet that unit can do it.

Op hasn't responded in a while....
In any case he needs to order his card and game it up!
a c 143 U Graphics card
November 21, 2011 1:14:20 AM

@4745454b
According to a review of the Q660 OCed to 3.4 GHz it reported 170W power consumption for the CPU itself, 213 W for the HD 6870 1 Ghz in full load alone, add 50W for the MOBO, 24W for the HDDs, 10W for the ODD, 8W for the RAM, 12W for the fans total = 487W
Calculation source
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supply-psu-re...
a b U Graphics card
November 21, 2011 1:20:44 AM

ilysaml said:
@4745454b
According to a review of the Q660 OCed to 3.4 GHz it reported 170W power consumption for the CPU itself, 213 W for the HD 6870 1 Ghz in full load alone, add 50W for the MOBO, 24W for the HDDs, 10W for the ODD, 8W for the RAM, 12W for the fans total = 487W
Calculation source
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supply-psu-re...

And his psu can easily handle 500w, I think he will be a-ok
a c 224 U Graphics card
November 21, 2011 1:23:34 AM

Using your link, what makes you think he has some high end motherboard thats going to use 50W?

If he's doing massive OCing then maybe perhaps he'll need something else. I would like to see a review of a 3.4GHz Q6600 using 170W all by itself. Assuming its a G0 stepping Q6600, it nearly doubled its TDP.
a c 143 U Graphics card
November 21, 2011 1:43:34 AM

Even if the PSU consumes 430/440/450W, it won't be efficient enough to work 24/7, the coils & capacitors will heat up and the PSU will crack.

I didn't think he has a high end bord, can't you read in that table ? Mid range board with graphics 50W

You think i made up the 170W thing, here's the review
http://www.behardware.com/articles/651-2/intel-core-2-q...
Quote:
With this motherboard we have had more flexibility with FSB and with this processor we reached 9x378 MHz, or 3.4 GHz. The configuration was stable with four Prime 95s for 30 minutes. To reach this frequency we had to increase the voltage to 1.45V in the bios. It’s important to know that with this card and despite the CPU block power supply of 8 phases, there is a strong voltage reduction in practice with the Kentsfield; 1.4V in stand by and falls to 1.35V in use. With this voltage our meter went a little crazy and measured 172 watts in use or 70 watts more than with initial settings. In consequence, it will be difficult to cool the processor silently.
a c 224 U Graphics card
November 21, 2011 7:01:17 AM

Quote:
Even if the PSU consumes 430/440/450W, it won't be efficient enough to work 24/7


??? PSUs output, not consume. Not sure what you were getting at there.

Quote:
I didn't think he has a high end bord, can't you read in that table ? Mid range board with graphics 50W


"with graphics" means it has an IGP. If it doesn't have an IGP it will consume less power. This means, according to them, 35W. I haven't seen a 35W board since the days of the NF4. Where you have two separate chips, and they run hot. It's been a long time since I've seen hard numbers, but I'd bet most Intel based P4x board run a lot closer to 15-20W, assuming no IGP.

As for the 170W Q6600, interesting. Even if a 175W CPU and a 200W GPU, you're only at 375W. 75W less then the rated output. 125W less then tested output. You can also OC less to get more power leeway. I'm not sure why you are fighting this so hard. It's a beast of a PSU. Its ok to load it. Nothing should blow up. You are literally loading a Seasonic built PSU.
a c 143 U Graphics card
November 21, 2011 1:05:30 PM

Sorry i meant PC.

Regardless the MOBO power consumption, Are you only thinking of the system as a CPU and a GPU? You forgot RAM, HDDS,ODDS, ADD IN Cards, FANS.

And i'm not fighting, and i said with the beginning of my first post, there's no problem at all but i just indicated a case where the PSU will fall down. The OP won't even try it, but in fact there are some few enthusiasts who might consider it that way.