Will my PSU handle a dedicated Physx card?

I recently acquired a Nvidia GTX 260 video card at a reasonable price with the intention of putting it to use as a dedicated PhysX card; however, I'm not sure if my PSU is up to the task of feeding another GPU (albeit, a dedicated PhysX card). My system is:

AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition 3.8GHz
G.Skill DDR3 1600 4GB
XFX HD 6870 1GB
2 x SATA HDD
1 x IDE DVD drive
BFG 550w PSU (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817702010)

I bought the GTX 260 on the basis of adding some eye-candy to Borderlands 2 for less than the retail price of the game. However, in my excitement of getting a new toy, I completely forgot to consider my PSU before buying the GTX 260. I know for sure that my PSU isn't capable of running two 6870's or GTX 260's in CF or SLI, but I need to know if it will run the 6870 with the GTX 260 on full-time PhysX duty? I practically never use the DVD drive, so removing it from the system isn't a problem. I can manage with just one HDD, as well, if that will make any significant difference. I can also dial back the CPU OC if necessary.

Like I said, the GTX 260 was purchased on the basis of providing some cheap eye-candy but if its going to take a new PSU to make that happen, then the cheap aspect is out the window. I'll try to re-sell the GTX 260 before I spend more money on a new PSU and I certainly don't want to potentially overload and ruin a perfectly good PSU for naught, so I would much appreciate some experienced forethought from the forums. Thanks in advance!
9 answers Last reply
More about will handle dedicated physx card
  1. It should run no problem, don't even need to remove anything. 6870s are low power and so is the 555.
  2. ^ I disagree. The GTX 260 and the HD 6870 both need a recommended 500w power supply. What you have is an older budget model BFG that only produces 432 watts on the 12v rail. A modern high quality power supply with that rating would be labeled as a 450 watt unit. So to be honest you are close to the limits of that PSU with either of those cards by themselves. I would not risk it.
  3. The 555 is 95W, the 6870 is 150W, the 260 is 150W, this is max loaded power which will never happen if all its going to be used for is a physx card. Niether will the 6870 and the 555 reach that. If the power supply can really push those watts, it should work.
  4. anort3 said:
    ^ I disagree. The GTX 260 and the HD 6870 both need a recommended 500w power supply. What you have is an older budget model BFG that only produces 432 watts on the 12v rail. A modern high quality power supply with that rating would be labeled as a 450 watt unit. So to be honest you are close to the limits of that PSU with either of those cards by themselves. I would not risk it.


    dual +12V rail, will run a gtx 260 just fine. No way will it draw that much power - i'm running an overclocked 480 on a 500w power supply and it works without a hitch. :D
  5. As I said, it's fine for either card by itself. I would not try both at the same time though.

    Quote:
    dual +12V rail, will run a gtx 260 just fine



    Dual 12v rail means absolutely nothing. Most multi rail configuration power supplies are not truely multi rail anyway. The power is produced by a single rail and split. Read this.

    http://www.jonnyguru.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3990


    Quote:
    i'm running an overclocked 480 on a 500w power supply and it works without a hitch. :D



    Yeah, and you might get away with driving drunk 100 times in a row too but that does not make it a good idea :sarcastic: . Don't ever stress test that setup or you might not have a computer any more. I hope that's a damn good 500w power supply.

    System with a GTX 480 pulling 450 watts at load.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-480,2585-15.html

    HardOCP manages to pull 483 watts at the wall with a GTX 480.

    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2010/03/26/nvidia_fermi_gtx_470_480_sli_review/7

    There is a reason a 600w PSU with 42a on the 12v rail is recommended for a GTX 480.
  6. anort3 said:
    As I said, it's fine for either card by itself. I would not try both at the same time though.

    Quote:
    dual +12V rail, will run a gtx 260 just fine



    Dual 12v rail means absolutely nothing. Most multi rail configuration power supplies are not truely multi rail anyway. The power is produced by a single rail and split. Read this.

    http://www.jonnyguru.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3990


    Quote:
    i'm running an overclocked 480 on a 500w power supply and it works without a hitch. :D



    Yeah, and you might get away with driving drunk 100 times in a row too but that does not make it a good idea :sarcastic: . Don't ever stress test that setup or you might not have a computer any more. I hope that's a damn good 500w power supply.

    System with a GTX 480 pulling 450 watts at load.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-480,2585-15.html

    HardOCP manages to pull 483 watts at the wall with a GTX 480.

    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2010/03/26/nvidia_fermi_gtx_470_480_sli_review/7

    There is a reason a 600w PSU with 42a on the 12v rail is recommended for a GTX 480.
    the simple fact that their system idle at close to 200w is already a hit that they aren't running a standard system. Also given the fact that they are measuring from the wall, there is at least a 20% lower number coming out of the psu. Just because you are going to load a 480 and your system with benchmark doesn't mean the power consumption is anywhere near that with normal use. a physx card doesn't pull nearly as much as a fully loaded card running a stress test.
  7. anort3 said:
    I would not try both at the same time though.

    I would, just to see how long it would take to make it go pop though, not if I wanted it to last
    Couple of points;
    It's a Huntkey
    It's peak rated, at 25c
  8. The only bad thing about that idea is when it does go pop, does it go pop by itself or does it take other stuff with it. ;)
  9. anort3 said:
    The only bad thing about that idea is when it does go pop, does it go pop by itself or does it take other stuff with it. ;)

    Haven't had that happen yet, but I do it on a system that I'm not worried about in case one does ;)
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