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Want2 buy GPU. Where can I find how much power each GPU needs?

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June 11, 2012 1:40:40 AM

Hello all..

I'm not a hardcore gamer, and I'm about to buy a mid-end GPU, but I have a limited 490W PSU and I don't want to exchange it because I REALLY don't want to spend more money, specially since there are several decent GPUs that don't require a strong PSU. So I want to pick a GPU that would work on my system as is.

My question is, is there is an easy way (like a searchable website) that can tell me what is the minimum PSU strength that a specific GPU requires?.. I'm between 8 GPUs now, and I want to shortlist them based on power requirement.

Thanks in advance.
a c 99 U Graphics card
June 11, 2012 1:51:01 AM

There are websites that give power consumption.

Tom's Hardware has a Charts at the top. And go to 2012 VGA-GPGPU or 2011 Entry Level Grapics. Then find the link to power consumption Idle or Load.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/

There is Techpowerup. Just go to the review section and type in the card, go into the link and there is a drop down menu that goes to Power Consumption from minimum, maximum, multiple monitors wattage use. Some cards they haven't reviewed.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/

Hope that helps :) 
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June 11, 2012 2:07:14 AM

Thank you fantastik250

My problem actually is that I dont know how exactly is the power consumption is related to the actual -lets say- wattage measurement of the PSU..

Is it something like this.. My CPU is Phenom ii x4 120w edition.. and say the GPU consumption is 200w under load.. so its a total of 220.. so a 350w PSU should be enough to cover all of the components?
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a c 99 U Graphics card
June 11, 2012 2:20:14 AM

The newer PSU's comes branded with 80 PLUS certifications. So to put it in easy terms, this means 80% of the total wattage is actually supplying everything. So a 350w PSU would only give 280 Watts.

If you want to see full system load, then go here:
http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

You can input each component to see how much your total system uses.
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a c 177 U Graphics card
June 11, 2012 2:33:36 AM

Fantastik is incorrect, 80% is the efficiency so 20% is turned to heat/wasted. A psu should supply the rating it says but takes more from the wall. So a 350w 80 plus can take 420w off the wall but only 350w is going to the components. It gets more complicated because some psu say peak and not sustain watts and then there is also amps which is the actual power output. A x V = W You also don't want to go 100% of the total power rating unless you like killing psus. Around 75% is all you want to max out at.

Psu calculators can give you an idea but you should take some advice from actual people. If a card uses more power, it doesn't mean it's better performance. You could just make it simple and let experienced people pick a gpu for you. What is your budget?

BTW this is what I use to get actual power usage. http://forums.atomicmpc.com.au/index.php?showtopic=264 But you need to take into account all components so still recommend you get advice from knowledgeable people.
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a c 99 U Graphics card
June 11, 2012 3:32:25 AM

+1^

Taking into account all the other components as well as the graphics card is a necessity.
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a c 255 U Graphics card
June 11, 2012 5:25:10 AM

Here is the list of manufacturer recommended power for each card.

http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page362.htm

This does assume a generic power supply so if you have a quality brand such as Corsair, Seasonic, PC Power and Cooling, XFX, Silverstone, Enermax, OCZ or Antec you can generally get by with less since a quality unit will produce over the rated power.


Since you have an odd 490w power supply? I am going to assume it's not a high quality model and would recommend you stick with a card that recommends well under 500 watts. What model is the power supply?
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a c 255 U Graphics card
June 12, 2012 2:14:51 AM

The bad news is that Coolermaster is not a brand to trust when it comes to power supplies and the Extreme Power Plus is one of their worst lines. The are junk that can not deliver their rated power.

Anandtech is one of the best hardware review sites on the internet but they are not considered one of the best power supply testing sites. They do some reviews though and this one may interest you. They did a 20 way comparison of power supplies between 200-450 watts. One power supply blew up during testing. Want to guess which one?

http://www.anandtech.com/show/2697/45

" Somewhat interesting to note is that there was only one fatality during testing: the Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus didn't make it to 100% load and left this world with a loud bang."

Ouch. I have to recommend you junk that thing before it damages other components in your computer. Stick with the brands I listed above. You can get a very good model from a quality brand for as cheap or cheaper than some truly aweful brands you would think are good like Coolermaster and Thermaltake. The do cases and cooling well but their power supplies are junk.

If you list a budget and where you are buying from I will be happy to look and find you a good GPU/PSU combo.
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a c 99 U Graphics card
June 12, 2012 2:22:33 AM

There is one PSU series that I favor from Cooler Master. It's the silent pro gold series. It is much better compared to the other lines/series of PSU's that Cooler Master has. Amazon, has also positive reviews (although not numerous, but mostly positive). But yes other brands, are most well noted. A couple of brands I trust is Corsair, Seasonic, and Antec.
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June 12, 2012 3:04:09 AM

You started with "The bad news is..".. I kept reading waiting to find "but the good news is.." :( 

Okay.. GPUwise, and after reviewing the links you guys kindly posted, I'm leaning toward the Radeon HD 6770.. its performance and cost looks okay.. and power consumption also looks good.

I'm started to think the whole thing again.. but just to get your idea, is using this card with my current PSU totally out of the question??.. one of my friends uses an HD4770 on his cooler master 350W.. according to the links above, there is about 20w difference in under-load power consumption..
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a c 99 U Graphics card
June 12, 2012 3:19:05 AM

No, it's not out of the question. We don't know your full specs, is it alright for you to list out your desktop specs? There may be others options to pair with your CPU.
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a c 255 U Graphics card
June 12, 2012 3:44:54 AM

The most important thing when considering a power supply is the amps delivered on the 12v rail. This is where the CPU and GPU power comes from. The other rails provide power to RAM and the hard drives and fans and other very low drain devices. More on this coming up.

Ok the first bad thing about your power supply is the actual manufacturer is AcBel Polytech. Or Chinese firecracker brand number one as I like to call them.

The second bad thing is that it only delivers 18 amps on the 12v rail. Since volts x amps = watts that means it can deliver 216 watts on the 12v rail. This is consistent with a good 250w power supply.

There is a 350w version of the exact same Coolermaster Extreme Power Plus line that is made by Solytech that delivers 23 amps on the 12v rail meaning that model can supply 276 watts on the 12v rail. This is closer to what a quality power supply should provide.

Now a very low end power supply from a quality manufacturer. The Antec BP300 made by Delta Electronics. This very budget 300w power supply also provides 23 amps on the 12v rail. Meaning it can supply 276 watts there just like the overrated Coolermaster 350w EPP.

So as you can see by my long winded example a quality unit can provide most of it's power on the 12v rail. Quality brands can provide their rated power continuously while junk brands list peak power that can only be achieved for a short time.


So to the point. You basically have a 250w power supply. Since AMD and Nvidia assume you have a generic power supply in those listed requirements you might can even go up to thinking you have a 300w power supply. I would not trust a card asking for more than that to what you have now though.



Ok some good news. For an HD 5770/6770 you only need a recommended 450w power supply. A good solid unit will only cost you in the $35 range.

For $35 after rebate this is a first class unit made by Seasonic ( a very good thing ). My first choice.

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

For $37 with no rebate this is also a very good unit. My second choice.

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

And last a still solid unit at $35.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a c 177 U Graphics card
June 13, 2012 1:45:19 AM

The cx430 is actually made by cwt not seasonic. And is now $20 after rebate and $5 promo code. It's also a tier 3 which is solid, that is it. I'd recommend you get a new psu too if you want a new gpu. As anort pointed out you only have 216w on your 12v rails.
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a c 255 U Graphics card
June 13, 2012 1:54:30 AM

Crap you are right. The 400CX was made by Seasonic. The 430CX V2 is still very good.

http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page447.htm

Not so sure I agree with that model being in tier 3 either with a 9 from jonnyguru and a Golden award from HardwareSecrets. I think it's in tier 3 just from being only 80+ rated.
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June 14, 2012 12:16:58 AM

Okay guys.. it looks like there is no other option but to get a decent PSU..
the problem is that the local market here is limited.. and the most popular brands (in the below-600w) are the cooler master and the Thermaltake.. the 430CX is actually available but it goes for $55 here, and getting it from newegg will end up costing me more, adding shipping and customs. also, I think if I'm buying, I should get at least 500w piece for future upgrades..
The CM silent pro is available, but it looks like CM is widely hated, so I'd have to look some more..
My desk is actually topless right now :p  .. my main board is dead and I'm now buying a mainboard, a decent GPU, upgrading my RAM.. and now I'd have to replace the PSU as well..
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June 14, 2012 12:37:11 AM

Hi guys.. what exactly is the different between regular PSUs, and the ones that say V2
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a c 255 U Graphics card
June 14, 2012 1:05:53 AM

A V2 is just a version 2. So there was an original model that has been updated in some way.
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June 14, 2012 1:24:57 AM

okay so whats the verdict on this psu??
http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=248&area=...

500w with a 34amps on the 12v cable..

I actually was asking about what appears to be the version, but I was meaning to ask about the +12V2 column I keep finding on PSUs specs. check out the link above
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a c 255 U Graphics card
June 14, 2012 1:59:01 AM

Silverstone power supplies are excellent.

What you are seeing is 12v rails. Some power supplies distribute power over multiple 12v rails and some have a single rail. It makes no difference to the components plugged into it as the power is automatically distributed to where it is needed with either design. Neither design is better than the other.
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a c 177 U Graphics card
June 14, 2012 3:46:58 AM

CM isn't widely hated, just the version you have. The cm silent and gold pro series are good. If you can find a silverstone ef series at the same price, even better. If you are looking at a website please share.

The cx430 is a 9 on an entry level scale at which it was scored at for jonnyguru. But vs an enthusiast quality psu, it can't match it and gets its place in tier 3. I'd say it's more of a 2b but that's just me.
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June 14, 2012 5:35:55 AM

Actually I'm calling local retailers.. I found some fair under 600w PSUs.. OCZ XFX and other. but I'm glad that I learnt about the multiple 12v rails design.. I dismissed several PSUs when I saw 12v/18A. :p 
Okay guys, regarding of the wattage difference, which one is best the previous SS EF. or this OCZ PSU (the 600W version)?
http://www.ocztechnology.com/ocz-gamexstream-600w-700w-...

SS vs OCZ.. the OCZ apparently is not 80+ certified.

We're not finished yet, but I feel the need to say THANKS again guys.. I really appreciated the time and effort you're spending answering my questions.. I'm learning a lot.
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a c 255 U Graphics card
June 14, 2012 6:30:11 AM

I would go with the Silverstone myself. That is an older OCZ model and like you said it's not even 80+ certified.
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a c 177 U Graphics card
June 16, 2012 5:24:20 PM

The ocz fits in the same tier as your cm. Any xfx in your price range?
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June 19, 2012 11:22:31 PM

Thank you guys for your responses.. I'm taking a few days off cuz I got the flue. and I they said that some new PSUs are going to arrive in a week.
XFX are also overpriced compared to the price elsewhere.. most of the good brands are overpriced if we are talking about PSUs 400w-650w.. seriously like %70-80 higher than newegg price !!

I'll keep you updated

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June 29, 2012 8:46:53 AM

Okay guys.. I Just got the Silverstone 500w with 34amps on the 12v rail.. price was oay compared to other brands with same specs. its just about $8 more espensive that the 500w CM extreme power plus, and $10 more than the Corsair 430w.

okay, so I was planning to get a radeon x770 gpu since they don't require a lot of power, using only about 80-105w on load.. So how high I can actually take this PSU? like is it safe to go with a GPU that pulls like 200-250w on load? (My system is pretty basic, aside from my 125w CPU.. 4 SATA devices, 4 fans.. the usual)

Also, How exactly can you tell if you are loading too much on your PSU? (aside from the PSU blowing up. THANKS anort3 :whistle:  ) like how do these review-websites calculate how much power the system consume and how much power the PSU produce.. Are there any computer benchmark software that can do that?
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a c 255 U Graphics card
June 29, 2012 4:46:54 PM

The big user of power in any modern system is the graphics card. Without a card you can easily get by on ~250 watts. Now that you have a quality power supply you don't have to worry. I posted this above but here it is again.

List of power needed for a whole system with every graphics card.

http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page362.htm
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a c 177 U Graphics card
June 30, 2012 12:23:16 AM

You can go with any single gpu on the market with your specs and that psu now. So the question is how much do you want to spend?
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June 30, 2012 10:28:44 AM

okay thank you guys.. I did check this link, anort3.. I just wanted to make sure that I'm free to take the power consumption out of the equation (well not totally, I'm green), and concentrate on price and performance.

Guys, is it true that a mainboard with an integrated graphic processor have more chance to burn out than a regular one? (I read that online on some forum)
I buy mainboards with IGPs since forever, even when I plan to use an internal graphics device,in case any problem with the GPU.. but my last mobo which had an IGP burnt out. I'm wondering if the IGP was a factor.
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a c 177 U Graphics card
July 1, 2012 5:14:48 PM

7770 isn't really a good performance/$ as other cards. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car... Anyways here's a hierarchy chart of performance, the pages before are best price/performance suggestions but the prices are probably different where you are.

Igpu or not isn't an issue. If it isn't being used there's no power to it which means it won't affect anything else. I hope this question didn't come up because you want a new mobo, that would be a waste of money. If you want to upgrade the cpu, any new igpu is now on the cpu anyways. And the same applies there, it doesn't really affect anything.
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July 2, 2012 11:58:58 AM

Good point, k1114.
Actually yes, I'm buying a new motherboard, and the price of a mobo with an IGP is not, I'd say, any difference from a one without.. in fact, If I'm going with a mobo with an IGP, it'd cost less since I'm using AMD, and all the mobos with IGPs are older and less expensive.

Regarding GPUs price/performance value, I noticed, in my local market at least, that GTX cards are usually more expensive than Radeon cards.. and looking at benchmark charts over the internet I noticed that even that Radeon cards are usually less expensive, they have less power consumption, perform better than their equal price GTX cards.
For example, the 6850 is less expensive than GTX 465, 560.. but it looks like it performs slightly better..

Why is that?? is that because GTX cards have more room for overclocking, so, by OCing it you can get much better value? (I'm just guessing here)
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