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How Much Power Do I Need?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 17, 2012 1:13:12 PM

Sorry I didn't really know what other category to put this in.

I bought a gaming PC (too lazy to make one myself) and I have a decent medium/low end system.

But the 6670 I have doesn't cut it for me, I need more I realized, and I don't care about power or if it's loud.

I was wondering about the GTX 295, I think a lot of people forgot about this card because it uses so much power, but it still crushes a lot of newer cards in terms of performance.

Here are my specs:
i5-3450 @ 3.1ghz
600w power supply stock (nothing special about it)
ATI Radeon 6670 1gb
Windows 7 64-bit

I want to be able to run games like Farcry 3 or Crysis: Warhead at 1440x900 resolution (that's the resolution on the xbox 360, I know because I compared Skyrim at the same place and time on two display ports and it looks exactly the same)

So is my system good enough? Will my CPU bottleneck the GPU? Do I have an adequate power supply?

More about : power

July 17, 2012 1:36:47 PM

There's certainly nothing wrong with a GTX 295, so long as you get it for the right price. With the 295, you miss out on DX11, which is something I'd recommend you avoid if at all possible. DX11 really does make a fairly significant difference. The power consumption of the 295 (~300W at full load) worries me a bit; I think you'll need a more powerful power supply if you want long term reliability.
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a b Î Nvidia
July 17, 2012 1:43:41 PM

gtx 295 does not have DX11 and a lot of features that the 6670 does have, i would not recommend going for a video card so old.

that CPU is very good and will not bottleneck any of the recommended video cards:

6850
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
you will be able to run almost all games at that resolution with great quality.

if you have some more money you can go with something like
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
this will give you a lot of frames over the 6850

if you like Nvidia that card is awesome price/performance:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

About the PSU just make sure it is from a good brand, some psus are labeled as 600w but cant handle over 400w so check if your PSu is good for the good of your GPU.
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Related resources
July 17, 2012 1:50:04 PM

Ref, Power consumption: http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-295-review-bf...

Quote:
System in IDLE = 226 Watt
System with GPU in FULL Stress = 416 Watt

A GeForce GTX 295 requires you to have a 700 Watt power supply unit at minimum if you use it in a high-end system. That power supply needs to have (in total accumulated) at least 50 Amps available on the 12 volts rails.
END Quote

Alot depends on the quality of your "600 Watt" PSU. In many of the "store Bought" systems they skimp on the quality of the PSU - Politle way to say Junk. This means that as the PSU heats up it's output power capabilities drop off, sometimes as much as 40 %. Good PSUs are rated up to 40 C, Poor PSUs generally are only rated at ambient temp (22C).

Also concur with suggestions for a newer GPU, many of the newer cards, system requirements ate down to 300-> 350 Watts, so that generally a PSU of 500 W, or greater is fine - But always verify the quality of the PSU - Bad PSU can wipe out system components.
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July 17, 2012 1:51:07 PM

I don't really care for dx11 but I want a card that's at 200$ or less and it has to be an nvidia card, ATI cards are really lacking in pixel rate and I hate the microstutter I get sometimes. I have been looking around and I keep getting "item is out of stock and may not be restocked" D= wth? Did Nvidia stop supporting this card?
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July 17, 2012 1:53:52 PM

RetiredChief said:
Ref, Power consumption: http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-295-review-bf...

Quote:
System in IDLE = 226 Watt
System with GPU in FULL Stress = 416 Watt

A GeForce GTX 295 requires you to have a 700 Watt power supply unit at minimum if you use it in a high-end system. That power supply needs to have (in total accumulated) at least 50 Amps available on the 12 volts rails.
END Quote

Alot depends on the quality of your "600 Watt" PSU. In many of the "store Bought" systems they skimp on the quality of the PSU - Politle way to say Junk. This means that as the PSU heats up it's output power capabilities drop off, sometimes as much as 40 %. Good PSUs are rated up to 40 C, Poor PSUs generally are only rated at ambient temp (22C).


I knew it would be more than 700w. On another forum they were saying up to 650w is overkill and I didn't really know because I'm not keen on power consumption. Ty for telling me, so how much more than 700w would be enough?

I also saw the guru3d review, but never put all your eggs in one basket, I came here to this safehaven to get an honest answer.

I can however go up on my spending to 300$+ but what would I do? Buy a GTX 295 and a new PSU or get a newer Nvidia card?

As I said, power is nothing to me if it means ruling out options.
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Best solution

July 17, 2012 2:37:09 PM

I've found that looking at the GPU reviews come very close on True system power consumption - MUCH better than PSU calculators. They may be on the High side for an average system, But only by about 50 Watts under heavy load.

Yes a Quality 550 -> 650 Watt PSU would be fine. 400W/500W = 80 % so 500 Watt would be the Lowest end. Corsair TX PSUs are great. Pick a PSU and google a review of the PSU.
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July 17, 2012 2:39:40 PM

RetiredChief said:
I've found that looking at the GPU reviews come very close on True system power consumption - MUCH better than PSU calculators. They may be on the High side for an average system, But only by about 50 Watts under heavy load.

Yes a Quality 550 -> 650 Watt PSU would be fine. 400W/500W = 80 % so 500 Watt would be the Lowest end. Corsair TX PSUs are great. Pick a PSU and google a review of the PSU.


I beg you to not think me as naive, but you changed at how I look at PSU's + GPU's.

I thought that power was only important for not making your system burn on fire, but now I see it means that it could really hurt performance by not having enough power.

Is it also both? All I worry about is my computer overheating.
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July 17, 2012 3:26:05 PM


Not often a PSU causes a fire, But Low end PSUs do damage MBs, cpus, HDDs when they fail more often than a quality PSU will.

The diff between a Quality PSU and a "low" end PSU are:
1) Quality PSU = Full rated Power Under load. Low quality = Output power may drop off by 40 %. This means that a 600 Watt Low end PSU may only deliever about 360W. Causing BSODs/crashing and powering off
2) Better safty factors built in, Low quality may allow a High output, or low out put that can damage components. A quality PSU will turn OFF.
3) Higher quality = better regulation. This meand that the voltage will NOT drop when switching between Idle and Full load.
4) Much better ripple/noice rejection - means system will be more stable.
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July 17, 2012 3:50:31 PM

Best answer selected by anceintsz.
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July 17, 2012 3:50:32 PM

Ty man I understand a little more about PSU's now
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