Since the Nvidia Ampere Keynote, we've known the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 are going to be absolute power suckers, Nvidia itself recommends a bare minimum of a 750W power supply for the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090, but you'll need larger power supplies for some systems. Our testing backs that up, too; we observed up to a 335W average power draw from just the 3080. This means many of us will need new power supplies, unfortunately right during a PSU shortage that has sent pricing skyward on some models (more on that shortly).
However, current platform-level power supply recommendations for Ampere systems are somewhat vague, with CPUs these days varying in power consumption significantly. Asus is attempting to rectify the issue with a chart explaining what PSU wattage requirements you really need for your specific Ampere GPU + CPU platform. (It also included a PSU table for Turing.)
Power Supply Requirements for Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090
For the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 PSU requirements, you'll want a 750W power supply if you pair the card with a mainstream Core i5/i7 processor or Ryzen 5/7 CPU. That requirement jumps to 850W for Intel Core i9 and Ryzen i9 chips, with a peak of 1000W for Intel HEDT and AMD Threadripper platforms.
Power Supply Requirements for Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
Mainstream Core i5/i7 and Ryzen i5/i7 system PSU requirements stay the same at 750W for the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 as they are for the RTX 3090. However, you only need an 850W power supply for HEDT/Threadripper and Core i9/Ryzen 9 platforms.
Power Supply Requirements for Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070
Finally, for the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 PSU requirements, you'll "only" need 650W for Core i5/i7 & Ryzen 5/7 systems, 750W for Core i9/Ryzen 9 systems, and 850W for HEDT/Threadripper platforms.
Power Supply Shortage 2020 - Causes and Impact
Ampere's increased power consumption requirements is going to be a shock for system builders – up until now, Nvidia has tended to keep power the same but push the performance envelope as high as possible (cards like the GTX 750 Ti and GTX 1070 are good examples). But Nvidia's unorthodox strategy with Ampere puts performance over power consumption, which will push a lot of PC builders toward upgrading their PSU.
If only it were that easy. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, power supply volume has been at an all-time low, causing stock outages and prices to rise on some models. We touched upon the topic a month ago, and the cause of the PSU shortage is a multi-pronged issue:
- The desktop PC market grew faster than expected due to everyone working from home
- The pandemic paralyzed China's production for a few months
- Shipping products via plane became three times more expensive due to the pandemic
Looking at 750W power supply listings on Newegg.com, it appears that stock for PSUs is okay today, but prices are still over-inflated on most units. So if you're one of those unlucky people that don't have a qualifying unit to compliment your RTX 3080, be prepared to pay even more for your RTX 3080 upgrade than what you see on the GPUs sticker.
Supply chain issues can take months to resolve, and we may not be in the worst of the power supply shortage yet. Given the current state of the market and the expected rush of new PSU orders as enthusiasts build out new Ampere systems, it's possible we could see the supply situation worsen, or pricing increase further. We'll update as necessary.