Do you want to know what power supply do I need for my gaming PC? You are on the right place to know the answer of this question.
Choosing a power supply for a gaming PC depends too much on the graphics card. In this article we are going to explain in depth the power and quality requirements of the main GPUs on the market. Let’s see it!
The Power Supply Essential for your Gaming PC
The power supply is an absolutely essential component for your gaming PC. If it is not of sufficient quality, you will suffer from shutdown problems when you are playing games. It could even “kill” your graphics card and other components.
That is why we dedicate this article to analyze the requirements that a power supply should meet for the main.
What is Power and how should I choose it?
Power is another key concept in a gaming PC power supply, and it has a lot to do with the graphics card. We are talking about the “watts” of the source, which are nothing more than the capacity it has to power our components.
See Also: How much Power does a Gaming PC Consume
So, if our power supply has 550W, our computer should consume a lower amount in any situation.
When we play, there is the highest consumption, and this is mainly the fault of the graphics card. Therefore, the GPU is the component that normally determines the chosen power.
And how should we choose the power of the power supply of our gaming PC based on the graphics card?
Well, basically we can check the consumption of the GPU (normally the reviews give the consumption of the complete equipment), and apply a reasonable margin of 50-100W.
This is what applies to almost all GPUs. We will see in this article there are other factors to take into account, such as the consumption peaks of current high-end graphics.
Requirements for Power Supply for your Gaming PC
We have already given you a basic introduction to what power is, but here we must also take into account various quality parameters that must be ensured.
It is of no use to us that the source is of sufficient power or even more than enough, if then the source is of poor quality. Keep in mind that bad sources lie in the offered power, it is simply a crude manipulation.
See Also: How to Choose Power Supply for Gaming PC
To detect that a source has good internal quality, it is best to pay attention to our PSU analysis, where we thoroughly check how the internal components are. In any case, there are other important quality markers:
- Although the 80 Plus certificate has nothing to do with quality, but with efficiency, it can be an indication that the source is at least decent. We recommend always buying a source with this certification, preferably with a Cybenetics certificate as well in the case of a mid-high or high-end graphics card, unless the source is Gold.
- Another good indication is that it appears in our guide to the best power supplies on the
- Quality sources offer a manufacturer’s own guarantee of 5, 7, 10 or even 12 years. Not all of these are good sources, but it is a necessary condition.
- The included connectors must be according to the power. For example, no 750W power supply has only 2 or 3 PCI Express 6+2 pin connectors for the graphics card. It should have at least 4. If not, it’s probably a source with fake specifications.
- Learn about the brand. If you see that in the forums there are continuous warnings against him, run away. If you only see a few complaining despite being a “reputable” brand, keep in mind that it is normal for there to be some complaint (it never rains to everyone’s liking).
Choose the best Power Supply for your Gaming PC
We are already determined how to choose a high-quality power supply for our gaming PC, right? Well, now we only have to decide what is the appropriate power according to the graphics card that we are going to use. Let’s review this point.
What we will do is provide some recommendations for the most famous graphics card models of the moment: We will analyze more or less what the necessary power is and of what quality our power supply should be.
Recommendations will be based on a typical non-overclocked or slightly overclocked gaming rig and a mid-high end 6-8 core processor. For something different, you can consult a calculator like the one from be quiet.
Let’s start by looking at the recommended power supply for GPUs like the AMD Radeon RX 580 8 GB, NVIDIA GTX 1650 Super, RTX 2060, or RTX 2060 Super. These are graphics cards that are not state-of-the-art, but are still widely sold and widely used.
See Also: How to Measure PC Power Consumption
If we take a look at the peak consumption of just the graphics card, we see the following:
- RX580: 210W
- GTX 1650 SUPER: 105W
- RTX 2060: 170W
- RTX 2060 SUPER: 190W
This, in terms of the complete team, translates on average the approximate values in games between 170W and 300W.
Even with a reasonable margin, we can firmly say that a 450W power supply is more than enough for these graphics cards. Even for the RX 580, as we’ve had over 5 years to prove it.
Of course, if we go for a mid-range or mid-low range source. Taking into account the small price differences there are, it makes a lot of sense to buy a 550W or even 650W source.
But, between a “Bronze” option of that power, and”Gold” of 450W, we would probably stay with the latter.
What is the problem of choosing a power supply for a gaming PC, depending on the graphics card? Well, not only does it come to us by taking into account current needs, but we must also think about future needs.
You may want a better graphics card in a few years, and this justifies choosing more power. But it is also true that it does not justify choosing less quality.
If we really want a power supply that will last for many futures GPU upgradation, we should not only choose “extra power”, but also extra quality.
This means that we have to spend more than necessary on a source for a mid-range or mid-low range equipment. Therefore, assess whether thinking so much about the future is worth it or not.
Let’s go now with the quintessential mid-range graphics of this generation, such as the AMD RX 6600 XT, NVIDIA RTX 3060 and 3060 Ti, and their recommended source. As before, let’s see the peak consumption that we found, based on Techpowerup data:
- RX6600XT: 220W
- RTX 3060: 190W
- RTX 3060Ti: 215W
Remember that we are talking about only a peak consumption of the GPU, not an average consumption. What would be the average consumption of the complete equipment, we can extract it from our reviews, where we see values between 230W and 320W.
See Also: Does the Number of Fans on GPU Matter
With these results, we clearly see that a 550W power supply could be more than enough. We recommend for these GPUs at least 550W and to be able to be a good Gold source.
We also highlight that for the RTX 3050 a 550W source is ideal, and it should also be more than enough with 450W. The same goes for models below the RX 6600 XT.
We upped the ante by reaching mid-high and high-end graphics cards, such as the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, 3070 Ti and 3080.
Representing AMD, we put the RX 6800 XT. What power requirements will we see? This is where we begin to talk more seriously about consumption peaks.
Looking at peak consumption data, we see:
- NVIDIA RTX 3070: 300W
- RTX 3070Ti: 380W
- RTX 3080: 410W
- RX6800XT: 370W
In our tests, we see on average for the entire team between 330W and 420W. This means that here the peaks of consumption gain importance, so to take care of ourselves in health, the best is a source of at least 750W.
This amount is enough for any of these 4 graphics cards, and in fact for an RTX 3070 there should be no problem with 650W.
In addition, it is essential to choose a good quality power supply. They are graphics cards with very high prices, not spending at least $100 on the source is practically a crime. We recommend, for quality-price balance, the Corsair RM750 and RM850.
We enter the highest-end graphics cards on the market today, which need a fairly powerful power supply. According to Techpowerup data, consumption peaks can be huge:
- NVIDIA RTX 3080 Ti: 420W
- RTX 3090: 460W
- RTX 3090Ti: 530W
- RX6900XT: 620W
- RX6950XT: 530W
And, based on our analysis, we are talking about consumption of the complete equipment of between 440 and 590W on average.
Once again, peak consumption is becoming more relevant and noticeable. So, we have already moved on to a source recommendation of at least 850W, and of the best possible quality.
The RMs that we mentioned before are more than enough, but we can even consider 1000W of power.
What Power Supply do I need for my Gaming PC
And what about the future graphics cards that are about to be released? For now, NVIDIA and AMD estimate in their roadmaps that future high-end graphics will consume even more than current ones.
See Also: How to Update your Graphics Card Drivers
This leads us to think that we are going to need 850W or even 1000W sources for a future “RTX 4090” or “RTX 5090”, for example.
This is because while energy efficiency (performance per W) is improved, not enough is done considering the demand for more performance.
That is, if they manage to increase efficiency by 10%, but are forced to increase performance by 30% in response to the needs of a new generation, consumption inevitably rises.
The problem is that we cannot guarantee 100% that a good bet on the current future will be valid for a few years.
This is partly due to ATX 3.0 power supplies, of which there is hardly any availability and which might become necessary with GPUs.
Choosing a power supply for your gaming PC is a very simple process when we talk about low-end or mid-range models.
With almost any GPU that we can imagine, 550W or 650W is more than enough power. We only have to worry about choosing a source of decent quality.
For example, for an RTX 3060 or 3060 Ti, a decent power supply with that power would be more than recommended.
However, when we get into the higher-end GPUs, the difficulties of choice grow. With graphics cards like the RTX 3080 or the RX 6800 XT, we enter a field where the recommendation becomes at least 750W, and of very good quality.
No basic Bronze fonts, we are talking about graphics cards with a fairly high price. If we enter the TOP field, with the RTX 3090 Ti or the RX 6950 XT, the 850W are necessary, and we can even talk about 1000W.
When we enter what the future of GPUs will be, we see a stark picture for high-end graphics cards: It seems that they will consume, on their own, even 600W or more.
For those cases, start thinking about a source of at least 1000W, but keep in mind that it might not work due to the appearance of new connectors on graphics cards.
Finally, remember that you can ask us any questions about the power supply your gaming PC needs in the comments.
Zahid Khan Jadoon is an Interior Decorator, Designer and a specialized Chef and loves to write about home appliances and food. Right now he is running his interior designing business along with a managing a restaurant. Also in his spare time he loves to write about home and kitchen appliances.