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Old 11-24-08, 09:04 PM   #1
cairastravis
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Default Power supply for use with GTX 260?

I'm planning an upgrade to a GTX 260, and I'm pretty sure my existing power supply won't cut it, so I'd like to know what kind of power supply I realistically need.

My system is a Dell XPS 420 (which has a 375 watt power supply, at least according to the intertubes) with a Q9300, 4GB, and 2 hard drives. Any recommendations would be appreciated.
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Old 11-24-08, 09:29 PM   #2
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Default Re: Power supply for use with GTX 260?

You'll need at least a 550w, preferably 600. Good name brand like Silverstone, Seasonic, FPS Group, Corsair, etc. Try to stay away from dual 12v rail models.
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Old 11-24-08, 09:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: Power supply for use with GTX 260?

I run a 535W Enermax, no problems, also running 2 DVD burners, 3 HDDs, and an Audigy 2 ZS with a C2D 8400@3.6GHz and 4GB of RAM.

It depends alot on the brand and specs more than the raw wattage numbers.
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Old 11-25-08, 12:10 AM   #4
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Default Re: Power supply for use with GTX 260?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xion X2 View Post
You'll need at least a 550w, preferably 600. Good name brand like Silverstone, Seasonic, FPS Group, Corsair, etc. Try to stay away from dual 12v rail models.
I just opened up my old computer, and discovered it has the following 600W power supply:



Obviously it has dual 12V rails, but I already own it. So, have power supplies changed much since '06?

Thanks.
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Old 11-25-08, 01:06 AM   #5
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Default Re: Power supply for use with GTX 260?

I'm running my new one on a 450w...
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Old 11-25-08, 03:44 AM   #6
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Default Re: Power supply for use with GTX 260?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cairastravis View Post
I just opened up my old computer, and discovered it has the following 600W power supply:



Obviously it has dual 12V rails, but I already own it. So, have power supplies changed much since '06?

Thanks.
There are more single rail psu's available now to better work with the power hungry hardware available and sli/crossfire. Multi rail psu's are not as effective. Lets say you have three 12v lines each rated at 20a, this does not equal 60a on the 12v, in reality it's more close to 50a.

Let's take the picture you have there as an example:
Watt is Volt times Ampere. You have a dual rail system, 12v listed at 18 and 20a (38a)
That's peak performance. Since they list how much watt is dedicated to the 12v lines we can calculate the real performance on the 12v lines: 420w/12v= 35a

So lets say you max out the 20a line then you will only have 15a available on the second, or if you max out the 18a line you have 17a on the rail rated at 20.

-----

A psu also loses its power as it gets older. So a psu that is a few years old might have lost 20% of its output.
Heat is also an issue the hotter the psu is less power it can provide, so it's a bad idea to cut it close due to both heat and age of the psu.

nVidia recommends a 500w minimum with 36a available on the 12v lines (432w dedicated to 12v). This is for the whole system.

According to benchmarks i've seen the gtx 260 can peak at 320w alone

EDIT: Good quality PSUs will not degrade in performance as much as a bad quality one.
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Old 11-25-08, 11:32 AM   #7
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Default Re: Power supply for use with GTX 260?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EciDemon View Post
There are more single rail psu's available now to better work with the power hungry hardware available and sli/crossfire. Multi rail psu's are not as effective. Lets say you have three 12v lines each rated at 20a, this does not equal 60a on the 12v, in reality it's more close to 50a.

Let's take the picture you have there as an example:
Watt is Volt times Ampere. You have a dual rail system, 12v listed at 18 and 20a (38a)
That's peak performance. Since they list how much watt is dedicated to the 12v lines we can calculate the real performance on the 12v lines: 420w/12v= 35a

So lets say you max out the 20a line then you will only have 15a available on the second, or if you max out the 18a line you have 17a on the rail rated at 20.
Thanks for the details. At least now I know why a single rail PSU is better, and I'll definitely keep that in mind.


Quote:
Originally Posted by EciDemon View Post
nVidia recommends a 500w minimum with 36a available on the 12v lines (432w dedicated to 12v). This is for the whole system.
Do you know where this recommendation is? I couldn't find anything specific on their GTX 260 product page (other than 500W minimum power supply requirement). (It's not that I don't believe you, I just want to see what kind of caveats they list, if any.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by EciDemon View Post
According to benchmarks i've seen the gtx 260 can peak at 320w alone
How can nVidia claim 182W peak if it's really 320W? That's not even in the ballpark.

Assuming that 320W figure is correct, though, what happens if it doesn't get it? Crashes? Visual glitches? Note that I'm not going to ever go SLI. I don't game enough to justify the expense.

Thanks again for your detailed response. I really appreciate it.
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Old 11-26-08, 02:14 AM   #8
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Default Re: Power supply for use with GTX 260?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cairastravis View Post
Thanks for the details. At least now I know why a single rail PSU is better, and I'll definitely keep that in mind.


Quote:
Do you know where this recommendation is? I couldn't find anything specific on their GTX 260 product page (other than 500W minimum power supply requirement). (It's not that I don't believe you, I just want to see what kind of caveats they list, if any.)
http://www.evga.com/products/moreInf...eries%20Family
Here for example they list 36a, it's also available on the box for the card under requirements.

Quote:
How can nVidia claim 182W peak if it's really 320W? That's not even in the ballpark.

Assuming that 320W figure is correct, though, what happens if it doesn't get it? Crashes? Visual glitches? Note that I'm not going to ever go SLI. I don't game enough to justify the expense.
About the 320w on the card alone, that was my bad I'm sorry about that. Some of the review sites don't make it fully clear how they measure. Here's one that do:
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/794/12/
So depending on your other components this could peak higher or lower (total system that is)

If your card don't get the juice it requires then you can get bad performance, random crashes. Or even no post at all.

PSU's are often overlooked as cause of system instability when in fact it's a very central and important piece of equipment. If you read many of the support threads on these forums where people ask why there computer crashes or behaves strange you will see the counter question is often "What psu do you have?" and it often boils down to the psu as well.

I've red my fair share of psu articles over the years, even so I felt very unsure my 600w would handle the gtx 260 I orderd (see: Psu good enugh for 260 core 216? )

I picked up my card yesterday from the post office, I decided to give it a try and it did work just fine. I detected no abnormal slowdowns or instability, even so I'm considering getting a better quality psu next month. I'll sleep better and hopefully it will be more future proof.

Hope this clarifies some
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Old 11-26-08, 02:50 AM   #9
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Default Re: Power supply for use with GTX 260?

Minimum 600W. I plan on picking up a 750W soon. Remember, do NOT go cheap on a PSU! You'll regret it, if you do!

I'm running my current rig on a 500W Antec NeoHE.

EDIT: This is the one I'm getting; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817341011
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Old 11-26-08, 10:03 AM   #10
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Default Re: Power supply for use with GTX 260?

As I have mention before get a power supply that is made of top quaility and puts out around 60amps on the 12v rail.I have had better luck with single rail 12v power supplies,like the SilverStone OP 750 watts,or the Corsair 750watts and the PC Power and cooling 750watt.
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Old 10-11-10, 04:40 AM   #11
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Default Re: Power supply for use with GTX 260?

Thanks for sharing. I believe it's also important to know that the power supply won't be cut because it might cause damage on your devices. That's also the reason why I put UPS in my servers and PCs at home.
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