Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) or graphics card is one of the most essential pieces of hardware in a computer system. It is responsible for providing us with the display through the monitors and performing calculations on graphics of games and apps. Power Supply Unit (PSU) is the power source for the GPUs.
In this article, we will discuss whether you can use a separate PSU for GPU or not. Not only this will also discuss the need for a PSU for a GPU or graphics card in your computer system. In addition to this, we will throw light on the other aspects regarding CPU and GPU. Let’s start our topic with the answers.
Can I Use a Separate PSU for GPU?
You can use a separate PSU (power supply unit) for your GPU (graphics processing unit) or graphics card. It is common among high-end and professional gamers to use a separate power supply, especially with multiple graphics cards. That is the only way to provide sufficient power to a GPU.
That is done when the graphics card installed in your motherboard has more power demands, and the power supply in your PC cannot fulfill them. As a result, the GPU becomes an underpowered graphics card that is always at risk of burning out. The PSU is at risk of burning out in this case of connection.
For connecting a separate PSU with your GPU, you need a “PSU Adapter Board.” A small electronic board connects an individual power supply to your graphics card. We will not recommend that this be connected permanently by the time you buy a new and more powerful power supply unit (PSU).
That is because you cannot close the case of your computer system after connecting the separate PSU with your GPU. The opened case will be dangerous not only for you but also for your family and pets. It is dangerous for your PC as well because not only the dust but also the water drops can cause a short circuit.
The process of connecting the PSU adapter board is straightforward. There are two sockets on this PCB (printed circuit board) opposite each other. The larger socket connects the separate PSU, while the smaller needs a MOLEX connector from the first power supply unit installed inside your computer system’s case.
- Make PC Safe
To make you and your PC safe and beautiful, we recommend upgrading your PSU instead of connecting a PSU adapter board. That is because, after installing the adapter board, you cannot close the PC case, which looks very messy. Secondly, the adapter boards are not meant to be used like this permanently.
- More PSU Power
If you want to use the first power supply for other computer hardware, such as motherboards, RAMs, SSDs, etc., and a separate PSU for just the GPU, then go ahead. It is possible and expected for some high-end computer users. You will need a PSU adapter board for this, by the way, for this connection.
- Sufficient GPU Power
Whether you upgrade the current power supply for your GPU or use a separate PSU, in both conditions, you ought to connect all the GPU connectors to your graphics card. That is the only way to provide your graphics card with sufficient and demanded power so it can work properly and efficiently.
In contradiction to this, if the power consumption demands of your GPU are more than the standard graphics card. And neither you connect all the connectors to it nor use a separate PSU, so your GPU is at the risk of becoming out of order. That is because it is an underpowered graphics card running on low power.
If you do not connect any power cable to your GPU, it will not let the computer start. And if you connect fewer power connectors, then it is possible that at a particular stage or process, your graphics card will demand more power and try to draw this power from the mobo frying it and the PSU for good.
Sufficient power will not only increase the performance and efficiency of your graphics card, but it will also increment other aspects of it. The first and most important effect will be on your games. You will experience higher graphics quality with more FPS or framerate that will help you win the game.
Not only this, but the graphics-intensive apps you use, such as Blender, Adobe Photoshop, Wondershare Filmora, etc., will also become smoother. Make sure your CPU is compatible with your GPU, and you have enough RAM installed. It is because the graphics card always works with the help of the CPU.
One Cable or Two For Powering a Graphics Card?
We recommend you connect both cables to power your graphics card because your GPU will have sufficient power to work correctly. It is highly recommended that you have a more powerful GPU installed in your high-end PC and your wand to use it for high-end computer-based tasks.
These tasks include extreme gaming, AAA game development, and testing, 3D modeling, animation and rendering, video editing and exporting, mining, etc. During such tasks, the graphics card draws more power, and when the PSU cords are not connected, the GPU starts to depend on the PCIe slot of your motherboard.
A PCIe slot is built for data and addresses, not for fulfilling most of the power demands of a high-power GPU. As a result, the PCIe slot, motherboard, GPU, or power supply pays the price by burning out. Hence, we suggest you connect all the GPU connectors to your GPU for better performance and lifetime.
Can Any PSU Work with Any GPU?
Every GPU requires a specific power supply with certain types of GPU power connectors and with a particular range of power. To check if your PSU is compatible with your GPU, first check if it has the same GPU power connectors as your graphics card requires. Your GPU can need a 4-pin, 6-pin, 8-pin connector, etc.
After the connectors have matched, you need to match the power rating of your computer’s PSU. Your graphics card must work appropriately without getting underpowered. For selecting the PSU for your GPU, you will have to add up the power consumption ratings of all the hardware in your PC.
This hardware includes your motherboard, RAMs, SSDs, keyboard, mouse, mic, and graphics card. The power supply you will upgrade should be more than the sum of the power of this hardware altogether. Such a power supply will provide the demanded power for all the hardware or devices in your PC.
The advantage of upgrading to a more powerful power supply is that it provides videos with the GPU demanded and makes your computer system expandable. In other words, you can add and upgrade your hardware, such as motherboard, GPU, CPU, SSDs, etc., without any problems in a computer with a higher PSU.
Can I Use 2 PSUs in 1 PC?
A standard PC case has a specific place for holding and installing only one PSU (power supply unit). The remaining space is occupied with other hardware such as motherboard, RAMs, CPU cooler, GPU, PSU cables, SATA data cables, etc. Thus, it is not possible to physically add two power supplies to a single PC.
But you can use the second PSU as an additional power supply for your GPU from the outside of your PC. For this, you will have to purchase a PSU adapter board and an electronic circuit connecting another PSU to the PC. This way, one of your PSUs will provide power to your GPU while the other will be to the other hardware.
You can follow this procedure to connect the second PSU to your PC using the PSU adapter. First, connect the MOLEX connector of your first PSU inside the PC case to the adapter board. Beware! This connector is different from the AMP power connector. On the larger socket, connect your second power supply.
Now you can connect the power cables from the second or external power supply to the hardware inside your PC, such as GPU, SSDs, HDDs, etc. To check whether the PSU adapter board is working, you must plug and power it into your computer system. A light will blink on the adapter. Do not touch the second PSU. It may cause a short circuit.
There are cons to this connection. First, you will be unable to close your PC case, which will look so bad. Secondly, you, your loved ones, and your pets will risk receiving an electric shock. Not only this, but your PC will also be at risk if the water drops on its GPU or motherboard.
To ensure your GPU will last long and get the best performance, you must connect all its connectors to the PSU. You should also select a power supply compatible with your graphics card to provide enough power for your PC’s hardware. It is impossible to install two PSUs inside one PC case, but with the help of an adapter board, you can connect two PSUs to your computer system.
Hey, I’m Hammad. I write for this website to help you with the IT advice about PC, RAM, CPU, Motherboard, PSU, and other PC components.
I will provide detailed guides with images, and explain step by step so you can understand the process. Check all my articles here.