Are you considering buying a new graphics card but are unsure if your power supply (PSU) can handle it? And looking for How to tell if your PSU can handle a Graphics card? This blog post will teach you how to tell if your PSU can handle a graphics card and provide some tips on what to do if it can’t.
PSU is the most crucial hardware component of your PC. It supplies the specifically required voltage to each hardware. Therefore, it needs to be powerful enough to meet the demands of your system while providing consistent performance. Otherwise, you may experience hardware crashes and damage.
How To Tell If Your PSU Can Handle a Graphics Card?
Here is the answer:
You can tell by calculating your computer system’s total power consumption, including the GPU. Your PSU will easily handle the GPU if the total calculated wattage is under your current power supply output. But if it’s not, you will have to buy a new and compatible PSU for your graphics card.
An average GPU requires 100 to 250 Watts of power. GPUs are divided into three main categories according to their power consumption. Entry-level GPUs consume less wattage, moderate or mid-range GPUs that consume more than 150 wattages, and high-end GPUs that require more than a 300-watt power supply.
|Entry Level GPU||Moderate GPU||High-End GPU|
|80 – 100 Watts||150 – 250 Watts||250 – 350 Watts|
If your total system power consumption (including the graphics card) is more than 800W, you will need to invest in a more powerful power supply. However, any power supplies rated at 850W and above would be sufficient for your GPU and computer system.
Here is how you can calculate PSU for your GPU:
- Do web research and see how much power each of your SSD, Case fans, Cooler, and RAM takes.
- Now visit the GPU’s manufacturer’s site or user manual and look for its power consumption.
- Count how many RAMs and SSDs you have and Add up their wattages and the wattages consumed by your GPU.
GPU (Graphics Card) = 170 Watts
6 RAMs = 9 Watts
2 SSDs = 50 Watts
4 RGB fans = 250
1 Cooler = 180
Other Hardware = 15 Watts
The sum is 674 Watts which means you need a PSU of more than 700 Watts, and that will be 800 Watts PSU. Similarly, if the sum is about 800 watts, you will need an 850 watts PSU. A well-calculated PSU expands the life of your computer system and increases the performance of your computer.
You can also use Online Power Supply Calculator to do all the above calculations. You just have to enter the number of fans, coolers, Graphic card, CPU, and other devices and click calculate. It will automatically calculate the required PSU for your system.
How To Know If My PSU Is Compatible For GPU?
The best way to know if your PSU is compatible with the GPU is to check the supported pin connectors, whether it supports 6-Pin connectors or 8-Pin connectors. If your PSU has 6-Pin connectors, but your GPU supports 8-Pin, it won’t support your GPU. You also have to calculate the power requirement of your GPU.
What Happens If PSU Is Too Weak for GPU?
If your PSU is too weak for the GPU, it can cause hardware damage and crashes. In addition, the PSU might not be able to provide enough power to the GPU and other components, which can lead to unstable performance or even a system shutdown. Here are some negative effects your PSU can have on GPU:
1. High GPU Temperature:
If your PSU is too weak for the GPU, it causes voltage fluctuations in the GPU, which leads to high temperatures. In addition, the GPU fan will not be able to cool down the GPU due to a limited power supply from the PSU, and the fans won’t be able to spin fast enough. Both these phenomenon leads to high temperature in GPU.
Visit our blog “Does a PSU Affect CPU and GPU Temperature” to know how PSU affects the GPU temperature and how you can protect it.
2. Component Damage:
As GPU is highly dependent on PSU because each component of GPU requires a specific amount of voltage, a weak PSU won’t be able to supply enough voltage, which may lead to component damage.
3. GPU Fan Error:
The most common and first error your GPU will show is the slow fan speed error. GPU fan is the component that requires most of the power. The power shortage first affects your GPU fan. To check whether the fan is running normally, you can use online tools like MSI Afterburn or Corsair iCUE.
4. Sudden Black Screen:
Low power to GPU causes it to suddenly crash and display failure. If you are running a high rendering application or game and your GPU crashes suddenly, it might be a power shortage. As GPUs require more power during energy-efficient tasks. Try to change your PSU to avoid this issue.
5. Flickering Display:
If your display starts flickering with increasing GPU fan speed, your GPU is not getting enough power. As it invests all its power to run fans; as a result, your display starts flickering.
6. Unstable FPS and Benchmark Scores:
Unstable FPS and benchmark scores directly indicate power shortage in your GPU. Benchmarks scores are the overall performance scores of your GPU; if these scores show high fluctuation, then your PSU is not supplying enough power to GPU to run at its full capacity.
To prevent these issues and protect your GPU, you should always keep an eye on the power consumption of your graphics card. If you think your PSU is not providing enough power to your GPU, replace it with a more powerful one.
Do All GPUs Require PSU?
Not all GPUs require a PSU to supply power. For example, GPUs like AMD 7000 series and Nvidia 7 series can be powered by the PCI Express slot on your motherboard. However, these GPUs are usually less powerful and unsuitable for gaming or other intensive applications.
If you want to get the most out of your gaming or graphics-intensive applications, you’ll need to buy a big and much better GPU. Unfortunately, it will also require a high wattage power supply.
What To Look for When Buying a New PSU for Your GPU?
The first thing to look for is a rating that shows how much power your PSU can supply. This will depend on the size of your computer case and the number of other devices that you want to connect to it. Here is the list of things you have to keep in mind while buying a new PSU for your GPU.
Makes sure it is compatible with your motherboard and other hardware devices like SATA and 4-Pin Atx supported devices.
2. Quality Power Cables:
All power cables must be of excellent quality to avoid any hardware damage. Poor quality power cables lead to low voltage supply; as a result, your system hardware is damaged.
3. Choose the Best Brand:
Always choose the best and most reputable company to buy PSU. Do not consider money over quality; if you Buy a poor quality, PSU will not only damage your PC but also decreases the lifespan of all hardware components. So, always try to buy an 80 Plus certification power supply for your computer system.
4. Easy to Install:
Cable management of PSU is most important if you have a customized computer system. You don’t want the power cables to swing around in front of your motherboard. So, when selecting PSU, try your best to buy one that’s easy to set up and has long cable connections so you can hide them under the motherboard.
Don’t buy any PSU that does not have a warranty. An average good quality PSU has a minimum of 3 years of warranty. So avoid buying any PSU without a warranty as it may be an old or expired PSU.
5 Best Universal PSUs for Any GPU
There are some multi-purpose PSUs that can work with any GPU. These PSUs are often more expensive than regular PSUs, but they offer better compatibility and performance. Some of the best universal PSUs for any GPU include:
1. Corsair CX450
This 450-watt power supply is 80 PLUS Bronze certified PSU with a 12-volt ATX form factor. It comes with 5 years of warranty and is best for multipurpose power supply use.
2. Cooler Master V750 Gold V2
750 Watt 80 Plus certified Cooler Master V750 Gold V2 supports almost all graphic cards and motherboards. With 2x EPS, 4x PCIe quality cables provide a reliable power connection to your GPU. It comes with 10 years of ultimate warranty.
3. Corsair RM850x
If you are looking for the best value for money, Corsair RM850x is an excellent PSU. With 850 Watts of power and 80 PLUS Gold and Cybernetics Gold certification RM850x provides a complete solution for your PSU problems. It also comes with 10 years of warranty.
4. Corsair AX1000
With 1000 Watts of ultimate power, Corsair AX1000 is best for GPU crossfire. Approved ETA-A+ with 80 PLUS Titanium certification. It gives you 2x EPS and 8x PCIe connections and has 10 years of warranty.
5. Corsair SF750
This 750 Watts Cybernetics Platinum tested PSU is a fully modular PSU with years of warranty. It offers up to 4 peripheral devices and data connections and stable 8 and 6-pin GPU connector options.
A Graphics card can be a great addition to your computer, but only if you have the right PSU. Therefore, before purchasing a graphics card, it’s important to determine whether or not your power supply unit (PSU) is up for the job. This article outlines the steps you need to take to figure out if your PSU can handle a new graphics card. If you follow these instructions and still aren’t sure whether or not your PSU can handle a graphics card upgrade, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.