Nvidia RTX 3000 GPU Power Supply Requirements

On 1st September, Nvidia hosted an event called GeForce Special Event where they introduced their ‘Ampere’ RTX 3000 series GPUs. The event page proclaimed it to be, “the biggest breakthrough in PC gaming since 1999”.

The highly anticipated RTX 3000 series graphic cards have provided considerable performance upgrades to the RTX 2000 series’ disappointing price to performance ratio. But with that increased performance, power consumption has also increased quite a bit. As a result, the power supply requirements for utilizing RTX 3000 series GPUS have gone up.

Ampere is the new GPU architecture of the RTX 3000 Series and is the successor to Nvidia’s Volta and Turing architectures. Nvidia says that this improvement in architecture has enabled them to achieve unprecedented performance leads.

It is Nvidia’s first 7nm architecture GPU which allows more transistors to be stuffed onto a compact region than the previous generations. It also embarks itself as the 2nd gen of ray tracing and 3rd gen of deep learning hardware. These specs provide a massive jump over from the RTX 2000 series.

But as mentioned above, the significantly higher increase in the performance of RTX 3000 GPUs have also come with considerably more power-consumption. If we compare the power stats of previous generations to the new Ampere powered GPUs, we can see that the Nvidia RTX 2080Ti had a power consumption of 250W-260W whereas their Titan series relied on 280W. But the RTX 3080 consumes 320W and the RTX 3090 consumes 350W. Therefore, below we have created a guide containing the power requirements of each of the RTX 3000 GPUs.  

Also, the RTX 3000 GPUs will be using a 12-pin power connector so keep that in mind as well.

RTX 3090 Power Requirements

  • A build with an Intel i5/AMD Ryzen 5 or Intel i7/AMD Ryzen 7 processor will require a 750W PSU to power your system
  • If you go with a higher tier processor such as Intel i9 or AMD Ryzen 9, the power supply requirements increase to 850W
  • Then comes the most power-hungry builds containing an Intel HEDT or AMD ThreadRipper processor, which will require a 1000W PSU

RTX 3080 Power Requirements

  • For an Intel i5/AMD Ryzen 5 or Intel i7/AMD Ryzen 7 processor, you will have to add a 750W power supply to your PC for optimum performance
  • PC builds with an Intel i9/AMD Ryzen 9 or Intel HEDT/AMD ThreadRipper will require an 850W PSU

RTX 3070 Power Requirements

  • A 650W PSU will be sufficient to power a build with an Intel i5/AMD Ryzen 5 or Intel i7/AMD Ryzen 7 processor
  • Variance occurs with an Intel i9/AMD Ryzen 9 processor which will require a 750W PSU
  • An Intel HEDT/AMD ThreadRipper processor will demand an 850W PSU

What to look for in a PSU for RTX 3000 Series GPUs

Getting a top of the line CPU or GPU is truly exciting, but that can’t really be said about the power supply. However, it’s the most important component in your computer. After all, your PC can’t run without electricity.

Buying the cheapest power supply is always tempting, especially when building a new PC and spending a lot of money on the rest of the hardware. But that’s not the best decision, especially when having a powerful setup that includes one of the RTX 3000 series GPUs. Your computer needs reliable power and it needs to be protected from power surges and other problems that can cause damage.

So, let’s find out how to spot a good PSU from a bad one. If you’re looking to buy one of the new RTX series GPUs you need to consider the following factors:

Wattage

Electricity is measured in Watts, and this is the simplest metric you need to identify and determine, depending on your hardware. Each component needs a certain amount of power to function reliably. Each computer part comes with a label or instructions telling you how much wattage it needs. For example, the RTX 3080 from Nvidia requires 320W. But we also need to take into account the CPU, which might require 105W, the motherboard, RAM, various hard drives, and more.

Fortunately, we don’t need any sophisticated math to determine the amount of required power. Just fire up a calculator, or use one of the many online PSU calculators, and punch in all the numbers from each component. Finally, add another 100W to the final number, just to be safe. For example, if your setup requires 610W, you should go for the 750W power supply instead of the 650W. Pushing your hardware to its maximum limit is rarely a good idea.

80 Plus Certification (efficiency)

Next to the wattage, this is the second most important metric. The efficiency rating is just as important as the amount of power delivered. Its purpose is to determine how much power is sent to the computer and how much of it is lost to heat and other factors. The more efficient your PSU is, the less power needs to be drawn from the power outlet to satisfy its need, and the smaller your power bill will be.

The rating is identified under the various 80 Plus certifications that tell us what kind of efficiency standards are fulfilled by the PSU. These labels range from basic 80 Plus, which is the lowest rating, to 80 Plus Titanium, which is the highest. The most common good quality PSUs are Gold certified and sometimes Platinum. But the benefits from Gold onwards become barely noticeable due to diminishing returns. You can learn more about PSU efficiency ratings here.

Rails

The PSU supplies the components with power through its voltage rails. A rail is just a wire that sends electricity at a certain voltage. Standard PSUs will divide the power they get from the power outlet into 12v, 5v, and 3.3v paths.  The most important type is the +12V rail because this is the one that can power the more demanding hardware, such as a graphics card.

Form Factor

This characteristic refers to the physical shape of the power supply that matches the matching space in your computer case. You need to pay attention to this and make sure it matches your motherboard and your case, otherwise, you’ll end up with an incompatible PSU.

There are three main form factors: ATX, ATX12V, and SFX. Each type comes in different sizes and with different connectors. For example, an SFX (small form factor) power supply can only be installed in a small form factor PC case. So make sure to identify the form factor and choose a matching PSU.

Connectors

Every power supply comes with a series of cables and connectors that have to match your components. As mentioned above, RTX GPUs require a 12-pin connector. However, the main connector is the one that powers your motherboard, and it’s usually a 20-pin or 24-pin connector. The second important connector is the one that powers the CPU. This can either have 4 pins or 8 pins. Nowadays, most CPU connectors are 8-pin. Nonetheless, check your hardware specs before buying the PSU.

In addition to the aforementioned connectors, a power supply will also come with multiple 4-pin Molex connectors that power secondary components, such as hard drives and cooling fans. SATA connectors can also be used or adapted to connect to the Molex connectors.

Modularity

This final characteristic which is the modularity of a PSU has to do mostly with cable management. A power supply is either modular, semi-modular, or non-modular. The modular PSU comes with cables that can be completely detached from itself and therefore you can remove those that you don’t need. This is the preferable type of power supply because it provides the computer with a larger cooling space without clutter. The non-modular PSU is the opposite and none of its connectors are detachable.

Lastly, the semi-modular PSU is also a good option because the only difference is that the motherboard and CPU connectors cannot be removed, while the others can.

Final Thoughts

This article is a resource for those looking for the power supply requirements of their RTX 3000 Series graphics card. Therefore, it will be updated frequently as more information about the RTX 3000 Series GPU PSU requirements is released. We hope that you found this article helpful and informative.

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