PSU not enough for my Graphics Card?

By Ryan Townsend
Aug 27, 2013
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  1. Let me dive straight into my problem..

    I have a 500w power supply (There's not brand on it, It came with my PC 2ish years ago.)

    I've recently bought a GTX 660 Graphics card, everything went perfect until... I started playing games. As soon as I would get into the game, set up my graphics, within 2-10 minutes (time varies with different games) My whole computer would switch off without warning, and then 1-3 seconds later switch back on with no indication that anything went wrong.

    It can't be the Temperature or my GPU or CPU, as the game doesn't stay on long enough for the whole thing to crash.. I think.

    Should I upgrade my PSU to a 750w power supply or something?

    Any reply would be massively appreciated.

    -Ryan
  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,098   +1,189

    The GTX 660 only requires a 450w power supply. I am currently using a 600W with my GTX 660 though.
  3. Ryan Townsend

    Ryan Townsend Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 39


    I have a PSU that came with my computer around 2 years ago, could it be the quality of the PSU... I just don't know.
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,098   +1,189

    In general the PSU's that come with cases don't usually have good reputations. It is nearly always a consensus among forums, to recommend purchasing the case and PSU separately. This way you can select a brand PSU, that is of better quality.

    Does your PSU have a 6-pin PCIe power connector for the GPU, or did you have to use the 4-pin Molex adapter? If you are using the molex adapter, you could try different 4-pin connectors. It is doubtful though that this would work, as generic PSU's normally only have one power rail. Which means no matter which connector used, you are essentially tapping into the same power source.

    Personally it does sound as if you are over taxing the PSU. From the sound of what you are describing, the PSU more than likely has fault protection. If so when the voltage drops below a specific level, the PSU shuts off instantly.
  5. Ryan Townsend

    Ryan Townsend Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 39

    Yes I'am using the molex adapter that came with the card, I'm thinking of buying the Corsair 500w PSU Bronze edition. Would the wattage be sufficient for my GTX 660 SC, and it only has 1 12volt rail is this bad?
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,098   +1,189

    Yeah, 500W will be fine. No, single rail PSU's are not bad, I was only trying to clarify that switching connectors on a single rail unit wouldn't change the outcome.
  7. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    Single +12V rail PSUs are actually preferable to multiple rails. A 500W Corsair PSU will be fine as the GTX 660 doesn't consume a lot of power. However if you're thinking of upgrading or overclocking in the near future now could be a chance to invest in a good quality 650-700W PSU which will last you a long time.
  8. hood6558

    hood6558 TechSpot Booster Posts: 288   +43

    Any PSU with no branding is very risky, and most can't output their rated wattage. When choosing a new one, all components should be considered, because hard drives, fans, add-on cards, and USB devices all add to the load on the PSU. I was surprised recently to discover that my system should have a minimum 900w PSU , since I only run a single GPU (660 Ti) with a 750w PSU. But I do have 8 SATA drives, 10 x 120mm fans, 3 add-on cards, and at least 4 USB devices, and it all adds up. Try putting your system details into this configurator to get an idea of what's needed - http://support.asus.com/powersupply.aspx
    If overclocking anything, add 10-20% to the total wattage for maximum peace of mind.
  9. Ryan Townsend

    Ryan Townsend Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 39

    Ok Thanks guys, definitely put my mind at rest, trying to find the best PSU for my system!
  10. hood6558

    hood6558 TechSpot Booster Posts: 288   +43

    Once you figure out what size you need, the real fun begins - sifting through dozens of crappy power supplies to find the one jewel, that's in your size, with modular cables, gets great reviews, has high efficiency, a reasonable price, and a long life expectancy. Oh, and if you have a large case, pay attention to cable lengths; extensions look bad and add to the cost. It's worth over-paying for a slightly too-large PSU if that's the only way to get the cable lengths you need. Units from Corsair, Seasonic, XFX, EVGA, SuperFlower, Flextronics, Antec, BeQuiet, Enermax, PC Power & Cooling, and a few others are all decent brands.
  11. chrissof

    chrissof TechSpot Member Posts: 73

    Hi ryan,if you have the chance, try out another (sufficient) psu to make sure it really is the psu.
    if so ,consider buying at least a bronce certified one as it will save you money due to higher efficiency
    resulting in less used power out of your wall socket.silver and gold even more improve efficiency
  12. Ryan Townsend

    Ryan Townsend Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 39

    Hey guys a quick update, I pretty determined to buy the Corsair 600w PSU. Are you guys sure it will fix my initial problem before I go out and splash £70 on the PSU? I'am 99.9% sure it's my PSU, I just don't want to bugger anything up/buy un-necessary components. If you guys get what I mean.
  13. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,098   +1,189

    No unfortunately, I can't guarantee the PSU is the problem. But I can't think of anything else, that would effect the system the way you mentioned either.
     
  14. Ryan Townsend

    Ryan Townsend Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 39


    I've posted this problem and looked at other people having the same problem and 9 times out of 10 they have all said it's the PSU, so yeah, I'll buy the 600w PSU and update you on if the problem has been fixed or not! Fingers crossed!
  15. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,098   +1,189

    I'll cross mine as well. Good luck! :)
  16. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    If it makes you feel better a good PSU is always a good investment and will last you a few builds.

    Out of interest which 600W Corsair PSU are you getting? £70 sounds a bit pricey for a CX or GS series (which aren't Corsair's best quality PSUs).
  17. Hasitte

    Hasitte Newcomer, in training

    Hardcore gaming pc can only be hold on 600W or better, if your wishing to use multiple GPU then it would need a better PSU!
    if your trying to operate a decent graphics card on a lower Watts PSU, I think it would not run!
  18. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,098   +1,189

    What exactly is the specifications for hardcore gaming? It's so hard to keep up, when tech keeps improving every 6 months. Besides no one was claiming to be a hardcore gamer, they were only wanting to power a GTX 660. Whether or not that falls under the guide lines of hardcore gaming is besides the point.
    You should look up the power requirements before making such statements. The GTX 660 only requires a 450W power supply. Even though I do personally have a 600W to power my GTX 660, thats probably 200W's more than I use at any one time.
  19. Hasitte

    Hasitte Newcomer, in training

    Of course I do! besides every gamer wants to play games on a decent frame rate!
    sure then they need to upgrade the computer if the tech is improving in 2 months though!
    if your using multi GPU! you need a decent PSU!
  20. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,282   +181

    Except he isn't using multiple GPUs and hasn't stated that he plans to.
    Hasitte likes this.
  21. Ryan Townsend

    Ryan Townsend Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 39

    Ok guys, arrived today after a week or so, Installed it this morning, playing GTA IV at 60+ frames, hasn't crashed in at least 30mins, a new record so far! Hoping It won't crash anymore, the PSU itself, is running cool and SUPER QUIET! Thanks for all your support this far! Can't thank you all enough!
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  22. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    Good to hear. Just shows how important the often-neglected PSU is in a build!


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