Some RTX 4090 graphics cards recommend a beefier PSU than Nvidia's guidance

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,467   +171
Staff member
In a nutshell: Nvidia has already clarified its power supply recommendations for new RTX 40-series graphics cards, but some add-in board (AIB) partners have issued their own guidance that is much higher than Nvidia's.

Tom's Hardware recently inspected the recommended wattage requirements for various AIB partners and found a range of suggestions. Several cards including the Galax RTX 4090 SG / ST, the Inno3D RTX 4090 X3 OC iChill Black and the PNY RTX 4090 Verto Epic-X call for an 850W power supply which mirrors Nvidia's guidance.

Three others – the Asus RTX 4090 ROG Strix OC, the Gigabyte Aorus RTX 4090 Master and the Zotac RTX 4090 AMP Extreme / Trinity – should be paired with a 1,000 watt power supply at minimum. Palit, meanwhile, recommends at least a 1,200 watt PSU for use with its RTX 4090 GameRock OC. Curiously enough, the specs list graphics card power at 450W, the same as most every other RTX 4090.

A handful of manufacturers including Gainward and Colorful did not share PSU recommendations for their RTX 4090 offerings. If you are eyeballing one of those cards, it would probably be best to follow Nvidia's guidance.

While we won't know for certain until we perform some hands-on testing, it is probably safe to say that 1,200 watts is overkill. One could argue that Nvidia's 850W recommendation doesn't account for all variables. For example, heavily overclocked flagship CPUs consume a lot more power than mainstream chips, and what if your system is also filled with gobs of storage and other dedicated hardware?

What's more, not all PSUs are created equal. It is certainly plausible that a budget 850W PSU could struggle under a heavy load. Perhaps Palit and others are recommending higher-powered units in hopes of eliminating weak points before they even have a chance to surface.

Nvidia's RTX 4090 launches on October 12 starting at $1,599. The RTX 4080 12GB and 16GB variants, meanwhile, are slated to arrive sometime in November from $899 and $1,199, respectively.

Keep an eye out for our RTX 4090 review coming next week.

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B5S46M

Posts: 53   +73
1200W is insane. At the typical 120V in North America, that's 10 amps of current draw. An entire circuit is typically 15 amps (kitchen small appliance circuits are rated at 20 amps). Soon you'll need to move the office or gaming space to the kitchen.

For comparison:
One horsepower (electric): 746W
2 slice toaster: ~700W
Microwave: ~750-1200W
Typical electric space heater: 1500W

That's going to be one expensive electric bill if you run it at full load for too long, and a good room heater.
 

passwordistaco

Posts: 413   +951
1200W is insane. At the typical 120V in North America, that's 10 amps of current draw. An entire circuit is typically 15 amps (kitchen small appliance circuits are rated at 20 amps). Soon you'll need to move the office or gaming space to the kitchen.

For comparison:
One horsepower (electric): 746W
2 slice toaster: ~700W
Microwave: ~750-1200W
Typical electric space heater: 1500W

That's going to be one expensive electric bill if you run it at full load for too long, and a good room heater.
I never thought of having a 1.3 horsepower PC.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,783   +6,626
1.2kw is overkill. I have one, but I used to run OCed SLI with an OCed CPU back in the good old thermi days. No newer build needs that much power. Even assuming the 400 hits 600w peak draw, with an i9 you'd still be fine with a 1000w supply, and that is worst case scenario.
1200W is insane. At the typical 120V in North America, that's 10 amps of current draw. An entire circuit is typically 15 amps (kitchen small appliance circuits are rated at 20 amps). Soon you'll need to move the office or gaming space to the kitchen.

For comparison:
One horsepower (electric): 746W
2 slice toaster: ~700W
Microwave: ~750-1200W
Typical electric space heater: 1500W

That's going to be one expensive electric bill if you run it at full load for too long, and a good room heater.
Modern American electrical systems use 25 amp wiring with 20 amp breakers. 15 amp wiring hasnt been the standard since the 1980s. It's common to see older houses with upgraded electrical panels today.
 

Nobina

Posts: 3,969   +4,560
The cost of doing something as benign as playing video games nowadays is absolutely mental.
 

rmcrys

Posts: 297   +239
1200W is insane. At the typical 120V in North America, that's 10 amps of current draw. [...]
That's going to be one expensive electric bill if you run it at full load for too long, and a good room heater.

I honestly think this is out of range: more performance comes with more energy consumption and need for more heat dissipation. Perhaps in Alaska it may be worthwhile, but everywhere else it is nonsense.

Apple shows that with fabulous performance per Watt is possible.
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,819   +6,049
My Prince, I'm sure the card's opulent but ostentatious housing would protect thy glorious staff, should you inadvertently get it lodged inside the computer.
I have nothing but the finest diamond encrusted tungsten carbide poles for this very reason but, alas, I cannot provide them to all my servants. However, I will ensure you get one for all your years of loyal service in my palace
 

captaincranky

Posts: 19,180   +8,328
I have nothing but the finest diamond encrusted tungsten carbide poles for this very reason
I would advise and admonish you to lubricate them frequently, (to preserve their shiny goodness, of course).
I cannot provide them to all my servants. However, I will ensure you get one for all your years of loyal service in my palace
As you know Prince, I offer my allegiance freely, without expectation of reward.

But as you likely know, curiosity sometimes infects the most loyal of souls. Verily, my time is meaningless in your service. However, the nagging uncertainty of not when, but rather where, I will be receiving the blessing of your royal scepter, remains... :eek: :poop:
 

captaincranky

Posts: 19,180   +8,328
1200W is insane. At the typical 120V in North America, that's 10 amps of current draw. An entire circuit is typically 15 amps (kitchen small appliance circuits are rated at 20 amps). Soon you'll need to move the office or gaming space to the kitchen.
I believe new construction in the US requires the use of 12 gauge wire and GFIC on all home circuits, yielding 20 amp capacity, I guess the moral of that story is, if you can afford of of these graphics cards, be certain that you can afford a new house to go with it. That way, you'll be able to heat the room you're gaming in, as opposed to the one you're forced into.

Seriously though, a 10 ampere draw is in the comfort zone for a 14 gauge, 15 amp circuit. Well that is, until the missus decides that you have to attend to her "honeydo list". At which point, she fires up a 1500 watt hair dryer, kills the power, your avatar dies, the game ends, and your first chore, (before raking the leaves), is to trudge into the basement and reset the breaker.

However, there are plenty to top notch cordless garden tools available, as long as you've remembered to charge them, before the AC went out.

I'll leave you some inspirational "music to do chores by". This song "Miami 2017" could also be interpreted as a harbinger of the upcoming nuclear war. But that's neither here nor there. Enjoy!

 
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Rdmetz

Posts: 418   +205
1200W is insane. At the typical 120V in North America, that's 10 amps of current draw. An entire circuit is typically 15 amps (kitchen small appliance circuits are rated at 20 amps). Soon you'll need to move the office or gaming space to the kitchen.

For comparison:
One horsepower (electric): 746W
2 slice toaster: ~700W
Microwave: ~750-1200W
Typical electric space heater: 1500W

That's going to be one expensive electric bill if you run it at full load for too long, and a good room heater.
Gaming is never going to push a psu especially a 1200w one to its max again this is more about headroom / effeciency as it's know many psu find their sweet spot quite a bit lower than "full tilt" I've had a 1200w psu since 2016 it's never been an issue to my electricity bill and because of the head room it's fan has never even had to kick in its been nice cool and quiet and perfectly fine for my electric bill.
 

Rdmetz

Posts: 418   +205
1.2kw is overkill. I have one, but I used to run OCed SLI with an OCed CPU back in the good old thermi days. No newer build needs that much power. Even assuming the 400 hits 600w peak draw, with an i9 you'd still be fine with a 1000w supply, and that is worst case scenario.

Modern American electrical systems use 25 amp wiring with 20 amp breakers. 15 amp wiring hasnt been the standard since the 1980s. It's common to see older houses with upgraded electrical panels today.
Yep even with my 1200w powered 3080ti / 10900k oc's quite a bit on both in full custom water loop.... I have on the same breaker that system a 7.2.2 full size home theater system 65" 4k/120hz OLED along with that (again on the SAME circuit) also have a 12000btu air conditioning unit, specially installed in the rooms wall for keeping the gaming room comfortable without effecting the rest of the central air cooled house, AND finally a rather large mini fridge that can hold approximately 40+ 12oz cans for reference.

All of that on a single standard circuit and in all the time I've ran all of it together I've only ever thrown the breaker like 2 or 3 times in several years of use. It was sli 80ti class cards in the days before 2080ti but again always high power draw parts and yet my circuit handles ALL of this perfectly fine 95% of the time.

I did eventually put the pc on a battery backup UPS just to keep it from happening or if it did the pc not shut down unexpectedly. It hasn't ever since not once in over a year.

Point being my situation is ABSOLUTE OVERKILL and yet even with all this a standard circuit has held up basically fine.

There no need to stress people are literally clutching pearls and having panic attacks for nothing.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 19,180   +8,328
Yep even with my 1200w powered 3080ti / 10900k oc's quite a bit on both in full custom water loop.... I have on the same breaker that system a 7.2.2 full size home theater system 65" 4k/120hz OLED along with that (again on the SAME circuit) also have a 12000btu air conditioning unit, specially installed in the rooms wall for keeping the gaming room comfortable without effecting the rest of the central air cooled house, AND finally a rather large mini fridge that can hold approximately 40+ 12oz cans for reference.
First of all, if you're pumping 12,000 BTUs of cooling into a single room to offset the heat from your computer, It's fairly certain that its compressor is cycling quite frequently. Since as it were, a 12K AC will cool as much as 600 Square feet..

Your description of "a standard circuit" lacks whether this is a 15 or 20 amp breaker...

The PSU recommendations by these manufacturers is taking into account spike power draw, as opposed to average draw. A cheap 850 watt PSU may shutdown when a spike occurs, while a better unit may tolerate it. Hence the higher wattage suggested...

LED TVs aren't particularly power hungry anyway. And unless your HT rig is running all class A power amps, it doesn't have a steady state draw..

So, my question is, in spite of all the other machinations and effort you've gone through and put in, why are you so reluctant to simply run another line to your man cave? Too busy playing video games maybe? Even with slab on grade construction, more power could be brought in via surface wiring hardware.

My individual preference is to be able to touch a feeder cable and have it feel somewhere near room temperature, not warm to the touch. Obviously, other people's objectives may differ.
 
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captaincranky

Posts: 19,180   +8,328
For comparison:
One horsepower (electric): 746W
2 slice toaster: ~700W
Microwave: ~750-1200W
Typical electric space heater: 1500W
The drawback with 750 watt Microwaves, is that virtually none of the available brands of TV dinners, publish cooking times for these small ovens..

Besides, "goddammit, I want my evening feast in a hurry", and the 1100 watters deliver...🤣
 

Geralt

Posts: 1,308   +2,105

ewitte12

Posts: 9   +1
I think this depends on your CPU. I'm fine with 1000W on my 5900x but the power usage on zen 4 has increased dramatically. You're at 850W just for the CPU and GPU with that config, easily 950W with ram, MB and lots of drives. I typically want at least 20% headroom. Not to say you will hit everything fully at the same time. Personally, I would keep the 4090 under 450W with a custom voltage curve it probably performs similar to 600W.
 

ewitte12

Posts: 9   +1
First of all, if you're pumping 12,000 BTUs of cooling into a single room to offset the heat from your computer, It's fairly certain that its compressor is cycling quite frequently. Since as it were, a 12K AC will cool as much as 600 Square feet..

If I manage to get this card before the AC gets fixed... Its already uncomfortable with a 3080 when not even gaming (100-150W load plus I have an OLED so that has over 100W as well).

Glad temperatures are dropping soon still over 90F on some days but on Oct 12 highs drops into the 70s with a 52F low.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 19,180   +8,328
If I manage to get this card before the AC gets fixed... Its already uncomfortable with a 3080 when not even gaming (100-150W load plus I have an OLED so that has over 100W as well).
Well, you know it's said that, "Las Vegas would not exist were it not for the invention of air conditioning".

With that out of the way, let's discuss your broken AC unit via ohm's law, wattage calculation, and of all things, power tool extension cord recommendations, in a practical way. (You can look those up, I have to feed the cats, do the dishes, and tidy up a bit. It is after all, approaching Saturday night). Here's the Cliff's Notes:
1: 120 volts in the US is the, "nominal", line voltage.
2: copper wire has a certain amount resistance per foot, (predicated on the gauge)..
3: Based on the length of run, and the load (in amperes), line voltage drops below 120 V., which in turn raises the current drawn as a reciprocal effect.
4:More amps drawn equals more heat produced.
4: This can damage electric motors in anything from air conditioners to table saws.

While most AC failures are caused by low refrigerant levels, it is not outside the realm of possibility for low voltage to cause damage.

FWIW, I have an ancient 40" "ProScan" TV with a CCFL back light. The sticker on the back lists it at 200 watts..The little sucker is bright as hell, clocking in at 450 nits. .As a bedroom backup from 5' away, it's pretty intense.

If all else fails in your pursuit of FPS superiority, buy a bigger air conditioner*. (You will, of course, have to pull a separate line for it).

* This sentence is, as you may or may not know, a takeoff on the old mechanic's adage, "don't force anything, get a bigger hammer". :rolleyes:
 
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