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graphics card — PSU for GTX 970 + i7 4790

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7 years, 3 months ago

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For my new PC I’m currently looking at getting an Intel i7 4790 (non «k» version) and a GTX 970 as the main components for the system. It will also be running an SSD, HDD, Network card, and 32GB of RAM. I’ve highlighted the two main components of the system, because, as it stands, the combined TDP of both the CPU and GPU is 684W (Gigabyte on the GPU side). I understand that TDP doesn’t necessarily relate to the actual wattage draw of the component, however a page reviewing several GPUs (including the 970, here) details the 970s TDP at only 145W, which would make the combined TDP of the two main components at 229W — so:

a) Why do manufacturers state the TDP so much higher than what reviews state?

b) I was looking at getting a 750W 80+ Gold Modular PSU from Corsair, but after looking into this further, I contemplated getting a 450W PSU instead. Would I get away with doing so?

  • graphics-card
  • power-supply


Go with the 750 watt power supply. It will be able to handle your system. I had a 500 watt power supply before and had issues with the computer shutting down due to high load from the graphics card when I upgraded to an i7 CPU and 970GTX graphics card.

A) The TDP that comes from the manufacturer is measured at peak performance with a higher than normal ambient temperature. That means when they measure the TDP, the graphics card has probably been running at or close to 100% for a few minutes. This is hardly ever the case when gaming and you might see your graphics card average 40-60% usage during your gaming. This will obviously vary depending on what games you play. Same works for the CPU. The TDP is measured at 100% usage. If your CPU hits 100% usage then something is wrong.

B) Yes, a 750w power supply would be overkill. A 600-660w power supply would be enough. That being said I would still get the 750w power supply because it’s a corsair (great brand) and because it will help you future proof your machine.

450W is plenty for this combination if you don’t plan to add another GPU or a large RAID-Array in the future. I have recently built a very similar setup with a i7-4790k, a GTX-970, 32 GB DDR-3 2400 RAM, a m2 SSD and 6 fans on a ASUS Z97-Deluxe Board. The CPU is overclocked to 4x 4.5 GHz (~1.25V) and I run it with a 450W 80+ Gold PSU (the cute little SFX device from Silverstone). I measured the system with a power meter and it draws up to 430W from the wall socket when I run Prime64 and Furmark simultaneously. With full CPU load alone it needs approximately 280W. I think a non overclocked CPU might need at least 70W less. You should calculate with at least 10W per mechanical hard disk or optical drive and at least 5W for every extra SSD or fan.

The power rating of a PSU refers to a combined power scenario of all voltages it can deliver. This may not be the combination that your system needs. A typical system with current components consumes almost all it’s power from the 12V supply, so you should look for a PSU that can deliver a sufficiently high output at 12V alone already. I.e. my PSU is rated at 36A on 12V, so it will be fine at least up to 480W when measured at the wall socket (36A*12V*0.90). The 0.90 factor accounts for the 90% efficiency at full load.

Some PSUs still use a multi-rail 12V design which can be problematic as it drastically limits the 12V supply to individual components, and I would recommend to look for a single rail PSU instead. Single rail PSUs have only one 12V power rating, i.e. 36A, while multi-rail PSUs are usually rated as 18A+18A or 2x18A or similar. I actually tried to set up this board and the CPU with a older 750W quad-rail PSU (4x14A) at first and I didn’t get it stable with overclocking while it was no problem when I connected it to the 450W single rail PSU.

I would recommend not to use a much more powerful than needed PSU if you already know that you will not even need that much power in the future. Not only are lower rated PSUs typically less expensive but they are actually more efficient at typical idle loads since the 80+ rating doesn’t require a minimum efficiency below 20% load and thus the efficiency far below 20% is usually much worse than what you would expect with the given 80+ rating even for high quality PSUs. This means that a comparatively cheap 450W 80+ Bronze PSU may well draw less power from the wall socket than a much more expensive 750W Gold PSU whenever the computer is not really busy (i.e. when you only use the browser or watch a movie which should translate to 50..80W for your hardware).


Please take into consideration that a power supply never delivers his main number in watts. It will be always a lower when 100% use. A 80 GOLD certified or something similar, guarantees that the power supply will deliver 80% of his number as a final wats. So If you go for a 80 Gold 450W power supply, you can safely rely on a maximum of 360W of pure power cranking out the power supply.

Since 100% use of both GPU and CPU is very very VERY unlikely, I would say you can safely run both in a 450w. Hoever I do have my PC with a 4790K and no GPU, but when I had one it was a 960GTX and I had no issues. let you build your system and it will give you a reference watts usage comsumption for better measuring.

I would say no one who doesnt use SLI or a VERY beffy GPU will ever need more than 450 — 500. And wattage gets lower and lower each day.

Do take into consideration that Power Supplies are designed to deliver their main number in watts. If you put a 600w supply into your system and you are using 100w most of the time, you are wasting a ton of electricity because power s. don’t know how to manage loads, they are either working or not working. The only thing that changes are the electricity requirements of your system components if they are under load or not.

further analysis:


Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 970 4GB Review (Page 12 of 13)

Page 12 — Power Usage, Temperature, Noise

Using a wall power measurement device, I noted down the total system power consumption with the Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 970 4GB installed. Do keep in mind this includes every component of the system — including power supply efficiency loss — and not just the graphics card only. Also, the load conditions cannot be directly compared against this base value, since the entire system is under load, and as such the CPU will also contribute to the increased power usage to some extent. With that in mind, the Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 970 4GB’s power consumption reached a maximum of 314W load from 74W idle — a difference of 240W. Gigabyte likes to promote their lower RDS(on) MOSFETs, quality solid capacitors, 2oz copper PCB, and low power loss ferrite core design. In the past, I have seen a difference in power consumption as much as 10W against reference cards with regular components. The above results were obtained when running 3DMark’s Fire Strike Extreme test, and your graphics card is not likely to see any higher loads, especially under normal usage. To be honest, you are not going to get anywhere near this under intense gaming sessions, so really — this is just for interest’s sake, haha.

For the purpose of this review, I left the fan on default settings, so its speed is allowed to vary accordingly with temperature. I also wanted to see what the card is capable of doing inside my low airflow chassis configuration. Most people should get better results in real life than our hot running test bench environment. With that in mind, I left the stock paste intact for testing before taking it apart for the photo session on Page 3. Its thermal interface material was applied properly from the factory, which we have seen during disassembly. Even under our intense Furmark load tests, the Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 970 4GB peaked out at only 58c; a figure that is simply amazing, thanks to the 600W WindForce 3X cooler and the GM204’s low TDP. It is important to point out this is the worst case scenario — you will not hit this temperature under normal gaming sessions. Most cases should have better airflow than my configuration anyway.

As far as noise is concerned, while this is very subjective, I am quite a picky person on noise, and the loudest component in my entire system is probably my Noctua ultra low noise fans — and they are not loud at all. In my opinion, there is no objective measurement of noise, as measuring sound pressure level is often impractical, because human ears are more sensitive to some frequencies than others. On a scale from 0-10 where 0 is silent and 10 is the loudest, I would rate the Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 970 4GB to be at 3.0/10 at 34% fan speed. 34% is the default fan speed during idle, and this is also the lowest you can set it to. It does not produce a significant amount of noise until it goes above 50%, but it will be nice if it can be tuned to around 20-25% to appeal to silent PC enthusiasts. The fan will kick up to at full load, unless set otherwise. On a scale from 0-10, where 0 is silent and 10 is the loudest, I would rate the Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 970 4GB to be at 7.0/10 at 100% fan speed. Seriously, it is pretty loud at that speed — but at least the fan runs smoothly. If you want your card to be appropriate in a quiet PC configuration, keep the fan running at minimum. Once you bump it past that magic mark, you are going to hear it quite clearly. That said, as with all Gigabyte WindForce cards I have used in the past, when you are not gaming, it is pretty darn quiet. The G1 Gaming GTX 970 is a little louder than the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 760 2GB at idle, but I am just being picky here.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 Architecture
3. A Closer Look, Installation, Test System
4. Benchmark: 3DMark
5. Benchmark: Battlefield 4
6. Benchmark: BioShock Infinite
7. Benchmark: Crysis 3
8. Benchmark: GRID 2
9. Benchmark: Metro: Last Light
10. Benchmark: Thief
11. Benchmark: Unigine: Heaven 4.0
12. Power Usage, Temperature, Noise
13. Overclocking and Conclusion

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970

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Graphics Card Performance and Specifications → NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970

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General Information
Developer NVIDIA
Released 2014
Video card category Desktop
Video card type Discrete
Interface PCIe 3. 0
Maximum resolution 4096 x 2160
Architecture Maxwell 2.0
Core GM204
Number of chips 10 Process technology 28 nm
Number of transistors 5200 million
Area 398 mm²
Core clock 1050 — 1178 MHz
Universal shader units 1664
TMUs 104
Pixel fillrate 58.8 GPixel/s
Texture fillrate (texel fillrate) 109.0 GTexel/s
Video memory
Type GDDR5
Volume 4096 Mb
Frequency 7012 MHz
Bus width 256 bit
7 Max. power consumption (TDP) 145 W
Max. allowable temperature 98° C
Min. power supply requirements 500 W
Auxiliary power connectors 6-pin + 6-pin supported APIs and technologies
DirectX 12
OpenGL 4.5
OpenCL 1.2
Shader Model 5.0
SLI / CrossFireX SLI
Other technologies • NVIDIA G-Sync
• NVIDIA Adaptive V-Sync
• NVIDIA GameStream
• NVIDIA Surround
• NVIDIA 3D Vision

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Compare AMD Radeon RX 5500 and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970

Comparative analysis of AMD Radeon RX 5500 and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 video cards by all known characteristics in the categories: General information, Specifications, Compatibility, dimensions, requirements, Memory, Technology support, Video outputs and ports, API support.
Analysis of video card performance by benchmarks: PassMark — G3D Mark, PassMark — G2D Mark, Geekbench — OpenCL, GFXBench 4.0 — Car Chase Offscreen (Frames), GFXBench 4.0 — Manhattan (Frames), GFXBench 4.0 — T-Rex (Frames), GFXBench 4.0 — Car Chase Offscreen (Fps), GFXBench 4.0 — Manhattan (Fps), GFXBench 4.0 — T-Rex (Fps), 3DMark Fire Strike — Graphics Score, CompuBench 1.5 Desktop — Face Detection (mPixels/s), CompuBench 1.5 Desktop — Ocean Surface Simulation (Frames/s), CompuBench 1.5 Desktop — T-Rex (Frames/s), CompuBench 1. 5 Desktop — Video Composition (Frames/s), CompuBench 1.5 Desktop — Bitcoin Mining (mHash/s).

AMD Radeon RX 5500


NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970


Reasons to choose AMD Radeon RX 5500

  • Newer graphics card, release date difference 5 year(s) 0 month(s) 903 02
  • approx. 59% faster core clock: 1670 MHz vs 1050 MHz
  • Boost core clock 57% faster: 1845 MHz vs 1178 MHz
  • Texturing speed 49% faster: 162.36 GT/s vs 109vs 11499
  • About 1% more performance in GFXBench 4.0 — Manhattan (Fps) benchmark: 3717 vs 3698
  • About 32% more performance in 3DMark Fire Strike — Graphics Score: 4813 vs 3637
  • 903 23

    Date release 7 Oct 2019 vs 19 September 2014
    Core frequency 1670 MHz vs 1050 MHz
    Boost core clock 1845 MHz vs 1178 MHz
    Texturing speed 162. 36 GT/s vs 109 billion/sec
    PassMark — G2D Mark 784 vs 779
    Geekbench — OpenCL 41198 vs 24105
    GFXBench 4.0 — Car Chase Offscreen (Frames) 12069 vs 11499
    GFXBench 4.0 — Manhattan (Frames) 3717 vs 3698
    GFXBench 4.0 — T-Rex (Frames) 3351 vs 3340
    GFXBench 4.0 — Car Chase Offscreen (Fps) 12069 vs 11499
    GFXBench 4.0 — Manhattan (Fps) 3717 vs 3698
    GFXBench 4. 0 — T-Rex (Fps) 3351 vs 3340
    3DMark Fire Strike — Graphics Score 4813 vs 3637

    Reasons to choose NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970

    • About 1% less power consumption: 148 Watt vs 150 Watt
    • About 9% more PassMark — G3D Mark performance: 9640 vs 8851 9 0302
    Energy consumption (TDP) 148 Watt vs 150 Watt
    PassMark — G3D Mark 9640 vs 8851

    Benchmark comparison

    GPU 1: AMD Radeon RX 5500
    GPU 2: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970

    PassMark — G3D Mark
    GPU 1
    GPU 2
    PassMark — G2D Mark
    GPU 1
    GPU 2
    Geekbench — OpenCL
    GPU 1
    GPU 2
    GFXBench 4. 0 — Car Chase Offscreen (Frames)
    GPU 1
    GPU 2
    GFXBench 4.0 — Manhattan (Frames)
    GPU 1
    GPU 2
    GFXBench 4.0 — T-Rex (Frames)
    GPU 1
    GPU 2
    GFXBench 4.0 — Car Chase Offscreen (Fps)
    GPU 1
    GPU 2
    GFXBench 4. 0 — Manhattan (Fps)
    GPU 1
    GPU 2
    GFXBench 4.0 — T-Rex (Fps)
    GPU 1
    GPU 2
    3DMark Fire Strike — Graphics Score
    GPU 1
    GPU 2
    Name AMD Radeon RX 5500 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
    PassMark — G3D Mark 8851 9640
    PassMark — G2D Mark 784 779
    Geekbench — OpenCL 41198 24105
    GFXBench 4. 0 — Car Chase Offscreen (Frames) 12069 11499
    GFXBench 4.0 — Manhattan (Frames) 3717 3698
    GFXBench 4.0 — T-Rex (Frames) 3351 3340
    GFXBench 4.0 — Car Chase Offscreen (Fps) 12069 11499
    GFXBench 4.0 — Manhattan (Fps) 3717 3698
    GFXBench 4.0 — T-Rex (Fps) 3351 3340
    3DMark Fire Strike — Graphics Score 4813 3637
    CompuBench 1. 5 Desktop — Face Detection (mPixels/s) 105.107
    CompuBench 1.5 Desktop — Ocean Surface Simulation (Frames/s) 1225.96
    CompuBench 1.5 Desktop — T-Rex (Frames/s) 8.737
    CompuBench 1.5 Desktop — Video Composition (Frames/s) 35.714
    CompuBench 1.5 Desktop — Bitcoin Mining (mHash/s) 489.635

    Feature comparison


    AMD Radeon RX 5500 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
    Architecture RDNA Maxwell 2. 0
    Issue date Oct 7, 2019 19 September 2014
    Place in the ranking 223 327
    Type Desktop Desktop
    Codename GM204
    Price at first issue date $329
    Price now $407.76
    Price/performance ratio (0-100) 28.59
    Boost core clock 1845 MHz 1178MHz
    Number of Compute 22
    Core frequency 1670 MHz 1050MHz
    Peak Half Precision (FP16) Performance 10. 4 TFLOPs
    Peak Single Precision (FP32) Performance 5.2 TFLOPs
    Pixel fill rate 59GP/s
    Stream Processors 1408
    Texturing speed 162.36 GT/s 109 billion / sec
    Power consumption (TDP) 150 Watt 148 Watt
    Number of transistors 6400 million 5,200 million
    Number of CUDA conveyors 1664
    Floating point performance 3. 920 gflops
    Process 28nm
    Maximum temperature 98 °C
    Number of shaders 1664
    Recommended power supply 550 Watt 500 Watt
    Additional power connectors 1 x 8-pin 2x 6-pins
    Tire PCI Express 3.0
    Height 4.376″ (11. 1 cm)
    Interface PCIe 3.0 x16
    Length 10.5″ (26.7cm)
    SLI support 4x
    Maximum memory size 4GB 4GB
    Memory bandwidth 224 GB/s 224GB/s
    Memory bus width 128bit 256 Bit
    Memory type GDDR6 GDDR5
    Memory frequency 7. 0 GB/s
    Shared memory 0
    4K h364 Decode
    4K h364 Encode
    h365/HEVC Decode
    h365/HEVC Encode
    HDMI 4K Support
    3D Vision
    Adaptive Vertical Sync
    GeForce Experience
    GeForce ShadowPlay
    GPU Boost
    Audio input for HDMI Internal
    Video connectors 1x DVI, 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort, Dual Link DVI-I, HDMI 2.

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