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RTX 30 series what power supply do you need for the RTX 3090, 3080, and 3070
By Stuart Thomas on September 8th, 2020 at 08:00pm - original article from game-debate

Nvidia’s next-gen RTX 30 series graphics cards are nearly upon us, launching in just over a week’s time (at least for the RTX 3080 that is) this has obviously gotten a lot of us excited to upgrade our PC hardware in time for the next-gen consoles and games. But what power supply do you need for the RTX 3090, 3080, and 3070?

Seasonic have previously confirmed that they recommend an 850W PSU for the RTX 30 series, which got a lot of people worried about needing to buy a brand new power supply for their system. Fear not though, as the RTX 30 series is a little bit less demanding than that at least.

Here’s a breakdown of each RTX 30 series GPU and their Thermal Power Specs:

GPU Max temp (in C) Power connectors TDP
¬¬gc_id:5005[RTX 3090]¬¬ 93 2x PCIe 8-pin 350W
¬¬gc_id:5003[RTX 3080]¬¬ 93 2x PCIe 8-pin 320W
¬¬gc_id:5013[RTX 3070]¬¬ 93 1x PCIe 8-pin 220W

(*Note: The specs listed above are based on the Nvidia Founders Edition graphics cards, as such certain custom AIB partners may have different specs per GPU, so check their official specifications if you were thinking of going with another brand)

This is obviously one of the most demanding generations of GPUs in terms of power draw, with both the RTX 3090 and RTX 3080 breaking past 300W. Now obviously that means more power is going to need to be distributed across your system, which may require a larger PSU than the one you already own.

A 550W-650W power supply is fairly standard these days, especially after the previous-gen RTX 20 series GPUs came out 2 years ago. But the new RTX 30 series recommends at minimum a 650W power supply for the RTX 3070.

The RTX 3080 on the other hand is recommended to have a 750W PSU, just 100W shy of the previous leaks by Seasonic. Surprisingly, the monster 8K 60fps RTX 3090 graphics card doesn’t actually require anything bigger than a 750W power supply either.

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RTX 3090 recommended power supply size

The top-end RTX 3090 has a power draw of 350W, making it one of the most demanding GPUs in terms of power draw. For the Nvidia’s Founders Edition you will need a 750W power supply in order to provide sufficient power, though Nvidia also states that a lower PSU rating could work, though that depends on your system configuration. If you are looking to use a lower power rating, then it is recommended you check with your PSU vendor.

You will also need 2 dedicated 8-pin PCIe power cables running from the PSU separately. If you purchase the RTX 3090 Founders Edition then these cables will be supplied for you.

RTX 3090 PSU size requirements

Additionally, though not related to your PSU size, the RTX 3090 comes in at 12.3 inches (313mm) in length, 5.4 inches (138mm) in width, and will require 3 expansion slots on your PC case. So make sure you have enough space in your PC case in order to install this graphics card.

If you’re not sure what PC case to pick, here’s our own guide to the best PC cases for the RTX 3090 and the rest of the RTX 30 series including the RTX 3080 and RTX 3070.

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RTX 3080 recommended power supply size

The flagship GPU of this new generation, the RTX 3080, has a total power draw of 320W which makes it a pretty hefty and demanding card. According to Nvidia, you will need a power supply rated at 750W in order to run properly. Once again though, Nvidia has stated that a lower power rating could still work depending on your system configuration, but its recommended to check with your PSU vendor first whether the lower-rated PSU supports the RTX 3080.

The RTX 3080 also requires two dedicated 8-pin PCIe power cables running sperataley from the PSU. The RTX 3080 Founders Edition will come packaged already with these 2 cables provided.

RTX 3080 PSU size requirements

In addition, the RTX 3080 has a length of 11.2 inches (285mm) and a width of 4.4 inches (112mm), though unlike the RTX 3090 above, this card will only take up 2 expansion slots in your PC case.

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RTX 3070 recommended power supply size

The RTX 3070 is probably one of the most exciting cards of this generation due to its performance improvements for the price, and comes in at a much lower 220W power draw. For this card you will need a lower rated 650W power supply. Nvidia hasn’t provided quite the same handy infographics as the two cards above, but provides the same information in the specs list at least.

The RTX 3070 may also work on a lower-rated PSU than 650W, though once again this does depend on your own system’s configuration. If you are looking to use a lower rated power supply then its recommended you check with your PSU vendor for RTX 3070 compatibility. 

The RTX 3070 requires a single 8-pin PCIe power connector running from the PSU, and a suitable cable will come bundled with the RTX 3070 Founders Edition.

RTX 3070 PSU size requirements

The RTX 3070 is detailed as 9.5 inches (242mm) in length and 4.4 inches (112mm) width. Like the RTX 3080 above this GPU will only require the standard 2 expansion slots in your PC case.

RTX 30 series power draw and recommended PSU size breakdown:

GPU GPU Power Draw Recommended PSU size
¬¬gc_id:5005[RTX 3090]¬¬ 350W 750W
¬¬gc_id:5003[RTX 3080]¬¬ 320W 750W
¬¬gc_id:5013[RTX 3070]¬¬ 220W 650W

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Power supply quality ratings and power supply efficiency

Of course, in the world of PC hardware, getting a sufficient PSU size is not all you have to think about. Instead, you must also think about the quality and efficiency of your power supply. This is where PSU efficiency ratings come in.

The efficiency of your PSU is just as important as the power rating, as it determines the amount of power that gets drawn from your wall socket and converted into power to distribute among your PC system. A 50% efficiency rating will mean that a 300W PSU will draw 600W from your wall socket in order to provide enough power. However, efficiency is affected by a range of factors, including the amount of load on the PSU itself.

So what is a good power supply efficiency? Well, whilst you can really get any power supply you want, an 80 Plus certification is highly recommended due to its relatively low-cost premiums and benefits. An 80 Plus certification just means that the PSU will be at least 80% efficient when at loads of 20%, 50%, and 100%.

As an example, this means that the same 300W PSU we used as an example before would only draw a maximum of 375W from your wall, which is a pretty significant drop from the 600W calculated before.

Okay, but why does efficiency matter? Well, if you are energy-conscious then the higher the efficiency the better, as this means less power will be drawn from your wall socket. Additionally, lower efficiency types will produce a lot more heat within your system (as more energy gets wasted during AC to DC conversion), which in turn will use your fan more often. So if you want a quieter PC then you’ll also want a higher efficiency rating.

Lastly, a higher efficiency will mean a safer PC build as well. Generally, it's fine to use non-80 Plus certified PSU sizes in terms of safety, but if you want to be extra safe then you’ll want to stick to those certifications.

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Okay so now that’s everything right? Well no, there’s actually one more thing. The 80 Plus certification actually comes in different tiers to determine how efficient certain PSUs actually are. The standard 80 Plus rating (also known as 80 Plus White) for instance will get you that par 80% efficiency across all types of loads.

There’s also 80 Plus Bronze, 80 Plus Silver, 80 Plus Gold, 80 Plus Platinum, and 80 Plus Titanium. Each of these tiers come with slightly better efficiency ratings at each load. A breakdown of each 80 Plus certification tiers and their efficiency ratings can be seen below:

Load 80 Plus 80 Plus Bronze 80 Plus Silver 80 Plus Gold 80 Plus Platinum 80 Plus Titanium
20% 80% 82% 85% 87% 90% 92%
50% 80% 85% 88% 90% 92% 94%
100% 80% 82% 85% 87% 89% 90%

Now the numbers may seem like a significant upgrade from each other, but in the end there’s not a whole lot of difference between 80 Plus Bronze and 80 Plus Titanium. Whilst there will be some benefits choosing the higher tier Titanium grade, the difference is marginal. You will definitely save money on your energy bill but only by a few dollars at most on average. 

In terms of safety, there’s nothing dangerous or risky about getting an 80 Plus Bronze certified PSU compared to a Titanium one, but the 80 Plus Titanium will indeed be just a little bit more reliable.

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Best PSU for RTX 30 series including RTX 3090, RTX 3080, and RTX 3070:

PSU Form Factor PSU Capacity Efficiency Rating Price (USD$)
Corsair RM850x ATX 850W 80 Plus Gold ¬¬azn:Corsair RM850x[130]¬¬
Cooler Master MasterWatt 750W ATX 750W 80 Plus Bronze ¬¬azn:Cooler Master MasterWatt 750W[90]¬¬
Corsair AX1000 ATX 1000W 80 Plus Titanium ¬¬azn:Corsair AX1000[400]¬¬
Corsair AX1600i ATX 1600W 80 Plus Titanium ¬¬azn:Corsair AX1600i[700]¬¬
Corsair RM750x ATX 750W 80 Plus Gold ¬¬azn:Corsair RM750x[200]¬¬
Thermaltake Smart RGB 700W ATX 700W 80 Plus ¬¬azn:Thermaltake Smart RGB 700W[80]¬¬

So that’s it on power supplies and PSU efficiency ratings, now you will hopefully be able to choose the perfect power supply for you to pair with the RTX 30 series GPUs like the RTX 3090, RTX 3080, or RTX 3070.

What do you think? Are you excited for the RTX 30 series GPUs? Will you need to upgrade your PSU size? Which one are you thinking of getting? Let us know!