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Must I upgrade my PSU if it has 12V1:18A, 12V2:15A for 24A current requirement?

Posted on 2007-07-26
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Last Modified: 2013-12-11
I own a Antec 480W NeoPower power supply.  I am considering buying a graphics card (XFX GeForce 8600GT Fatal1ty 256MB GDDR3) that requires a minimum current of 24A on the +12V rail.  The Antec PSU has 12V1 rating of 18A, 12V2 rating of 15A.  Will this support the card I am considering or will I require a PSU with at least 24A on a single rail?

I have seen on the OCZ product pages that their well-known GameXStream power supply uses 4 x 12V rails, each with 18A.  Does this mean that the relatively new OCZ power supply is unsuitable for the entire GeForce 7-series and 8-series cards?  I doubt that, but I don't have the facts.  The answer base here at Experts Exchange doesn't seem to have a detailed explanation of how the 12V rails get divvied up with respect to feeding both CPU and graphics card requirements.

Can anyone explain this to me?  My Radeon X850 graphics card recently died and I need to know if the PSU needs replacement to support the new card.  I would rather not make the additional purchase.

Cheers,
Zimtok5
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Question by:Zimtok5
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Author Comment

by:Zimtok5
ID: 19574958
Okay, I'm adding another 125 pts to this question (now, 250).  I would like an answer by tonight, if possible.
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Author Comment

by:Zimtok5
ID: 19575556
I'm not depending on this explanation, but this is the kind of thing I am looking for.

http://www.xsreviews.co.uk/glossary/power-supplies/multiple-power-supply-rails-explained/

Does this mean neither of those power supplies would suffice to power the 24A requirement for the card?
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Assisted Solution

by:notbhavn
notbhavn earned 1000 total points
ID: 19576269
OK, I've got it.  I have been researching this for over an hour or more to make sure I was right, but this card pulls about 100 watts at FULL LOAD, equating to only about 8.3a@12VDV.  Can you please show me where you found the card needs 24a?  That would be quite a load at 288 watts (volts x amps).  Keep your power supply, buy the card and enjoy it my friend.  Take care.
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Author Comment

by:Zimtok5
ID: 19576428
I appreciate the time dedicated to the cause notbhavn.

I don't believe it's uncommon for GeForce 7-series or 8-series card manufacturers to recommend a 24A current supply.  I imagine this is simply a general guideline for system builders using this card, as is their "minimum 400W PSU" recommendation, but I want to make 100% sure before I go ahead and spend the money.

These people make a reasonable claim for the non-existence of a truly separate 12V rail system:
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/other/display/atx-psu5.html

The place I found the recommendation was on either the manufacturer's website or one of the review pages from my retailer listing (Komplett.ie).  I'm hunting it down right now and I'll post it here.
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Assisted Solution

by:notbhavn
notbhavn earned 1000 total points
ID: 19576535
Here is where it was tested:
http://www.bjorn3d.com/read_pf.php?cID=1123

but the guy makes the BEST observation in the fact that it does NOT have a PCI-e power input:
"Another item overlooked (namely because it doesn't exist) on the 8600GT Fatal1ty Series is the lack of a PCI-e power input on this card. This card only draws somewhere in the neighborhood of 100W at full load preempting the need for an additional power source."  And he is right.  It doesn't have it because the card can pull the required power without it.  I'll keep looking so we can have multiple proof.  Take care.
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Author Comment

by:Zimtok5
ID: 19576628
Cheers man!  I think it was one of the review sites mixed with one or two of the upper 8-series GeForce reviews I was coupling it with in my head.  I've been stepping down from my initial overzealous aims for what I can afford to buy for my machine for the moment.

I mean, maybe a pre-overclocked, passive heatsink-bearing graphics card isn't the best idea for a system which just overheated a similar homegrown mod of a previously HSF-topped Radeon X850, but I'm willing to take the risk for EUR 160.

Plus, I hate noise.  I dream of the day when I have a silent PC.  I'll take the power hit.  I just gotta have a silent one.  One day.  *sniff*

Thanks again, man.
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Accepted Solution

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notbhavn earned 1000 total points
ID: 19576669
Here is another article which is talking about overclocking a regular 8600 GT or GTS while staying under the 71 watts threshold "Given the majority of 8600 GT and GTS graphics cards feature the same cooling, we know that they can handle at least 71 watts worth of heat distribution."  And the Fatality has even better cooling, so we can assuming they are pumping more juice through it, but you will still top out at a max of 9 amps.
quoted from:  http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=657
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Expert Comment

by:notbhavn
ID: 19576698
Great, I'm glad we worked it out for you.  Let me know how the new card works for you, now that I've researched it, I want to buy it myself.  Take care.
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Author Comment

by:Zimtok5
ID: 19576943
Haha!  I'll try to remember, my man!  It's difficult to remember anything when you've got a pile of post-it notes as high as Mt. Everest.

Well, I'm gonna go ahead and take the plunge.  Thanks for all your help notbhavn.  You're getting a A+ for this one.  Send me another message in a week and I'll let you know how I'm getting on with my new card!

Take care.  See ya around EE.
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Author Comment

by:Zimtok5
ID: 19618275
The XFX GeForce 8600GT Fatal1ty 256MB is great!

It works like a charm for all of my games.  No trouble at all on installation.  It's not as huge as I was expecting it to be and the location of the large aluminum heatsink isn't a problem as I imagined it might be.  Great card indeed.

Thanks for all the support.  The current provided by my PSU seems to work for me just fine.

PS - I didn't think I'd come crawling back to GeForce so soon!  Ho ho ho.  Brilliant performance for ¬160.
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Expert Comment

by:notbhavn
ID: 19618321
That's great!!!  I'm extremely happy to see you write back and let me know.  Thanks chief.  What games are you playing with it?
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Author Comment

by:Zimtok5
ID: 19618411
No problem, mate.  I'm only playing a bit of GTA: San Andreas at the moment... and not much else, unfortunately.  That isn't very graphically taxing, but I've tried out Company of Heroes and it dragged a bit with my old card at 1280x1024, but this new one runs it great with pretty much all the settings maxed out.  (well, all but the ultra-detailed textures, etc.)  I figure this would do anyone for the first hammering of DirectX 10 games, if they're willing to dip in for another card in 1-2 years.  Great value as a replacement for my old Radeon X850.

Enjoy it if you get one!!  You gotta love passive cooling systems.
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