The new Nvidia GeForce RTX 40 series includes some of the most power-hungry graphics cards on the market. Therefore, you may be wondering if you need a new power supply (PSU) to support the monstrous capabilities of the RTX 4090.
To allay some of these concerns, Nvidia has released new information about the power consumption of its new GPUs. The conclusion? Well, it’s not all that bad yet.
Prior to the official announcement of the RTX 40 series, the cards were the subject of much power speculation. The flagship RTX 4090 got the most coverage of all, with plenty of rumors pointing to insane requirements along the lines of 800-900W. Fortunately, we now know that those rumors were not true.
The RTX 4090 has a TGP of 450W, the same as the RTX 3090 Ti, and calls for a PSU of at least 850W. The RTX 4080 16GB takes things up a notch with a 320W TGP and a 750W power supply. Finally, the RTX 4070 in disguise, also known as the RTX 4080 draws 12GB, 285W and calls for a 700W PSU.
Nvidia claims this isn’t an increase over the previous generation, but it is — after all, the RTX 3090 had a TGP of 350W. That said, it’s not as bad as we thought, but many are still wondering if they should upgrade their existing PSUs or not.
Nvidia has now assured its customers that they can stick with whatever PSU they currently own, as long as it meets the wattage requirements for that particular card.
Likewise, Nvidia doesn’t expect any issues when it comes to compatibility of 8-pin to PCIe Gen 5 16-pin adapters. As Nvidia said on its FAQ page, “The adapter has active circuitry inside that translates the 8-pin plug state into the appropriate sideband signals according to the PCIe Gen 5 (ATX 3.0) specification.”
There’s also another fun fact in that FAQ: Nvidia confirms that the so-called smart power adapter will detect the number of 8-pin connectors plugged in. When four such connectors are used instead of just three, it will allow the RTX 4090 to draw more power (up to 600 watts) for additional overclocking capabilities.
There have also been questions about the durability of the PCIe 5.0 connectors, which are rated at 30 cycles. Some may not think that much, but Nvidia clarifies this by saying that this has almost always been the case, or at least for the past twenty years.
Finally, Nvidia clarified the issue of the possibility of an overcurrent or overcurrent risk when using the 16-pin power connector with non-ATX 3.0 power supplies. Indeed, it had discovered a problem during the early stages of development, but it has since been clarified. Again, seemingly nothing to worry about.
All in all, fears of power consumption have largely been quelled. Nvidia did increase the power requirements, but not as much as expected, so as long as your PSU matches what the card is asking for, you should be fine. However, let’s not breathe a sigh of relief just yet – the RTX 4090 Ti can still happen, and that will probably be a beast that consumes a lot of energy.