NVIDIA Alters Power Supply Requirements for GeForce 6800-series Products

480W PSUs Not Necessary for New Graphics Cards

by Anton Shilov
05/14/2004 | 05:58 AM

NVIDIA Corporation said it seriously reconsidered the recommendations about power supply units for computers with its latest high-end product called the GeForce 6800 Ultra and derivatives. The company told that 480 PSU are not compulsory for such PCs.


Originally NVIDIA Corp. recommended to use a 480W power supply units for use with its recently announced graphics processors GeForce 6800 Ultra in order to ensure maximum stability and reliability. However, it turned out that the requirement is not compulsory.

When we initially specified out the power supply requirements for the GeForce 6800 Ultra we made an error on the conservative side. The reason is that this is an Enthusiast class product, and enthusiast users tend to max out their system configurations with the fastest CPU, lots of peripherals, etc. The original 480W power supply specification was targeted at these users. This spec gives them the power they need for their other system components, while also enabling overclocking headroom,” NVIDIA’s spokesperson Luciano Alibrandi told X-bit labs.

“For users who want to run the GeForce 6800 Ultra at its standard clocks, a good quality 350W power supply is more than enough. In fact a number of web-sites have done reviews of the GeForce 6800 Ultra using a 350W PSU. Based on this and additional test time that we have had with the GPU, our new minimum power requirement is a 350W power supply,” Mr. Alibrandi explained.

The GeForce 6-series of graphics processors will be available across entry-level, mainstream, performance-mainstream, high-end and, apparently, so-called ultra high-end graphics cards. The new series of NVIDIA’s graphics processors is the company’s second generation lineup of DirectX 9.0-compatible offerings that greatly leverage the feature-set of NVIDIA GeForce FX graphics chips and brings important additional caps like Shader Model 3.0 as well as great performance improvements over the previous generation hardware.

So far NVIDIA has unveiled only a $499 offering called the GeForce 6800 Ultra that is based on a 400MHz chip that integrates 16-pixel pipelines, 6 vertex pipelines as well as equipped with 256MB of GDDR3 memory at 1100MHz. Later graphics cards powered by similar graphics processors priced at $399 and $299 will be introduced.

The claims made by NVIDIA look pretty reasonably, but give a clear signal to enthusiasts who tend to be on the bleeding edge of technology that they should get quality power supply units in order to use it with the latest hardware. The same is generally effective for other high-end systems with powerful microprocessors and forthcoming graphics cards, such as ATI RADEON X800 XT.

While the intensification of requirements for more powerful PSUs and other system components is a natural trend, surging the requirements towards very high-end power supplies or other parts of PC systems is something that is able to negatively affect sales of products with such demands.

NVIDIA’s spokesperson denied to comment on actual power consumption of the GeForce 6800 Ultra, GeForce 6800 GT and GeForce 6800, but suggested that the company may announce the information sometime in future.