Best GPUs for 500W and 550W Power Supply
A high-quality 500W PSU is typically sufficient to power GPUs like the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 or RTX 3060 Ti. However, it is important to have a PSU from a reputable manufacturer that is capable of delivering consistent and reliable power, and be able to supply most of the power on the 12V rail.
For example, a 500W power supply with a 12 volt line that can deliver 40 Amps current is a property designed model. However, if a 550 watt power supply only has 18 amps with the 12 volt rail, it should be avoided.
GPUs that generally considered good match for a quality 500W and 550W power supply are:
- NVIDIA RTX 3060
- NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti
- NVIDIA RTX 3070
- AMD RX 6800
Let’s see some more details about these cards and some expert reviews with their pros and cons.
NVIDIA RTX 3060
The RTX 3060 is a graphics card from Nvidia’s GeForce 30 series with a GA106 graphics processor, built on Samsung’s 8nm process technology. It has a base clock speed of 1320 MHz and a boost clock speed of 1777 MHz, with 3584 shading units, 112 TMUs, and 48 ROPs. The card features 12 GB of GDDR6 memory on a 192-bit bus, with a memory bandwidth of 360.0 GB/s. It has a TDP of 170 W and requires a 450 W power supply with a single 12-pin power connector. The card has one HDMI 2.1 port and three DisplayPort 1.4a ports. It supports DirectX 12 Ultimate (12_2), OpenGL 4.6, OpenCL 3.0, Vulkan 1.3, and CUDA 8.6.
|Game||FPS 1080p||FPS 1440p||FPS 4K|
|Shadow of the Tomb Raider||114||79||102|
|God of war||105||87||54|
*The FPS values are for the maximum preset
Gamers Nexus review of the RTX 3060 card found that it is easy to overclock and follows the same process as other 30 series cards. However, this particular card stopped scaling at a 100 to 175 MHz offset, which is unusual as normally it starts crashing.
Compared to its higher-end counterparts, the card consumes relatively less power, which is a plus for those concerned about energy efficiency. However, this also means that the card has a lower overall performance ceiling, and may struggle with more demanding games and applications.
Additonally, while the 3060 is marketed as a 12GB card, it’s important to note that the memory speed is slower than that of the 3060 Ti and 3070, which may impact performance in memory-intensive tasks.
Overall conclusion of Gamers Nexus is that the RTX 3060 is a solid mid-range option for those looking to upgrade their gaming setup, but its value proposition may be limited depending on pricing and individual use case.
- The RTX 3060 offers better performance than the RTX 2060 and GTX 1060 in most games
- The RTX 3060 supports ray tracing and DLSS features that enhance graphics quality
- The RTX 3060 has a lower power consumption and temperature than the RTX 3060 Ti
- The EVGA RTX 3060 XC Black has a simple and compact design that fits most cases
- The RTX 3060 is significantly slower than the RTX 3060 Ti in most games
- The RTX 3060 has limited VRAM (12 GB) that may affect future games
- The EVGA RTX 3060 XC Black has a loud fan noise under load
- The availability and price of the RTX 3060 are uncertain due to high demand and low supply
Jayz Two Cents
Jayz Two Cents test shows that the 3060 is faster in most scenarios than the previous gen GPUS. The 3060 has 12GB of VRAM, which is considered a marketing gimmick and not necessary for this card. According to Jayz Two Cents RTX 3060 is a good buy for those looking for a mid-range graphics card with good performance.
Jayz Two Cents thinks that the RTX 3060 is a decent card for gamers who want to play at 1080p with ray tracing and DLSS features, but not for those who want to play at higher resolutions or settings without them.
- It has good performance for 1080p gaming at high settings with ray tracing and DLSS enabled.
- It has a low power consumption and runs relatively cool and quiet.
- It has lower performance than some older cards such as RX 5700 XT or GTX 1080 Ti at higher resolutions or settings without ray tracing or DLSS.
- 12 GB VRAM not necessary for this card
Hardware Unboxed thinks that the RTX 3060 is not a great value product, especially considering its price. It does not bring anything new to the table and is technically worse in value than the 3060 Ti, although it does pack a bit more VRAM. Assuming MSRP is met, the RTX 3060 is a small upgrade for 2060 owners, a downgrade for 5700 XT owners, and almost a side-grade for 2060 Super owners. However, it is a decent upgrade for those with a GTX 1060 or 1070. The RTX 3060 is technically very good.
- Good performance at 1080p and 1440p for most games
- Supports ray tracing and DLSS features
- Has 12 GB of VRAM which is more than RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3070
- Runs cool and quiet with low power consumption
- Limited by memory bandwidth due to 192-bit bus
- Performs worse than RTX 3060 Ti and RX 5700 XT which are similarly priced or cheaper
Linus Tech Tips
Linus Tech Tips thinks RTX 3060 is a great graphics card that offers a lot of value and performance, but he is frustrated by the lack of availability at the time. He also warns that the RTX 3060 may not be enough for some users who want to play at higher resolutions or with more demanding games.
- It has 12 GB of VRAM, which is more than enough for most games and applications.
- It supports ray tracing and DLSS, which improve the graphics quality and performance.
- It has a low power consumption and a quiet cooler.
- It can run most games at high settings and 1080p or 1440p resolution.
- It is very hard to find in stock due to high demand and low supply.
- It is overpriced by scalpers and retailers who take advantage of the shortage.
- It has a lower memory bandwidth, which may affect some games.
- It may not be future-proof enough for upcoming games that require more performance.
NVIDIA RTX 3070
The RTX 3070 is a graphics card based on the Ampere architecture with a GPU name GA104-300-A1, produced on Samsung’s 8nm process. It has 5888 shading units, 184 texture mapping units, 96 ROPs, and 46 SMs. The graphics card has a base clock speed of 1500 MHz and a boost clock speed of 1725 MHz, with 8 GB of GDDR6 memory running at 14 Gbps effective speed. It uses a 256-bit memory bus with a bandwidth of 448.0 GB/s. The card has a TDP of 220 W and requires a 550 W power supply unit. It has one HDMI 2.1 port and three DisplayPort 1.4a ports. The RTX 3070 was released on September 1st, 2020.
|Game||FPS 1080p||FPS 1440p||FPS 4K|
|Red Dead Redemption 2 (High)||122||102||63|
|Total War: Three Kingdoms (Ultra)||105||66||33|
|Cyber Punk (Ultra)||70||60||44|
|God of war (Ultra)||88||77||45|
According to GamersNexus the RTX 3070 Founders Edition is a great card that offers excellent 4K and 1440p performance at a very reasonable price. It has some weak points in its thermals and noise, but they can be mitigated by manual fan control or aftermarket coolers. The card is a good choice for anyone who wants to upgrade from an older generation or enjoy ray tracing and DLSS features.
The card can handle 4K resolutions and threatens the position of the RTX 3080 as the first fully 4K-ready card. The card runs quietly at 33 dBa but sacrifices some noise to alleviate long-term concerns regarding VRM component temperatures. The gaming performance of the RTX 3070 is impressive, leading the 2080 Super by 12.4% at 1080p and maintaining an 18% lead at 1440p. The 3070 is a worthwhile upgrade for those unhappy with their 1070’s performance, and it offers good power efficiency to performance gains ratio. Overall, the 3070 provides significant generational gains and is a good value compared to the 20 series.
Some pros of the RTX 3070 are:
- It delivers performance on par with the RTX 2080 Ti at less than half the price
- It has a strong pressure map and coldplate depth that improve cooling
- It has a high frequency boost potential and overclocking headroom
- It is very quiet and cool under load
- It supports ray tracing and DLSS features that enhance graphics quality
Some cons of the RTX 3070 are:
- It has a high peak temperature and noise level in auto VBIOS mode
- It has a slow fan hysteresis that causes RPM fluctuations
- It may require a new power supply or adapter for some systems
- It may not fit in some cases due to its length
According to Hardware Unboxed RTX 3070 FE is a great value product that offers the same performance as the RTX 2080 Ti for half the price. The card has a great raw performance, cost per frame and performance per watt, but Hardware Unboxed are slightly let down by the DLSS and RT features that are not much improved from the previous generation. RTX 3070 also has 3 GB less VRAM than the RTX 2080 Ti, which might be an issue in some games or applications.
- Good raw performance
- It is 40% faster than RTX 2070 Super
- Same performance as RTX 2080 Ti
- Good Price
- Cool and quiet, easy on the PSU
- DLSS and Ray Tracing not improved much
- Only 8 GB VRAM
According to TechPowerUp, the ASUS GeForce RTX 3070 Noctua OC is an outstanding graphics card that boasts a massive cooling solution, making it one of the coolest and quietest graphics cards available in the market. The card’s performance is impressive, capable of running the latest games at 1440p and most games at 4K. The cooling system, designed by Noctua, a renowned cooling system specialist, features standard Noctua NF-A12x25 120 mm fans that contribute to the card’s exceptionally quiet operation, setting a new record with 23.1 dBA. Additionally, the cooling capability of the heatsink surpasses any Founders Edition cooler that NVIDIA has ever produced.
On the downside, the card’s design may not be as sleek as other options, such as the NVIDIA Founders Editions. The Noctua RTX 3070 is bulkier than most other graphics cards available, which may not be ideal for some setups. However, the card is energy efficient and performs just as well as an RTX 3070.
- Performs well in gaming, beating last generation’s RTX 2080 Ti flagship.
- The massive cooling
- Noctua fans make it extremely quiet during heavy gaming workloads.
- The ASUS RTX 3070 Noctua is 8% faster than the Radeon RX 6700 XT and 12% faster than the RTX 3060 Ti.
- The real-life performance gain from the factory OC of the RTX 3070 Noctua is only around 1%, despite being a 5.2% increase in rated boost.
- Visually not very pleasing
- The physical size of the card may be a concern for some users
AMD RX 6800
AMD RX 6800 has Navi 21 XL graphics processor, part of the Navi II generation (RX 6000) and successor to Navi. It was released on Oct 28th, 2020 and has an active production. It has a clock speed of up to 2105 MHz and 16 GB of GDDR6 memory with a memory bus of 256 bit and a bandwidth of 512.0 GB/s. It has a power consumption and TDP of 250 W. It has 3840 shading units, 240 TMUs, and 96 ROPs. It also has 60 compute units and 60 RT cores. The theoretical performance includes a pixel rate of 202.1 GPixel/s and a texture rate of 505.2 GTexel/s.
You can use the AMD RX 6800 with a 500W or 550W power supply, provided that you are using a standard build consisting of a 65-watt CPU, one NVMe drive, one SSD drive, and two 8GB sticks of RAM.
|Game||FPS 1080p||FPS 1440p||FPS 4K|
|Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2||145||105||64|
|Need for Speed Unbound||105||87||54|
*The FPS values are for the maximum preset
Radeon RX 6800 is a better choice than the RTX 3070, especially given the former’s larger VRAM buffer and SAM support. While the RTX 3070 has more mature ray tracing support and DLSS 2.0, it is not a major selling point unless you play a specific selection of games.
Additionally, the VRAM buffer on the RTX 3070 is less than ideal, particularly for the price.
- AMD’s Radeon RX 6800 offers twice as much VRAM for the same price as RTX 3070.
- RX 6800 is 3% slower than the RTX 3080
- The RX 6800 outperforms the RTX 3070 in most games.
- The larger VRAM buffer of the RX 6800 will prove beneficial for all games that require more than 8GB of VRAM.
- SAM support and the larger VRAM buffer are the main advantages of the RX 6800
- Performs surprisingly well in 4K
The 6800 XT review found that while Smart Access Memory was sometimes helpful, it’s not a life-changing feature, and the real-time ray tracing performance is far behind Nvidia’s. However, if you don’t care about ray tracing, the 6800 is worth considering, especially for normal gaming, as it is extremely competitive with the 3070. The 6800 XT’s extra $80 is harder to justify due to the slimmer feature set compared to the competing RTX card. Overall, if you are interested in real-time ray tracing, it is recommended to buy an Nvidia card.
- RX 6800 XT is the same as 3070 in terms of rasterization performance.
- Very good for 1080p or 1440p resolutions.
- Smart Access Memory can provide a performance uplift in some scenarios.
- The 6800 XT falls far behind the Nvidia 3080 in real-time ray tracing performance.
- The value proposition is a little harder to justify when compared to the competing RTX card, especially given the slimmer feature set.
- Smart Access Memory doesn’t always provide a noticeable performance boost and may even have negative scaling in some scenarios.
Other GPU models that will run on 500W and 500W PSU
Clearly GPUs with lower TDP requirements than the one presented previously can indeed run on a 500W or 550W power supply. However, it’s crucial to consider any additional hardware that you may have in the system. If there are multiple SSDs and NVMe drives, more than two sticks of RAM, liquid cooling, or RGB lights, a higher power PSU may be necessary.
Can a 500W and 550 W PSU run a RTX 2060?
Yes, a 500W and 550W power supply can run an NVIDIA RTX2060 graphics card. According to the official specifications RTX 2060 is a dual-slot graphics card that has a TDP of 160W and requires a minimum power supply of 450W and has one 8-pin power connector.
Can a 500w and 550 W PSU run a RTX 3050?
You can run and NVDIA RTX 3050 on 500W and 550W power supply without any problem. Based on the official specifications RTX 3050 is a dual-slot graphics card that has a TDP of 130W and requires a minimum power supply of 300W and has one 8-pin power connector.
Can a 500W and 550 W PSU run a RTX 2070 Super?
Good quality 500W and 550W power supply with enough power on the 12V rail will be capable of running RTX 2070 Super. Official specifications specs RTX 2070 Super as a dual-slot graphics card with TDP of 215W and a suggested power supply requirement of 550W with one 6-pin and one 8-pin power connector.
Can a 500W and 550 W PSU run a RTX 3060 Ti?
RTX 3060 Ti can run on a good quality 500W and 550W power supply with enough power on the 12V rail. Official specifications specs RTX 3060 Ti as a dual-slot graphics card with TDP of 200W and a suggested power supply requirement of 550W with one 12-pin power connector.
Allan WittAllan Witt is Co-founder and editor in chief of Hardware-corner.net. Computers and the web have fascinated me since I was a child. In 2011 started training as an IT specialist in a medium-sized company and started a blog at the same time. I really enjoy blogging about tech. After successfully completing my training, I worked as a system administrator in the same company for two years. As a part-time job I started tinkering with pre-build PCs and building custom gaming rigs at local hardware shop. The desire to build PCs full-time grew stronger, and now this is my full time job.
Dell refurbished desktop computers
If you are looking to buy a certified refurbished Dell desktop computer, this article will help you.
Dell Outlet and Dell Refurbished Guide
For cheap refurbished desktops, laptops, and workstations made by Dell, you have the option…
Dell OptiPlex 3020 vs 7020 vs 9020
Differences between the Dell OptiPlex 3020, 7020 and 9020 desktops.