How Much Power Does the GTX 1080 Need?

It is a very common rookie mistake to ignore the importance of the power supply unit (PSU) when building or buying a computer. They are almost always preoccupied with the CPU or GPU, completely ignoring the PSU.

These consumers sometimes end up having a complete system with insufficient power, and as a result, they encounter system failures, or worse, burning their shiny new components because of a cheap power supply.

a GTX 1080 brand new in box

As all experienced PC gamers would advise, “Never cheap out on the PSU”.

For a power-hungry GPUs such as the GTX 1080, choosing the right power supply is just as important as choosing the CPU or motherboard.

It may not be as shiny as your RGB components and peripherals, but your power supply plays an important role in the overall performance of your computer, as it is the one bringing the juice to all the components in order for them to work.

In this article, we will discuss the power consumption of this popular GPU and its ideal power supply requirements in different cases.

So How Much Power Does a GTX 1080 Use?

As per Nvidia’s official website, a GTX 1080 has a power consumption of 180W and has a recommended system power of 500W. It also uses one or two 8-pins or 6+2 pins PCIe connectors depending on the GPU brand.

Although this may still vary as there are different variants of GTX 1080 available in the market today. Some variants of GTX 1080 may require more PCIe connectors or power because of some additional features such as being factory overclocked.

Is 450 Watts Enough for the GTX 1080?

Yes and No. While a gaming PC with a GTX 1080 might work with only 450W, it is not ideal to run your PC with very low system power and we definitely won’t recommend this for a GTX 1080 setup.

Although 450W should be enough to power the 1080, remember that this GPU alone consumes up to 180W, not to mention the power consumption of your other hardware such as the CPU, drives, memory, and so on.

In addition to that, always keep in mind that the recommended system power of running a GTX 1080 is at least 500W, so it is best to keep your system power within that range, or better yet, more than what is required for headroom for future upgrades.

Anyway, for the sake of this discussion, we’ve tried analyzing the power consumption of a desktop PC using the Seasonic wattage calculator.

This setup is composed of very basic components and peripherals along with GTX 1080 to determine whether a 450W PSU is enough for GTX 1080.

Main Specs Used:

CPUMemoryGPUStorageFansPeripherals
Intel Core i5 104002 x 8GB DDR4GTX 10801 x SSD + 1 x 7200RPM HDD6 x 120mm fans (2 front, 2 top, 1 rear, plus 1 for the CPU heatsink)Gaming Keyboard and Gaming Mouse

Power Consumption Results:

Load WattageRecommended PSU Wattage
404W454W

After running the wattage calculator, we’ve found out that the total power consumption of this particular setup at full load is only 404W, enough for a 450W PSU… or is it?

Since power supplies are not at all times efficient, we cannot be sure that a 450W power supply can always deliver at 100%, that is why it is highly recommended to go beyond the recommended system power.

a 1080 after being unboxed before installation

Is 500W Enough Power for this GPU?

Based on the official Nvidia’s website, 500W is the recommended system power for a GTX 1080 which means it should be enough to power up your system.

But we have not taken into the account the other components and peripherals that you may have such as a CPU, multiple drives, RGB strips and fans, multiple RAM sticks, and so on.

So using the same wattage calculator, let us tweak the components from the previous one and determine if 500W is ideal for the GTX 1080.

Main Specs Used:

CPUMemoryGPUStorageFansPeripherals
Intel Core i5 104002 x 8 GB DDR4GTX 10801 x SSD + 2 x 7200RPM HDD6 x 120mm fans (2 front, 2 top, 1 rear, plus 1 for the CPU heatsink)Gaming Keyboard and Gaming Mouse

Power Consumption Results:

Load WattageRecommended PSU Wattage
415W465W

Based on the output above, a 500W PSU should be enough for the GTX along with basic components.

If you are planning to use a 500W PSU for the GTX 1080, just always keep in mind your future upgrades, as this may affect the total load wattage of your entire system and the 500W is no longer enough.

Can a 550W PSU Run a GTX 1080?

Definitely. A 550W PSU is more than enough to run a GTX 1080. Not only is this PSU enough, but you also have headroom for future upgrades.

With a 550W power supply, you can also use a better CPU along with the GPU, as well as additional accessories and peripherals.

Below is an example of a more power-hungry system alongside the GTX 1080, let’s see how a 550W power supply would perform under this type of setup.

Main Specs Used:

CPUMemoryGPUStorageLiquid CoolerFansPeripheralsOther Accessories
Intel Core i7 10700K2 x 8GB DDR4GTX 10801 x M.2 SSD + 1 x SSD + 2 x 7200RPM HDDCooler Master MasterLiquid Pro 1206 x 120mm fans (3 front, 3 top)Gaming Keyboard and Gaming MouseLED strips and Fan Controller Device

Power Consumption Results:

Load Wattage486W
Recommended PSU Wattage536W

As you can see from our example above, a 550W PSU should be enough to run a GTX 1080.

Also, we’ve added an additional M.2 SSD, an AIO cooler, LED strips, and a fan controller device. The load wattage for this kind of setup is only at 486W with a recommended PSU wattage of 536W.

a 1080 before installation

What About Using a 600W PSU?

Since a 550W PSU is enough for the GTX 1080, there’s really no reason why a 600W PSU will not work.

600W should be more than enough to power up an entire system that contains a GTX 1080. So this time, let’s take a different approach to how we calculate the capabilities of a 600W PSU in terms of delivering power to a GTX 1080 gaming setup.

Main Specs Used:

CPUMemoryGPUStorageLiquid CoolerFansPeripheralsOther Accessories
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X OC’ed to 4.30GHz @ 1.33v (please take note that these settings are for a test setup and may not work with other setups)4 x 8GB DDR4GTX 10801 x M.2 SSD + 1 x SSD + 2 x 7200RPM HDDNZXT Kraken X724 x 120mm fans (3 front, 1 rear)Gaming Keyboard and Gaming MouseLED strips and Fan Controller Device

Power Consumption Results:

Load WattageRecommended PSU Wattage
491W541W

Note that we changed the CPU to an overclocked Ryzen 7 3700X and NZXT Kraken X72 360mm AIO.

As you can see, there’s still lots of headroom for 600W as the total wattage is only at 491W and recommended PSU wattage at 541W, even for an overclocked Ryzen 7 3700x.

So if you have a 600W PSU right now and are planning to buy a GTX 1080, you have nothing to worry about.

Is 650W a Good Idea to Run a GTX 1080 or is it Overkill?

Since it is obvious enough that a 650W PSU can run a GTX 1080 with ease, let’s take another approach on testing it.

This time, let’s see if a 650W PSU is capable of running a 2 x GTX 1080 at SLI configuration.

Main Specs Used:

CPUMemoryGPUStorageFansPeripherals
Intel Core i7 107004 x 8GB DDR42 x GTX 1080 SLI
1 x M.2 SSD + 1 x 7200RPM HDD8 x 120mm fans (3 front; 3 top; 1 rear; 1 for CPU heatsink)Gaming Keyboard and Gaming Mouse

Power Consumption Results:

Load WattageRecommended PSU Wattage
594W644W

In this kind of setup, we changed the CPU to Intel Core i7 at stock speed and removed the water cooling and other devices.

The results show us a 594W load wattage with a recommended PSU wattage of 644W.

In theory, a 650W should be enough to run this setup considering the load wattage is only at 594W. But there are other things to consider such as the efficiency of the power supply and the total number of PCIe connectors.

The Bottom Line: What Wattage PSU Would you Recommend?

Based on the sections above, the safest and the most recommended PSU wattage for GTX 1080 is 600W.

Even for the most experienced users, 600W is the sweet spot for a GTX 1080 since there may be some upgrades in the future, that may need some additional system power.

This way, you don’t have to worry now or in the future, whether or not your PSU can handle the overall power requirements of your gaming PC.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Should I be Looking for When Choosing a PSU for this GPU?

While choosing a specific brand for PSU is broad, there are some guides that you may want to consider in choosing the best PSU for your needs and budget.

The first one is the 80+ certification. Ideally, you would want to get a PSU with at least a 80+ Bronze certification.

a Seasonic SSR-600TL PSU

We have written reviews on the best PSUs to power the GTX 1080 currently.

What is the Difference Between GTX 1080 and GTX 1080 Ti?

Many people are confused about NVidia’s line of graphics cards, specifically to their Ti and non-Ti cards, particularly, the GTX 1080 and GTX 1080 Ti. So what exactly are the differences between both cards?

Both cards are under the same GPU Pascal architecture and have the same standard memory configuration of GDDR5X, there are a lot of differences between the two cards in terms of performance.

Below are the specs of both cards.

 GTX 1080GTX 1080 Ti
GPU ArchitecturePascalPascal
Frame Buffer8 GB GDDR5X11 GB GDDR5X
Memory Speed10 Gbps11 Gbps
Boost Clock1733 MHz1582 MHz
Cuda Cores25603584
Memory Interface Width256-bit352-bit
Memory Bandwidth320 GB/sec484 GB/sec

As you can see from the quick specs table above, the GTX 1080 Ti has the clear advantage except for boost clock.

But it shouldn’t affect the overall performance that much since there are still other factors that affect the GPU’s raw power, such as the Cuda cores, memory bandwidth, and VRAM.

With that being said, Nvidia’s Ti cards are faster than the non-Ti version, and are usually more expensive.

This is to cater to the consumers that want more options when choosing the right type of GPU.

Is the GTX 1080 Still Good Today?

The answer to this is yes. It is still after all of these years able to handle 1080p at an impressive 80 FPS even for the most demanding triple-A games at high settings.

Follow this link to learn just how good the GTX 1080 is and what it is capable of.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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