Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

GTX 480 & GTX 470 Power Supply Unit Buying Guide

So you are going to go the Fermi / GF100 route for your next video card purchase? Along with getting the fastest single GPU in the world, you will also be nursing a power hungry piglet of a video card that requires you feed it a diet high in amperage, low in ripple, all while keeping tight voltage regulation. We show you what to buy.

Introduction

Today we are going to be sharing with you the first [H]ard|OCP authored "Buying Guide" that we have written in some time, and the first ever focusing on power supplies. Why might you ask? With the latest GPU refresh, it is highly likely that a lot of our readers are going to see some skyrocketing power consumption numbers in how much wattage their system might be consuming. With NVIDIA’s release of its Fermi GPU-based GTX 480 and GTX 470 video cards we have seen a real increase in the power requirements that enthusiasts are seeing, as witnessed in our recent Fermi evaluation. We have put together this guide to help steer our readers to what we feel is the right direction when it comes to powering their brand new Fermi system.

We have had well over 100 power supplies come through our hands in the last few years for review. We have published reviews for most of them. Some we let the smoke out of so quickly that you never got to read a review about them. We have not reviewed all the PSUs suggested here, but we do think that we have learned enough about power supplies and know enough people in the industry that we can suggest what is "best" for your hard earned dollar.

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Our Focus

Our Focus is to look at what we think will be the most common Fermi based configurations and to make recommendations based upon what we would buy to power our Fermi rigs if we were building today. These video card configurations are as follows:

  • Single GTX 470
  • Single GTX 480 or GTX 470 SLI
  • GTX 480 SLI or GTX 470 SLI OC
  • GTX 480 SLI OC
  • GTX 480 Tri-SLI

We will be basing our recommendations on high-end Intel based infrastructure across all configurations and only be considering quality power supplies that are easily available in e-tail. We also are stipulating all of these units have a bit of headroom for system expansion and overclocking so that users can upgrade various aspects in the future and not run their PSUs in the "red zone" at all times when under load. In this process we will give you a good selection of units for each configuration that you can consider when building your own AMD and Intel processor-based systems with GTX 470 and GTX 480 video cards.

Pricing

While we have noted pricing and shipping charges, HardOCP has no control over this so please keep in mind that prices are subject to change.

Getting Commissioned

To be succinct, there is no "sponsor" of this buying guide. We did not check with any advertisers before we authored this. We did not check with any retailers to see if our choices were OK. All of the links you will find in this guide are commissioned links. If you click through the link on HardOCP and buy the product, we get a small commission. For this guide we chose to use all Newegg. We picked what we thought was the best and readily available and are sharing that with you here. We do ask that you support our site by using our links when purchasing at Newegg. Thanks!

So without further ado, "Gentleman start your credit cards." "Fermi" PSUs ain't all cheap!