NVIDIA backs down GeForce 6800 power spec

— 8:46 AM on May 12, 2004

Don't pull the trigger on that 500W power supply upgrade just yet. NVIDIA has apparently decided to modify its power supply requirements for the GeForce 6800 Ultra, giving its blessing to 350W units. GameSpot has an interview with NVIDIA's General Manager of Desktop GPUs about the change, and he explains:

A good quality 350W power supply with a sufficient 12V rail pull can support the 6800 Ultra standard clocks of 400/550. A lot of reviewers have already shown that they are running on 350W power supplies with no problems. Overclockers will still want the big power supply and will want to connect both molex connectors. We are putting production tests in our manufacturing line to ensure this [new 350W requirement] is the case and will be lowering the spec.
I'm unsure what to make of this one. All testing of the GeForce 6800 Ultra in our reviews of the new GPUs, including the overclocked 450MHz version, were conducted with a 400W Antec PSU. Generally, we had smooth sailing. However, I've seen cheap power supplies rated at 500W that couldn't come close to handling the load a decent quality 350W unit could handle. I'm curious to see how NVIDIA will navigate this particular minefield with a lower recommended number.

Our power consumption results with our testbed system and the latest cards are here.

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