GeForce 8800 Series - How much is enough power?

So I just recently got this Corsair 520 watt power supply, thinking it would last me into the next generation or two of computing tech. I spent about $120 bucks on it, which is only a little above what I normally spend on a PSU. However, I usually only do it every three or four years, depending on whether I have a blow-out or end up needing more juice.

Which brings me to my question: now that the G80 / GeForce 8800 series is out, and the PSU requirements are being discussed, do I need to upgrade again if I want to use this series?

Will this be similar/same or different in the case of the next generation of ATI cards? I know that may be speculation at this point, since little is known about the ATI cards other than it will be a fully unified shader architecture – as opposed to the hybrid one used in the Nvidia G80 architecture.

I’m looking at what PSUs they are recommending on Newegg, the 850W and 1000W power variety, and am also starting to think about whether we will run into problems with the amount of power a circuit in your home wiring can handle and whether this means I should also consider a new uber UPS so I don’t destroy a future power-sucking-demon computer. Also, this kind of thing seems like it would be raising my power bills a shitload if I ran it all the time. This makes me think I may want to set up a secondary computer for running downloads instead of having my main gaming system running all day, all week.

A decent 450W would easily handle a single 8800GTX. If you’re going SLI, all bets are off.

Oh, so the 850 and 1000 watt PSUs are geared towards 8800s in SLI? I guess that makes sense.

Not for a single 8800 card. From what I’ve read, power consumption for these cards isn’t that much higher than the previous high-end cards: roughly 125 - 150W under load, IIRC.

If you go SLI, though, it’s another matter entirely.

A good quality 450W PSU with a pair of PCI-E power connectors will keep an 8800gtx happy.

If your PSU doesn’t have PCI-E power connectors, you’ll have to sacrifice four (4) molex connectors and plug them into the adapters that come with the card.

(doh, i said pci-x, not pci-e).

I’m using an Antec 450w supply with 2 PCI-E power connectors. I have not had any problems powering an 8800GTX off it.

I’ve read in various places that the cards two generations back use more than
twice as much power as the GeForce 7xxx series, so 8xxx cards wouldn’t be
all that bad.

Heh heh heh , haven’t you heard?
Apparently the 8800 GTXs have some sort of triple SLI setup.

Check this out.

I have an Antec 550w with a single PCI-X slot mobo, so I should be ok with just the one 8800GTX then?

Yes you should. You exceed the minimum rating by 100 watts.

Note, as someone else just noticed, that PCI-X isnt the same thing as PCI Express. PCI-X is a 64-bit PCI slot found on older server motherboards, and that has nothing to do with PCI Express.

This is simply wrong.

Ahhh, sorry I didn’t realize there were 2 different things. I did mean a single PCI Express slot.