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Old 08-19-2011, 05:10 PM   #1
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Question Power Supply

I have a 525W Multi-GPU Approved PSU and currently have a 2GB GDDR5 AMD Radeon HD 6950. Will this power supply be adequate if I add another 6950 graphic card for SLI configuration? I know a larger one would be best, but will it provide the needed power until I can upgrade the PSU or should I wait until I can afford to get both at once?
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:15 AM   #2
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Default Re: Power Supply

That's cutting it a bit close to the limit.
What else is the 525w powering? if its only 1 HDD, 1 stick ram, and 1 case fan, its possible to power two 6950s without any problems.
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Old 08-22-2011, 09:03 AM   #3
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Default Re: Power Supply

i5-2300 with water cooling (CPU only), 16GB RAM (4x4MB), 1 TB HD, 3 fans (2 80MM 1 smaller), 6950 GPU and killer 2100 network card, monitor has its own power and no other peripherals but mouse and keyboard. I realize its cutting it close, but just need it to power it for maybe 6 months, but I don't want to risk damaging my GPU from lack of power. I can live with the occasional stutter or drop in fps until I can upgrade power supply as long as it wont damage anything.
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: Power Supply

Your gpu wont get damaged by lack of power, it just wont run that's all.

Go ahead and try two 6950s. If the psu cant handle it you can always remove some fans to give headroom
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Old 08-22-2011, 04:26 PM   #5
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Default Re: Power Supply

Right on, I was thinking the same thing but I wanted to be sure before I hooked them up.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:41 PM   #6
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Default Re: Power Supply

My immediate reaction to your original question would be to wait until you can upgrade the power supply. (That said, it sounds like you may have already given it a go). AMD recommend a 500w power supply for one of these cards so I think your machine will have trouble if you introduce a second, as a ball park figure I go for at least a 1000w PSU for an SLI/Crossfire Configuration, but its entirely dependent on what the user will be doing and what the other components in the system are. For you, I wouldn't risk it cause it looks like you may be doing some demanding stuff with your machine. Although the machine may not fail straight off the bat, you could be shortening its lifespan.

I tend to give machines rather monstrous power supplies, just in case they need to be upgraded or the user suddenly develops a taste for 3D gaming, So I have never really experienced an under powered machine. Though I know people that have, it can cause issues with other components, BSOD and could cause the existing PSU to fail, depending on its quality.

I would be intrigued to hear how your machine runs once you have done it (I hope its OK and I'm just being over cautious). So could you post and let us know?
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: Power Supply

No, haven't bought the second card yet. It's not like I need one, I am more than happy with the computer as it stands. Use it primarily for gaming, but have been considering another card, and more than likely I will wait to get a larger PSU, if I can. Its an Alienware Aurora R3, and being that the power supply has connectors for the side lights, it limits my options. I still have to find if I can get a PSU from Alienware as most times they are sold only with new computers. Have never needed to upgrade it so haven't checked into that yet. I can get a 2nd 6950 for about $250. I know others have had problems getting larger PSU's as Alienware is a computer builder, not a supply store. Of course the lights are just bling, so they aren't that important to me. More or less just checking my options.
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: Power Supply

What kind of cables does the lights use? you could find an adapter for that.
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Old 08-26-2011, 10:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: Power Supply

They use a magnetic type connector that attaches directly to the power supply to another built in connector. They dont use cables to connect to the power supply and the side door. The cables for the lights are enclosed in the side panel so the panel just snaps off once you release the lever. You can see the connector type in this photo, bottom left.
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