Power supply sulutions for GPGPU computing

GPU-s are really power-hungry. Tech sheets say, that NVIDIA GTX 295 draws 289 Watts under full load. Direct measurement show, that it reality it’s still 200-220 Watts. Three-four of these cards per system, and combined power requirements rise to 1300 – 1500 Watt territory.

Basically there are 2 ways to cope this power need

1. One powerful 1,5 KW PSU with 4 x 6-pin + 4 x 8-pin PCI-E connectors

2. Two 750 Watt PSU-s, both having at least two PCI-E sets.

What are the benefits?

One PSU

1. Easier to build, doesnt need PSY sync

2. Doesn’t need 2 PSU case 

Two PSU

1. Cheaper PSU-s (2 x 750 W price < 1 x 1500 W price

2. Safer, cause of lower currents

Price/performance charts based on ThermalTake ToughPower series

 

List of Thermaltake ToughPower units with prices

List of Thermaltake ToughPower units with prices (PC-Planet, Germany)

 

ThermalTake ToughPower prices

ThermalTake ToughPower prices

 

Watts per € (euro) chart

Watts per € (euro) chart

 

Last chart shows, that power-supplies in 500 – 750 Watt area are considerably cheaper than units from 1000 + area. So, rule of thumb is to use < 1000W units.

  • One PSU 1500 W = 330 € 
  • Two PSU à 750 W = 220 €

Conclusion, one big supply solution is 50% less cost effective than double PSU solution

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