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When the power supply suddenly switches off: Load peaks of graphics card and CPU measured together and counter-tested with power supplies | Basics & Practice

Gaming loop in factory state

Now, the spikes start to climb quite neatly. The total power consumption of 378 watts at 12 volts is still quite good, but the load peaks increase a bit more. Almost 632 watts plus the measured almost 50 watts for motherboard and peripherals on all rails are simply too unreliable for all 500 and 550 watt power supplies here. It can work, but it doesn’t have to. Since the CPU is demanded more, the load peaks are already well above 200 watts without OC.


The curve becomes clearly more nervous and you can see very nicely the ups and downs in the allowed power consumption of the system:

Of course, I also zoomed up for this in one of the 20-ms intervals again:

Gaming loop with overclocking

But there is more to it than that.  The average value is 409 watts, which is roughly what you can measure with normal equipment. However, the relevant 20-ms spikes go up to 673 watts! This will then grill even the bravest voltage supplier below 600 watts.


Again, it’s worth looking at the entire run, which unfortunately swallows up some of the short load peaks due to compression. But it’s enough for the overview:

Last but not least an exact description of the situation by means of the high-resolution diagram:

Power supply test

  Gaming Loop Stock Gaming Loop OC
Straight Power 550 Watt Platinum switched off switched off
Straight Power 650 Watt Gold ok ok
Pure Power 500 Watt Gold switched off switched off
Pure Power 700 Watt Gold ok ok

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About the author

Igor Wallossek

Editor-in-chief and name-giver of igor'sLAB as the content successor of Tom's Hardware Germany, whose license was returned in June 2019 in order to better meet the qualitative demands of web content and challenges of new media such as YouTube with its own channel.

Computer nerd since 1983, audio freak since 1979 and pretty much open to anything with a plug or battery for over 50 years.

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