Installation of both products is really easy. Once the card is installed and seated into the PC we connect the 6-pin and 8-pin power connectors of the graphics card. And yes... do make sure your power supply is compatible:
GeForce GTX 470 needs two 6-pin PEG connectors
GeForce GTX 480 needs one 6-pin PEG and one 8-pin PEG connector
Preferably the PEG headers lead directly from the power supply and are not converted from the Molex peripheral connectors.
You can now turn on your PC, boot into Windows, install the latest NVIDIA Forceware driver and after a reboot all should be working. No further configuration is required or needed.
We'll now show you some tests we have done on overall power consumption of the PC. Looking at it from a performance versus wattage point of view, the power consumption is high, especially for the GTX 480.
The methodology is simple: We have a device constantly monitoring the power draw from the PC. After we have run all our tests and benchmarks we look at the recorded maximum peak; and that's the bulls-eye you need to observe as the power peak is extremely important. Bear in mind that you are not looking at the power consumption of the graphics card, but the consumption of the entire PC.
Our test system is a power hungry Core i7 965 / X58 based and overclocked to 3.75 GHz. Next to that we have energy saving functions disabled for this motherboard and processor (to ensure consistent benchmark results).
I'd say on average we are using roughly 50 to 100 Watts more than a standard PC due to higher CPU clock settings, water-cooling, additional cold cathode lights etc.
Keep that in mind. Our normal system power consumption is higher than your average system.
GeForce GTX 480
System in IDLE = 205 Watts
System with GPU in FULL Stress = 428 Watts
Difference (GPU load) = 233 Watt (TDP = 250W)
As you can see, that's considered to be a high power draw for the GTX 480 compared to the competition. Mind you that the System Wattage is drawn from the wall socket and is for the entire PC.
Recommended Power Supply
Here is Guru3D's power supply recommendation:
GeForce GTX 480
On your average system the card requires you to have a 600 Watt power supply unit.
GeForce GTX 400 in SLI
A second card requires you to add another 250 Watts. You need a 850+ Watt power supply unit if you use it in a high-end system (1 KiloWatt recommended).
For each other card (3-way SLI) that you add, just add another 250 Watts and 20A on the 12V rails as a safety margin.
There are many good PSUs out there, please do have a look at our many PSU reviews as we have loads of recommended PSUs for you to check out in there. What would happen if your PSU can't cope with the load?:
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