The GTX 1050 graphics card was released in 2016 as a budget graphics card, designed to offer reasonable performance for the latest games at the time without breaking the bank or blowing anyone away.
Now, with many more powerful graphics cards released, the card has not yet become irrelevant. Thanks partly to the graphics card shortage in 2020 and 2021, some people have turned back to older cards like the GTX 1050 as a stopgap.
But if you’re now planning a budget build to handle Fortnite and Roblox, you’ll need to know which power supply works well with the GTX 1050 – read on to find out.
How Many Watts Does An GTX 1050 Use?
The GTX 1050 is a low-powered card. When used for gaming it’ll average at 64 watts, but this can rise to around 70 watts, occasionally peaking beyond that at 75 watts when under a lot of duress. It can’t exceed that due to the motherboard’s power delivery limits.
To put that into perspective, the latest RTX 3090 graphics cards will use around 5 times the amount of power. And yes they are significantly more powerful graphically too, but if you aren’t planning on playing the very latest games then a budget GTX 1050 could be just want you need.
The GTX uses minimal power when it’s idle, too – just 5 watts no matter whether you’re using a single monitor or dual screens. And if you watch a pre-rendered video on a streaming service or via a Blu-Ray then it only increases to 7 watts. Some inefficient cards can use 10 times that amount of power to watch videos.
How Many Watts Does An GTX 1050 Use Per Hour?
The average power consumption of a GTX 1050 when gaming is 64 watt-hours per hour, which is the same as 0.064 kilowatt-hours per hour. The average time that PC owners spend gaming a week is 8.5 hours, which means a weekly power consumption of just 0.5 kilowatt-hours.
That’s a tiny amount overall, and over the course of the year means that the graphics card will use just 28 kilowatt-hours of electricity.
With electricity costing an average of $0.14 per kilowatt-hour, you’ll be paying less than $4 to run the card for the entire year. It still works out at around $4 even if you were to use the PC with the card being idle for a lot more than 8.5 hours, since it uses so little power.
Of course, a graphics card is just one component in a PC, and if you want to learn just how much your PC costs to run then you need to get the total of all the parts combined. Normally a graphics card uses the lion’s share of power, but with a card this basic you may have a processor or even a motherboard that uses more.
Read more: How many watts does a Gaming PC use?
What Is the Difference Between GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 Ti?
The original GTX 1050 released at the same time as the GTX 1050 Ti, although an updated version did launch later with more memory. The GTX 1050 has faster clock speeds but the GTX 1050 Ti has more memory than both 1050 versions, and slightly outperforms the standard version.
|Graphics Card||Idle||Idle (multi-monitor)||Streaming video||Gaming||Max-rated|
|GTX 1050||5 watts||5 watts||7 watts||64 watts||70 watts|
|GTX 1050 Ti||5 watts||5 watts||7 watts||67 watts||75 watts|
When idle or watching videos, the graphics cards use identical amounts of power. It’s only when you put them under the stress of gaming that there’s a notable difference, and even that is minimal.
What Power Supply Do I Need For An GTX 1050?
The minimum recommended power supply for a GTX 1050 is 300 watts, but this is based on installing the card on a low-level PC. If you’re using the card in a mid-range PC then you might need to upgrade to a 450-watt power supply instead.
The way to calculate which power supply you need is to add together the peak power consumption of all the components of your PC – primarily your graphics card, processor, motherboard, and storage as well as anything else you have plugged in.
Add 20% to this total – this gives you extra capacity to cope if there are any power spikes, meaning your power supply’s maximum capacity won’t be exceeded and it won’t fail and restart or shut down. Round this total up to the nearest 50, since power supplies generally come in 50-watt increments, to see which supply you should buy.
Also bear in mind upgrade potential – if you have the spare budget, you might want to choose a bigger power supply so that you don’t need to swap that out when you upgrade other components later down the line.
The Best Power Supply For An GTX 1050
The best power supply for a GTX 1050 depends on your PC build, but a 450 watt option should be more than sufficient for most low and mid range PCs. You should buy one from a well-known brand, ideally with an 80+ efficiency rating.
EVGA 450 W3 Power Supply
- Quiet and intelligent auto fan for near-silent operation
- Heavy-duty protections, including OVP, UVP, OCP, OPP, SCP, and OTP
- Active power factor correction
- 80 PLUS certified
This EVGA power supply has everything you need. EVGA is a well-known manufacturer that produces quality components, and this 450-watt power supply will easily handle the GTX 1050 even in a decent mid-spec build.
It’s rated 80+ White for efficiency, which isn’t the best – normally you would look for 80+ Gold or better, but with a power supply at this low capacity it’s not as much of an issue.
Read more: Power Supply Ratings Explained
What GTX 1050 Power Cable Do I Need?
You don’t need a power cable for the GTX 1050. Unlike more powerful graphics cards, it can draw all the power it needs directly from the motherboard through the PCIe slot that it’s plugged into.
Motherboards are capable of delivering up to 75 watts via a PCIe slot, which is plenty for what the GTX 1050 needs.
GTX 1050 Power FAQs
A GTX 1050 graphics card needs power, but not external power – you don’t need to run a cable directly from the power supply to the graphics card, like you do with most graphics cards. It’ll draw what it needs from the motherboard, which is itself connected to the power supply.
A 240-watt power supply might be enough for a PC with a GTX 1050, but only if the other components are very basic. In a PC designed for games – even low-demand games – you’ll want a power supply with at least a 300-watt capacity.
A 500-watt power supply is more than capable of handling a GTX 1050 graphics card, even in a reasonable mid-spec build. 450 watts is normally the most you’d need with this card, so 500 watts gives you a little extra capacity for upgrading your PC in the future.