You don’t need the very latest graphics card to be able to play the latest games – some older cards such as the GTX 1070 are perfectly capable of running them on decent settings, including in high definition.
And with the more modern graphics cards still costing a huge sum, building a more modest gaming PC with a GTX 1070 as your GPU is a solid choice if you want to balance the budget against performance.
You’ll also need to know just how much power a GTX 1070 draws, so read on to find out more.
How Many Watts Does A GTX 1070 Use?
Typically when you’re gaming, a GTX 1070 will use between 145-150 watts of power. It uses a much lower amount when you aren’t pushing it – in ‘idle’ mode it only uses 6 watts of power, lower than many older cards too.
If you’re running a second monitor it will use slightly more power, but only 7 watts – provided that the resolution is the same on both displays. If it’s not, then the graphics card has to work a little harder to split the image across the correct resolution as you move back and forth between screens.
Then using your GTX 1070 graphics card to watch a video, it’ll also use around 7 watts – not much at all, especially compared to more modern cards. Overall it’s a really efficient graphics card.
There are some times when the graphics card may slightly spike, using more power than it normally would. These spikes don’t last long but it’s good to be aware of them when working out the total power consumption of your PC. The GTX 1070 has been recorded at spikes of 155 watts (source).
How Many Watts Does A GTX 1070 Use Per Hour?
The GTX 1070 uses an average of 145 watt-hours per hour when you’re using your PC to game, which is the same as 0.145 kilowatt-hours. Based on the average weekly time spent gaming (8.5 hours) this means it uses 1.16 kilowatt-hours a week.
That’s a tiny amount when you put it into monetary terms – the average price for 1 kilowatt-hour of energy in the US is $0.14, so it costs just over 16 cents per week to run this powerful graphics card, or just shy of $8.50 for the whole year.
Of course, that’s only the graphics card, and your whole PC will use more than that in total. But the graphics card is responsible for most of the power used by your PC, sometimes as much as the other components combined.
Read more: How Many Watts Does A Gaming PC Use?
What Power Supply Do I Need For A GTX 1070?
For a GTX 1070, the manufacturer-recommended power supply is 400 watts. This will likely be enough for most budget or mid-range systems, but if you intend to upgrade your computer in the future then you might want to start with a bigger power supply anyway.
When you’re calculating which power supply you need for your PC, you need to work out the total power consumption of every component. The graphics card is a large chunk but you also need to total the power used by the processor, motherboard, RAM, storage, and any other components in your rig.
Once you’ve worked out the total, you should add another 20%. This gives you a little bit of extra capacity to cover any power spikes, which can happen at any time. That way, you don’t overwhelm your power supply when a component suddenly needs a burst of extra power for a few milliseconds.
Also, it’s important to get a power supply that’s efficient, otherwise, it’ll waste a ton of energy as heat while it’s working.
Look for one that’s rated 80+ Gold or better. They’re not super common for a 400-watt power supply though, so it might make more sense to go for a power supply with a higher capacity and pay a little extra since over time it’ll save you money by wasting less power.
Read more: Power Supply Ratings Explained
Don’t worry about buying a higher capacity in terms of power consumption – that’s only the maximum it can provide. If you have a PC that requires 350 watts to run, both a 400-watt and 500-watt power supply will still only draw 350 watts from the mains, along with the extra amount that it needs to run efficiently.
So, a 400-watt 80+ Bronze will use more electricity than a 500-watt 80+ Gold supply.
The Best Power Supply For A GTX 1070
While a 400-watt power supply will manage a GTX 1070 graphics card OK, it is better to get one with a higher capacity that’s more efficient. You’ll pay more, but you’ll get a power supply that doesn’t waste as much energy and that will likely last you longer.
This be quiet! 500-watt power supply is a great choice. It’s got the capacity for 500 watts and it’s rated 80+ Gold, making it efficient. It’s from a well-known manufacturer too, renowned for their excellent performance and quiet fans – meaning it’ll power your PC without sounding like an aircraft about to take off.
Plus it’s semi-modular, which means you only need to plug in the additional wires that you’re using – great for making sure the case isn’t cluttered with cables that you don’t need, and making sure that there’s good airflow around the power supply to help it stay cool.
What GTX 1070 Power Cable Do I Need?
GTX 1070 cars need one 8-pin (6+2) power cable from the power supply. Just make sure you’ve got a 6+2 PCIe cable plugged into your power supply, clip the connector together to form the 8-pin configuration needed, and attach it to the port on the card.
Some models of graphics cards will need multiple PCI-e power cables, but the GTX 1070 is pretty power-efficient and can run find from a single cable. While you would likely have the extra cables available from your power supply, it’s nice to have a tidier setup with only one wire running to the middle of your motherboard.
GTX 1070 Power FAQs
Of all the graphics cards that can play games in HD, the GTX 1070 is one of the most power-efficient. It has a low top-end draw of around 145 watts, and when idle or running videos it’s super low as well compared even to less powerful cards overall.
The hashing power of a GTX 1070 is 32.5 MH/S for Ethereum, but it’ll vary for other types of crypto farming. Hashing power is a measurement of how powerful a card is for mining cryptocurrency, and can be used to work out how profitable a card will be.
A 400-watt power supply is probably just enough for a budget gaming system running a GTX 1070. However, if you want an efficient power supply, you’re probably going to have more luck finding an 80+ Gold one if you upgrade to a 500-watt supply.
A 500-watt power supply is ideal for a GTX 1070 graphics with any mid-spec PC build. If you’re using very high-spec components, you may need a higher wattage PSU, but it will work great for most people.