The RX 5700 XT is a great graphics card when you want a balance of performance against cost.
It’s not the very latest card, but it still packs a hefty punch and will run any of the latest games with no issues, provided you have the necessary processor and RAM to back it up. It won’t be sailing through 4K at super-high frame rates but you won’t be turning every setting down either.
So in order to provide this mid-high level of gaming power, just how much electricity does it need? Is it going to be causing your utility bills to skyrocket, and will your current power supply be sufficient – or are you looking at an upgrade? Let’s find out…
How Many Watts Does An RX 5700 XT Use?
The 5700 XT is one of the more consistent graphics cards when it comes to power consumption. It averages around 219 watts during most gaming sessions, only increasing to around 227 watts at peak.
That’s unusual, as many cards will fluctuate a lot more, especially those with equivalent power to the 5700 XT. Most cards can peak around 30-40 watts higher than their average, rather than the 8-watt increase that’s been recorded when testing the RX 5700 XT.
What’s even more unusual is the power consumption of the card when you aren’t using it to game.
Most graphics cards have a low power draw when they’re idle, and the RX 5700 XT at least conforms here – pulling 8 watts of power when you aren’t using it for rendering video live.
But normally if you add a second monitor, that wattage consumption increases by only a very small amount, yet with the RX 5700 XT it jumps up considerably to 36 watts, more than the very top-end graphics cards manufactured by rival NVIDIA.
Also, there’s usually a close correlation between the power consumption of running two monitors as there is in playing pre-rendered video (so YouTube or Blu-Ray discs). Not here – it drops back down to just 10 watts. This is good, but it’s definitely an outlier when compared to other graphics cards (source).
How Many Watts Does An RX 5700 XT Use Per Hour?
When being used for either gaming or to render video live (animation or editing), the RX 5700 XT will use an average of 219 watt-hours per hour. That’s the equivalent of 0.219 kilowatt-hours per hour.
The average gamer uses their machine for gaming 8.5 hours per week, so we know that the total weekly power consumption of the graphics card when gaming is about 1.9 kilowatt-hours. Of course, you are likely to use your PC for non-gaming purposes, so a more exact total could be gained if you also worked out the amount of time spent idle.
We know that the average cost of electricity in the US is $0.14 per kilowatt-hour though it varies depending on where you live. Assuming that average, we know that an RX 5700 XT will use around $0.27 per week of electricity when gaming, and probably around $0.30 in total depending on your PC setup.
But that is just the cost of the graphics card alone, and if you’re planning on tracking how much your PC is costing you then you also need to factor in the costs of the other components as well. A graphics card will always use the most power, but some processors and motherboards are serious power drains too.
Read more: How many watts does a Gaming PC use?
What Is the Difference Between RX 5700 and 5700 XT?
The RX 5700 XT is the souped-up version of the RX 5700. With more shader processors and faster clock speeds, it’s capable of some much-improved frame rates on games with similar settings, allowing for smoother gaming at high resolutions.
|Graphics Card||Idle||Idle (multi-monitor)||Streaming video||Gaming||Max-rated|
|RX 5700||7 watts||35 watts||10 watts||166 watts||180 watts|
|RX 5700 XT||7 watts||36 watts||10 watts||219 watts||227 watts|
What Power Supply Do I Need For An RX 5700 XT?
The minimum recommended power supply for an RX 5700 XT is 600 watts, but really it would be safer to aim a little higher. While it’s a card that’s consistent with its power draw, a 650-watt power supply would be a safer choice.
When you’re working out what power supply you need for a graphics card, you should take the peak power draw and add it with the consumption of all the other components in your PC.
You’ll then want to add an extra 20% just to account for any sudden power spikes – sometimes your components may misbehave and draw more than they need to for a few milliseconds. This extra leeway makes sure your power supply won’t cut out when this happens.
With the 20% added, round up to the nearest round 50 and you’ll have the magic number – and for an RX 5700 XT, this is normally 650 watts.
The Best Power Supply For An RX 5700 XT
The best power supply for an RX 5700 XT graphics card should have a 650-watt capacity, and be rated at least 80+ Gold for its efficiency. You should always buy from a known brand – cheap power supplies from unknown manufacturers can be dangerous due to poor quality parts.
You can’t go wrong with this Thermaltake power supply. It has the necessary 650-watt capacity and it’s rated 80+ Gold, exactly what you need. You can get more efficient power supplies but the energy you’ll save is offset by the hefty price you’ll pay upfront when it’s not usually necessary.
Read more: Power Supply Ratings Explained
It’s fully modular, which means you don’t have to worry about hiding a load of cables in your tower that you aren’t using – just unplug them from the PSU. And it even has a huge 10-year warranty which should give you peace of mind.
What RX 5700 XT Power Cable Do I Need?
The RX 5700 XT needs two separate PCIe cables – an 8-pin and a 6-pin. Each cable can provide up to 150 watts of power, which is why it needs both to run at full capacity. Don’t use a split cable from your PSU – they need to be two separate wires.
Split cables don’t provide the necessary wattage, so it’s always better to use two cables, even if that means a little more work to make your case look neat and tidy.
RX 5700 XT FAQs
You do need to use two power cables to properly power an RX 5700 XT, otherwise, it isn’t going to work correctly and it won’t let you use it for games. Using a split cable doesn’t provide enough power to the card.
A 550-watt power supply could be enough for an RX 5700 XT but it depends on the other components you have installed. It’s safer to aim for a higher PSU, especially as it gives you room to upgrade in future, but if you already have a 550-watt one it may suffice.
650 watts should be plenty for a PC running an RX 5700 XT. The card will use around a third of that capacity, giving you plenty of juice for the other components along with the necessary leeway that may be needed for spikes.