While it is starting to show its age a little, the RX 580 is still a great graphics card if you’re on a tight budget and you don’t mind turning down the settings on top-end games. It’s powerful enough that it’ll still handle HD gaming and can even power a VR PC too, though perhaps not for some of the more intensive titles.
If you’re looking to add an RX 580 to your budget gaming PC setup, then you’ll need to know just how much power it draws so that you know you’ve got the supply to match it.
Let’s run through the typical power consumption in this quick guide.
How Many Watts Does An RX 580 Use?
When using the RX 580 graphics card to its full capabilities, it’ll draw around 220 watts of power. When it’s idle it’ll draw a lot less – approximately 16 watts if you’re doing nothing at all, or 18 watts if you’ve got it connected up to more than one monitor.
Bear in mind that the power draw will vary a little if you’re running different monitors on different resolutions – it takes more power for the graphics card to work out how to manage the different displays at once.
If you’re using your PC to watch videos, that’ll put a small amount of demand on your graphics card, and it’ll use around 20 watts of power.
And if you really put your RX 580 through its paces, you might see some spikes of around 238 watts, so you’ll need to make sure your power supply is able to handle that amount of demand otherwise you risk underpowering your graphics card and potentially your PC as a whole (source).
How Many Watts Does An RX 580 Use Per Hour?
When you’re using your PC to play games or render animations, the RX 580 graphics card will use around 220 watt-hours per hour, which is the same as 0.22 kilowatt-hours per hour. Most gamers will play for around 8.5 hours a week, for a total weekly power consumption of 1.87 kilowatt-hours.
Bearing in mind the average US cost of electricity at $0.14 per kilowatt-hour, this means the graphics card will cost you around a quarter each week to run it, or around $13.60 per year for the average gamer.
But if you’re buying a power supply and using this information to help, remember that this is just the power consumption of the graphics card. All the other components in your PC are going to draw power too.
Admittedly, they won’t draw as much as the RX 580 unless you’re pairing the graphics card with a high-end processor, which wouldn’t be the wisest way to spend your money. However, if you do intend to build a high-end rig but want a cheap graphics card as a temporary solution, be aware that the best processors might push a similar power consumption.
Read more: How Many Watts Does A Gaming PC Use?
What Power Supply Do I Need For An RX 580?
The minimum recommended power supply for an RX 580 is 450 watts, but it’s better to get one with a higher power capacity to allow for any spikes and any upgrades in the future. Aim for at least 500 watts if you can, ideally even higher.
You might think this is overkill since the graphics card uses less than half the recommended 450-watt draw, but at this low power level, you can easily use components that push you close to the limit.
A typical gaming motherboard alone will draw 40 watts but a good one will push 80. That’s already 300 watts just for the GPU and board before you’ve added in processor, RAM, storage, and anything else.
And you’ll want a 20% ceiling too, just to cover you. If your total PC power consumption is around the 400-watt level, add 20% – that’d take you to 480, meaning you’d need a 500-watt power supply.
Also, make sure you’re looking for a power supply with an 80+ rating, ideally one that’s Gold or better. This refers to how efficient the power supply is, with a better rating meaning the supply wastes less power when it delivers electricity to the components.
Read more: Power Supply Ratings Explained
The Best Power Supply For An RX 580
For an RX 580 graphics card, you should choose a power supply that’s rated for 550 watts or more. This means you’ll definitely have the capacity to run the graphics card at full power along with other mid-level specs, and you’ve got a little bit of room to work with if you want to upgrade in the future.
Plus, the price difference shouldn’t be too big between that and a cheaper 500-watt model.
For the price, this EVGA SuperNOVA is an excellent-value power supply. It’s rated for 550 watts as you’ll want, and it’s 80+ Gold for efficiency, meaning you won’t be wasting a lot of power through heat loss.
It’s also fully modular, which is great for two reasons. One, because you’re only plugging in the cables you need, it keeps your PC a lot tidier and makes it easier to set up and upgrade in the future if needed.
And two, because there are fewer cables getting in the way inside the case, airflow is improved which keeps everything cooler and running more efficiently.
What RX 580 Power Cable Do I Need?
The power cable you’ll need for your RX 580 will depend on the model but it’ll likely either be one or two 6-pin connectors. Earlier models sometimes only relied on one 6-pin connector with the PCI-e power, but later ones need two for sufficient power.
Despite the low power draw of the card compared to some later models, it does still need a decent amount of juice and so it’s important that you ensure every port is connected to the power supply.
RX 580 FAQs
A 500-watt power supply is likely to be just enough for an RX 580, but if you’re upgrading already it makes sense to add a little more leeway and choose a 550-watt PSU or better. The price difference is minimal vs the peace of mind knowing it’ll work long-term.
A 600-watt PSU is easily enough for an RX 580 graphics card if you’re using it in a budget or mid-range PC. If you want to use a high-end PC then it’ll likely work, but you may need to upgrade the PSU in the future before you upgrade other parts.
Some earlier RX 580 graphics cards worked on just a single 6-pin connector along with the power provided by the PCI-express slot on the motherboard. Later RX 580 versions need two 6-pin connectors to provide enough power for it to work at full capacity.