The Radeon 6800 is one of the best AMD graphics cards you can buy, offering outstanding performance when playing the latest games including high frame rates even at a 4K resolution. They’re pricey, but they’ll future-proof your PC for years to come, allowing you to enjoy every exciting new release with no slowdown.
But how are you going to power this beast? A graphics card this intense must be hungry for electricity, so is your current PC’s power supply up to the task or are you going to have to upgrade it?
How Many Watts Does An RX 6800 Use?
When used to play games – which is the normal intended use of the graphics card – the RX 6800 will use around 223 watts of power. That spikes at around 256 watts when pushed to the limit – such as when you’re playing 4K games on the highest frame rates.
However, you won’t be using your PC to game constantly, unless you’re lucky enough to have no other responsibilities. So it’s useful to know how much power the graphics card is using at other times too.
When the graphics card is idle – say you’re just browning the internet – it’ll still draw power, but only a small amount of 7 watts. That does increase to 8 watts if you’re using two screens at the same time, with both being powered by the graphics card.
However, the RX 6800 is surprisingly inefficient when it comes to rendering videos. It uses 48 watts just for video streaming, which is slightly more than its more powerful counterpart the RX 6800 XT, and almost twice the power of NVIDIA’s equivalent RTX 3080 graphics card (source).
How Many Watts Does An RX 6800 Use Per Hour?
With the RX 6800 using around 223 watts to play games, that means it uses 0.223 kilowatt-hours per hour during gaming time. The average gamer will play for around 8.5 hours per week, so that’s a weekly power consumption of 1.9 kilowatt-hours.
If you take the average cost of electricity to be $0.14 per kilowatt-hour, that means your graphics card is costing you almost 27 cents per week to run, or around $13.83 per year.
But remember that this is just the power consumption while you’re gaming. You’ll also use your PC for other tasks, when the graphics card will be idle and using a lot less power than that. The $13.83 average is only for the time spent gaming, so if you also added on another 8.5 hours a week of ‘idle’ time, that’s an extra $0.43.
And of course, the graphics card is just one part of your overall PC setup. True, it’s the most power-hungry component, but it’s no good working out just how much power your graphics card uses without also considering the consumption of the rest of your PC as well.
Read more: How many watts does a Gaming PC use?
What Is the Difference Between RX 6800 and 6800 XT?
The RX 6800 XT is a slightly upgraded version of the RX 6800. It has an improved clock speed and more shader processors, which allows it to run games in more detail and at a higher frame rate. The RX 6800 uses more power when gaming, but is more efficient when idle.
|Graphics Card||Idle||Idle (multi-monitor)||Streaming video||Gaming||Max-rated|
|RX 6800||7 watts||8 watts||48 watts||223 watts||256 watts|
|RX 6800 XT||7 watts||7 watts||47 watts||279 watts||324 watts|
MSI Gaming Radeon RX 6800
AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT
Normally a more powerful graphics card would use more power in all situations, but the 6800 XT is actually more efficient for tasks that don’t need the graphics card to be stretched. Yet when you do load up a game, the RX 6800 is way more efficient than its more powerful counterpart.
What Power Supply Do I Need For An RX 6800?
The minimum requirement for using an RX 6800 is a power supply that can provide 450 watts. In reality, that’s assuming an otherwise basic system – it makes more sense to go for a PSU that can provide at least 550 watts. A 650-watt power supply would be best.
It’s impossible to know exactly which power supply you need for a graphics card without understanding the rest of your system, but you can make assumptions. An RX 6800 is not the most powerful graphics card available, but it is top-tier.
If you’re looking for a graphics card in this sort of bracket, you likely have a pretty powerful PC already – otherwise, your gaming performance is going to be compromised despite the expensive graphics card.
So when you add together the power consumption of every component, it wouldn’t be a surprise for it to surpass 450 watts. Especially as you want around a 20% margin on top to account for any power spikes, so that it doesn’t overload your PSU and cause it to restart.
Because of that, you’re best buying a 650-watt power supply when using an RX 6800.
The Best Power Supply For An RX 6800
The best power supply for an RX 6800 graphics card is one that offers at least 650 watts of power, and that is at least gold rated for efficiency. Ideally, it should also be semi-modular or fully modular, allowing you to remove the cables you don’t need.
EVGA SuperNOVA 650 GT
- 80 PLUS Gold certified, with 90% (115VAC) 92% (220VAC – 240VAC) efficiency or higher under typical loads
- Fully Modular to reduce clutter and improve airflow
- Fluid Dynamic Bearing Fan and EVGA Auto ECO Mode
This EVGA power supply ticks all of the boxes. It’s rated for 650 watts, and it’s 80+ Gold. This means that there’s less wasted energy generated, with most of the power drawn from the mains given to the PC.
Read more: Power Supply Ratings Explained
It’s also fully modular, so you only have to connect the cables you need, keeping your PC case nice and tidy and improving the airflow as well). EVGA is a reputable brand, and you get a 7-year warranty included too.
What RX 6800 Power Cable Do I Need?
An RX 6800 comes with two 8pin PCIe slots for power, and the card should include the cables that you need. If your power supply has two 6-pin cables then this should be sufficient, but it’s best to use 8-pin cables when you can.
If you only have one 8-pin cable available then you’ll need to change your power supply – it might appear to work on one cable but as soon as you try to play a game it’ll crash. A single cable can’t deliver more than 150 watts.
An RX 6800 graphics card will use around 223 watts of power during gaming. You’ll need to connect it to a suitable power supply, ideally with two 8-pin PCIe cables but two 6-pin cables should be sufficient.
A 650-watt power supply is a good choice for an RX 6800 graphics card. It’s well above the minimum recommended spec, and even with a powerful processor and other components, it should be able to handle this amount of power consumption.
For a mid-spec gaming PC, a 550-watt power supply is sufficient when you’re using an RX 6800 graphics card. If you’re using a top-level processor, a lot of RAM, and a premium motherboard, you may protect your system by using a PSU with a higher capacity.