The RX 6800 XT is up there among the best graphics cards you can currently buy. It’s extremely powerful, able to easily handle the latest top games on the highest settings including playing in 4K with smooth frame rates or getting the absolute maximum frames in Full HD – perfect for those split-second online multiplayer moments.
But any powerful graphics card needs a lot of juice to run – so just how much do you need for the RX 6800 XT? Is your current power supply able to provide the necessary juice or are you going to have to upgrade? Let’s take a look.
How Many Watts Does An RX 6800 XT Use?
On average, the RX 6800 XT uses 279 watts when you’re using it to game or to render video. This is quite high by modern gaming standards, with just a couple of graphics cards using more on average, including the rival RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 graphics cards.
That’s the average for gaming though – it can peak higher. The RX 6800 XT has been recorded as using a maximum of 324 watts when under stress from running a top-spec game.
While it’s a power-hungry card in general, it is actually not terribly inefficient when it isn’t gaming. When the card is idle – meaning your PC is on, but the graphics card isn’t really being used, it’ll draw just 7 watts. That’s the same whether you’re using a single monitor or a multi-monitor setup, which is unusual – most graphics cards do increase by 1-2 watts with a second monitor usually.
And if you use the graphics card to stream videos, it’ll use 48 watts of power. It’s not idle here, but it’s only working to render existing video, unlike during games where it has to render graphics in real-time to respond to your controls (source).
How Many Watts Does An RX 6800 XT Use Per Hour?
During gaming, the RX 6800 XT averages 279 watt-hours per hour, which is the same as 0.279 kilowatt-hours per hour. Based on the average gaming time per week of 8.5 hours, that equates to a weekly power consumption of 2.37 kilowatt-hours.
If you take the average cost of electricity as $0.14 per kilowatt-hour, that means your graphics card is costing you just over $0.33 to run per week when in gaming mode. You can likely add on a couple of cents for the extra time you’re using your PC while the graphics card itself is idle.
It’s also worth remembering that, while this means your graphics card is costing you around $17 per year to run, that’s just the cost of the graphics card. A powerful processor could use more than 0.15 kilowatt-hours per hour, a gaming motherboard 0.08 kilowatt-hours and then there’s the RAM, storage and other components to consider too. A total PC with an RX 6800 XT installed could end up costing you closer to $35 a year.
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 the more powerful version of the RX 6800. It has more shader processors and an improved clock speed, which makes it more powerful as it renders your games in real-time. It generally consumes more power when gaming, but it’s actually 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|
What Power Supply Do I Need For An RX 6800 XT?
The minimum recommended power supply for an RX 6800 XT is 650 watts, but it’s better to aim higher if you can. With the RX 6800 XT reaching almost 350 watts on its own during peak performance, you should be aiming for at least a 700-watt power supply.
The way to work out which power supply you need is to add up the maximum power consumption of each component you have installed in your computer and then add an extra 20%.
This 20% is important because, at some points, your components are going to randomly spike in power. It’ll only happen for a few milliseconds when it does, but that instant power draw could overwhelm a power supply if it doesn’t have the capacity to handle it, which could cause it to restart your PC or even become damaged.
So by choosing a 700-watt, or ideally a 750-watt, power supply you can be sure that you’ll have the extra capacity needed to cope with these spikes even during intensive gaming sessions.
The Best Power Supply For An RX 6800 XT
The best power supply for an RX 6800 XT would be one with at least a 700-watt capacity. You should always pick one from a reputable manufacturer, as they have less chance of dangerously overheating. And you’ll want one that’s at least 80+ Gold rated for efficiency.
EVGA Power Supply
- 80 PLUS Gold certified
- Fully modular to reduce clutter and improve airflow
- Fluid Dynamic Bearing Fan
- EVGA Auto ECO Mode for ultra-quiet operation and increased lifespan
This EVGA power supply is a great choice. You’re getting a quality power supply from a trusted brand, along with a 7-year warranty for peace of mind. And it is 80+ Gold rated, meaning it wastes less power through heat loss than other inefficient power supplies.
Read more: Power Supply Ratings Explained
It’s also fully modular, which means you only need to plug in the cables you’re using, and can keep the rest outside of the tower. This improves the cooling airflow, and it helps to keep the tower tidy as well.
What RX 6800 XT Power Cable Do I Need?
The RX 6800 XT needs two separate PCIe cables running from your power supply in order to work properly. Don’t use split cables – a single cable from the power supply that splits into two – as this won’t provide sufficient power for the graphics card to run properly.
If you underpower your graphics card, it won’t be capable of running games, which defeats the point of having a graphics card in the first place.
To power an RX 6800 XT you need a power supply offering ideally at least 750 watts of power, with two separate PCIe cables. Make sure the card is securely plugged into the motherboard and then run the two cables from the power supply into the PCIe ports on the front of the card.
A 650-watt power supply might be enough for an RX 6800 XT if you have it installed in a mid-spec machine, but otherwise, you should aim for 750 watts. Pairing an RX 6800 XT with a lower-spec PC doesn’t make much sense, but a high-spec PC will have a higher power draw.
A 750-watt power supply is the recommended option if you’re installing an RX 6800 XT in your PC. It’s capable of easily handling the graphics card alongside a top processor and other power-hungry components that make up a top gaming machine.