The company says that the power demands of the ROG Strix RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 might be too intense even for the best PC power supply that technically has enough wattage to support the cards – on paper.
The problem, as reported by PCWorld (opens in new tab), is that a PSU's ability to regulate the flow of power to the card on demand might have degraded over time or under heavy use. "And even if they have a high-power PSU," the company said, "if it has been run hard for a number of years, its voltage regulation may no longer be adequate to cope with the fast load changes."
As graphics cards have become more advanced, their sudden power demands have grown more demanding, sometimes going from needing almost no power to requiring hundreds of watts at the flip of a digital switch.
A mediocre PSU – or even a great one that has just seen years of use – could find itself unable to redirect the necessary voltage when it's needed, leading to program or system crashes.
Asus recommends a 750-watt power supply for its new ROG Strix RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 cards, which is in line with Nvidia's recommendations, but Asus says that since its Strix RTX cards use three 8-pin plugs in addition to the PCIe slot to draw power, it will be able to draw up to 400 watts altogether.
“We deliver power using a massive custom VRM array comprising 22 power stages across all of the major voltage rails," Asus said. "Strong and efficient 70A power stages on the main rails ensure the cleanest and most reliable power delivery.”