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Thread: Graphics Card For 250w Power Supply?

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    Question Graphics Card For 250w Power Supply?

    Hello, This is my first ever thread on my first ever forum. Please help me lose my cherry and be gentle unless I am being incredibly stupid.

    This is my system4 2.4GHZ 256MB DDR 40GBHD GEFORCE TI4200
    64MB 250WPOWER SUPPLY INTEL845 17" dell tft
    via DVI.

    I recently bought a new graphics card from Komplett (thats another story) a
    xfx geforce 6600gt (144 pounds on my doorstep) so my wife could play Call of Duty and Medal of Honour on more than the most basic settings but after installing it I got a blank display the system seemed to boot up fine but as I couldn't see anything it was difficult to tell so I put in the old card and everything works fine again.

    I called Dell and they said very helpfully that this card would not work on my system as I only have a 250w power supply and this card needed at least 300w, I asked about getting a new power supply and they replied that anything over 250w could kill my system.

    So here is my dilemma should I get a new graphics card that works on 250watt like the geforce 5600 or can I get a power supply just for the card or are Dell just covering their backsides or should I find a tall building and see if me and my computer can fly.

    I hope someone can help me.

  2. #2
    Cable Guy Jonny M's Avatar
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    Putting a larger power supply in has no chance at all of killing your system (unless it's a faulty PSU). Having a larger number of watts is not the same as having a larger voltage - the system will only use what it needs. You could put a 600W in there if you wanted and have no problems at all, though I recommend a 450W to give you some headroom.

    However, you might have problems if Dell used a non-standard power supply instead of an ATX one. And you won't find a newish graphics card that will run off a 250W supply.

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    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    • Zak33's system
      • Storage:
      • Kingston HyperX SSD, Hitachi 1Tb
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Nvidia 1060
      • PSU:
      • Coolermaster 800w
      • Case:
      • Silverstone Fortress FT01
      • Operating System:
      • Win10
      • Internet:
      • Zen FTC uber speedy
    MUTTLEY...mate...welcome dude

    le tme assure you that you are in the RIGHT place to sort this out.

    First. As my man Caged rightly says, putting a bigger PSU in is NOT gonna fry anything. It's all in control.....you cant kill it with a bigger PSU....but...and its a BIG BUT you can be fooled into buying the wrong stuff, cos not all PSU's are rated fairly.

    Next up: the card you have purchased is a very good card indeed. It is worth thinking of a few other things though.

    A: Can you return it for no loss of money and with minimal effort? If so MAYBE its worth getting a lower spec card, still better than your current one, AND getting some moe ram, as 256 is very low for gaming. Maybe a new PSU is not required quite yet.
    B: The power demands of your 4200 are reasonably high anyway, so maybe we have another issue here
    C: Did you know that a 4200 is really still a pretty good card. It might be that your newcard is WAY better (cos it is) BUT simply buying a new PSU might not be the improvement you hoped due to the lack of ram in your PC.

    Ok, what I'd do is: Decide if yuo want to/can afford to spend any more dough on this, as you've already outlayed some big money.

    Come back to us...we'll sort you out man

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

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    I agree, just because you have a more powerful power supply, it doesnt mean it will be trying to force more Watts into the motherboard. A 450W power supply means it can supply up-to 450W max, however if you havent got many devices like HDDs or Optical drives drawing this power, its not gonna fry them because theres too much power. The power consumption is not determined by how big the power supply is, it depends on how much the devices are drawing from it. I see no reason why it would blow. I mean obviously check it first as you never know what dell have done, but I'm fairly certain itll be ok. Oh, and what Dell told you is likely to be an attempt to make you purchase a new machine from them. I wouldnt be surpised if the support you spoke to was also a salesman
    Last edited by tommylittleboy@; 23-04-2005 at 11:01 AM.

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    Thankyou very much for the info. Given that my current card may not be the problem but may just be dragged down by my lack of RAM or power supply and as I am not going to start by altering the power supply for my whole system ( the current graphic card has no additional port for a separate power supply) as I have heard that Dell PSU are not all standard my first port of call has got to be the RAM.

    I think my system can take up to 1024mb in two strips. It currently has one 256mb strip can I just buy 512mb and put in the vacant slot or does it have to be another 256mb strip?

    Thankyou.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MUTTLEY
    Thankyou very much for the info. Given that my current card may not be the problem but may just be dragged down by my lack of RAM or power supply and as I am not going to start by altering the power supply for my whole system ( the current graphic card has no additional port for a separate power supply) as I have heard that Dell PSU are not all standard my first port of call has got to be the RAM.

    I think my system can take up to 1024mb in two strips. It currently has one 256mb strip can I just buy 512mb and put in the vacant slot or does it have to be another 256mb strip?

    Thankyou.
    I think you can put a 512MB in the vacant slot without any troubles, ram is pretty cheap at the moment and u can get a cheap as 25£ for 512MB stick at aria.co.uk
    you could also get a powersupply cheaply(most people would recomend against cheap psU's)i am using a scan powersupply which is very quiet and 550watts and it cost me less that 30 pounds, it is been running my setup of amd athlon64 3400/6800GT/3HD/2OpticalDrives/etc without problem for the last 6 months.

    bye

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    Ah, Mrs. Peel! mike_w's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xusen
    you could also get a powersupply cheaply(most people would recomend against cheap psU's)i am using a scan powersupply which is very quiet and 550watts and it cost me less that 30 pounds, it is been running my setup of amd athlon64 3400/6800GT/3HD/2OpticalDrives/etc without problem for the last 6 months.

    bye
    And I'm one of those people advising against cheapo PSUs! There is no point risking your system just to save a few pounds. You can get decent PSUs from about £30, which, in my opinion, would be much better than a high wattage cheapo PSU (which aren't usually that high wattage anyway).

    And it should be fine just to add in another 512MB stick - Crucial are reliable and cheap.
    Last edited by mike_w; 23-04-2005 at 10:35 PM.
    "Well, there was your Uncle Tiberius who died wrapped in cabbage leaves but we assumed that was a freak accident."

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    Moderator DavidM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caged
    However, you might have problems if Dell used a non-standard power supply instead of an ATX one.
    This is quite possible indeed...

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    Senior Member Stringent's Avatar
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    • Stringent's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Intel DQ57TM
      • CPU:
      • Intel i5 760
      • Memory:
      • 8GB
      • Storage:
      • 1TB
      • Graphics card(s):
      • NVIDIA Geforce 260GTX
      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX620
      • Case:
      • Coolermaster Centurion
      • Operating System:
      • Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dual Iiyama 24"
      • Internet:
      • Patchy
    So what happens if you have a shuttle PC with a 250W PSU, they dont exactly make a 400W for shuttle ...

  10. #10
    Moderator DavidM's Avatar
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    Shuttles have less power demands - one of the main reasons being lack of PCI & PCI-E sockets inside.

    My AMD Shuttle drives a XFX 6600GT without problems

  11. #11
    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    • Zak33's system
      • Storage:
      • Kingston HyperX SSD, Hitachi 1Tb
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Nvidia 1060
      • PSU:
      • Coolermaster 800w
      • Case:
      • Silverstone Fortress FT01
      • Operating System:
      • Win10
      • Internet:
      • Zen FTC uber speedy
    Quote Originally Posted by MUTTLEY
    Given that my current card may not be the problem but may just be dragged down by my lack of RAM or power supply....

    I think my system can take up to 1024mb in two strips. It currently has one 256mb strip can I just buy 512mb and put in the vacant slot or does it have to be another 256mb strip?
    Just ram mate...forget the PSU for a while...RAM wont need any more power, (well, not measurable)

    If you do get a stick get a 512.The reason being two fold.

    1: More ram the better.
    2: Sometimes...very rarely, but sometimes...a PC wont like two different sticks or ram running together...so IF it would only run with one stick, at least it would be the 512 and you could ebay the 256 and get a bit back for it.

    Now, simply put, more ram is great. If you get a 512 and run it with your 256, you might need to swap the ram sticks around to get it stable. Not likely, but possible.

    When installing ram you need to earth yourself so you dont static yourself up and kill the ram. So leave the power lead PLUGGED IN AND SWITCHED OFF AT THE WALL....the earth will still be active. Then ground yourself on the case while doing it, several times.

    Ram is a bit stiff to go in, BUT only goes in one way round.

    DO you know what sort you need? I would DEFINATELY USE CRUCIAL for your ram purchase, because its delivered nicely, on time, and is always goodstuff. Dont buy budget cos it might cause you more arse ache than the few quid saving was worth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

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    Thanks again for the info. I am off to buy some more RAM tonight. I will test the system again with my current card to see what improvement I get.

    About earthing the system I recently discovered that as my house has not been re-wired since it was built I have only got a two wire system- no earth wires anywhere.

    We all wear rubber boots all the time

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    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    • Zak33's system
      • Storage:
      • Kingston HyperX SSD, Hitachi 1Tb
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Nvidia 1060
      • PSU:
      • Coolermaster 800w
      • Case:
      • Silverstone Fortress FT01
      • Operating System:
      • Win10
      • Internet:
      • Zen FTC uber speedy
    touch a radiator...they're earthed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

  14. #14
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    Definately upgrade the RAM before you get a new PSU. 512 will be proper cheap as you only need generic cheapo RAM.

    Once that's installed buy a decent 350W PSU (450W will be overkill unless you have loads of demanding PCI cards & as you can't overclock a Dell CPU) only if you need it with the new card.

  15. #15
    Moderator DavidM's Avatar
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    As has been mentioned before... make sure it takes a standard psu before buying a new one... otherwise... lots of fried chippies

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