Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: Planning to upgrade your Graphics Card? Read First...

02 Jan 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64-bit)
Planning to upgrade your Graphics Card? Read First...

The most common concern about upgrading your Graphics Card is: "will my PSU handle the new one?"

That's why we're here to learn, in this sort of Tutorial i'll try to explain you guys what do you need to consider before buying a new Graphics Card and hopefully avoid any issues related to power consumption, power requirements and hardware-related requirements.

I've divided this Tutorial in 4 steps:
1) What do i want to do with my NEW Graphics Card? Do i want to Game a lot? Do i want to play Multimedia files? Do i want to do Graphics edition?

Once you have in mind what you want to do, then you can move onto the next step in this tutorial.

Here you'll find the links for:

PassMark Software - Video Card Benchmarks - High End Video Cards

PassMark Software - Video Card Benchmarks - Mid-Range Video Cards

PassMark Software - Video Card Benchmarks - Low End Video Cards

2) What's my monitor's resolution? and, would i like to hook it up to an external monitor?

If your answer is YES, then you should check what resolution is that external monitor running.. Ex: 1920 x 1080 (1080p or 1080i) Higher Resolutions means, more powerful Graphics Card to run the same game! it's NOT the same playing "a" game with different resolutions.

3) Will my PSU handle the new Graphics Card?

To find out you'll need to open the side of your case and see the Sticker on the PSU, check the Amperage on the +12V Rail(s) and the total Wattage of the PSU.

The sticker should look a little bit like this:

Now what you have to do is check the Wattage and Amperage that your new Graphics Card needs and compare it to your PSU, Here:

AMD/ATI CrossfireX

Graphics Card Wattage +12V Rail
HD 6970 750W 52A
HD 6950 700W 50A
HD 6870 700W 44A
HD 6850 600W 40A
HD 5970 1200W 82A
HD 5870 750W 58A
HD 5850 700W 52A
HD 5830 700W 48A
HD 5770 650W 42A
HD 5750 600W 38A
HD 5670 550W 36A
HD 4890 750W 50A
HD 4870 600W 42A
HD 4850 550W 40A

AMD/ATI Single Card

Graphics Card Wattage +12V Rail
HD 6970 550W 32A
HD 6950 500W 30A
HD 6870 500W 32A
HD 6850 500W 30A
HD 5970 650W 42A
HD 5870 500W 34A
HD 5850 500W 32A
HD 5830 500W 30A
HD 5770 450W 26A
HD 5750 450W 26A
HD 5670 400W 22A
HD 4890 500W 36A
HD 4870 500W 34A
HD 4850 500W 30A
HD 4830 450W 28A
HD 4770 500W 28A
HD 4670 450W 26A
HD 4650 400W 24A
HD 4550 350W 22A

NVIDIA Multiple Cards

Graphics Card Wattage +12V Rail
GTX 590 1000W 72A
GTX 580 850W 60A
GTX 570 850W 58A
GTX 560 Ti 800W 55A
GTX 480 850W 60A
GTX 470 800W 55A
GTX 460 700W 42A
GTS 450 600W 38A
GTX 295 1000W 70A
GTX 285 800W 50A
GTX 280 750W 48A
GTX 275 700W 46A
GTX 270 700W 46A
GTX 260 650W 42A
GTS 250 600W 38A
9800GTX+ 600W 38A
9800GTX 600W 38A
9800GT 600W 38A
9600GT 500W 28A
9600GSO 450W 26A
8800Ultra 750W 60A
8800GTX 700W 56A
8800GT 600W 48A
8800GTS 650W 52A
8600GTS 450W 24A
8600GT 400W 22A

NVIDIA Single Cards

Graphics Card Wattage +12V Rail
GTX 590 750W 48A
GTX 580 600W 42A
GTX 570 600W 40A
GTX 560 Ti 600W 32A
GTX 480 600W 42A
GTX 470 550W 38A
GTX 460 450W 24A
GTS 450 400W 22A
GT 430 300W 22A
GTX 295 680W 52A
GTX 285 550W 42A
GTX 280 550W 40A
GTX 275 550W 38A
GTX 270 550W 38A
GTX 260 500W 36A
GTS 250 450W 24A
GT 240 300W 18A
GT 220 300W 18A
GT 210 300W 18A
9800GX2 580W 46A
9800GTX 450W 38A
9800GT 400W 28A
9600GT 400W 28A
9600GSO 400W 26A
9500GT 350W 20A
9400GT 300W 18A
8800Ultra 500W 34A
8800GTX 450W 30A
8800GT 400W 26A
8800GS 450W 30A
8800GTS 400W 28A
8600GTS 350W 20A
8600GT 300W 20A
8500GT 300W 18A
8400GS 300W 20A

Once you've checked everything, do the numbers, does it work on your current PSU? go ahead and buy the Graphics Card! Not enough power from your PSU? Then go to step 4.

4) Now you need to find a GOOD branded PSU with enough power to feed your hungry Graphics Card. Where could i buy it? Which brand?

Here's a list you could check out:

Good Quality: PC Power & Cooling, Cooler Master, SeaSonic, Silverstone, Enermax, Antec, AMS, Corsair, OCZ, Ultra, Thermaltake, Zalman, Sparkle.

Low Quality: A-TOP, Aerocool, APEX, Apevia (Aspire), Asus, ATADC, Athena Power, ATRIX, Broadway, Deer, Delta, Diablotek, Dynapower, EagleTech, Enhance, Enlight, E-Power, FOXCONN, Futurepower, I-Star, In-Win, JPAC, Just PC, Kingwin, Linkworld, Lite-On, Logisys, Masscool, MGE, MSI, NMEDIAPC, Norwood Micro, NorthQ, Powmax, Q-Tec, SFC, Sintek, Shuttle, Skyhawk, Spire, Star Micro, STARTECH, TTGI, Wintech, XION, YoungYear, Zebronics.

Disputed Brands: ABS/Tagan, BFG Tech, Coolmax, Hiper, HIPRO, Mushkin, NZXT, Raidmax/Sigma, Rosewill, Scythe, Sunbeam/Tuniq, Topower, XClio, XIGMATEK.

Ok, i've decided which PSU Brand i want to buy, now... where could i buy it?

That's it, 4 easy steps to upgrade a Graphics Card without any concerns. ENJOY

I'll be editing it with more information as the other users post them here! so, post your opinions!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jan 2011   #2

Windows 10 Home Premium 64bit sp1

pretty good thread my current card takes 50 watts more then my previous 5770 which is not a bad jump
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jan 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Prem x32

Thanks for the info. I just got my Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 1GB yesterday. Running it off my Thermaltake TR2-500 with no problems.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

04 Jan 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64-bit)

Updated with HD 6950 Single/Crossfire Wattage and Amperage
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2011   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Where did you get those charts? I have a Thermaltake Toughpower 700W (modular supply) and it runs my GTX470 just fine

I have a GTX 470, just haven't updated my system specs...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2011   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

look at the single card entry...?
that suggests your psu should be fine. (550W needed)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2011   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Packet View Post
look at the single card entry...?
that suggests your psu should be fine. (550W needed)
Ah, the formatting was a little off, made it tough to see that...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2011   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64

Just FYI I've purchased two Ultra modular PSU's a X3 @600w and my current X4 @ 1050w both are 80% Silver rated and have worked flawlessly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2011   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64-bit)

Disputed Brands (deemed to be of good quality, but needing referenced reviews or articles, or those with disputed quality, or varying quality of different models)
Good to know that Ultra has been working flawlessly for you, that'll be a reference taken in this Tutorial, i'll be digging more into that Brand and hopefully i'll change it from disputed to good quality brands :)

Thanks for your input!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2011   #10

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit

Amazing thread. And it came at such a perfect time. I was planning to buy a graphics card this week. I have finalized HD5670. Now I can go ahead without worrying if my 500W CM PSU will support it. Thanks mate.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Planning to upgrade your Graphics Card? Read First...

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Graphics card is not being read after windows re install
Hi, my laptop is a Dell inspiron 1464 with an ati graphics card of 1GB the configuration goes like 3 gb ram 320 gb HDD 1 GB ati graphics card. After my windows crashed my graphics card is not being read. It says standard vg graphics card. If anyone have any solutions please do help me out ...
Graphic Cards
Want to upgrade Graphics card.
Ok i just got enough money to finally upgrade my graphics card but i am worried about the installation. Is there anything special i have to do once i physically change the old one out with the new one? or can i just change it and all the drivers will be installed and stuff.
Graphic Cards
Graphics Card Upgrade
I Have the dell Inspiron 580s and want to upgrade my graphics card on their site i found this 1 ATI Radeon HD 5450 1GB DDR3 will it work
Graphic Cards
Graphics Card Upgrade
I have the dell Inspiron 580s and i have the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator as built in video card. I'm looking to upgrade my graphics card and wanted to know what my options were
Graphic Cards
I'd Like to Upgrade my Graphics Card
System Specs Current Not Overclocked (yet :zip: ) Win 7 64bit RTM OCZ 400Watt PSU AMD2+ 2.8ghz Kuma Core AMD Athlon 7450 Black Edition Core Voltage 1.136 V ASUS M3N78-VM Motherboard
Graphic Cards

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

© Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:59.
Twitter Facebook Google+