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Windows 7: Graphics card for my PC

25 Apr 2010   #1
ydravid

Windows 7
 
 
Graphics card for my PC

Hey everyone. I need your advice on a good graphics card for my PC. It is a standard Dell XPS 400 with 4gb of memory. Everything else (motherboard, graphics card etc...) are the standard components that came with the PC.

Edit: some more information about my PC: Intel(R) Pentium (R) D CPU 3.0GHz; 2.99GHz

I don't need a super fast card, since I don't do any gaming on the PC. I just need something that will allow me to exploit all the features of Windows 7, and also run well with some of the graphics intensive websites.

Thank you very much for the help!

Regards,
Yash


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Apr 2010   #2
not so gray matter

W7 Ult. x64 | OS X
 
 

You have one PCI x16 slot for graphics which is good, but only a 375 watt power supply. In other words you can't really go with a top of the line card without getting a new power supply, but I assume you knew that. With that low of a power supply, you'd likely only be able to get a GeForce 8400 GS card, as the 9 series cards require a minimum of 350 watts power. That doesn't leave much room for error.

If you want a newer GFX card, even a budget one you'll need a new power supply as well.

I recommend that you get an Antec 550 Watt PS for $50 along with an EVGA 9800GT for $75. Granted that's a whole lot more than you need but it'll last you quite a while if you don't play any games. You'll be able to place both in your new system as well, that is as long as you don't end up gaming. If you really want a cheaper card you could go with a PNY 9600 GT for $60 but you'll do much better in the long run spending an extra $10-25 to get a decent card rather than a budget low memory one.

Let us know if you want anymore help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2010   #3
ydravid

Windows 7
 
 

Thanks for the response! I am quite savvy with computer operations, though am a total newbie when it comes to any hardware. With that being said, no, I had no idea about the power supply issue. How hard is it to change the power supply? Are there tutorials on how to do it?
When you say I Would be cutting it close with the 8400 GS card, what exactly do you mean? Can my motherboard or any other component get fried?
Thanks again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

25 Apr 2010   #4
not so gray matter

W7 Ult. x64 | OS X
 
 

Basically the 8400 GS requires 350 watts to run. This means that you'd only have 25 watts left of insurance. You'd do much better spending $50 for a new one that's got enough juice to power a new card and all of your current stuff. It's pretty easier to replace a power supply, and yes there are tutorials online.

Here's one tutorial, there are tons more of varying detail on the web... Just search for "How to install a power supply"

How to install a power supply for your computer

EDIT: To answer the rest of your question. Your components probably wouldn't be fried, but they'd end up not working properly and you'd get all kinds of blue screens and shut downs without enough power. As mentioned you're much better off getting a power supply w/ atleast 500 watts that way you can power a decent graphics card and all the rest. That graphics card I mentioned should last you years if you don't do anything graphics intensive such as high end gaming, photo editing, video editing, etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2010   #5
ydravid

Windows 7
 
 

WOW! Thank you SO much for your help. That is some great information,and a whole lot cheaper than I anticipated. I definitely will go with the new power supply.
Appreciate the help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2010   #6
kurahk7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Actually, I would recommend an ATI card simply because they use less power and offer more performance, I think an ATI Radeon HD 5750 or something similar to that would work fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2010   #7
kurahk7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by notsograymatter View Post
Basically the 8400 GS requires something like 300 watts of power to run I think. This means that you'd only have 75 watts left for everything else and most processors require between 65-90 watts on their own. You'd do much better spending $50 for a new one that's got enough juice to power a new card and all of your current stuff. It's pretty easier to replace a power supply, and yes there are tutorials online.

Here's one tutorial, there are tons more of varying detail on the web... Just search for "How to install a power supply"

How to install a power supply for your computer

EDIT: To answer the rest of your question. Your components probably wouldn't be fried, but they'd end up not working properly and you'd get all kinds of blue screens and shut downs without enough power. As mentioned you're much better off getting a power supply w/ atleast 500 watts that way you can power a decent graphics card and all the rest. That graphics card I mentioned should last you years if you don't do anything graphics intensive such as high end gaming, photo editing, video editing, etc.
If an 8400gs requires 300watts to run, the 5870 would require over 1000watts to run, yet the 5870 requires only less than 200watts full load.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2010   #8
ydravid

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kurahk7 View Post
If an 8400gs requires 300watts to run, the 5870 would require over 1000watts to run, yet the 5870 requires only less than 200watts full load.
If an 8400gs requires 300watts to run, the 5870 would require over 1000watts to run, yet the 5870 requires only less than 200watts full load.[/QUOTE]

I'm a little confused with this post. What do you mean by 1000watts to run, but only 200 watts full load?

Sorry about these elementary questions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2010   #9
not so gray matter

W7 Ult. x64 | OS X
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kurahk7 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by notsograymatter View Post
Basically the 8400 GS requires something like 300 watts of power to run I think. This means that you'd only have 75 watts left for everything else and most processors require between 65-90 watts on their own. You'd do much better spending $50 for a new one that's got enough juice to power a new card and all of your current stuff. It's pretty easier to replace a power supply, and yes there are tutorials online.

Here's one tutorial, there are tons more of varying detail on the web... Just search for "How to install a power supply"

How to install a power supply for your computer

EDIT: To answer the rest of your question. Your components probably wouldn't be fried, but they'd end up not working properly and you'd get all kinds of blue screens and shut downs without enough power. As mentioned you're much better off getting a power supply w/ atleast 500 watts that way you can power a decent graphics card and all the rest. That graphics card I mentioned should last you years if you don't do anything graphics intensive such as high end gaming, photo editing, video editing, etc.
If an 8400gs requires 300watts to run, the 5870 would require over 1000watts to run, yet the 5870 requires only less than 200watts full load.
Well first of all I said about, it could be 200 I really have no idea because the ratings weren't on the card I looked up. Now that I have, I've found that they do require 300-350 watt power suppies:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-108-_-Product
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-451-_-Product

Even a normal (non-double) 9800 GTX+ requires a 500 watt power supply.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814133246

How are you coming up with your figures anyway? It's not of function of how much ram it has or what the memory interface is.

The 5870 doesn't require 200 watts under full load. It requires 500 on some cards, probably more on others. Read the specs.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-456-_-Product
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-329-_-Product
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-084-_-Product

EDIT: Even a Radeon 4650 requires 350-400 watts of power...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814161308
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814129123

To the original poster: He was trying to make a point that NVIDIA cards require more power than ATI cards. While that might be true in some cases, his figures aren't close to correct. As you can see in the specifications of each card, a 5870 (Newest, Top of the Line ATI Card) requires 500 watts of power. The card I recommended to you requires 400 watts of power.

Basically, you'll need enough for your graphics card's ratings plus a bit of insurance incase you ever want to install anything that the graphic's card rating doesn't include.

I recommend NVIDIA card because I've had much better experiences with them and they have larger memory interfaces than ATI cards (the number before -BIT in the card name) For example, an ATI Radeon 4650 has 1GB of memory and 128-bit memory interface. The 9600-9800 GT normally has 512MB and 256 bit, but if you're worried about memory you can also get a 9800 GT with 1GB and 256 BIT memory.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Apr 2010   #10
ydravid

Windows 7
 
 

notsograymatter - I appreciate your help, and research! Besides, I really can't see myself spending the big dollars on the faster card, given that I am not going to be using it for any really graphics intensive projects. After reading some of the reviews of the card you suggested, it looks like it will be more than enough for my needs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Graphics card for my PC




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