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What happens when the PSU doesn't have enough watts to power graphics card?

I have a Dell Optiplex 3020 SFF. I installed a MSI Afterburner R7 240 with the fan and VGA port removed. The minimum recommend power supply is 400W+. My PC is only equipped with a 255W PSU, that I have found is non-upgradable.

What are my risks of running the PC like this? I'm using this card for work, so no gaming or heavy graphics.
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  1. Hum... you remove the fan and vga port from the video card ? hum the fan is essential to cooling the card especially in a tight SFF case.
    SFF power supplies can be had in aftermarket up to 400w you need to look for sizes compatibility and search for TFX or SFF PSU
    I would not run that card without a fan... period. never mind psu issues.

    PS plenty of Slim 5450 cards for sale out there , that have the right format and proper heatsink without a fan to fit your case.
    not that it solves your issue of PSu https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=xfx+amd+radeon+hd+5450+1gb&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=177337515340&hvpos=1t1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=10379622112913481157&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9027595&hvtargid=kwd-74305765938&ref=pd_sl_18x894wfik_b
  2. I agree the cooler on that R7 240 is likely very inadequate for passive cooling, it may overheat even at idle without the fan and it surely will under any kind of load.

    If you push a psu too far it should trigger OCP (over current protection) and shut down. If you do this repeatedly you could kill the psu and if its low quality and not fitted with proper protection circuitry it could take other components out with it.
  3. JeepinTaco said:
    I have a Dell Optiplex 3020 SFF. I installed a MSI Afterburner R7 240 with the fan and VGA port removed. The minimum recommend power supply is 400W+. My PC is only equipped with a 255W PSU, that I have found is non-upgradable.

    What are my risks of running the PC like this? I'm using this card for work, so no gaming or heavy graphics.


    That video card only has a 35 watt TDP, the 400 watt recommendation means absolutely nothing MSI has no clue what the rest of the parts used in the PC are.
    I would be a bit concerned with removing the fan keep a eye on your temps of the card.

    Power consumption 35
    https://www.msi.com/Graphics-card/R7-240-2GD3-LP.html#hero-specification
    I would not think adding 35 watts is going to overload the power supply and it only draws 35 watts under load.
  4. The risk?

    The PSU fails under load and damages other components. It's likely a low quality unit as its from Dell.
  5. Best answer
    what you need to do is go to dell forums and see what works and what will not on your model

    http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/desktop/f/3514/t/19983008

    http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/desktop/f/3515/t/19589169

    http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/desktop/f/3515/t/19658684 [no reply]

    ''MT supports full height (FH) cards while DT and SFF support low profile (LP) cards.''

    http://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/SLN152041/optiplex-graphics-card-options-(discrete-video)?lang=EN


    check your boards pci-e slot for anything like this and why low power lo pro cards are only recommended

    http://en.community.dell.com/cfs-file/__key/communityserver-discussions-components-files/3515/25WSLOT.jpg


    in the end any upgrade you do is all your own risk . the prebuilt manufactures only guarantees there computers work as sold to you as is out of the box from there factory with what they put on it , not a drop more
  6. Why did you take the fan off? It looks like there should be room for it. if it touches something trimming the plastic cover can usually help. The PSU is small because there aren't a lot of drive bays or expansion slots. The Dell PSUs are high quality parts and usually can put out more than their rated power.
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