I Have a Dell Dimension 8300 series computer and i have bought a Nvidia GeForce 6800 gt graphics card, but the max power my computer puts out is 250w and the card requires 350w, i need help finding out whether i can find a power supply that is compatible with my box with more power, and if so then which one i should go with to make my experience enjoyable without my computer cutting off at random moments!! Thanks!
To tell you the truth, Dell conned you by selling you a computer that uses a nonstandard power supply and motherboard that will fry if you plugged in a standard power supply, which forces many people to buy the Dell power supplies at hugely inflated prices.
<A HREF="http://www.pcpowercooling.com/" target="_new">PC Power and Cooling</A> has some Dell-compatiable power supplies and sells much better power supplies at much more reasonable prices. Their Turbo-Cool 425 Dell is the one their website lists as being compatiable with your system. It costs $149.00.
The long term solution is not to buy from Dell or anybody else who makes nonstandard PCs.
Dell PSU's are pretty powerful. If your system isn't heavily loaded (only 1 or 2 HD, very few USB devices hanging off it, etc.) then it may be adequate to power the card.
Why? Most PSUs are crap. They may say 350w but that rating is max power, and they can't keep up max power long before burning out. They can only produce 70-75% of the power rating continuously. Dell's PSUs are rated at continuous power. That means they can put out 250w continuously. That 350w that nVidia wants, after adjusting to continuous power levels (350 X 0.75), is 262.5w. Pretty darned close to what Dell has.
I would give your current PSU a shot. Load it up, give it the toughest game (not necessarily tough for you, but most graphics card work) you have, and have a test for a few hours. If it works, is stable, doesn't crash or give any warnings, etc., then you have enough power.
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