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Card options with a 250w PSU and better than the 9600?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 27, 2006 2:02:05 PM

Title says it all. Just wanna give my buddy back his 9600 and put something new in that the 250w PSU I have will do. There must be a card out there agp style that blows the 9600 away and only needs a 250w PSU.
December 27, 2006 5:05:50 PM

Nothing for a 250W PSU will blow away a 9600 that I can think of. A X800/850 would but I don't know it's power requirements. What are your other system spec's. Is it a high quality 250W? I'll guess it's an old pc so a X1600/7600 class AGP could be a good choice as a last AGP card for it. Try one and then upgrade your PSU to a 300W if necessary- but a cheap one.

Is your goal to keep this machine running a certain amount of time into the future? Remember The Rule Of 4. If your system is 4 years old or you have to change more than 4 parts to keep it running, it's time for a new PC.

Now of course is a terribly confusing time to buy a video card. In a month or three the full range of DX10 cards will be out, so you are better off buying even a inexpensive mobo/ram/cpu and entry level DX10 card and upgrade into the future. The new generation of cards will also completely shift the focus from current cards. Many will disappear in the next few months, especially any remaining AGP cards. Get em while you can. Hard to see, the future is.
December 27, 2006 5:12:58 PM

Please list what other components are in the system. Processor, RAM, disk drives, etc.
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a c 355 U Graphics card
December 27, 2006 5:44:50 PM

Quote:
Please list what other components are in the system. Processor, RAM, disk drives, etc.


Like he said, you need to post who components you have.

I am going to assume that you have the 9600Pro GPU. That one uses 18.38w of power underload and not overclocked. Very few cards nowadays draws less than 20w of power. Without knowing the other components it's difficult to say how much headroom you actually have.

9600Pro power consumption:

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/ati-powe...
December 27, 2006 6:29:04 PM

Quote:
Title says it all. Just wanna give my buddy back his 9600 and put something new in that the 250w PSU I have will do. There must be a card out there agp style that blows the 9600 away and only needs a 250w PSU.

Why not just upgrade your PSU to a cheap 400~500Watt? To beat the 9600 FPS wise with current AGP GPU's requiring 250w or less is near impossible. The only GPU I know of requiring only 250w is a PCI only special build 6200a. Is the system proprietary were the motherboard will only work with the 250W? If so you may as well just buy a new motherboard, memory, 400W PSU, and a new GPU.
December 27, 2006 6:35:32 PM

Not necessarily. I wouldn't be surprised if the OP's system is an OEM like Dell or HP. If thats the case, the 250W PSU could very well be the PSU's actual wattage output and not the MAX rating. If true, his options get much better. Course we won't know this until the OP comes back after checking this.[/hint]
December 27, 2006 7:13:07 PM

I have a gateway 700X 2.4 P4 ,512 of rdram pc800, 1 hard drive, 1 dvdrom, 1 cdrw, floppy, and maybe 2 usb at the most at once.

Oh and I believe its just the plain jane 9600!! I'm probably just going to play CS:S with this computer for awhile then it will be my 10 yr olds PC and I will get a new one in a yr or 2 so dont want to put to much into it.

Im sure changing out the PSU is no big deal but would like to prevent that if possible.
December 27, 2006 7:22:39 PM

this is my current PSU


GeneralManufacturer
Delta/Astec
Model NPS-250CBB/ATX250-3505-1412B Rev 01
Performance
Voltage 115/230 V
Frequency 50/60 Hz
Input current 6.5 Amps at 115 VAC
3.5 Amps at 230 VAC
Wattage 250 W
Environmental
Operating temperature 0 to 50° C ambient
Operating humidity 20 to 80% RH
Thermal regulation +/- 2% per ° C
Shock 40g (half sine), 11 ms shock
Vibration 2 to 300 Hz, 0.25 g sinusoidal vibration
Mean time between failure 100,000 hrs. minimum excluding fan at full load (25° C)
40,000 hrs. minimum for fan only (25° C)
Regulatory and safety compliance
EMI/RFI regulations FCC Part 15 Class B, EN550221993, EN55082-1 1992, EN61000-3-2, EN61000-3-3, VCCI Class II ITE, AS/NZS 3548:1992
Safety UL 1950, CSA 22.2 No. 950, EN60950, IEC 950 CB Scheme, NOM-019-SCFI-1993, AS/NZS 3260:1993
December 27, 2006 8:27:39 PM

My guess is that is that is not the PSU's MAX wattage rating as most OEMs don't list the PSU by the MAX rating.

With that in mind, I'd say you would be safe with a 7600GS. A 6600GT would suffice too, but it's an older core and an older manufacturing process so it actually consumes more power than the 7600GS. You can get a 7600GS on Newegg for about $120. A 7300GT would work too and they can be picked up on Newegg for about $80 after a mail-in rebate.
a b U Graphics card
December 27, 2006 9:10:05 PM

Yeh, but it's a Gateway so it's probably only 300W peak...it might support a 7600GS.
December 27, 2006 9:25:44 PM

I was actually thinking it was more along the lines of 275W max. I just estimated the system using xTtreme OuterVisions wattage calculator based on the info the OP provided. I know the wattage calculator is more or less generic in sense, but a 7600GS came out to about 209W. Do you think their 250W PSU could handle that when you take into account an estimated max wattage of between 275-300W?
December 27, 2006 9:59:50 PM

Wow! I really appreciate what you guys do here. After all the discussions I hope we can narrow it down to just a few options and right around $100.

What kind of performance betwwen the 7300gt and the 7600gs. Would i notice the difference in the money. How much better than the 9600 I have now?
a b U Graphics card
December 27, 2006 10:28:07 PM

9600 non-pro is fairly weak, especially if you got one of the horrible ones with a 64-bit memory pathway. Were it the 128-bit version, you might find some good results from overclocking.
December 28, 2006 3:20:10 PM

So say I get the 7600GS or the 7300GT and keep the same 250w PSU. What is the worse case scenario that could happen if the psu is not sufficient?

And I need someone to make a decision on which one because I cannot decide. Is the 7600 THAT much better than the 7300GT and which will need more power?
December 28, 2006 4:18:06 PM

A 7600GS will effectively rape the 9600, without lube and it won't be pretty. The 7300GT will easily outclass the 9600 as well. If you just plan on playing CS:S then a 7300GT will suffice. My 9600XT faired very well on CS:S, my 6600GT faired even better than that and I've seen a few people say the 7300GT is about neck and neck with the 6600GT (EDIT: I'm not saying they are, just that others have). If you want to keep the cost down and plan on giving the system to your 10 year old, then I'd say the 7300GT is the way to go.

It's probably the safest bet when considering the low wattage of your PSU as well as it's age. The 7600GS doesn't require that much more power than the 7300GT but getting the 7300GT will save you some cash which can be used for a new PSU if you end up needing one.

Worst case is that your PSU will fold, catch on fire and burn your house down. :lol:  Most likely you'll have problems while gaming. The system will re-boot or shut down. You can order a new PSU through Gateway, or take a shot at buying one from Newegg if you need one.
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