Okay, I was on a good role in my quest of understanding graphics cards...but when I was going to get a x1950, I found out it requires 450 watts...
The problem is, I'm buying a [very cheap] pre-built computer (ya know, like off HP-where you can customize it); so I have a warranty, thus, I cannot switch out PSU's. So I'm stuck with pretty much 350-300 watts systems...I was wondering if I should get [one] of the following cards or buy a different one [that hopefully doesn't use too much]
So which of the following IYO
256MB GeForce 8600GT (though I heard this Dx10 card wasn't worth it)
128MB GeForce 8300GS (probably not)
256MB GeForce 8400GS
128MB GeForce 8300GS
or I will buy a
256MB GeForce 7900GS [but I'm not sure my comp will have enough watts (I think it will )
If its pre built you will be given a list which i assume is what you have posted so if the 7900 is on the list then i would also assume that it will run it ask the supplier the question and if they say its ok then go for the 7900
You guys are forgetting the all important +12v rail. The most important factor is that +12v rail for the graphics card. You could go out and buy a 600watt psu and think you are ok only to find out the card still won't work because the unit only supplies 15amps on the +12v rail. If you have a 350 watt PSU that has the required number of amps you will be ok. The recommendation from the manu is absed off a fully loaded system with an INtel QX6*** CPU and like 5 HDDs. If you use lower range stuff (i.e. an E6400 and 1 HDD) you will have no problem. The 7900GS will work on a 350 watt PSU as long as it has over 20 amps on the +12v rails. Go to the forums on Dell's website. People have been adding 7950s to stock PSU with no problems.
For the price eVGA's 7900GS KO is an excellent deal that requires very little power. Most labels for the card want 350 watts and 20 amps which means that if you get a Dell, you will have enough. My Dimesnion 4700 has a 300watt PSU that has 22amps and it can handle the 7900GS. One thing to keep in mind with Dell PSUs: Dell tends to under rate their units so they actually supply more power than they show.
bob: what system are you specifically looking at? It will be easier to figure out the power supply that way.
About the warranty: My brother said the same thing, but that's like reading a book then returning it [okay, bad analogy]-Its basically saying you change out your PSU [or watever] and if my computer ever needs warranty, just stick the sticker back on, replace the PSU, and BAM, I've lied by saying that the warranty hasn't been broken.
For the cheapest, I'm looking at the Dell Inspiron 530, which I believe has a 350W PSU. Like I said, the cheapest, since I could easily get an XPS with (last time I checked) 750W. At the moment, the Dell Inspiron, or an HP Pavilion Media Center [probably not-they say it has a 350 (or 300)W PSU though]
The Inspiron 530 can run the 86GT-DDR3, so I'm pretty sure the 7900 should work--and I'm pretty sure that every agrees that the 8's suck unless you go for the 8800.