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New Video Card in an old PC. Need PSU advice.

Last response: in Components
July 20, 2007 3:12:52 PM

Greetings folks,

I have an older system and need some advice. I have very limited funds at the moment and need to upgrade this system to make it gameable for the next year or so until I can do a full rebuild around Q4 2008.

Currently I have a Giga-Byte GA-8PE667 Ultra Motherboard running a 2.4 Ghz P4. Im looking to buy an ATI Radeon x1950 PRO as my new card and add in another Gig of RAM (making it 2GB total). As such, Im afraid my old 5+ yr old 400W PSU just wont cut it anymore and needs to be replaced.

Could I get some suggestions for a reliable PSU to run my modest rig? Thank you all in advance.

Edit for clarification: My concern is that the PSU has lost juice. The Comp has basically been running day and night for about 3 years. It rarely ever gets shut down. So, Im guessing that its not going to be enough. Maybe it will be, but hopefully someone can answer that for me and if not, provide a good model that would suit my needs. Thanks for the reply.

More about : video card psu advice

July 20, 2007 3:31:15 PM

That video card ill be greatly bottlenecked by the cpu. You are much better of saving the $300 is that you would spend on the ram, psu and video card. You will need a fairly stong psu with atleast 38 amps on the 12v rail according to ati's site.
July 20, 2007 4:07:52 PM

Hence the reason Im asking the question. This seems like it would carry the load. Am I wrong? If so, which PSU would you reccommed?

Also, this article shows me that I will notice quite a performance increase before I get CPU bottlenecked. Am I wrong again?

Like I said, Im in a cash bind now and will be until late next year unless financial issues change. As such, upgrading this beast is only option at this point.
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July 20, 2007 4:43:47 PM

You don't need 38a for the x1950 pro! You would be safe with 28-30a because the card itself maxed out will pull less than 10a and closer to 7a most of the time. The reason you need the extra amps on the +12v rail is about 90% of you PSUs power will be drawn off this section. Find the wattage available on the +12v rail and divide it by 12. This will give you the max amperage available on the 12v rail(s). If you buy a PSU with more than one +12 rail, they will be rated for a max load for each. Don't add this together to get your available amperage. Use the formula I listed and realize that the amps must be shared by all the rails.

ie. Two +12v rails at 18a each with 580w PSU, 360w available for the +12v. (360/12=30) 30a available total so if one rail draws the full 18a there will only be a max of 12a left for the second rail.

Here is a link that may help:

July 20, 2007 4:53:07 PM

unless i'm mistaken, that video card requires an x16 pci express slot.

that motherboard only has 1 agp slot.

order some tin snips when you get the card, cause you're going to have to cut off most of the connectors to get it to fit.

July 20, 2007 4:58:17 PM

Sapphire makes the x1950 PRO AGP. I don't know how expensive or how available it is!
July 20, 2007 6:27:15 PM

I do in fact realize that I have an AGP board. I will, of course, order the correct type of card.