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Best graphic card to buy for a 350 Watt supply?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 5, 2007 12:11:00 PM

Hi everyone,

These are my PC specs:
Athlon 64 x2 4000+
MSI K9AGM2-F ( with ATI X1200 IGP)
1024+512 MB Corsair RAM
HEC 350(not sure if it is 300 or 350) Watt power supply (Is this brand good, or crappy?)

I want to buy a new graphics card, and these were my candidates(in terms of price, and availability in Egypt):

- ATI Radeon X1950 Pro
- nVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT
(Both of them are in the same price range:800-900 L.E. , http://egprices.com/subcat_high.asp?sub=11&offset=9 )

First, would any of these run on a 300/350 Watt PSU?
And which one of them is more powerful?
Also, If you know of any other just as powerful or even better cards that work on my PSU, then let me know.

I'm leaning towards nVIDIA because they have better graphic cards for Linux. (I use Mandriva Linux)
I am also considering pressing myself a bit and getting a GeForce 8800 GT ( but I very much doubt it would work on my Power Supply, but if it does then I will get it :p  )

So what do you think?

Thanks a lot for your help!
December 5, 2007 1:33:08 PM

I can't comment much on the brand of the power supply, except it is off brand. I have only come across one in a low end system. Well the X1950 Pro is draws about 110 watts, depending on what else you are running it may work fine. The X1950 is the faster of the two cards, but the 8600GT has more features. The 8600GT uses only about 70 watts. So either should work, but that depends heavily on what else you have.
December 5, 2007 1:42:09 PM

Quote:
I can't comment much on the brand of the power supply, except it is off brand. I have only come across one in a low end system. Well the X1950 Pro is draws about 110 watts, depending on what else you are running it may work fine. The X1950 is the faster of the two cards, but the 8600GT has more features. The 8600GT uses only about 70 watts. So either should work, but that depends heavily on what else you have.


Well, I don't have much in my PC, a Hard Disk, a DVD Writer, a PCI Network Card, and a Floppy Disk :) 
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December 5, 2007 1:56:49 PM

I would stick with the 8600GT or 8600GTS since they use much less power.

The 1950pro is definitely more powerful than the 8600GT, however.
The 8600GTS is much closer but the 1950pro will likely win more often than not.
a c 195 U Graphics card
a c 121 ) Power supply
December 5, 2007 2:17:31 PM

This machine is running Linux? So you're not gaming on it? If that's the case, see if you can pick up an 8500 or 8400, or even less. If you're dual-booting Windows and Linux, your constraint may still be drivers. The 8600GT uses less power than the 1950Pro; doesn't even need a PCIE power connector (which you may not have anyway).
December 5, 2007 2:29:31 PM

Quote:
This machine is running Linux? So you're not gaming on it? If that's the case, see if you can pick up an 8500 or 8400, or even less. If you're dual-booting Windows and Linux, your constraint may still be drivers. The 8600GT uses less power than the 1950Pro; doesn't even need a PCIE power connector (which you may not have anyway).


Sadly, I dual boot (Used to dual boot with Vista, got ged up with that, and put XP SP2 instead)
If I didn't need to game, then the current IGP would be more than enough. But I do game :)  And I like to play a few Linux games too, like ET:QW, and Regnum Online along with my other Windows games.

How do I know if I have a PCIE power connector? How does it look like?
December 5, 2007 3:02:17 PM

Also, what do you guys think of the GeForce 7900 GS or GT version?

According to the VGA charts on this site, they're stronger than the GeForce 8600 GT, and the 7900 GS is a bit powerful as the 8600 GTS. And they're a tad cheaper here too ;)  Would they run on my PSU?

And DirectX10 stuff does not interest me at all .
a c 195 U Graphics card
a c 121 ) Power supply
December 5, 2007 3:11:02 PM

The PCIE power connector is a six pin connector; it is small like the 4-pin CPU power plug but with two more pins. Many video cards include adapters, but I'd be skeptical that your PSU can handle a 7900GS. It might if it is 350W; but is upgrading the PSU an option? How many amps does it have on +12V? Considering you're upgrading from integrated video, the 8600GT will be a huge leap ahead.
December 5, 2007 3:30:48 PM

Quote:
The PCIE power connector is a six pin connector; it is small like the 4-pin CPU power plug but with two more pins. Many video cards include adapters, but I'd be skeptical that your PSU can handle a 7900GS. It might if it is 350W; but is upgrading the PSU an option? How many amps does it have on +12V?


Well, I took a good look inside my case, and it turned out I have a 300 Watt PSU, not a 350 Watt one. And there are no 6 pin connectors I found inside.
I was hoping not to need to upgrade the PSU, as they are for some reason expensive here, and I was hoping to get the best graphics card I can, with wasting money on a PSU.
How do I know how many amps it has? I looked on the paper on the PSU, and this is what I read:
------------
+3.3v : 20A
+5v: 20A
+12v1: 8A
+12v2: 14A
-12V: 0.3A
+5vsb: 2A

+3.3v&+5v COMBINED OUTPUT 120W
TOTAL OUTPUT 300W
-----------

Does this mean I have a crappy PSU?

Quote:
Considering you're upgrading from integrated video, the 8600GT will be a huge leap ahead.

Of course I know that, but I want this leap to be as huge as possible, since I don't get to make such leaps often ;) 

So what is the most powerful graphic card that this PSU can handle?
a c 195 U Graphics card
a c 121 ) Power supply
December 5, 2007 4:13:39 PM

Your specs indicate 8A + 14A on two +12V rails, but they can rarely simply be added together. More likely, the total on the combined rails will be 16A-18A, rather than 22A. You should be able to put an 8600GT in that system.
The PSU is not necessarily crappy, it's just small. If you decide to buy a stronger one, choose a model from tier-3 or better from the list at http://www.tomswiki.com/page/Tiered+PSU+Listings?t=anon.
December 5, 2007 4:17:05 PM

Ok, thanks for your help!
!