Graphic card for 350w PSU

Ok, so I have a new Dell pc (before someone bashes, I got it really cheap online, much much less than making my own.) I was relying on using my old 7900 gs to power this thing for games... but now I find that the 7900 isn't working.
This PC has a 350w (although I'm suspicious that it only has 300w) psu and I need a gpu that will be decent for games, like Company of Heroes or Supreme Commander, but one that will work with my 350-300w psu.
I know how to assemble PC's from scratch, but have gotten turned off on the idea of removing the PSU on this one. I'm impatient with the hardware side of things. Replacing it is just out of the question for now.
So,
What's a good GPU which will work with a 350-300w PSU?
Do you know of any external power supplies? You know, so I can just plug a GPU on it without changing the internal PSU? I've seen one of these in fry's but I didn't need it at the time.
What would happen if I put in a video card that my PSU couldn't handle? Explosion? Broken computer?
Thanks in advance, good day

Pc specs:
q6600
6gb ram
Vista 64
250gb sata
21 answers Last reply
More about graphic card 350w
  1. To answer myself here, I'm partial to the 9 series videocards from Nvidia. Particularly the 9500gt: (from their website)

    Maximum GPU Tempurature (in C) 105 C
    Maximum Graphics Card Power (W) 50 W
    Minimum System Power Requirement (W) 350 W

    Is the 350 minimum taking into account that I have a powerhogging q6600?
  2. A 9500GT would work. The HD4670 would work a LOT better; it is five tiers higher on Cleeve's GPU chart, and requires no auxilliary power connector.
  3. Yes that looks good. Haven't considered or used ATI before. Is that better than the 9500 or 9600gt?
  4. Definitely 4670.
  5. Ok thanks. So what's the worst thing that could happen if it isn't 'compatible' with my PSU? It won't break stuff wouldn't it?
  6. Get the 4670 it will for sure work with your PSU.
  7. Another vote for the HD 4670, wayyyy better than that 9500GT, and takes ~20 watts less power than the 9600GT.
  8. any card will do except those nvidia GTX or duals
  9. Well, if it had a 7900GS it should be just fine with a Radeon 4670. That Radeon 4670 will be a big improvement. The 7900 GS draws a max of around 80W I believe, so as long as you don't get a card that draws more than that you should be fine.
  10. I'm decided with the HD4670. Any particular brands? Is this good:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127383
  11. i would say visiontek they have life time warrenty
  12. The 350w Dell power supply is a good unit, Delta built i think. I'd run a 9600GT on it.
    HD4670 uses 47watts, 9600GT uses 61 watts

    whoops, should have read the whole thread first. The HD4670 is a good choice. Download hardware monitor and keep an eye on temps, Dell cases have pretty poor cooling.
  13. HD4670 has more goodies too... HDMI ... no need audio connections from outside the card
  14. yeah 4670 woo....i have a dell so yeah it will work.....i didn't think of the xternal power thing oh smurt
  15. I have an MSI 4670 with a non-reference cooler I really like.
  16. Ok so I'm thinking of this one because it apparently exhausts the heat directly outside, good thing for a Dell PC:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161252

    But what does dual slot mean? This only means that I can't use the PCI directly below it, right?
  17. Good choice of cards for a prebuilt case. You'll have to look at your motherboard and the PCIex16 slot. If it's a BTX build you won't be able to use the slot above it. ATX build, the slot below it. Measure and make sure it'll fit.
  18. So i ordered the HD 4670 from newegg, from HSI. Is that a good brand? It was a dual slot with the exhaust coming out directly from the second slot... should be good with the dell.

    Thanks a lot for the help everyone, couldn't have noticed the 4670 without you guys.
  19. Did you mean HIS? I like that cooler too. I bought that style of HIS card for my father's non-gamer build, but a 2600PRO. It was a lot quieter than it looks, too. That's the one I'd get if I bought a 4670.
  20. Yeah that's the one I got. That cooler should also cool the computer itself a bit.
  21. From what I understand the Dell psu's are underrated and if you don't overclock or add additional peripherals the 30amp 12v rail on that thing can power a 9800 gtx with ample head room. Don't go adding any higher cpu though, you'll want to keep you total system draw around 200-250 watts at full load. The rating system on dell psu's reflects actual constant wattage available, if it say 350w then much like shuttle psu's you get 350w out of it. Unlike consumer psu's dells rating is for part specification not to make sales. But give yourself the 100 watt head room and make sure that your 30 amp rail gives you ample head room, I believe a 9800 will draw 9-12 amps. People also run 4850s too.

    Warning this is not a guide to a consumer PSU. Just Dell's and shuttles.

    Anyone who is suspect of this should be aware that the the 12v rail on this is ample and provides 300 watts constant on the rail alone.
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