Need advice for power supply and graphics card

Hello,

I am a "girl gamer" thinking of upgrading to a Radeon HD 4850, but the last time I upgraded my video card (to a Radeon 1950XT), I had to upgrade my power supply. Apparently my Dell Dimension 9100's power supply (350 or 275 watt?) couldn't support that card. Oops!

Since Dell PSU's are expensive and difficult to replace, I decided to go with a dedicated PSU - the Thermaltake Power Express 250 watt. It worked like a charm.

So, I would really like a new card (the better to get decent framerates at my 24" monitor's native resolution of 1900 x 1200), but I hate to have to upgrade my PSU every time. I understand that Thermaltake now makes a dedicated 450 watt power supply, but at that point, I am putting a lot of money into upgrading a four year old computer. Not to mention, what a lot of wasted hardware (not a very green solution!).

Does anyone think the dedicated 250 watt Thermaltake I already have will run the HD 4850?

And last, but not least, is it worth waiting until the price comes down on the 4870 in order to take advantage of the newer and better memory?

Please advise. Thanks!
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  1. NO! Don't even attach the 4850 to that dinky little 250! Get at least 500W of clean, regulated power.

    Here's a nifty site to calculate your power pc's power consumption:
    http://www.extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

    As far as the 4870 is concerned, gpus will always be dropping in price as newer models and better series come along. The question is, do you want to wait so long that the price drops significantly, but there is already something newer (5870 maybe)?

    Just buy the best card you can possibly afford.
  2. This power supply will be more then adequate power it is 80% efficnet which is a good thing to have its a hair pricey however it should last you though quite a few upgrades in the future. Also for $70 after rebate you cant go wrong.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139006


    This one is a little more economical however it is not 80%+ and not quite as "powerful" however since you tagged yourself as a "girl gamer" your most likely not going to overclock much or opt for the more power hungry video cards. Me in your situation would go with the corsair, you in your position depending on your financial state should opt for the latter of the two.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817152028
  3. The key word was "dedicated". I assume we are talking about the Power Express 250W - http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Thermaltake/PowerExpress

    With that feeding just the HD4850, you should be more than fine.

    Had we been talking a plain 250W for the whole system, the X1950XT would have been a problem already.
  4. *edit* nvm, already answered
  5. Kilgore said:
    Hello,

    I am a "girl gamer" thinking of upgrading to a Radeon HD 4850, but the last time I upgraded my video card (to a Radeon 1950XT), I had to upgrade my power supply. Apparently my Dell Dimension 9100's power supply (350 or 275 watt?) couldn't support that card. Oops!

    Since Dell PSU's are expensive and difficult to replace, I decided to go with a dedicated PSU - the Thermaltake Power Express 250 watt. It worked like a charm.

    So, I would really like a new card (the better to get decent framerates at my 24" monitor's native resolution of 1900 x 1200), but I hate to have to upgrade my PSU every time. I understand that Thermaltake now makes a dedicated 450 watt power supply, but at that point, I am putting a lot of money into upgrading a four year old computer. Not to mention, what a lot of wasted hardware (not a very green solution!).

    Does anyone think the dedicated 250 watt Thermaltake I already have will run the HD 4850?

    And last, but not least, is it worth waiting until the price comes down on the 4870 in order to take advantage of the newer and better memory?

    Please advise. Thanks!


    You didn't need to upgrade the psu in the first place.
    The D9100 came with a 375 watt/ 30 amp psu that is more than enough to handle a 1950XT or a 4850.
  6. Thanks for the replies. Yes, "dedicated" power supply was the key word (i.e. running just the video card, while the original PSU runs the rest of the computer). And yes, I have the Power Express 240W attached just to my vid card. By the way, none of the power supplies linked to above will work in a Dell Dimension 9100 (thanks, Dell!).

    So I guess my real question is, how do the power demands of the HD4850 compare to that of the 1950XT? Sounds like at least one of you thinks my dedicated 250w Power Express will work, so I guess I can give it a try. And if it doesn't, maybe the price will come down on the newer Power Express 450W.
  7. Kilgore said:
    By the way, none of the power supplies linked to above will work in a Dell Dimension 9100 (thanks, Dell!).

    So hard to make people understand, yes the linked unit's will work, the Raidmax was actually listed on the Dell forum as an upgrade. ( Don't know why, it's garbage )

    No you don't really need any extra power, the Corsair above was put in for testing only.
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