Power Supply and GFX Card upgrade advise

I'm going to upgrade my system. Current Specs are
Acer
Intel Core 2 Quad Process Q6600 2.40 Ghz
3G Ram
500G HD
Nvidia 8600 GT
300W PS

I'm not a expert on PSUs, but after the past 2 days I realize there's some differences.
The label on the side of my existing PSU reads:

+ 5V / 20A MAx
- 12V / 0.5A Max
+12V1/ 10A Max
+5V(SB) / 2A Max
+3.3V / 20A Max
+12V2/ 13 A Max
Combined Power 12V1 and 12V2 rails not to exceed 20A.

I assume this means I have two 12V rails.

I was initally only going to upgrade the graphics card. Someone said I could just upgrade
to a ATI 4670 and leave the existing power supply in. And then I get others telling me that it might blow the system.....
So if I HAVE to upgrade the PSU, then I may as well just get a ATI 4850.

2 questions
Can I get away with the existing PSU with a 4670 ?

If not, is there a specific PSU I have to make sure I purchase in order to support my system since the current one has 2 rails ?

I want to be sure of everything before I upgrade because I have to order everything online.
8 answers Last reply
More about power supply card upgrade advise
  1. I recommend you check out the 610w pc power and cooling silencer ($89.99 before $30 rebate at newegg). It has a single 12v rail rated at a whopping 49 amps. If you want to use a second video card, checkout some sli rated ps. I recommend antec, corsair, enermax, seasonic, or pc power and cooling power supplies. Some of the other brands don't hold up well under load.
  2. Here is a link to a recent THG article about video cards and actual power requirements:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/review [...] ,2122.html

    Be sure to check the table showing power supply requirements for a variety of video cards in SLI mode. Most people tend to overestimate their power requirements. It happens all the time at this forum.
  3. You can use your existing power supply with a HD4670. Here's a list of recent games using a variety of different graphic cards. Your existing 8600GT would come close to matching the 9500GT in the benchmarks.
    http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/13157-games-christmas-08-gpu-performance-part-ii.html

    If you think the improvement with the HD4670 wouldn't be enough for what you want, then a new power supply would be needed for an upgrade to a HD4830/4850 or 9800GT. A good quality 400w-500w 80%+ efficiency is what i'd go with.

    a short tutorial on power supplies that might answer your questions about 1-2 or up to 4 rails.
    http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/181
  4. Quote:
    You can use your existing power supply with a HD4670


    How sure are you ? haha
    I can't seem to find an actual requirements info on this card. I found one topic on the MSI Forums
    http://forum.msi.com.tw/index.php?topic=104805.0;all
    That said it requires 400W and 26A

    Now, I know that these requirements may be overblown....but I just wanted to know where I could find info that said 20A and 300W is ok to use.
  5. That number is probably for total system.

    Radeon HD4670 uses 56.9 watts and 4.7 amps under load:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-radeon-power,2122-6.html

    It's been my experience that most people tend to overestimate their power requirements.
  6. THANK YOU, I WAS LOOKING FOR A CHART EXACLTY LIKE THAT.
    THat just reassures me now that the 4770 should be fine. Thanks for all the help and info guys.
  7. Just though I'd post an update. I got my 4670 today, installed. Run great, framerates are double what the 8600GT was if not more. COD4 went from 28fps to 62 fps, that's just an idea.
    My only beef is the sound from the card, it's a bit noisy. It does however have manual fan controls, but I'm a little uneasy about leavin it on manual and the card overheating. I did it once, alt-tabbed out and the gpu temp was 91C. :ouch:

    It's on auto for now, but still loud, and theres no load. If I drop it to 30% you can't hear a thing, but running in manul as it is now with no load it seems to be too high and a steady temp of 41C. I'm left it on manual at 30% and I get a temp of 45C.

    Anyone know the safe operating GPU temp specs on the ATI 4670 ?
  8. Probably a good rule of thumb to just keep it under 70c, but graphics cards these days (especially those ATIs) can take the heat, so I'm sure it wouldn't hurt much if you broke that. I had a 3870 with a temp problem that ran at 80-105c (don't try this at home) for months and had no problems or loss in performance. o.O
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