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GTX 280 Question

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 28, 2008 3:02:03 AM

My 8800GT is getting a little old for my tastes. I'm running a Dell with an upgraded 550W Antec PSU, so my options are somewhat limited. I'm really excited about the new i7 processors and emergence of Tri-Channel DDR3, but I'd like to wait for the market to settle down and for these companies to iron out any kinks in their new products before I dive in and build my first computer. I've basically decided I want a GTX 280 now to bridge the gap between now and my new rig, and when I build the new rig I'll supplement it with another GTX 280 (or two). If it matters for this thread, I game at 1680x1050 for now and I might step up to a 24" monitor in the future (perhaps even larger if prices keep dropping).

Here are the questions:

An EVGA-built GTX 280 would be the best choice for me because of the Step Up program, right? I mean, I'm not entirely sure that I will want a GTX 280 in a couple months and I don't want to be stuck with this decision if something better comes out when I build my new rig. I know it's a strange question but I want to limit my potential regrets, which I did not do when I bought my 8800GT (Radeon 4000 series came out a couple months later for roughly the same price as what I paid).

I'm also curious as to whether or not my current PSU could even handle a GTX 280. Power requirements state: "Minimum of a 550 Watt power supply.
(Minimum recommended power supply with +12 Volt current rating of 40 Amp Amps)." Here is a list of my PSU's outputs: +3.3V@28A,+5V@26A,+12V1@22A,+12V2@22A, +12V3@25A,-12V@0.5A,+5VSB@2.5A. Do I add up the Amp rating from each +12V rail to decide if I can power this card? If so, that would be 69A. I'm sure it's not that simple, but Google was not helping me figure this one out. Here's a link to my PSU (I got it for $60 about 6 months ago):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Before I get a bunch of fanboyisms, I give the 4870x2 zero consideration simply because of its high power demand. I'm aware that it's a better card overall, but I need a solid, powerful card that I can squeeze into my current machine and still maintain some kind of strength down the road.

More about : gtx 280 question

December 28, 2008 3:37:08 AM

The EVGA step-up program is only good for 30 days after the purchase of your product.
December 28, 2008 4:28:49 AM

Are you sure? According to their FAQ:

Q: How does the Step-Up™ Program work?
A: Anytime within the first 90 days after your original date of purchase you can step up your video card to a new card graphics card from our website at http://evga.com/products/ of greater value.

http://www.evga.com/stepup/default.asp?switch=3

I scanned through their Terms and Conditions page and saw nothing about 30 days.
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December 28, 2008 4:32:25 AM

It's 90 days and BFG has 100 days.
December 28, 2008 5:05:03 AM

Thanks for that input. I still need an answer for the second question:

I'm also curious as to whether or not my current PSU could even handle a GTX 280. Power requirements state: "Minimum of a 550 Watt power supply.
(Minimum recommended power supply with +12 Volt current rating of 40 Amp Amps)." Here is a list of my PSU's outputs: +3.3V@28A,+5V@26A,+12V1@22A,+12V2@22A, +12V3@25A,-12V@0.5A,+5VSB@2.5A. Do I add up the Amp rating from each +12V rail to decide if I can power this card? If so, that would be 69A. I'm sure it's not that simple, but Google was not helping me figure this one out. Here's a link to my PSU (I got it for $60 about 6 months ago):

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
December 28, 2008 8:59:26 PM

Your power supply should work for 1 gtx280, but I wouldn't go overclocking it or your CPU too much, 550 is probably the very minimum, your 12v rails seem like they'll be fine though. I'm kind of going against my usual motto of, get a huge psu so you don't have to worry( I got the corsair hx1000 for my recent I7 build), but I'm kind of learning you don't really need as much wattage as you think. Brand quality and 12v rails are the most important.
December 29, 2008 1:12:52 AM

Cool, thanks a ton. I know what you mean, though. More is better, but not always necessary. Also, I can't overclock my CPU since I have a Dell, but I did BSEL mod it to 3.0GHz on a Q6600.

Like I said before, I'm having a hard time justifying any purchases right now since so many products would seemingly drop in price like their earlier counterparts have. Look how cheap DDR2 RAM is right now - DDR3 should follow that trend, right?

Unfortunately, I'm very impatient and would like to get a high end graphics card to keep me occupied. Still, I think I'll see how the new NVIDIA releases affect the market for the next month or so.

Thanks again for the help, Liderc.
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