Please help with new AGP card for ailing system

I have an old Dell Dimension 4550 that I've made a few upgrades on and now I'm looking to get a video card. I don't really want to spend the money on getting a brand new system right now. Here is what I have

Intel Pentium 4 CPU 2GHz
1 gig ram PC2100(133MHz) 512x2
2 IDE hard drives 80gig and 20gig
CDRW drive
DVD-rom drive
AGP 4x at 1.5v
currently a 250w power supply

I was looking at is the SAPPHIRE 100258L Radeon HD 3650 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 AGP 4X/8X

I was planning on upgrading my power supply to a PC Power & Cooling Silencer Dell Upgrade PPCS500D 500W ATX12V / EPS12V which has +12V@35A

After checking Sapphire's website they say they recommend a 550w power supply, but after reading other customer reviews there were several people that had less then that and didn't have any problems. Will this card work in my system? Or is my system limitations going to make it a waste of money? I don't really play new games (I still have the OEM card that came with the computer) Just looking to play some older games like civ 4 watch the occasional movie. Would I be better served at just getting a cheaper one like the SAPPHIRE 100175L Radeon X1650PRO 512MB?

Thanks for any help, I've been reading about this stuff for several hours now and can't decide on the info that is out there.
21 answers Last reply
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  1. the card requires little power as far as I know, maybe you don't need a new power supply unit either.
    Hard to say, need more info on your PSU. Take a photo on all it's amps perhaps?
  2. romulus47plus1 said:
    the card requires little power as far as I know, maybe you don't need a new power supply unit either.
    Hard to say, need more info on your PSU. Take a photo on all it's amps perhaps?

    Thanks for the quick reply. I wasn't able to take a picture but I took it out and wrote everything down.

    Model: NPS-250KB B REV: 03

    100-120V ~ 9.0A
    200-240V ~ 4.5A

    Output 250W max


    max compined power on +5V and +3.3V output is 170W

    I didn't think there was anyway this power supply could support that card because it was so low, especially the 14A on the +12V
  3. 14Amps on the 12v rail is indeed very low. Most probably need a new PSU.
  4. The 3650 only draws a maximum of 48 watts, which is 4 amps@12v.
    I`d say you r`e good to go.
  5. he's right. i didnt go through the reviews so i didnt know how much is it's max power usage.
  6. Well I was planning on getting a new PSU anyway, I was just curious why Sapphire's website would say the requirements for that card are a 550W PSU. Also with my current configuration is it worth getting the 3650, or would it be a waste of money?
  7. I'd say go for something better if you can, but nevermind if you're not a serious gamer.
    550w is over kill for a card like 3650. Some good 350w psu can even run some beefy cards out there.
  8. @ ZWICK: Most of the PSU requirements given by card resellers are very high, to counter the many poor quality PSU`s out there which have a high wattage but give poor 12v output (which you were correctly concerned about).
    Which card does your system currently have?
  9. I'm almost embarrassed to list this card...I still have the

    32 MB ATI Rage 128 Ultra

    I'm not that serious of a gamer (thats what i have my xbox 360 for) and this is the first video card I've bought. I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't getting caught up in all the hype and buy a card that my computer isn't even going to be able to take full advantage of. So it sounds like if I get this PSU I shouldn't have any problems either. Everything I read said PCP&C were good ones and this one will fit in my proprietary dell, and it has 83% efficiency.
  10. Don't be embarrassed. I was still gaming with a nvidia 256 2-3 years ago, and I never owned any xbox or ps... :P
  11. With the HD3650 you had linked along with the PC P&C power supply you'd be dropping about $160 into an outdated (basically obsolete) system, with components that wouldn't move along into a new system (although the power supply may be able to make a transition) If you still need to use the system and the old graphic solution is kaput, then perhaps this $50 graphic card (2400PRO) might be a decent option
    If you can struggle along with what you have while saving some money for a new system you'd really be better off. I learned the hard way that it just doesn't pay to keep dumping money into an outdated system.

    The reason graphic card manufacturers highly inflate the numbers for the system requirements (a 550w power supply for a HD3650) is a legalese cover your butt approach. They have to take into account aging power supplies and/or low quality power supplies that can't deliver the power they're labeled for.

    *EDIT* even an overclocked 2400 PRO should use less then 20watts.
  12. AH... I`m all dewey eyed now;) The fun of getting that little b*****d to run properly under Win 98 and the open jaw of happyness when it did...Sniff.
    BUT back to the thread!
    The weapon of choice for many Home Theatre systems is the HD3450, DX10.1, HDCP compatable, AGP available, less power than the 3650 and half the price.
    As for the PSU, frankly it`ll be a waste of money putting it ino a system which will run the 3450/3650 on the installed unit unless you intent to reuse it in a later build.
    Now...Back to Memory Lane.
  13. I like the idea of spending less money. So lets say I don't care about HD right now, and don't want to replace my aging PSU. Would I be able to get by with getting the

    SAPPHIRE 100175L Radeon X1650PRO 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 AGP

    I figured that I would want a 128-bit card over a 64-bit card. If I only have to buy a card then that would be even better! Thanks for everyone's help so far also, this site is awesome!

    oh...also where is everyone finding out how much power these cards are using, I couldn't seem to find this information anywhere
  14. @ ZWICK: We try to please.
    I use this for the power requirements, it`s difficult to see exactly what you want, but it`s accurate and fairly up to date:

    The 1650 looks OK, but check your prices before purchasing, And as Dirtmountain says, the 2400 is a viable alternative, just keep an eye on the specs when comparing prices.
  15. I usually use this one

    Graphic card hierarchy chart,2118-7.html

    and then when you have 1,2 or 3 cards in mind, check newegg and tigerdirect for prices, then check reviews of specific card for limitations on what it will do/not do
  16. On the site that dirtmountain posted for the power requirements they also have links to the reviews of the cards, but they are PCI-E. There wouldn't be any difference in power consumption between an AGP and a PCI-E card if they are the same types of card would there?
  17. No, they just wo n`t fit, and the PCI-E cards will, most likely, be faster because the PCI-E interface is faster.
  18. I hate to keep inundating people with questions here, but I have another one about the memory interface. Since I only have a 4x AGP is it even worth me going with a 128-bit card or should i stick with 64? I don't know the point where my system limitations begin making the extra features on cards meaningless.
  19. I would n`t worry overly about the technical niceties, if the card is a little `too fast` for the AGP port, then you can inrease the AA/AF filters to improve image quality, because these are applied by the card itself and are independant of the AGP speed.
  20. At this level of graphics performance, there isn't a noticeable difference between 8X AGP and 4X AGP but there is a much more noticeable difference when using a 128-bit card VS a 64-bit card even when using it in a 4X AGP slot.

    That being said, if you aren't gaming, then I would get the cheapest card that will do the job for what you need and any 64-bit card will do just fine for basic computing.
  21. thanks for everyone's help on this forum. I decided to just go with the 3650 and not bother getting a power supply. I want to try to squeeze everything i can out of this computer. I got it for free from someone else who got a new one, so the upgrades I do on it are basically the cost of the computer. Thanks again...I'm a Tom's hardware user for life now!
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