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Upgrade graphics, but limit on size and watts

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March 29, 2009 1:22:37 PM

Hey. I have his computer
http://www.bestbuy.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?sku_id=092...

Its an acer aspire ax1700
Intel Pentium Dual Core E2200
2 gb RAM ddr2
220w power supply
integrated geforce 7100 :( 

Anyways most graphics cards out there that meet my needs (cod4 medium - high + 25 fps ) res above 1280-800)
require a minumim of a 350w powersupply, but i have heard that in reality cards like 7600gt only draw about 30w of power from my psu, so in theory i have enough. The other issue is the size of my case, and i am not sure what graphic card will fit. The dimensions are
Tower Height 37.50 cm
Tower Width (internal, important for my gfx) 10.50 cm
Tower Width 26.75 cm (side length)

As you can see my options are limited, but im sure i can buy something right?
a b U Graphics card
March 29, 2009 4:41:09 PM

You can get a 7600GT for about $25 on ebay. I had it - it's a decent card to play older games. ie. COD4 on medium, Oblivion on High, FEAR on high, etc

But I suggest you upgrade to a bettr PSU if it fits in your case, and get a better GPU.
The larger GPUs today are 10.5 inches
March 29, 2009 4:42:08 PM

Do you think the 7600gt that you had would fit my case and work with my psu?
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
March 29, 2009 4:48:02 PM

7600GTs are fairly small, so most likely yes. Check the pics to make sure.
March 29, 2009 5:25:04 PM

I can't really tell by pictures. I wish someone would confirm if they have a slim pc and the type of gfx they were able to fit into it as well as how well their psu copes with everything
a c 358 U Graphics card
March 29, 2009 6:45:01 PM

You have a slimline case which means that you can only fit a low profile video card inside the case.

I do not know if they make a 7600GT low profile card; which consumes 36w of power @ stock speed.

Your best option will probably a low profile ATI HD 4650 (30w) or the HD 4550 (19w). The HD 4650 is definitely more powerful than the 7600GT. The HD 4550 is up in the air since it has not even been benchmarked (it more of an HTPC card). Best guess is it will be about 20% slower than the HD 4650.

See following for HD 4650 / 4550 power consumption and HD 4650 benchmarks:

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/ati-rade...


Low profile HD 4650:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Low profile HD 4550 (it is shown with a full size bracket, you will probably have to place it with the included low profile bracket):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Being that you only have a 220w power supply the HD 4650 (30w) may not be usable. The only way to find out is to buy it and if your computer crashes when playing a game that is a sign that a 30w video card is "too powerful".

March 30, 2009 12:32:55 AM

Thank you. Do you think though that there is a much higher chance of the 4550 being able to work?
a c 358 U Graphics card
March 30, 2009 1:11:17 AM

I'm pretty sure the HD 4550 will work since it has been measured to use a max of 19w.

Can you look at the sticker on the power supply (PSU) and check how many watts are available on the 12v rail? It might also tell you the amps as well.

a b U Graphics card
March 30, 2009 2:56:24 AM

^ I have both the 7600GT and 4650 and I can tell you that they're about the same size.
March 30, 2009 8:01:26 PM

But i would need the Low Pro version right? because the low profile versions also take less watts from my psu right?
a b U Graphics card
March 30, 2009 8:03:07 PM

I thik all 7600GT are the same. "Low profile" isn't a version, but a general designation for smaller and less power consuming GPUs
March 30, 2009 9:54:47 PM

Okay, i think i might get this card.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=1...(keywords)

radeon 3650 Someone commented and said that the card fits and works with the exact model computer that i have.

"Pros: cheap, performs well, low power requirements

Cons: not in stock

Other Thoughts: this was an upgrade from a Nvdia G100 for my recently purchased Acer Aspire X1700. like what others have said, the card works great even on my 220w power supply. my Vista score went from 4.0 to 5.1. i did notice a slight burning smell for a few minutes under a load but it's gone now. overall i am very pleased with this cards performance. this midrange performance is what i thought i was buying with the G100 that came with my Acer small form factor PC. As you know, upgrading these things can be a nightmare and i was happy that my power supply worked. I would recommend this card to anyone with a small form factor. On a side note, i did purchase a self powered USB hub to connect all of my extras to so that i can conserve as much power as possible."
March 30, 2009 10:15:45 PM

hey man

truth of the matter is that E2200 is power efficient CPU. It will maybe use 40 watts max. I assume you are only using one optical drive just one harddisk drive.
Put mobo+memory+harddiskdrive to max 50, and it means you have got at least some headroom for GPU. Just pick any card that does not have an extra power plug and fits your case. Id go for 3650 too
March 30, 2009 10:23:23 PM

To be honest I don't see point in upgrading ur pc, what every u upgrade its not enough and u will have to change other components too u will replace ur 7100 with 7600 and there is not much difference, and even that ur pc will work on that power supply it may freez very often.
March 31, 2009 12:31:44 AM

mordinel screw you

i saw CSS on a E2200 with 3650 and it ran 1680x1050 with over 40 fps. Definately enough for some. 3650 easy upgrade too.
March 31, 2009 1:10:43 AM

i am trying to think weather it will run cod4 on high 1440 900
a c 358 U Graphics card
March 31, 2009 4:00:21 AM

Bluescreendeath said:
"Low profile" isn't a version, but a general designation for smaller and less power consuming GPUs


No.

Low profile means the bracket is shorter than a full height video card so that it can fit in a slimline case.

Or at least partially true; somewhat... All low profile video cards are of the less powerful GPUs, but it is because more powerful GPUs needs larger heatsink fan that can fit on what is essentially a half-height card.

See the links I provided for the HD 4550 and HD 4650. IIRC, the HD 4650 comes with a detachable full height bracket and comes with a low profile bracket.
a b U Graphics card
March 31, 2009 8:24:23 AM

4650 dimensions according to XFX - L=6.6 in (16.8 cm) W=4.376 (11 cm) in H=0.75 in (1.9 cm) See here

3650 dimensions I couldn't find, but they "look" the same.

Are you absolutely certain you need a low-profile version? These things don't use much power, and they're not big at all.
March 31, 2009 10:19:15 AM

Gedoe_ said:
mordinel screw you

i saw CSS on a E2200 with 3650 and it ran 1680x1050 with over 40 fps. Definately enough for some. 3650 easy upgrade too.

calm ur attitude I'm just saying that to really upgrade ur pc you would have to change everything, what u change ur graphic card now and few months later u will have to upgrade ur card again and on that power support there is limit, its suggestion, I would buy cheap computer with pci-e 2.00 good mother board and then start to upgrade depending on amount of money u have, and u can easy pick up this pc's for around 300 rather then putting this 300 in ur old computer which still will be old computer after all
March 31, 2009 12:04:50 PM

Question. The 4650 is better than the 3650 and the 4550, bot how do these cards compare against the 8600gt?
March 31, 2009 2:07:37 PM

Im joining this conversation late, but the 8600gt ~=~ 3650/4550. The 4650 is a significant step up, and is about the equivalent of the 3850.
March 31, 2009 4:34:16 PM

morfinel said:
calm ur attitude I'm just saying that to really upgrade ur pc you would have to change everything, what u change ur graphic card now and few months later u will have to upgrade ur card again and on that power support there is limit, its suggestion, I would buy cheap computer with pci-e 2.00 good mother board and then start to upgrade depending on amount of money u have, and u can easy pick up this pc's for around 300 rather then putting this 300 in ur old computer which still will be old computer after all


The point is that E2200 compairs to that $ 300 system you had in mind easily. As stated above, he woudlnt need to change anything except adding the gpu card. But yeah, hed need to consider upgrading alltogether if hed want real preformance in the latest games.
March 31, 2009 11:02:29 PM

I just want cod4 almost as good as ps3.
a b U Graphics card
April 1, 2009 7:03:00 PM

According to this photo at Newegg, the 12V rail is rated at 14A MAX. That's not much 12V power at all. A low-profile 4650 should fit, and the additional pictures on that page actually show a low-profile video card installed in the top slot above the network connector. I just don't know if the power supply could handle it for certain.

Here are the two low-profile 4650's Newegg offers: Clicky!

Might be better off playing it safe and going with either a 3650 or 4550 instead.
April 1, 2009 7:08:19 PM

are you sure that you even have a frekin pci express slot on your motherboard??
lol if u dont even know that.
April 1, 2009 8:29:56 PM

Yes I obviously do, if you bothered to click the link you would know :p 

When i did a psu calculation using some psu calculator website, i put the specs of my computer + i added the 4650 and it said
that the final psu was 207w. And i have 220w, so doesn't that mean that i have enough for 4650?

I am just curious because i don't want to break my computer.
a b U Graphics card
April 2, 2009 5:53:13 AM

If the output rating for the power supply is 220W of continuous power, then yes, it'd be fine. But, if it's the peak rating, then perhaps not. You also have to consider that it's beginning to age, and as such, PSU power ratings will begin to decline ever so slightly over time. It's rarely much degradation, if any, perhaps 5%. Still, if we're talking about running at or just under the max rating, that could definitely become a factor given enough time.

Using eXtreme Power Supply Calculator 2.5Lite, I was only able to find the HD4670 listed, and still came up with 210W rating with the following setup and checkboxes:

Single CPU
Regular Desktop
Intel E2200 Allendale
85% TDP (as recommended)
2 Sticks DDR2 SDRAM
ATI Radeon 4670 (note: 4650 not listed)
Single Card
1 SATA Drive
1 DVD-RW/DVD+RW Drive
1 PCI-E x1 slot
Front Bay Card Reader (checked)
90% System Load (as recommended)

If I remove the PCI-E x1 selection, it drops to 195W. Now that's all with a 4670. A 4650 should consume even less power, so it should be a safe bet.

Substituting a 9600GT and re-checking the PCI-E x1 box, it came up with 221W. Without, 207W. (I did both tests with and without cause the pics I found of that system show the lower slot being occupied by a NIC card. I can't tell if it's a port that's just cabled to the motherboard or an actual card. If it's an actual card, select 1 PCI-E x1. If it's just a cable to the network port, remove the PCI-E x1.)

With prices on the 4650 at $55-60 here on Newegg, and 9600GT at $95-115 here on Newegg, based on price alone, the 4650 would be the better buy. But, if by any chance the PSU can't handle it, Newegg doesn't allow you to exchange those cards. Instead, they only offer replacement for the same make/model under their limited 30-day replacement warranty, which would do you no good at all.

Another (safer perhaps?) choice would be the 9500GT. Newegg lists these three, of which I think XFX 9500GT ($80 w/ $15 MiR) is probably the best buy. It has a standard 30-day return policy, meaning should you need to exchange it, you could.

Other than that, I'm not sure what else to tell you. With the more powerful 9600GT, you're at the 220W rating of the PSU. 4650 and 9500GT should be safely under that rating, but with the 14A available on the 12V rail I mentioned in a previous post, maybe not...

Maybe a call to Newegg or Acer would help as they've probably tried such applications themselves.
April 2, 2009 11:08:45 AM

RazberyBandit said:
If the output rating for the power supply is 220W of continuous power, then yes, it'd be fine. But, if it's the peak rating, then perhaps not. You also have to consider that it's beginning to age, and as such, PSU power ratings will begin to decline ever so slightly over time. It's rarely much degradation, if any, perhaps 5%. Still, if we're talking about running at or just under the max rating, that could definitely become a factor given enough time.

Using eXtreme Power Supply Calculator 2.5Lite, I was only able to find the HD4670 listed, and still came up with 210W rating with the following setup and checkboxes:

Single CPU
Regular Desktop
Intel E2200 Allendale
85% TDP (as recommended)
2 Sticks DDR2 SDRAM
ATI Radeon 4670 (note: 4650 not listed)
Single Card
1 SATA Drive
1 DVD-RW/DVD+RW Drive
1 PCI-E x1 slot
Front Bay Card Reader (checked)
90% System Load (as recommended)

If I remove the PCI-E x1 selection, it drops to 195W. Now that's all with a 4670. A 4650 should consume even less power, so it should be a safe bet.

Substituting a 9600GT and re-checking the PCI-E x1 box, it came up with 221W. Without, 207W. (I did both tests with and without cause the pics I found of that system show the lower slot being occupied by a NIC card. I can't tell if it's a port that's just cabled to the motherboard or an actual card. If it's an actual card, select 1 PCI-E x1. If it's just a cable to the network port, remove the PCI-E x1.)

With prices on the 4650 at $55-60 here on Newegg, and 9600GT at $95-115 here on Newegg, based on price alone, the 4650 would be the better buy. But, if by any chance the PSU can't handle it, Newegg doesn't allow you to exchange those cards. Instead, they only offer replacement for the same make/model under their limited 30-day replacement warranty, which would do you no good at all.

Another (safer perhaps?) choice would be the 9500GT. Newegg lists these three, of which I think XFX 9500GT ($80 w/ $15 MiR) is probably the best buy. It has a standard 30-day return policy, meaning should you need to exchange it, you could.

Other than that, I'm not sure what else to tell you. With the more powerful 9600GT, you're at the 220W rating of the PSU. 4650 and 9500GT should be safely under that rating, but with the 14A available on the 12V rail I mentioned in a previous post, maybe not...

Maybe a call to Newegg or Acer would help as they've probably tried such applications themselves.

I have called acer, and you read my mind. I was already looking into the 9500gt, because its performance is just right for me. Do you think i have a better chance of the psu working with the 9500gt instead of the 4650?

I was reading forums and someone with a very similiar pc said they bought the 9500gt and said it worked fine.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=d074357...


"Well, I purchased the XFX 1GB 9500GT low profile card and brackets today. Note that my only complaint about the stock x3200 was that hulu videos in full screen were choppy. While the power supply in the x3200 handled the video card upgrade for me just fine, the card did not fix my hulu issues. In fact I saw very little improvement at all for standard blu ray or flash videos. As a result I am returning the card."

The guy says it worked with his psu, which is same as mine, so do you think this is enough research for me to order 9500gt?

In the post right under that one, someone said this

"
Unable to leave well enough alone, I purchased an ATI HD4650 (it was cheaper than the 4550 for some reason). Of course this meant a new case/power supply as well. It was a bit of work to migrate everything from the Acer case to the new case, but the results are very much worth it. The best thing was no longer needing to use the HDTV custom resolution tool from nvidia, the ATI card seems to compensate for overscan correctly on its own. Video quality is great, and I have absolutely no complaints about this setup. Other than the graphics card and case/power supply, all hardware is stock.
"

So clearly 4650 is too much.
April 3, 2009 11:47:23 PM

I ended up getting the 9400gt , it is runnign fine.

It consumes more power than the 9500gt apparently according to power consumption charts.

i can return it in 30 days.

If im running this card fine, should i switch to 9500gt
a b U Graphics card
April 4, 2009 4:44:00 AM

If you can get a 9500GT instead of a 9400GT and the 9500GT consumes less power than the 9400GT that's running fine in the system, then absolutely yes, go for the 9500GT instead. You'll see minimal increase in performance between the two, but it will be there. Especially considering one uses a 64-bit memory interface and the other uses 128-bit. (The 9600GT actually uses a 256-bit interface, which is why I focused more on that card.)

I tend to think a 4650 would work just fine as well, seeing as the only data I could find as far as power consumption was for a 4670, and even it fell within your specs. The 4650 should consume a little less power than the 4670. (I say should because I have no actual data, but the less-powerful versions within the same family of cards usually do.)

I suppose it's now a toss-up between the 9500GT and the 4650... That or spend another $50 and get a solid 500W PSU. Then you could choose just about anything, up to and including the really big dogs out there.

I'm curious... What resolution is your monitor anyway? We never got into that part of the equation, and it's an important one.
April 5, 2009 6:23:41 PM

so yeah thats my resolution.
a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2009 7:25:48 AM

Based on that data, I'd say you'd be safe. When I did the calculations on eXtreme PSC, it indicated you'd be OK as well. That's two different sources saying it should work... I'd do it.

One thing of note though on that chart... eXtreme PSC said the Radeon HD4670 fell just within your limits and I recommended a low-profile HD4650 (30W), yet the 4670 is listed with a peak of 47W on that chart, far more than the 33W of the 9500GT, but far less than the 61W of the 9600GT 512 that eXtreme PSC said was just over the limit.

Are you sold on an nVIDIA card for certain? If so, go for the 9500GT. If you're not completely sold on nVIDIA, a low-profile 4650 would fit the bill nicely as well.
a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2009 7:43:49 AM

stevenrunner said:
I have called acer, and you read my mind. I was already looking into the 9500gt, because its performance is just right for me. Do you think i have a better chance of the psu working with the 9500gt instead of the 4650?

I was reading forums and someone with a very similiar pc said they bought the 9500gt and said it worked fine.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=d074357...


"Well, I purchased the XFX 1GB 9500GT low profile card and brackets today. Note that my only complaint about the stock x3200 was that hulu videos in full screen were choppy. While the power supply in the x3200 handled the video card upgrade for me just fine, the card did not fix my hulu issues. In fact I saw very little improvement at all for standard blu ray or flash videos. As a result I am returning the card."

The guy says it worked with his psu, which is same as mine, so do you think this is enough research for me to order 9500gt?

In the post right under that one, someone said this

"
Unable to leave well enough alone, I purchased an ATI HD4650 (it was cheaper than the 4550 for some reason). Of course this meant a new case/power supply as well. It was a bit of work to migrate everything from the Acer case to the new case, but the results are very much worth it. The best thing was no longer needing to use the HDTV custom resolution tool from nvidia, the ATI card seems to compensate for overscan correctly on its own. Video quality is great, and I have absolutely no complaints about this setup. Other than the graphics card and case/power supply, all hardware is stock.
"

So clearly 4650 is too much.


That last part... Clearly, it wasn't necessarily too much... That guy never mentions trying a low-profile 4650 with the stock Acer power supply. He simply assumed the 4650 needed more power and he had to replace the PSU, then did so. At least, that is how it reads...
April 8, 2009 8:47:24 AM

stevenrunner said:
(cod4 medium - high + 25 fps )

I don’t understand why people in year 2009 still playing with 25fps that is unacceptable.
a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2009 9:06:03 AM

michaelmk86 said:
I don’t understand why people in year 2009 still playing with 25fps that is unacceptable.


Correction: That is unacceptable to you. For people with restrictions, whether they be hardware, budget, or otherwise, 25+ fps can easily become acceptable provided they are able to play a game they enjoy. Thank you for your... contribution(?) to the topic...
April 8, 2009 9:25:00 AM

RazberyBandit said:
Correction: That is unacceptable to you. For people with restrictions, whether they be hardware, budget, or otherwise, 25+ fps can easily become acceptable provided they are able to play a game they enjoy. Thank you for your... contribution(?) to the topic...

My opinion is that if you don’t have that budget to play games with max setting and 60-100fps then you better stay away form gaming. And 25fps is NOT acceptable is just frustrating gameplay.
a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2009 9:38:02 AM

michaelmk86 said:
My opinion is that if you don’t have that budget to play games with max setting and 60-100fps then you better stay away form gaming. And 25fps is NOT acceptable is just frustrating gameplay.


LOL man. Again, that is your opinion, and you're entitled to it. It's not the OP's opinion, obviously. He's just looking to squeeze as much as he can out of his machine so he can enjoy some games he likes as much as possible without having to replace his whole machine.

I just don't get the seemingly "holier than thou" attitude or vibe I'm sensing in your post. If this is what he wants, let him have it. He knows it's not going to be an incredible gaming machine already, otherwise he wouldn't have posted as such.

Your opinion has been noted, twice. If you haven't got any constructive advice congruent to his questions, concerns, and desires, move along already...
April 8, 2009 11:37:33 AM

Exactly, thank you Razbery, i also don't appreciate the type of posts like "that sucks get the 4870 or upgrade your psu and your machine" I know i have limits, and i dont have a budget. I will buy the best card that works for my system .

So i did research and the 4650 looks like the best one compared to the 9500gt.
It can run crysis at high and 37 fps which is awesome considoringmy 9400gt can only go 10fps.

And look at this guy, he has a similiar acer and he confirms it works!

Originally Posted by Angelbear View Post
Has anyone tried it in the Acer htpc ax3200 with vista 64bit?
alright its installed! i took out the modem and put in place the vga connector as well so now i have duel monitors (one vga and the other dvi) and everything is working just fine so far! just downloaded new drivers from ati/radeons site and voila. working great.

http://www.redflagdeals.com/forums/showthread.php?p=855...
a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2009 3:52:40 PM

You might want to search elsewhere for a 4650 than Newegg, then, just in case it doesn't work and you need to exchange it. In concern of your Crysis reference, sure, it might be able to run Crysis at that FPS rate, but at what resolution, 800x600 or 1024x768 maybe? 1440x900 is almost identical to 1280x1024 as far as pixel count is concerned, so when looking at benchmarks, that's the resolution that should concern you. Also of note, test-bed machines tend to have far more powerful CPUs and overall system throughput than yours, so you should expect those FPS rates to be less on your system.

There are plenty of solid, competitively priced e-tailers out there. They include: Tigerdirect, ZipZoomFly, the "new" CompUSA, Fry's, MWave, and plenty of others. Just do a bit of research concerning their return policies just in case.
April 8, 2009 8:18:04 PM

Actually, when I compared the 9400gt on techpowerup.com it was almost exactly the same for crysis benchmarks, maybe half a fps off. How do they even check it, since when indoors you can have like 80fps in cod4 and then outside 20fps, is it an average?
a b U Graphics card
April 9, 2009 6:59:52 AM

They check it by running a timed test over the same segment of the game using a video capture program called Fraps, which can measure peak, minimum, and average FPS rates. That is, unless the game actually has a built-in demo mode. Most sites will only use the average FPS rate when comparing components, but that's not always a good indicator. Sites that use all three give a far better representation of a component's capabilities because despite a possibly playable average of maybe 30-40 fps, there are times where cards that average such rates can hit a low point of 10-15fps, clearly indicating that there will be relatively unplayable slowdowns in certain situations on such cards.

And honestly, Crysis on a 9400GT? You didn't honestly expect that card to play Crysis, did you? Where did you see that again?
April 9, 2009 1:33:22 PM

No I did not expect it don't worry. Anyways, I should be save for the watts, but what about that 12v rail and amperage thing?
April 9, 2009 9:32:25 PM

I dont want the computer to short circuit
a b U Graphics card
April 10, 2009 6:16:40 AM

OK, little breakdown on wattage and amperage. Wattage is a measurement of the electrical force/heat/power in a circuit when the volts and amps flowing through it are multiplied. So, 1W = 1V x 1A.

Your video card runs at 12V. Your power supply's maximum amperage rating on the 12V rail is 14A, so 12V x 14A = 168W maximum (peak) wattage output. Other system components are also powered by the same 12V rail, so you don't actually have 14A and 168W of peak power available to power a video card. You should have roughly 50-75% of the peak available in your system for the video card. So we're talking roughly 7 to 10.5A or 80 to 125W of power available at peak output.

So, what does peak mean, right? It's basically the most power your PSU can put out at any given moment. However, that level of power can't be sustained for extended periods of time at all. Sustainable, or continuous power (referred to as RMS power output in other industries) is typically ~50% of peak output. Sometimes it's better, but 50% is "typical."

Anyway... Since your PSU should have a modest estimate of 8A (or 90W) of available peak power, any card that has a maximum power consumption rating under that should be good to go. The 4650 is such a card, as it's maximum rating (according to [urlhttp://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/print/ati-radeon...]this test[/url] at xbitlabs) should not exceed much more than 30W, or ~2.5 to 3A.

Remember when I mentioned the test at EPC where it showed the HD4670 would be fine in your system? I know it's not available in a low-pro config (I don't think), but it's of note that the same xbitlabs test shows it only consumes a max of ~47W, or ~4A.
April 10, 2009 3:15:07 PM

Okay, so, whats this i always here about people saying I should have at least 450w for this card, or at least 100w extra? And if im completely safe by a large margin, maybe there's an even better card i can get like the 9600gt?
Lol Kidding. So basically, i should be safe. Thank you. I think I am going to buy the card now. DDR2 though. Thank You Razbery for everything, and one last question. Out of 1-100% how much do you think im safe?
!