How Do I reduce power consumption while gaming???

Recently, I bought a GeForce Galaxy 9600gt video card for my dell C521 and I am awaiting its arrival. I was told that dell's stock 280W power supply could handle the card despite recommendations of needing at least a 400W PSU to run it safely. Several people said they were running the same set-up as me without a hitch, while others bought a more powerful PSU as a precaution.

Since it's pretty tough to find a better power supply for the dell C521 and I don't want to spend the extra money just yet, I'm putting off getting a PSU until a later date.

My question is...what kind of things can I do to reduce power consumption while gaming? My common sense tells me lowering graphic settings, maybe capping my fps in-game, and not leaving my games running when I'm not around. Let me know anything and everything you think I might be missing.

Also, how long do you guys think I can go before risking serious damage to my computer and/or video card?

Any help would be much appreciated!
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More about reduce power consumption gaming
  1. How big/small is the PSU?, it might just be wiser to replace the thing and be done.
  2. honestly, I don't know...just heard it was a certain size and shape not easy to find a replacement for. I need to do more research for that since I really don't know much about hardware.

    It seems like the cheapest and most viable solution is to hook up an external power supply, but with no knowledge of how to do it, what kind of PSU to get, etc., I really would prefer to know just how to deal with what I have for the time being, because I can afford to sacrifice some performance if it means preventing any potential issues.

    P.S. I don't plan to overclock, especially since it will require more power.
  3. A GPU dedicated PSU is always an option, but it's worth measuring the existing PSU to see whether a replacement is viable. Here's a link with sizes :-
  4. I'm not exactly sure what you asking me to do. I checked out PSU finder and it recommended anywhere from a 400W-520W PSU. I don't know if these are external or internal, and I don't know how to find the dimensions for the PSU i have now.

    Trust me, if I knew what I was doing I would already be looking for a new PSU. But I don't wanna risk doing something stupid, so I'd rather cope with what I have unless you really think I'm making a mistake.

    If the latter is the case, I would need more complete instructions before I go spending more money and risk buying the wrong PSU or not knowing how to install it.
  5. 9600GT only uses ~60W.
  6. Are you going to fit the new graphic card yourself or are you getting it done for you?
  7. Download rivatuner or evga precission and underclock video card to reduce power consumption.
  8. i guess just stick it in and see what happens, if it runs fine in windows but then you start getting full machine crashes (and you have ruled out driver problems) whilst playing games then its time to upgrade that psu.
  9. I dont know what you have exactly, However I have a Dell E520 that has a stock 300W power supply and that runs a Pentium 2.8d processor with 2gig RAM, Sata HD and DVD RW and that runs fine and stable.
  10. In this review of wattage draw, a typical gaming system using components similar to yours is only drawing max load of 189W.
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