Upgrading graphics card / PSU

1) Which of the GeForce 200 series would I be able to run on my HP XW6200 without having to upgrade the PSU?

2) Will the fact it's a PCIe x16 1.1 port be a bottleneck on the PCIe x16 2.0 cards?

The machine is a few years old, but at the time was a high end workstation, so I'm hoping that a simple graphics card upgrade will give it a bit longer of gaming capability before it needs a complete replacement.

HP XW6200 (

Twin Intel Xeon 3.6Ghz CPUs
1.5TB 10,000 RPM SATA HDD
NVidia Quadro FX 3400

Nothing else of note really.

Here's what the side of the PSU says: (I know my DC power symbol isn't right, but it's close enough)
+5V =-=-= /18A
+3.3V =-=-= / 23A
-12V =-=-= / 0.5A
+5Vsb =-=-= / 1.5A

+12V cpu0 =-=-= / 11A
+12V cpu1 =-=-= / 11A
+12Va =-=-= / 13.7A
+12Vb =-=-= / 13.7A

Max combined power on +3.3V and +5V: 110W
Max combined power on +12V (a,b,cpu0,cpu1): 440W
Max combined power on +12V (a,b): 165W
Max combined total output power: 500W
24 answers Last reply
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  1. First you will NEED to upgrade the psu to get any serious card in lets point out that we don't have a budget nor resolution...

    AND other then i telling you that you will need a new psu you can find the rest of the info in google or search here....but that would be to hard wouldn't it....
  2. rewindlabs said:
    First you will NEED to upgrade the psu to get any serious card in lets point out that we don't have a budget nor resolution...

    AND other then i telling you that you will need a new psu you can find the rest of the info in google or search here....but that would be to hard wouldn't it....

    Wow, what an unfriendly welcome to the site. I'd recommend if you have nothing useful to contribute, then you shouldn't bother to reply.

    I'm not asking for a recommendation of a card, I'm asking about compatability, as such budget and resolution are irrelevant.

    I have been searching the forums here, but I am confused by the talk about power consumption and current on "rails". Hence me asking the question.
  3. rewindlabs said:
    First you will NEED to upgrade the psu to get any serious card in lets point out that we don't have a budget nor resolution...

    AND other then i telling you that you will need a new psu you can find the rest of the info in google or search here....but that would be to hard wouldn't it....

    Do you have to be an ass to everyone?
  4. guys don't be an ass :P

    yeah you will need to upgrade your psu as your 12 volts rails seems alittle low in strenght or the card will cry.

    lets put it another way by looking at the specs of that even a corsiar HX550 watt would put it to shame
  5. @ justant: This is a bit long but should help you out on the PSU questions:

    Do not worry about the PCI-E version, unless you want to install a massively powerful card it is not a problem, the slot has more than enough capacity.

    Without changing the PSU, a GTS250 or 9800GTX+/GTX would be as much as I would recommend from Nvidia or a HD4850/4770/4830 from ATI (all from high to low).
  6. Be nice guys.

    ^I agree with coozie.

    But if you want to get a high end card i would recommend this psu.

    (check out the gtx260/4870 selling cheap)
  7. So if I've read the info on the PSU (and another page on supply rails), then the most important bit I need to know from the info on the side of the PSU is this line:

    Max combined power on +12V (a,b): 165W

    The nvidia site states this for the GTS 250
    Maximum Graphics Card Power (W) 150 W

    Or do I need that power on a single rail? (I don't have anything in the second PCIe slot on the m/board)
  8. Just one point to Justant; Is this a special PSU? I am not at all at home with workstations but it seems unusual to have two lines dedicated to the CPUs'.
    If this is the case, you may find it difficult to upgrade anyway.
  9. It's the one HP provided. If the 2 CPU rails are unusual then it's probably cos of the 2 physical CPUs (rather than 2 cores) which you don't see much these days!

    Thanks for the very fast replies everyone, I might be able to order for delivery tomorrow :)
  10. @ Justant: Under the PCI-E 1.0/1.1 spec, the slot can provide 75Watts and the connector another 75Watts but I am not aware of any situation where the card would draw this much power.
  11. GTS250 arrived this morning... and needs 2 PCIe power connectors, but my PSU only has one.

    Currently searching for places which sell old PC components in the hope of finding something useful to sort out the PSU issue (most modern PSUs don't have the right connectors for a dual xeon system)
  12. The card should have come with at least one Molex/PCI-E converter, do you have spare Molex connectors to use?
  13. I saw this thread a little too late to help Justant, but thought I can at least give the information I know to anyone else thinking of installing a mainstream graphics card, or upgrading the PSU of an xw6200/8200. I have a few of these xw6200’s, they are old now, but I mainly use them for network rendering in 3ds max, not for gaming, I have newer systems for that. They are designed for professionals like 3d artists and engineers, so they are more comfortable with a fireGL or Quadro card inside them, but have a lot of problems running mainstream video cards, especially new ones, possibly because of the bios and weak PSU. As for upgrading the PSU, that’s a big NO for installing a mainstream PSU. The xw6200’s PSU is specially designed for the xw6200 and the 24pin connector does not have the same voltage pin outputs as a mainstream PSU. It also requires an extra auxiliary connector for the motherboard that does not come with standard PSU’s. If you really must upgrade the PSU, you are in luck, but at a price. PC Power and Cooling will modify one of there retail PSU’s with the extra harness you need for the auxiliary connector, I think for around $40 to $60 on top of the retail price of whatever PSU you choose e.g. silencer 750w, plus you have to pay postage which can be around $50 depending on your country location, so not sure if $160 for PSU, plus $40-$60 MOD, plus posting, plus the graphics card is really worth spending on an old machine. I was also tempted to convert one of the xw6200’s I have into a media/gaming PC, and I don’t see why it cant handle at least a hd4850 or gts250, but again the xw6200’s outdated bios, and poor 12v rail specs could be a problem. I noticed Justant brought a gts250 needing 2 x 75w pci-e power connectors. The overclocked gts250’s have 2, but the standard gts250’s only need one power connector. EVGA do a 1gb gts250 with only 1x 75w connector needed, and it has good performance compared to most other gts250s, including the overclocked ones. Anyways... Did Justant have any luck installing the gts250 in the xw6200? If not, I know some xw8200 owners have had luck installing hd4850’s in their machines, it has a 600w PSU though, but almost identical motherboard, chipset and bios to the xw6200, so may work but with a possible cost of loosing onboard audio.

    PC Power & Cooling are the only company that will mod one of their PSU’S. I wrote to all the other manufacturers last year.

    IF you do want to go down the road of ordering a custom PSU, the one I had designed was a PC Power & Cooling silencer quad 750w. I checked the schematics first from the xw6200 tech documentation and sent PCP&C the specs, and they came back to me in just a few days with the drawn up specs. The part number is S75B-PS1. It has one pci-e 6 pin power connector and one 8 pin break away power connector, so you should be able to put almost any pci-e graphics card in there. Plus it has the modified pin outs for the 24-pin motherboard connector and the extra harness auxiliary connector, PCP&C may not have the specs anymore as it was last year, but I have the schematics PCP&C sent me, so if anyone wants to try this, just send me a PM and I will e-mail the schematics to you for PCP&C to use. I decided in the end not to order it, because it was not worth spending $290 for PSU I chose, which included MOD and posting, plus the new graphics card on top of that, and there was a very large possibility that after all this effort, the new card would not work anyway because of the chipset or bios issues, so left it alone. I have also heard that putting a graphics card that has built in 7.1 surround, disables the built in motherboard audio chip on a xw6200/8200, and that there is no fix other than putting in an extra audio card, that will put a little more strain on the xw6200’s outdated PSU. Hope that helps someone! ;)

    If anyone has had luck putting one of the latest mainstream graphics cards in the xw6200 without PSU upgrade, please let us know the exact card used, manufacturer P/N etc. Thanks!
  14. Hi DoDidDont!

    I see so many people recommending things for these systems on various forums without doing the research first. Recommendations that would end up with just a beeping computer and a waste of cash, so its nice to see someone actually knows their stuff on here and that has a good knowledge of these systems and I’m guessing a good knowledge of electronic? I was also thinking about upgrading the power supply unit but after checking the HP technical doc’s on the xw6200 I found the PSU outputs were different for the xw6200 compared to a standard PSU. I had no luck finding an electronics company to modify the extra harness needed, so I’m glad I read this post and that PC Power & Cooling could do it! It’s a good point you make about if it’s worth spending lots of cash on these old systems, but in my opinion, these systems are very good workstations, solidly built and 100% stable. My xw6200 has 2x Xeon nocona processors at 3.8Ghz HT enabled, 8gb ddr2 400 ram, 2x Sata drives and 1x SAS drive, plus DVD burner, and an 3dlabs Realizm 800 graphics card. That’s a dual VPU graphics card that has a maximum power usage of 150w, and it’s been 100% stable for 4 years, so these PSU’s are a little tougher that people think. 3Dlabs are no longer supporting their products and there have been no new drivers since march 2006, so I’m forced now to look for another graphics card upgrade as the Realizm 800’s custom openGL drivers only work up to 3ds max version 8, and I just upgraded to version 2010. Everything I look at seems to be a downgrade compared to the Realizm 800’s technical specs, but 3DLabs have left me with no choice! The Quadro FX 4800 tempts me, as it has a max power usage of 150W and only needs 1X 75w pci-e connector, and you can pick these cards up for almost trade price on ebay! But as you said, the other compatibility problem could be the xw6200’s outdated chipset and Bios. Hard to say what to do, but at least I have other options now with the PSU, so THANKS!

    As DoDidDint said, if anyone is running a new GPU in one of these systems for games or in my case 3D apps (Quadro/FireGL/FirePro) then please let us know! :)
  15. I bought four identical ('cept for the vid cards) off lease xw 6200s off ebay and put a Sapphire HD 4850 x2 (dual GPU) in one of them. The card uses two PCIx 6-pin power connectors so I had to use one molex power adapter. The power supply has no problem running Folding@Home on both GPUs at the same time under Win XP Pro. I did this for about a week but stopped so my electric bill would not be sky high. Dual GPUs and dual Xeon 3.4Ghz CPUs can really move some electrons. This system runs Spore at 1600x1200 and highest settings with no issues in the space stage. I haven't tried the other stages on this system as it's just a backup to my regular gaming rig. I just tried it with Bioshock and that runs with high FPS at 1600x1200 at max settings using one GPU and in SLI. However I did get some red flashing artifacts in the game (one GPU and SLI) with an older version of Catalyst and also with the newest drivers. But so far the game looks real good and the artifacting occasionally shows up for just microseconds. Probably HPs outdated bios as previously pointed out.

    Another point to consider in trying to upgrade the PSU is that the hole pattern for the mounting screws doesn't match the standard ATX hole pattern. It looks like only two screw holes on one side of the case will line up with an ATX PSU. Another option would be a dedicated GPU power supply that mounts in one of the disc drive bays. But that old motherboard bios just makes it a big gamble.
  16. Someone was asking if anybody has added a high-end gaming card in the HP xw6200...

    I have a xw6200 and recently upgraded from the PNY 9800 GT (which ran great) to the sweet ATI Radeon HD 5670 PCIe 1024MB GDDR5 card (which does not require a power connector) and this rig runs dynamite! Also installed is a Creative SB Audigy 2 card, Sony DVD-RW DL, two 160GB SATA HDD's and 4GB's DDR2 memory all on WinXP.

    I can run pretty much any game on high res without a hitch. COD MW2 looks and runs flawless. My system does run a little bit hot in the summertime so I added the Antec 'Spot Fan' to cool the memory and Northbridge chip which seems to help a bit. As far as the PSU, I checked into upgrading but like others found the search led me nowhere, until this post of course. But I figure I'm only going to run this as a gaming machine for another year or so before building a new one and I never had any problems with crashing or BSOD's due to lack of power or strain on the unit, so no upgrade is necessary.

    These are rock-solid machines and can be a perfect med-to-high gaming machine.
  17. Update to my last post: The artifacts I was experiencing in Bioshock seem to be resolved with the latest drivers from AMD. I'm also using the most "current" bios from HP. I was also getting artifacts in Serious Sam HD The First Encounter, but the new drivers have fixed this also. Still using the HD 4850 X2.

    If you're wondering about the capability of the stock PSU in a xw6200, see my previous post.
  18. "nyk007"

    Hi DoDidDont,

    i have a hp xw6200 workstation, it contains nvidia quadro fx3400 i need a normal replacement for it to play hdmovies and games..

    i do not need a professional card from quadro series. In ur earlier post u have mentioned evga gts250 works fine but it is out of my budget.

    can 8400GS run on my workstation??

    Intel Xeon 3.6Ghz CPUs
    1GB DDR-2 RAM
    320GB SATA HDD
    NVidia Quadro FX 3400

    my budget is kinda short so any basic card to get it going.. plz reply fast
  19. Hi nyk007,

    One of my xw6200’s is running a Quadro FX 3800 now without any problems, and another has a HD 5770 installed, again without any problems.

    I am not an expert on low budget gaming cards, and you may want to ask someone with more knowledge in that area, but from a review I recently read, the HD5750 is the lowest spec card from AMD for smooth full HD 1080p playback at good quality settings, and from Nvidia, the GT240. The HD5750 retails at approx £70 in the UK, and the GT240 at around £40. These are very low power cards, and I am sure any of them, including the 8400GS will have no problems running on a xw6200. Hopefully someone can correct me on this, and recommend some cheaper alternatives for you, as AMD and Nvidia do re-badge a lot of their older cards that can be found cheaper. As for gaming, I am not familiar with Nvidia’s budget cards, but the HD 5770 installed in my xw6200 plays most of today’s games at good frame rates. Because of your budget, I don’t think you need to worry about any of the cards you put in the xw6200, as long as its pci-e x16, and bellow 150w TP.

    It may be best if you create a new post, stating that you have a HP system with a non-replaceable 500w psu, and one pci-e x16 slot, with a max 150w rating and see what people recommend for the price bracket you want to spend.

    Good Luck!
  20. Thanks alot for ur help DoDidDont. U solved my problem in a sec. Thanx alot for ur precious comments and replies..
    May GOD bless u!!
  21. DoDidDont said:
    Hi nyk007,

    One of my xw6200’s is running a Quadro FX 3800 now without any problems, and another has a HD 5770 installed, again without any problems.

    I am not an expert on low budget gaming cards...

    Good Luck!


    A question for all you xw6200 geeks (yes, I have one too :-)

    Will the psu from an xw8200 fit and connect? Will the extra 100w help. Even if it is only used as a replacement, these are easier to find used and much cheaper.
  22. Great to know u can run the radeon hd 5670 i myself orderered a ati radeon hd 5670 1gb and have a hp workstation xw6200 and was very concerned if it will run on my pc i read some threads and people say they have some trouble since the mobo is only pci-e 1.0 and the 5670 is a 2.1 but will i have any problems while booting up or my screen going black???
  23. Its been a long time since I checked this thread so sorry for the late replies.


    The PSU of the xw8200 is physically larger than the xw6200 and will not fit in the enclosure, but the connections and outputs however are exactly the same and should be able to power the xw6200 MoBo without any problems.


    I only have one of these workstations left, as I have replaced the others. It is still running a XFX HD5770 1GB without any problems so I don’t see any reason why a hd5670 wont run. One of the earlier posts already states that they upgraded to a HD5670 without any problems. My xw6200 rarely gets any work or gaming use anymore, mainly just web surfing and watching movies etc, so running an aging 7 year old PSU and power hungry Dual CPU’s just for general use is overkill, so I will most likely be sending my last xw6200 to the PC graveyard soon and putting the HD5770 in a HTPC.
  24. Time for this thread to go bye bye's I reckon.
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