Upgrading my Acer X3200

i have an acer aspire X3200 and would like to ask if it is safe to upgrade with these cards.

xfx nvidia 9500gt
sapphire ati 4550

i need cards that will boost my gaming performance, even a bit better than my igp which is an nvidia 8200.

my specs are:
AMD Athlon x2 64 5000+ 2.6GHz 65w
160GB sata ii
2GB ddr2 667 ram (single slot)
nvidia 8200 (which now reads as 9200 since i updated my drivers)
vista sp2
250w PSU
22" LCD

i tried using a psu calc and the 4550 fits in perfectly way below the 250w mark, 190-ish. the 9500gt on the other hand reaches the 240w mark. how much does my 250w psu hold? what are its critical/max/safe allowable watt? i mean, am i pushing my psu too hard with the 240w on a 9500gt? is it dangerous?

the games that i usually play are NBA 2k9, Devil May Cry 4, HL 2, Need For Speed: Undercover, and Sims 3.
i dont mind playing those games on low settings, but playing it now at 640x480 is just horrible. i at least want to play at 1024 and above resolution to get rid of the pixels or at least a widescreen res above 960. playing at my 22" lcd really is horrible at 640 res.

the acer x3200 slim case and its psu really is an issue about my choice for the upgrade. i am at least limited to the 9500gt or 4550 low profile cards.

again, is it safe to snap those cards without getting any bsod or endangering my hardware? plus, i would love to have the 9500gt since the benchmarks shows a +10fps compared to the 4550.

*so dont cram me with suggestions like 9600gt or 9800gt-ish cards.
11 answers Last reply
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  1. This calculator shows your system at under 230 Watts with a 9500GT installed:


    The HD4650 (DDR2) uses a fraction less power than the 9500GT (DDR2 or DDR3) for slightly more performance than either.

    This looks O.K.:
  2. the 4650 you gave me would be wonderful but its a bit big for a low profile compared to the 9500gt and 4550.

    is it safe to be on the 230w running on my puny 250w for lets say... 5hrs straight of gaming?

    the 4550 and 9500 is surprisingly the same price while the 9500gt offers much better performance. so im leaning towards the 9500gt.

    all im asking is, if it is safe enough to run it for hours with 230w constantly on load?
    if not, then im sticking with the sapphire 4550.
  3. Yes of course...its rated for 250watt, which your not even reaching.
  4. all cards are not rated for 250w but says in the psu calc that it will work (inside the 250w margin)
    the 4550 has 201w - i'm sure this is pretty safe, but i like the 9500gt more --
    the 9500gt has 239w -- is it safe if i run this for 5 hours straight with this load?

    what do you mean by yes of course?
    yes of course it is safe?
    yes of course it is not safe?

    can i play NBA 2k9 with 1680x1050 with the sapphire 4550? even on low settings as long as i can play my games on high res.

    i'm longing to buy the 9500gt because it is more powerful than the sapphire 4550, but, i'm a bit scared running the 9500gt for hours coz it might ruin my psu if running a 239w load constantly.
  5. Hey Carl, I just stumbled on this thread. I have the same computer and the same concern as you. I want to get the 9600 GT but it's 300W (although I found a review that said in reality it runs at under 230W). Did you ever buy the 9500 GT and if so how are you getting on with it?
  6. I'm getting a 512MB low profile 4650 from CCLonline for my HTPC which only has a 220W PSU.


    However the specification of the 4650 that's listed shows it has the same memory speed (DDR3 2GHz), memory bus width (128bit) and core frequency is 750Mhz of a good 4670. Obviously since they both use the same gpu this really is a 4670 but at a bargain price and small size.

    As for the power rating the wattage that is given is usually the continous power delivery, therefore the PSU will run irrespective of time at the given power rating. The most reliable way to calculate the power draw is from your individual components as you have done, therefore I can't see any problems with this and I think the 4650 is quoted to draw only 50 watts.
  7. Sorry, that link wouldn't work on my PC. Could you try it again?

    How good is the 4650? I know, that's like asking how long is a piece of string - but could it handle say Pro Evo 2010 without me having to have it on the smallest screen setting?
  8. I don't think I can use the 4650 anyway because my memory is DDR2.
  9. Shouldn't matter what your system memory is. The 4650 has it's own 512 MB of DDR3 RAM which runs at 2GHz and its fast. The only situation when your system Ram would be used is if you use turbocache or a similar feature that borrows from the system RAM to supplement the GPU RAM, however 512MB should be enough for most games at reasonable resolutions like 1280x1024

    Try searching for an ASUS 4650 low profile 512MB DDR3. There are a few out there.
  10. Unfortunately I bought a DDR2 one before I read this reply. Hopefully it will do the job for me!
  11. Will I have to take out the old NVidia card that came with my HTPC, or should I leave it in there? I presume the one that came with it is built into the motherboard. With that in mind, shouldn't I have perhaps bought an NVidia card so that the two cards can combine and boost the graphics horsepower?
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