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Graphics Card Recommendations for 300W PSU

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 8, 2009 5:37:15 PM

We just bought an Inspiron 545 which was originally intended for my little sister, but I just couldn't stand the fact that the specs were so much better than the old Pentium D I had, so I stole it :p  The only problem is that it comes with integrated graphics, and so I'm looking to purchase a new graphics card. However, the power supply that it comes with is only 300W; I wasn't sure of any graphics cards that would be able to run with such a low power output. If anybody has some recommendations, I would greatly appreciate it! I'm wanting to do some mild gaming on it, and looking to spend less than $100, though I may consider slightly more expensive cards if they are good value. I've also got a 24" 1920x1080 screen on its way, so the card should be able to work with that.
December 8, 2009 5:43:12 PM

If you want to spend less than 100$... you can't do anything. You need a new power supply and even with a a cheap card like a 4670, you aren't going to play much games.

Your power supply was intended for a system without the need of a graphic card, so you are pretty much screwed if you want to keep the original or if you are on a budget...

Give your sister her computer back.
December 8, 2009 5:57:08 PM

4670 or gt240 are your two best options...either way you will have to lower game details to play modern games at 19x10, but you will be fine with older games and max detail.
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December 8, 2009 9:10:04 PM

GT240 or 4770!
a b U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
December 8, 2009 9:26:27 PM

Redgarl is correct, though some cards will work with the 300w PSU, that PSU will die very quickly and take a lot with it. Save for a decent 450w-550w PSU and get a decent card then.
a c 376 U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
December 8, 2009 9:32:36 PM

Nah, the Dell PSUs are pretty decent and even a sketchy 300w can probably handle a HD4670.
You should be good with any card that doesn't need an external power connector. The best deal would be an HD4670, the most powerful would be a 9800 GT(just make sure it's not one with a power connector.)
a c 376 U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
December 8, 2009 9:35:42 PM

Forgot about your new large monitor. Those cards will play well at low resolutions but if you want to use it at its native resolution you will want get a new PSU and at least something like a GTS 250, or preferably an HD5770.
December 8, 2009 9:56:25 PM

Thanks for the responses guys. Right now my main priority is being able to use that 24" monitor. My old PC had a 375W PSU on it... not much better, but would that suffice for one of the more powerful cards that have been suggested? If not I guess I'll have to drop some more cash... :\
December 8, 2009 10:34:51 PM

Be aware that Dell power supply are not generic... I repeat, not generic... the dimensions are customize for their PCs.

Also... to the one saying you can run a HD5770 with a 300 W power supply... hAAA!!! (Miss Crabapple like).

You cannot even use a single 4850 with a 300 W power supply... the same with a 9800 GT. If you use your power supply at more power than it's efficiency, your hardware will be in danger... I know it, I have run a 8800GTX OC with a 30 amp ramp instead of 32... My graphic cards died in a month, but I got a new one from BFG.
a b U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
December 8, 2009 10:59:41 PM

chevymaster said:
GT240,

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1144/11/

AND ITS USING I7-965 AT FULL hd WITH 1866 ddr3 RAM AND COOLING


jyjjy said:
Nah, the Dell PSUs are pretty decent and even a sketchy 300w can probably handle a HD4670.
You should be good with any card that doesn't need an external power connector. The best deal would be an HD4670, the most powerful would be a 9800 GT(just make sure it's not one with a power connector.)


They are decent, the word being decent. The power consumption of the PC should fall within 25-75% of the wattage rating on a GOOD PSU. Your right a GT 240 would work. Lets add in the 1920X1080 RESOLUTION and the least he can do is a 4770 or 9800 GTX. Both of those require a bit more than that 300w PSU.
December 9, 2009 3:19:38 PM

chevymaster said:
Dude the best card for 300W is http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
1GB GDDR5, a bit pricey, 114.99, but if you look in the requirements, it actually says 300W, and that card is the BEST non-power connector card! GDDR5 memory!



But Chevymaster is not reading what it says or understand what Minimum 300W or greater system power supply means.
300 PSU must be at 80Plus... if not then he will kill the PSU... we are also not sure what his max watts are on this 300PSU or
even if he has a 80 Plus PSU as a 300...but what I like to know is what are you running in your system.. Spec of all part and list them as well
It would be best to look for some I have send in the last reply. You are going to need to upgrade at some point.

Wish you luck buddy..
a c 376 U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
December 9, 2009 8:39:23 PM

chevymaster said:
Dude the best card for 300W is http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
1GB GDDR5, a bit pricey, 114.99, but if you look in the requirements, it actually says 300W, and that card is the BEST non-power connector card! GDDR5 memory!

A 9800GT is more powerful than a GT240
a c 376 U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
December 9, 2009 8:40:43 PM

Keiki646 said:
It would be best to look for some I have send in the last reply. You are going to need to upgrade at some point.

Are you sure all or any of those are compatible with his case?
December 10, 2009 5:28:43 PM

Thanks for the tips. For the time-being I've popped my old 7600GS into the computer and it seems to be running fine. The only game that I do play runs pretty smoothly at 1920x1080, so I'm happy for now.
December 10, 2009 5:46:37 PM

I also have a 300 watt power supply, and I bought a GeForce 9600 GSO earlier this year, and it works really well. I was just playing Far Cry 2 with the settings maxed on a resolution of 1680x1050. The 9600 GSO supposedly needs a 400 watt power supply. You can get a bigger power supply for pretty cheap though.
a b U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
December 10, 2009 6:12:54 PM

$60 low end = 4670
$99 higher end = 9800 low power edition (there are many out there without 6 pin requirements)

Or if you want something better:

A good value PSU deal would be the Corsair 400CX. ($35 after MIR on newegg) I own it and its awesome. It blows COOL air out of the back of my case.
Because of the powerful single rail and high amps it can run most mid-level graphics cards just fine. Even many cards that ask for 450 or 500w.

However if you spent $40 on a PSU and stayed on budget you wouldn't be able to afford any cards that would need a new PSU anyway... what a conundrum...
December 10, 2009 7:43:12 PM

My card cost $40 after the mail-in rebate + $50 power supply = <$100. You don't need the power supply either. Mine has done fine without for almost a year. Unless you want to play Crysis at 2560 x 1600. Plus if your lucky enough to get the card from galaxy you can flash the bios to mod it into a 8800 gts.
January 27, 2010 3:52:27 PM

I was just wondering:

Can you put a 500w PSU in any computer then?
(Mine is a 300w max psu :pfff:  and i think i should get a better one to get a decent graphics card)

Or will it overload the moterboard and/or PCI bus?

For Dell Inspiron 530 :pfff: 

Thanks :D 
January 31, 2010 2:10:00 AM

I'm no power supply expert, but I upgraded my stock 300w power supply to a 700w ocz power supply. I forgot to mention that the 9600 gso has a six pin pci express power connector. The box had a cord that converted it to two 4 pin power connectors. I only had one available 4 pin on my old psu, so I only connected one, just to see if it would work. It did. I don't know if my computer is superman, but I did all this with absolutely no ill effects. At least, not yet. Again, all I know is it worked for me. I don't know if it will always work. Also, power supplies don't usually output all of their power, so I would be shocked if you could damage your motherboard by upgrading it. The wattage rating is the max power output.
February 24, 2010 5:25:00 AM

degraw said:
I'm no power supply expert, but I upgraded my stock 300w power supply to a 700w ocz power supply. I forgot to mention that the 9600 gso has a six pin pci express power connector. The box had a cord that converted it to two 4 pin power connectors. I only had one available 4 pin on my old psu, so I only connected one, just to see if it would work. It did. I don't know if my computer is superman, but I did all this with absolutely no ill effects. At least, not yet. Again, all I know is it worked for me. I don't know if it will always work. Also, power supplies don't usually output all of their power, so I would be shocked if you could damage your motherboard by upgrading it. The wattage rating is the max power output.



What model of OCZ?
How long has your Inspiron 545 been running with this configuration?
Did you have to mod either the PSU or case?
Thanks!
February 24, 2010 5:39:04 AM

BTW, for those suggesting the GT240 for an Inspiron 545 with the stock 300W power supply...

I've already tried installing a GT220 into my gutsy 545, an even lower powered card, and at one point in time an "approved upgrade" for this model of Dell PC.

There wasn't enough juice to power the fan when my computer was booting, which caused GPU overheating and video blackouts.
February 25, 2010 9:56:42 PM

HMK said:
What model of OCZ?
How long has your Inspiron 545 been running with this configuration?
Did you have to mod either the PSU or case?
Thanks!


The PSU is a StealthXstream 700 OCZ700SXS. I didn't do any mods to either the PSU or the case. However, I own a Gateway, not a Dell. From what I can tell the Gateway is a little taller than the Inspiron, so I'm sure you could fit a GSO in there. The OCZ PSU has the same dimensions as the stock one. I think all desktop PSUs have the same dimensions. I ran with the setup for nearly a year until I upgraded the PSU. I can't tell any difference other than cool air blowing out of the case instead of warm air.
!