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Best video card for 350 Watt system

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 19, 2010 11:01:22 AM

Hello,

What is the most powerful video card I can put in a 350 watt system? The CPU is a quad core Intel Q9400; there are two hard drives, a CD-ROM and Blu Ray drive.

The specs on the PSU are: 2 12 volt rails, at 12 and 18 amps, respectively.

I am most interested in video cards that will boost overall performace (i.e. parallel GPU tasks).

a b U Graphics card
February 19, 2010 1:49:29 PM

The most powerful card I can think of with the certainty of running on your system is the GT 240 (300W requirement). Its between the 9600 GT and HD 4670 in performance. You may be able to run an HD 5670 on it (400W requirement), but make sure you can easily return it if it doesn't work out.
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February 20, 2010 12:32:36 AM

How does the GT240 compare to HD 5570? Would HD 5570 run ok?
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a c 376 U Graphics card
February 20, 2010 12:55:59 AM

What brand is the PSU?
Even if it's not very good you should be able to use any card that doesn't have an external power connector. The two best cards without one are the HD5670 and the newer low power version of the 9800GT.
If it is a quality brand you can probably use something better like an HD5750 or HD4770.
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February 20, 2010 3:39:42 PM

It's a Bestec brand PSU; it came with Dell Studio Desktop about a year and a half ago.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
February 20, 2010 6:44:50 PM

If it's a Dell 350w it should handle an HD5750 just fine.
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a b U Graphics card
February 20, 2010 6:51:12 PM

That PSU can handle with no problems even a 5770 I'd say. They use around 7A on the +12V rail, so you should have no problems at all.

Cheers!

EDIT: Didn't read the full OP, lol.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
February 20, 2010 6:55:35 PM

Yeah, even a HD5770 should be ok I would think.
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February 20, 2010 8:17:26 PM

How do you figure a 5770? The Q9400 can use up to 228 W, + up to 108 W for Radeon 5770....Isn't that pushing things?
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a c 376 U Graphics card
February 20, 2010 8:59:16 PM

228w? Where are you getting that from? It's TDP is listed at 95w.
And the HD5770 maxes out around 80w for normal use. You would need to do stress testing to get up to 100w.
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February 20, 2010 9:45:47 PM

You are right, 228 W was for a whole system. (http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/core2quad-...).

I feel more comfortable with those specs.

The Dell PSU does have a 6-pin power connector. Would it be safer to use a video card that has an external power adapter (like Radeon 5750) rather than one that does not (like 5670)?
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a c 376 U Graphics card
February 20, 2010 10:12:14 PM

Yeah, you probably can get it up that high but only with special software designed to max components as far as they will go. You can see it here;
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/HD_5770_HAWK/28....
Peak 80w under normal usage and they got it up to 105w with Furmark.
As for that xbit link the system they get up to 228w already has a video card(8800GTX) which uses considerably more power than the HD5770.
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February 20, 2010 10:50:57 PM

Ok, so the question is do I need the kind of horsepower that an HD5770 provides for GPU parallel processing (Photoshop and video applications)?
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a b U Graphics card
February 21, 2010 12:52:48 AM

That question is actually for you to answer, lol.

Unles what you want to know is that if a 5770 can be used for GPGPU stuff... Well, it can, but the nVidia counter part has more software vendors linning up with CUDA, so it's a sad "not quite".

The 5770 has more "horse power" per sé, but it ain't used for GPGPU that much, sorry.

Cheers!
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February 21, 2010 10:22:18 AM

Which nVidia is the counterpart to the Radeon 5770?

I thought that Directx was going to be useful for GPGPU?
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a b U Graphics card
February 21, 2010 3:23:30 PM

Here's a comparison from last August between CUDA and ATI Stream. The GPUs used are an HD 4770 and a 9800 GTX+. The conclusion said that ATI Stream was a little faster in the tested applications while CUDA produced the better quality images.

http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=745&type=expert&pi...
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February 22, 2010 10:22:45 PM

Thanks for that. The answer is pretty clear: must wait until nVidia updates their cards, and a few months more until the drivers stabilize. It's good to know that my PSU can handle a decent graphics card.
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March 6, 2010 11:07:35 AM

Best answer selected by Ratsa.
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March 7, 2010 2:53:03 AM

Interesting that Dell is already offering the Radeon 5770 as an option in their 350 watt systems.
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a c 273 U Graphics card
February 25, 2012 6:02:12 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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