Upgrading card, question power supply

I'm thinking of upgrading my graphics card from a 8500GT to a 9800GTX. I have a Antec Sonata 3 500w supply. I was wondering if I should get a new supply, or see if this one will work. If I have to get a new supply, what would your recommend to get me by. I don't much about these things.

Coreduo 2.4 800mz E4600
2 gigs DDR2 667
Asus 8600GT Silent Magic 512MB
Windows XP

Any help would be greatly appreciated.-Jake
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  1. I'm sure it would just fine. Even though its a "comes with the case" model, its still an Antec.

    Why a 9800GTX though? There are a lot of cards just as cheap and just as powerful-- or more powerful that would be less of a strain on the unit.

    Edit: If you post the +12v amperage we can tell you for certain.
  2. Use this to determine PSU needs:


    8500GT draws 32 watts
    9800GTX draws 94 watts

    Other cards to consider:

    GTS250 - 69 watts
    HD 4850 - 95 watts
    HD 5750 - 36 watts
  3. How did you get those numbers? I didn't get anything close when I tried the Antec 'PSU Calculator.'
  4. Base system (MoBo) is 38 watts.

    Plug in 8500GT - Hit Calculate Button - Answer 70 watts
    70 watts of system load - 38 watts base load = 32 watts GFX card load.

    Plug in 9800GTX - Hit Calculate Button - Answer 132 watts
    132 watts of system load - 38 watts base load = 94 watts GFX card load.
  5. Sorry, but I have no clue on how to tell the amperage.
  6. Hey Jake,

    There should be a chart on the side of your power supply. That will include information like this (but in a chart)

    The important number will be the ones next to +12v. The power supply im using as an example has 3 different +12v rails. One is 22amps, one is 22amps, and one is 25amps. (I'm guessing yours will have lower amp numbers.)

    ..but you still didnt answer.. are you willing to consider other cards that are a better deal? I think you would be happier with a Nvidia GTS 250 on the low range, or a 5770 for a little more.
  7. First of all, thanks for your response deadlockedworld. I don't have my heart set on any card. Just trying to find something with power that my system can handle. I'm looking to play ArmA 2 and Napoleon: Total War on the highest settings possible, without spending a lot to upgrade my system.

    My amperage

    +12v1 is 17 A
    +12v2 is 17 A
    +12v1, +12v2 max load:408 W

    If you could point me in the right direction on a good card that'll work with my current system, I'd appreciate it.
  8. First, Im pretty sure the 9800GTX would work ok on your system.

    However, were I choosing I would pick this GTS 250 for $94, as it would be about the same power as a 9800gtx
    (this is basically the same card--just a newer version that's more energy efficient)

    In retrospect, looking at your system i'm not sure it would be worth getting a more powerful card than this. After this upgrade its probably time to start saving for the next one. (unless you want to add 2 gb more ram for windows 7)
  9. Oh, ok thanks. These are the only two games I plan on getting for this system before i choose ,if or when, i get a new system. But do you think that 2gb of ram and the GTS 250 would be sufficient to run these games on higher settings?
  10. I found this for Napoleon (the more difficult game) on Steam. Several other sites had high requirements, but I think they were probably wrong.
    o OS:Microsoft® Windows Vista®/XP®/Windows® 7
    o Processor: 2.3 GHz CPU with SSE2
    o Memory: 1 GB RAM (XP), 2 GB RAM (Vista®/Windows® 7)
    o Graphics: 256 MB DirectX® 9.0c shader model 2b compatible GPU
    o DirectX®: DirectX® 9.0c
    o Hard Drive: 21 GB free space

    o OS: Microsoft® Windows Vista®/XP®/Windows® 7
    o Processor: 2.6 GHz Dual Core CPU
    o Memory: 2 GB RAM (XP), 4 GB RAM (Vista®/Windows® 7)
    o Graphics: 256 MB DirectX® 9.0c shader model 3 compatible GPU
    o DirectX®: DirectX® 9.0c
    o Hard Drive: 21 GB free space

    So yea, it looks like you will be ok-- and as expected it only suggest 4 gb if you are using Vista or 7.

    What resolution is your monitor?

    If its big I suppose you could move up to a 5750($135) or 5770 ($140) but if its not this is more than fine. A card as powerful as a 5770 would probably be bottlenecked by your processor... but might still help some.
  11. My monitor is a 20" Acer AL2016WBBD monitor. I have it set at 1440x900.
  12. At that low of a resolution you are good to go with a GTS 250. Its plenty for what you need. (If it was a high resolution I would have said the 1 gb version)

    It requires 24 amps on the 12v rail too-- so you are well over whats needed there with 34 amps on the combined rails.

    Good luck!
  13. Thank you very much for your time and info, I really appreciate it!
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