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Most powerful card that doesn't require external power?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
April 26, 2010 2:26:52 AM

Hi everyone.

I just got an HTPC, here are its specs:

AMD Phenom X4 9150e quad-core, 1.8ghz per core
300w stock PSU, no idea what brand or make
Onboard Radeon HD 3200

Obviously not a computer I plan on building up a lot, one day I'll build a real gaming PC, but for now I want to throw in the best graphics card I can without needing to upgrade my PSU. In other words, a graphics card that can draw all the power it needs from the PCI-E port.

At first I thought the choice was simple, the Radeon HD 5670, but then I found out about the GeForce GT 240. Then I thought I knew everything but then someone brought up the 9800GT Eco, which is another alternative.

I bet there are others I don't know about yet.

Can anyone help me out?
April 26, 2010 2:47:40 AM

rolli59 said:
9800GT eco/green > HD5670 > GT240,2552...
We could throw in as well 9600GT eco /green but that is pretty much it every thing more powerful needs external power.
I would select the HD5670 if I was buying.

according to their webpage 9800GT/ HD5670/ GT240 : these three graphic cards specification and requirement says that they are recommended for 400W system. Therefore, will 300W PSU be able to run any of these cards normally?

Sorry for interrupt, I am just wondering if 300W PSU would be able to handle Graphic Cards which is recommended for 400W or more without any issues?
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a c 1362 U Graphics card
April 26, 2010 2:59:27 AM

If the card does not need external power the max power it gets through the slot is 75watts. Most manufacturers recommend bigger PSU's than actually is needed to cover their #¤% against low cost bad quality over rated PSU's. If you plug in a basic system into one of the many PSU calculators that you can find on the net you will find that they will be somewhere around 250watts for a system with those cards.
a c 191 U Graphics card
April 26, 2010 3:16:14 AM

Since you're going to build a "real" gaming PC in the future, if I were you I'd go for the least power-hungry / least expensive to give the minimum performance you want. You don't mention your resolution or the games you want to play, but at up to 1440x900 you may find a HD4670 is good enough, or even a GDDR3 version of the HD4650; if you do want the "best" one though, I'd go with rolli's suggestion on the HD5670.
a c 358 U Graphics card
April 26, 2010 5:28:38 PM

I would go with the HD 5670 since it uses the least amount of power amongst the other cards mentioned. It also offers slightly better performance than the GT240.

The 9800GT Eco does give the best performance (with higher power consumption than the HD 5670), but that coupled with a AMD quad core CPU and an unknown 300w PSU is not recommended.
a b U Graphics card
April 26, 2010 6:01:34 PM

There is a 'new' player now without a connector. Powercolor took their passive 5750 and reworked it , took away the power connector and call it POWERCOLOR Go! Green AX5750
The price is a little high. But its going for that niche, passive, green and the most powerful card without additional power .......