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5850 and power requirements!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 19, 2010 1:39:43 AM

Hey, recently my 8800 GT has died and I was planning an upgrade anyway and was looking for some advice. I've searched around the internet however not found anything solid for my solution.

my current setup is

p5k-vm motherboard
4GB RAM
Q6600 Intel Quad Core

now I would like to know if my PSU is sufficient to power a 5850 or similar quality, and if not, would would be the limit for the PSU specified below.

winpower 750watt
@+5v 36A max
+3.3v 35A max
+12v1 18A max
+12v2 21A max
-12v 0.3A max
+5V/SB 2.0A max

I've been informed Win power are cheap and could fry my system, could any any provide any further advice ?
a c 376 U Graphics card
July 19, 2010 1:47:52 AM

Even a cheap 750w should handle an HD5850 even OCed. It is quite low power for its performance.
July 19, 2010 1:51:14 AM

Yeah, however from what I understood from Guru, they said 40 is the minimum amps required for the 5850, is this true? and as far as i'm aware its not as simple as 12v1 = 18A + 12v2 = 21A either.

My knowledge in electronics is very small to say the least so I just wanted confirmation.
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a c 260 U Graphics card
July 19, 2010 2:01:02 AM

A 5850 requires a 500w psu and two 6 pin pci-e connectors:
http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/ati-rad...

If your psu has two 6 pin connectors, then try it. If not, it does not have the capability to drive a 5850 if you need to use adapters.

Otherwise, a 5770 is about as good as you can do.

Regardless, consider dumping the winpower for a quality unit. Look to corsair, seasonic, antec, xfx for good quality.
a c 376 U Graphics card
July 19, 2010 2:03:35 AM

geofelt said:
If your psu has two 6 pin connectors, then try it. If not, it does not have the capability to drive a 5850 if you need to use adapters.

This is not true. A power supplies collection of connectors is certainly not something to consider when trying to figure out how much power it can actually supply. There is nothing wrong with using adapters.
a c 260 U Graphics card
July 19, 2010 2:07:21 AM

jyjjy said:
This is not true. A power supplies collection of connectors is certainly not something to consider when trying to figure out how much power it can actually supply. There is nothing wrong with using adapters.

When looking at a marginal psu, I figure that if they had the ability to give the proper power to two pcie connectors, they would have done it.
For a quality psu, adapters are OK. For this one I doubt it.
a b U Graphics card
July 19, 2010 2:08:06 AM

that psu is more than enough for a single 5850, it doesn't draw much power just like jyjjy mentioned. The downside is the fact that Winpower makes low end, and I mean very low end PSU's so don't push your luck trying to power up anything more than a single 5850.
July 19, 2010 2:10:20 AM

oh i wont be using crossfire or any OC, I just wanted the 1 card that works as i knew i'm pushing compatibility as it is. So you think it would be safe for me to get one and not fry the system?
a c 376 U Graphics card
July 19, 2010 2:10:58 AM

Gotten said:
Yeah, however from what I understood from Guru, they said 40 is the minimum amps required for the 5850, is this true? and as far as i'm aware its not as simple as 12v1 = 18A + 12v2 = 21A either.

Power = Voltage x Current. Therefore 40a on the +12v rail is 480w of power. Even under stress testing which pushes the card harder then you ever will under normal usage the HD5850 uses about 150w of power. When fully OCed to 1ghz+ it maxes out at around 200w. That would leave minimum 280w for the rest of the computer and I doubt you will ever go over 200w unless you have a crazy OC on the most power hungry CPU and an huge amount of hard drives.
Your PSU certainly isn't a particularly good brand but even a crappy 750w can handle a card like the HD5850 unless it is actually defective.
July 19, 2010 2:13:24 AM

Yeah, I dont overclock my Q6600 and I have one small 160GB hard drive, so going by your advice, it appears it is safe, thank you very much!
a c 376 U Graphics card
July 19, 2010 2:15:53 AM

You should OC. Your processor and the HD5850 can both do so very well and your PSU can handle it.
July 19, 2010 2:17:49 AM

Yeah I've been told the Q6600 can overclock like mad, and i have OC'd before but i think if i can get good enough performance out of gaming, i should be fine as i don't do any special video editing or anything.
a c 260 U Graphics card
July 19, 2010 2:25:54 AM

The maximum amps on the 12v rails is 18a and 21a. That is what the maximum is on each rail individually. The maximum total amperage would be 18 + 21 = 39a. But, most of the time, you can not sum the individual rail amps. That is why modern psu's will explicitly state the maximum for ALL the rails.

This unit is suspect to me. Why did the 8800GT crap out?
I also think this is an older unit. Could it be starting to fail?



July 19, 2010 2:28:21 AM

I'm not sure, im currently running in windows xp with hardware accell off, but i was playing a game (UT3) as normal and the colours on screen went distorted and it froze the entire pc.

It does this now in any 3d application on even aero on w7, and isn't overheating.
a c 376 U Graphics card
July 19, 2010 2:40:48 AM

geofelt said:
This unit is suspect to me. Why did the 8800GT crap out?
I also think this is an older unit. Could it be starting to fail?

Yes, if the power supply is actually defective and failing it should obviously be replaced. He has said nothing that would indicate such and a 3 year old card like the 8800GT dying certainly should not be assumed to be caused by the PSU.
The HD5850 actually uses less power than the HD4850 and a mere 15w more than the 8800GT he is replacing. This is not some power hungry beast where you need to question using it on a 750w PSU of any caliber.
July 19, 2010 2:44:00 AM

I don't think its my PSU, however i'm not 100% sure. Can graphics cards that old die like that just randomly? I'd say its had a fair bit of use...
a c 376 U Graphics card
July 19, 2010 3:51:22 AM

Yeah, they go bad after a while. Cards operate at fairly high temperatures when being used. The differences in temperature from the card when the computer is off vs the card at idle vs the card in use will cause the materials of the card to expand and contract slightly. Over the years this can lead to defects like cracks in the solder on the pcb. It's actually possible that baking the card in the oven for a short time can fix it by remelting the solder, but if you can afford a new card I would recommend that instead.
a c 260 U Graphics card
July 19, 2010 3:55:04 AM

Gotten said:
I don't think its my PSU, however i'm not 100% sure. Can graphics cards that old die like that just randomly? I'd say its had a fair bit of use...

Heat is the enemy of all electronics. There are lots of possibilities. A fan full of dust or an outright fan failure could bring down the graphics card. I would not expect a card or psu to fail suddenly if it had been running well for a while. There are usually abnormal symptoms appearing first.
Does the 8800GT by any chance come from a vendor like EVGA that has a lifetime warranty?
July 19, 2010 10:09:01 AM

thanks a lot for the replies, much appreciated.

the 8800GT is from XFX Alpha Dog Edition. it had gathered alot of dust from under the fan which has now been removed but I don't know if the damage had already been done.

If the PSU did indeed fail - would the PC not of completely cut out, and not just the graphics card?
a c 260 U Graphics card
July 19, 2010 1:48:18 PM

Gotten said:
thanks a lot for the replies, much appreciated.

the 8800GT is from XFX Alpha Dog Edition. it had gathered alot of dust from under the fan which has now been removed but I don't know if the damage had already been done.

If the PSU did indeed fail - would the PC not of completely cut out, and not just the graphics card?


If I am not mistaken, XFX had a lifetime warranty(transferrable). If you registered it, you can get it replaced. Since I don't think they make them anymore, they will probably offer you the equivalent or better as a replacement.

The graphics card is, by a long shot the biggest power draw of a gaming PC. If the psu had a weakness, I might expect it to show up first as graphics instability. A quality psu will have the ability to shut itself down if there is a problem. Such protective circuitry may be absent on a budget unit.
July 19, 2010 4:04:00 PM

Ahh, yeah i thought xfx did that, oh well, i thought id just upgrade and got myself a 5850. I'm still not sure what broke the old card, and it is still a worry, however my only clue to what could of been was that when i used an extension cable for the sockets (monitor, pc, external harddrive etc) it fell off the table and ripped out the power, and then it was hanging off the side of it and was losely connected (my bad) Could the frequent turning on and off because of the socket was lose from the actual plug in a short space of time caused it to later that day, cause it to *** up?

This is really the only thing I could think of, or that it was old and decided to die in the end.


Thanks a lot still for your replies, very much appreciated.
a c 260 U Graphics card
July 19, 2010 4:37:14 PM

Gotten said:
Ahh, yeah i thought xfx did that, oh well, i thought id just upgrade and got myself a 5850. I'm still not sure what broke the old card, and it is still a worry, however my only clue to what could of been was that when i used an extension cable for the sockets (monitor, pc, external harddrive etc) it fell off the table and ripped out the power, and then it was hanging off the side of it and was losely connected (my bad) Could the frequent turning on and off because of the socket was lose from the actual plug in a short space of time caused it to later that day, cause it to *** up?

This is really the only thing I could think of, or that it was old and decided to die in the end.


Thanks a lot still for your replies, very much appreciated.


Well, go and get the XFX 8800GT replaced under warranty. You can then sell it and recoup some of the expense of the 5850.

When you install the 5850, try to clean out all the old drivers. Here is the procedure I use; you may have to do all this at minimum resolution:
1) Download driversweeper to your desktop, or wherever you can find it easily.
http://downloads.guru3d.com/Guru3D---Driver-Sweeper-(Setup)-download-1655.html

2) Download your new driver to the same place.
3) In add/remove programs, uninstall any Nvidia or ATI vga drivers and programs.
4) Boot into safe mode. Press F8 repeatedly while booting to enter safe mode. Your display resolution may be minimal.
5) Run driversweeper. Check the selection boxes for the removal of all nvidia vga drivers and ati drivers.
6) Rerun driversweeper. All such components should be gone.
7) Install the new driver from the desktop or saved location.
July 19, 2010 9:26:33 PM

crap, already bought that card, i guess its too late (i got mine from overclockers) would they want a broken 8800 GT anyway?
a c 260 U Graphics card
July 19, 2010 9:39:52 PM

Gotten said:
crap, already bought that card, i guess its too late (i got mine from overclockers) would they want a broken 8800 GT anyway?

Get XFX to replace it under warranty anyway. It will fetch $50 or so on e-bay.
July 19, 2010 11:41:06 PM

yeah? sweet, problem is i only have the card, no box and no connectors, do they accept that ?
a c 260 U Graphics card
July 20, 2010 4:58:18 AM

Gotten said:
yeah? sweet, problem is i only have the card, no box and no connectors, do they accept that ?


I think they will honor the warranty as long as you registered the card within 30 days of purchase. With or without parts. You can't lose by trying.
a c 376 U Graphics card
July 20, 2010 6:17:18 AM

They would likely send you a new 9800GT as a replacement. You can probably easily get $75 for it on Ebay.
!