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GrapCard Straining my CPU

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 16, 2010 2:43:41 PM

Okay, since I started more intensive gaming (well intensive to me), such as Dragon Age Origins, Prototype, Sims 3, etc. I have upgraded my video, from a stock integrated nvidia 6150se to an ATI 5670 radeon, (not sure to go with the 512mb or the 1gig)

My MAIN concern is, will this over work, strain, or even damage my processor? For all the work it will be doing, and being a low grade processor? It is an AMD Athlon 64x2 4400+ 2.3ghz. I considered upgrading to the 5600+ 2.8ghz, but that would be the max that the stock mobo can handle. As I'm a student on a very tight budget, I am pushing it to afford the video card, so the processor upgrade won't be done unless it will help.

Are these bottlenecking/overheating rumors that I have read/heard about true? False? Thanks. I just want to keep my PC working and not blow it up.

More about : grapcard straining cpu

a c 172 U Graphics card
September 16, 2010 3:00:40 PM

There will be no hard to your cpu and don't have a clue ware you heard that or what you thought process is but it is wrong. The only thing you will notice is that it will lag. The 5670 is op like every thing else from ATI atm so just make sure your psu is up to the job even though all the power will be drawn from the slot.
September 16, 2010 8:56:18 PM

Yah, I have read around on this forum, afterdawn, and some other tech forums, and everyone has told me that it is a fairly low power draw card, about 80 to 90 watts on full load roughly. I have a 250w reliable PSU, but I am thinking about getting a 300 or 350w just in case if need be. I have spent a few months researching, and so far a dozen people or so say it should work, so...im treading carefully
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a c 172 U Graphics card
September 16, 2010 9:03:05 PM

No psu is as good as the sticker says and have learned a few tricks to spot on that is failing before they can cause any problems. Antec makes a few good units in this range while Enermax is a personally favorite but little is seen of them these days. I would get a quality 400-550w unit and not have to upgrade in the future. Don't bother with any thing that isn't 80+ grade since they waste more power than is used.
September 16, 2010 10:45:32 PM

Well, my main concern is money. I am pushing it by getting a video card, how much would a good PSU be? Do any of them conflict with towers? I have an HP a6203w desktop, no slimline thingy, just regular, and not HUGE either. Got it from bestbuy.
a c 236 U Graphics card
September 17, 2010 12:45:12 AM

A faster graphics card will not damage your cpu. Regardless of how hard the cpu works, all modern cpu's have heat detection circuitry, and will throttle back if they exceed safe limits. A faster graphics card will improve your performance. By how much will depend on how restrictive your on board graphics was.

Run this test to assess the value of upgrading to discrete graphics:

Run your games, but reduce the resolution and eye candy to a minimum. This will simulate what will happen if you upgrade to a stronger graphics card. If your FPS improves, it indicates that your cpu is capable of driving a stronger graphics card to higher levels of FPS.

Open up your case and look at the label on the psu. UL requires one, but it may be hidden. What is the wattage, and more importantly what does it say about amps for the 12v lines? Most likely, you will be fine. If the psu can not handle the graphics card, you will not post, or may see graphics artifacts. It is unlikely that you will do any damage to anything. If the psu is a standard ATX sized unit, it is easy to change out. You can get a quality replacement for about $50.


September 17, 2010 2:47:47 AM

Here are specs to my PSU

250-watt (max) power supply (Zinfandel), Bestec ATX-250-12V) - 100-120VAC and 200-240VAC input (switch selectable), 50/60Hz

Yes if I run games at max, at 1440 x 900, and then take them down to minimum and at 920 x 600.there is a SIGNIFICANT difference in fps. about 10 to 20 fps difference. This is a 3 or 4 yr old computer with a low grade medium to low duty integrated card.

Does that help?
a c 172 U Graphics card
September 17, 2010 2:49:50 AM

nfarnham2001 said:
Here are specs to my PSU

250-watt (max) power supply (Zinfandel), Bestec ATX-250-12V) - 100-120VAC and 200-240VAC input (switch selectable), 50/60Hz

Yes if I run games at max, at 1440 x 900, and then take them down to minimum and at 920 x 600.there is a SIGNIFICANT difference in fps. about 10 to 20 fps difference. This is a 3 or 4 yr old computer with a low grade medium to low duty integrated card.

Does that help?


The psu is very weak for a high to mid range gpu so I would upgrade that as well. Was the FPS difference up or down?
September 17, 2010 4:07:38 PM

The fps difference went up, when I changed to minimum settings and lower resolution. I can get times in the game (dragon age origins) when im in a building, or after all the enemies are dead, it is fairly smooth, but during battle, large areas, not so much, I assumed becuase of the poor graphic rendering capabilities of my card. On the canyourunit site, my card is all that doesnt meet requirements.

And as for power supply, the one that the other person linked, I shouldn't run into any trouble installing/compatability right?

Sorry for all the pestering, i just dont want my pc to fry.

My last option was to opt for the less power consuming at 5570, but I have no idea how much of a performance loss I will suffer.
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