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How can my desktop handle the ATI Radeon HD 5970 and not the NVIDIA GT

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November 19, 2010 10:21:22 AM

Hi everyone,

I recently purchased a Dell Studio XPS 9100 Desktop and overall have been very happy with its performance outside of the worthless wireless N card Dell put in (that I quickly replaced with a much better D-Link wireless N adapter) and had a question that no one at Dell has been able to really answer for me so far.

When I ordered this machine I had the option of putting any number of ATI cards into it including the Radeon 5870 or the 5970. At the time because I wanted to be conservative with my money (even though I really didn't have to be) I ordered the 5870. Its a great card but then the other day a friend of mine got around to talking up how great the new GTX 580 is and being a gamer naturally my interest picked up. While its a simply matter to just swap out the video card I need to make sure my power supply can handle it and thats where I hit a brick wall. Dell's support insists this machine has a 525W power supply in it, and I even managed to back one of their sales reps into a corner and get them to admit to me that the 5870 and 5970 both require a 650W power supply or better and then he told me that the 5870 simply won't work with my system. After informing him that I currently have the 5870 he said that honestly he has no idea and transfered me to a Dell tech support goon who rehashed most of the same stuff but told me that the GTX 580 hasn't been tested with the Dell systems and they don't know how it would work, however the 5970 has been tested and works with the 9100 XPS Desktops.

So here is my question, and forgive me if I sound a bit dumb asking this but how the heck can my machine be all set to handle the HD 5970 which is a dual gpu card that has an obnoxious power requirement and they tell me that my machine may or may not be able to handle the GTX 580? Does anyone know how large of a power supply is actually in these XPS 9100 Desktop computers because I opened the case and it has no info anywhere on it, I saw a label on the back with some amps listed but that was it and it wasn't on the power supply. Sorry but I'm just a bit dumbfounded by this one and would like an actual answer as opposed to the smoke and mirrors Dell support gave me on this one.
November 19, 2010 3:08:13 PM

Quote:
how the heck can my machine be all set to handle the HD 5970 which is a dual gpu card that has an obnoxious power requirement and they tell me that my machine may or may not be able to handle the GTX 580?


the GTX 580 hasn't been tested with the Dell systems
That's your answer.

The 580 uses little more power than the 5970, it would probably work.
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphics/2010/11/09/nv...
November 19, 2010 3:19:25 PM

Just a guess on my part, but It would seem to me that given the wide range of graphic cards dell offers (HD5670 - HD5970),what power supply they install is based on what graphics card you selected. So if you selected an HD5670, you'd get a 450Watt PSU. If you selected the HD5970, you'd get a 650watt PSU.

Again, just a guess on my part.

-Wolf sends
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November 20, 2010 1:53:03 PM

If you unmount the power supply, there will be a label, on it, that tells you exactly what the Rating is.
May 16, 2011 10:28:33 PM

Wolfshadw said:
Just a guess on my part, but It would seem to me that given the wide range of graphic cards dell offers (HD5670 - HD5970),what power supply they install is based on what graphics card you selected. So if you selected an HD5670, you'd get a 450Watt PSU. If you selected the HD5970, you'd get a 650watt PSU.

Again, just a guess on my part.

-Wolf sends

Wolf, not to be mean or burst your bubble but people do not need misinformation and everything you just said was absolutely incorrect. People who come to tech forums look for simple and effective facts, not assumptions. I have a dell XPS 9100 and dell rates the units PSU at 525 watts. Now this is going to be interesting... one thing you must take into consideration is that DELL is a huge corporation therefore they spend thousands, more likely millions on repairs and exchanges; so because of this they are extremely conservative when they claim a spec with there computers. In this case the power supply in the 9100 has the ability to pump out 685 watts, and I hate to say it but with this particular model they've made the PSU very robust and of high quality, this is almost never the case with DELL's brand computers but non the less it is so here. I have installed a GTX 570 in this beast a few weeks ago and before that I was using a power hungry GTX 470. The PSU handles these cards without a hiccup. I even over clocked the GTX 570 to GTX 580 specs which drew a total system power of 719. As I stated before I ran some tests prior to buying the card to max out the PSU and see what it was capable of, and the results were 685, but interestingly once I over clocked the vid card I drew a maximum total system power of 719 and the PSU didn't sweat a bit. This indeed is a marketing scheme to keep people from buying power hungry video cards that stress the PSU, so they can lower the amount of repairs, exchanges, and refunds. And from what I can tell it seems to work. Most people on the forums that I have seen say its "impossible" to upgrade your video card past the GTX 400 series excluding the GTX 480 which is why I originally bought the GTX 470. This is why I conducted my own tests because even the GTX 470 was theoretically not supported by the marketed 525 watt power supply but yet still worked fine, even when OC'd. Then I sold my GTX 470 and bought the robust GTX 570 to really see what the psu can do. Anyways I can't vouch for how long the power supply will last however I really am not concerned. It works fine even with this card, and I would bet that the GTX 580 being similar in power draw to the 570 would work just fine. I will buy the GTX 580 a bit later and give it a try. Now with that said I don't believe the unit supply could handle a GTX 590, I would bet against that since that vid card is of dual GPU design. This doesn't mean though u can't do it, you'll simply have to buy a cheap PSU rated 700-800 watts and install it. You'll be fine. For those people who have absolutely no idea about DELL and how they market they're merchandise, please don't take what you see for supposed spec's at first glance... do your own testing. It serves no one any good to be spreading inaccurate or down right wrong information. Do your homework!
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