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Graphics card with 250W power supply?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 8, 2010 12:33:46 PM

Hello, I am currently considering purchasing a new graphics card for my computer, but my power supply is only 250w so I am having trouble finding anything decent to use. I am planning to use it mostly for gaming. I really am kind of clueless when it comes to computer hardware, and from what my friends tell me upgrading the power supply can be pretty tricky...so I would really prefer not to do that. I have seen a couple reviews for some graphics cards, that recommend 300-400w power supplies in their system requirements, with people saying they run perfectly fine with 250w....but I am nervous that it could damage my computer or just cause me to waste money to try that lol. Below is a link to my computer model and specs...it is a Compaq SR5214x and everything on mine is the same except that I have 2GB ram instead of 1GB. Does anyone have an idea as to, basically, what the best video cards available for 250w power supply are? Thanks alot in advance for the help!

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01...
a b U Graphics card
October 8, 2010 1:09:19 PM

im using a HD5570 on a 250w power supply. it works fine, fairly cheap. main reason i bought it was because it was low profile (i have a slim computer). your computer is normal width so you could get the gddr5 version which is faster as you can see in this review.

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/radeon-hd-5550-radeon-hd-...
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a b U Graphics card
October 8, 2010 1:24:19 PM

Upgrading the power supply can be simple if you unplug one thing from the old power supply and plug it right back into the new power supply. A 250W power supply does not offer much room for a new graphics card. You are mostly limited to the very low end and would be best sticking with what you currently have until you can upgrade either the power supply or computer. Your choice there.
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a c 194 U Graphics card
a c 271 ) Power supply
October 8, 2010 2:37:58 PM

The reason that you will almost never see a card requiring less than a 400W unit is that the system they test it on is always a beast of a system, usually based on the highest power Intel Extreme Edition processor with a ton of ram, a top end motherboard, and a few hard drives, without a graphics card their base system would pull a few hundred watts. If you have a low power system like you do you can often get away with a low power GPU like a 5570 which only pulls 40W at load.
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a b U Graphics card
October 8, 2010 2:47:40 PM

hunter315 said:
The reason that you will almost never see a card requiring less than a 400W unit is that the system they test it on is always a beast of a system, usually based on the highest power Intel Extreme Edition processor with a ton of ram, a top end motherboard, and a few hard drives, without a graphics card their base system would pull a few hundred watts. If you have a low power system like you do you can often get away with a low power GPU like a 5570 which only pulls 40W at load.


This is usually to cover themselves incase someone did build a beast of the system following their PSU recommendation and something was to go wrong.
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a c 194 U Graphics card
a c 271 ) Power supply
October 8, 2010 3:01:03 PM

Exactly, you will have a hell of a time making something more power hungry than their reference systems.
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a b U Graphics card
October 8, 2010 5:11:37 PM

hunter315 said:
Exactly, you will have a hell of a time making something more power hungry than their reference systems.


Not impossible to do. Try a multi raid setup, massive startup power requirements.
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October 8, 2010 5:42:49 PM

Ok, thanks alot for the info everyone! I had actually been considering the HD5570, but the 400W power listing on the requirements scared me off lol. It shouldn't cause any problems with my computer though, right?
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a b U Graphics card
October 8, 2010 6:23:55 PM

As stated earlier in the thread, another user is able to run the 5570 on 250W, you should be able to do the same.
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