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Best video card for 250W PSU?

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  • Power Supplies
  • Components
Last response: in Components
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April 6, 2011 2:49:48 PM

ok. I got this old machine, that i am having alot of fun with. I recently upgraded from a 2GHz Pentium 4 to a 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 :kaola:  The problem is.. I play alot of graphic intensive games ( CoD4, Crysis, DaO, STALKER,, Oblivion e.t.c) and i only got a GeForce 6200.
I love my 6200, but sadly enough, it doesnt meet teh requirements of todays games. I am not aiming to run any of the listed games on high settings, all i want is to be sure it can handle the lowest settings, i got another rig for High-graphic gaming :) 

Well yeah. It is a very, VERY old computer (7-11 years, i don't know). It has tons of PCI slots, and one AGP slot. No PCI-e slots :( 
And it has a 250W powersupply from Astec. It pumps out 250W, and has 10 amps on the +12V rail.

I am looking for an AGP card, or in worst case, a PCI card.

What cards will i be able to run, with 10A on the +12V? the PSU is very old and i'm quite sure the PSU is getting bad soon.
I have found a few cards;

Sapphire Radeon HD 4650 1GB DDR2
HIS Radeon HD 4670 1GB GDDR3 IceQ

now my MoBo only has a AGP 4x slot, it doesn't support 8x. But the 4650 is supposed to be compatible with 4x.

Will my PSU handle this card? Or do you got any suggestions for other cards? (AGP or PCI)

And how much of an performance increase will i see with.. let's say the 4650, in games like cod4? i already run it, but with 25 FPS. (very laggy!)

System specs:
Pentium 4 Northwood 2.8 GHz
70GB HDD (or something)
1.5 GB of RAM (2 sticks)
Windows XP home 32-bit


And just in case if it helps, i got 1 DVD/RW drive, 1 HDD and thinking of getting a CCFL light.

More about : video card 250w psu

a c 716 ) Power supply
April 6, 2011 3:22:58 PM

It probably will not handle the HD4650 because of the low +12 volt amp rating. 250 watt would be enough for the HD4650 if it was modern with 75-80% of its rated power available for the +12 volts.
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April 6, 2011 3:24:22 PM

Yeah. I had a previous thread on this, and they told me it would work fine, but i didnt tell them about how ancient the PSU is. It must have lost a lot of output power, am i right?
Got any other card to recommend? Preferably GeForce 6800 and above :) 
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a b ) Power supply
April 6, 2011 4:10:52 PM

Haha. I've recently moved away from a PC with a very similar spec. The case only took mATX PSUs so my options were limited.

I ended up putting a 7300GT in there (hooray for eBay), which worked well enough. It sipped power and delivered enough performance for what I used it for. I thought about a 7600GT, but that would have been pushing my ancient PSU more than I would have liked.

The 4650/4670 both look like nice options, but I wouldn't want to try either of those with your PSU. Perhaps a PSU and graphics card upgrade is in order? If, like me, you are limited by mATX PSU options, you should still be able to pick up a 300W mATX PSU quite cheaply which will give you a bit more breathing room.
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April 6, 2011 4:17:23 PM

My case is GIGANTIC. it is a big tower, i can fit almost anything in there.. weighs a ton lol.
Were you able to play any games with the 7300 GT? In that case, wich games? any of the ones i listed?
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April 7, 2011 12:58:53 PM

eh.. I'm finding a GPU for my 250W PSU. I'm not getting a new PSU if i'm able to run a decent card for low-end gaming on it. I do not want to spend so much money, i'm just looking for a cheap upgrade card that my PSU can handle! Stick to teh topic please :) 
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April 7, 2011 1:45:49 PM

eilif said:
eh.. I'm finding a GPU for my 250W PSU. I'm not getting a new PSU if i'm able to run a decent card for low-end gaming on it. I do not want to spend so much money, i'm just looking for a cheap upgrade card that my PSU can handle! Stick to teh topic please :) 


The problem is that there are very few (if any) video cards nowadays that can run on a 250W PSU. I'm actually surprised that a 250W PSU would be used on a Pentium 4 system; most P4 systems I have seen used at least 300W PSUs.
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April 7, 2011 2:21:49 PM

Well, as said, it's damn old. Maybe over 20 years old, i don't know :D 
I'm not very familiar with Pentium 4 computers though. Not many of'em here.
And i will be getting money for my confirmation, wich is in 2 months :) 
So let's say i get a 400-500W PSU..
What cards am i gonna be able to run WITHOUT bottlenecking?
remember that the AGP slot only has 4x, no 8x :) 
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a c 716 ) Power supply
April 7, 2011 2:28:29 PM

HD3850 closely followed by HD4670 is as good as it gets in AGP flavor. Buying a card and a PSU would though be more than what I would want to spend on a outdated system like that. As somebody pointed out earlier the 7300GT or 7600GS would be an upgrade but I would only buy them cheap of the used market.

Power chart for older cards
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-radeon-powe...
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April 7, 2011 2:48:52 PM

Yeag. But wich of these cards will fit 4x? Or.. approximately, how much does it cost for a new (used ofc) MoBo where everything of my old hardware fits?
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April 7, 2011 2:51:59 PM

Let's say a MoBo that supports 8X and maybe some overclocking abilities :)  Got any suggestions?
BTW i live in Norway so i can't buy from Newegg, but i can buy from ebay.no :) 
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April 7, 2011 3:57:42 PM

But i can get a used MoBo for about 50-100$ on ebay, some Asus *** :D 
What about a 4670? let's say that i buy a 4-500W PSU and a 4670. (let's not think about AGP 4x or 8x right now)
Would i see a performance gain in CoD4, Oblivion, Crysis, etc? Approximaltely, how much? And let's say i upgraded to 2 GB of RAM.
And then again, is it compatible with 4x?
and What happens if i insert a 8x card into a 4x slot? :D 
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a c 716 ) Power supply
April 8, 2011 7:04:57 AM

$50-100 for an old motherboard is expensive! (you can buy a new one for that)
You would definitely see a performance increase with the HD4670, how much I do not know but probably more than double!
8x and 4x use the same voltage but 4x is half the speed of 8x, most 8x cards where backwards compatible with 4x. Either the card is going to work or not but nothing will get damaged.
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April 8, 2011 2:40:42 PM

Okay. Nah, not here in Norway. Approximately the same price. But as said, i got ANOTHER rig for gaming! I'm not just simply replacing all the old parts with new ones, what iw ant to do, is to make an outdated machine capable of playing newer games.
It's just so much more fun!
But.. i get like 30 FPS in CoD4 now, with the 6200, withthe Yitch3 config. (Absolutely lowest settings possible)
and the 30 frames are NOT playable. They feel more like 15 FPS.
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