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Question about Power Consumption

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 21, 2010 12:14:59 AM

Okay I own an HP a6203w Desktop, I think it is what some call an HTPC, not sure though. It is a mid height tower, with room enough for one somewhat small video card. I have PCI-express x16 on it, and already have 4 gigs of ram on the computer. I am running windows vista. The computer came with a Bestec 250watt PSU. You can find more specs of my PC at the link below.

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/product?product=3554...

I am looking for a cheap low end budget upgrade under 100 dollars for my graphics system. I am doing a new build next fall/winter but until then, my nvidia 6150se nforce430 integrated BS wont cut it.

I have been looking at the ATI 4350, the ATI 4670, the ATI 5570 the ATI 5550, and a few others. My three questions are....

Since some of these cards have no dedicated power cord, and the PCI slot gets 75 watts, as long as they are under that they should be perfectly fine correct?

Are there better options? I can't afford a new PSU, 80 to 100 dollars even is kind of pushing it, but it is the max.

Lastly, if said video card does go out, what are the damages that will occur?

Also I know I've made a few posts on here, but I'm just trying to get a wide range of opinions as I don't want anything to be damaged.
a b U Graphics card
December 21, 2010 12:49:08 AM

Here is a chart of the hierarchy of GPU:


Chart ...click me :) 


You are really quite limited by your PSU. Stay away from the ATI 4350 and 5550. I would recommend the HD 5570, the HD 4670 second.
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December 21, 2010 1:28:20 AM

Okay first note, lol I think I somehow got to the UK forum, does it matter or should I post this in the US forum? Cuz I notice it is tomshardware.co.uk instead of .com.

Anyways, the only reason I chose the 4350 and 5550 were because of low power consumption. My thinking is, if the PCI slot has 75 watts to it, then any card under 75 watts power at full load should work perfectly fine, right? Regardless of my PSU....

Right?
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a c 189 U Graphics card
December 21, 2010 1:23:59 PM

graphic card only draw max 75W from PCIE slot, but even HD5570 won't draw that much. So for your 250W PSU then the best card you can get is HD5570.
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December 27, 2010 11:05:39 PM

I'm kind of lost. I know my PSU says 250w, but that is if it is 100% efficient which I doubt it is. But like all the posters above said, they only draw off of the PCI slot and that is 75watts all the time (right?) So...why dont more people just do this and why do people always say 300 to 400w PSU for these cards that dont require power connector?
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a c 189 U Graphics card
December 28, 2010 1:17:47 AM

That's 75W MAXIMUM.
Take a look at this:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/2935/13

HD5570 only draw 175W TOTAL SYSTEM.

It's all depend on what graphic card, not all card without power connector is required minimal 300W PSU. Even GT240 is more power efficient than HD5570.
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December 28, 2010 1:50:53 AM

Okay, well what would you recommend for calling it safe, best performance? The GT240, the 5770? What else? I am betting it isnt a 250w steady power supply, maybe 60 to 70% of that, since it isnt a corsair or another 80 effecient (as i see no stamp or any proof of that on it) so i would say 170 to 200 watts maximum.....

I just need something better for gaming to last me until the summer/fall, better than the crappy integrated nvidia 6150se nforce 430.

And if I do get a card with no power connector, and it is relying on the 75 watts, what is worst case scenario?
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a c 189 U Graphics card
December 28, 2010 4:02:41 AM

You got point there, because we don't know yet about your PSU except it's wattage. The worst scenario is your PSu isn't provides enough power on entire system, i.e won't boot or restart many times.
Well, you can get HD4550, that's a HTPC card, but still faster than 6150se onboard.
Really, you are still SAFE with GT240 or HD5570. Don't worry about that.
get that HD5570 or GT240. :) 
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December 28, 2010 4:35:20 AM

So I would be safe with those two? Like no blue screen, crashing etc. And if it does I can always take it out and go back to integrated right? Or can it fry my system?

I will be buying it in a few months, when I get a car and PO box. So I can buy from newegg.com, but is there a best brand or what not to get? You can check out my PC and such by yahoo/google searching the HP a6203w desktop or on the HP site, but I am sure I have plenty of room for a normal size card, just needs to have ONE expansion slot thingy, not two.
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a c 189 U Graphics card
December 28, 2010 4:54:57 AM

Yes, if your PC only accept one expansion slot (single slot card) then get that HD5570.
Yes, it should safe. Even if you have problem then you can use back your onboard graphic.
For brand, you can get ASUS, XFX, Sapphire, HIS, GigaByte, MSI. You might want to stay out from Inno3D.
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December 28, 2010 5:00:40 AM

Okay, and are there any programs out there to monitor the temp, power usage, etc. Or any other NEED to know things?
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December 28, 2010 6:15:38 AM

Okay thanks again. Do I need to do anything when I install it? Is it plug n play or what? Just slide onto the motherboard PCI x16 express slot? Or do I need to deactive onboard graphics uninstall all old drivers, and what?
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a c 189 U Graphics card
December 28, 2010 10:51:12 AM

Normally, you just plug it and powered it up (booting). The onboard should automatically switch it with pcie slot.
But. if that's not work, you can manually disable the onboard from BIOS.
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December 28, 2010 6:08:07 PM

Ok, here is some more info if it helps The power supply I have in my computer is a Bestec 250 watt, and I searched that with my model of computer and got this, the first link is all the parts on my computer (supposedly) and the second link is the specs on the power supply (I searched the part number so I hope I'm write)

http://www.sparepartswarehouse.com/HP,Pavilion,a6203w,G...
http://www.power-on.com/atx12v250bt.html

According to those I have 14amps on my 12volt rail max. Will that factor into it?
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a c 189 U Graphics card
December 28, 2010 11:43:26 PM

14A on 12V, so 14x12=about 168W.
It has 68% efficiency at full load, that's okay, you still have enough power to run a single HD5570 or GT240.
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a c 189 U Graphics card
December 29, 2010 7:47:00 AM

You can see it for yourself, that card only draw 196W Total on entire system... :) 
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December 29, 2010 3:38:53 PM

Yeah on that system, but as you see above mine only has about 168 watts max., and that said it wasn't even including the processor load I think.
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a c 189 U Graphics card
December 29, 2010 11:16:01 PM

No, 168W is on 12V rail only, not entire system...
PSU has 12V, 5V and 3.3V rails.
Like this one:


If you look at your link, Bestec 250W PSU has:
+3.3V (18/0.3A)
+5V (25/0.5A)
+12V (14/0.0A)
-12V (0.8/0.0A)
+5VSB (2.0/0.0A)

Again, you have enough power to run a single HD5570.
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December 29, 2010 11:35:27 PM

Okay sorry for the pestering questions.I am just paranoid about it.
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a c 189 U Graphics card
December 30, 2010 12:57:17 AM

That's okay, it's good when we learned something new... ;) 
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