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Low Watt / Low Profile Graphics Cards

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 21, 2011 1:00:55 PM

I read an article regarding low watt/low profile video cards. It appears from the article that the stated “required power” on most cards is grossly overstated. I have had several discussions with computer literate individuals the last few days and have been told various reasons for not using a card exceeding the PSU wattage. It was also suggested that I might try an external card but it appears that they are primarily used for multi-monitors. I am a computer neophyte and have read and heard more techno speak in the last few days than my brain can handle. I’m now more confused than when I began. Let me tell you my situation and perhaps you can offer a reasonable solution.



My computer is a:

Dell 545S (slimline) desktop computer running Windows 7 Home Premium

Pentium ® Dual-Core CPU E 5300 @2.6 GHz

4.0 GB Ram

64-bit Operating System



I would like to install a design (CAD) program offering 3-D which requires a “minimum” of 256MB dedicated video memory supporting Open GL 2.1 or higher.



What card(s) are available that would work well with my system and offer at least, if not more, than the program requirements. Please keep in mind that I would prefer something that is as close to plug and play as possible.



Thanks for any help offered.
January 21, 2011 9:16:07 PM

I haven't really set a budget. I would guess up to about $100. The two cards you mention suggest 400W for the Gigabyte and 300W for the MSI. Therin lies my problem. Does the recommended minimum PSU not really mean anything?

Thanks
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January 21, 2011 9:32:26 PM

I have been told by people in the the computer sales and/or service business that I could experience erratic performance and possibly crashes by using a card requiring more PSU power. I had a chat with Nvidia and they told me they didn't offer a card that would work with my system. Then I have read and you have indicated the suggested PSU rating is primarily to protect the manufacturer, cards rarely, if ever, use the power stated. With that, would one of the two you suggested be better and/or is there something else that might even be better given the $100 budget?

Thanks
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 21, 2011 10:26:49 PM

It does get close.You might be right,the 5670 might be to powerful for the PSU
Although their test machine is very beefy and use's much more power than a E5300 would.
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1187/13/
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a b U Graphics card
January 21, 2011 11:40:10 PM

seg said:
I have been told by people in the the computer sales and/or service business that I could experience erratic performance and possibly crashes by using a card requiring more PSU power. I had a chat with Nvidia and they told me they didn't offer a card that would work with my system. Then I have read and you have indicated the suggested PSU rating is primarily to protect the manufacturer, cards rarely, if ever, use the power stated. With that, would one of the two you suggested be better and/or is there something else that might even be better given the $100 budget?

Thanks


The minimum PSU rating you are referring to is total system power. An E5300 system at full load sans video card uses less than 109 watts. The actual card itself probably won't use more than 50 watts at full load and can't use more than 75 watts because that is all the PCIe slot provides. GT430 is ok but you might want to stay away from overclocked cards because they use more power and performance doesn't seem to be a priority.
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January 22, 2011 1:03:49 AM

Ironically I bought an 8400GS and wound up returning it after speaking with Nvidia and some locals. It looks as if the first two suggested are my best bet.
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January 22, 2011 1:21:02 AM

Thanks - you've been a big help.
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 3:04:13 AM

GT 240 or 430 are good, but GT 430 has DX11 and is tiny, low profile, almost as powerful as a GT 240 or a 5570. Go with malmental's advice.
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February 5, 2011 5:35:12 PM

Best answer selected by seg.
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February 5, 2011 6:18:00 PM

+1 Malmental
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a c 271 U Graphics card
February 5, 2011 6:22:38 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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