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Upgrading to a dedicated graphics card

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August 11, 2011 4:22:16 AM

I just bought a new desktop and was wondering about upgrading the graphics card.
My computer is an AMD phenom quad core 960T Processor with 8Gb of RAM.
My current graphics card is an ATI Radeon HD 4200 and I'm using 1600x900 resolution.
I'm only looking to spend around $100, and I'd like to be able to play BF:BC2, MW2, and maybe BF3 after it comes out.
I've been looking on newegg.com and here is basically what I've narrowed my search down to:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|14-121-397^14-121-397-TS%2C14-150-540^14-150-540-TS%2C14-102-873^14-102-873-TS%2C14-500-194^14-500-194-TS%2C14-130-663^14-130-663-TS

Which would you recommend that I get? or if not, what would you recommend?(keep in mind $100 or so price range)
Thanks
a b U Graphics card
August 11, 2011 4:59:45 AM

I personally like the 6770, so +1 to that card.

The GTS450 is slightly slower, but is enough to make a difference (if I recall correctly), so the 6770 is the better buy IMO.

Cheers!
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a b U Graphics card
August 11, 2011 8:00:41 AM

If you can, I would go for the GTX 460 for around $120 after MIR. It has better performance than the 5770/6770 but it is more power hungry. Otherwise get what Yuka suggested. The 5770/6770 is like the best budget gaming card :) 
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August 11, 2011 9:06:16 AM

+1 wintermint

If however, you can hold off for few months, the prices of current generation of AMD / nVidia card are bound to come down with the launch of their new generation cards later in the year, which may enable you to get a better bargain.
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August 11, 2011 11:45:35 AM

Considering the next gen is most likely not out for sale for at least another 5 months, with that reasoning you would always hold off buying anything because you are always gonna wait for a price drop. If it was a matter of one, maybe two months, sure. But it's still too soon to wait for it.
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a c 104 U Graphics card
August 11, 2011 11:51:42 AM

Go for the 460 ( if your PSU is up to it ) it's a lot better than the other ones, certainly worth the extra 20, i think you will be dissapointed setteling for the cheaper models.
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a b U Graphics card
August 11, 2011 12:51:51 PM

Priority Wise, Get The 460.. Its A Lot Better Than The Other Two!
However If You Are Tight On The 100$ Budget, Then Get The 6770/5770 Because Its An Amazing Card For Its Price As Well!
Dx11 And Great Performance At 1600x900 Too!
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August 11, 2011 3:03:29 PM

wintermint said:
If you can, I would go for the GTX 460 for around $120 after MIR. It has better performance than the 5770/6770 but it is more power hungry. Otherwise get what Yuka suggested. The 5770/6770 is like the best budget gaming card :) 


Thanks for all the responses!
About the power, would I need to make any adjustments to accomodate the GTX 460? I saw something about 450 W and something about 2x6pin power connector?
my setup is an HP p7-1020, actually exactly this:
http://www.staples.com/HP-Pavilion-p7-1020-Desktop-PC/p...
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a c 104 U Graphics card
August 11, 2011 3:20:00 PM

Pizzamaker5559 said:
Thanks for all the responses!
About the power, would I need to make any adjustments to accomodate the GTX 460? I saw something about 450 W and something about 2x6pin power connector?
my setup is an HP p7-1020, actually exactly this:
http://www.staples.com/HP-Pavilion-p7-1020-Desktop-PC/p...


I can't seem to find out what your PSU is. You can see for yourselff when you open the case. You need about 500 W ( 450 will do if it's a good brand ) and you can see if the extra power connectors ( 2x6 indeed ) are available.
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August 11, 2011 9:29:57 PM

Here is what I have available:
1 PCI Express x16 (available); 3 PCI Express x1 (three available)
Would that help?
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a b U Graphics card
August 11, 2011 10:11:27 PM

Lately HP's page is getting harder and harder to look at >_>'

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c02...

There it says you have a 250W PSU... That's not enough even for the 6770.

For a 100 you won't be able to get a new PSU for a video card that requires it, so you either up the limit or settle for a 6670 or lower performance card 8(

Cheers!
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a c 104 U Graphics card
August 11, 2011 10:21:59 PM

Yuka said:
Lately HP's page is getting harder and harder to look at >_>'

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c02...

There it says you have a 250W PSU... That's not enough even for the 6770.

For a 100 you won't be able to get a new PSU for a video card that requires it, so you either up the limit or settle for a 6670 or lower performance card 8(

Cheers!

Didn't have me glases on then or something, now i did find it in just a sec. . . . :whistle: 
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a b U Graphics card
August 11, 2011 10:32:31 PM

That PSU will not support any decent video card.

This THG review of your integrated graphics shows what performance you might expect - assuming no other components are limiting its performance:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-785g-chipset,23...

For more information about considering systems limitations - and in general about video card upgrades, you might want to look at this site:

http://www.upgradevideocards.com/criteria.html

For an inexpensive PSU upgrade that will allow you to get good video cards, consider this:

CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - $50 after rebate

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Is it too late to take your computer back and find one with a larger PSU?



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August 12, 2011 2:02:04 PM

ok, thanks for the info.
Assuming I upgrade my budget to $175, would the power supply and the GTX460 be all that I need? What would I do about the 1 PCI Express x16 (available); 3 PCI Express x1 (three available)? What about the 2x6 pin? Would it fit, or would I need to get cables? Sorry... I'm more of a software guy...
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a b U Graphics card
August 12, 2011 3:17:23 PM

You need 1 slot that supports PCIe 16x, but usually the GTX460 is a dual slot design (space wise, not connector wise), so if you have something sitting beside the PCIe slot, it might not fit or the fan could be blocked out.

The PSU will give you new cables, so forget about your current ones :p 

Cheers!
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a b U Graphics card
August 13, 2011 9:38:00 PM

Budget PSU I recommend all the time:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That will be plenty for the GTX460 and the rest of your system for a long time. And that MSI shouldn't use regular 4 pin molex'es. It should use 2x 6pin connectors or 1x 8pin and 1x 6pin. If it does, then the Antec won't have any problem at all anyway.

And no, an AMD processor, chipset or integrated video card won't cripple your GTX460's performance intentionally. If they do, they could be charged for unfair business practices.

Cheers!
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a b U Graphics card
August 14, 2011 1:35:59 AM

Pzza - the PSU you listed is not very good quality - probably the reason for its low price. And the while Antec is a good brand, the 380w listed by Yuka is really to small for the GTX 460 - and if you ever want to upgrade to a faster card you are back to needing to upgrade the PSU again.

PSUs are one place you DON'T want to go cheap. Remember all the components in your system are dependent on it. Moreover, it goes beyond power as we normally think of it for equipment. In a PC, the power, broken down into very fine, minute amounts, is the lifeblood and neurons of the system, carrying millions of bits of data and driving hundreds of thousands of almost simultaneous calculations. You need good, clean power to make it all work. And a PSU that delivers it constantly, hour after hour, day after day, .... year after year. Billions and billions of calculations dependent on clean power.

Your best option is the Corsair 500w unit I linked above for $50.
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a b U Graphics card
August 14, 2011 2:48:25 AM

rockyjohn said:
Pzza - the PSU you listed is not very good quality - probably the reason for its low price. And the while Antec is a good brand, the 380w listed by Yuka is really to small for the GTX 460 - and if you ever want to upgrade to a faster card you are back to needing to upgrade the PSU again.

PSUs are one place you DON'T want to go cheap. Remember all the components in your system are dependent on it. Moreover, it goes beyond power as we normally think of it for equipment. In a PC, the power, broken down into very fine, minute amounts, is the lifeblood and neurons of the system, carrying millions of bits of data and driving hundreds of thousands of almost simultaneous calculations. You need good, clean power to make it all work. And a PSU that delivers it constantly, hour after hour, day after day, .... year after year. Billions and billions of calculations dependent on clean power.

Your best option is the Corsair 500w unit I linked above for $50.


Nope, the Antec is good enough to drive the GTX460. From the specs:

Antec 380W: +3.3V@20A, +5V@20A, +12V1@17A, +12V2@15A, -12V@0.8A, +5VSB@2.5A

Corsair 500W: +3.3V@25A, +5V@20A, +12V@34A, -12V@0.8A, +5VSB@3.0A

Combined 12V is 32A for the Antec and 34A for the Corsair (24 watts of power). The only thing he'll be missing is more PCIe and CPU power; 5A to be more exact. I'm betting that he won't OC or use more than 2 PCIe slots. Both of them have PFC and Over Power protection, the only thing the Corsair has is a better certification.

Cheers!
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August 14, 2011 3:02:05 AM

If u Dont Have Much Budget than go For Antec EA 500 I Am using It with 6790 and It Works fine In my country PSU coasted me 43$ close ur eyes and go for it i m using it on ma second pc with i7 860 + dual card 6790+9500gt(for physicx :D )and it works Awesome.. in ma first PC i HAve ANTec VP450P(40$) and Using i3 with EVGA GTS450 and still room to spare buy any PSU among Both and Both Are Best 4 u..///

For the Card I Bought Both Card After Alot Reserch on One PC i must USE GPU with Phycx so i bought gts450 on second i got dedicated physx so any ATI is good i bought 6790 the best value card in market right now...

let me know if u need any further help :) 
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a b U Graphics card
August 14, 2011 6:21:46 AM

Yuka - you cannot simply add the two legs of the Antec 12v rails together and assume the PSU can provide all that power. The 32a you then say they provide times 12v = 384w. So you are saying this 360w PSU can provide 384w just to the 12v rails. First that is very unlikely - or they would call it a 384w (at least) PSU. Second, the power going to the 12v rails has to be reduced by power going to the 3.3 and 5v rails.

What the Corsair has in addition to the certification is 140w or almost 40% more power.

I agree the Antec EA 500 is a better PSU (I have one in my low end system) - but at newegg it currently cost $70 or $20 more than the Corsair I listed. Given Pizza's trying to keep the budget down, I did not think he wanted to go to $70.
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a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2011 2:00:09 AM

rockyjohn said:
Yuka - you cannot simply add the two legs of the Antec 12v rails together and assume the PSU can provide all that power. The 32a you then say they provide times 12v = 384w. So you are saying this 360w PSU can provide 384w just to the 12v rails. First that is very unlikely - or they would call it a 384w (at least) PSU. Second, the power going to the 12v rails has to be reduced by power going to the 3.3 and 5v rails.

What the Corsair has in addition to the certification is 140w or almost 40% more power.

I agree the Antec EA 500 is a better PSU (I have one in my low end system) - but at newegg it currently cost $70 or $20 more than the Corsair I listed. Given Pizza's trying to keep the budget down, I did not think he wanted to go to $70.


Uhm... Actually, it's not about adding the rails together, but just read at the power it can give per rail. A single GTX460 uses 2x 6pin power connectors; the 6pin are rated for 75W each, so the GTX460 should draw around 150W. That divided by 12V is 12.5A and per 6pin is 6.25A. The Antec 380 has on 1 of it's rails 17A and the other is 15A. Either one tan handle a single GTX460 with Amps to spare on HDDs or even DVDRWs (which need like 2A if I recall correctly). Besides, I don't recall that PSU's have shared rails between the 3.3v, 5v and 12v rails; are you totally sure about that one?

Cheers!
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August 15, 2011 2:03:46 AM

Another question... kinda random, but since we're on the topic of PSU's...
Would I have to disconnect everything from my old PSU and connect it to the new one or could I just run the graphics card off the new one and leave the rest of the wires connected to the old one...
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a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2011 4:13:56 AM

Everything will be using the new one. Your current PSU manages every power device, and since you're changing it, it changes everything (power cables wise).

Now... There are "auxiliary" PSU's out there, but don't know much about them. And by auxiliary, I mean that they will provide extra juice for the video cards and don't know what else, but don't replace your current PSU. I have the impression they're more of a hassle than anything else, but that's me :p 

Cheers!
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a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2011 5:28:04 AM

Yuka said:
Uhm... Actually, it's not about adding the rails together, but just read at the power it can give per rail. A single GTX460 uses 2x 6pin power connectors; the 6pin are rated for 75W each, so the GTX460 should draw around 150W. That divided by 12V is 12.5A and per 6pin is 6.25A. The Antec 380 has on 1 of it's rails 17A and the other is 15A. Either one tan handle a single GTX460 with Amps to spare on HDDs or even DVDRWs (which need like 2A if I recall correctly). Besides, I don't recall that PSU's have shared rails between the 3.3v, 5v and 12v rails; are you totally sure about that one?!


You are missing the point. The rate the manufactureres' state for each leg is the maximum that leg can deliver - but that total is not necessarily available when other legs are also drawing power. As a minimum, the total power available to all legs cannot exceed the rated capacity of the PSU. So for the Antec 380 cannot deliver 17a one one leg and 15a on another 12v leg when other components are also using 3.3 and 5v power. Total of all legs cannot exceed 380w.

And the video card power connectors are not the only devices using 12v power - the CPU uses 12v power and the mobo delivers power up to 75w to the video card in addition to what is provided by the power connectors.

Here is the 30 page review of a roundup of GTX cards. This is one of the morst reputable sites on the internet on the subject of video cards and power requirements (they also review power supplies). It shows that most total benchmark systems, running those various cards, operated at a peak load of 300w and based on that they recommended a minimum power supply of 450w to 500w :

http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-460-review/13
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a b U Graphics card
August 16, 2011 3:02:35 PM

Is that link intended to be relevant to the discussion or prove some point? If so I don't understand how. Please explain.
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a b U Graphics card
August 16, 2011 3:39:06 PM

It explains how the dual 12V rails work and counters what you said about the Antec not being able to deliver for the GTX460. That's all.

But you were right about the shared 3.3V and 5V rails. 12V rails are another story though.

An interesting off topic though, but sorry for the thread jacking, Pizzamaker :p 

Cheers!
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a b U Graphics card
August 18, 2011 2:27:48 PM

First, I never said that the 380w PSU could not deliver the power required for the GTX 460. The article I linked showed that it did have enough power, but that the peak load was too close to the maximum capacity of the PSU and planning to run that close is not good - which is why the article recommened a minimum PSU of 450w to 500w.

What do you mean by 12v rails are another story? The article discusses 12v rails but does not get into discussing 3.3v and 5v rails, nor load sharing between them and the 12v rail. The article is about one rail vs. two rails and does not directly address load sharing between all the rails. It does say however:

"To summarize: The only reason why any power supply is limited to certain graphics cards is simply the total power output of the power supply, "

Exactly the point I have been making. Also note that their statement does not mean the PSU can provide the graphics cards with all its power when some is being used by the 3.3v and 5v legs. It should be obvious that "total" means "total".

And this is not off topic since we are discussing the power requirement needs of Pizzamaker.




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a b U Graphics card
August 18, 2011 3:38:32 PM

rockyjohn said:
First, I never said that the 380w PSU could not deliver the power required for the GTX 460. The article I linked showed that it did have enough power, but that the peak load was too close to the maximum capacity of the PSU and planning to run that close is not good - which is why the article recommened a minimum PSU of 450w to 500w.

What do you mean by 12v rails are another story? The article discusses 12v rails but does not get into discussing 3.3v and 5v rails, nor load sharing between them and the 12v rail. The article is about one rail vs. two rails and does not directly address load sharing between all the rails. It does say however:

"To summarize: The only reason why any power supply is limited to certain graphics cards is simply the total power output of the power supply, "

Exactly the point I have been making. Also note that their statement does not mean the PSU can provide the graphics cards with all its power when some is being used by the 3.3v and 5v legs. It should be obvious that "total" means "total".

And this is not off topic since we are discussing the power requirement needs of Pizzamaker.


Oh, the 3.3V and 5V shared power was from Wikipedia... It's about ATX 2.x specs, manufacturers and all that jazz :p 

But oh well, if your point was about "being too close", then yes, you might be right. But like you also said, it would not be enough if he would like to do things that could reach the max out put of the PSU (like OC, put a lot of HDDs, put a more powerful CPU -> more TDP, etc), which I doubt he'll be wanting to do with his HP. That's the OP to answer though.

I'll grant you the point anyway. If you have the money (Pizzamaker) for the CM 500W, then go for it. It's always good to have room, I won't ever deny that, otherwise, I'm 100% sure the Antec will deliver what you need.

Cheers!
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August 18, 2011 10:16:56 PM

Ok, would you recommend OC? If so, how do you do that? If not, why not?
Just trying to inform myself and since I see we have a couple of differing opinions, I can profit from the conversation...
All this is stuff I've heard about, but never had the equipment to do it.
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a b U Graphics card
August 19, 2011 5:08:49 AM

It's a Phenom II 960T, that's 125W TDP at 3Ghz. Uhm... If you want to try doing some OC, then forget the Antec, lol. Weird thing is, the HP page states in it's CPU upgrade info: "Max TDP: 95W", WTF XD

Oh well, the OC on your MoBo will depend on it's options. Since it's an HP MoBo, I'd say you'll be very limited inside the BIOS. You could start by taking a look (not chaging stufff yet) in there (the BIOS). When it's booting up, press DEL or the button it tells you to hit "to enter the BIOS menu" or some message like that.

On a side note, I'd say you're good with the stock clocks for now. Once BF3 pops we'll have more info at hand to see if you really need some extra juice, but to do OC, remember to get the CM 500W or better. At those clocks, a 6870 or a GTX460 should be able to stretch their legs close to full and make the "bottleneck" a non-issue.

Cheers!
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a b U Graphics card
August 19, 2011 6:01:26 AM

Yuka said:
Oh, the 3.3V and 5V shared power was from Wikipedia... It's about ATX 2.x specs, manufacturers and all that jazz


I have no idea what that means. If you are refering to the source of my information for the cited post, that was not my source, It just basic knowledge that the power usage should not exceed the rated power capacity of the PSU and that if one leg is using part of it that part is not available to another leg even if the leg is rated to carry a higher load. Its just like many PSUs have maximum power ratings for the individual 3.3v and 5v legs and another wattage rating for the two of them combined which is less than the sume of the two, meaning you cannot operate both at their stated independend maximmums. Many PSUs with multiple 12v legs, including some higher powered Antec PSUs, have a limit for the total 12v usage that is less than the sum of the individual 12v legs, so you cannot always operate all of them at capacity at the same time. These are just generic issues in the way PSUs are made and are not specific to any specs. Wikipedia might have said the same thing, I don't know. My source is just general reading about power supplies - in reviews and other forum posts.

Yuka said:
But oh well, if your point was about "being too close" then...


That was one point but the other was about looking at all the limits affecting PSU power allocating between legs, as again explained in the note above, not just assuming you could add the wattage capacity of multiple 12v lanes together and assuming the PSU would have enough power to deliver it.
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August 19, 2011 2:47:30 PM

HELP ME CHOOSE GPU!!!
I have HP m8200n
Chipset:NVIDIA GeForce 6150SE nForce 430
Proc:Athlon 64 X2 3.00ghz 6000+ dual core
4gb DDR2 RAM
Also supports PCI Express x16 graphics cards
300WATT Lite-On PSU
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a b U Graphics card
August 19, 2011 7:56:53 PM

Radeon 6770 or GTS450. Around those will be a great upgrade for you.

Maybe that PSU won't be able to power them, so you should also spare some money for a new PSU.

Cheers!
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August 20, 2011 12:26:12 AM

Yuka said:
Radeon 6770 or GTS450. Around those will be a great upgrade for you.

Maybe that PSU won't be able to power them, so you should also spare some money for a new PSU.

Cheers!

I was thinking about about HD6670 due to my low PSU.
What do you say?
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a b U Graphics card
August 20, 2011 9:47:14 PM

Not a bad call at all IMO, but if you're going to be playing at more than 1680x1050 res, you'll have to turn down quality settings a little in some games. It's a great card, but try to the the GDDR5 version, not the DDR3 one.

Cheers!
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a b U Graphics card
August 21, 2011 6:21:12 PM

Haseebkan - you are in the same grey area as the OP. The JohnnyGuru review of the HD 6670 on the benchmark system showed peak power consumption of 242w and he went on to agree with the manufactueres recommendation of a minumum 450w PSU in the average system.

http://www.guru3d.com/article/his-radeon-6770-iceqx-tur...

Lite-on is a recognized brand in many things like optical drives, but not so much in PSUs. What is the make and model of your PSU? Again, in addition to the overall quality of the PSU, an issue is the power provided to the 12v circuit.
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a b U Graphics card
August 27, 2011 4:19:04 PM

That is a great price on the GTX 460 but I would not recommend that particular brand. See this previous THG thread:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/303221-33-evga

Here’s a roundup of 9 GTX 460 cards – but the PNY is not included – and it was not in two other other roundups from other reviewers – which might say something:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-460-rou...

Also see this site for recommend video card brands

http://www.upgradevideocards.com/brands.html

I would recommend this power supply over the ones you listed - for about the same price:

Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-620 620W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC - $50 AR with free shipping

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also you can find a promotional code to get $10 off your first order of $50 or more from newegg at this site - see upper left:

http://www.upgradevideocards.com/index.html

Note that it expires 8/31.
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August 28, 2011 7:23:19 AM

Best answer selected by Pizzamaker5559.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
August 28, 2011 1:48:13 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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