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Safe to run card needing 350 watts w/ 375 watt supply?

I have a Dell Dimension 9200, and have been running an Nvidia GeForce 8600 GTS, which wants 300 watts, and my power supply is 375 watts.

About the smallest (and cheapest) card on the Nvidia website now (GeForce 8400 GS) requires a 350 watt power supply, almost all of my 375 watts.

This seems awfully close to the system's maximum, and I worry about hurting my computer, I need it to last. Is this safe or risky?

Thanks very much,
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  1. According to Nvidia, the 8400 GS draws a max of 71W. The 350W PSU recommendation would be for the entire PC, not just the Vid card.
  2. Best answer
    It is safe, it will not use 350 watts, that's for sure.

    But do not get the 8400 GS!!! (it is a very weak and obsolete card)
  3. A power supply will always have a over voltage ptotection or over power protection and if you excede the power limit it will shut down , I guess as soon as you can get a bigger power supply. You should be able to tell if the power supply is unable to keep up if you have any unexpected shutdowns.
  4. Wow, thanks everyone!

    I knew you can swap power supplies in a home brew but was afraid to mess with the Dell, it might be designed to need that supply. Glad to hear I can upgrade it without hurting anything! I have put 8 gigs in the supposedly 4 gig max machine and it does pretty well.

    As to not getting the 8400 GS, I know it's limited, but anything better wants even more power, more than my current PS has to offer. So I didn't think I could go there. I need a solution tomorrow, are you guys sure it's OK to go with larger PS? If so I'll go down to the local shop and get both PS and graphics card.

    Do I really need more than the 8400 GS? I don't game, or do anything demanding. I just run my 26 inch Samsung Syncmaster, 1920x1200, for office stuff, internet, programming.

    Thanks again, I appreciate your help.
  5. GreenDutchAlien said:

    If you wanted to push it, you could run an overclocked GTX460 on a Dell 375
  6. Yep, dell psu's are very good. According to Malmental a 375 dell is about 425 in real life. The 460 would only be overkill in this case, because he's not playing games, but a better one than the 8400 is recommendeble imo.
  7. A Dell PS rated at 375W is not 425 in real life. If presented with a 425 W load it will shut down. PS ratings are accurate.
  8. Quote:

    long time amigo, doin' well I hope.?

    Not bad Mal, yesterday ended up being a long day.
  9. Thanks again everyone for all your help. I ended up going down to the local shop (the only good one in town) and they sold me an ASUS 5450 Silent for about as much as a new power supply would cost. It has not fan so is silent! I also wondered if a bigger power supply would require a noisier fan, so this seems to be a good option and it's working well so far....

  10. Best answer selected by river251.
  11. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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