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Dell XPS 8100 and 6870 GPU

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November 30, 2011 6:32:15 PM

Hello Everyone,

I was researching about graphics cards and computers lately and found this AMAZING site! I'm new here and i hope i post this in the correct place.

I recently got a Dell XPS Studio 8100 for free :D  but I want to make it a better gaming machine. I have 2 monitors plugged into it and want dual DVI.

The current setup:
i7 860 2.8ghz
6gb Ram
ati radeon HD 5450
Stock PSU I believe 350W
Monitors: B233HU with resolution 2048 X 1152 (it doesn't need to be this high but it's awesome!)

I just recently bought an XFX AMD Radeon HD 6870 900M 1 GB DDR5 DUAL MINIDP HDMI DUAL DVI PCI-E Video Card
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005C31F2M

and now my idiotic self just thought about whether or not my computer would be able to handle it. is the PSU strong enough or should i upgrade it? if so, wants a decently priced PSU under 150 (amazon is having awesome deals for cyber monday week).

It should reach today, should i try testing it or should i not since it may screw somehting up. Also, does the card get hot? will i need to look into better cooling options?

your help is appreciated, as I'm new to hardware and would love to learn without frying something hahaha.

More about : dell xps 8100 6870 gpu

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November 30, 2011 7:18:13 PM

You definitely need a new PSU, 350 Watts isn't enough for a 6870, that card will use up to 168 Watts on its own, not leaving much for the rest of your system. Something in the 500 Watt range would do fine with that card. Some good brands include Antec, Seasonic, Corsair, XFX, all of those should definitely have a 500 Watt unit available for less than $150.

I would watch the temperatures on the card, the stock Dell case probably doesn't have great airflow. You can use MSI Afterburner to set custom fan profiles to really crank up the GPU fan when the card gets hot, the default fan profile video cards ship with is sometimes inadequate. As long as your 100% load temperatures don't exceed 80 to 85 degrees celsius, you're fine, though running the card cooler than that will extend its lifespan. If the temps get too high, you may have to consider a new case or do some serious modding on the Dell case. If you do need to go for a new case, just hope Dell decided to be nice and actually follow ATX standards with their motherboards and PSUs. OEMs are known for using all sorts of proprietary solutions to prevent people from making too many modifications.
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November 30, 2011 7:31:56 PM

Yea thats what I was thinking... plus I have 2 HD's in it which uses up even more power. The only reason i thought to ask is because i've read in this forum in other threads that people say that Dell underrates their PSU's for a 350W dell would really be about 400-415W but i wasn't sure how accurate that information was. and the main question in my mind is how do you figure out how much power your computer really uses (cpu, Mobo, HD, etc) or do people just really take an educated guess.

What happens if i try it with out upgrading the PSU, could something fry? or would it just not work?
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November 30, 2011 7:36:32 PM

Also, i'm just looking for an ATX PSU correct? nothing special?
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November 30, 2011 7:41:34 PM

A standard ATX form factor power supply should work unless Dell has done something proprietary with the PSU for that particular computer. I wouldn't try the 6870 with your current PSU, at best your computer will shut down when it demands more power than the PSU can deliver, at worst you may damage components.
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November 30, 2011 7:45:59 PM

oh those aren't form factors, I have no idea what form factor means but i'll check it out
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November 30, 2011 7:49:15 PM

Don't worry too much about form factor, most PSUs, including the Antecs you listed are ATX. Assuming the Dell PSU is similar to those, you will be fine. There are microATX PSUs out there, but those are for slimline cases.

Of the two you linked to they're both the same, but one seller listed SATA and PCI-E connectors in the product title, both will have these connectors, SATA and PCI-E connectors have been standard features on any decent power supply for a long time. So go for whichever one is cheaper, it's the same product.
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December 7, 2011 12:09:04 AM

Best answer selected by shahaan.
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