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Video Card min. specs for power supply

Tags:
  • Graphics Cards
  • Power Supplies
  • Power Consumption
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics Cards
February 6, 2012 4:42:39 PM

I'm looking at buying a used system for my nieces/nephews since theirs just died. Right now, looking at a nice DELL GX745 SFF which has a 275w power supply (which can not be replaced by a regular after market unit).

Question is... looking at low rise single slot video card upgrades around $35, I see that cards like the Radeon HD5450 requires a min. of a 400w power supply, but, when I research the card's benchmark tests I see that it's max power consumption is only 19w.

So... when looking at video cards... do I look at min. required specs? or the actual power consumption?

Otherwise, with a 275w power supply I don't think they make a PCIe video card that low in specs that can be considered an upgrade.

More about : video card min specs power supply

a b U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
February 6, 2012 5:10:41 PM

Well try going to a Power Supply calculator. and find out how much the computer auctually uses. but i am more than sure. if the card is only 19w. the power supply can handle it. your drives are gonna nly use maybe 10W each. the mobo is one of your main consumptions. and then the CPU. Now the PSU is only made to simply power the computer. so you must check your headroom. but 275w is dangerous but ok in situtations
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February 6, 2012 5:15:17 PM

Ah forgot to add that... I tried Newegg's wattage calculator, and with the processor, ram, based on the above mentioned card etc... 248w. Which gives a 27w gap in case the DELL specs are a bit off.

It's a shame places like DELL make such underpowered systems. They have slots for expansion like the PCIe... but really limit you on what you can do with it.

More annoying is that I have a 450w power supply, new, in box... sitting on a shelf. :S
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a c 131 U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
February 6, 2012 5:19:36 PM

just wait you wil find another system that the psu you got will fit in
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a b U Graphics card
February 6, 2012 5:21:18 PM

You should account for capacitor aging as well if you have had it for a couple of years because the amount of usable power goes down every year.
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a b U Graphics card
February 6, 2012 5:23:55 PM

THRobinson said:
Ah forgot to add that... I tried Newegg's wattage calculator, and with the processor, ram, based on the above mentioned card etc... 248w. Which gives a 27w gap in case the DELL specs are a bit off.

With a gap that narrow, you're going to be potentially putting a lot of stress on your PSU. I wouldn't be surprised if you blew it out in less than a year. It's kind of like redlining your engine every time you get in your car. Sure, it can handle it at first, but you'll eventually kill it.

Quote:
It's a shame places like DELL make such underpowered systems. They have slots for expansion like the PCIe... but really limit you on what you can do with it.

Unfortunately, this is very much intentional. Hampering the user in their upgrade options means they're more likely to go to the first party source for upgrades. Upgrades have HUGE margins. I've seen $500 memory upgrades that might cost another $20 over the standard part.

You might be able to beat them, though. I don't know anything about Dell parts, but you can usually buy parts that will work if you look around a bit. Frequently they're exactly the same part, down to the model number. With some luck you can find a Dell PSU that will work in your system, but provides enough juice for your upgrades without the threat of a burnout in six months.
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February 6, 2012 5:33:29 PM

Hmm, may have to keep looking... flat out avoiding home made systems since their last one was a disaster, which is why I was focused on systems like DELL, HP, IBM etc... manufactured, tested, and within budget.

Else I'd just build one. Always built my own without problems, but... jumps from being a $130 used system to considerably more.
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a c 131 U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
February 6, 2012 5:38:58 PM

if you got a full tower from dell same model or the dimension series not the slim case then you could change psu they are higher power rated
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February 6, 2012 5:51:44 PM

Ya... but... then the budget jumps up. :) 

Looking at it now though, emailed Athena Power, looks like a 400w PSU compatible with DELL systems but of course they never list which ones.

The tower DELL 745 PSU is 305w, not a huge jump but may be enough for such a small card. Was more interested in the SFF simply because a local one for sale had an upgraded 750GB drive and 3GB ram, vs what most systems have, the 1GB ram and 80GB drive, sometimes 250GB.

Smaller city so... limits what's for sale locally on Kijiji / Craig's List sadly.

The old system's HDD finally grinded to a hault Saturday. Replaced the DVD burner a month ago, few months after they got it the USB controller died so had to buy a PCI card for USB... system is only a 3Ghz P4 and loud to boot so, rather $150 on a newer system than $70 on a HDD.

Been passively looking for a system knowing the drive would die soon, but not that soon. Kinda stuck with budget, time and what's available. But I know looking ahead, a decent video card would be wanted.
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a b U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
February 6, 2012 5:59:09 PM

what's the budget?

the GX745 is powered exactly right- those are Business class optiplex machines. They are not designed for upgrades. And when you're a company deploying 1000 of them, that power consumption makes a difference to the bottom line. That's why they are the way they are.

If we knew how much your budget was, I'd bet some people have an old machine they'd be willing to sell at that price.
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February 6, 2012 6:05:50 PM

Well, looking about $150... lot's of systems around that price but, bit of a drive. Not really a deal is blowing $50 on gas. :) 

Been seeing many DELL 620/745's in that range and the odd IBM. Of course, no one ever posts the model numbers so, lots of emails sent asking if still for sale and model.

Hoping at least a Dual Core 3Ghz, 2GB ram, 250GB drive to make it a worthwhile upgrade.

Waiting to hear back for a model number on a DELL Core2Duo 2.8, and an IBM Dual Core 3.4... both towers. Leaning towards the Core2Duo.

Hoped a desktop to save space but... right now, just want a solid working computer since the last one gave so many headaches... and since they live 2h away... was a HUGE pain to have to drive out for tech support. :) 

EDIT: Oh yes, upgrades... eventually a total 4GB ram, and a 1GB DirectX11 video card. Not a gaming system, but, likely the boys will play a few games set to MEDIUM for quality.
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February 6, 2012 7:22:53 PM

Well... Core2Duo is a Dell 745, with a 305w power supply and a 256MB video card which I looked up and specs show 400w supply recommended so, figured it's working. Guy also dropped the cost to $110 so... can put some of the budget towards increasing the 1GB ram to 3GB.
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a c 244 ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
February 6, 2012 8:25:30 PM

THRobinson said:
Ah forgot to add that... I tried Newegg's wattage calculator, and with the processor, ram, based on the above mentioned card etc... 248w. Which gives a 27w gap in case the DELL specs are a bit off.

It's a shame places like DELL make such underpowered systems. They have slots for expansion like the PCIe... but really limit you on what you can do with it.

More annoying is that I have a 450w power supply, new, in box... sitting on a shelf. :S

Biggest problem when upgrading one of the D/T or SFF systems is the lack of understanding of power reccomendations versus power consumption.
The PSU wattage calculator does not calculate power consumption
Got a GX620 plugged into the Killawatt at the moment
Pentium D 3.2
3 Gb RAM ( 4 sticks )
Radeon X600
280 watt

Draws 136 watts from the wall running the Furmark benchmark ( less than half of the psu's rated DC capacity, and efficiency hasn't been factored in )
Wouldn't be a problem to put a 5450 in the X600's place on either the GX620 or 745 SFF ( Yea, got one of those here also )
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February 11, 2012 10:16:31 PM

Just to close the discussion...

I bought a Dell 745 Mid-tower with a 305w power supply.

Added a total of 3GB ram (2x512MB + 1x2GB) and an ATI HD5450 1GB low profile card from ASUS and the system is running perfectly. :) 
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a b U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
February 11, 2012 10:51:32 PM

Well just to add in, I had ran an HD 4550 (25w TDP) on a Dell 250w PSU with a Core 2 Quad for 2 years. AMD's recommendations are high so people don't blow up their computers using a power hungry GPU on a crappy $10 PSU.
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February 11, 2012 11:10:51 PM

Best answer selected by THRobinson.
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a c 332 U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
February 11, 2012 11:43:04 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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