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Upgrading GPU

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August 15, 2012 4:31:10 AM

Is it safe to upgrade my GPU from a 8800GT to a GTX 550 Ti? My system specs are these: 400w PSU, 8800GT, Quad core AMD Phenom @ 2.3GHz each, 8GB RAM, MCP61PM-GM motherboard, X-Fi Titanium Sound card. Which part of my PC will bottleneck the GTX if I can even support it? Will the 400w PSU just barely be enough to power everything?

More about : upgrading gpu

a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2012 4:38:21 AM

What is the model of your PSU? If it is from a QUALITY brand, your PC should be able to handle the card without any major bottlenecking.
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August 15, 2012 4:43:04 AM

mocchan said:
What is the model of your PSU? If it is from a QUALITY brand, your PC should be able to handle the card without any major bottlenecking.


Im not exactly sure. Its the stock PSU from a Late 2007 Gateway FX7020. http://support.gateway.com/s/PC/R/1015005R/1015005Rcl4.... that's everything about the system aside from the couple upgrades. (plus 4GB RAM and X-Fi Sound card)
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a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2012 4:48:23 AM

What do you mean by max?
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August 15, 2012 4:50:18 AM

mocchan said:
What do you mean by max?

Sorry im new to upgrading/building PCs. Is their a max limit mainboards can handle with power? Could I hook up a 900W PSU to ANY mainboard?
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a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2012 4:55:10 AM

No worries :)  I just wanted you to clarify.

There is no limitation to PSU wattage for your system. However, you may want to consider a few things -

1) Price of some higher wattage PSU's

2) The efficiency of the PSU's as most PSU's perform best when they are at 50%-60% load.

Also, a PSU will only deliver as much power as your computer needs, so if you get a 900w PSU, it won't be pumping out 900w of electricity into your components :) 
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Anonymous
a c 117 U Graphics card
August 15, 2012 4:57:20 AM

that 550ti will use about the same amount of watts than the 8800GT.

you're good to go.
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August 15, 2012 4:59:13 AM

mocchan said:
No worries :)  I just wanted you to clarify.

There is no limitation to PSU wattage for your system. However, you may want to consider a few things -

1) Price of some higher wattage PSU's

2) The efficiency of the PSU's as most PSU's perform best when they are at 50%-60% load.

Also, a PSU will only deliver as much power as your computer needs, so if you get a 900w PSU, it won't be pumping out 900w of electricity into your components :) 

Ok thank you :)  Im on a 250$ budget. what PSU would be a nice upgrade from my current to support a GTX 550 Ti as well as probable motherboard/CPU upgrade in the future?
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August 15, 2012 4:59:18 AM

Anonymous said:
that 550ti will use the same amount of watts or even slightly less than the 8800GT.

you're good to go.

I was looking at power consumption of the 8800GT and GTX 550 Ti and the GTX actually consumes around 30 more Watts then 8800GT I believe. If it tries to pull more power from the PSU then the PSU can actually supply, will it damage the GTX or severely bottleneck it?
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Anonymous
a c 117 U Graphics card
August 15, 2012 5:01:48 AM

PlanetaryPenguin321 said:
I was looking at power consumption of the 8800GT and GTX 550 Ti and the GTX actually consumes around 30 more Watts then 8800GT I believe. If it tries to pull more power from the PSU then the PSU can actually supply, will it damage the GTX or severely bottleneck it?

i rephrased that, i looked at the gtx first.

the gt is105 watts and the 550ti tops out at 110 watts, so 5 watts more. the psu will most likely not have a problem.

but you do not need anything like 900 watts. a 500 to 550 is enough for any single card.
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a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2012 5:05:35 AM

^ Power consumption aside, I'm more concerned that OP is using a generic OEM PSU. I can NEVER trust them.
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a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2012 5:05:54 AM

Hey man,
You REALLy need a new PSU, and even though your system probably doesnt need this kinda power, its always better to get a stronger PSU.
Ideally, I'd recommend a Seasonic PSU , but even Corsair is great, and this seems brilliant for price. Seasonic is basically OEM Corsair
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
And a 550ti isnt really money/performance, an HD6770 comes close to it, if youre ready to shell out maybe 30-40$ more, you can get a BEAST, namely, the HD6870.
Again, i wouldnt really recommend last generation cards, but man this ones a BEAST.
If you dont want to get this, another VERY viable option is the HD7770( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ), same price as 550ti. Plus the TDP of a 550ti is 116W, while that of a 7770 is 80W. And i think, you JUST MAY be able to pull this card off with your PSU, but DEFINITELY upgrade in the future.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/536?vs=541
You can also see the HD6870 vs 550ti
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/540?vs=541
And 7770 vs 6870
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/540?vs=536
So my final recommendation - the PSU and HD6870 , i REALLY think thats a great investment.
7770 is also nice, but just see the comparison between the 7770 and 6870, and a small gap of ONLY 40$ (or so).
Youre anyways gonna need a PSU upgrade soon, if you want a stable system.
Last thing i want toa ddress- the bottleneck? Well, i guess it might be the slightly low powered CPU, but if you think youre up to it, you can get a cooler, and overclock.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This is cheap and from what ive read, BRILLIANT.
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August 15, 2012 5:07:20 AM

Anonymous said:
i rephrased that, i looked at the gtx first.

the gt is105 watts and the 550ti tops out at 110 watts, so 5 watts more. the psu will most likely not have a problem.

but you do not need anything like 900 watts. a 500 to 550 is enough for any single card.

Thank you. I checked here http://www.geforce.com/hardware/desktop-gpus/geforce-gt... and the minimum PSU is 400W. Looks like i came close to not being able to upgrade. After GPU, new PSU then mainboard/CPU.
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Anonymous
a c 117 U Graphics card
August 15, 2012 5:11:32 AM

PlanetaryPenguin321 said:
Thank you. I checked here http://www.geforce.com/hardware/desktop-gpus/geforce-gt... and the minimum PSU is 400W. Looks like i came close to not being able to upgrade. After GPU, new PSU then mainboard/CPU.

i am looking at one of the PSUs that are used for your model is it this one?
http://support.gateway.com/s/POWER/6506042R/6506042Rsp2...

+12V and +12V2 combined current cannot exceed 30 A.

that will give 15 amps for your system and 15 amps for the pci power . .to keep it under 70% load that leave 120 watts for your system and 120 watts for a graphics card on the 12 volt rail. the 550 ti squeaks under that.
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a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2012 5:12:14 AM

PlanetaryPenguin321 said:
Ok thank you :)  Im on a 250$ budget. what PSU would be a nice upgrade from my current to support a GTX 550 Ti as well as probable motherboard/CPU upgrade in the future?


Intel Core i3 2120 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock H61M Motherboard - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.Skill Ripjaws 1333Mhz DDR3 RAM - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair CX430V2 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The total of these components comes to $251. Don't know if you meant a $250 budget including the GPU, but if it wasn't, then this is what I would go for.

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August 15, 2012 5:14:25 AM

kau1997 said:
Hey man,
You REALLy need a new PSU, and even though your system probably doesnt need this kinda power, its always better to get a stronger PSU.
Ideally, I'd recommend a Seasonic PSU , but even Corsair is great, and this seems brilliant for price. Seasonic is basically OEM Corsair
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
And a 550ti isnt really money/performance, an HD6770 comes close to it, if youre ready to shell out maybe 30-40$ more, you can get a BEAST, namely, the HD6870.
Again, i wouldnt really recommend last generation cards, but man this ones a BEAST.
If you dont want to get this, another VERY viable option is the HD7770( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ), same price as 550ti. Plus the TDP of a 550ti is 116W, while that of a 7770 is 80W. And i think, you JUST MAY be able to pull this card off with your PSU, but DEFINITELY upgrade in the future.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/536?vs=541
You can also see the HD6870 vs 550ti
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/540?vs=541
And 7770 vs 6870
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/540?vs=536
So my final recommendation - the PSU and HD6870 , i REALLY think thats a great investment.
7770 is also nice, but just see the comparison between the 7770 and 6870, and a small gap of ONLY 40$ (or so).
Youre anyways gonna need a PSU upgrade soon, if you want a stable system.
Last thing i want toa ddress- the bottleneck? Well, i guess it might be the slightly low powered CPU, but if you think youre up to it, you can get a cooler, and overclock.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This is cheap and from what ive read, BRILLIANT.

Wow. Thanks for showing me that GPU. Seeing how its more powerful and requires less power really is getting on my good side.
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a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2012 5:19:13 AM

PlanetaryPenguin321 said:
Wow. Thanks for showing me that GPU. Seeing how its more powerful and requires less power really is getting on my good side.

Well, haha, anytime bro.
I myself spent WEEKS trying to find an upgrade for my GT 520, and i went form an HD 6770 to a 550ti to a 560 and finally settled for a 7850 ($250, performance close to a GTX570). And the TDP of the 7850 is like 130W, but NEVER goes over 106W, according to benchmarks. I'd still recommend the 6870, but even 7770 will be AWESOME.
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August 15, 2012 5:27:58 AM

Anonymous said:
i am looking at one of the PSUs that are used for your model is it this one?
http://support.gateway.com/s/POWER/6506042R/6506042Rsp2...

+12V and +12V2 combined current cannot exceed 30 A.

that will give 15 amps for your system and 15 amps for the pci power . .to keep it under 70% load that leave 120 watts for your system and 120 watts for a graphics card on the 12 volt rail. the 550 ti squeaks under that.

Honestly its difficult for me to tell exactly which model the PSU is. & just to think I was cleaning the dust out of the PSU fan a week ago.
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Anonymous
a c 117 U Graphics card
August 15, 2012 7:36:55 AM

PlanetaryPenguin321 said:
Honestly its difficult for me to tell exactly which model the PSU is. & just to think I was cleaning the dust out of the PSU fan a week ago.

ok, i'll tell ya what kau1997 has a really good thought process going on.

to suggest a few PSUs here is one that will give you a lot of options for a gpu upgrade and cpu/motherboard upgrade later:
CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 $59.99
$49.99 after $10.00 rebate
$1.99 Shipping
this one would be a great upgrade and will allow you to not worry in getting any single card and cpu/motherboard
XFX ATX 550 Power Supply - P1550SXXB9 $59.99
now since i believe you said something about $250 we just spent $60 so that $190 left.
you could get a 7770 but to really maximize the upgrade and have it worth carrying over to an upgraded platform a 6870 is ok:
SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6870 $169.99
$159.99 after $10.00 rebate $4.99 Shipping

so thats $237 up front.

i'd like to ask what were you upgrading your motherboard and cpu to and when?
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a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2012 7:44:42 AM

Anonymous said:
ok, i'll tell ya what kau1997 has a really good thought process going on.

to suggest a few PSUs here is one that will give you a lot of options for a gpu upgrade and cpu/motherboard upgrade later:
CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 $59.99
$49.99 after $10.00 rebate
$1.99 Shipping
this one would be a great upgrade and will allow you to not worry in getting any single card and cpu/motherboard
XFX ATX 550 Power Supply - P1550SXXB9 $59.99
now since i believe you said something about $250 we just spent $60 so that $190 left.
you could get a 7770 but to really maximize the upgrade and have it worth carrying over to an upgraded platform a 6870 is ok:
SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6870 $169.99
$159.99 after $10.00 rebate $4.99 Shipping

so thats $237 up front.

i'd like to ask what were you upgrading your motherboard and cpu to and when?


haha xD thanks. Yes, i REALLY recommend the 6870.
As for the PSU, is XFX a trusted brand? Becasue ive heard AMAZING things about the GS 600, and i cant find teh Corsair 600GUK on newegg( http://www.flipkart.com/corsair-cmpsu-600guk-600-watts-... ) , but its amazing as well
If youre ready to shell out, heres a BRILLIANT bronze certified PSU which will cover most single card future upgrades as well as the ability to add another 6870 in CF.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a bit pricey, but wrth it, a GREAT CPu to upgrade to is the i5-2500K and for mobos, im not that good, but this seems nice
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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August 15, 2012 8:09:49 AM

Anonymous said:
ok, i'll tell ya what kau1997 has a really good thought process going on.

to suggest a few PSUs here is one that will give you a lot of options for a gpu upgrade and cpu/motherboard upgrade later:
CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 $59.99
$49.99 after $10.00 rebate
$1.99 Shipping
this one would be a great upgrade and will allow you to not worry in getting any single card and cpu/motherboard
XFX ATX 550 Power Supply - P1550SXXB9 $59.99
now since i believe you said something about $250 we just spent $60 so that $190 left.
you could get a 7770 but to really maximize the upgrade and have it worth carrying over to an upgraded platform a 6870 is ok:
SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6870 $169.99
$159.99 after $10.00 rebate $4.99 Shipping

so thats $237 up front.

i'd like to ask what were you upgrading your motherboard and cpu to and when?

Oh i wont be upgrading those for another year or so.
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Anonymous
a c 117 U Graphics card
August 15, 2012 9:16:59 AM

kau1997 said:
haha xD thanks. Yes, i REALLY recommend the 6870.
As for the PSU, is XFX a trusted brand? Becasue ive heard AMAZING things about the GS 600, and i cant find teh

XFX are made by seasonic
http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page625.htm
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Anonymous
a c 117 U Graphics card
August 15, 2012 9:19:55 AM

PlanetaryPenguin321 said:
Oh i wont be upgrading those for another year or so.

ok. if it was a short time i was thinking of suggesting a higher end card and dealing with the limitation your cpu caused.
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a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2012 9:28:53 AM

Anonymous said:
XFX are made by seasonic
http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page625.htm

hahha, so and OEm OF an OEM. Emception much =P . And penguin (dont mind me calling you that , do you)
Upgrade your PSU, do youre CPU and mobo later, they CAN wait. But you WILL need to.
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!