I've recently been thinking of upgrading my video card again. I bought a ATI Radeon 5670 a couple of years ago and was thinking of upgrading to either a 7750 or a 6850. As I was doing research, I discovered that my current TT TR2 430w ATX Power Supply is considered less than ideal by some and will only give me 350w at best and low efficiency.
I know I would need to buy a bigger power supply in order to run the 6850 but I wasn't sure if it was necessary with the 7750 since, according to hwcompare.com anyway, it uses less wattage than the 5670 I have now and I haven't had any problems with that card thus far.
However, if my current power supply is a ticking time bomb and I'm better off buying a more reliable one, I figure I might as well splurge for the 6850 unless something better is on the horizon for around the same price. If my power supply is safe for the 7750, then I might just go for that option for now and save a new power supply for my next major computer upgrade down the line, unless again, there's a better option I'm not aware of.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. My computer is a Gateway Intel i3 540 3.06 GHz with 4 GB of Ram, 1 DVD Drive and 1 Hard Drive. Nothing is overclocked to my knowledge.
I wouldn't mind paying the extra $40 for a 7770 if it meant I wouldn't have to buy a new power supply again as well. According to TechPowerUp and HwCompare, the difference between the 5670 and 7770 power usage seems to be around 20 watts or so. Is the 7770 safe to use with my TT TR2 430w ATX Power Supply and computer specs?
Sorry, I meant the 7770 is $40 more than the 7750, not the 6850. I don't mind paying a little more for the 7770 if it's a big enough difference from the 7750 and it won't overtax my existing power supply.
According to newegg, your psu has 2 +12v rails(+12v1 @14A ie 168w and +12v2 @15A ie 180w) totaling 348w.
It also lacks pcie power leads. hd6850 or hd7770 would require a 2 molex(50w each) to 1 pcie 6pin(75w) adapter.
Your core i3 540 is a 73w cpu. While most pc parts use +12v power in one way or another nowadays, the cpu and
gpu are by far the biggest culprits. I wonder how those +12v rails are balanced in the system. I worry about you
plugging in a more power hungry card that pulls 75w first from the peg slot on the mobo and then still more
from some of the molex connectors. HD7770 was a little slower than HD6850 at launch, but newer drivers have
given both it and HD7750 notable performance enhancements since. These GCN based cards beg you to over-
clock them too so you can get the most bang for your buck(drawing still more power). Since your old HD5670 is
a 65w card and HD7750 is a 55w card, you should be fine with that(you could even overclock a little if you want).
Oh, yeah. As you said, thermaltake power supplies are not exactly known for their quality(more like lack thereof).
I really don't know if I would risk plugging in one of those more powerful cards. Some lower quality power supplies
can't even deliver 50-67% of their rated wattage without catching fire. Perhaps it's best not to roll THOSE dice...
Okay, after careful consideration, I've decided to go with the HIS iCooler 7750 for now. I'm not going to worry about replacing the power supply until there's signs of a problem and since the 7750 uses less wattage, I hopefully shouldn't have a problem with it and it'll still be a considerable improvement over the 5670. Thanks again to everyone for their help.