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Will I Need to Upgrade from 255W PSU If I Use an AMD Radeon HD 6870?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 24, 2012 2:40:43 PM

Hello again everyone. I have a quick question regarding my upcoming graphics card upgrade.

My current Dell Optiplex 960 has:
255W PSU
Radeon HD 3400 Video Card
E8400 3.0 GHz CPU

I'm considering an AMD Radeon HD 6870, does it require a 6-pin connector? If it does and I decide to go that route, I would need to upgrade my PSU.

Additionally, would this be a good option (as in plug-and-play) for a power supply if I went with this card http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thanks in advance.
a b U Graphics card
October 24, 2012 2:52:47 PM

Hello,

That Optiplex 960 have different form factors, which one is yours? The regular or the slim one?

And, absolutely. You have to upgrade that power supply. It doesn't have enough juice to supply the 6870.

This $55 520W power supply will do the job just fine. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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October 24, 2012 4:30:51 PM

Sorry, forgot which form factor it was. I have the mini tower. And thanks for the link! I will check it out.
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a b U Graphics card
October 24, 2012 4:45:41 PM

Yes, upgrade the PSU or the computer won't start because of insufficient power.
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October 24, 2012 5:04:29 PM

Should I still upgrade the PSU if I upgrade to something like an HD 7750?
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a b U Graphics card
October 24, 2012 5:19:59 PM

I think any GPU will require the upgrade. 255W is very small.
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October 24, 2012 5:23:46 PM

Yeah, I was really surprised when the Dell rep verified that number for me. I checked the sticker on the PSU last night and it said 255W. I really thought that the Dell website said those computers came with the 305W PSU.
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October 24, 2012 5:51:20 PM

Somelikeitsmooth said:
Yeah, I was really surprised when the Dell rep verified that number for me. I checked the sticker on the PSU last night and it said 255W. I really thought that the Dell website said those computers came with the 305W PSU.


The 7750 has low power usage, about 60w. Your computer uses about 120w already so add them together you should not be overstressing your powersupply. Unless of course your powersupply cannot even give 2/3 of its rated wattage. I wouldn't go above the 7750 in perfomance because your cpu will hold back your system in many games.
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October 24, 2012 6:38:27 PM

So the CPU will be a bottleneck? I thought that it was a relatively good CPU...

And would you recommend the 7750 as a good solution for me or is there a better one that will match my CPU appropriately?
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October 25, 2012 12:15:04 AM

Somelikeitsmooth said:
So the CPU will be a bottleneck? I thought that it was a relatively good CPU...

And would you recommend the 7750 as a good solution for me or is there a better one that will match my CPU appropriately?


No but I wouldn't recommend anything fast unless you overclock the cpu, which could be done with your motherboard through a cpu pin mod. If you don't mind you'd simply have to tape on aluminum foil to a certain part of the cpu :) 


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a b U Graphics card
October 25, 2012 2:29:06 AM

Somelikeitsmooth said:
So the CPU will be a bottleneck? I thought that it was a relatively good CPU...

And would you recommend the 7750 as a good solution for me or is there a better one that will match my CPU appropriately?


Maybe this XFX HD 6850 will run along your CPU. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm not sure though, we need some answers for this.
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October 25, 2012 3:18:36 AM

acerace said:
Maybe this XFX HD 6850 will run along your CPU. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm not sure though, we need some answers for this.


The 7000 series are much more energy efficient then the 6000 series. Its faster by about 25% but consumes 2x more energy. This would put the powersupply at its limits or be to much.
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a b U Graphics card
October 25, 2012 3:20:10 AM

Phyrexiancure said:
The 7000 series are much more energy efficient then the 6000 series. Its faster by about 25% but consumes 2x more energy. This would put the powersupply at its limits or be to much.


Wait, does the OP want to upgrade the power supply or not? If not, take the 7750, if yes, 6850.
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October 25, 2012 11:54:50 AM

I was hoping to not have to upgrade the power supply since I have no background in computers (although I do have some experience in car audio, so I'm not completely incapable). What it looks like, though, is that I should upgrade my power supply no matter what card I go to since I can neither guarantee that my current PSU is making rated power nor that adding a card like the 7750 won't send it over the edge.

So, for right now, it looks like I'm going to upgrade my power supply. Is that a difficult process?

Also, that XFX 6850 looks very nice--I like the dual fan set up.

Regarding overclocking my CPU: I would love to, but I've read just about everywhere that I looked that it was impossible to overclock the 960 because the BIOS doesn't allow it. Will the 'pin-mod' be a work-around for that issue?

Just to throw another wrench in this, how would a 6870 run if I could overclock my CPU? If I couldn't overclock, would it still be a good option or would it be overkill because the CPU would be bottle-necking?

Thanks again for your time everyone!
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