Graphics Card Capabilities

Hey I was just wondering about my PSU capabilities. I would like to upgrade my Video Card, but I don't know how high I can go without burning my PSU out. My PSU is 450 watt, and has two 12v rails. 12V1 has 16A and 12V2 has 18A. I would prefer the highest preforming graphics card my system can handle, so it doesn't matter if it's AMD or Nvidia. Some other specs of my PC-

CPU- Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 2.40Ghz
RAM- 2GB DDR2 @ 800Mhz (I'm gonna upgrade soon, 2gb is terrible)
Video Card Now- Nvidia GeForce GT 610 2GB
6 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about graphics card capabilities
  1. The best metric of a psu is the amps it can deliver to the +12v rail/s.
    That will not usually be the sum of the12v1 and 12v2 rails, but something less.
    Look on the data plate of your psu and see if it shows the combined amps. If it is in watts, divide by 12.

    If your 450W psu is a quality unit, it will have 2 6-pin pci-e power leads.
    If it is a cheap unit, it will have one, or zero. A poor quality psu should be replaced, regardless.

    A top quality Antec 450w unit can deliver 34A.

    By comparison, a 450w raidmax tier 5 psu can only deliver 21a:

    I might hope that you could run a card as good as a GTX660ti, or a 7850.
    Here is a handy chart that shows the requirements for most cards:

    Here is a list of psu's sorted by quality tiers:
  2. The power supply is the standard that was in the Dell Inspiron 530. This was not a custom build. It has one 6-pin pci-e power connector. I'm probably gonna build a computer next year, but I want to get as much out of this as I can. Just for a little more info, I'm gonna be playing Metro 2033, Left 4 Dead 2, Garry's Mod, Counter-Strike and possibly Skyrim, and I'd like to play them on fairly high settings. I might be pushing this system a little beyond it's capabilities, but I'd like it to last another year.
  3. Oh and I forgot to mention the combined amps is 16.6 about.
  4. Best answer
    16.6Amps on a 450W psu is ABYSMAL!

    At this time of year, there are lots of sales on quality psu's.
    I suggest you get a start on next year's build and buy a quality psu now.
    A 550w psu will let you run most high end graphics cards, up to a 7950 or GTX670.
    You will need something like that to run metro and other games at high settings.
    This Antec 620W unit is $50 after rebate:

    If you want to upgrade now, I would not try any graphics card tha needs a 6 pin power lead, even if you have one on your psu.
    If you push a cheap psu too hard, and it fails, it can damage anything it is connected to.
    About the strongest card that would be safe would be a 7750.
    Much better than your GT610, but hardly a strong card.

    If you want more now, plan on a psu upgrade too.
  5. The hard part about this all is that I'm 13 and I don't make any money in the winter. Oh well, this PC was free after all. Better than my laptop.
  6. Best answer selected by RainbowMeatballs.
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