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Which cheap low-profile card? PSU only 250W. Newbie here.

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December 8, 2012 9:36:59 AM

I just want to enable dual monitors (2nd monitor extended) on my old Dell Inspiron 530s, so need a graphics card that will have two monitor ports (VGA and DVI). There won't be any gaming done on the computer at all, I just want to be able to extend the displays, for example, a web page on one monitor, and the SONY Acid Music Studio program on the other monitor. I've never bought a graphics card before, so my head is spinning from searching through all the different types online. I would really, really appreciate if someone with experience could suggest a new card for me to buy. Main things are I only have the 250W power supply and it's a slim tower, so the card has to be the low profile (or whatever it's called) with a short bracket. I'm relatively new to computer "building;" the only thing I've ever replaced/installed on computers is the RAM, so that's why I need some help here. And here is the info that was requested in one of the forum stickies:


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP(!); I need it before Christmas (I know, I put it off too long already). BUDGET RANGE: under $100 (hopefully cheaper than that, actually, but I still want it to be good quality)

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: (no gaming being done) most important is just running dual/extended monitors; if it makes any difference, the computer will occasionally be using software called "Sony Acid Music Studio 9." Other than those two things, it will only be used for internet browsing and word processing.

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: on-board/integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3100 and Dell 250W PSU.

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: CPU is Intel Core 2 Duo E7300, motherboard is Dell OEM RY007/G33M02, RAM is 2GB DDR2 right now (but will be 4GB soon).

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I guess newegg.com or dell.com, but you guys have more experience than I do with this, so I'm open. COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Don't care really, as long as it ships fast so I can install it in time for x-mas.

PARTS PREFERENCES: one monitor only has VGA and the other only has DVI... so want a card that either has those two inputs, or comes with adapters to enable them.

OVERCLOCKING: I'm sorry, I don't know what this means. SLI OR CROSSFIRE: I'm sorry, I don't know what this means either.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: one is 1440 x 900 (Dell S1709W flat panel) and the other is 1600 x 900 (Acer S201HL LCD).

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: would like a good warranty and something that is not a power hog since I only have a 250W power supply.

Thanks in advance for your card suggestions, everyone!!

More about : cheap low profile card psu 250w newbie

December 8, 2012 10:11:18 AM

Or if someone could teach me/tell me which specs I need to be looking for so I don't fry my computer, I could try and find one myself. All I know is to get a card that only needs 250W or less, and is low profile for the slim tower. There are always a lot of other numbers and tech specs on the card, though... I don't know what I should pay attention to.

Sorry, newbie here! Just wanting to learn.
December 8, 2012 12:52:18 PM

Okay, after some more thinking and looking... would a Y splitter cable work on the integrated graphic card? Or would connecting two monitors to the single VGA port just give me the same display on both screens (rather than extended displays)?

If it will give me extended display, will there be enough power or whatnot to feed both monitors and not do any harm to the rest of the computer?
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December 8, 2012 1:39:37 PM

Thank you for the suggestions! I really needed some direction.

As far as the purpose only being to support extended monitors, the prices of the 5450 and the 6670 are looking good to me, however... I do have a couple questions if you guys wouldn't mind. (Newbie!)

When it says minimum power required 350W (for the 5450, at least) what's going to happen if I only have a 250W PSU? I assume the 6670 has an even higher minimum requirement since it's a better card. And the 7770 and 7750 cards had a 400W and 450W minimums.

My other question is, I have a PCI Express 1.0 x16 slot (not a 2.0 or 3.0)... are they backwards compatible? What would it actually do to my computer to put a 2.0 or 3.0 card into the 1.0 slot?
December 8, 2012 1:46:51 PM

LadyA said:
Thank you for the suggestions! I really needed some direction.

As far as the purpose only being to support extended monitors, the prices of the 5450 and the 6670 are looking good to me, however... I do have a couple questions if you guys wouldn't mind. (Newbie!)

When it says minimum power required 350W (for the 5450, at least) what's going to happen if I only have a 250W PSU? I assume the 6670 has an even higher minimum requirement since it's a better card. And the 7770 and 7750 cards had a 400W and 450W minimums.

My other question is, I have a PCI Express 1.0 x16 slot (not a 2.0 or 3.0)... are they backwards compatible? What would it actually do to my computer to put a 2.0 or 3.0 card into the 1.0 slot?


Firstly, I wouldnt recommend going over the minimum requirements. Try the card that i recommended or a lower end card like a gt620 if that even exists. Your tower is obviously made to be extremely low powered.

And yes. PCIE is backwards compatible. A 16x 1.0 slot provides a lot of bandwith for a card you are looking at. It will be enough for something like a 7950.
a b U Graphics card
December 8, 2012 1:49:57 PM

ThatsMyNameDude said:
Firstly, I wouldnt recommend going over the minimum requirements. Try the card that i recommended or a lower end card like a gt620 if that even exists. Your tower is obviously made to be extremely low powered.

And yes. PCIE is backwards compatible. A 16x 1.0 slot provides a lot of bandwith for a card you are looking at. It will be enough for something like a 7950.


The "recommended" power supply requirement is not accurate at all. The OP can easily run a 5450 or a 6670. A 5450 would be best because he is not gaming.

Also, a 16x 1.0 slot is x8 2.0. It might be pushing it on high end cards.
a b U Graphics card
December 8, 2012 1:58:48 PM

Yeah, a review I read said the 5450 only drew 20w. That's not much and will probably be OK with your PSU. The 6670 would be nice but I think it draws about 10w more. If you only need it for 2 monitors w/ no gaming, go for the 5450.
December 8, 2012 2:13:08 PM

Thank you again to everyone for the help! Sounds like there's been a lot of votes for the 5450. I think that's what I'll get. Cheap, too (awesome)!

So is there any safety reason or anything that these cards have minimum wattage requirements, even if they only actually draw such a little amount? I would rather be safe than sorry, especially seeing how new I am to this. I totally trust you guys that it will work fine, but it's just a little worrisome that the 5450 says min. 350W needed (and I only have 250W). I know you said the recommended power supply is not accurate, but just how off is it?

I'm setting up this computer to give it away to a family member for x-mas so they can record their music for cheap - not professionally or anything, just for fun (the computer used to be mine but I have a new one now). So it would be embarrassing if I gift it to them and they turn it on and it fries or just doesn't work or something (or whatever happens if you have the wrong GPU).
a b U Graphics card
December 8, 2012 2:49:22 PM

LadyA said:
Thank you again to everyone for the help! Sounds like there's been a lot of votes for the 5450. I think that's what I'll get. Cheap, too (awesome)!

So is there any safety reason or anything that these cards have minimum wattage requirements, even if they only actually draw such a little amount? I would rather be safe than sorry, especially seeing how new I am to this. I totally trust you guys that it will work fine, but it's just a little worrisome that the 5450 says min. 350W needed (and I only have 250W). I know you said the recommended power supply is not accurate, but just how off is it?

I'm setting up this computer to give it away to a family member for x-mas so they can record their music for cheap - not professionally or anything, just for fun (the computer used to be mine but I have a new one now). So it would be embarrassing if I gift it to them and they turn it on and it fries or just doesn't work or something (or whatever happens if you have the wrong GPU).


Very. Don't worry about it. Your system draws maybe 140w max at full load.
December 8, 2012 3:11:10 PM

Okay, I'm convinced. I was just about to buy that 5450 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

...but then I read the feedback/reviews (just curious what people had to say) and saw one guy halfway down that said "Cons: The Specs provided for this card do not tell the whole story: this card is not backward compatible with PCI-e version 1 which is what I needed. What a pain. I had to return the card."

Do you think that's correct? If so, it won't work in my computer either since I also have the version 1 slot (PCI Express 1.0A x 16 is the exact specification listed in my user manual). I know you guys said they are backwards compatible, but does that apply to all cards (including that PowerColor 5450 in above link)?

Thanks again for putting up with all my questions!
a b U Graphics card
December 8, 2012 3:34:17 PM

LadyA said:
Okay, I'm convinced. I was just about to buy that 5450 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

...but then I read the feedback/reviews (just curious what people had to say) and saw one guy halfway down that said "Cons: The Specs provided for this card do not tell the whole story: this card is not backward compatible with PCI-e version 1 which is what I needed. What a pain. I had to return the card."

Do you think that's correct? If so, it won't work in my computer either since I also have the version 1 slot (PCI Express 1.0A x 16 is the exact specification listed in my user manual). I know you guys said they are backwards compatible, but does that apply to all cards (including that PowerColor 5450 in above link)?

Thanks again for putting up with all my questions!


GeForce 8400 GS (passive so no noise) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This card is guaranteed to work with PCIE 1/1.1 and has (arguably) better driver support than the radeons.
a b U Graphics card
December 8, 2012 4:09:28 PM

whooleo said:
GeForce 8400 GS (passive so no noise) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This card is guaranteed to work with PCIE 1/1.1 and has (arguably) better driver support than the radeons.


No it doesn't. AMD have been improving their drivers a lot recently. More so than nVidia.
December 8, 2012 4:23:24 PM

Quote:
GeForce 8400 GS (passive so no noise) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814121654

This card is guaranteed to work with PCIE 1/1.1 and has (arguably) better driver support than the radeons.


Do you know the minimum required power supply for that GF 8400 GS? Is this the right product specs? -> http://www.asus.com/Graphics_Cards/NVIDIA_Series/8400GS... It says "power consumption up to 75W" - that sounds like it might be too much for my 250W PSU?

I will probably still get the 5450 since so many people suggested it... but now I'm curious about the wattage comparison of that and the GF8400 now. Whichever one needs a lower minimum power requirement is probably what I'll settle on.
a b U Graphics card
December 8, 2012 4:28:10 PM

LadyA said:
Quote:
GeForce 8400 GS (passive so no noise) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814121654

This card is guaranteed to work with PCIE 1/1.1 and has (arguably) better driver support than the radeons.


Do you know the minimum required power supply for that GF 8400 GS? Is this the right product specs? -> http://www.asus.com/Graphics_Cards/NVIDIA_Series/8400GS... It says "power consumption up to 75W" - that sounds like it might be too much for my 250W PSU?

I will probably still get the 5450 since so many people suggested it... but now I'm curious about the wattage comparison of that and the GF8400 now. Whichever one needs a lower minimum power requirement is probably what I'll settle on.


The GeForce has VERY low power consumption (hence no PCIe power connector). Full load is about 20 watts.
a b U Graphics card
December 8, 2012 4:37:31 PM

samuelspark said:
No it doesn't. AMD have been improving their drivers a lot recently. More so than nVidia.


Honestly it's pretty subjective at this point as to who has better drivers. I personally like little features like adaptive V-sync but again it's subjective.
December 8, 2012 4:50:08 PM

Quote:
The GeForce has VERY low power consumption (hence no PCIe power connector). Full load is about 20 watts.


So with a 250W power supply, the GF 8400 would be perfectly fine with two monitors running off it?

I just noticed that the 8400 comes low profile ready, so I wouldn't have to buy the short brackets (looks like I would have to for the 5450). So now I'm leaning towards the 8400 just out of convenience.

And if I did get the 8400, looks like I'd have to use the single VGA input short bracket that comes with it... so I would need to buy a Y splitter cable to attach two monitors, correct?
December 8, 2012 6:01:36 PM

Sorry, me again! I'm just going to get the 5450. I realized that the 8400 is most likely too tall for my slim line tower. The SFF cards I need for the Dell Inspiron 530s should only be about 2.5 inches tall or so, which is what the 5450 is. The 8400 is 4 3/4" tall. I think I'd have to saw parts of it off if I wanted it to fit right. Glad I found that out before ordering anything. I'm learning that most of the questions I have are already asked by other people somewhere online; I just need to google long enough to find them.

I really appreciate everyone's help! The 5450 it is. :-)
December 8, 2012 6:29:11 PM

Can I use this 5450 instead? -> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131338

It comes with the short bracket that I need, but it's 1GB instead of the 512MB that was suggested (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...). It's only a $1 price difference compared to that one. Will it being 1GB make any difference as far as my power supply (stock 250W) goes? It looks like for both 350W is suggested, so I guess no difference between the two?
a b U Graphics card
December 8, 2012 6:37:25 PM

Yes it's fine.
December 8, 2012 6:40:36 PM

Thanks! :-D
a b U Graphics card
December 9, 2012 12:36:32 PM

Sounds like a better deal. Good luck!
December 10, 2012 9:45:20 AM

Thanks, again! Glad I registered here. I did go ahead and buy the 5450 already but, after the fact, I ended up finding a couple cards that are specifically for 250W power supplies. I'm still getting the 5450, but thought I would share those links here since maybe other people will visit this thread with the same question I had (and might only be working with a 250W PSU and are worried about the minimum power requirements of most cards, like I was). I was kind of surprised at the price of these two VisionTek cards... I would have figured they were crappy and would be cheap.

Two low profile ready cards that only require 250W power supply:

VisionTek Radeon HD 4350 (LP brackets NOT included, though) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814129149

VisionTek Radeon X1300 (comes with LP bracket already on, but it's for PCI slot, not PCIe) - http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19&sku=A0755431&baynote_bnrank=1&baynote_irrank=0&~ck=baynoteSearch

Both cards support dual monitors, too. I guess they'd be okay for other people who aren't gaming, have a 250W PSU, and just want extended displays, like I do.
a b U Graphics card
December 10, 2012 12:41:21 PM

The 5450 is much better than either of those two "if" it works and I'm pretty sure it will. Good luck.
a b U Graphics card
December 10, 2012 1:56:34 PM

zdbc13 said:
The 5450 is much better than either of those two "if" it works and I'm pretty sure it will. Good luck.


It WILL work.
December 12, 2012 7:32:19 AM

So, while I was still asking you guys about that PowerColor 5450, at the same time, I actually sent a message to the company asking if the PCIe 2.0 would be backwards compatible with my PCIe 1.0A slot. (I read some things online that made me wonder.) I actually didn't expect to hear anything back from them, but I did get a reply today!

Here's what PowerColor tech support said:

Quote:
I don’t believe that this video card would work with your Dell Inspiron 530s since the motherboard has a PCIe slot of version 1.0A. This is due to the card being PCIe v2.1 and this is known to cause compatibility issues with some older systems.

However, there are other cards out there from our competitors that would have a much higher possibility of working with your system and still provide you with what you are desiring. These competitors would be an NVIDIA partner, not an AMD partner like us. Below is a link to NewEgg with a list of possible cards from various NVIDIA partners that *should* be compatible with your system. I would advise that you contact any one of these manufacturers first to see if there are any known issues with their cards and older motherboards that use the older PCIe v1.0A interface.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

As for the power supply of your system having only 250w of power, that would have to depend on the power draw of the video card. Our 5450 card would be able to work as it has a peak power consumption of 25w. If any of these NVIDIA cards I linked you are also 25w or less, your computer should be fine. Again though, this is something you may want to ask the potential NVIDIA partner manufacturer you choose.


So once the card arrives, I guess I'll have to decide whether I want to open it and try it, or if I am just going to send it directly back without opening it.
!