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Best GPU upgrade for a 250W PSU

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 24, 2013 5:21:34 PM

Hello,


I'm Preparing to purchase a new GPU for my 2 year old computer to replace my Nvidia 7100 integrated GPU. My budget is around $30-$60 and The GPU's I had in mind are the ATI 5450, 6450, and the 6570 (if possible). I've read that these are low profile cards except for the 6570 which come with low profile brackets.

the Cards in question are here,

ATI 5450: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ATI 6450: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ATI 6570: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... the 1GB or 2GB Version

I couldn't find my motherboards specific model but the computer has, but it's a stock motherboard.
CPU: Intel pentium Dual core E2220 @ 2.40GHz
HDD: Seagate 500GB 7200RPM
RAM 2GB x 2
Media: Lightscribe DVD-RW
Fans: Back mounted fan, and the CPU Fan, both of which are stock.


I Have a 250W Bestec ATX PSU which came bundled with the computer, Which I'm worried is not sufficient enough to power the new GPU.
I acknowledge that the amperage plays a major role in this, and so This is the description on the PSU

Quote:

Model: ATX-350-12Z REV .D7R
Input: 100 - 127V~6A, 200-240~4A
50/60Hz
Output: +12V == / 14A, -12V === / 0.8A
+5V === / 25A, +5VSB === / 2A
+3.3V === / 18A,
+5V & +3.3V 165MAX. +5V & +12V 218W MAX.



Could you advise whether my PSU could support any of these GPU's or not, if another GPU(possibly Nvidia) could be supported by my PSU.

Thanks.

More about : gpu upgrade 250w psu

a c 86 U Graphics card
February 24, 2013 6:47:40 PM

Don't use that. PSU calculators don't take into account modern needs for power delivery, at least not properly, and their math is all messed up. I've yet to see any that are decent. They usually fail to recognize the difference between TDP and power consumption and when they get this right, they fail to keep up with current firmware/driver changes. They also fail to recognize how PSU wattage is a completely irrelevant number because it's not only subjective in meaning between PSU companies, but it also fails to take into account how only +12V is important these days, so PSUs with heavy +5V/+3.3B rails can get artificially inflated wattage numbers even though a lower rated model can handle more than they can if it has a better +5V/+3.3V to +12V ratio.

OP, I suggest not going above the Radeon 5550 with your system unless you can afford a GT 640 or Radeon 7750. They're much newer and faster, but at even lower power consumption than the Radeon 5550 which is the maximum in power consumption that I recommend for your PSU.
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February 24, 2013 6:52:07 PM

its not an exact science, but the calculator will give u a rough idea of the power consumption
a c 86 U Graphics card
February 24, 2013 6:59:21 PM

Very rough. Unfortunately, it's concept of PSU wattage fails even more for PSUs than for power consumption. For example, many PSUs lie about their wattage and what the wattage rating of a PSU means isn't actually standardized totally, so it can have different meanings with different PSUs. There are also PSUs, like I said, with bad ratios of lower voltage power delivery to +12V power delivery. What matters is how much a PSU can safely deliver on the +12V rails and how much the components need on that rail(s). Almost nothing else matters, yet PSU calculators tend to not take that into consideration and give highly inaccurate numbers as a result. They also tend to forget even more important info than that like what the proper buffer should be, but that's a different argument at that point.

It actually can be an exact science with relative ease, hence the reason why I have little toleration for the half-assed attempts that most such calculators (if not all) are.
February 24, 2013 7:00:02 PM

blazorthon said:


OP, I suggest not going above the Radeon 5550 with your system unless you can afford a GT 640 or Radeon 7750. They're much newer and faster, but at even lower power consumption than the Radeon 5550 which is the maximum in power consumption that I recommend for your PSU.


When I put in the 5550 it seems to be telling me I require even more power than with the 6570. Would this be due to the calculation not factoring in something? is there another calculator that is regarded as more accurate?
a c 86 U Graphics card
February 24, 2013 7:06:31 PM

The 5550 should use less power than the 6570 AFAIK. The 6570 is just down-clocked 6670 whereas the 5550 has a weaker GPU.

Also, I'm not aware of any PSU calculator that's worth using. They are pretty much all inaccurate AFAIK.
February 24, 2013 7:41:42 PM

Thank you for the Replies, much appreciated.

I have decided to go with the Radeon 5550, but it seems to have multiple versions with different amounts of ram as well as some being DDR3 or even DDR5. What would be the best between the cards? I've noticed people in other threads suggesting the 512MB DDR3.
a c 86 U Graphics card
February 24, 2013 7:47:55 PM

Any model that says DDR5 is lying. It's really GDDR5.

GDDR5 models are better than DDR3 models. I suggest either a 512MB GDDR5 or a 1GB GDDR5 model. If you see a 2GB GDDR5 model and it's cheaper than the rest, then get it instead, but don't spend more to get one. The extra memory capacity beyond even 512MB doesn't matter for these cards because they're not fast enough to use it. Basically, the cheapest GDDR5 model is probably best to buy. I'll take a look and see what I find to recommend.
February 24, 2013 8:42:31 PM

blazorthon said:
Any model that says DDR5 is lying. It's really GDDR5.

GDDR5 models are better than DDR3 models. I suggest either a 512MB GDDR5 or a 1GB GDDR5 model. If you see a 2GB GDDR5 model and it's cheaper than the rest, then get it instead, but don't spend more to get one. The extra memory capacity beyond even 512MB doesn't matter for these cards because they're not fast enough to use it. Basically, the cheapest GDDR5 model is probably best to buy. I'll take a look and see what I find to recommend.




It seems I am not able to find any GDDR5's. The only type's of 5550's I'm finding are DDR2's. It looks like I'll be forced to get the DDR2, or keep looking for a DDR3 or GDDR5
a c 86 U Graphics card
February 24, 2013 8:52:55 PM

I found some DDR3 models. Yeah, I can't find any GDDR5 models anymore either :(  Still, there in't a huge difference between the DDR3 and GDDR5 models, just a considerable difference. There is however a big difference between the DDR2 and DDR3 models, so don't get a DDR2 model.

Here is a DDR3 model for a somewhat decent price of $55:
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/visiontek-video-card-90033...

However, if you can find a way to afford the little extra money, this GT 640 for $78 is much better:
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/zotac-video-card-zt6020110...
February 24, 2013 8:59:11 PM

blazorthon said:
I found some DDR3 models. Yeah, I can't find any GDDR5 models anymore either :(  Still, there in't a huge difference between the DDR3 and GDDR5 models, just a considerable difference. There is however a big difference between the DDR2 and DDR3 models, so don't get a DDR2 model.

Here is a DDR3 model for a somewhat decent price of $55:
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/visiontek-video-card-90033...

However, if you can find a way to afford the little extra money, this GT 640 for $78 is much better:
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/zotac-video-card-zt6020110...



Pardon my ignorance, but I can't find where it states it's a DDR3 version( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ).


Would that GT 640 work with my limited power constraints? that could be a viable option for me if so.
a c 86 U Graphics card
February 24, 2013 9:04:05 PM

Ctrlaltdllt said:
Pardon my ignorance, but I can't find where it states it's a DDR3 version( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ).


Would that GT 640 work with my limited power constraints? that could be a viable option for me if so.


The link I used to get to it said DDR3, but on closer inspection, yes, the Newegg link doesn't specify- weird.

Regardless, yes, the GT 640 will work within your power constraints. It uses less power than the Radeon 5550, granted not by a lot. It's much newer and more power-efficient, hence it can win by huge margins in performance while also winning in power consumption. Another huge leap in performance is gained by another $10 to a Radeon 7750, but I wouldn't ask you to stretch your budget if you're stretching it already as is.
!