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Power Supply/Graphics Card confusion

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by DeputyDogg, Aug 19, 2009.

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  1. DeputyDogg

    DeputyDogg Thread Starter

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    My first post, so hello firstly,

    I am looking to upgrade my graphics card to the 1GB BFG Geforce 9500GT (unless anyone can recommend a better DDR2 PCIe card for a similar price - £49.99 on amazon.co.uk). I realised that I would probably need to upgrade as well. Sure enough, my PSU (FSP Group Inc., 250W, 50-60Hz - if the sticker on the side of the PSU is anything to go by?) fails to meet the minimum card requirements of 350W. However, I realised I had never researched the current power needs of my current card (Nvidia Geforce 7950GT) and so, out of curiosity, I did.

    This has stumped me. My current cards minimum requirements are also 350W. The card has been installed for 2-3 years with no issues at all. Whilst this probably means I have not been getting full performance out of the card, I don't understand (although am very grateful nonetheless) why the motherboard/card has not been fried or failed from the lower wattage PSU?

    So that is my first query - one of curiosity. With this in mind, do you think I still need to invest in a new PSU for the new graphics card if the current one is sufficient and safe with a card of similar (although lesser) specs? If so, is there anything else, besides the graphics card, I need to consider when shopping for a PSU?

    Below is some more info, in case you require it:

    Current PSU: FPS 250-60Gen
    Current Graphics Card: nVidia GeForce 7950GT (min. req. 350W)
    Wanted Graphics Card: BFG GeForce 9500GT (min. req. 350W)
    Computer Model: Packard Bell iMedia 1559
    OS: Microsoft Windows XP (SP3)
    RAM: 1.5GB (I will hopefully up this to the max4GB this weekend)

    I can't think of anything else that might be relevant - please let me know if you require more info.

    Thanks for any help you can offer!
     
  2. dustyjay

    dustyjay

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    Jay
    I am going to say that yes a Power Supply Upgrade is called for. A 250 W (even though an FSP Power Supply is actually a quality unit) Is a bit underpowered. I would look towards a 450 or higher, Quality Manufacturer such as OCZ, Corsair, Antec, Enermax, Thermaltake, Seasonic, to give a few examples. Stay away from the super bargain power supplies. They are cheap because they are built cheap, and can do damage to yor computer when they blow out.
     
  3. BG-0

    BG-0

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    The minimum power requirements always take into account the possibility of a higher end system in which the card is put. Also, the low quality units are partly taken into account when making the ratings.
    This in turn basically made the 7950 GT "require" more power than it does, even quality power supplies didn't offer as much actual power output per advertised watt as they do today...
    Do not jump into any kind of conclusion that you should skimp out on the PSU this time because the "underpowered" unit has been working. It is of high quality which at least protects against absolute meltdown which a "coolio ultra value" unit would've experienced.
     
  4. DeputyDogg

    DeputyDogg Thread Starter

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    Ah ok that actually makes sense BG-0. Cheers for the advice guys!

    With that in mind, I have been hunting through PSUs for the better part of 2 days now. I want to go for a reliable manufacturer but keep the cost down so am looking at around 450W PSUs (as you suggested dustyjay, thanks). Can you guys, or anyone else, recommend any particular models for me to consider? I know the PSU needs to be ATX, but I only came across that term for the first time today, so the differing versions (ATX 2.0, ATX2.2, for example) is beyond me. Start introducing jargon such as 12V-rail and I'm getting very confused. All I know is that (obviously) the unit needs to fit into my case and that the current PSUs dimensions are 140x150x85mm.

    Thanks again!
     
  5. DeputyDogg

    DeputyDogg Thread Starter

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    Just realised my stupidity in the last post - ignore the ATX form factor comments - the rest still stands however if anyone can offer some recommendations. Thanks.
     
  6. dustyjay

    dustyjay

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    BG-0 is much better with the pricing and site locating for the non US sites than I am, so he might be able to come up with something for you. If you were in the US I would of course be sending you information from New Egg.
     
  7. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    Personally, I would rather have a 7950 card than a 9500. What does everyone else say?
     
  8. BG-0

    BG-0

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    A Corsair CX 400 would be a nice affordable unit... Even enough for, say, Radeon 4830, which would actually be an upgrade. OCZ StealthXtream is decent too, get the 500 W model at least... Still, even the 500W model is not really worth getting over the CX400, if you need more power, skimping on quality never gets you far. Not that OCZ is anything less than a good quality PSU brand, but anyways..
    As Rich-M pointed out, we've been a bit blinded of your situation, 7950 to 9500 is not really an upgrade, if even as good.
     
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