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Graphics Best PCIE GFX card safe to use with 350w psu

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by N17 dizzi, 21 Mar 2012.

  1. N17 dizzi

    N17 dizzi Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    As some might have seen in the MP, I am after a better GPU on behalf of a non tech savvy friend.

    Its for a Dell Dimension 8400 and I don't wish to take a dremel to his case, thus I am stuck with a crappy 350w PSU from Dell.

    Is there a few decent (better than a 6800) GPUs I can use with said PSU that won't cost a fortune? I reckon his budget is £50 - £70

    thanks, dizzi
     
    Last edited: 21 Mar 2012
  2. noizdaemon666

    noizdaemon666 I'm Od, Therefore I Pwn

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    Personally I woldn't run anything more than basic on that PSU (5450 territory). Anything in that price band will more than likely need a 6 pin connector which you won't have, and even if it doesn't it could be drawing up to 75W from the 12V rail. And that rail will probably be less than half of the max rated wattage.

    tl;dr Bad idea, break out the dremel
     
  3. Farting Bob

    Farting Bob New Member

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    Is that a Dell from as early as 2004? The only info i found was reviews from late 2004. If so, that PSU has performed miracles surviving that long, Dell must have put an actually ok one in there, no way could a cheap generic last over 7 years.

    I would suggest a whole new system to be honest, you'd be limited by one thing or another until the point where you realise you should have just gotten a new PC at the beginning.
     
  4. digitaldunc

    digitaldunc New Member

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    What's the aim of the replacement?

    Game wise you're not going to be able to run anything particularly modern, as you probably know.
     
  5. debs3759

    debs3759 Was that a warranty I just broke?

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    GTX 550Ti is rated to use a maximum of 116W, and is probably the best card in that power range. I don't have details of power ratings for most AMD/ATI cards, but think an HD 6770 is roughly the same.

    If he doesn't have (or want to use) a 6-pin connector, the best from NVidia is a GT 545 with DDR3 (70W, but OEM only so you may not find one new) any GT 540 (50W, OEM) or GT 440. From AMD anything up to an HD 6670 will be under 75W (ie no 6-pin connector).

    I've been researching GPU info for a new website so if you need more info I may have it to hand.

    PCI-E has always been rated to be able to provide 75W from the slot, so you should be OK with any of the mentioned cards if you can get them within the budget. As others have hinted at, he may be best off to upgrade the PSU at the same time.
     
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  6. N17 dizzi

    N17 dizzi Well-Known Member

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    Thanks debs, I shall look at those models... I have several molex - 6 pin adapters but I am unsure of the PSU's capabilities. As said tho, it cant be terrible as it has lasted 7 years.

    digitaldunc its for a older tomb raider (underworld I believe) and railway sim, which with a gfx card and ram upgrade, it should at least be playable.

    noiz this is for a 50 something year old couple, they will be alarmed to say the least if I break out the dremel, and if I did, I probably wouldn't be able to stop ;)

    Farting bob, it is this PC (second line on a google search of Dell Dimension 8400 )

    The £40 or £50 for some old RAM and a new GPU is still less than an xbox and far less than a new rig. They do not want to run battlefield 3.
     
    Last edited: 21 Mar 2012
  7. digitaldunc

    digitaldunc New Member

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    Considering you're going to be *severely* bottlenecked, how about something like a second hand 7800GT or similar from fleabay? There are some up for ~£25 though Google says minimum 350W PSU required.
     
  8. tonpal

    tonpal New Member

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    I ran a HD3870 in a Dell 8400 for a while. I expected the PSU to keel over but it kept on going. From memory Dell recommended adding an additional case fan when installing a GPU of over 100W.

    The PSU in the 8400 I had did have a 6 pin connector.
     
  9. Deders

    Deders Well-Known Member

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  10. noizdaemon666

    noizdaemon666 I'm Od, Therefore I Pwn

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    This is just alarming lol

    My only worry would be the 12V rail. PSU power output degrades over time, so after ~7 years that 350W could be a fair bit less.

    Lots of good info by Debs though, so I'd try something like a 6770 as an absolute maximum. That's probably overkill anyway, being limited by the rest of the system.
     
  11. N17 dizzi

    N17 dizzi Well-Known Member

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    Well that asks for a 450w...

    To the dismay of many no doubt, I am taking a chance on the 4850 on the MP... if it goes pop then it goes pop. It has a mpd of 110 W so I should be okay.

    To appease you guys, I will video the first boot and load test, so you might see some sparks and hear swear words :D


    Yes deders that would fit like a glove, can I buy one? Cannot see it anywhere.

    I don't have the system here so haven't seen the sticker if it has one
     
    Last edited: 22 Mar 2012
  12. N17 dizzi

    N17 dizzi Well-Known Member

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    Resurrecting this to give an update:

    Installed 2GB of RAM and a HD4850 for a combined £40..

    The PSU is actually a solid unit, going by the specs and the weight! (Weighs more than my AX!)

    The improvement is off the scale.. all the games they couldn't run before (Tomb Raider Underworld, Train Sim 2012) now run like butter with medium to high settings, they were like a flip book before...

    Even an old system like this can be improved.. glad i trusted my instincts

    Thanks again for the replies

    [​IMG]
     

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