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eVGA GEFORCE 7950 GX2: power supply requirements

Discussion in 'Nvidia' started by Z Man, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. Z Man

    Z Man Guest

    I have an HP desktop computer model m1090n (3.6GHz, upgraded to 3GB ram) on
    which my video card has gone bad. I am considering replacing it with a much
    more powerful card, perhaps the eVGA GEFORCE 7950 GX2. My question concerns
    the power supply requirements.

    My computer currently has a 300w power supply. Will that be adequate to run
    the new video card? In general, if the specs for a particular video card
    state that it requires a 350w power supply, and I have a 300w power supply,
    what will happen? Will the computer not boot at all, run slower, etc.?

    I could change the power supply, but it is a hassle and I would prefer to
    avoid it, if possible.
     
    Z Man, Oct 24, 2006
    #1
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  2. Z Man

    deimos Guest

    A generic 300w will not do. I have a pretty good 420w with excellent
    amp ratings, but even I'm not sure a 7950 GX2 would run reliably with
    all the drives and a more powerful CPU hooked up. You don't want to
    risk damaging your expensive new card with a generic PSU with irregular
    voltage, so get something decent with PFC and good 5v and 12v amp ratings.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.asp?Submit=ENE&SubCategory=58&N=2010320058

    Anything SLI certified and PFC should be a very good match.
     
    deimos, Oct 24, 2006
    #2
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  3. Z Man

    Peter Guest

    well over 500 watts as well for assurance would scoff at 700 if you plan
    upgrades
     
    Peter, Oct 24, 2006
    #3
  4. Z Man

    Mr.E Solved! Guest

    Considered advice:

    1) Your Media PC comes with a bundled ATI X600. I am a fan of nvidia
    cards, but you might consider sticking with the same brand, for ease of
    installation, troubleshooting.

    2) You should not consider installing the 7950GX2 in that case under any
    circumstances. It is a very finicky dual-card with substantial
    requirements for proper operation, none of which are met by your situation.

    3) Power Supply Units, regrettably, are only labeled in "watts" for very
    broad purposes, mostly marketing, partially confusion. While you are
    correct in thinking your PSU is potentially underpowered, you are being
    led down the garden path when you are told that a PSU of "this many
    watts" will run a state of the art video card. It's like advertising a
    car in "miles per hour". There are other, more important considerations
    that the manufacturers don't spend time educating the consumer on. Best
    bet? Stick with a top-name in power supplies, and check what power
    supply models have been certified with certain high-end video cards.
    Nvidia keeps a list of those on their nzone web site, for example.


    So, what options do you realistically have? I would suggest a PCI-E card
    from ATI that does not require power from a molex (those little plastic
    connectors that provide power to devices, such as hard drives and cd
    drives).

    Or, a 7600GS from nvidia, it has low power requirements, so you might
    not need to replace your PSU (Which you correctly want to avoid), and it
    is a reasonable performer, you just have to make sure you uninstall the
    ATI software fully, and install the nvidia software correctly.

    To answer your question about what happens when your PSU is being
    overworked, bad things. Most often, 3D mode will crash to desktop, or
    the PC will spontaneously reboot. Also, more heat will be generated from
    the overworked unit, maybe even a really high pitched whine, or squeal
    in more rare instances. Things will just seem, off. Best of luck, avoid
    that 7950GX2!
     
    Mr.E Solved!, Oct 24, 2006
    #4
  5. Z Man

    DaveW Guest

    That card requires at least a 400 watt PSU to power it adequately. If you
    drive your computer with too underpowered of a PSU you can severely damage
    most of the electronics in your system (motherboard chipset, harddrives,
    RAM, video card, etc.) The system will try to draw adequate wattage from
    the PSU, be unable to, and the components will begin destructing.
    A general rule in computers is do NOT buy a cheap underpowered PSU.
    EVERYTHING else in the system depends on it.
     
    DaveW, Oct 25, 2006
    #5
  6. Z Man

    First of One Guest

    The 7950GX2 draws less power than the X1900XT, though a 300W probably is
    still too paltry. Take a tape measure and measure the inside of your case
    before even considering the card, however.
    The computer may not boot. It may crash while booting. It may run fine in
    Windows but crash after a few minutes of gaming (due to higher workload). It
    may also be borderline stable. Most likely it'll be an intermittent thing to
    mix up with other driver/chipset issues and dog you for weeks at a time. :)
    Actual hardware damage is quite unlikely, but I'm not sure which is less
    hassle.
    Another option is to use an auxilliary Thermaltake power supply that
    installs into a 5.25" bay.
     
    First of One, Oct 25, 2006
    #6
  7. Z Man

    Z Man Guest

    [comments end-posted]


    I have given a lot of thought to what you have said. I also checked out high
    end cards from ATI. It seems that the power requirement for most high end
    video cards would make me upgrade my power supply. Although it is
    inconvenient, I would be willing to do it if necessary. What is it about the
    case that houses my PC that would make it imappropriate for the 7950GX2?
    Does it take up two slots? If so, I probably still have adequate physical
    space. Looking into the case, with the rear of the case on my left, there
    is empty space above my PCI Express slot. Does that help? Below the video
    slot, I have my soundcard, but I could move that to another slot. The
    computer also came with a sound card (just below my video card) and a modem
    on the bottom. I have already removed the modem, which is useless for me.

    In terms of possible ATI cards, I am looking at the VisionTek Radeon X1600XT
    Xtreme Video Card, PCI Express, 512MB GDDR3. This card is about $300 at
    CompUSA (a little less at Newegg and other online retailers), and the specs
    state that a 300w power supply is adequate. Trouble is, once I looked at the
    higher end card, I found that I really wanted on :)
     
    Z Man, Oct 27, 2006
    #7
  8. Z Man

    Mr.E Solved! Guest

    Good to know, I will continue to try and make that time well spent!
    Hopefully there are many people who are helped by these types of
    exchanges, it just so happens to benefit you, since you so
    coincidentally happen to have the exact problem we are discussing. :)
    Another PSU can only help your choices. So then: If not able to judge a
    PSU's suitable power accurately by 'watts' alone, how then do you rate
    them? Short answer: Available Amperage. It's easy to do since all PSU's
    have total available amperage measurements on the unit and retail box.
    On the chart you cross reference the +12V line (There are other lines as
    well, but the 12v line is the most important) with the model number of
    the unit, or some other measurement they provide, like the ambient
    temperature, or efficiency, and you get the number of amps available on
    either a single or split 12v line.

    That's how many Amps that PSU can do, and higher is better, but there
    are safety concerns past 20A per line so many units rightfully max out
    there. How do you know how many Amps your system will need? First, back
    to Watts! Try this handy online wattage requirement calculator.

    http://www.extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine

    Once you find out just how much wattage your PC is likely to require,
    you can now inspect a range of available PSUs and use available amperage
    as a measurement to see how that power is distributed. Watts is the
    'budget' and the various lines (lingo: 'rails') are the 'expenses'. Your
    devices are 'purchases' and like a bank account that goes into the red,
    if your electricity requirements over one line go too high, the system
    can act all sorts of unstable. Electricity analogies are always
    imperfect, but higher amps on a 12V line, plus a relatively high
    efficiency rating, generally indicate a superior PSU.

    Here's a link to a random PSU roundup, that explains things as you go:

    http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/other/display/psu-roundup.html

    In anticipation of a question, the PCI-e connector (which plugs into
    current high end cards) gets it's power from one of the 12V lines, hence
    it's importance.

    It's not the case, it's the motherboard inside the case that worries me.
    The 7950GX2 requires a compatible motherboard. Here is a link to
    nvidia's compatible motherboard list. I do not think your specific
    system board is listed, not a good sign for compatibility, but not a
    guarantee of failure either. My advice: avoid.

    http://www.nvidia.com/content/geforce_gx2_sbios/us.asp?vendor=all&sortBy=manufacturer

    Are you running Windows Media Center? I believe all of those HP's
    default to MC, just another potential area for concern regarding driver
    incompatibilities (and not just the 7950GX2).

    Ah, of course, then it comes down to the same old question, from the
    beginning of computer time, "What is the game you most want to play with
    your new video card?" Once you have in mind the game (why else get a new
    video card?) then you can get the hardware that will run it best...as in
    the 'chuck patch'. Look luck, use Newegg!
     
    Mr.E Solved!, Oct 27, 2006
    #8
  9. Z Man

    Z Man Guest

    [comments end-posted]

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Mr.E Solved!" <>
    Newsgroups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia
    Sent: Thursday, October 26, 2006 11:53 PM
    Subject: Re: eVGA GEFORCE 7950 GX2: power supply requirements

    In terms of my computer use, I have the usual business apps, like MS Office,
    and I also do a little video editing with Adobe Premiere Pro. I just
    purchased the Sony hi def camcorder and look forward to editing some
    footage. I am not a gamer. Bottom line, I probably do not need a really high
    end card, but since my previous video card want bad, I figured it would use
    it as an excuse to buy a powerful video card, since I am willing to spent
    the dollars to do so. However, I am not looking for trouble, such as
    de-stabilizing my system, so perhaps I should just go with the Radeon
    X1600XT, or the nVidia 7600GS you recommended previously. For me, the Radeon
    would appear to be the better choice (if I am not going to go 'high end')
    since it seems to have a bit more power, but will still not require changing
    my power supply, and is the same brand as my previous video card. What to
    you think?
     
    Z Man, Oct 27, 2006
    #9
  10. Z Man

    Peter Guest

    Dude get a 7900gto get a power supply end of story.I did. LoL
    Or a 7600gt or gs it will blow your mind you wont need to get a power supply
    maybe good luck.
     
    Peter, Oct 27, 2006
    #10
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