Help me pick out a video card

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Bencorn, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. Bencorn

    Bencorn New Member

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    ...that can be run in a system with a 300 watt power supply. Yea, 300 watts and I can't upgrade it because it is a proprietary shape. I'd have to upgrade the case and the power supply, which I might have to break down and do, but I'd like to avoid it if possible. It is going to mainly be used for watching High Def videos but I'd like it to be capable of some light gaming if I can get it. I was looking at the 8600gt from evga but it says it requires a 300 watt power supply so I wasn't sure if that would work with my system, I'm not sure how to calculate overall power requirements.

    System is:
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+
    1 Gig DDR2
    160gig harddrive
    DVD+RW
    Currently onboard graphics
    300 watt power supply

    Thanks guys
     
  2. dissonance

    dissonance reset OT Supporter

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    I'll let doomsday answer your actual question, he's good at this type of thing.

    But as far as the proprietary shape, my Sony desktop had the same issue and its easily fixable with a dremel and drill. I had to modify the back opening as well as free up more space on the inside. Then of course I had to drill new mounting holes. Only took 45 minutes or so.
     
  3. Bencorn

    Bencorn New Member

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    This one isn't a proprietary mounting shape for the back. The actual case of the power supply is oddly shaped so the heat sink for the processor can fit under part of it. When viewed from the side it looks like an inverted L shape. This is why I can't upgrade it without getting a different case. It is the Antec Aria case, which I should have mentioned earlier.
     
  4. Doomsday

    Doomsday XXX

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    you are SOL on the PSU upgrade.

    for the graphics card,... the important thing is the +12V rail.
    the Aria's PSU has 18A.

    your Athlon, at full load will consume about 5.4A on the +12V rail.
    RAM will use the +3.3V rail. so its a non issue.
    your drives, about 0.75-3A on +12V depending on the model. (drives also use the +5V, and if supported, +3.3V for hot swapping)
    onboard graphics uses CPU and RAM to generate video so it consumes very little power (about 0.16A or under 2W).
    fans, USB devices, expansion cards, etc, usually use the +5V rail,.. but it will also use the other rails if it requires it.

    so,... assuming that's there's no other device that uses the +12V rail,....
    your current rig consumes around 8-9A out of the 18A, leaving 9A or 10A for the graphics card.

    the 8600GT/9600GT will work fine with that 300W. these cards only draw 4.5-5A

    btw,... manufacturers does not give away exact power requirements for privacy and competitive reasons. this is why they have this "400 Watts minimum, XX amps on +12V rail recommended" thing which is actually for the whole system, not just the card.

    if you really want to push it,...

    an 8800GT consumes about 110W at full load (or 9.16A)
    this might work, it might not. specially if you question the efficiency of the Antec Aria's PSU.

    the new one, 9800GT has 2 variants:
    1) a 65nm variant, which consumes power about the same as the 8800GT; and
    2) a 55nm variant, which consumes about 5W less than the 65nm 9800GT or 8800GT.

    #2 will probably have the best chance of working. i'm not sure if these are already out though. you can only tell if its 55nm or 65nm if you already have the card by using GPU-Z or removing the heatsink/cooler. the GTX versions, you can tell easily, GTX = 65nm, GTX+ = 55nm
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2008
  5. Bencorn

    Bencorn New Member

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    Alright, thanks a ton for the info. Now I just need to measure things up in that little case to make sure the 8600 will fit and then order it before this sale ends. $35 bucks after rebate and coupon code at newegg for the EVGA 8600.
     
  6. Morgan06

    Morgan06 New Member

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    In for results, I've got the Aria as well.

    Had to trim a corner of my cpu fan to fit under the PSU.
     
  7. Bencorn

    Bencorn New Member

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    Nice, I'm probably going to mod a large slow fan into the side of it to vent some more hot air. I already am working on getting rid of the card reader and I'm really considering getting rid of the front inputs as well because I want it to be a really clean looking box with all my stereo equipment. It's going to be getting some new plastic for the front to seal the holes shut and then it will be getting a fresh paint job to blend everything together. I'm really hoping that 8600 works out well though because that will make it the perfect HTPC and light gaming machine.
     
  8. Morgan06

    Morgan06 New Member

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    I was thinking the same thing, a nice 80 fan in the side to help with the temps- don't think theres room for anything larger. With an E2180 @ 2600 I run 34 idle and hit high 40s under heavy load.

    And that card reader has no use to me either, If I get ambitious I'll take it out and plastic-weld some ABS in there. Additionally, my front USB doesn't work- don't know if that's on the case or mobo side. I think the second gen of the Aria, under a different name, did away with the card slots- maybe a face plate swap would work?
     
  9. Bencorn

    Bencorn New Member

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    I really want to replace the entire front panel with a new piece of plastic, make the power button smaller, get rid of all the front panel stuff. The only think stopping me is the pain in the ass part of the DVD drive door. Since the mount for the drive sits so far back I can't just leave the hole open cause it would look stupid. So instead what I'm thinking about doing is filling in all the holes on the front, sanding it down nice and smooth and then painting everything. I think that will give me the clean look that I want without having to try to screw with making my own DVD drive door cause I don't even wanna put in the time to do that. I'll have to post some pics so you can see how it ends up.
     
  10. 1slobird91

    1slobird91 New Member

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    I have a 7900GT from NVIDIA....it does me pretty good..I would say run a 9800GTX OC but I tried this already and my computer would not run it how i wanted it to..my system specs

    Mobo - Intel DP965LT
    CPU - Core2Duo E6400 2.13GhZ
    RAM - 2 gigs
    PSU - 350 watt (not enough)
    HDD - 250g....x's 2 of these

    my computer sucks

    the card would run Crysis fine if thats what you were wanting to run...thats what i was trying to run and i guess my hardware setup would just not work the right way.
     
  11. Bencorn

    Bencorn New Member

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    Update, I ended up getting an evga 8800gts 512 meg card. The recommended minimum power supply was a 400 watt power supply. It is working perfectly on my 300 watt and everything is running cool and stable which is surprising. Now I just have to get the front panel smoothed out a little more after sealing all the front holes with epoxy and give it another painting. The first paint revealed some of the spots that I had missed sanding. After this, the front should be perfectly smooth with the exception of the drive bay and the power/reset buttons.
     
  12. 1slobird91

    1slobird91 New Member

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    can you post up a pic..? im interested
     
  13. Doomsday

    Doomsday XXX

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    just to be safe,... i'd stress test that system if I were you.
    the G92 8800GT and 8800GTS pretty much has the same power consumption, around 9-11A.

    you can boot and may have no problems with light usage,.. but at full system load, your system may crash/shutdown/bsod/etc.
     
  14. Bencorn

    Bencorn New Member

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    I ran a few Matroska high def movies off it and it seemed to run those fine. I'm going to put a couple games on later today after I get off work and see how those run. I'm hoping it doesn't have any problems, or this case mod might get interesting trying to put a larger power supply in.
     
  15. Doomsday

    Doomsday XXX

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    use ntune, 3dmark, atitools (will also work with nvidia cards)
     
  16. Morgan06

    Morgan06 New Member

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    I've seen pictures of people top mounting their PSU or using an external/inline. But I think that making the footprint any larger on a SFF case kind of defeats the purpose, and at that point you might as well get a standard case.

    Although, another alternative might be to ditch the drive carrier, and mount a PSU in the front. You may have to use an external DVD drive, but mounting an HD shouldn't be too difficult... :dunno:
     
  17. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    That's why friends don't let friends buy prebuilt.
     
  18. Bencorn

    Bencorn New Member

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    Who said anything about a prebuilt? I simply bought a case with an included power supply. I then added all my own components. Anyway, I wanted that case, and to have that case I had to settle for an oddly shaped power supply. Thanks for your input though.
     
  19. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Huh. Never heard of an empty case with a weird power supply before.
     
  20. Bencorn

    Bencorn New Member

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