Video cards and power supply wattage

September 14, 2009 at 15:28:33
Specs: Windows XP
Is this relation extremely important? I'm shopping
for a new card, (My GeForce FX 5200 isn't cutting
it) and I'm seeing 350 watt reqs... my supply puts
out 250... is this really an issue?

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#1
September 14, 2009 at 15:35:23
"I'm seeing 350 watt reqs... my supply puts
out 250... is this really an issue?"

YES!
If you fry the power supply it MIGHT fry your mboard while it's failing!

Your power supply must have at least the minimum capacity required to support a system with the graphics card you are using installed, or the max graphics card you might install in the future.
(Onboard video - video built into the mboard - IS NOT A CARD!)
You can go to the video card maker's web site and look up the specs for the model - often under system requirements - the minimum PS wattage, and, more important, the minimum amperage the PS must supply at 12v is stated. If you don't find that, any card with the same video chipset including any letters after the model number has very similar minimum PS requirements.
Some power supplies have more than one +12v amperage rating - in that case you add the rated max amperages to determine the total +12v amperage rating.

A video card that requires more PS capacity than your system has often works for a while anyway, but the PS is overloaded 100% of the time and is eventually damaged and fails.

If you need a PS with more capacity, you can usually replace it with any decent standard sized standard ATX PS.

Standard (PS/2) power supply size - 86mm high, 150mm wide, 140mm deep, or 3 3/8" h x 5 7/8" w x 5 1/2" d , or very close to that, though the depth can be more or less for some PSs.

Don't buy an el-cheapo PS.
See response 3 in this:
http://www.computing.net/answers/ha...


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#2
September 14, 2009 at 15:42:50
I understated when I said my card wasn't cutting it. My main
issue is the morons over at HP put the mboard on the wrong
side, so the vcard's heatsink is on the bottom. We all know this
is a disaster for cooling. I usually only get lag spikes after I've
been playing a while, and the card begins to heat up. If heat
weren't a factor, I wouldn't even be concerned with a new card.
Are aftermarket fans good?

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#3
September 14, 2009 at 15:50:44
All my video card heatsinks point toward the bottom of my machines. So what's wrong with that? What makes it a disaster for cooling? Hot air rises regardless of the heatsink position.

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Related Solutions

#4
September 14, 2009 at 16:13:55
You haven't stated what make and model of computer you have this card on, or how much ram you have, or whether you're having problems in Windows, or whether this happens only when you're in a game - the lag may be because your system is otherwise inadequate.

If your fan on the card is working okay, your lag problem may be caused by
- a poor connection of the card in the slot it's in.
Remove the AC power to the case, un-install the card, wipe off it's contacts with a tissue or a soft cloth, or better still, wipe them off with methyl (wood; gas line anti freeze) alcohol, or isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, or a drop of dish washing detergent in water, wipe then dry, install the card, make sure it;s all the way down in it'ss lot, install it's fastening screw, some AGP and PCI-E X16 slots have a latch you can slide on the inner end to lock down that end of the card, restore AC power, try thecomputer.
- your cpu may be overheating. If the cpu fan/heatsink has mung (dust, lint, etc.) on it, clean it off, but DO NOT use a vaccuum cleaner to do that (they produce a tremendous amount of static electricity when running, and anything connected to them can discharge that to your components) - use canned air, or an air nozzle if you have access to an air compressor, or an artist's brush that can be used in small spaces, etc. It may be difficult to clean the top of the heatsink under the cpu fan - the most likely place to have mung on it - and the bottom side of the cpu fan blades unless you remove the fan. If you have a case fan, clean that too if it needs it.
- your power supply fan may be failing.

"Are aftermarket fans good?"

Yes, if you get one suitable for the card, but your card's only worth about $35 brand new and I doubt you can find one for a video card that costs less than $10 or so - how much are you willing to spend on a fan? .
Or you could simply custom mount a 80 mm case fan that costs you $10 or less so it blows on the heatsink side of the card.


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#5
September 14, 2009 at 16:23:36
Your GeForce FX 5200 requires your system has a minimum 250 watt PS capacity. It's likely your present PS is loaded to 100% of it's capacity, or nearly that, all the time. El-cheapo PSs often can't actually handle that.

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#6
September 14, 2009 at 16:35:06
"Your GeForce FX 5200 requires your system has a minimum 250 watt PS capacity."

I doubt that the card actually needs a 250. The tiny heatsinks on most FX5200s look like they wouldn't be able to dissipate more than 5w of heat.

FX5200-powered SFF PCs with 150-200w PSUs were quite common 5-6 years ago.


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#7
September 14, 2009 at 17:00:42
What video card do you want to buy? Something a little better or a lot better than the FX5200? Give us an idea of what you're looking at and maybe we can suggest a comparable card that doesn't use more electricity than a FX5200.

What's the exact model of your hp machine?

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#8
September 14, 2009 at 18:13:23
"I doubt that the card actually needs a 250"

Search the web with: GeForce FX 5200 minimum watts.

He hasn't said whether his card is PCI or AGP or PCI-E, but I don't think there's much if any difference for the FX 5200 chipset cards.


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#9
September 14, 2009 at 18:44:28
A FX5200 uses about 27-30 watts. Other cards that use that amount of power or less are FX5700. 6200, 7300LE & 7300GS, ATI Radeon 9600's, X1050, X1300, HD2450Pro, and more.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews...

http://archive.atomicmpc.com.au/for...

Tom's usually reports slightly higher wattage use than the atomicmpc site.

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#10
September 15, 2009 at 16:39:15
I hadn't really planned on purchasing a new card. I don't really
care about high-def rendering, pixel shaders, or any of that stuff
that gamers buy to make it look real. I just want to get higher
framerates. On World of Warcraft, outside (in-game) I average 15
frames, so it's obvious that I want to improve. The card isn't really
an issue because it only begins to lag after heating up,
suggesting to me that it just needs to cool off. When I have a
better cooling solution for it, I can try overclocking to maybe
squeeze a few more FPS out of it.
The card is AGP and has the OEM heatsink which is just a piece of metal with about 8 fins 1/4 in. in width. I wish to replace this with an aftermarket fan/heatsink combo, which I am currently shopping for.

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#11
September 15, 2009 at 16:41:08
"All my video card heatsinks point toward the bottom of my
machines. So what's wrong with that? What makes it a disaster
for cooling? Hot air rises regardless of the heatsink position."
The only way for the air to leave the heatsink is if it flows slowly out the sides. Since hot air is always trapped against the heat sink, heat dissipation is painfully slow and inefficient.

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#12
September 15, 2009 at 16:51:30
Answering all the spec questions:
HP Pavillion a255c.
PS is stock el-cheapo (OEM's site states $49)
Mobo is stock el-cheapo, Intel Chipset
Card is AGP, no fan, just a dinky heatsink
1 gig ram.
2 drives,
26 gigs on main, 100 gigs on slave.
Case and CPU fans
Intel Pentium 4 2.66 GHZ
Also, one big note:
I am NOT planning to buy a new card. This one works fine, except the el-cheapo HS on it can't dissipate heat very well.

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