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Old 09-28-2008, 05:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Best graphics card for a 400W, +12V 18 amp PSU

Help me select a "Best graphics card for a 400W, +12V 18 amp PSU".
I was keen on getting a new 9600gt but it requires atleast 26 amps on the 12 rail, my PSU having only 18. Upgrading my PSU is out of the question as I just bought my new system recently, don't want to spend much money, and just need something moderately powerful to play the latest games, it is also a nice disincentive to upgrade all the time. The 8600gt looks likely as it doesn't require auxillary power(draws power from PCI-E slot) and i think uses 48 watts max. The new 9500gt, which I am sure is equivalent to the 8600gt, is extremely power efficient, around 30 watts I believe, due to the smaller chipset technology and power saving features, only it is too overpriced for such a relatively underpowered card(when you can pay a bit more and get the mainstream high end equivalent such as 8800gt, which is way better). I don't know much about Ati cards, haven't really studied their older models. I think I have answered my own question in a roundabout way, as you can see I have been reading up alot on this. I just thought it would be helpful to get some other opinions, recommendations, and maybe some info about comparable Ati Radeon and Nvidia chips. BTW, this is an excellent article which shows the power draw of all the major GPUs, it is only an average or estimate, not exact, but still very useful.
The Truth About Graphics Power Requirements V2 - Graphic Hardware - Forums - www.atomicmpc.com.au
The power requirements of GPUs is growing rapidly, more so in the enthusiast segment, rather than the low-mid end cards. Atleast manufacturers have made breakthroughs in regards to the chip cores to make them smaller and more dense, thus reducing power. With all the rage of dual, tri, and my god, QUAD SLI the power requirements are going through the roof, atleast for the high end segment!
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Old 09-28-2008, 05:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best graphics card for a 400W, +12V 18 amp PSU

8600GT is a load of balls, I have on and it isn't great, I recommend an ATI 3870 if you're looking to spend a little, your PSU should be fine for a card like that maybe not much else beyond it though
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Old 09-28-2008, 05:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best graphics card for a 400W, +12V 18 amp PSU

um i think the 4670 dosent require any extra power
Newegg.com - HIS Hightech H467QT512P Radeon HD 4670 IceQ Turbo 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards
and for the money you spend on a 8600gt you can get a 9600gso that is loads better
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Old 09-28-2008, 05:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best graphics card for a 400W, +12V 18 amp PSU

Yeah the 9600GSO is really quite good. My friend has one and he plays everything in 1680x1050 with some AF/AA without lag. It is really a rebadged 8800GS is a different suit. The only problem is that it is largely 'discontinued', because it was a tactic by Nvidia to sell-off surplus 8800GS stock.
I will check out those Radeon cards, so you think the Ati3870 will kill the 8600gt?
Thanks for the rapid replies, wow, that was like 1 min, amazing!
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Old 09-28-2008, 05:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best graphics card for a 400W, +12V 18 amp PSU

the 9600gso is more aimed towards the 3850.
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Old 09-28-2008, 05:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The Ati 3870 has a max power draw of 81 watts which is quite high but my PSU should be able to handle it.

The 3870 seems to have a massive variation of prices and chipset and memory configs. Is this standard Ati practice? I know Nvidia cards usually have fixed specs.

The Ati 3870 will cost around $140, for a generic, after doing a quick search. That is more than the 9600GT which i can get for $120. The 9600GT is almost as good as an 8800GT, therefore the 3870 must be able to have comparable performance, if not greater, than the 9600GT. Do you think this card would compare. I might have to find some benchmarks. I think that is logical.

On the synthetic benchmark tests an Ati 3870 was right near the top, ahead of the 4850, and just once notch down the 8800GTX. Wow, I am really impressed and suprised, I assumed the 4850/4870s blew their 3 series equivs out of the water.

Just found this :
ATI Radeon HD 3870 and ATI Radeon HD 3850 System Requirements

* PCI Express® based PC is required with one X16 lane graphics slot available on the motherboard
* 450 Watt or greater power supply with 75 Watt 6-pin PCI Express® power connector recommended (550 Watt and two 6-pin connectors for dual ATI CrossFireX™)
* Certified power supplies are recommended
* 1GB of system memory recommended
* Installation software requires an optical drive
* DVD playback requires DVD drive
* Blu-ray™ / HD DVD playback requires a Blu-ray / HD DVD drive
* For a complete ATI CrossFireX™ system, additional ATI Radeon™ HD 3800 series graphics card(s), an ATI CrossFireX Ready motherboard and one ATI CrossFireX Bridge Interconnect cable per board (included) are required


My PSU is 400W so it is not sufficient and I cannot use this card. I think I will stick with the 8600GT.
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Old 09-28-2008, 06:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best graphics card for a 400W, +12V 18 amp PSU

I would get the 4670 philbar71 posted.
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Old 09-29-2008, 01:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best graphics card for a 400W, +12V 18 amp PSU

Dude you know what double posting is? Its part of the forum rules not to post right after your self. Basically its to cut down on spammers.
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Old 09-29-2008, 05:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I have seen the 3850 for a really low price and it performs very well so I am really tempted with it. Despite requiring a minimum PSU of 450W, I think this is a conservative rating, and the max draw of the card is only 63W , and I really don't have alot of components in my PC. My PC only uses 180W from the power test I conducted. My only concern is related to the 12V ratings. I done some research and found that the card requires a 12A draw on the 12V rating. My PSU is certified at 18A-12V. This only gives me 6A in theory as the remaining draw for other 12V components. My system is a core 2 duo 8200, 4gig ram, 500G HDD, DVD+RW.

Can someone reply quickly as I want to buy this card very soon. BTW, If i overloaded my PSU by a small amount would it damage my computer or PSU? My computer is under warranty but I still want to be careful. Please help me out ASAP anyone? Thanks
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Old 09-29-2008, 04:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best graphics card for a 400W, +12V 18 amp PSU

The 4670 is about the same performance as the 3850 but has lower power consumption.
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