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New computer or upgrade?

by cubs123 / September 22, 2007 11:57 PM PDT

I have a Dell XPS 400 and I'm strongly into gaming and editing HD video. So I was on the market for a Nvidea 8800 GTS graphics card when I realized that the Dell XPS 400 has only a 375W power supply and this card requires at least 450W. So I ask my computer associate and he said that to buy a new power supply would mean something about a new processor or motherboard. SO HELP ME! is it right to upgrade or get a new computer?

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Tell a little more.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 23, 2007 12:05 AM PDT

While replacing a power supply does not mean you replace the motherboard, CPU, RAM and all that it can extend the usable life of what you have and enable you adding your new 3D card.

Tell a little more about your PC. For instance any dual core is great for video work and if a celeron I'd want to move on to a new machine...

Bob

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Specs
by cubs123 / September 23, 2007 12:37 AM PDT
In reply to: Tell a little more.

Dell XPS 400
Windows Prof SP2
Intel (R)Pentium (R)D (I'm not really sure what that means)
2.8 GHz
1 GB RAM
160GB HD
Radeon X600 graphics
375W power supply

also what was strange is that on the Dell website, you are offered a 8800 series card for the XPS 410, which only has a 375W power supply, then how would the card work.

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That's a DUAL (nice!)
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 23, 2007 12:45 AM PDT
In reply to: Specs

This is really good news. You have the Pentium D (for dual) and the right amount of ram for XP to fly.

While the power supply didn't meet the specs for that new card you are ready in all other respects to do some video editing.

And yes, I bet the card will work in your machine. They do that since many machines have even smaller PSUs or the owner has added many hard disks and more.

Nice choice on the 8800. Did you check this list? See http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/08/06/the_best_gaming_video_cards_for_the_money/

Bob

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RLY?
by cubs123 / September 23, 2007 12:49 AM PDT
In reply to: That's a DUAL (nice!)

Are you sure, because I don't want to start up a game of World in Conflict and have my computer explode, lol. But thanks a lot if your right, saved me a good $100

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also
by cubs123 / September 23, 2007 12:52 AM PDT
In reply to: That's a DUAL (nice!)

What would be some computer symptoms that meant I need a bigger power supply?

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Random reboots, etc.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 23, 2007 12:57 AM PDT
In reply to: also

While you are in there, a good cleaning of heatsinks and more is a good idea.

You may be looking for an absolutely gold plated it will work for years reply. Sorry, PCs are not like that. For me I never fit less than a 500 Watt PSU and my last machines are running off these cheap 680 watt units. See http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=ESTAR-680-N&cat=PWR

My machines don't approach 1/2 that power draw according to my Watt meter so that's fine by me.

Your example of the 8800 as an option was a good clue as well as my kid having a Pentium D at 2.8GHz and the Watt meter on that one is all of 120 Watts during gameplay. There is a reason for the total Watts being much higher but that could be a very long discussion. I'll stop here.

Bob

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So
by cubs123 / September 23, 2007 1:02 AM PDT
In reply to: Random reboots, etc.

How can I measure my current wattage usage, I just want some asurance before I spend $270 on something I can't use.

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I have this Watt meter.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 23, 2007 2:42 AM PDT
In reply to: So
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000RKVK52/105-6213528-4750843

There's also P3 model but I went with the EM100. It's been nice to have a handy way to see what's drawing power around the house. My big find was my entertainment center sucks 65 Watts when off. So that got a big breaker bar and goes off when we don't need it for awhile.

Bob
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thanks
by cubs123 / September 23, 2007 3:26 AM PDT

thank you for your help you saved me a lot of time and money, I guess I'll get my graphics card and Ill get back to you if any problems appear.

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PROBLEM
by cubs123 / September 26, 2007 8:04 AM PDT

I uninstalled my old card and its drivers. I put in the new card, the driver CD, and got the newest drivers off the web. But in a game of World in Conflict, on the default settings I'm getting and average FPS of 9??? What's wrong here?

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Just sharing.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 26, 2007 10:54 AM PDT
In reply to: PROBLEM

I recently installed a new card and had to find a site to tweak it up for the game. Here's the one I used -> http://www.tweakguides.com/Bioshock_1.html

Try finding one for your game. After I completed this one, all my games run better.

Bob

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reply
by cubs123 / September 27, 2007 9:57 AM PDT
In reply to: Just sharing.

there isnt one for World in Conflict, and the eVGA people said it was because a low PSU. And it thats false, does that mean everyone who upgrades to a 8800 GTS has to "tweak" there game?

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I was surprised when I put a new video card in my PC.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 27, 2007 10:59 AM PDT
In reply to: reply

I was running BIOSHOCK and I too was amazed that I had to tweak. I too think this was an awful thing to do to the public but remember the 8800 is fairly new and if you used the driver that came in the package it was known to be a slug (amazing?) on some tests.

Sorry but game tuning is very common. Look for a site on your game. I was lucky in that tuning for this game helped everything.

If you feel it's the power supply, go right ahead but the symptoms of an overtaxed PSU is reboots, crashes, etc.

Bob

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tweaks
by cubs123 / September 27, 2007 11:43 AM PDT

What should I be searching for to find "tweaks" and when I try to set the game setting on high, its says its "too demanding for my system". Does that mean my graphics can't work with a small PSU?

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How are you set for DSL?
by Dango517 / September 27, 2007 11:58 AM PDT

1.5 MB or more?

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?
by cubs123 / September 27, 2007 12:14 PM PDT

What are you talking about?

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The speed of your internet connection through your IP is?
by Dango517 / September 27, 2007 1:41 PM PDT
In reply to: ?

You subscribe/pay a fee to someone to acquire access to the internet. That access has a speed, example 56k. What is yours? If you don't know you might wish to find out by calling your IP (internet provider). I'm running an nividia GeForce 8600GT with SLI with a 758kps speed connection it isn't fast enough to keep up with the card. That why I asked. Also, I had some problems when I first bought this computer last Christmas and had to up grade the RAM to 2GB to get it to run correctly. Most new Vista computers come with two GB of RAM. The graphics card could have been a part of this problem. Graphics cards take lots of system resources.

You can check your link speed by clicking on this link

http://www.speedtest.net/

If you run the test, still contact your IP about your link speed.

The card you want is one of the best available.

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its is
by cubs123 / September 28, 2007 3:05 AM PDT

i have a internet of 100 Mbps idk wat that means though, but I HAVE a 8800GTS and idk why its not working. The eVGA ppl said the insufficient PSU is the most likely source of my problem, but idk what to look for in a PSU or which one works for my Dell XPS 400.

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(NT) Wow, 100MB/second sure that's not kb/s
by Dango517 / September 28, 2007 3:13 AM PDT
In reply to: its is
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Only a few places have connections that fast
by Dango517 / September 28, 2007 3:26 AM PDT

for home use, Japan and some Scandinavian countries. That is certainly fast enough for your card. In fact if your correct your connection will be waiting for everything on your computer. You might want to maximize your RAM and up grade your CPU to an extreme processor. Consider an advanced gaming computer as your upgrade with dual graphics cards and drives to support them. Your very lucky to have a connection that runs at 100MB/second.

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idk
by cubs123 / September 28, 2007 3:36 AM PDT

i may be reading it wrong but its a great connection, so i have 1GB of RAM, should i upgrade to 1.5 or 2 and see results? I rly hope its not my PSU because thats going to be a hassle to upgrade.

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I think you'll be OK
by Dango517 / September 28, 2007 4:29 AM PDT
In reply to: idk

Yes, I'd upgrade to 2GB RAM and buy the card but that's maybe all you'll be able to add to your system. If it doesn't work then just return it but keep the RAM.

Two items I'll mention before I go. 1) These cards run hot (60C+) so you might notice some heat problems after installing it. The symptoms are erratic computer performance and hangs usually of a monetary nature not permanent crashes. (An Event that require a restart of the system.) Use compressed air to clean out the inside of the tower on a regular basis and especially, thoroughly clean the CPU cooler. You should already be doing this and if you aren't then learn how, it's simple to do. All computers need a good cleaning once in awhile, with a graphics cards or not. 2) If possible disable any chip set graphic you might have to conserve power. You can find out if you have a chip set by opening device manager. This is how you get there: start>control panel>administrative tools>computer management>device manager>double click on display adapters, it will expand and show you what is installed. If it doesn't expand you do not have a chip set. If it does after installing the 8800 then return to the device manager and attempt to disable this chip set. It may or may not disable. How this is done: start>control panel>administrative tools>computer management>device manager>double click on display adapters, it will expand and show you what is installed>right click on this item a click disable. If it will not disable an error message will appear.

Enjoy! I think you'll be happy with it.

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cool
by cubs123 / September 28, 2007 4:35 AM PDT
In reply to: I think you'll be OK

I got only 1GB of RAM and it sounds right that it might be an upgrade to RAM thats needed. I already have the card, and idk how i would return it to tigerdirect.com. But if the problem persists I'll message you.

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How to clean
by Dango517 / September 28, 2007 4:46 AM PDT
In reply to: cool
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What should I be searching for to find "tweaks" and when I t
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 28, 2007 4:48 AM PDT

"What should I be searching for to find "tweaks" and when I try to set the game setting on high, its says its "too demanding for my system". Does that mean my graphics can't work with a small PSU?"

I used GOOGLE to find a site for the game I needed help with.

The "too demanding" has never pointed to a power supply warning. You could be the first? Usually it is the software thinking your CPU, RAM (speed or quantity) is a bit low. However I got that message and after the tweaks it still complained but game play was much better.

-> Here's the bitter truth. The only way I think we could avoid tweaking up a system for gameplay is to go back to consoles (Xbox, PS2/3 etc.) Why that is so is because the game author can tune it all for us.

Bob

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