No announcement yet.

Best graphics card given 350W power and PCI Express x16 (advice, please)

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Best graphics card given 350W power and PCI Express x16 (advice, please)

    Title says most of it...

    I have an older desktop. Salient specs:
    • Quad-core with 8GB RAM.
    • One SATA 7200RPM drive
    • Power supply is 350W (+12Va=18A; +12Vb=18A; 3.3V=15A, -12V=0.8A.
    • Mobo is MCP61PM-HM (HT2000) with one PCI Express x16 slot.
    • Also has one PCI slot and one PCI Express x1 slot.
    • Current graphics card is GTX 260 with 512MB.
    • Monitor is Dell U2713HM running at 2560x1440.

    I would like to upgrade graphics capability, specifically for Skyrim: Elder Scrolls. Budget is around $250. I realize the power supply is weak, so if power upgrade is needed it has to be included in the budget.

    Advice, please! And many thanks!

  • #2
    Actually your current machine doesn't meet nVidia's recommendation.

    Requirements for the GTX260 are,
    Maximum Graphics Card Power (W)
    182 W

    Minimum System Power Requirement (W)
    500 W

    This sounds like a HP machine. Does it even accept a standard sized replacement power supply unit?


    • #3
      Yes, it's an HP Pavilion m9400f - no upgrades. The GTX260 was in the machine when I bought it off the shelf. It does work, actually, but based on your response I'm now assuming that I'm on the ragged edge of the power curve.

      I'm also assuming that I'm going to be disappointed in finding a faster card without upgrading my power supply to run it. (Based on my visual memory, the power supply is a standard sized unit, even if wimpy. But I'm going to double-check.)

      Quick question just occurred to me: is it possible to upgrade the memory to 1GB?

      Thanks for the info!


      • #4
        No you can't generally upgrade video card ram.
        While there is probably a slightly better card that would work with the current PSU, to get something significantly better you are going to need a new PSU. Depends a bit on what else is in the box as well. Additional drives, number of USB devices, fans, etc..


        • #5
          You can use a wattage checker such as:

          to check what size PSU you should need.


          • #6
            Seeing as how it's an HP system, you'll have to upgrade the PSU with the card as you're already at the limit.

            Look for at least a 500w model such as the Cooler Master CX500 as it'll be large enough to handle either a GTX560 or an R7-260x if you can find one.