Need video card advice

What is the best card out there that will run on a 300 watt power supply?

A 5770 if the power supply is 80%~ efficient, the CPU isn’t a monster, and you don’t have more than one HDD or a bunch of expansion cards.

AMD quad-core cpu, no cards yet.

to be a bit more precise, my processor is a 2.80 gigahertz AMD Phenom II X4 830.

I chose a GTX 460 not only because of performance vs price (I think I paid about $100), but because of relatively low power consumption, compactness, and quietness.

See the graph here:


and note that the numbers are total system power consumption, not just the video card.

That’s pretty light on the power side. The next thing to check before spending money is the amperage of the 12V rail of your PSU, since that’s really the test. A 5770 requires at least 9A either on a dedicated line or that much on a shared. You’ll also want to check whether you have a 6pin PCIe power connector or two free 4pin molex connectors. A 460 GTX might work too, but it’s closer to the edge than I’d go. It’s a much better card in terms of performance and value, so it might be worth the risk. It requires 14A.

Frankly, the critical aspect here is having a high quality PSU. A good indicator for that is 80%+ efficiency. If you’re running an 830, which is an OEM chip, you probably don’t have one. I’d play it safer with a 5670 or a PSU upgrade.

Thanks for the info. A friend offered to sell be a 550 watt psu for $20-maybe I’ll take him up on the offer.

Yeah, I’d definitely do a PSU upgrade. 300W and caring about video card upgrades don’t really go together so well.

That’s a great deal on the PSU - I mean, I assume that it’s a low quality supply, but you’re already probably using a low quality supply, so the raw power will be enough to make this a non-issue. Grab the 550 then don’t worry about the power consumption of the card, go for price/performance.

Make sure the power supply has the required number of PCI-E (6 pin) power connectors. Most cards have one, although some powerful cards use two.

Most cards should also come with a with Molex 4-pin to PCI-E adapter but a dedicated PCI-E from the PSU is better.

Pure speculation here: I have a hunch a guy with a spare 550 watt power supply is likely to be somewhat of an enthusiast who replaced it with a bigger one. If that is the case, there is a good chance this used PSU is a better quality one than a casual computer user would be likely to choose on his own.

Of course, there is a chance it was a piece of crap he thought was a bargain and he’s glad to get rid of it at any price … but I think the first scenario is more likely.

It’s an Antec Truepower 2.0 550 watt power supply.

Grab it!

Grab it, Cuddle it, make sweet, sweet love to it…

What?

But make SURE that you turn the power off first!

Oh, yes. Antec Truepower? Lovely!

And this should solve the rest of it.

Does a True Power II 550W have enough juice on the 12V rails for a 31A Ti 560 GTX? Max load is only 36A and that ain’t much wiggle room.

Update-I have acquired a GeForce GTX 260 Core 216. A friend of mine decided to try out a new pair of video cards and asked if I wanted this one.
Duuuuuhhhh!
Will the Trupower 550 be enough for it?

Yes.

The Antec is good. It will run at maximum load … however … running at or near 100% capacity, you will have a lot of heat, a lot of fan noise, and it will shorten the life of the unit somewhat. I would get something bigger for a setup like that.