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Graphics Card Info?

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Ok I am planning on buying a new Graphics Card for my PC very soon. Right now I'm leaning towards an Nvidia Geforce 8500 GT. I here this card is pretty good and that its only slightly less powerful than an Nvidia Geforce 7900 but its supports DX10. So my first question is:

Does anyone own an Nvidie 8500GT? If so, what do you think of its performance and would you recommend it?

Keep in mind that I don't have a lot of money to spend and that I am not interested in running games at max settings. Basically I just want to be able to run new upcoming games like Crysis and Unreal Tournament 3 at around 1024x768 or 800x 600 resoultions on high or medium settings running at an average of 30 or above fps.

I know many are going to say that I should invest a little more and get an Nvidia 8600GT and I honestly did think about it. The problem is my power supply isn't powerful enough to support it according to its minium system requirements. However, I noticed that my power supply is also slightly not considered powerful enough for my current graphics card (Nvidia 7300 GS) and yet it runs perfectly normal. This brings to me to my next question:

How important are powersupplies when considering Graphics Cards? Is it very important that your power supply meet the requirements? Is it dangerous to install card when your powersupply isn't considered powerful enough?

I'm sorry if this question sounds stupid but I'm kind of new to the whole upgrading cards thing. Also I ask this because it seems kind of like the powersupply is kind of an after thought or just ignored by retailers. None of the places I looked listed the powersupply under minium system requirements. I had look on the manufacturer's website to find out the power supply minium system reguirements. They also don't place it well on the product's box as they only list the minium watts but don't include things like 18A on a +12V rail. I had to look at the website to find this stuff out. Also keep in mind that neither the 8500GT or 8600GT need to be plugged in directly to the powersupply.

If anyone can help me out it would be very much apperciated.

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How important are powersupplies when considering Graphics Cards? Is it very important that your power supply meet the requirements? Is it dangerous to install card when your powersupply isn't considered powerful enough?

It's rather important. If your PSU gets over taxed by the card, you'll experience a number of problems like lockups, reboots, game crashes, and things of that nature. So make sure your PSU can handle what the card needs to run.

Also, you should check that the PSU can handle both the volts required, and the AMPs required... especially the AMPs. The volts area can have a little leeway, but the AMPs is very important to meet. If your new card requires 22 AMPs, then make sure your PSU gives at least 22 AMPs. So before you buy that 8500GT, check what your PSU puts out. If it's too low, then you may have to upgrade that as well.

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Agreed. If you want to upgrade anything, you better make sure you have a proper PSU in the first place. I just recently built my first computer a month ago and it seems to be working just fine. It has a PSU with 485 watts and has the 8600 GT. Though DX10 is good, you might not necessarily NEED it unless you are definitely going to install Windows Vista. I was in between deciding between XP or Vista, but decided to get most of my parts so that upgrading to Vista wouldn't be a problem.

Requirements are meant to be met. Either your video card will run well or it might as well not. It's important to make sure it works no matter which model you actually get as the video card is always active whenever you're using your computer.

My personal feeling is that the 8600 GT is the entry level video card for people getting Vista, and maybe will not have too much of a lifetime compared to other video cards out there. But it is definitely a good compromise between performance and price.

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It's rather important. If your PSU gets over taxed by the card, you'll experience a number of problems like lockups, reboots, game crashes, and things of that nature. So make sure your PSU can handle what the card needs to run.

Also, you should check that the PSU can handle both the volts required, and the AMPs required... especially the AMPs. The volts area can have a little leeway, but the AMPs is very important to meet. If your new card requires 22 AMPs, then make sure your PSU gives at least 22 AMPs. So before you buy that 8500GT, check what your PSU puts out. If it's too low, then you may have to upgrade that as well.

Does this mean that my current graphics card isn't working properly because it requires a Minimum of 300W with a 18A on a +12V rail. My Powersupply can max out 300W but it only has 15A on a +12V rail. Now I haven't had any problems with it and my games are running pretty good. Also I had to check the website to find this out because the box only states "A minimum 300W powersupply".

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Does this mean that my current graphics card isn't working properly because it requires a Minimum of 300W with a 18A on a +12V rail. My Powersupply can max out 300W but it only has 15A on a +12V rail. Now I haven't had any problems with it and my games are running pretty good. Also I had to check the website to find this out because the box only states "A minimum 300W powersupply".

It could be keeping the card from performing as well as it could, but it may not be. It depends on how much you have running in your PC (CD-Roms, Hard Drives, etc.), and whether they're drawing power at the same time your card is handling a game. If you haven't had any issues with it, then it sounds like you got a break up to this point. But when you upgrade to the new card, it's best to upgrade your PSU as well, since an 8500GT requires 20A on the 12v rail.

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It could be keeping the card from performing as well as it could, but it may not be. It depends on how much you have running in your PC (CD-Roms, Hard Drives, etc.), and whether they're drawing power at the same time your card is handling a game. If you haven't had any issues with it, then it sounds like you got a break up to this point. But when you upgrade to the new card, it's best to upgrade your PSU as well, since an 8500GT requires 20A on the 12v rail.

Alright. Thanks for your help guys. I'll try and see If I can save up for a new PSU and the graphics card. Thanks agian for the help.

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The 8500GT is a decent card for entry to DX10, just don't expect it to run Bioshock well or anything. I think a 7600GT out preforms it in DX9 mode.

Also, just to clarify, the "minimum" specs on graphics cards are there to make sure dumb people don't buy a card, plug it into their pentium 2, and call tech support and complain about it not working and want their money back. The manufacturer usually gives a higher minimum spec than what the card requires to run normally.

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The 8500GT is a decent card for entry to DX10, just don't expect it to run Bioshock well or anything.

It's recommended you have an 8600GT to run it in DX10 mode. But then you have to spend some money to buy Vista to get DX10 effects anyway.

Which mightn't be a bad thing, depends on how much of an antifanboy you are >_>

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It's recommended you have an 8600GT to run it in DX10 mode. But then you have to spend some money to buy Vista to get DX10 effects anyway.

Which mightn't be a bad thing, depends on how much of an antifanboy you are >_>

I wouldn't even recommend upgrading to Vista on an old machine anyway. Vista is supposed to run well on machines on tomorrow, not today. A lot of people are probably dissapointed with the performance of Vista, but they probably don't have enough RAM and probably still have a single core CPU.

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In the PSU discussion. If there are more than one 12V rails, combine the amps for the total. The amperage rating on video cards is the recommended rating for the system, not just for the card, so splitting amperage between two rails for you system will do the trick.

And so far with Vista, to make it run perfectly, you need something like 4 GB of RAM, a huge video card, plus a whole mishmash of other things.

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Well, my machine came with Vista so I don't have really have a choice. I'm not going to go waste more money and just buy a OS that is going to be considered out-of-date in about 1 to 2 years. Also not being able to run these games at ultra settings isn't a bad thing for me. Like I said in my first post, I just want them to run decently. If the 8500GT can do that, then thats great. If it can't, then I would need to get something better. Money is a huge issue too. Thanks agian for your help guys. This thread has been very helpful.

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And so far with Vista, to make it run perfectly, you need something like 4 GB of RAM, a huge video card, plus a whole mishmash of other things.

Its more like 2 gigs.

Let me put it this way:

1 gig on Vista = 512mb on XP

2 gigs on Vista = 1 gig on XP

4 gigs on Vista = 2 gigs on XP

Any more than 4 gigs, and youll need to move to the 64bit versions of both OSses, and thats a whole new can of worms.

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