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igadoter 07-29-2010 04:21 AM

Need GPU replacement - help
I want to replace my ATI Radeon 7500 card with better - also ATI - but there is question about may PSU. Recently I have serious problems with NVIDIA GF FX5500 card probably due to psu - too old or too weak to supply enough energy. I have 300w psu (damned MSI low-energy technology) and there are very few chances that I will replace the psu with better one. The computer is a box and the access to hardwre components is very difficult.
So, help me which ATI card I may safely use. I'm thinking of ATI 9550 with active cooling. Now, ATI 7500 works fine.

My computer: MSI MS-7211 motherboard, 1 GB RAM, two hard drives - IDE and SATA, DVD-writer, processor P4 2,93 GHz with hyperthreading, 6 USB ports, and device for reading SD, MC and other cards. AGP 8x

business_kid 07-29-2010 05:24 AM

You're not making sense. From what I gather, you're ready to spend 100-200 on a video card and fit that into your pc no problem, but not willing to spend 30 on a decent psu because the pc is a box, and access is difficult. At worst, you may have to take it apart a little. If you spend 30 on a new box for your pc, and 30 on a psu, would you need a new video card? You could use the nvidia one you already have.

igadoter 07-29-2010 05:52 AM


At first difficult means very difficult. A one part of a cover of my box is riveted (rivet) to the back of the computer. To have access to the psu I need to remove this cover. I don't want to buy a new video card. Rather a secondhand card and this is cheap. The computer is old if I will have spare money I will buy a new one. Finally, a new psu is much worth than the computer itself. My computer (in Poland) is worth about $50 -$60, a price for a new psu $50 - $100. The secondhand video card ATI 9550 $10 - $20. And, if I may say I never was amused of NVIDIA GF FX5500. My NVIDIA card have some performance problems.

onebuck 07-29-2010 08:29 AM


I doubt the need to remove the riveted panel is the way the PSU is removed. Desktop or tower?
What is the system manufacture? Model #?

I've repaired some Dell and HP/Compaq desktops that are difficult to get the PSU out. You generally need to strip the cards and even the peripheral racks out to just get to the PSU. Most use the back panel as the mount point so removing 4-5 screws for the PSU mount then manually moving and adjusting the PSU to remove. Difficult yes, impossible no. Depending on the style the PSU is generally mounted to the chassis. Some older mini systems had the PSU mounted internally via a rack but that design really didn't pan out to well. Heat issues.

What about about a used/upgrade PSU? Some users just swap out to increase the power load requirements so the removed PSU is good. I've found good used PSU cheap that are still functioning in systems that were built from used components.

If you have a 300W PSU and experiencing problems then be sure to size your system to insure that a new GPU will also be functional. Size the system power needs to insure the 300W PSU will meet the needs. Swap the PSU to a known power supply requirements for this system as you have it now. Swapping components to meet the PSU is not the norm. Cost of the PSU vs the GPU should not be the deciding factor. The power needs of the system should be.

igadoter 07-29-2010 09:31 AM

I wish I have camera, then I will post pictures of my computer. Belive me removing the psu without removing the panel may be even risky for making damage to motherboard. There is few space, first I will have to remove DVD which is impossible, there are racks from both sides but I have access only for one side. I may reach the other side only if I will remove the panel which is riveted to the back. The computer was made by a Polish producer, I am sure the name will mean nothing to you.

At this moment with ATI Radeon 7500 there are no problems. Simply I only want to know may I safely upgrade this card say to Radeon series 9x. If these cards have similar power requirements as NVIDIA GF FX5500 256 MB then of course there is no sense to make any upgrade. My only hope is that these cards, maybe in some particular configuration, eg. at most 128 MB, need less energy than the NVIDIA.
I didn't find information about power requirements of ATI 9x cards especially compared with NVIDIA FX 5x series. And I am afraid that even if I will find it will be not very informative for me, It is rather a matter of knowledge based on an experience.

igadoter 07-29-2010 09:44 AM


I hve found an Windows software called 'Joulemeter' according to developers, it measures the power consumption, I was curious is there a Linux's counterpart but I I found nothing. Do you know anything about this?

I can only imagine an apps based rather on a stochastic model of power spread and make of use some statistic to predict system needs. It is quite like a stock prediction. In general possible. It is only the question of a model accuracy.

Skaperen 07-29-2010 10:24 AM

Better yet, get a tower with a hot-swappable PSU (or 2). Server towers can be configured this way, and tend to have boards with no, or low end, video already, so the high end add-on video card wouldn't be causing all that much to be wasted.

The difficulty of replacing PSUs, which are one of the two most failing components in PCs, is very annoying.

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